If he isn’t vegan, let that mango…
We have come to that time of year again when it’s all about being vegan. So having been vegan for a good few years myself I’ve decided to include one of my favourite healthy vegan recipes down below for you to have a go.
As I’m sure everyone is feeling pretty guilty from all the Christmas indulgence maybe it’s time to try out some healthier snacks as we get back to our normal routines. Even if you’re an avid meat eater or love a good slice of cheese it can’t be denied that vegan food is getting tastier and tastier and not only that, but following a plant based diet is great for maintaining healthy cholesterol and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and that’s only a few of the benefits to consider.
A record 250,000 people worldwide signed up to the Veganuary movement in 2019 by embracing plant-based diets during January and is due to increase even more during 2020 this month. That means that this amount of people will cut all animal foods such as meat, dairy, eggs and honey – this may sound difficult but trust me it isn’t!
Why not give Veganuary a go and switch to a plant-based diet to reduce your carbon footprint by 60%. Anyway it’s time to share some tasty recipes to start baking!!
10 Ingredient Healthy Oat Cookies
• 84 g almond flour or buckwheat flour
• 67 g rolled oats
• 20 g desiccated coconut (or you could try and sub more almond meal, oats)
• 30 g vegan dark chocolate (chips or chopped bar)
• 3/4 tsp baking powder
• 1/4 tsp sea salt
• 73 g organic brown sugar or muscovado sugar (or coconut sugar)
• 60 ml aquafaba (the liquid in a can of chickpeas)
• 32 g almond butter (or other nut or seed butter)
• 45 ml avocado or melted coconut oil
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)Instructions
1. In a mixing bowl, stir together almond flour, oats, coconut, vegan chocolate, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
2. In a separate bowl, beat aquafaba (using a handheld mixer or by whisking vigorously) until light and fluffy and loose peaks have formed. (Add a pinch of cream of tartar to help them along if not whipping.)
3. To the aquafaba, add the almond butter, oil, and vanilla and whisk to combine. (The mixture will deflate a little - that's OK). Then add to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. You should have a firm, tacky dough. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
4. Preheat oven to 180 C and either lightly grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
5. Scoop chilled dough into roughly 2-Tablespoon amounts and form into small discs.
6. Place on baking sheet with about a 1-inch gap in between each cookie to allow for spreading. There should be about 12 cookies.
7. Bake for 10 minutes. Then increase oven temperature to 190 C and bake for another 2-4 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown. Be careful not to burn (especially on the bottoms) - they bake quickly toward the end.
8. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Then carefully loosen with a spatula - they can stick a little to the bare pan.
Happy National Shortbread Day! There is nothing more wonderful than the crumbly texture of a shortbread melting in your mouth, accompanied by a cup of tea or coffee or even a delightful cold glass of milk.
While researching into shortbread I came across some interesting facts and I thought I would share a brief history behind the tasty, yet humble shortbread biscuit.
The story of shortbread begins with the medieval “biscuit bread”. In medieval times, any leftover dough from bread making was dried out in a low oven until it hardened into a type of rusk. The word “biscuit” means “twice cooked”. Gradually the yeast in the bread was replaced by butter, and biscuit bread developed into shortbread.
Here are some interesting facts:
Today, you can find many different flavoured shortbreads ranging from chocolate to tea infused biscuits... but I think you just cannot beat the classic buttery melt in the mouth biscuit, yes my mouth is watering too!
With all these interesting facts about shortbread under your belt, don’t forget to enter the shortbread competition at ABST 2020!!
Thanks for reading,
Caroline, ABST Rep
With Christmas just around the corner, UCB are in full swing of Christmas pudding production. Each year, bakery students make hundreds of delicious traditional Christmas puds using Guinness to create that perfectly rich flavour, and sell them in the University’s Cakes and Bakes shop.
This year a limited edition of UCB’s Christmas pudding has been made using a coconut-based beer brewed within ‘hopping’ distance of the uni to support local producers and create a sustainable product. The beer was sourced from the ‘Burning Soul Brewery Company’ in Birmingham’s 7% Coconut Porter, which is located less than a mile from UCB’s Summer Row campus.
Not only is the company sustainable, it was named as ‘Best New Brewery’ in the West Midlands by the international RateBeer.com community when it opened its doors during 2017. The use of the beer has also created a great taste in the puddings as the fresh hand broken coconuts really accentuatethe other flavours.
Swapping the Guinness for the Coconut Porterhas promoted sustainability, and supported our fantastic local producers in Birmingham. The puddings were even put through sensory analysis with students, and the Coconut Porter came out on top as the favourite. Our sustainable limited edition Christmas puddings are now available to buy starting from £1.80 at the Cakes and Bakes shop in Summer Row for students, staff and members of the public.
We hope to delight everyone’s festive tables this year and bring a sustainable tasty pleasure to each mouth!
Merry Christmas to all,
Hello everyone I’m Reanna shore and I’m the new ABST student representative for Tameside college alongside Tony Rees, I am currently a Level 3 student and I am excited to work with the Committee, representing my College is something I already do as a rep at Tameside.
