I remember taking a workshop with Ms. Cupcake at the Toronto Vegetarian food festival a few years ago on making vegan Victoria sponge. Ms. Cupcake is originally from Canada but now currently resides in England. Her site is as follows:
Victoria Day is a spring holiday in most Commonwealth countries. It falls on the first Monday before May 24th, Queen Victoria’s birthday. I decided to make a Victoria sponge cake for the occasion and whipped out the recipe card that I got at that workshop. The results are pictured below.
Victoria sponge cake is a British classic. It is a sandwich cake filled with jam (usually strawberry) and cream (usually whipped). Some variations use strawberries, raspberry jam, buttercream and/or double cream. I used a red lingonberry jam from Ikea and my go-to standard buttercream. The cake is usually topped with a dusting of icing sugar.
The original recipe contains butter and eggs so this cake is fine for vegetarians. Here are some vegan recipe alternatives:
There was nothing magical to replace the eggs in the recipe; just lots of liquid (oil and non-dairy milk), flour and sugar mixed well with some baking powder to get the desired result.
Apparently Queen Vicki was partial to a mid-afternoon snack (no doubt she was experiencing a blood sugar dip as most of us do in the afternoon). This cake was concocted and supposedly became popular during her reign. It is rumoured that a good British baker is judged by how well they can make a Victoria sponge.
In Canada, pound cake would be the equivalent of this sturdy type of cake.
If you’re ever in Halifax, Nova Scotia, check out Bud the Spud on Spring Garden Road.
This chip truck has long been a fast food institution in one of Canada’s oldest cities. Though it now serves other food, it is known for its fresh cut fries. I like mine with malt vinegar, salt and ketchup.
To get the most out of a plant-based diet, certain food prep should be under taken: soaking and sprouting. These processes help unlock the nutrients found within nuts, grains and legumes.
To soak nuts, place them in a bowl and fill with water until the nuts are submerged. Leave overnight. Drain and rinse the nuts then place on a baking tray in a preheated 195°F oven. Leave oven on for one hour. Turn off the heat and leave the nuts in there to continue drying out. If you have a food dehydrator, you could probably use that instead.
Soaking tips: Most nuts can be left anywhere from a few hours to eight hours. Cashews get slimey when left longer than a few hours. Heating allows the nuts to dry out so that they don’t go moldy. Using a low temperature helps prevent the essential oils contained within from going rancid.
To sprout grains and legumes, place them in a bowl of water so that they are submerged. Leave overnight. Drain, rinse then place them back in the bowl. Fill with just enough water to moisten. Leave on countertop out of direct sunlight for a few days. Twice a day, during this time, rinse and refill bowl with enough water to moisten the contents. Eventually the grains/legumes will open up enough to let a little ‘tail’ protrude through. This means the grains/legumes have sprouted.
Sprouting tips: Some items sprout quicker than others e.g. lentils and quinoa. Once sprouted the grains and legumes still need to be cooked. As it can be a lengthy process, try sprouting in bulk and storing the excess cooked grains/legumes in the freezer to be used later.