We always love trying out the new season’s recipes from The Happy Pear. In our Summer 2021 issue, they put forward the winning combination of plant-based hot pockets and a simple yet delicious carrot cake. Read all about them below!
Summer Taste Sensation
Recipes with zest
by David and Stephen Flynn
Summer is here, and we are celebrating with this winning savoury and sweet combination: plant-based hot pockets and carrot cake.
Hot pocket with green veg and feta
Hot pockets are a classic American fast food. This is our take on a slightly healthier vegan version, with green veg and creamy feta and basil.
Makes 4 pockets
Takes 10 mins prep and 40 mins oven time
50g frozen peas
50g vegan feta
1 red onion (75g)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Small bunch of basil, approx. 8g
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp pesto of choice
1 sheet of puff pastry (320g)
40ml oat milk
• Preheat the oven to 200C° fan.
• Chop the courgette into small bite size cubes. Chop the red onion into slices. Add them to a lined baking tray, along with the asparagus, and toss in 1 tbsp of oil, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar. Mix well. Bake them in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until nicely roasted.
• Chop the feta into cubes. Cut the puff pastry/shortcrust sheet into quarters, so you have four rectangles. Cover the frozen peas with boiling water for 10 mins, then drain and set aside.
• Using a rolling pin or a clean dry glass jar, roll each rectangle so that its size increases by approx 2 cm each side.
• Remove the roasted veg from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 180C° fan. Chop the asparagus into thirds, mix well, and leave it aside to cool before adding to the pastry.
• Chop the basil and mix through the cooled veg, along with the peas.
• Mix together the pesto and the tomato puree and use approximately 1 tbsp of the mixture to cover each of the pastry pieces, leaving 1cm from the edge free.
• Spoon approx ¼ of the spring veg mixture into the middle of each of the 4 quarters of the pastry. Add a quarter of the vegan feta to each.
• Fold and seal into a hot pocket/parcel shape and turn over so the seam side is down, taking care not to tear the pastry. Transfer carefully to a parchment lined baking tray.
• Using a pastry brush, brush each parcel with oat milk.
• Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the parcels are an even golden colour. Enjoy!
5 ingredient carrot cake
This cake is a wonderfully simplified version of the classic carrot cake – and it tastes delicious! To keep it within five ingredients, we had to omit the walnuts, raisins and spices that would traditionally be in a carrot cake. However, we left those ingredients down below for you to add if you have them. They give the cake more character and texture, as well as complexity.
Serves 12 slices
Takes 55 mins
Ingredients for the sponge:
400g self raising flour
300g icing/powdered sugar
250ml neutral tasting Oil
200g grated carrot
Cream cheese icing:
450g vegan Cream cheese (for icing)
150g icing sugar
Optional extras to break out of the five ingredients and go more traditional:
100g chopped walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
• Preheat your oven to 180C° fan
• Grease and line two 20cm (or 8 inch) springform cake tins, with baking parchment on the base and sides. We used coconut oil to grease the tins, so that the baking parchment stuck.
• In a large mixing bowl, sieve in the self raising flour and icing sugar, add the grated carrot, then mix them together. Make a well in the centre.
• Measure the oil and water and add to the bowl with the flour and sugar ingredients.
• Mix using a spatula or a hand mixer, until the ingredients just come together. Be careful not to over mix.
• Split the mixture between the two cake tins and place them in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, rotating halfway through the cooking time to ensure they cook evenly.
• Remove the cakes from the oven and set aside on a rack to cool fully. Check whether they are fully cooked by placing a skewer in the centre. It should come out clean. If the skewer still has a few crumbs on it, pop the cakes back in the oven and cook for a little longer, until the skewer comes out dry.
• While the cakes are baking, it’s time to make your frosting (you can leave the cream cheese frosting in the fridge to chill until the cakes are baked and cooled).
• Add the vegan cream cheese to a bowl, using a fork to mash and soften it, so it’s easier to mix in the icing sugar. Sift in the icing sugar using a sieve, so there are no lumps. Use a whisk to whisk the vegan cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth (you may have to stop once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl and incorporate all of the icing sugar).
• To assemble the carrot cake, choose the base cake and add half the cream cheese frosting layer to the top of it. Gently and evenly spread the mixture from the centre. Don’t go all the way to the edge – leave half an inch free. Gently place the second cake on top, pressing it down lightly, so that the filling now comes to the edge. Then add your top layer of frosting to the top of the cake, again working your way from the centre, spreading the frosting to the edge.
• Add any suggested decoration and serve!