London: Vx – an all vegan shop!

Vx Storefront

After our delicious lunch at the Gallery Cafe, we filled our afternoon with sight seeing and shopping at fun shops, including Vx (pronounced v-cross), a completely vegan store in King’s Cross! Vx is the home of the Secret Society of Vegans, so the store carries all of their clothing and accessories, but they sell lots of other awesome products as well. I really wanted to check out this place because it’s just so much fun to shop at a store completely packed with vegan goodies!

Vx!

They sell everything from shoes to cupcakes and I was especially excited to try some of the vegan baked good and other treats. Here’s a little list of what I got:

A cupcake by Ms Cupcake: I think the one I got was a Triple Chocolate Cupcake, but whatever it was, it was perfect! I took it with me in a little box so it got a bit squashed on the way to the B&B and I couldn’t get a pretty picture of it. Definitely have a look at Ms Cupcake’s website, though, because there are some gorgeous pictures over there! I’d love to try more of her cupcakes if I ever get the chance.

An SSOV hoodie and mug: The hoodie is super warm and soft and comfy! Thankfully the weather currently isn’t so cold that I need such a warm sweater, but I’m sure going to be glad to have it when winter comes around. Plus I love buying my clothing from vegan companies, so that is great as well. The mug is a bit silly but I couldn’t resist. Ha.

Treats!

Mexican-style Creamy Sheese: Sheese is a brand of vegan cheese that I’ve been looking forward to trying. Vx only had one of their products, which was this Mexican-spiced cream cheese. I only tried it once so far (on a slice of bread), and I thought it was tasty but not super impressive. It’s good, but I guess I really wanted to try something new, and apart from the spices, this didn’t seem to be all that different from the Tofutti cream cheese I usually get over here. I would really like to try the solid blocks of Sheese someday, because those look really interesting and different from vegan cheeses available over here. I still have most of the tub of Creamy Sheese to finish, though. I’m just not sure how to serve it. Just spread on a bagel with veggies and avocado maybe? Any suggestions?

Organica Vegan Hazelnut Nougat & Dark Chocolate bar: Yum! The bar was tasty, but nothing outstanding so I probably wouldn’t buy it very often even if I had access to it.

Trios Fudge Filled Chocolate Sandwich Cookies: Score! At least, I expect I’ll love these – I haven’t opened the package yet! I’m thinking I could make some of those enticing Oreo Cupcakes with them… that would be amazing. I just haven’t tried one yet because I’m afraid I won’t be able to eat them all before they go bad, and that would be a terrible waste! So I’m just going to hang on to these and hopefully I’ll be able to make something delicious with them someday.

A Whole Earth Sparkling Elderflower Drink: Woooh! Remember how I said I love the Whole Earth drink we had at Rootmaster and the Elderberry drink I had at the Gallery Cafe? (I know you don’t, but bear with me here) Well, combine the two and you get this! It’s a delicious elderflower softdrink sweetened with agave AND I recently found out can get this near my home, too! Excellent.

I think that’s all I bought at Vx – all such lovely vegan products! And because they were so packed with goodies, I kind of wish I could’ve tried even more. For instance, I saw these huge (and I mean huge) cookies that looked delicious and they had a few types of vegan ice cream, too, but we just weren’t able to buy (and eat) all of those at the same time. I’m really happy I got to try out all these wonderful treats, though!

Organic treats!

It’s a good thing I happened to read Suzette’s blog this morning, as her post about organic farms reminded me that there was actually an event at a farm in my neighbourhood, too. So, since my mother and I were planning on heading in that direction anyway, we decided to stop by for some vegan cupcakes and other goodies. I had actually been to this farm before, so I was happy to find some of the things I remembered liking then, and I also got the opportunity to try some other products. We only had time to stay for a little while, but look what we got:

Organic goodies

In this picture:

Rosie’s Cupcakes: probably the main reason I really wanted to go – it’s not often I get to try vegan cupcakes that I didn’t bake myself! There were four different kinds today, so we tried them all. You can check out all available flavours on Veggierose’s website, though I’m not sure if those are entirely the same as the ones we got. In any case, they were all delicious. I really liked the combination of dried fruit and flowers in two of the cupcakes (the lavender and rose petal ones). The apple pie cupcake was sugar free, but still as deliciously sweet as the other ones, and I really enjoyed the chocolate cherry cake as well. I think these are definitely healthier than the cupcakes I usually make, and there’s a nice variety of flavours to choose from, so I recommend trying these little cakes out if you get the chance!

