Sunday, 25 June 2017

Matt's Flapjacks

The recipe for these was given to us by Matt Thornhill, aka Monkichi, who'd come to play on our radio station (Real FM) in a Birmingham tower block in the late 90s. He'd brought with him his mate Manish and these delicious flapjacks made to his Grandpa's recipe, and the week after he'd been, from his long-winded early globalnet email address at Timebomb in Bristol, he sent us the receipe.

This is the only flapjack recipe we've used since. In the years since he committed this recipe to email and I printed it out on the back of a Beggars Banquet record reaction sheet (which I have to this day, it's the only record of the recipe I have) Matt's become Head of A&R at XL Records, nowadays heading up the Young Turks record label, and is a busy lad. Recently a Dad, I like to think he still makes these!

This is Leigh's slight riff on the original. He adds a layer of salted chocolate on top and cooks them as individual flaps in cake tins, turning them upside down and putting the chocolate on the bottoms.
The robust, dark salty chocolate works really well with the sticky sweetness underneath - these flaps, after all, use both black treacle and golden syrup as well as sugar!

It is typed, apart from Leigh's additions, exactly as Matt wrote it.

Once again, many many thanks for having me and the keener up for the night., Both had a damn fine time, only wish I could have stayed a bit longer...

Here's that flapjack recipe. it's from my Grandfather so it's imperial...

5oz margarine (we used Suma dairy free)
3oz black treacle
3oz golden syrup
2oz demerera sugar
8oz porridge oats, rolled oats, whatever
really healthy pinch of cinnamon
salted dark chocolate

He also likes it real gingery and adds 2tsp. of ginger powder.
Then chopped apricots if you want.

Melt sugar, marg, syrup etc. in pan. Stir in oats & additionals.

Spread into greased baking thing and give it:

- 20-30 minutes if cooking on one large batch (for example baking tray) - check after 20
- 12 minutes if cooking as individual flaps (for example like we did in fairy cake/muffin tins)

at Gas Mark 4 / 160C.

(They might still be soft to the touch when you remove them, but they'll harden as they cool.)

Once cooled, gently melt salted chocolate in a metal basin over a simmering saucepan (don't let any of the water get in) and pour over the upturned flapjacks. Allow to cool thoroughly.

Think that's it.

Hope it works out...and don't reply to this one cos I shouldn't be spending my day at work writing out recipes really.

All the best,
Matt Monkichi.

Here's Matt spending his day at work not writing out recipes.

Here's the flyer we made when Matt came to play.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Peanut Butter Curry

I made this curry a couple of days ago and it was unbelievably delicious, as well as being very nutritious and protein-heavy.

Like an idiot, I was so busy stuffing it in my face I failed to take a single picture, either while I was making it or when it was finished.

So - imagine it! Think creamy, fatty, with orangey-pink colours, pops of chilli slices and the little black specks of mustard seed, poured over fluffy brown basmati.

You don't have to include the sweet potato, plain spuds will do, but you could stir any robust vegetables into it.

To make the paste:

2 tsp coriander seeds (toasted)
2 tsp cumin seeds (toasted)
1 tsp sesame seeds (toasted)
2 tbsp dessiccated coconut (toasted)
1 inch ginger
6 cloves garlic
4 tbsp peanut butter (crunchy or smooth, doesn't matter)
1/4 cup vegetable oil

To make the rest:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 large onion (finely chopped)
2 tsp salt
1 green chilli (finely chopped) 
2 tsp fenugreek powder
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 tomatoes (chopped)
1 tin coconut milk

handful green beans
handful kale
handful mangetout 

3 sweet potatoes (roasted & cubed) or one massive one

To Serve:

Basmati Rice


Crushed peanuts

To make:

1 Put toasted seeds in a food processor & whizz them u into a powder.

2 Add the garlic, ginger, peanut butter, vegetable oil & whizz it all up into a thick paste.

3 Warm the vegetable oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds & wait until you hear a light popping sound.

