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

Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns

 

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It’s not long until Easter, so definitely time for some seasonal baking, and Easter is not Easter without hot cross buns. I made some friendly hot cross buns when I first started blogging and they’ve become a firm favourite. But with my children’s aversion to dried fruit, I concocted this variation that appeals more to them. This recipe also leaves out the flax seed egg-replacer – I seem to have moved away from replacers and prefer to adjust recipes so they don’t need them instead.

The addition of chopped chocolate may be slightly unconventional, but the resulting buns are delightfully aromatic and tasty with the bonus prize of the chocolate going oozy and gooey when the buns are toasted.

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Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes 9-12

500g strong bread flour

1 tsp dried yeast

3 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp cinnamon

2 cups warm oat milk

2 tbsps melted dairy-free spread

100g dairy-free chocolate, chopped

for the crosses:

2 tbsp flour

3 tbsp water

for the glaze:

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp water

  1.  In a large bowl mix together the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and spices. Make a well in the centre and pour in the oat milk and dairy-free spread, bring together to form a dough (adding more flour if too wet, or more liquid if too dry)
  2. Knead for about 5 mins until the dough is smooth
  3. Place in a bowl and cover, leave in a warm place to double in size
  4. Knock back, knead again and then form into 9-12 even sized balls. Place well spaced on a baking sheet lined with grease proof paper
  5. Mix together the water and flour to make a paste and pipe onto the top of the buns in crosses
  6. Leave to rise again for 10-20 minutes
  7. Bake at 190 degrees/Gas Mark 5 for 20 minutes until risen and the buns sound hollow
  8. Make the glaze by dissolving the sugar in the water and boiling briefly. Brush over the hot buns.
  9. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  10. These buns are best kept loosely covered or the glaze will make them go a bit soggy.

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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

 

Blackberry Truffles

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Suddenly there are blackberries aplenty in the hedgerows – but you have to be quick before they’re snaffled by eager jam makers, or sadly wither on the bramble. A thousand miles better than any commercially available, tart, large, perfect blackberries. The small squishy shining black gems found in the wild are packed full of flavour, sweet and waiting to burst into a smear of purple black juice. The hedges near our house had a reasonable harvest, but not enough for any extravagantly filled pie, tart or jam…. so it was time for thinking caps on!

My lovely brother gave me some rather wonderful handmade chocolate from ‘Melt’ which was flavoured with blackberry and cinnamon. I was rather taken with the berry / chocolate combination, but found the cinnamon not to my taste. These are rolled in a mixture of icing sugar and purple edible sugar (not that you can notice the glitter!) as I’d run out of my first choice of cocoa powder. In the end I think they look rather pretty with the contrasting coating. Feel free to roll the truffle balls in anything you like, or nothing at all.

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

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makes about 16-20

  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1-2 tbsp caster sugar (taste the blackberries to see how tart or sweet they are)
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 100g dairy-free dark chocolate, such as Kinnerton
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup, maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp dairy-free milk
  • 2 tbsp sieved icing sugar
  • 1 tsp edible glitter (optional)

– Place the blackberries, sugar and water into a saucepan and cook down until all the berries have burst and made a jammy texture

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– Pass through a fine sieve to remove all the pips and pour back into the saucepan
– Reduce until the liquid has thickened and is only about 2 tbsps worth – this will give you a lovely intense blackberry flavour
– Set aside to cool
– Meanwhile, melt together the chocolate, syrup and milk until smooth and silky and no lumps remain
– Stir in the reduce blackberry syrup and leave in a cool place to harden. It has to be firm enough to roll into balls, but not so firm that it has reformed into a solid lump!
– Put the sieved icing sugar into a shallow bowl (mix in the glitter if you are using)
– With damp hands roll the truffle mix into cherry sized balls, then roll each one in the icing sugar
– These keep well for up to 1 week

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Rose Creams

I had a sudden panic today – my last free day before Christmas and I was lacking a couple of presents. Eek, disaster! It certainly wasn’t a day to go shopping – far too much cooking on (of course) and other stuff around the house. So, it was a rummage in the cupboards that led me to come up with this idea for rose creams, using up some of the delightful crystallised rose petals that I bought in Provence in the summer, although you can make them without. These are just a floral variation on my peppermint cream recipe, which has proved to be a winner, and still generates lots of interest around the web. I’ve also in the past made orange creams. These are the same idea really, and I think rose creams would make an elegant gift to give to any relative. It may not seem like much rosewater compared to other ingredients, but a little goes a very long way, so don’t feel you aren’t putting enough in.

Rose Creams (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free [depending on chocolate used], sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes about 30

  • 2 1/2 tbsps dairy-free spread, melted
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp rosewater
  • 1 few drops of red food colouring
  • 85-100g dairy-free dark chocolate
  • 1-2 large crystallised rose petals

– Place the sifted icing sugar in a large bowl.

– Add the melted spread, rosewater, food colouring and water and mix to form a soft (but not sticky) dough. If it’s too wet add more icing sugar, if too dry, add more water.

– Knead lightly on a surface dusted with icing sugar.

– Roll out to 1/2 – 1/4 cm thickness and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, I opted for flower shapes.

– Place on a lined baking sheet and leave for a couple of hours or overnight in a cool dry place to dry out. Make sure you turn them over so they dry on both sides.

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– Melt the chocolate in a microwave or over a bain marie.

– Dip the dried shapes in the melted chocolate, making sure they are well coated.

– If possible, decorate the top of each with a piece of crystallised rose petal.

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– Place back on the lined baking sheet and leave to set in the fridge.

– Keep refrigerated.

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Lemon and Thyme Welsh Cakes

Someone mentioned the combination of lemon and thyme in a sweet context the other day. It’s a pairing that I’d only ever really thought about as a savoury thing. I’ve never seen lemon and thyme welsh cake (lemons and thyme a bit more Mediterranean) but since I really like welsh cakes, I thought why not? I’ve left out sultanas as my children don’t like them.

Wow, it certainly does work! Citrusy and fragrant little drop scones sprinkled with sugar – not sure what  Welsh traditionalists would say but they are delicious.

Lemon and Thyme Welsh Cakes (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes 8-12

  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free spread
  • 1/4 cup of caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup sultanas
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsps oat milk
  • 1 tbsp thyme (preferably lemon) chopped finely
  • caster sugar, to sprinkle

– Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and spice into a bowl.

– Rub in the spread until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs

– Stir in the sugar, lemom zest and thyme.

– Add the oat milk and lemon juice and mix to form a slightly sticky dough.

– Roll out on a floured board and cut out shaped with a cookie cutter – circles are the traditional shape but any would be fine.

– Heat a dry non-stick frying pan (or any frying pan wiped with a smear of spread)

– When hot add the cakes and dry fry/griddle for 2-3 minutes on either side until golden.

– Sprinkle with caster sugar and serve.

– To reheat warm in an oven or microwave

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