Cheezly Review and Other Vegan Random Stuff

28 February 2014 at 16:01 (Plastic Vegan, Random Randomness)

I’ll tell you one food I miss from my pre-vegan days and that is pizza. So last week, for the first time since going vegan, I finally got round to making my own pizza base and got out the Cheezly White Cheddar style that I’d bought from Whole Foods Market some time ago.

Now imagine that you could make a cheese substitute out of potato… yeah, that’s what it tastes like. For the first half-second that it’s in your mouth you get the cheesy flavour and then it just tastes like potato. I’m really surprised by all the positive reviews this product has got, for instance GoDairyFree.org‘s review, which rates the raw taste as 4/5 and the cooked taste as 5/5 “probably the best tasting fake cheese I’ve ever had” and the melt factor as 4/5. I mean, seriously. It was nothing like that. This is a US review, so I don’t know just how much the recipe varies between countries, but they are reviewing a completely different product from what I ate.

vegan-pizzacheezly
Does that look like it’s melted?

Really, it was like I’d grated potato onto my pizza. I ended up picking it all off and giving it to the pigeons, who really did appreciate the rest of the block I’d thrown out.

What I should have done was left it at this:

vegan-pizza
Cheeseless pizza.

What I also should have done was halve the pizza dough and save a half for later, because even though I didn’t get the melty cheese, I most certainly did get a melty something (raw pizza base). I did say I can never tell when something’s cooked. Even my frozen pizzas would come out from half an hour in the oven with a completely frozen base in the centre. Oh well.

Anyway pizza is back on the menu: NO “cheese” and MOAR mushrooms!!

Other stuff that came out much better:

vegan-shortbreads
These I made with my nephew (who wants to become vegan, but his mum won’t let him, so I said he can be half-vegan for now and full vegan when he grows up) and just used a conventional shortbread recipe. I replaced the butter with 80% of the weight in Trex (vegetable shortening or T-Rex as my half-vegan nephew calls it), but it lacked the buttery flavour (duh). So we made up another batch of dough, but using Vitalite in place of the butter and then mixed the two doughs together. That came out much better. So we made half the dough into circle shortbreads…

vegan-shortbreadswiss
… and mixed up some of the remainder with nasty artificial colours and made them into Swiss Roll biscuits. I did actually get the cooking time right this time and it was a hit with the kids, so I got a Vegan Win this time!

vegan-bakeathon
This is them cooked and also more chocolate fairy cakes. I was running low on caster sugar, so I had to use granulated. It did affect the top of the cakes — usually the top goes really sticky, this time the tops are more crusty and don’t look so nice, but they still taste okay. Last time I made these, I added 5 drops of peppermint essential oil (the recipe is originally for mint choc cupcakes) and I can tell you, 5 drops is WAYYYYYYY too much. I mean, I love my mintiness but that was a bit too overpowering. So 1 or 2 drops of pure peppermint EO is probably the way to go.

vegan-jaffasagain
More jaffa cakes. I placed less mixture into the tins this time and got a bumper crop heh heh.

manicpanic
Need more.

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