Viennese Whirls

dairy-free egg-free viennese whirls

With the Great British Bake Off in full swing, I’m determined to bake along and prove nearly everything can be made friendly, delicious and beautiful. I’m a bit behind with my writing up so don’t expect recipes to be in sync with the series – my raspberry Jaffa Cakes will feature at some point down the line!

dairy-free chocolate Viennese whirl biscuits

Last week’s technical challenge was Viennese Whirls, the ideal biscuit recipe to recreate for our picnic today. Viennese whirls are pretty filled cookies – a short crumbly biscuit piped into a cute shape and mine filled with dairy-free buttercream. This version contrasts a dark cocoa-rich cookie with light fluffy white buttercream giving a dramatic effect. Also the bitterness of the cookie works well to balance the sweetness of the buttercream. These would be perfect for any elegant tea party, for people or teddy bears!

vegan Viennese whirls

Viennese Whirls 

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

IMG_6438

makes about 6 sandwich cookies, multiply for more!

100g/ 1/2 cup dairy-free margarine

25g/ 2tbsp icing sugar

25g/ 2tbsp cocoa powder

100g/ 3/4-1 cup flour

1 tbsp dairy-free milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas mark 4
  2. Cream together the margarine and icing sugar until light and fluffy
  3. Sift in the cocoa and flour and add the milk. Mix to make a stiff dough
  4. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe swirls onto the baking sheet, or simply roll out even sized balls
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes
  6. Cool on a wire rack
  7. Sandwich together with fluffy buttercream (see recipe here)

IMG_6436

Homemade Toffee Crisp Chocolate Bars

 

vegan homemade toffee crisp

While dairy-free chocolate bars have improved enormously in the last few years thanks to brands like Moo Free and supermarket own brands, they’re still not especially exciting or child friendly. Most of the more interesting varieties are either extremely difficult to come by or they’re suitable for vegans but not if allergic to milk.

The girls are always utterly delighted when I make exciting chocolate bars, so to add to previous KitKat and Twix recipes already on my site, here is rather thrilling Toffee Crisp recipe. Sweet caramel coated Rice Krispies encased in smooth rich chocolate, who could resist that? The Toffee Crisp was certainly one of my favourites while growing up. Somehow the Rice Krispies remain crunchy and are a fabulous sweet and crispy centre to the bar.

dairy-free nut-free toffee crisp chocolate bars
My recipe is slightly different to the original Nestle bar as it is enrobed in smooth, dark chocolate, not sweet creamy chocolate. Feel free to mix that up, I just find that dairy-free milk chocolate gives less of a smooth shiny end product and as my girls are more used to dark than milky flavours, it’s what they prefer.
It may seem to be a total pain to make your own chocolate bars but as long as you have a little time and some silicone moulds they really are pretty simple, and you do feel very satisfied in the end. In fact, these bars went down so well that I’ve been requested to make a bubbly Aero next – I have no idea how I can manage that?

coating chocolate moulds

Homemade Dairy-free Toffee Crisp Bars

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, can be soya-free, sesame-free, can be gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

homemade dairy-free toffee crisp chocolate bars, vegan

makes about 8

100g dairy-free chocolate

40g dairy-free margarine

125g caster sugar

Dash of water

30g Rice Krispies (use gluten-free if you need)

  1. Melt and temper the chocolate using these guidelines
  2. Coat the silicone moulds with two layers of chocolate, leave to set in a cool place
  3. Melt together the sugar, margarine and water. Bring to a boil and cook until it just turns golden, between 260 and 265 degrees Centigrade. Make sure it doesn’t turn too dark of it’ll taste bitter. Pour in the Rice Krispies and stir so they are totally covered in the caramel.
  4. Fill the chocolate coated moulds with the caramel Rice Krispies and leave to harden. Once set, coat with another layer of chocolate, making sure all the gaps are filled.
  5. Once set, turn out of the moulds and trim off any edges. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.

making toffee crisp bars

Super Easy Savoury Crackers

dairy-free savoury crackers

I’m constantly striving to find more savoury snack options – it’s so easy to revert to a sweet snack when you’re avoiding dairy and eggs and nuts. Even breadsticks which you would imagine are as plain as plain can be are a no- no if you can’t go near sesame. Besides, whilst crisps are delicious and often available, they’re best eaten in moderation and not always the go to savoury snack. I have a few savoury options on my site already – ‘mini cheddars‘, savoury nibbles, scones and breadsticks to name but a few. But, ‘variety is the spice of life’ and other choices are always welcome, especially ones as easy as these. These deeply rich, tangy and savoury biscuits are a wonderful thing – a great, almost addictive, little bite which really keeps the taste buds entertained.

If marmite isn’t your bag, and it is after all a love or hate it product, then miso would make a great alternative..
savoury biscuits, dairy-free

Super Easy Savoury Crackers

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

dairy-free, egg-free, sesame-free crackers

Makes about 20

100g plain flour

70g dairyfree margarine

1 tsp marmite

1 tsp dried chives

  1. Pulse together all the ingredients in a food processor until they come together to form a dough
  2. Roll out and stamp out or cut out shapes
  3. Bake at 180 degrees for 10 minutes until starting to turn golden around the edges
  4. Cool on a wire rack
  5. These keep well for several days in a sealed container

free-from savoury biscuits

Homemade Party Rings (Iced Ring Biscuits)

egg-free iced biscuits

 

There aren’t many biscuits which are more appealing to children than party rings. Their pastel hued iced tops immediately give the impression of an occasion, to expect pass the parcel and balloons to magically appear. They’re certainly not the healthy option but I think most people have memories of party rings as children.

