Saturday, 6 November 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 5: Guy Fawkes Night

November 5th is Guy Fawkes Night here in the UK - a time for bonfires, fireworks, sparklers, baked potatoes cooked in foil in the embers of the bonfire, burnt toffee and gooey fudge. When I was little we would make a guy, dress him up in old clothes and wheel him round the streets in an old doll's pram or push chair, calling out for " A penny for the guy" and reciting the poem below (or as much of it as we could remember!) Then on November 5th, the guy would be placed on top of the bonfire and burnt whilst we watched the fireworks - roman candles, fountains and rockets, a few catherine wheels that refused to spin, fell to the ground and fizzled out. I never see kids up here in Scotland looking for a penny for the guy (with inflation over the years they'd probably be looking for at least a pound now so perhaps its as well that tradition has died out here!) but there are usually plenty of public firework displays going on, as well as lots of private parties.
Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd (or by God's mercy*)
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holla boys, Holla boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
And what should we do with him? Burn him!
November 5th also happens to be the 16th birthday of my friends' daughter R and I was invited to her party! I am really mindful of the honour to be invited to a teenager's birthday party so I took this magnificent Dancing Swallows firework, which both promised and delivered "bursts of blue stars and falling silver snowflake effects, twinkling starbursts, golden brocades and a finale of silver crackling chrysanthemum starbursts." It even stopped raining long enough for us to enjoy the fireworks display.

I also took my version of the Deluxe Cocoa Brownies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. I really like those brownies but it seemed to me that they could be even more yummy with a couple of additions. I love the combination of raspberries and chocolate. Using frozen raspberries in this recipe means that they remain whole when you fold them into the mixture and then they release their juices as the brownies cook. However it does mean that the brownies take a bit longer to cook.

Deluxe Cocoa, Raspberry, Pecan Brownies
85g/3oz firm silken tofu
60mls/0.25 cup almond milk
120mls/0.5 cup sunflower oil
100g/1 cup golden caster sugar (superfine sugar)
2 tsp vanilla extract
100g/1 cup plain flour
50g/0.5 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
125g/1 cup frozen raspberries
60g/0.5 cup broken pecans

Mix tofu, oil and almond milk in a blender or food processor until well combined and frothy. Stir in sugar and vanilla extract. Sift in flour, cocoa conflour, baking powder and salt, mixing well. Fold in broken pecans and frozen raspberries. Pour the mixture into a 19cm/19cm baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for around 40 minutes in a preheated oven at Gas Mark 3/325˚F/170˚C. I left mine for additional 5 minutes because my oven temperature runs a little low - I would check them from 35 minutes onwards, but it's important not to leave them for too long or they will lose their gooey yumminess. Leave in the baking tray for at least 15 minutes to cool before slicing.

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