homemade 'hob nob' biscuits

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Really easy and ingredients that I pretty much always have in my cupboard… completely vegan and give me that whole-some feeling in a single bite.

Makes about 10-12

4oz rolled oats
4oz self-raising flour
4 oz dairy-free butter or margarine
4 oz demerara sugar (or caster/granulated demera just adds an extra crunch)
1/2 tbsp golden syrup or maple
1 tbsp hot water

1. Preheat oven to 180 and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.

2. Measure out the oats, flour and sugar in a bowl and leave to the side.

3. Melt together the butter, syrup and water in a pan over a moderate heat, stirring continusly to ensure it doesn't burn.

3. Add the melted butter mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing well until it's formed into a dough.

4. In your hand roll small balls of the dough, placing on the prepared tray and flattening with your palm. Keep as they are or place dark chocolate chips into them (or once out of the oven and cooled you could always melt the chocolate and cover the tops of them)

5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, you want them to be golden but not too browned.


Vegan Lemon Baked Donuts

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GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF STARTS TOMORROW CLAXON! It's pretty silly how excited I am over the return of one Paul, Mary, Mel and Sue and all the hopeful bakers.  I rarely watch much television (sticking to Netflix and Arconai) but there's a feel-good-warming-comfort vibe to GBBO which makes me want to grab a cuppa, sit down with my loved ones and watch it.

These donuts are quick, easy and probably will be my go-to or a version of for our bake off treat, it's pretty agonising watching without a piece of cake or biscuit, amiright?

Preparation time - 25 minutes
Cook time - 15 minutes

A 'healthier' alternative to a Donut, not fried but baked, not laden with sugar, the agave nectar sweetens the mixture… ok the topping is icing sugar in it but it is a sweet treat after all.

1 Cup plain flour
1/3 Cup agave nectar
1 1/2 Tsp baking powder
1/4 Tsp salt
1/2 cup soya milk
1/4 cup non dairy butter
Egg replacement powder 
Zest of one lemon

For the glaze
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 1/3 cup powdered sugar

1. First of all you need to preheat your oven to 180 C.

 2. Mix two table spoons of the egg replacement powder (I use Orgran No Egg, sold at Holland and Barrett) with some warm water, I add  little by little 'til I get a consistency of whipped egg white.

2. Mix the lemon zest, agave nectar, egg replacer and milk.

3. Add the flour, butter, baking powder and salt. Mix well so all is combined but do not over mix.

4. I use this donut mould, using either non-dairy butter or a spray oil coat the tray so it is easier to remove once cooked, spoon some mixture into each - it will make about 15-20 using this.

5. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

6. Remove from the oven, let them sit in the mould until cooled a little.

7. Mix lemon juice and powdered sugar until all lumps are broken up, dip the cooled donuts in the glaze, you can decorate if you wish with sprinkles, lemon zest etc. Let excess icing drip off and leave to dry.

8. Then eat eat eat, best when fresh!


a long weekend in Budapest

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If you follow me on Instagram (JaymieOC) you will probably know that last Friday my Sister and two of our friends headed to the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Arriving early afternoon we made our way by taxi to our two different hotels on the Pest side of the river. My Sister and I were totally balled over by how grand it was and how incredible it smelled (smelt like a spa throughout) a total luck out on our part when booking in the BA sale. Boscolo is home to one of the 'must visits' on most google searches and one of Budapests most famous Grand Cafes being the New York Cafe.

The New York Grand Cafe
Adorned in gold, intricate and decadent detailing which makes it definitely worth a visit (even if just for a coffee or a cocktail) the food might not be the best in the world -  there wasn't a lot that I could actually eat, not the most vegan friendly of places. My Sister tried the pancakes and on the last day we had the buffet.I loaded up on fruit, muesli with soya milk, nuts and some jam on toast.

It's would have been rude not to visit the beautiful thermal baths in Budapest especially as there are plenty to chose from but the gorgeous yellow architecture and the fact it's one of the most famous in the city and possibly one of the prettiest, swayed us so we went to Szechenyi Baths and Pool. Open 6AM-7PM, we visited mid-day to relax are bodies after a busy morning. It's cheap as chips as well with it costing equivalent to about £3 for entry to the baths and pools as well as cabin use.

One of the cutest and lets be honest one of the more fun ways to travel up a steep incline, the funicular up to Castle Hill was a must do for us. Some of the best panoramic views over the city and only a short walk away from Fishermans Bastion which is just like stepping into one of the Harry Potter movies, magical and beautiful.

Liberte Grand Cafe
Feast for the eyes as well as my stomach, I easily had one of the best vegan sandwiches ever filled with tapenade, houmous, grilled courgette, aubergine and salad (salivating as I type) You will find lots of chic velvet, monochrome flooring and marble tables. If we had enough time over the weekend we would have visited again for brunch as it was just so lovely and enjoyable.

The Donut Library
After seeing this place on social media quite a few times I knew I had to take my Sister to have a donut - I may not have been able to enjoy the taste of them but I certainly enjoyed the interior and how her drink looked with it's little mini donut decoration. I sipped on my black coffee as I took all that pretty pink and New York artwork in.

Central Market
On our last morning we had a few hours after breakfast to fill so we grabbed a cab to the market area. As soon as you enter you are greeted by fresh colourful fruit and vegetables. This indoor market that is set on two levels also boasts beautiful embroidered fabrics and as you would expect all that great souvenir tat on the top floor.

Gelarto Rosa
Two stores being super near to each other in St Stephens Square, certainly a very popular ice-cream store. Let's just say they were far more skilled at turning their iced creations into roses then at Amorino in Covent Garden. I had strawberry elderflower and peach sorbet and on that particular scorching hot day it went down far too quickly! St Stephens Square is a great place for whiling away a couple of hours in the diminishing sunlight, full of cute bars, cafes and restaurants.

Tips, Tricks and P.O.I
Agree the price with the taxi driver prior to getting in, they are naughty and will try to overcharge! If you can try get someone to book the cab for you at the hotel or restaurant you are.

The HUF currency is great! definitely change up your money and not take Euros!

You will find yourself noting how cheap everything is when you convert your HUF price into GBP and you will be amazed each and every time (we certainly were!)

One thing that we noted in particular with Budapest is that it is such a mixture of different cities and places, you will undoubtedly feel like you could be in Paris, Spain, Berlin, even at times New York (with there yellow imitation cabs) There is certainly something for everybody.

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