One afternoon after I finished work, I had a wander around my local city centre and stopped off at the only Vegan cafe in Stoke On Trent (and the surrounding area as far as I’m aware) to get a cookie. I totally wasn’t expecting owner Charlie to bring out a preliminary batch of Battenberg cake she’d made!
I love it when people veganize traditional dishes, particularly desserts. I thought the Ms Cupcakes Cream Eggs and Jaffa Cakes (though I’ve only ever got to try the Jaffa cupcake myself) were my faves, but this battenberg was off the chart!
In fact, I couldn’t resist eating pretty much all of it before taking this picture. So sorry. But if anything that’s a testament to it’s bodacious-ness! It tasted exactly like the Mr Kipling cakes that I used to love so much as a non-veggie. The pink and yellow colours of the two cakes was an exact match, as was the delicious crumbly texture of the sponge. The marzipan to cake ratio was spot on. The only criticism I have about the cake is that it could have done with a teeny tiny bit more jam, but that’s just personal preference and me being used to the super-juicy Mr Kipling cake I’ve eaten before.
Now, I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned The Big Strawberry before, but they opened towards the end of last year. From what I can remember, I’m pretty sure at first they sold some dishes with cheese on them but now, and for the last few months, they’ve been completely animal-product free.
The cafe sells a variety of paninis, wraps and a Thai vegetable soup I’ve yet to try but always smells insanely good as well as having a selection of ice cream or normal soy milkshakes and cakes. Compared to the kind of eateries I was used to down south, and even local competing cafes and chains, the prices at The Big Strawberry are minuscule. A giant panini packed with filling averages at £3.25 and comes with a herb side salad, whether it’s to take away or eat in. Cookies and cakes range from 75p-£1.25 (if I remember right). The peanut butter and oat cookies are particularly delicious. I always find it hard to get the texture right with big cookies, but the baker who supplies The Big Strawberry always gets it spot on.
If you’re ever in the Midlands, or fancy a day trip, I’d definitely recommend visiting The Big Strawberry. Moving back home has had it’s ups and downs, but finding a vegan community in Stoke has been amazing. I recently found out that there are weekly Animal Aid meetings and that there was a vegan fair/fete in the middle of July catered around families, with outdoor entertainment and food and other product stalls promoting animal welfare and the vegan diet. Unfortunately it was my graduation this weekend! I really hope they do another soon.
I’m going to spam the blog a bit now, been so quiet for ages but been accumulating content, slowly but surely 😉 Still going to post my Berlin stuff too, even though it was months ago, mainly because I don’t know what to do with the hundreds of photos of food I took…