Nashi pear juice: I got to try samples of two different juices at the KWAKO Fruitteelt stall, and this pure nashi pear juice was my favourite. I hadn’t heard of this Japanese kind of pear before, but apparently it’s very juicy and refreshing – I’d love to try a whole, fresh one someday.

Montezuma’s Dark Chocolate with Chilli: This little chocolate bar caught my eye because I knew it was one of the foods on the UK Vegan 100 list that I posted about during VeganMoFo last year. I’d been meaning to try the product ever since, so now I finally have the chance! I haven’t actually tasted it yet, though, but it looks promising.

A Lovechock Pure/Nibs bar: Lovechock is raw organic chocolate made in Amsterdam – have a look at their website, if you like. This was my first time trying raw chocolate (guess I can check that off my Vegan 100 list, too!) and since there were free samples of all three flavours, I was able to pick my favourite before buying an entire bar. Lovechock’s flavours are Pure/Nibs, Goji/Orange, and Almond/Fig. I thought they were all tasty, but the first one really had the most dark chocolatey deliciousness, so that one’s my favourite.

And lastly, China White Monkey Tea from Thieme’s Echte Thee: This stall had various types of tea to choose from, which made it difficult for me to pick one, since I like tea, but really don’t know much about it. Luckily, they offered us a delicious sample of their White Monkey tea, and we decided to buy a bag to take home. It’s really mild and lovely – I just had a cup of this tea earlier this evening and it was perfect.

And then, as you can see, we got some organic veggies as well. Oh, and most of these website links I gave are in Dutch (so I’m sorry if you can’t read most of it), and I guess most of the products are only available locally, as well. Still, if you get the opportunity to try any of them, I highly recommend checking them out! Especially the cupcakes :)

Alice in Wonderland!

I went to see the new Alice in Wonderland film yesterday and to celebrate, I made cupcakes! I had just bought a few packages of marzipan in different colours, so I thought this would be a good occasion to experiment with those. I’m pretty pleased with the way the cupcakes came out, because I don’t have much experience with marzipan and I feared everything would start melting and become horrible sticky mess. But actually, the marzipan was wonderful to work with and I can’t wait to use it again! I ordered it online at De Leukste Taartenshop, and I still have loads left.

Cheshire Cat

I started by making this Cheshire Cat-inspired cupcake. I rolled out the marzipan too thinly and it started ripping at the sides, which is why the top and bottom don’t look too pretty. I think the Cheshire Cat is awesome, though, and I’d love to try making a cupcake like this again. My boyfriend ate this one during the film and said it was tasty!

Painting the roses red...

Then I made marzipan roses! I’d never tried that before, but it was pretty easy to make them this way. I just made tiny circles and rolled them up into a flower shape. Sticking with the Alice theme, these are white roses (mostly) painted red.

Red Queen

I ran out of time soon, but I still had time for one more marzipan cupcake, so I made a chessboard with the Red Queen from Through the Looking-Glass. I apparently didn’t have the patience to make the queen look like the actual chess piece, but I hope you get the idea?

You can’t really see them under all the marzipan in the previous pictures, but the cupcakes are the Vanilla Cupcakes from 500 Vegan Recipes. It’s my current favourite vanilla cake recipe and it worked wonderfully this time, too. I spread (I still can’t properly pipe frosting to save my life) the cakes with coffee buttercream, which tasted great with the marzipan!

I loved the film too, by the way. There were a few weird parts but I don’t care. I loved it! Some of the characters were just delightful. Here’s a Cheshire Cat video (if I can get WordPress to embed it)!

VeganMoFo 32: Happy Halloween!

This is a quick final MoFo post, because it’s almost midnight over here!

