Part two of my series of recreations of classic chocolate bars is the iconic Twix bar- surely a common favourite. As I’ve always maintained, my ultimate aim is to recreate any food item in an allergen friendly form, maybe one day everyone, everywhere, will be able to enjoy the same things and no children will have to make do with the odd ‘special’ food that has been packed to make them safe. Too much of an ask? I don’t think so! Besides, I definitely think the average diet has too much emphasis on animal based products and it is better for us and our planet to find alternatives. Look at aquafaba meringues – a meringue made of a by-product from legume consumption has to be friendlier to the environment than eggs, often produced by chicken in horrific conditions? Anyway, that’s beside the point, right now this post is about recreating a classic chocolate bar so my girls can say they’ve eaten a Twix, know what it should taste like and not feel like they’ve missed out. A Twix bar is relatively simple to recreate; basically a variation of millionaire’s shortbread: a shortbread base topped with gooey caramel and then enrobed in chocolate. The difficultly, if there is one, is the gooey caramel as it’s easy to end up with break-your-teeth stuff instead! I used a mixture of dairy-free margarine, sugar and condensed soya milk to make a fantastically authentic substitute and I was extremely happy with the final results. If you want proper chocolate bar style like mine, you’ll definitely need some chocolate bar moulds (I recommend these from Mason Cash) for giving fantastic results, or you could opt for a more free-form result and simply spread the caramel over the shortbread, then pour over some melted chocolate – it may not look as professional, but it’ll still taste mighty fine!
Homemade Dairy-free Twix Bars
(dairy-free. egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, can be soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)
Makes about 12 with leftover shortbread fingers to be enjoyed simply sprinkled with sugar
For the shortbread:
225g plain flour
75g golden caster sugar
150g dairy-free margarine (I used Pure sunflower)
1 vanilla pod seeds scraped out, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp granulated sugar, to sprinkle [for the leftover ones]
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Line a baking sheet with parchment
- Sift the flour into a bowl and stir in the sugar and vanilla. Add the dairy-free spread and rub in with fingers. Once it starts to combine, bring together to form a soft dough.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1cm thickness. Cut into even sized shapes to fit the chocolate moulds you are using
- Place on the lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Then turn the baking sheet round and bake for another 10 minutes.
- [for the ones not used in the Twix bars] Once the shortbread is golden brown remove from oven. Leaving it on the baking sheet, dust with the granulated sugar. Cool on the baking sheet.
For the caramel layer:
1 can of soya condensed milk
2 tbsp dairy-free spread/margarine
4 tbsp soft brown sugar
- Melt the sugar into the condensed milk, stir in the spread. Then bring to a boil for about 5 minutes to thicken the caramel (be sure to stop it catching on the bottom of the pan). Once thickened and caramel like, set aside to cool.
For the chocolate coating:
150g dairy-free chocolate, melted and tempered
- Start by tempering the chocolate. In a microwave or over a Bain Marie, only just melt the chocolate, then stir until all the pieces are melted. You need to bring it down to degrees either by stirring in the bowl until the temp had reduced or pouring out onto a cold work top ( I have a marble board which is perfect for the job) and move it around with a palette knife until it has cooled and has turned beautifully shiny.
- Pour a blob into each mould and evenly coat all the sides, a small brand new paint brush may help. Leave to set for a few minutes and then paint on another layer (or preferably two more). Place in a cool spot to firm up.
- Spoon caramel into the lined chocolate moulds, squeeze a shortbread finger on top and then seal with more melted chocolate.
- Leave to set in a cool place, cover in foil for an authentic look and keep in the fridge.