We had a Cake Liberation Front Manchester meet up this week and in the five years we've been doing it I have to say that I think it was one of my favourite meet ups so far! The format is that people bring vegan goodies to share. There's a emphasis on sweet baked goods but savoury and raw items are very welcome too.Once everyone arrives and the dishes are labelled and set out it's a big all you can eat buffet! Here's just a selection of the goodies we got to try.
It's always good to see some classics alongside more experimental dishes and these chocolate and cherry brownies were absolutley melt in the mouth heaven! Apparently the secret was lots of melted chocolate alongside cocoa powder to make them extra chocolately.
We had a good showing of raw and also gluten free dishes with raw cookies, gluten free fruity soda bread, gluten free strawberry cheesecake and this amazing raw and gluten free banofee pie.
Sometimes you can't beat simple good quality ingredients. This lemon and olive oil cake was beautifully light. Co-incidentally I'd tried some tasty Greek olive oil and walnut biscuits earlier in the day and I'm now keen to explore using olive oil further in sweet baking.
There was a good balance of sweet and savoury. We had aubergine pate with soda bread, almond and chives cheeses with rye bread, pizza rolls and quinoa and kale cakes. We also had the most amazing homemade seitan sausages I've ever tried. As well as vital wheat gluten they were made with kidney beans and delicately flavoured with a hint of fennel. I've never heard of baking seitan sausages before only steaming them. What was even more impressive is that Lucy their maker said she'd just made them up! I think that recipe needs writing down and sharing asap!
The showstopper of the night had to be Sara's meringues. She made them using the chick pea brine method that's taking the vegan world by storm and filled them with non dairy cream. How cute are these mini meringues!
And it didn't stop at mini meringues as we were treated to this huge strawberry pavlova too.
Finally here's the most talked about dish of the night. Keith is an experienced forager and often leads vegan foraging walks around the North West area. You might have spotted him on telly too a few months ago talking about his amazing wildlife friendly balcony garden which he also blogs about. He'd foraged for and cooked with something that I'd never have guessed was edible in a million years - Japanese Knotweed! Apparently it has lots of health giving properties and it tasted good (a bit like rhubarb) served in a crumble with some vegan custard.
If you want to hold your own Cake Liberation Front meet up event there are posters on the website that you can use and fill in with your own details. There's a regular meet up group in Adelaide in Australia and one hoping to start in Edinburgh soon and other people have held one off events. We meet up at V Revolution in Manchester who kindly let us use their cafe for free in the evenings but it could be equally fun just to hold an event at home with friends if you don't fancy organising a public meet up and it would be a good way to get non vegan friends to expand their baking reportoire!