I don’t really celebrate Halloween at all, but I still enjoyed making these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes (from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World). I only added chocolate chips to half of the batch, because I was afraid I wouldn’t like them in there, but they are delicious! They were a perfect dessert to the lovely dinner I had today.
Sorry for the horrible picture, by the way. I wanted to make it all cool and spooky and halloweeny with the cat in the background, but it was so late that my only lighting was a desk lamp and it turned out ugly. Oh well. Maybe the crappy lighting at least made it a little creepy? I think I’ll try and take a better photo in the morning.

So that’s it for this month… Goodbye, VeganMoFo 2009… I’m going to miss you :)

Have a nice day!

VeganMoFo 23: Cupcakes

Raspberry Cupcakes

I totally forgot to plan a VeganMoFo post for today! Please forgive me. I’m visiting a friend later and I already have to leave in about an hour. I probably won’t be home before twelve o’ clock tonight, so this old picture will have to do for the post! I uploaded it onto Flickr months ago, but I hadn’t posted it here yet, so here goes:

The cupcakes are based on a standard vanilla cake recipe that I wanted to experiment with. They were pretty good, but I’d like to try again and make them perfect! If only I knew where I’d put the recipe… It’s probably in a notepad file somewhere on my computer. I’ll have to look for it soon!

On top of the cupcakes is a simple mix of coconut cream, a little vanilla extract, and sweetener (I forgot what kind… I think it was agave or powdered sugar or maybe even vanilla sugar…). When I put regular frosting on a cake, people sometimes complain that it’s too sweet or too “heavy”. I hope a topping like this will be more to their liking! I did like it myself, anyway, so I’d love to experiment more with this, too.

We’re almost entering the last week of MoFo. It’s going by so quickly! I love reading all the posts, though, and I know I still have plenty of unread posts on here to keep me entertained for a while even when the Month of Food is over.

Have a nice day/weekend!

I love exams!

Well, not really, but these parties of people who passed their exams are giving me a great opportunity to bake. I’m not sure if cookies or cake really make a proper gift, but people seem to like them so I guess it’s alright.

Lemon Almond Cake

Strawberries are in season and as my parents couldn’t stop buying loads of them, I decided to make my friend the Lemon Almond Cake from Yellow Rose Recipes. It’s topped with sliced strawberries, a lemon glaze and toasted almonds. I used less glaze than this recipe made, because I didn’t want to cover it entirely. I love how this cake tastes, though don’t think it would hurt the recipe to use less sugar. The crunchy almonds on top were great.

Apart from the cake, I made a bunch of cookies. The ones I love the most? These:

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

They look a bit odd in this picture, but it’s the best one I have: Celine’s Double Chocolate Cookies. As I mentioned in my last post, these are so good. I’ve made them at least five times to give away and I had quite a few myself as well… I also made another batch of her Booze it Up Nut Butter cookies, making sure I added enough fat to the batter this time. I didn’t have cashew/macadamia nut butter and was almost out of peanut butter, so I used part almond butter. They turned out very well this time, I’m glad I tried again! I forgot to take a picture, unfortunately.

I made more cookies, but didn’t take pictures of those, either. They were these Whiskey Cookies. They taste awesome, though the flavours in there remind me more of autumn than of summer so I’m not sure why I’m making this time of year, but anyway – I liked them. I’m just wondering if maybe I did something wrong, as mine seem to have turned out different than Celine’s. She mentions how the cookies are crispy, while mine really are more chewy or cake-like, as someone in the comments there discribed. The dough was also different than the cookie doughs I’m used to, it was much more elastic. Interesting! These cookies were fun to make. And to eat.

So yeah, I’ll make sure to remember to take more pictures next time. Come to think of it, I do have some cupcake pictures to share:

Chocolate Cherry Cupcake

Rosey's Cupcakes

I didn’t make them myself, these are Rosey’s Cupcakes, which I bought at a local organic farm last weekend. I chose the chocolate cupcake in the upper picture and had a piece of every cupcake in the other picture. They were very different from the cupcakes I’m used to (the ones from Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World), more like muffins, in my opinion. I think it was partly because the frosting was much less sweet than most of the VCTotW cupcakes. In any case, I loved that chocolate cherry cupcake and it was pretty awesome being able to buy vegan cupcakes so close to home. And they all look so pretty.

One last awesome thing. One of my friends threw a barbecue beach party yesterday and made sure there was some vegan food for me – including this delicious falafel!

Falafel