Saturday 30 December 2017

Festive recipes: Vegan nut roast, Spiced nuts, Coconut rough fudge

As a nut roast enthusiast, I have made many nut roasts in my time but I have struggled to find a good basic vegan nut roast recipe.  Often I find vegan nut roasts either too soft or too fiddly.  The recipe today is a quick and simple nut roast that holds together well.  I have also included a couple of other recipes for fudge and spiced nuts that could be whipped up for festive gifts or entertaining.  Christmas is tiring enough without complicated recipes.

But first, nut roast!  I made this a few days before Christmas because I have too many nuts stashed away in the freezer and this seemed easy.  I have made this nut roast a couple of other times with variations but I wanted to make it plain so that I could have it here as a template for other variations.  I took a photo below with some flowers I was given at work.

Once I had the nut roast together I made a tomato sauce that used up cherry tomatoes, carrots and wine.  I also used up cabbage and more carrots for colelsaw.  I even tried to rescue some pumpkin by roasting it but foolishly did not use the time and ended up burning it.  My fridge crisper really needed a good clear out.  Sadly some stuff was only good for the worm farm. Still, it was a fine meal to eat while watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

I've got into the habit of making pizza on Christmas Eve, mostly because it is one of my easy meals.  Part of my plan in making nut roast was to have leftovers to crumble over pizza.  This pizza was most excellent with leftover tomato sauce, nut roast, marinated olives, mushroom and cheese.

In keeping with the theme of easy and frugal, I had decided to make spiced nuts.  This was inspired by deciding to make chocolate mince pies (after being persuaded by Sylvia that Santa really loves our recipe which is unlike anyone else's).  If I made the pastry with an egg yolk I had a leftover egg white so this was what was needed for Cakelaw's Spiced Christmas Nuts.  Ironically I forgot the egg yolk and didn't really need to make the recipe but was curious.  Then I tweaked the spices for less heat and varied the proportions.  I also baked them at the bottom of the oven which was too hot.  So all in all they weren't quite as tasty as I had hoped and I didn't get the desired roasted crunch.  They were nice but needed more attention.

Nevertheless I liked them enough to take to Christmas day dinner and share.  They were good nibbles to have on the table with my sister's platter while we opened presents.  However I think I might be putting the rest into salads or baking.  And I must try again because I like the idea (hence my sharing of it here).

More of a success in using up leftovers was the coconut rough fudge.  I was about to buy coconut rough chocolate when I decided to try make a fudge with leftover condensed milk from my Bailey's biscuit fudge and that extra bag of choc chips I had bought by mistake when I forgot I already had one.  Although I wanted more coconut, others assured me it was just fine.  And this was most excellent.  Though how can you go wrong with chocolate, condensed milk and coconut!

I might have taken a photo in Geelong over Christmas but it went too soon.  Firstly I put it out with Christmas dessert because I knew a few of the family would appreciate it.  The fudge went down very well.  The my mum put it out on Boxing Day when E and I were watching Star Wars at the cinema.  When we came home there were 2 pieces left.  I certainly can't complain when everyone loves my fudge.

And it is too late for you to make these for this Christmas but it is not too late to make them for New Year's Eve.  As this will be my last post this year, I wish you a very Happy New Year's Eve and will be back soon with my round up of 2017.

More recipes for festivities, entertaining and gifts on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Caramel apple trifle
Cashew cheese stuffed dates (gf, v)
Christmas dessert cheese platter
Parsnip nut roast (v)
Potato parsley stars (gf, v)
Smoky seedy coconut bacon nuts (gf, v)
Vegan nutella with coconut condensed milk (gf, v)
Zimsterne (Cinnamon stars) (gf, v)

Vegan Nut Roast
Adapted from Belle Rivas via the Vegan Society
Serves 4-6

2 tsp oil*
1 onion or leek, chopped
225g finely chopped mixed nuts*
2 tbsp ground almonds
100g breadcrumbs
2-3 tsp herbs and spices*
2 tsp vegemite (or yeast extract)*
1/2 cup hot water 
Seasoning to taste

Fry onion in oil.  Mix with nuts, almonds, breadcrumbs, and herbs and spices.  Mix vegemite into hot water and add to mixture.  Season.  Scrape into a greased and lined loaf tin.  Smooth top with the back of a spoon.  Bake at 180 C for 30 minutes or until golden brown and firm to touch.

