From the monthly archives: November 2010

Choc Log
Originally uploaded by Continuum Designs

Since it’s nearly Christmas (yes it is, stop hiding and embrace it!) I had a go at a vegan Swiss roll. I used my usual trick of whipping soy pudding with rice milk to make the basic sponge, filled it with chocolate buttercream, and then slathered it with chocolate icing. And of course, I had to do the traditional ‘log’ effect by drawing a fork through the icing. It’s finished with Suma glace cherries.

The funny thing it, this is the easiest Swiss roll I’ve done – I don’t know if it’s my makeshift vegan recipe, or the fact that I haven’t made one for so long that I just recklessly rolled it up without hestitation, but there was very little cracking of the cake.


Here’s a look at some of the pendants I’ve been making lately (some of which have been put up in my Etsy shop, partly as a way to test out the new currency features, yay!); they’re a kind of donut/Jammie Dodger hybrid, featuring a circular cut-out that shows off the wire used to attach the pendant to other components. In using these myself, I’ve been threading little silver beads onto the wire after it’s passed through one hole, and then threading the remaining wire through the following hole; it just adds a little bit of variety to the pendants :)

In the third picture, you can see a variation on the pendant, which in my most whimsical moment, I saw as a magic pool of shimmering water surrounding by a host of millefiori flowers. I’ve had some good suggestions from other people about this glittering centre, and adding more contrast, so I’ll be doing a bit more experimenting on this before I give up *G*


This week’s Sunday Browsing brings lampwork treats…literally. It’s food-themed glass, with a little bit of a quirky twist to some of the beads, so enjoy drooling, whether it’s over the lampwork or the yumminess :D

You how fans of lampwork drool over glass? Well, I can’t look at these lampwork chocolates by EnterTheFlame without doubly drooling; I feel like I can taste rich, creamy truffles just by staring at the details in this picture; my favourite part has to be the fine frit that serves as cocoa dusting on some of the chocolates.

From girlfriday1962, a cute take on the old cliche of pickles and ice cream for the pregnant – personally, I love how the both the sundae and the pickle are looking suspiciously and little worriedly at each other, as if they’d never expected to be in each other’s company. The added bonus is that if used for earrings, this wary look would be re-focused onto the wearer, to reconfirm their dubious cravings *G*

Juiciness and freshness seems to drip from these lovely watermelon beads by glasstastictreasures, which manage to merge a little kookiness with a lot of class – unusual, but not too ‘out there’!

Here’s a whole bakery in a bead set from cemlampwork1, including pie, cake, donuts, and a superb chocolate covered strawberry, all perfect as charms for pastry maniacs (on second thoughts, you might be wise to keep these away from maniacs of any kind…they’ll put anything in their mouths).

From the perfect crimped pastry edges, to the melty dollops of cream (non-dairy, I assume *G*), beadbrains has a talent for tiny slices of pies The detail in this lemon pie is fantastic, for example; the streakiness of the yellow glass filling mimics real lemon curd brilliantly.

Frogs and lizards perched on lampwork beads is quite the trend, but aardvarkartglass has taken it about eighteen steps further, putting these glass creatures on all sorts of junk food from lizards on Ramen Noodles, to this frog on a Twinkie (being from the UK, I’m not 100% sure what a Twinkie is, but American TV has taught me they’re food-esque cake things that will outlive everything except cockroaches in event of an apocalypse)

lampworkgarden has masses of cute sculptural beads, but my favourites are these hot foamy drinks, drizzled with caramel stringer, and rising from pretty little green and blue cups. Delicious.


Firstly, Sunday Browsing will be back soon; drooling over Etsy finds had to go on hold for a bit when my laptop starting acting out, and I had to buy a new laptop (which also meant my virtual shopping mojo was drained by having to do actual shopping *G*)

Secondly, I have quite a haul of polymer clay beads ready to put up, but they are waiting to be photographed in something other than British November light (the greyest, dullest light of all). So, as an offering instead, I present my simple but yummy vegan cupcake recipe. Some of the measurements are based loosely on a plain cake recipe in the Australian Woman Weekly’s cake book (I know, random right?) but I played about with it to make it vegan.

125g soy margarine
150g granulated sugar
250g organic self-raising flour
1 to 2 Alpro Soya Vanilla Puddings
50ml Rice/Oat/Soy/Coconut milk

1). Cream the sugar and margarine together until it’s light and fluffy, and a little paler.
2). Empty out one vanilla pudding serving into another bowl, add a splash of the ‘milk’, and whip with an electric mixer; this makes the cake a little airer.
3). Add the sifted flour and the pudding mixture to the sugar/margarine base, alternating between the two.
4). Fold the batter together gently, and if the mixture is too stiff, add a little more pudding or milk until it loosens.
5). Add your desired flavourings; vanilla extract, lemon juice and rind, or a little reduced fruit juice (e.g. stir some raspberries and sugar over a low heat until it thickens and becomes a syrup)
6). Spoon the cake batter into paper cake cases/silicone moulds and bake at 180 degrees centigrade for 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven, leave to rest for 5 minutes, then transfer to a baking rack to cool.

For icing, I generally make the old staple, buttercream, but obviously substitute the butter for soy margarine, and make sure the icing sugar is vegan.

Shopping info: Vegan icing sugar can be bought from or but the brand is quite widely available. These stores also carry a lot of other vegan baking supplies (although not everything is vegan, so check first).

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