Planet VegMel couldn't have chosen a better day for a potluck picnic to celebrate 2 years of bringing together vegan (and vegan-friendly) blogs in Melbourne. Add good food and good company to the mix and you have a great afternoon.
chickpea crackers (above) and roasted carrot hummus (based on this pumpkin hummus) so that there would be something I knew Sylvia could eat other than sweets. They were easy, though I accidentally baked the crackers in a lower oven for a bit longer so they were crunchier than my first effort. I left the spices out of the hummus to please Sylvia. My dish to wow the crowd was cakepops.
with cake (but no sticks) and with cherry ripe filling and sticks. They are impressive and rich but each is only a small mouthful. I decided to make a batch that were vegan and gluten free - a combination that is also known as gleegan. (A word I have learnt from Planet VegMel.) I found a raw cakepop challenge for some good inspiration. I particularly liked the sound of those posted by Barefoot and Frolicking.
Sylvia had ordered a green one for her, a pink one for dolly and a purple one for me. Oh dear! At least it was easy enough to mix up between Monroe and The Killing (we have the DVD). I then rolled balls in front of the telly and stuck the sticks in. The freezer was full. I got brutal with a few things that had sat there for too long and made room for the cakepops.
Mel's quiches, Vicki's rice paper rolls and some of Danni's freshly baked sun dried tomato bread. Lovely! Sylvia and I shared a few small cups of K's refreshing chilled Lemon Chamomile Tea.
Mel's apricot delight, Cindy's peanut butter cookies with chocolate ganache, and Steph's chocolate caramel slice. The last is a favourite of E's. He ate three pieces and as we left he said he wished he had snaffled the rest to take home. I was intrigued by K's version of chocolate ripple cake with gingernuts and soyatoo but got too distracted to try it.
It was a great way to celebrate Planet VegMel. Yet again, I must say how friendly and welcoming I find this group of bloggers. Without Planet VegMel I wouldn't have met any of them or found so many great recipes. Emily and Steph had made some badges and a zine as part of the celebrations. Steph has also written the part 1 round up of This recipe sounds very familiar - an event to encourage us to revisit some great Planet VegMel recipes. (Part 2 still to come.) Great stuff! I look forward to many more years of Planet VegMel.
Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: SHF Chocolate Crackle Top Biscuits
This time two years ago: MM Heirloom Ginger Fluff Sponge
This time three years ago: Hobart Highlights
Gleegan Blueberry Cakepops
with inspiration from Barefoot and Frolicking
makes about 20
1 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup (70g packet) dried blueberries
3/4 tsp beetroot powder (which had a negligible effect)
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1 tbsp lime juice (about half a lime)
2 tbsp maple syrup (I think or maybe 3)
250g dark chocolate (I used 50% cocoa)
Blend cashews and dried blueberries in a food processor until finely ground (or as long as you can bear to let it run). I mixed in the rest of the ingredients by hand, checking the taste as I went but you could just mix it all in the food processor.
Choose a board or plate that will fit in your freezer (with enough room above it for sticks to stand up. Line it with baking paper. Roll into balls about the size of a walnut and place on lined board or plate. Gently press a stick into each ball. (I use icy pole sticks but also saw a post where someone used chopsticks.) Place in freezer, preferably overnight (which I did) or at least a few hours.
When ready to dip cakepops in chocolate, melt chocolate in microwave in a small deep bowl and prepare playdough (or somewhere for chocolate to dry) and one or two tubs to put set cakepops in. Take about 3-5 cakepops out of the freezer at a time. Quickly dip each in melted chocolate holding on to the stick, hold for a minute and then prop upright in playdough or whatever you have where they can sit upright. Once the chocolate sets (and this will be quick) you can set aside. Repeat with other cakepops.
Store cakepops in the freezer or fridge. They can be brought to room temperature to serve. Mine came out of the freezer and sat about for an hour or two on a balmy day before being eaten and the chocolate still was hard enough to crack!
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