Caramelised Onion Chutney

Homemade caramelised onion chutney is a tasty addition to a cheeseboard. This onion chutney pairs well with bread or crackers and mature Cheddar cheese. 

Making homemade chutney is another Christmas food tradition of mine, every year in November or at the start of December I make a batch of caramelised onion chutney ready to enjoy over Christmas on our festive cheeseboard.

You can change around the flavourings in this chutney to suit your own palate. This time I added wholegrain mustard, smoked paprika and chilli flakes for a little kick of heat. On previous occasions when I’ve made this I’ve added fresh thyme but you can add herbs that you like or have in like thyme or rosemary. You can also add a couple of torn bay leaves for extra fragrant flavour – but remember to remove these before you put your chutney into the jars!

This condiment is extremely popular here in the UK, particularly at Christmas when served on a cheeseboard. I’ve eaten lots of readymade chutney however none of those compare to this wonderful recipe – some usually have sultanas added which is a no-no for me as I despise dried fruit like raisins and sultanas, so making your own allows you make a chutney that’s tailored to your taste requirements.

This chutney is sweet, sticky and delicious spooned on top of a cracker and some sliced cheese. But you don’t just have to serve chutney with cheese and crackers, we ate ours with vegan hot dogs on Bonfire Night last week and also we made a tasty lunch with slices of homemade Irish Soda Bread buttered then topped with sliced cheese and chutney.

Also, just an idea of something I’m planning to make for lunch using this chutney – I’m thinking of toasting a couple of slices of bread, topping the bread with a generous helping of the chutney then topping the chutney with grated cheese to make a yummy cheese toast with a difference.

We also made an epic toasted cheese sandwich only the other day for our lunch and filled the toasties with chutney. There’s loads of different ways of serving this chutney, so go ahead and experiment!

I was dubious sharing this recipe as regular visitors to my blog will be used to me sharing lots of sweet baking recipes, I rarely share savoury recipes but that’s something I like to do from time to time to keep things interesting and cater to different tastes. This recipe isn’t all savoury though, I did manage to incorporate my sweet tooth into this chutney with all the brown sugar that was added…

Lastly, if you’re trying to think of Christmas present ideas for your loved ones, then gifting someone special a jar of homemade chutney is a fantastic and thoughtful gift to include in a hamper.

(Serves 20 / Makes approx. 1 litre)

Ingredients:

1.5kg onions, thinly sliced – sometimes I use red but this time I went for brown onions

2 tablespoons oil – I used olive oil but vegetable oil is fine to use

300g dark or light brown sugar

200ml red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard (optional)

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika – regular paprika is fine to use

1/2 teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan on medium heat. Sauté the onions for 30 minutes until softened and reduced by half – the onions don’t need to colour at this point.
  2. Now add 3 tablespoons of the sugar and continue to cook the onions for a further 10 minutes until they’re starting to turn golden and caramelise.
  3. Next add the remaining ingredients (the red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, mustard, paprika, salt and the remaining sugar). Cook the onions for a further 30-40 minutes until the liquid has reduced and is generously coating the onions. You can check the chutney is ready because it’ll coat the back of a spoon.
  4. To sterilise the jam jars, place your jam jars in an oven heated at 140°C / 120°C Fan / 275°F / Gas Mark 1 for 10 minutes.
  5. Carefully fill the hot jars with the chutney and leave to cool before securing the lids. The chutney will store at room temperature for up to one year, but once the chutney is opened it will need to be stored in the fridge and will keep for up to two months.

Try this chutney with some of my homemade bread/scone recipes!

Irish Soda Bread

White Bread Rolls

50/50 Bread Rolls

Cheesy Buttermilk Scones

Enjoy!

Keep up to date with me on:

Like my Facebook page here

Instagram: @whatjessicabakednext

Twitter: @jessbakednext

Pinterest: @jessbakednext

Vegan Brownies

Supremely fudgy chocolate brownies made completely vegan. You wouldn’t guess these chocolatey brownies are dairy free and made without any butter or eggs! 