I’m honoured to be working along side you all in the ABST, I have attended the conference previously and last year I won a 2nd place of the Novice Cup. I love learning more and taking on extra curriculum activites, my mission with this Student Rep role is to gain more experience and put forth my ideas/thoughts from a student perspective.
My background is more towards Cake Decorating, I specialise in little figurines and hope to maybe one day use my skills in a job. My tutors are incredibly supportive and I am glad I have pushed myself to take on extra responsibility as I love meeting new people and talking to like minded bakers from around the country!
I can't wait until the Conference next year, I would appreciate any advice or guidance in regards to competitions but most of all I am looking forward to working alongside the other ABST Student Reps and hopefully, I will see you all next year! May the odds of bread be in your favour :).
Surplus breads from commercial and small bakeries are taking the punch in the battle to address the million slices of bread being wasted yearly. Monday the 4th November, National Bakery School was invited by Toast Ale Ltd and Brewdog brewery and hangout place in Tower Hill, to experience how they transform surplus or leftover breads into beer and to take part in their exciting bake-off challenge which showcased the use of pumpkin as the star ingredient. The surplus breads and other native beer ingredients along with enzymes and brewer’s yeast are mixed together and undergo a series of fermentations within temperature-controlled tanks.
Sven, the head brewer and James the event organiser talked about their average weekly consumption of surplus bread coming from different bakeries and taken to their largest brewery site in Yorkshire. In addition, they are also looking for a company that can process surplus breads into manageable sizes ready to make the brewing process runmore swiftly. The by-products from the brewery are then delivered to the farms which serves as animal feed hence, nothing is wasted.
I tried the Toast session IPA and it had a clean citrus-like taste, whilst the Pale ALE had a soft malt-like, clean taste. Both beers have a hint of caramel due to the bread crust which I find interesting. This was a new beer drinking experience for me and the bake-off concluded with my classmate Amy winning the challenge with her sustainable pumpkin pie. Whilst my winter spiced pumpkin and raisin loaf was voted as the people’s choice award.
As its coming around to deadlines and exams, it is important to ensure you make time for yourself! We all know the stresses at this time of year, especially with the run up to Christmas (I bet you all can’t wait to be baking mince pies and gingerbread non-stop!). So, in order to make sure you’re all looking after yourselves here are my top 10 tips to relax during exam season:
1. Drink plenty of water – I know it may seem silly but when you’re fully hydrated your brain is working at its full potential meaning you will stay focused better.
2. Get some sleep – I know with studying and finishing off deadlines it’s easy to have a cup of coffee until 3am but trust me, the lack of sleep is not worth it. Try and get into a good routine, having at least 8 hours of sleep a night
3. Make a list – if you’re feeling stressed out, make a list of everything you need to get done in order of priority and tick off each one as you go.
4. Take a bath (or shower!) – A nice relaxing bath will take all your stresses away (and give you time to catch up on Netflix).
5. Go on a walk – if you ever feel overwhelmed take yourself out of that space and go on a walk outside. It’ll distract you and put everything into perspective.
6. Talk to someone – if you ever feel like your mental health is low or you’re just feeling very overwhelmed its important that you talk to someone. Whether its your parents, grandparents, teacher or friend just let everything out and maybe they can help your and give you some advice.
7. Start early – I know its easy to say ‘oh I’ll start it next week’ but the sooner you start revising and writing your assignments, the better! This gives you more time to prepare and make your assignments the best they can possibly be.
8. Take a break – whether its regular breaks during a study session or a day in bed, it’s important to take a break to let your brain have a break. After your break you’ll feel refreshed and ready to carry on!
9. Exercise – just 30 minutes of exercise a day can relieve stress while keeping you fit and healthy! It all works together to keep your brain functioning at its best.
10. Eat a balanced diet – all I’m saying is don’t eat junk food 24/7. Have some fruit and veg everyday and I guarantee you’ll thank me for it.
You want to enjoy your time of study before entering the big world, by applying these tips it will ease the pressure and allow you to enjoy the modules more!
Thanks for taking the time to read this I hope its been helpful for you. Good luck :)
I would like to share my experience in competing for the last two ABST competitions.
In 2017 when I joined the London South Bank University (The National Bakery School) as a student, I was briefly told about the ABST conference. I had never entered a bakery competition before and the thought of entering one was daunting to say the least! Thankfully the third year students gave us a brief idea of what to expect and that gave me hope.
With anticipation and excitement I sat down, read the guidelines and spoke to my lecturer about the competitions I was interested in. I finally decided to enter the IBB live piping class (This is a live competition which consists of decorating 4 miniature cakes with royal icing in the space of 2 ½ hours), the Goldex Award (sugar flower category) and the Mandy Wansell Trophy (Danish Pastries category).
Over the next few months I started preparing for the great day.
