Triple Chocolate Swirl Buns

triple chocolate swirl buns, dairy-free and egg-free

I love making sweet swirled buns, there’s something magical about using a yeasted dough and making the swirls, then watching them come’ alive’ in the oven. They’re also a fantastic bake because they’re simple but look mightily impressive. As I’ve mentioned before Little S’s class gets a home-baked treat every Friday partly so she can enjoy sharing nice treats that she can have with her friends and partly to install in her friends that ‘friendly’ foods are also delicious (and I get to bake too)!

Since everyone always loves chocolate I thought we’d bring a ray of sunshine to cold dark January with these rather exciting and original triple chocolate swirl buns. Whilst we all love cinnamon buns sometimes it’s nice for a bit of variety and triple chocolate certainly hits the mark. The dough is subtly flavoured with cocoa, the swirl is a sugary cocoa paste flecked with chunks of white chocolate and the whole thing is drizzled with dairy-free milk chocolate. It makes for a stunning combination both to look at and eat. These have now been declared an all time favourite by some recipients so they must be ok!

making swirl buns

Triple Chocolate Swirl Buns

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

vegan nut-free chocolate buns

100ml dairy-free yogurt, I used Alpo

220ml water

3 tbsp dairy-free spread, such as Pure

475g plain flour

2 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tsp dried yeast

75g soft brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp cornflour

For the filling:

1/3 cup caster sugar

2 tbsp cocoa powder

3 tbsp dairy-free margarine

1/2 tsp chocolate extract [optional]

75g dairy-free white chocolate, finely chopped [optional]

For the glaze:

2 tbsp soft brown sugar

2 tbsp water

2 tbsp pearl sugar/sugar crystals

And/or:

50g dairy-free ‘milk’ chocolate, melted

  1. Melt the margarine and water together – you want it to be warm and melted but not hot, stir in the yogurt
  2. In a bowl mx together the flour, yeast, sugar, cornflour and salt
  3. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm liquid mix
  4. Bring together to a soft dough and knead until its smooth and bounces back when poked. Cover and let double in size in a warm place.
  5. Mix together the filling ingredients (except the chopped chocolate) and set aside.
  6. Knock back and roll out to a large rectangle. Spread on the chocolate filling. Sprinkle over the chopped white chocolate, then roll up tightly into a long sausage
  7. Cut into even slices, probably about 1.5-2cm each – I managed to get 25 small slices from mine
  8. Place on lined baking sheets, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise again for another half an hour. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 4/375 degrees F
  9. Bake for 17-20 minutes until risen, golden and cooked through.
  10. Melt the brown sugar with the water and brush over the top and sprinkle with the pearl sugar (if using)
  11. Remove from the pans and peel off the paper. Drizzle with the melted chocolate if desired.

triple chocolate swirl yeasted buns

Cake Pops

cake pops, dairy-free, egg-free

My girls have often asked to try cake pops but I always presumed they were difficult to make – surely an orb of sponge is fairly tricky with no gadgety cake pop maker? As it happens, cake pops are a doddle to make, the spherical form is molded out of cake crumbs mixed with buttercream. If I’d known they were so simple I’d have made them ages ago!

The popularity of these spherical shaped cake treats is no doubt due to both the lollipop shape, and the tempting decorated chocolate coating  – surely irresistible to any in possession of a sweet tooth. This version features vanilla sponge, mixed with fluffy vanilla buttercream and coated in dairy-free chocolate. Recipes for the cupcakes and buttercream can be found here.

Cake pops totally fit the birthday party brief, small desirable little treats that are meant to be eaten by hand. These little beauties are easily assembled from a few leftover cupcakes and some extra buttercream, perfect for when you want wow factor with only minimal fuss.

making cake pops

Cake Pops

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

cake pops, vegan

makes approximately 8, multiply as necessary

1 cup cake crumbs, I found 3 cupcakes did the trick

1/3 cup buttercream

50g dairy-free chocolate, melted

sprinkles or decorations of choice

  1. Crumble up the cakes to make fine crumbs. Either use a food processor or by hand
  2. Mix in the buttercream and form into even sized balls, insert the cake pop sticks
  3. Place in the fridge to firm up cake pop centres, nut-free
  4. Dip in the melted chocolate and sprinkle with decorations. Place in a cup to set.
  5. Enjoy!

dairy-free cake pops, no egg

Dairy-free Chocolate Cheesecake

vegan chocolate cheesecake

Now, obviously you can’t make a really authentic cheesecake if you don’t eat dairy – you do need plenty of cream cheese after all! I’ve made plenty with soya cream cheese which makes a fantastic fruity cheesecake. This chocolate based recipe is pretty inspired as it’s made made using silken tofu, which was kindly supplied by Mori-Nu. It’s a particularly versatile and good quality tofu and my preferred brand of choice when either making savoury dishes such as salt and pepper tofu, or a sweet dish as found here.