Hey readers! Today I’m changing it up and sharing a vegan bake I’m hoping you’ll fall in love with these brownies just as we have! Sometimes I like to delve in and do something different, come out of my comfort zone and share some vegan bakes.

My sister and I are both really into vegan food and we’re on the quest to find lots of vegan recipes to make. We’ve recently started switching our usual milk based products for plant-based alternatives and you really can’t tell the difference – such as this Creamy Porcini Mushroom Pasta we now make this yummy Italian pasta dish with oat cream and it tastes amazing and in our porridge for brekkie we use oat milk. It’s great to see how many vegan products are hitting our supermarket shelves, there’s a lot more choice available.

Back in January when partaking in Veganuary we baked some vegan recipes for the blog – I discovered a great Vegan Banana Bread and during January I started my journey to find a vegan brownie recipe. Unfortunately my baking that day didn’t go entirely to plan and I wasn’t successful finding the perfect vegan brownie recipe. The brownies I made were not pleasant at all, they were stodgy and didn’t have the texture I was aiming for, however we reluctantly tasted them, but they were thrown straight in the bin and the search for a blog worthy vegan brownie continued!

These brownies I photographed for my blog are only the second time I’ve baked vegan brownies so I was elated to finally land on a brilliant vegan brownie recipe and one I was happy enough to share.

Making a delicious vegan brownie isn’t an easy task. But these brownies are truly incredible, they’re rich even without butter, fudgy without eggs added and taste so chocolatey thanks to addition of both dark chocolate and cocoa powder. I wanted to bake a brownie that didn’t use any unusual ingredients a lot of vegan bakes call for. Many vegan brownie recipes ask for flax eggs, but I figured like myself most people don’t have flaxseeds/linseeds and other ingredients in their pantry or readily available where they live around the world.

Whilst we’re on the subject of vegan recipes, I’ve also got a number of vegan friendly savoury and sweet recipes of which I’m always looking to expand and add more to. Check them out below – most of them are savoury, so I’m endeavouring to share more vegan bakes in the future, so watch this space…

Here are some of my vegan recipes listed below for you to try:

Basic Homemade Granola

Chickpea Tikka Masala

Mexican Red Rice (Arroz Rojo)

Mum’s Apple and Blackberry Crumble – this recent recipe on my blog is easily made vegan by swapping the butter for vegan butter or dairy-free spread

Paprika Roasted Potatoes

Patatas Bravas

Perfect Popcorn

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Roasted Vegetable Couscous

Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce and Penne all’Arrabbiata

Vegan Banana Bread

White Bread Rolls and 50/50 Bread Rolls

Which is your favourite: the centre or edge piece of brownie?

The brownies in the centre are definitely my go-to, I love brownies super fudgy so I love a centre piece of brownie because they’re always extra gooey. If you like those warm, molten chocolate lava cakes then take one of these brownies and give it a quick blast in the microwave and it goes all soft and gooey – your kitchen also gets filled with a divine chocolate aroma when they’re heated up!

If you feel like switching the recipe up a bit, I’ve seen lots of recipes where bakers have swirled melted peanut butter or cookie butter spread into the brownie batter before baking, so next time I’ll be trying that.

These brownies are addictive and I had ZERO control around them, I found it hard work resisting going back for piece after piece of brownie, but luckily for me I had some willing taste testers who didn’t mind having a helping of these fabulous brownies too!