NOTES: There are many variations to this nut roast.  This time I used 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp truffle oil that I added after frying.  The mixed nuts can be any combination - almond and cashew work well.  I blend mine until they are part ground and part very finely chopped as I think the ground nuts help hold it together.  I used 1 tsp dried sage, 1 tsp seeded mustard and would have used 1 tsp smoked paprika (but it was lost so I used 1 tsp seasoning mix which was probably a bit much seasoning but I got away with it.)  If you don't have vegemite or yeast extract you could use stock power or extra seasoning.

Coconut rough fudge
Makes a lot

1 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
300g chocolate chips
300ml condensed milk

Toast coconut on dry frypan until it turns light golden brown (it will change colour quickly so stir constantly).  Set aside.  Melt choc chips and condensed milk together.  I do this in a heat proof bowl in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time but it could be done on the stovetop over low heat.  Stir in toasted coconut.  Spread in lined tin (I used a 20cm square tin but only used about 2/3 of it but the fudge is stiff enough to stop it spreading over the whole tin).  Leave in fridge overnight or for 4-6 hours to firm up and then slice into small pieces.

NOTES: I used desiccated coconut but would like to try shredded coconut (like in Create, Bake, Make) for more texture - though I was told by others that desiccated coconut was just right.  I used dark choc chips because it is quite sweet with the condensed milk but you could make it richer by using a good 70% chocolate or sweeter by using milk choc chips.  You could sprinkle the fudge with more coconut but I forgot about this til it was set.  To make it vegan use a vegan chocolate and a coconut condensed milk.

Sweet and Spicy Nuts - work in progress
Adapted from Laws of the Kitchen

1 egg white beaten until fluffy
1/4 cup brown sugar 
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp freshly ground gold salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
shake of cinnamon 
400g raw almonds

Mix all ingredients in a medium to large mixing bowl adding the nuts last.  Line a large roasting tin with baking paper and roast at 160 C for 15-20 minutes.  Nuts will crisp up as they cool.

NOTES: I used almonds but mixed or other nuts would work too.  I would like to try this recipe with aquafaba to make it vegan.  I found the spices and sugar weren't as prominent as I had hoped - probably because I reduced them - so I would increase (double?) these next time. 

On the Stereo:
Christmas in the Heart: Bob Dylan


  1. You have made everything that I did not get round to making this year for the festive holidays and I am super envious. I have not got round to making nutroast and still have your smoky one bookmarked to make. I will. I agree with you that vegan nutroast is a little tough and often soft. I am loving your fudge and its bookmarked to make in the future, not for a while though as I picked up 4 tubs of vegan fudge for a Veg Festival early this month that we will got through in the next few months. And the nuts, well I am still hoping to make some flavoured nuts at home. I do love savoury nibbles.

  2. Your nut roast looks delicious. I’m a big fan of simple, flexible recipes, and I’m even more enthused when leftovers can be easily incorporated into other things. I agree with others - you cannot go wrong with condensed milk and coconutty fudgey goodness. I’m sorry to hear your roasted nuts weren’t as you wanted, but they still look yummy. Happy NYE to you!!

  3. I've only made nut roasts a couple of times but they were really good but as you say, soft as well. The spiced nuts sound good but I guess once they're amended it's hard to judge the original recipe. I hope you have a great 2018!

  4. yum! Ha, love the simplicity of that fudge! Have a great new years :D

  5. I wish I was in your kitchen ;) I'd be delighted with any of these dishes and all three would be amazing.

    Your photos are gorgeous at the moment - I'm loving the nut roast images in this post.

    Happy new year Johanna and all the very best for 2018 x

  6. Happy New Year Johanna! The nut roast and all the other foods look lovely! I didn't manage to make a nut roast this year, it was unfortunately all a bit too hectic.


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