Crispy Chocolate Tiffin

Everyone seems to love a good Tiffin, or chocolate refrigerator cake, children especially, making it the ideal treat to have in for teatime treats for when children come round to play. It’s not really a complicated recipe at all and everyone has their own favoured versions, but this version is somewhere between classic Tiffin and chocolate crispy cakes with vegetarian marshmallows. And it went down a storm.

Crispy Chocolate Tiffin (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes enough for a 1 lb loaf tin

  • 150g chocolate biscuits, I used Tesco Bourbon
  • 1 1/2 cups rice Krispies
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit of choice, I used dried strawberries
  • 100g dairy-free dark chocolate, roughly broken
  • 3 tbsps dairy-free spread
  • 3 tbsps golden syrup
  • 1 small pack of marshmallows, I used Freedom Vegetarian Marshmallows

– Line a loaf tin with parchment

– Roughly break up the biscuits, you want some fine and some chunky bits.

– Mix together the broken biscuits, rice krispies, dried fruit and marshmallows.

– In a microwave or over a bain-marie, melt together the chocolate, spread and golden syrup.

– Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well until everything is well covered.

– Pour into the prepared loaf tin and press down to level off the surface.

– Place in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up.

– Cut into even sized cubes and watch them being devoured!

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Orange Creams

Homemade chocolates are such a treat – especially if your bought options are limited. I think the combination of chocolate and orange is a good one – so here’s a variation of my peppermint creams, turned fragrant and fruity with orange essence. Just like the mint version, these are an ideal cooking project with children and make a wonderful gift or after-dinner treat.

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

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makes about 24

  • 2 1/2 tbsps dairy-free spread, melted
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 tsps orange extract
  • 150g dairy-free dark chocolate

– Place the sifted icing sugar in a large bowl.

– Add the melted spread, orange extract 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 disc shapes with a cookie cutter.

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

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

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

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

– Keep refrigerated.

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The Ultimate Fudgy Brownies

It’s the first day of February half term, the sun is shining (although still cold) and we need a day out. January has been so cold, wet, snowy, dark and miserable that we seem to have been stuck inside most of the time. So today its ‘Operation Get Some Fresh Air!’

I’ve got a fair few brownie recipes, but I’ve never before made one with fruit-purée replacing the egg. Surprisingly, the purée produces the richest, fudgiest brownie you could imagine. Since they’re so dense they’re fairly robust and will work perfectly on our winter picnic today – yes we tend to picnic in all temperatures! The first photo below is the brownies after some time in the fridge, the others are freshly cooled – so you can see how the texture gets denser the colder they become.

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The Ultimate Fudgy Brownies (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes about 12

1/2 cup sunflower oil
1-11/4 cups caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup fruit purée/sauce, I used apple and pear.
1/3 cup dairy-free dark chocolate, melted
1 tsp salt
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 4
– Line a small square baking tin with foil and lightly grease.
– Whisk together the sunflower oil and sugar.
– Stir in the vanilla extract, cocoa and fruit purée
– Gently mix in the melted chocolate and salt.
– Sift in the flour and gently stir to combine.
– Stir in the chocolate chips.
– Pour into the lined baking tin and level off.
– Bake for 25 minutes.
-Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting into squares.
– Eat as they are or warm for 10 seconds in the microwave and serve with dairy-free ice cream.

 

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Mini Rocky Road Bites

These are little bites of pure indulgence – nothing healthy here I’m afraid, just little bite- sized sweet delights!

Mini Rocky Road Bites (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes 20 or so

  • 100g chocolate biscuits, roughly crushed (I used Tesco Bourbon biscuits that are dairy, egg and nut-free)
  • 100g dairy-free dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 25g/ 1/2 cup mini vegetarian marshmallows (or use normal if you’re not vegetarian/vegan)

– Line a small square brownie tin

– Melt together the chocolate and syrup, either in a microwave or over a bain marie

– Stir in the crushed biscuits and marshmallows.

– Evenly spread into the tin and press down.

– Leave to set in the fridge.

– Dust with icing sugar and cut into bite-sized pieces.

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Soft Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are a hearty kind of chocolate cookie – robust and perfect for taking on a picnic, although in the UK you might have to wait a while before you’d want to go on a picnic. They’re substantial, soft and more ‘cakey’ in texture than a classic CCC, but producing fail-safe results every time. This is a go-to recipe worth having as a back-up, giving you the means to make delicious scrummy homemade cookies in about 20 minutes.

Little S loves these cookies, so if the cookie jar is empty I tend to whip up a batch of these rather than trudging to the shops 😉

Soft Double Chocolate Chip Cookies (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free [if you can find soya-free choc chips], vegetarian and vegan)

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makes about 18 cookies

  • 1/2 cup dairy-free spread, melted
  • 1/3 cup soft brown or fine demerara sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup oat milk
  • 2 tbsps cornflour
  • 3 tbsps cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3-1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 4

– Line 2 cookie sheets with baking parchment

– Whisk together the sugars, melted spread, oat milk, cornflour and cocoa

– Sift in the flour, bicarb and salt and mix until fully combined

– Stir in the chocolate chips

– Roll into 18 even sized balls and place on the lined cookie sheets, well-spaced apart. Press down slightly, or use a cookie stamper

– Bake for 12 minutes

– Cool briefly on the cookie sheets before moving to a wire rack.

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Christmas Yule Log

Here’s our pudding/dessert for Christmas Day. A Bûche de Noël (to please the French side of the family) that is decidedly friendly – no egg, dairy, nuts or seeds.

Ideally the basis of the log would be a light chocolate roulade, but I have yet to work out how to make a pliable, rollable sponge that is egg-free. This Yule log is formed of a ‘sculpted’ chocolate sponge, filled with homemade chocolate spread and coated in lashings of rich chocolate buttercream, just a bigger version of my mini ones.

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Merry Christmas everyone! 🙂

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