(Makes 16)

Ingredients:

200g dark chocolate – I use 74% cocoa solids but ensure the chocolate contains no milk

140g plain flour

200g caster or granulated sugar

20g cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

80ml vegetable oil

240ml plant milk – I like using soya milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Half a packet (approx. 7) Oreo cookies, Biscoff, Bourbon Cream Biscuits (all three of these are suitable for vegans) – these are optional

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 20cm square cake tin with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Break the dark chocolate up and add to a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (bain-marie) – make sure the base of the bowl is not directly touching the water. Gently melt the dark chocolate until it’s smooth.
  3. In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder and baking powder. Give these ingredients a quick whisk together to combine then whisk in the oil, plant milk and vanilla extract until you have a smooth batter. Finally whisk in the melted chocolate until incorporated.
  4. Transport the brownie batter to the lined tin. At this point you can top the brownies with vegan biscuits/cookies or extra vegan chocolate chips/chunks. We topped ours before baking with half a packet (7 biscuits/cookies) Oreos broken into smaller pieces.
  5. Bake the brownies for 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool completely in the tin before cutting to 12-16 squares. We left ours overnight before cutting. The brownies will keep stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

Recipe adapted from Sweetest Menu

Enjoy!

Keep up to date with me on:

Like my Facebook page here

Instagram: @whatjessicabakednext

Twitter: @jessbakednext

Pinterest: @jessbakednext

Chickpea Tikka Masala

Tasty and filling chickpea curry is a quick weeknight vegan dinner served with rice, chapatis, naan bread or poppadoms. Lunch/dinner will be ready and on your table in less than 30 minutes from start to finish.  

Curry is one my many favourite meals and it’s become a staple dinner of mine. It’s delicious, full of vibrant flavours, but I’m sure you’d probably never have guessed how easy and quick it is to make yourself?

One of my work colleagues is extremely kind and often brings me in authentic vegetarian Indian curries and chapatis to take home and have when I finish work for the day. It’s something I really appreciate as once I get in from work, having been on my feet all day long I don’t usually feel like cooking anything for myself.

Her chickpea and potato curry is especially amazing and it tastes so good. I love making vegetable curries myself, but the recipe I usually make takes a long time (a couple of hours) for the sauce to simmer before it’s ready to serve. I wanted to make a curry that wouldn’t take as long to prepare, but didn’t lack any flavour.

I’ve made a lot of chickpea curries myself, but this one is my favourite yet. I found the recipe on Loving It Vegan and made just a couple of small changes to the original recipe by adding curry powder as well as garam masala and some mango chutney for sweetness – I love adding mango chutney to my homemade curries and if you’ve never tried it then you must!

Once all the curry ingredients are in your saucepan just cover the pan with a lid and leave your curry to simmer away for 10-15 minutes. Then, when it’s ready, garnish your bowl of curry with lime wedges, chopped green or red chillies and fresh coriander/cilantro.

The curry has a nice light spiced flavour and the coconut milk adds incredible creaminess making this curry a fusion between a korma and tikka masala.

I know this recipe is one I will make often from now on and I’m considering changing it up and adding different vegetables like bell peppers, green beans, mushrooms and potato the next time I make it, which I’m sure will be just as yummy.

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons coconut oil – adds amazing flavour but you can substitute with vegetable oil

1 red or white onion, finely diced

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon curry powder – I use medium tikka curry powder

1/4 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 teaspoon cumin – ground or seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 x 400g (14 ounce) cans of chickpeas, drained

400ml (14 ounce) can chopped tomatoes

400ml (14 ounce) can coconut milk – I use full-fat

1 tablespoon mango chutney or sugar

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. On medium heat, melt the coconut oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes until softened. Now add the spices (curry powder, garam masala, cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne) and toast the spices off for a further 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add the drained chickpeas, tomatoes and coconut milk along with the mango chutney or sugar and season with salt and black pepper. Cover the curry and leave it to simmer for 10-15 minutes until it’s thickened slightly and the flavours have all blended together.
  3. Serve the curry over rice with chapati, naan bread or poppadoms. We like squeezing fresh lime over the top before eating. The curry will keep stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

More vegan recipes to try next! 

Roasted Vegetable Couscous – a great Mediterranean inspired meal served with falafel

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Patatas Bravas

Enjoy!

Keep up to date with me on:

Like my Facebook page here

Instagram: @whatjessicabakednext

Twitter: @jessbakednext

Pinterest: @jessbakednext

Vegan Banana Bread

This easy and simple banana bread is a delightfully good vegan treat that uses everyday ingredients and tastes like it’s been made in a bakery! Vegans and non-vegans alike will rave about this recipe. 