The tofu base is quite a revelation, on first reading it doesn’t sound good does it? Tofu cheesecake, it sounds bland and a bit meh. But in fact the results are inspired and delicious. The texture is as smooth and creamy as a cheesecake should be and the chocolate flavour is happily soaked up by the tofu to make a wonderfully rich and decadent filling. All this from six simple ingredients, you can’t go wrong with that!

chocolate cheesecake

Dairy-free Chocolate Cheesecake

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

dairy-free, egg-free chocolate cheesecake

makes one 12 inch cheesecake, enough to serve at least 8

200g crushed biscuits, I used Lotus Caramalised Biscuits

50g dairy-free spread, melted

350g pack firm silken tofu

170g dairy-free chocolate, such as Kinnerton

4 tbsps golden syrup/maple syrup (or use honey if you’re not vegan)

1 tbsp sunflower oil

grated chocolate to decorate

  1. Melt the dairy-free spread and stir into the crushed biscuits. Press into the bottom of a loose base tart tin. Place in the fridge to set.
  2. Meanwhile, in a blender pulse the silken tofu with the syrup/honey until smooth.
  3. Melt the chocolate and oil together either over a bain-marie or in a microwave. Stir until smooth.
  4. Carefully stir the chocolate into the tofu mix until well combined.
  5. Pour over the biscuit base. Smooth over the top and then leave to set in the fridge for at least a few hours.
  6. Decorate the top as desired, I used shaved white chocolate.

egg-free, dairy-free cheesecake

Disclaimer: Mori-Nu sent me a pack of tofu which I used to create this recipe.

Parkin

 

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Ever heard of a Parkin? Well you probably have in the UK, and most certainly if you’re from Yorkshire. It’s a sticky ginger, syrup, oat and molasses flavoured sponge that is traditional at this time of year. It’s most commonly served around bonfire night, when the sweet spicy sponge is likely to warm the cockles after a bracing evening standing in the cold. Definitely well worth making for November 5th or any wintery occasion!

I’d read about Parkin more than eaten it, and it seems that in its most authentic and traditional forms, it’s egg-free – hooray! But try as I might, no egg-free recipe could be found. Maybe most people think they might as well add eggs to a sponge mix to make it ‘better’? It’s funny because people make such presumptions – cake can only be nice if its made with eggs and milk/butter – but having eaten both varieties, I can safely say that I prefer the ones without. They are lighter, more delicate, with no discernible eggy-flavour. I reckon others would also think the same, if only they opened their eyes and gave them a go!

Despite being resolutely egg-free, I can’t say this Parkin is truly authentic – it’s devised to suit my taste with far less treacle than usual as I find the flavour hugely over-powering. Sorry to any Yorkshire folk out there, I apologise for messing around with your traditions! Feel free to up the molasses and reduce the syrup for a ‘darker’ flavour and do let me know how it turns out, maybe I’m missing a trick in being a molasses scaredy-cat!?

dairy-free egg-free parkin
Parkin

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

IMG_5038

2 cups plain flour

1 cup soft brown sugar

1 large handful of oats

2 tsp ground ginger

2/3 cup dairy-free margarine, melted

1 cup golden syrup

1 tbsp treacle or molasses

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp vinegar

1/4 pint dairy-free milk, I used Oatly

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade/Gas Mark 3
  2. Line a square baking tin with parchment and grease the paper or it will stick!
  3. Mix together the flour, sugar, oats and ginger in a bowl and make a well in the centre
  4. Gently melt together the spread, syrup and treacle (do not let it boil) and pour into the well
  5. Sprinkle the bicarbonate onto the syrup mix and then sprinkle the vinegar over that. The bicarbonate will fizz and bubble. Pour the milk over the top and mix to form a very wet and sloppy batter
  6. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until golden, risen and a knife cones out clean
  7. Once cool, cut into cubes.

