Isabella licking out the bowl. She''s just recovering from chicken pox. I said as she's a Vegan, it should be called Soya Pox!

Isabella licking out the bowl.
She”s just recovering from chicken pox. I said as she’s a Vegan, it should be called Soya Pox!

My granddaughter Isabella is only 2 1/2 but she already has a serious interest in cookery and baking.

And when she eats her own food, she really enjoys it!

As she, daughter Rana and partner Dom are all Vegans, I’ve had to adapt some recipes.

The other day, she was ready to cook and she was waiting for me in the kitchen with her sleeves pushed up.

‘Wash your hands,’ she instructed me.

I have a huge collection of cookery books and I’ve found some delicious recipes in wartime cookery books.

This is one of them. It’s absolutely yummy, very rich and you only need a small square of it. It’s similar to brownies or other traybakes. It needs no cooking.


10 oz cooking chocolate. I use plain chocolate.

Tin of chestnut puree. I had a packet of peeled chestnuts.

6 ozs of butter or dairy-free marge.

6 ozs sugar.

1 orange.

Orange liqueur (optional.)

Start by melting the chocolate, broken into squares, over boiling water.

Grease a cake tin of your choice.

Cream together the sugar and butter.

Break up the chestnuts if necessary. Don’t’ make them too fine as they add a nutty crunch to the pudding.

Tip the chestnuts into the butter and mix.

Grate in the orange peel and add half the orange juice, plus the liqueur if used.

Carefully ad the melted chocolate.

Mix it all together and tip into the cake tin.

Leave to cool, then place in the fridge to harden up.

It will stay quite soft.


I wanted to make these with Isabella but all the recipes added an egg yolk.

In the end, I made shortcrust pastry, using dairy-free marge, a handful of Vegan Cheese, and binding it altogether with a drop of Soya Milk.

You can also add a tsp Marmite.

They worked really well!


This is another recipe that is adaptable for Vegans, and is very easy for children to make as the dough holds together well, so it is simple for cutting out the shapes.

225g/8ozs plain flour

150g/5 ½ oz butter or dairy-free marge

125g/4 ½ oz sugar

1tsp Vanilla (You could use grated orange peel & a tsp orange juice.)

Marge for greasing & sugar for dusting (optional.0

Grease a baking tray.

Sieve the flour into a bowl and rub it into the butter with your fingers.

Add the sugar and vanilla, then form the mixture with your hands into a ball of dough.

I let the dough stand for half an hour, but it’s optional.

Lightly flour the surface and roll out the dough to about 2.5cm/I inch thick.

Cut out 12 hearts (or the shape of your choice.)

Arrange the hearts on the baking tray.

Bake in a preheated oven 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, for 15-20 minutes, until they’re a light golden colour.

Transfer them to a rack and leave to cool.

Dust with sugar.

Isabella enjoying her biscuits

Isabella enjoying her biscuits