 

I’m finally back after a bit of time off over the festive season with my first recipe of 2020 and I guarantee that you’ll go bananas for it!

This year I’m partaking in Veganuary, for the 31 days of this month (at least) I’m going entirely vegan and I’m eating a completely plant-based diet. So far I’ve been really enjoying veganism. Before going vegan I’d been vegetarian for a while and wanted a new challenge to take on.

My sister has gone vegan too and as a family we’ve all been thoroughly enjoying sitting down at the end of the day to devour a vegan feast each night for dinner. This is actually the first time in ages I’ve felt super excited about baking/cooking, for a while I’d felt uninspired but going vegan has encouraged me to really think about what exactly I’m eating and where it’s sourced from.

I also wanted to set myself the goal of sharing more vegan recipes on my blog as I only have a few on here and want to expand the collection. I’ve worked hard in my kitchen at home to bake some vegan treats. Whether you’re following a vegan lifestyle, cannot eat dairy/eggs or simply just want to try some vegan food, then I hope you’ll like the recipes I will be sharing.

I’ve trialled this banana bread recipe out a couple of times as I wanted it to be perfect before posting on here. Every time I’ve baked it, it’s disappeared within a couple of days and as soon as the last slice has been eaten, I’ve been craving it all over again!

This vegan banana bread uses no out of the ordinary ingredients that are sometimes found in vegan bakes. You’ll just need overripe bananas, sugar (either caster/granulated or brown sugar), oil, vanilla extract, non-dairy milk (I use soya), apple cider vinegar, flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. The soya milk was literally the only ingredient I had to go out and buy to make this recipe, but since going vegan my fridge is now full of plant milk!

My taste testers all agreed that this vegan banana bread is identical in taste and texture to my classic banana bread recipe – dare I say it that I think this version is even better! I’ve adapted this recipe slightly from Betty Crocker’s Vegan Banana Bread recipe and highly recommend you give it a try if you’re as crazy for banana bread as I am.

Mix the recipe up as much as you want by adding extra ingredients such as chopped nuts (hazelnuts, pecans or walnuts) or even some good quality dark chocolate.

Also, if you like spices in your bakes, try stirring a touch of ground cinnamon or mixed spice into the batter.

I have one successful vegan sweet recipe ticked off my list, now on to the next!

Ingredients:

60ml (1/4 cup) unsweetened plant milk – I like using soya milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

3 overripe bananas – you’ll want the skin to be spotty and turning black

200g (1 cup) sugar – you can use a mix of caster/granulated or dark/light brown sugar

120ml (1/2 cup) oil – you can use coconut, canola/vegetable or even melted vegan butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

240g (2 cups) all-purpose/plain flour

3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. Line a 900g / 2lb loaf tin with parchment paper, leaving some paper overhanging the edges of the tin so you can lift the banana bread out easily once it’s baked. Set the tin aside for later. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
  2. In a small bowl or jug, add the soya milk and apple cider vinegar, stir and leave it for 5 minutes – this helps the cake to rise.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas until they’re smooth. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract and the milk/vinegar mixture and beat until smooth and completely combined. Now sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt over the top of the other ingredients and gently fold until no lumps of flour remain – be careful not to over mix the batter.
  4. Transfer the batter into the tin and bake for 60-70 minutes or until a cake tester when inserted into the centre comes out clean without any uncooked batter attached to the cake tester. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove the banana bread from the tin and leave it to cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. Once the banana bread has cooled to room temperature, slice it up and enjoy. The banana bread will keep stored in an airtight container for up to one week. The banana bread is delicious served as it is or spread with vegan butter, chocolate hazelnut spread or peanut butter.

Enjoy!

Keep up to date with me on:

Like my Facebook page here

Instagram: @whatjessicabakednext

Twitter: @jessbakednext

Pinterest: @jessbakednext