4 Add the onions & cook them until they’re well done (not burnt). 

5 Add the salt, chilli, fenugreek powder and stir it together.

6 Add the tomato puree & stir that in too. 

7 Add the chopped tomatoes & stir that in so they’re softening and losing their structure. 

8 Add the paste you made a little earlier and cook it until the aromas from the paste are well released.

9 Add the coconut milk & stir it in so you have a lovely creamy sauce.

10 Add the spring greens, stir them in & then stir in the sweet potato chunks.

11 Serve immediately over basmati rice and finish with crushed peanuts and coriander.

It's especially good a couple of days later - put a lid on and keep it in the fridge.

Friday, 28 April 2017


If you have any leftover Solid Egg (lol) you can bash it up into little bits with a rolling pin, or grate it, and add it to THIS recipe.

You need do only this:

Mud Base;
3/4 (three-quarters) cup plain flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp vanilla
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup almond or soya milk
Fistful of small chocolate chunks - good for any good leftover chocolate from Easter!

Pour into 2 oiled or greaseproofed shallow cake tins.
Bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees C.
Remove Cakes 1 and 2 and leave to cool.

Mud On Top:
1 cup cocoa powder
1.5 cups brown sugar
1/3rd tbsp marge
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 (half) cup almond or soya milk

Smear over Cake 1.
Put cake 2 on top.
Smear over Cake 2.


Sunday, 12 February 2017

Cocoa Gravy

This version of our classic Vegan Gravy was created after a tip-off from Pete Gardner at Cocoa Amore, Leicester's independent chocolate boutique.

You will need:

- 1 teaspoon of oil
- half a medium sized red onion, finely chopped
- 5 finely sliced medium sized mushrooms (you don't want big slices)
- a healthy pinch of freshly ground pepper
- half a pint of cold veg stock, preferably kept over from veg cooking
- one Kallo mushroom stock cube
- two heaped dessertspoons of fine cornmeal
- 2g 100% pure cocoa/cacao* (no added sugar, milk etc. - pure cocoa) - more if you want, after you've tasted

Do this:

Add the finely chopped red onion and mushrooms to the oil, and sautée gently till the onion's going clear and the mushrooms floppy and cooked through. Add the black pepper.

Crumble your Kallo mushroom stock cube to the (cold) veg stock, mix thoroughly.

Stir in the cornmeal, and pour gently into the onion and mushroom mix. Stir well.

Bring to the boil till it starts to thicken, then turn down and simmer gently.

Break the cocoa/cacao* into pieces and add to the gravy, stir till it melts, and stop cooking when it's as thick as you like it!


You thought the Yorkshire Pudding mix was the Holy Grail, and it was - but this is the discovery of King Richard III under the car park...sort of. Well he had strong connections with York...

Tonight we made Toad In The Hole by pre-heating the oven to 220 degrees C (VERY HOT), adding a significant lump of vegan marge (you can use an oil if you prefer, it'll be a little greasier) to a metal pan and placing it in the oven to pre-heat.

After 5 minutes, add 4 un-meat sausages (Fry's are good, we don't recommend Linda McCartneys' for this) to the heating pan. Put it back in the oven.

Meanwhile, mix up our vegan Yorkshire Pudding Mix. For four sausages, divide the mixture's quantity in half. The quantity of batter mix in the original recipe will be good for 6+ sausages.

Once well mixed, take out your pan with sausages (don't leave more than about 10 minutes).
The fat should be smokin' hot and the sausages starting to brown.
Pour in the batter mix, distributing evenly over the sausages, quickly, and put back in the oven.

Cook for 20 minutes, and check nay poking the a sharp knife into a fat bit after 20 mins - it's OK for it to be a bit sticky inside!

Serve with Cocoa Gravy, roast spuds and plenty of green veg.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Our Man In Japan's Risotto

We were asked to give this a go by our friend Warren in Fukuoka; Altar Ego Radio contributor, Japanese-speaker and compiler of interesting vegan recipes.

Its ingredients look odd at first but it was very tangy and fresh.

You could just as easily make this into a kind of dal by using lentils instead of rice, but you'd need to adjust cooking times for the lentils accordingly - start boiling them ahead of time, then drain, then add to the recipe when they've got around 20 minutes to go.