Whilst being milk and egg-free they may contain traces of nuts, so poor little Sofe can’t dig in when the plate of party rings appear. She has to sit back and politely say ‘no thank you’ when everyone else dives in with gusto. They’re also not veggie friendly so even if I was tempted I couldn’t indulge in a trip down memory lane!

vegan party rings

These vanilla flavoured crunchy biscuits are the perfect carrier for the shiny, crisp iced top. Of course you don’t need to do the multiple colours, they’re just as tasty with a single colour icing, but I went to town with the colours to try to recreate real party rings as best as I could. The icing takes a while to set, so if possible leave them to harden and dry out overnight before packing them up. It might seem odd to put them back in a low oven once iced, but it really does help give a shiny, smooth finish and despite what common sense says, the icing doesn’t melt!

Homemade Party Rings

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

dairy-free party rings

makes lots, at least 28!

2 1/3 cups of plain flour

2 tbsps cornflour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup vegetable fat (I used Trex)

1/2 cup dairy-free spread (Pure)

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tsps vanilla paste (or use one and one of another extract)

1/4 cup oat milk (Oatly)

  1. Sift together the flour, cornflour, salt and baking powder.
  2. In another bowl whisk together the fat, spread and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the extracts and oat milk and whisk again.
  3. Add the flour mix and carefully combine
  4. Roll out and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake at 180 degrees for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden round the edges
  5. Cool on the sheet before moving to a wire rack.

icing biscuits

for the royal icing:

4 tbsps aquafaba (water from a tin of beans or chickpeas)

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

4 cups icing sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

dairy-free milk to thin the icing

food colouring as desired

  1. In a stand mixer, or an electric whisk, whisk together all the ingredients until a smooth thick paste is created.
  2. Colour as desired. I split the mixture into four, and then coloured each with natural food colouring.
  3. Thin each colour with a splash of milk to make the icing a good consistency to coat the biscuits (thick, but thin enough to pipe!)
  4. Using a plain nozzle pipe one colour onto the rings, then pipe another colour on top and feather together the colours.
  5. Let set but leaving at room temperature for a good few hours. If you dare, return the iced biscuits to the oven for a couple of minutes for a smooth shiny finish and then leave to set.

homemade party rings, nut-free

 

dairy-free chocolate chip cookies

Muscovado Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

 

dairy-free chocolate chip cookies

I’ve always had a fondness for the magic of cookie making – how a simple dollop of dough can transform into delicate, delightful cookie in a matter of minutes. In my opinion, there little that’s more appealing than a tin or plate full of freshly baked cookies, especially if they’re still warm from the oven!

These are a twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie, using rich muscovado sugar for a caramel background and featuring the cute perfectly formed mini chocolate chips from Doves Farm. They’re not the cheapest and come in a dinky little tube, but they’re gluten, dairy, nut and soya free and are about as cutely perfect as a chocolate chip can be. None of those misshapen clumsy dollops so often found in free-from food!

nut-free vegan chocolate chip cookies

I would really really recommend this recipe – it makes the perfect chic chip cookie – crunchy and crispy around the edges with a softer interior – who could ask for more!

Muscovado Chocolate Chip Cookies

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

dairy-free, egg-free chocolate chip biscuits

makes about 18

2/3rds cup muscovado sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2/3rds cup sunflower oil

1/4 cup oat milk

1 tbsp cornflour

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 and 3/4 cups plain flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 Degrees Centigrade/Gas mark 3. Lightly grease two baking sheets
  2. Whisk together the oil, oat milk, sugars, vanilla and cornflour. It will combine to form a smooth caramel.
  3. Sift in the flour, bicarb and salt. Mix well.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips
  5. Roll into walnut sized balls, place slightly apart on the baking sheets and flatten a little.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes
  7. Let cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack.

vegan chocolate chip cookies

 

Mango Chutney Crackers

mango chutney crackers, dairy-free

I don’t know where this idea came from, it just pretty much popped into my head when I was thinking of making my curried lentil soup the other day. Seemed logical to make something that would compliment the soup I was making, to match the spices. Something crisp and crunchy to go with smooth soup.

So I present these cracker shortbreads flavoured with sweet tangy mango chutney and cumin seeds. Not sure why I’ve never used mango chutney in any other cooking. They also make a nice cracker to serve with cheese (dairy-free or not, depending on your preferences and needs) or with a dip.

Mango Chutney Crackers

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

mango chutney crackers, vegan

Makes about 12

1 cup flour

1 1/2 tbsps dairy free margarine

2 tbsps mango chutney

1/2 tsp curry powder

Pinch of salt

Cumin seeds to sprinkle

  1. Rub the margarine into the flour, curry powder and salt until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the mango chutney and gently bring together to form a soft dough
  3. Roll out and cut out shapes, sprinkle with cumin seeds.

chutney crackers4. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake at 180 degrees for 12 minutes 

egg-free chutney crackers