Felicity Cloake tries out your animal product-free recipes.
I'm no expert on vegan cooking, though I was happy to see so many recipes for my beloved dhal, but I reckon this qualifies as a bumper crop. Bean burgers for the barbecue, a south-Indian cashew-nut curry, a super-easy egg-free mayonnaise that surprised my sceptical tasting panel, and a rich chocolate torte made from silken tofu - vegan cooks certainly are an inventive lot.
But my favourite was one of the simplest: the moist, fluffy yoghurt cupcakes are so good even I didn't miss the butter. A host of other great recipes, from vegan pulled pork to paella are online at guardian.co.uk/witness.
The winning recipe: foolproof vegan vanilla cupcakes
These are 100% foolproof and non-vegans love them. You can adapt this recipe to make all sorts of flavours.Flickity, via guardian.co.uk/witness
Makes 8 cupcakes or 16 fairy cakes250g vanilla soya yoghurt80ml sunflower oil2 tsp vanilla extract150g caster sugar 150g self-raising flour ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda½ tsp baking powder1
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 2 and line a cupcake or fairy cake tin with paper cases.2
Whisk the wet ingredients together in a mixing bowl, then sift in the dry ingredients and mix well.3
Spoon into the cases and bake for 15-25 minutes depending on the size of your cases, until just firm on top.
Garlic chickpea spaghetti with chilli and spinach
You can get all these ingredients very cheaply; if your budget is a little bigger, buy organic ingredients as there aren't very many of them and you really can taste the difference.philippa_moore, via guardian.co.uk/witness
Makes 4500g spaghetti1 tbsp olive oil1 large garlic clove, crushed/finely chopped420g can of chickpeas, drained½-2 tsp chilli flakes, to tasteA large handful of baby spinach, rocket or other greensExtra olive oil, if desired, to serve1
Cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions. When al dente, drain but reserve a little of the cooking water. Set aside but keep warm.2
In the same pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat and add the garlic, chickpeas and chilli and cook, stirring regularly, until fragrant and the chickpeas are warmed through. Don't let the garlic or chilli burn.3
Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Add the pasta and stir everything through until warm and thoroughly combined. Add the reserved cooking water if it looks dry. Season with salt, pepper and a little extra olive oil to taste, then serve.
South-Indian aubergine, pumpkin and cashew-nut curry
I recently returned from having lived in India for 18 months and this became one of the dishes in my repertoire. Heather Crowe, via guardian.co.uk/witness
Serves 2-31 large aubergine, cut into 1.5cm cubes½ a small pumpkin, or 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5cm cubes1 tsp turmeric¼ tsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper½ tsp salt1 onion, diced1 tbsp coconut oil2 garlic cloves, finely chopped1 green chilli½ tsp mustard seedsA small pinch of fresh curry leaves ¼ tsp fenugreek powder100g cashew nuts soaked in 150ml boiling water1
First chop the aubergine and pumpkin and sprinkle over the turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Leave to infuse for 20 minutes.2
Meanwhile, fry the onion in a little coconut oil until slightly browned, then add the garlic and cook for 1-2 mins on a medium heat. Set aside.3
In another pan, fry the aubergine and pumpkin in the remaining oil until the aubergine is lightly browned - this will take up to 10 minutes.4
Add the green chilli, mustard seeds and curry leaves to the onion and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the fenugreek powder and lightly cook for another minute.5
Add the aubergine and pumpkin to the onion and stir. Add 100ml water, cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the aubergine and pumpkin are soft, adding more water if it dries out.6
Blend the cashew nuts with their soaking water to a cream. Add to the pan and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Season and serve with brown rice.
Easy to make, cheaper than buying jars of vegan mayo and tastes good too.veggiegirl, via guardian.co.uk/witness135ml soya milk1½ tbsp cider or white wine vinegar½ tbsp lemon juice1½ tsp whole-grain mustard300ml sunflower oil1
Put all the ingredients except the oil in a processor. Blend until well mixed.2
Trickle the oil in very slowly while the food processor is running. The consistency of the mixture will gradually thicken as the oil is added.3
Finally, add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Chocolate truffle torte
A cross between a cheesecake and a chocolate truffle - rich and delicious.marieantoinette, via guardian.co.uk/witness
For the base50g hazelnuts10 dairy-free digestives2 tbsp cocoa2 tbsp icing sugar3 tbsp margarine
For the topping300g silken tofu100g dark chocolate (70%)1-3 tbsp cocoa, plus extra to dust1 tsp vanilla essence2 tbsp icing sugarFinely grated zest of 1 orange1
Toast the nuts. Once they are cool (this is important, or they may turn into hazelnut butter!), put them in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Set aside.2
Add the digestives. Blitz until they resemble sand, then add the nuts, cocoa and icing sugar to the digestives. Pulse until mixed.3
Melt the margarine and add to the biscuit and nut mix. Pulse. Taste for sweetness: if it's not sweet enough, add more sugar; if it's too sweet, add more cocoa.4
Press the mix into a 20cm loose-based cake tin to form a base. Refrigerate.5
Drain the tofu, and whizz in a clean food processor until fully smooth.6
In a bain marie or microwave, melt the chocolate. Add the melted chocolate to the tofu mix along with the cocoa, vanilla, icing sugar and orange zest. Taste, and add point more cocoa, icing sugar or zest if it needs it.7
Spread the mix on the base and chill for a two hours. Once chilled, remove from the tin and dust with cocoa.
Chilli, lime and black bean burgers
Fresh, spicy flavours perfect for a vegan barbecue.Heather Allford, via guardian.co.uk/witness
Makes 2 rather large burgers or 4 smallish ones3 tbspolive oil½ red onion, finely chopped1 garlic clove, finely chopped1 small red chilli, finely chopped400g tin of black beansJuice of ½ a lime1 slice of (dairy-free) breadFlour, to dust
To serveVegan burger bunsFresh salsa1 avocado, sliced1
Fry the onion and garlic in 1 tbsp oil on a low heat until soft - around 10 minutes. Add the chilli and cook for a few more minutes.2
Meanwhile, mash the black beans up with a fork in a large bowl. Stir in the lime juice.3
Whizz the bread into crumbs then add it, along with the onions and garlic, to the black beans and mix well.4
Divide, then squish into 2 or 4 patties on a lightly floured surface. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and pop the burgers in. Cook on a medium heat until brown on both sides, then transfer to the buns.5
Top with fresh salsa and sliced avocado, then serve with some sweet potato wedges and salad.Vegan vanilla cupcakes. Photo by Jill Mead for the GuardianFor the latest food news, health tips and recipes, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.