The great vegan.in.brighton cookbook challenge is back! This challenge began two years ago as part of Vegan MoFo when I decided that I needed to use my cookbooks more. I devised the recipe generator to help me pick truly random things to make, things that I may not otherwise have chosen. If you haven't tuned into one of my cookbook challenges before I pull the name of the cookbook out of a hat, or, as was the case this week, a bundt pan. Next I use a random number generator to pick the page. I shoot for two or three recipes a day & there's no re-picking even if it's something I'm not sure I'll like!
The first cookbook that came out of the bundt pan today was Hearty Vegan Meals For Monster Appetites by Celine Steen & Jonie Marie Newman. I was super excited about this as it's one of my newest cookbooks and I hadn't made anything from it...until today! I've actually banned myself from buying new cookbooks until I've cooked at least three recipes from every cookbook I own and hopefully this challenge will mean that I can get back to the bookstore soon. Today the generator picked page 67, Baked Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Holes.
These yeasted doughnuts were a surprisingly tricky start to the day. It took four tries for me to manage to activate the yeast! Four! On the first attempt I totally messed it up & threw the yeast into the cold soya milk, duh. I blame the jet lag! I tried to rectify it by adding the other warm ingredients but surprisingly that didn't work. Not at all! The second and third tries were more confusing, I warmed the milk, I even used my candy thermometer to make sure that it wouldn't be too hot or too cold and the yeast still didn't activate! At this point I realised that it probably wasn't just my brain fog causing the problem but the yeast itself. Thankfully I had some little packets of yeast hidden in the back of my cupboard and once I used those things turned out just fine.
After leaving the dough to rise under the radiator in the bathroom it was time to make them into 'holes'. This was super simple and just involved using an ice cream scoop to pop them into a cinnamon sugar coated muffin pan.
After another 40 minutes of rising & 20 minutes in the oven out popped these beauties.
These were delicious and had the added bonus of being bigger than your average donut hole! I don't see these lasting very long! This was a total cookbook challenge win, I never would have chosen this recipe as I'm not usually the biggest cinnamon fan but these were great. The authors weren't wrong when they say that they're just as good as their fried counterpart.
The next recipe to come outa the generator was from 500 Vegan Recipes, another book written by Celine & Joni and another cookbook that the generator always seems to lean towards. The recipe it chose was the Monte Cristo Reuben. Now that's what I'm talking about! A fried sandwich?! Hell yes! The first good thing about this was that it uses slightly stale bread, perfect after my toastie post yesterday and secondly it seemed kinda simple! Sauerkraut was easy, I picked up an enormous jar for about £1 and I'll definitely be using it again soon. The only thing I needed to do was whip up some seitan. I chose the Smokey Seitan Roast from Vegan Diner because, in the spirit of the challenge, I wanted to make a new-to-me recipe.
This was one of the easiest things I've ever made! You basically mix all of the ingredients together, form it into a loaf, wrap it in a tea towel and then steam it.
I was a little worried about fitting the roast in my steamer basket...
...because of the handle in the middle but it fitted down one side relatively easily! After 50 minutes of steaming I was delighted to find this perfect looking seitan roast inside the tea towel. What a beaut'!
As soon as Nick walked through the door we got stuck into making sandwiches. First we dipped the bread into the savoury french toast style batter before frying each slice and then piling in the seitan, sauerkraut, and red onion filling. We also added a healthy dollop of Veganaise.
This was a truly epic sandwich. Like, on par with the sandwich I had at The Chicago Diner epic. This sarnie has made me even more excited for Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day another of Celine's books and one of the first cookbooks I'll be buying once my self imposed cookbook ban is over!