Disgustingly delayed but better late than never. Right?
After stumbling across Hey's Heavenly Bakes' page on Instagram (@heys_heavenlybakes) and deciding to follow immediately, I made a promise to myself that I would make a purchase in 2020. And that, I did.
On December 25th 2020, I experienced my very first Plant-Based/Vegan Christmas. I was surrounded by meat-eaters, but surprisingly, fiery jealousy did not rear its ugly head like I thought it would. I put this down to the fact that I prepared well in advance and actually, my cravings for meat are generally so intermittent that they are hardly memorable or expected.
Individual Vegan Wellingtons
As soon as I got home, I froze all of these but one, because I knew I would enjoy them and I wanted to space the enjoyment out. Don't ask me how I knew.
These were able to be placed straight into the oven from the freezer, and those that had been cooked from frozen tasted and looked no different to the one that had been resting in the fridge prior to cooking.
I have never eaten traditional beef Wellington before, but I do know that they are usually quite firm on the outside. Because these Wellingtons were filled with butternut squash and lentils, it wouldn't have been fair to expect them to be the same. The Wellingtons weren't huge in size; one was sufficient for me for a single meal and probably would have been for anyone else. I say that to say, that carving them would have been unnecessary considering the size of them, so they didn't need to be exactly like the meat alternative in firmness.
The exterior was very buttery and superbly flaky; the combination of these two aspects resulted in a melt-in-the-mouth experience with every bite. Though they puffed up in the oven, they maintained their shape and even the criss-cross design was still visible after cooking.
I particularly enjoyed the juicy filling. The diced butternut squash wasn't mushy and went so well with the lentils, which were pleasantly chewy. Rosemary notes all up and through. Very high quality food. The consistency of the filling was more like a chunky paste than a gravy, so there wasn't a story from the baking tray to the plate which is what I was worried about because as they cooked, it was clear that the pastry was quite delicate. Leakage only occurred when I over manipulated them.
Strong flavours with a lot of depth and great textures. Had I eaten one of these at a restaurant, I would have been very happy.
Caramel Biscoff Brownies
I'm not really a brownie person but I do love me some Biscoff so I had to try these.
All six of the brownies were individually wrapped which made for easy freezing. Just like the wellingtons, they froze and defrosted very well.
Let me just say, these brownies went so well with vegan single cream. I intended to pair them with custard but it didn't work out. I think that was for the best. Although the brownies were not too sweet, the cream helped cut some of the sweetness that I think mostly came from the caramel-ly, marbled topping. A good balance.
If you want a chewy, fudgy type of brownie, these would be right up your street. They were very rich, though, so I enjoyed them with a small spoon, plenty of cream and in 'moderation' for the festive moment.
Flaxseeds are typically used as an egg substitute in vegan baked goods. Occasionally, I came across a piece of flaxseed that wasn't fully ground. This didn't bother me and they didn't affect the taste of the brownies at all, but I'm mentioning this in case you are particular about textures and/or are not familiar with flaxseeds. Nothing to be frightened of, they're good for you.
I was really impressed by the Wellingtons and the brownies. I love trying food that makes me excited to purchase from the Chef again.
If you're craving something fresh, new and full of love, check out Hey's Heavenly Bakes here: https://www.instagram.com/heys_heavenlybakes/