Dairy-free MilkyWay Chocolate Bars

Chocolate – it’s ubiquitous isn’t it? Everywhere you go there are tempting, brightly packaged chocolate treats enticing you to buy them… at the check out in most shops. Chocolate really must be the sweet treat of choice for most of the population…. and, I’m certainly a big fan.

The desirability of chocolate seems to start very young, even tiny tots are regularly seen clutching some child targeted chocolate bar, perhaps with the rest smeared over their face. Those chocolate wrappers are so bright and tempting.

Not only that, but any ‘family trail’ will have a chocolate treat at the end, most school prizes seem to be bars of chocolate, any seasonal date in the calendar has its own dedicated chocolate (easter, Christmas etc). So it’s everywhere. So it’s bit of a disappointment that you can’t enjoy the same sweetly seductive chocolate bars as your friends. It’s certainly a good way to feel different from your peers. I know it’s something Little s is feeling keenly at the moment, she often wonders what it would be like to pop into any old shop and scoop up an exciting and delicious chocolate bar. She sees people eating whatever bar it is and comments on how nice it looks.

Dairy-free chocolate bars are certainly improving and becoming more ‘fun’ looking, but often those vegan equivalents of well known brands ‘may contain milk’ – not helpful if you avoid ‘may contains’. I know the ‘may contain’ label is  a contentious issue (thanks again to that no-longer twitter follower who decided to rant at me about how may contains means nothing and I what did I know!) but we have always been advised to avoid may contains due to the risk they may pose. So once you’ve removed many of the exciting options you’re left with a meagre selection of fairly serious-looking bars which are only available in specialist shops – not quite like the chocolate display in the corner shop!

Armed with my trusty chocolate bar moulds I’ve experimented with a few bars and had some successes I’m rather proud of. I’m looking at you, gorgeous shiny KitKats but certainly there have been many experiments which I haven’t got quite right. Lately I’ve been experimenting with soft nougat and was intending to make a homemade Double Decker bar but my moulds are far too shallow for the double layer. So I ditched the crispy bottom layer (shame really because it tasted pretty nice) and ended up with a homemade MilkyWay. In the UK a MilkyWay is a soft nougat enrobed in chocolate, without the addition of caramel that the US version has. When I was growing up MilkyWays were particularly targeted towards children, so just the right kind of chocolate for me to recreate for the girls 🙂

The nougat isn’t hard to make but you will require a sugar thermometer for accurate temperature reading, and a silicone chocolate mould will certainly help to give the proper bar effect. My nougat is maybe a little softer than commercial nougat but keeping them in the fridge or even the freezer irons out that problem. It’s another recipe where I’ve used ‘aquafaba’ to good effect – something the world seems to have heard of now.

Dairy-free MilkyWay Bars

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

 

Makes 8-10

80ml/1/3 cup water

2/3 cup/80g liquid glucose

175g/1 cup caster sugar

50ml/just under 3 tbsp aquafaba

pinch of cream of tartar

40g dairy-free chocolate melted (optional)

for the coating:

100g dairy-free chocolate melted and tempered

  1. Line a baking tray (approx 30×20 cm) with foil and oil
  2. Place the sugar, water and glucose in a pan and bring to a boil. Simmer until it reaches 116 degrees Centigrade or 240 degrees Fahrenheit
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the aquafaba and the cream of tartar until you have peaks and lots of volume like a meringue mix.
  4. Also, melt the chocolate
  5. Once the sugar mixture has reached the correct temperature, slowly incorporate into the meringue mix. I poured it into my running KitchenAid using the paddle attachment. Stir in the melted chocolate if using.
  6. Pour into the greased baking tray and place in the fridge to set.
  7. Then melt and temper the chocolate (instructions here)
  8. Using three quarters of the chocolate, coat the moulds with the chocolate and leave to set
  9. Cut the nougat into batons – this is tricky and I’d recommend a quick freeze beforehand to make it easier – and place inside the chocolate coated moulds.
  10. Cover with the remaining chocolate and leave to set.
  11. Ideally keep in the fridge (or freezer of you are after a frozen treat) until ready to eat.

 

Homemade Crunchie Bars – dairy-free

 

Thank Crunchie it’s (almost) Friday!

Whilst the range of dairy-free chocolate is getting better all the time, it pales in comparison to the ‘regular’ chocolate selection in any shop. So regular blog followers will know that every now and then I try to experiment with an everyday and iconic bar to enable the girls to get a taste of what their friends eat.

The most popular so far have been my dairy-free KitKats and Creme Eggs – I was pretty pleased with both of those (excuse the boast). This time I thought I’d experiment with Crunchie bars, yet another ‘classic’ and a childhood favourite.

Homeycomb in itself is pretty easy to make, and it’s lots of fun watching the caramel turn into a bubbling volcano of sugary foam ( but do be extremely careful as honeycomb is burning hot).

It’s also very easy to make uneven shards of honeycomb but I wondered how to make it into even bars like real crunchies. The answer is to pour the honeycomb into oiled silicone chocolate bar moulds and once set you have the most perfect honeycomb bars. Not that it makes any difference to the taste but as my goal is to recreate the original as best I can, it seems important.

I know original Crunchies are coated in milk chocolate but the dark chocolate contrasts really well with the ever-so-sweet honeycomb and actually makes a far better bar. Have fun dipping the honeycomb into the chocolate… messy but satisfying.

Dairy-free Homemade Crunchie Bars

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

makes 12 bars

200g caster sugar

 4 tbsp golden syrup

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

150g chocolate, melted

  1. Oil the chocolate moulds, or a baking tray with sides.
  2. Gently melt together the sugar and syrup (in a high sided saucepan which has plenty of spare space) until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to a bubble and simmer until it turns lightly golden (this won’t take long).
  3. Remove from the heat and pour in the bicarbonate of soda, stir briefly to ensure the whole thing is foaming.
  4. Pour into the moulds or onto the baking tray. Leave to set.
  5. Un-mould or break into shards.
  6. Melt the chocolate and dip the bars/shards to totally cover.

 

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

 

IMG_7717
Enter a caption

 

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.

IMG_7708

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

IMG_7705

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.

IMG_7724

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

IMG_4639

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)

IMG_4640

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

IMG_4564
– 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

IMG_4642