Baking

Home away from home away from home

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I’m back from vacation (or holiday as I call it). There are some photos to look at at the end of this post, you’re welcome.

I’m actually still in an Uber on the way back from the airport. Normally we get the Blueline into Chicago but we have been travelling for 13 hours and I needed a break from people. Talk about life of a Prince!

I missed Chicago, I also missed Scotland, and Manchester, but mostly the people in all 3 places. We got to see my (mums side of the) family, my husbands family, our friends, and one show in the Edinburgh Fringe. All in 6 days. I’m shattered.

I wore my kilt- which finally fits again after a humiliating wedding where the wrap-around traditional wear didn’t quite wrap around due to my increased waist.

I’ve struggled with my weight over the course of 15 years- which I think I touched upon when talking about marathon training. If anyone wants to discuss my eating disorder/weight gain & loss mentality, message me on Instagram and we can have a chat. I’m totally open.

back to holiday (vacation).

i loved seeing Scotland again. I forgot how much green there was.

I also feel that living in America put me in a bubble as to what’s going on at home- and I really must challenge myself to read more, rather than follow along with tweets.

My family were happy to discuss the current political climate, with one talking about their travel plans for work meaning they arrive in mainland Europe on October 31st, the day the UK is meant to leave the EU. If Boris has anything to do with it, with no deal and a whole load of problems from that.

Ill be talking more about Brexit and my understanding of it again I am sure. Please be aware that I am not an “expert” on it, or politics, but I do live in this world, so my experiences are still valid. Even if they are naive.

America has opened my eyes to the obvious racism that exists in the world. My whiteness has shielded me from this for years (Privilege) so I didn’t get that the colour of your skin creates so many barriers. The closest I can get to understanding it on a personal level is because I’m gay and effeminate. Though the latter can be “acted out” if the scenario needs.

I actually found Manchester to be a very diverse place to walk around in, even in comparison to Chicago. Every race, colour, class, lifestyle can be found in and around Picadilly Gardens. Going to work, shopping, eating, travelling, hanging out with friends, family. I was happy to see everyone going on about their day. But that’s Manchester people, always busy like bees.

Recommended reading for this blog post:

Why I am No Longer Talking to white people about Race by Reni Eddo- Lodge.

Recommended podcasts:

The Friend Zone

The Read

The Stoop

I don’t want to speak for black lives, and want you to hear them directly.

Colin x

Do you want a vegan cheesecake

Maybe make 12 mini ones?

Sainsbury's supermarket in the UK has launched its Vegan Cheese range*. As soon as I found out they did soft cheese, my brain was whirring with exciting Cheesecake ideas. Then it hit me, why not re-bake my Oreo Cheesecake with vegan cheese? With a little tinkering of the recipe, I was ready. But it had to be musical, and since my original Oreo Cheesecake was based on Let it Go from Frozen, I decided to revisit the movie for inspiration. 

*You can use any vegan soft cheese for this recipe.


Ingredients

(1/2 this recipe if you are making 12x mini cheesecakes)

Base

700g Oreos* (biscuit only, keep the filling) (300g for the mini cheesecakes)

100g Vegan butter

100g Vegetable shortening

Cheesecake (1/2 this recipe

800g Vegan Soft Cheese (Sainsbury's Deliciously Free From is what I used)

200g Caster Sugar

4 tbsp Plain Flour

1 tbsp cider vinegar

2 tsp vanilla extract

7g/I sachet- Veggie Jelly Powder/Agar powder (use same amount for mini cheesecakes)

Topping

Oreo Filling (left over from making your base)

30-50g coconut oil 

Extra Oreos


Method

*Before we begin, there is a chance that Oreos are not vegan as they could be cross contaminated in the factory. If you are concerned, use another biscuit, like a bourbon biscuit, using the filling as the topping in the same way. 

Also- If you are making the mini cheesecakes, follow the recipe- but split your mixture and base across 12x medium cupcake cases. You will still need to blind bake your 'bases'- but you only need 5 minutes in the oven. 

Let's start. Turn your oven on to 190ºC and prepare your Oreos. Scoop out the filling and keep to one side. Blitz the biscuits in a food processor till they become crumbs. Add in your butter and shortening and mash with your hands until combined. Mould this into a 23cm cake tin, making sure you go up the sides slightly. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. The Oreo base will sink down towards the middle, so you can keep the shape with baking beans and greaseproof, or re-mould it after. Leave to cool 

In a bowl, mix together your vegan cheese, sugar, flour, vinegar and Vanilla. Take your packet of agar powder (7g) and add 100ml of water/vegan cream. Pour into your mix. Crush in a couple of Oreos too. Pour the mixture into your cooled Oreo base, letting it fill up and over the sides. Be sure to smooth it out. Bake in the oven at 190ºC for 30 minutes. (10-15 for mini cheesecakes) Put tinfoil on if you wish to prevent a brown top, but it doesn't matter much as you will be making a topping anyway. Once it is ready, there will be a slight wobble in the middle. 

Leave to cool completely, then place in the oven for an hour or two. This will solidify the agar. While this is in the fridge, make your topping by melting the Oreo filling with the coconut oil. Use 30g first, if it isn't runny, then add a bit more. It should be like a thick cream. 

Once the cheesecake has solidified completely, pour your topping on. Smooth right to the edge and then decorate with some extra Oreos however you wish! 

Simple. 

I will definitely be using Sainsburys Vegan Cheese every time I make a cheesecake now, as it is just as delicious. Though pricey at £1.75 each, but worth it. 

See you soon

Colin

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