I enjoyed every minute of the intense 2 ½ hours of piping and was so thrilled when I was awarded second place in the Live Piping category. Although I did not get a place in the sugar flowers and Danish pastry category, I enjoyed working on my pieces and was amazed to see such lovely exhibits by other students. I realised the standard was high and was not going to give up easily!
A year flew by so quickly and the next conference was on the horizon. Once again I started preparing for the competition and decided to enter the Blandy Cup (Wedding cake) for a change as well as the IBB live piping class and Goldex award again.
It was great fun preparing for the competitions and I had wonderful lecturers who sacrificed their time to guide me. I was privileged to have great tutors.
For the second time in a row I was awarded second place in the Live Piping category which was wonderful. Even though I was not awarded for the wedding cake category, I got a high commendation by the judges which I was really pleased about.
If I was to summarise my experience of taking part in the ABST competitions, I would say that taking part was great fun and I would encourage every student to participate because you learn such a great deal yourself, you get to meet other like minded students and you get to see such great exhibits. Practice and hard work does pay off and taking part is the main thing!
Thanks for reading.
Hey Everyone, my blog below is all about my experience at Puratos!
As students we’re always told about the importance of placements, and as a student myself I never realised the importance until I actually experienced this placement.
I was able to secure a two week placement at Puratos in Bicester. Puratos are a great company as they specialise in all of the three main sectors: bread, patisserie and chocolate. The Bicester site is well known for its innovation and new product development as it’s been the UK’s innovation centre ever since 1984.
On the first day, I was shown around the site and met the team. The site has a chocolate and patisserie kitchen dedicated to the making of all their sweet and chocolaty products and then the bread kitchen which has an array of different machinery plus a great sourdough cupboard which each member of staff is able to store their sour starters. What stood out to me was the amazing range of chocolates that were showcased in a display fridge for customers or staff to try for free!
I was then able to see how products are tested for quality and safety within the bakery, using equipment such as a water activity analyser and texture analyser.
As I was there for a full two weeks I was set up with a project all to do with vegan meringue. For the first few days I worked alongside an application specialist and was able to trial many different vegan recipes. Within the final week I worked independently and then presented my results to the team after a successful outcome. When I wasn’t working on the vegan meringue trials, I was able to assist with the test baking of certain cakes to workout shelf life and also make sourdough using three different types of sour.
Overall, I had a great experience at Puratos working alongside highly skilled people. The opportunity also opened another connection with the industry for myself and I would definitely recommend gaining experience to every student!
It might sound crazy but this helped me land a 10 day work experience in a local Artisan Bake Shop in Battersea London!
Summer of this year I approached a couple of known bakeries around London asking for few weeks of work experience, be but no avail. As we know, some bakeries are really busy during these times so I sent out another round of emails but it landed in dead waters after two replies.
I was eager to spend few weeks of my summer in an artisan bakery, to know how their bakery works in day to day operations and to test my knowledge and skills I learned from the foundation years at National Bakery School.
Whilst clearing some of my books for donation, I came across a book by Bob Weinstein entitled “I”ll work for free: a short-term strategy for long term solution”. A light bulb just lit! why not give it a shot? The next day on my laptop, I emailed a local Artisan bake shop which is just a 20 minute bus ride from my place, telling them I would work for free for a couple of weeks. Within an hour I have a reply! Great!
It was a great two weeks of work experience in the artisan bakery. I define their passion in good and great tasting bread. Learning how they work was a great opportunity, not to mention I offered my expertise and contributed to solving a problem they had in one of their products.
As you all know, we have our ABST Student Reps writing blogs each week for you to read!
Well we thought this week it would be good to introduce them to you :)
National Bakery School
Currently studying Baking Science Technology Management and also working at the NBS bakery pop up shop. Caroline has not only attended the ABST for two years running, she has also won competitions at the World Bread Awards!
Currently in his final year studying Baking Science Technology Management. Jay also works as a Pastry Chef on the weekend but primarily focuses his time preparing for his Dissertation!
University College Birmingham
Currently studying BSc Bakery and Patisserie Technology and is in her final year, Level 6. Katie has come a long way throughout the years, from studying in college to then completing a Level 3 apprenticeship which helped her decide to continue her studies at Uni. Katie also works as a Confectioner at a small craft bakery part time.
Currently studying BSc Bakery and Patisserie Technology, she has completed her Foundation Degree and is now in her final year. Izzy has commented how she has thoroughly enjoyed her time at UCB so far due to the level of teaching taught. Izzy is confident with what she has learnt will secure her a good job within the industry and is very much looking forward to attending the ABST to network with the industry members.
Currently studying Bakery at Sheffield College and volunteering as a barista at a local coffee shop for extra experience. Previously Emma was a teaching assistant and is now keen to become more involved with the ABST this year.
Would you like to be added to our Student Rep list?
The answer is YES! Represent your College/Uni and enhance your CV today!
Click the photo for the link to apply :)
NBS and UCB Student Rep roles are now filled.
Bakery students from around the UK and Ireland sharing their experiences