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IMG_5039

Chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel buttercream

Chocolate and salted caramel cupcakes, dairy-free, egg-free

Is there any more delicious and tempting combination than chocolate and salted caramel? The flecks of saltiness in sticky sweet caramel paired with irresistible chocolate is a match made in heaven.

I haven’t made any cupcakes for a while but they’re always so tempting, especially to the younger members of the family, so they’re the perfect vehicle for trying out flavour combinations. The base is a simple rich chocolate sponge. The buttercream is flavoured with salted caramel – for this you have three options – caramel essence and a pinch of salt, a caramel sauce and pinch of salt drizzled over the buttercream, or as I did using Sugar and Crumbs delicious naturally flavoured icing sugars. Which ever you choose, the end result with certainly be irresistible! I added a sprinkle of honeycomb pieces for added sweet crunch.

Decadent Chocolate Cupcakes

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

vegan salted caramel and chocolate cupcakes

makes 18

350g self-raising flour

200g caster sugar

50g cocoa powder

200ml sunflower oil

300ml dairy-free milk

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade/Gas Mark 5
  2. Mix together the dairy-free milk, lemon juice, vanilla and oil. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Stir in the sugar.
  4. Add the bicarb to the wet ingredients and stir.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix to thoroughly combine.
  6. 2/3 rds fill the cupcake cases and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
  7. Cool on a wire rack.

nut-free, dairy-free chocolate cupcakes, caramel icing

Salted Caramel Buttercream

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

enough to pipe onto 14-18 cupcakes

1/4 cup vegetable fat (such as Trex)

3/4 cup dairy-free margarine (such as Pure)

3 cups icing sugar, sifted (i used half Sugar and Crumbs Salted caramel flavour and half normal icing sugar)

1-2 tbsps dairy-free milk

(or if using essence, add 1-2tsp caramel essence and a pinch of salt)

  1. Whisk together the spread and vegetable fat.
  2. Add the icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time with a splash of the milk, until fully combined and nice and fluffy.
  3. Spread or pipe onto the cupcakes.
  4. Decorate with honeycomb pieces and cocoa powder if desired

salted caramel buttercream on chocolate cupcakes, vegan

Lemon Sherbet Drizzle Cake

lemon sherbet drizzle cake, dairy-free egg-free nut-free

One of the few joys of the summer holidays drawing to an end and Autumn approaching is the return of the Great British Bake Off. It’s such great family friendly viewing, and a fantastic place to get some baking inspiration. On last week’s first show of the series, a drizzle cake was the signature bake, and who can resist a wonderful zingy drizzle cake like this traybake version based upon Mary’s own favourite recipe.

However, even better in my opinion is this lemon sherbet drizzle which is doused in a sherbety citrus syrup whilst still warm, giving the ultimate in sweet zippy citrus flavour and sticky, gooey top. This cake really packs in the zing factor so it’s one of Big S’s favourites – she has a particular fondness for anything zingy. In fact, it’s been the family favourite for many years, wheeled out for any celebration when a chocolate cake doesn’t quite fit! Try it, you’ll love it!

Lemon Sherbet Drizzle Cake

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

vegan lemon drizzle cake

Makes one 1lb loaf cake

200g self-raising flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

100g caster sugar

a pinch of salt

100ml sunflower oil

150ml soya milk

1/2 tsp lemon juice

zest of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp lemon essence (optional)

For the syrup:

zest and juice of two and a half lemons

6 tbsps icing sugar

  1. Sift together the flour, bicarb and salt. Stir in the sugar and lemon zest
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the dairy-free milk, lemon juice, lemon essence and oil.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix until combined into a smooth mixture
  4. Pour into a lined loaf tin.
  5. Bake at 180 degrees centigrade for approx. 30 minutes (until a knife comes out clean)
  6. While the cake is baking, make the syrup.
  7. Combine the juice, zest and icing sugar in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer until gorgeously syrupy.
  8. When the cake is cooked, take out of oven but leave in the tin and stab all over the top with a knife. Evenly pour over the syrup and leave to cool in the tin. I added a sprinkle of pearl sugar for added crunch.
  9. Remove from tin and sprinkle top with icing sugar, if desired.

dairy-free egg-free lemon sherbet drizzle cake