Veganuary is here! This is like vegans’ Christmas where suddenly everyone is supportive, understanding - and even encouraging!
We tried our first Veganuary last year. It was a big deal for Thibault as he’s French, his whole career has been steeped in whipped cream and gelatine, and he’s the son of a fishmonger and stepson of a butcher. Meat and cheese was the staple of his diet…
I was also a bit nervous. I had dabbled with a plant-based diet back in 2010 and, living a life on the road and being a dismal cook, my diet mainly consisted of oat cakes, olives and hummus. Needless to say, I didn’t cope well, broke and went running back to my pescatarian ways, shunning hummus for the next decade…
So we thought we might struggle last year, but as the weeks went by we started to sleep better, had more energy and we lost weight even though we increased the amount we ate - score! (We did invest in some good vegan recipe books which ensured our home-cooking didn’t suffer, which helped massively).
Eating out had also drastically changed. Everywhere now seems to offer vegan savoury options and I’ve eaten some of the best food (and weirdly, some of the best cheese) since becoming vegan.
What isn’t so great though is when you’ve devoured an amazing starter, the best main you’ve ever eaten and you can’t wait for pudding when the waiter says: “Sorry, we don’t do vegan desserts.” What? WHAT?!
“And no, we don’t have any vegan milk or cream for teas and coffees either.”
HOW. IS. THIS. POSSIBLE?!
I leave the venue downhearted, my taste buds feeling marginalised in some strange way, and I vow never to return again. (And no, sorbet does not count as a proper dessert in my opinion).
By now, you’ve probably realised that I have a slight sweet tooth, and being engaged to a Frenchman, I do enjoy a weekly splurge on French patisserie; but I searched in vain for true, high-quality vegan French patisserie.
Thibault and I needed a serious conversation. Here he was, creating wedding dresses out of chocolate eclairs for Channel 4’s final of Bake Off: The Professionals 2020 when his poor fiancee’s sweet tooth was left destitute. Things had to change.
So change it did. Thibault’s spent 2020 veganising his traditional French patisserie. Our first product is the French sweet delicacy, the macaron. We chose to start with this one as they’re easily transportable for your Veganuary. Just pop them in your bag for emergencies, and when you’re at that place where there’s no vegan sweet option, just whip ‘em out and tuck in!
Thibault’s also published a recipe for vegan cheesecake with Veganuary. Veganuary do a Celebrity Cookbook for those who sign up for the Veganuary challenge, and Thibault’s featured in the French version this year, right next to Moby.
Just get in touch to whip up a fancy tart that no one’ll believe is vegan unless you tell them!