So, you'll need:

- 1 cup arborio or risotto rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 chopped chillis 
(your call on how hot these are - whether that's 2 scotch bonnets or 2 relaxed ones is up to you!)
- 1 glass vegan white wine 
(Warren used half a glass, I put in 1 whole but small one)
- 500ml of vegetable stock 
- Zest and juice of half a lime
- Half an onion, chopped finely
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 - 1&1/2 tablespoons of coconut milk 
(or you can use 50g creamed coconut blended into 200m heated soya milk)
- Fresh garlic leaves to garnish 
(optional, I had some just pulled out of the garden so I added it)

- Salt & pepper to taste

I should point out that in the absence of lime, I used half a lemon and some finely chopped lemongrass - I feel pretty sure the net result was very similar.

Here's what you do:

- Wash the rice thoroughly in boiled water, till it runs clear.

- Put your tablespoon of olive oil into your deep pan or wok and sauté the rice gently till it begins to go clear, and is fully coated with the oil. It can gently 'golden-brown' a little, but do not let it burn! About 10 minutes, stirring constantly.

- Pour in the white win, bring to the boil.

- Chop and add the chillis. 
TASTE after cooking for a further five minutes.
The rice should be a nice moist mixture by now. 
Add more wine if it looks a little dry.
Add more chilli if it's not warming the cheeks.

- Stir the coconut milk (or 50g creamed coconut in soya milk) into the rice till fully combined.

- Finely chop the lemongrass and add together with your lime/lemon juice.

Top to bottom:
Freshly picked garlic leaves, lemongrass, chilli slices.

- Make up your stock and add to the rice mixture. Bring to boil, then allow to simmer, stirring frequently.

- Add the chopped garlic glove, and turmeric. This'll give it its unusual golden glow.

- Add salt and pepper to taste.

- Keep cooking till most of the liquid is dissolved into the rice. It will go a little porridgy, but that's OK - and KEEP TASTING!

Serve with the chopped green garlic leaves on the top. Works well as a main dish, or as a small side with a main event.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

THE HOLY GRAIL - Vegan Yorkshire Puds

Many a tear has been shed over failed Yorkies, because being almost entirely egg-based they are, of course, going to need some serious alchemical synthesis to get those buggers into Vegan Mode.

Well, Graham had a crack at these some months ago, and Lord they were good, but I lost the recipe and had to do them from memory.

They worked.

The first thing to get comfortable with is that they're never going to rise like their ovum cousins - they'll puff out quite a bit, but don't expect towering balloons of brown crispiness. They'll crisp up, they'll puff out, but in a less jazz-hands kinda way.

So here is what you need:

- 3oz vegan marge such as Biona, Pure or Vitalite
- 2oz Organ 'Egg' Replacer (worth buying - I don't use this much, but it seems to be the magic ingredient for these, and one box = 66 'eggs')
- 60ml of soya milk (avoid using ta sweet milk if you can, it messes with the flava) or 2oz water - this is to mix with the Egg Replacer
- 4oz plain flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of sage, fresh or dried
- A turn of fresh black pepper (optional, but I like this addition, makes them a little meaty)
- Soya milk to mix to a batter 

And here is what you do:

Put a knob of the marge in each section of a cake pan / bun tray / muffin tray / whatever you have that makes little versions of things, usually 12 to a pan.

Put it in a VERY HOT oven - anywhere between 190-220 degrees C should do it, that's Gas Mark 4-5 - you know your own oven.

Wait for the marge to melt and get smokin' hot  - should take about 10 minutes - and while you do, mix baking powder, flour and salt well:

Mix the egg replacer with the milk.
Add HALF of this Egg Replacer mixture to the dry flour mix.
Whisk to a smooth paste, then add the rest of the Egg Replacer mix.

Combine the rest of the dry ingredients with each other, and add soya milk a bit at a time.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, carefully, then check to make sure there are no lumps, then WHISK WHISK WHISK (a fork works best, you'll get too much stuck in the whisk if you use one) to get those bubbles in.

When the batter looks bubbly, thickish and well mixed, review: it should look just like classic Yorkie batter, or like a pancake mix.

Check your pan. See that the marge has gone very runny and is smoking a little. If it is, take that roasting hot tin out of the oven CAREFULLY and as fast as you can without making a mess, put an even quantity of the batter into each aperture.

You should see the edges of the puds start to fizzle and rise immediately, which is a sign you've got the timing right.

Cook for 15-20 minutes!

Eat the whole lot in an amazed frenzy of 'checking they're OK!'

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