Double Trouble Extremely Chocolatey Cookies

If you need a chocolate fix, then this is the cookie for you. They’re delicate, rich, very chocolatey, a little chewy and if you eat them soon after they’ve come out of the oven the chocolate is still oozy… yum! They don’t keep very well, so if not eating on day of baking, leave them out in a cool spot (they go soggy in a sealed tin) and then eat asap. This one is my own recipe and the Year 3 children are my guinea pigs again this week…

Double Trouble Extremely Chocolatey Cookies (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, vegetarian, vegan)

makes about 18 cookies

  • 110g dairy-free spread (I use Pure)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp flaxseeds
  • 2 tbsps oat milk
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g plain chocolate roughly broken (I used Kinnerton)

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade

– In a small bowl whisk together the flaxseeds and oat milk, set aside.

– Whisk together the dairy-free spread, sugar, salt and vanilla.

– Beat in the cocoa powder, then mix in the flaxseed mixture.

– Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda. Mix well.

– Add the chocolate and gently stir

– Drop tbsp sized balls onto an un-greased baking sheet and flatten slightly.

– Bake for 10 minutes

– Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack (it will be messy with oozy chocolate everywhere!)

Lucky Clover Cookies

It may still be March, but the weather today looks perfect for a trip to the beach. As I’ve mentioned before, picnics are very hard if you are egg/dairy/nut-free. It’ll be sandwiches, crisps, vegetable sticks, fruit and these cookies I made last night. They’re chocolate and orange and hopefully will stand up to the journey…. I’ll post the recipe later, got to make the picnic now!

I wonder if we’ll be able to get an ice lolly? Obviously ice creams are out of the question, but last year good old Calippo ice lollies you can get nearly everywhere started to contain traces of nuts – that risk may be ok at home, but certainly not in the middle of nowhere on a day out. It’s rather gutting for a child to not be able to even have an ice lolly when everyone else is tucking in on a hot day…

UPDATE: Here’s the recipe, inspired by Vegan Cookies Invade the Cookie Jar. Apparently they’re like Pepperidge farm Milanos – I’m from the UK so that means nothing to me!

Choc n Orange Lucky Clover Cookies (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

Makes about 18 cookies

  • 1/3 cup oat milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 tsps vanilla paste (2 of essence)
  • 1 tsp orange essence
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tbsps cornflour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 45g dairy-free ‘milk’ chocolate, chopped

– Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade

– Whisk together the oat milk, sugar, oil, vanilla, orange juice and orange essence

Sift in the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Stir in the chopped chocolate.

– Using floured hands form large marble sized balls of dough and place on a lined baking sheet. Flatten slightly. (I then stamped mine with a clover template)

– bake for about 15 minutes

– Cool slightly, then move to a wire rack to cool.

(These were great for a picnic, but I reckon they’d be even better half coated in dark chocolate when cool)

Rocky Brownies

What a morning! We’re looking after our neighbour’s cat Rocky while they’re away on holiday. He’s old and spends a lot of time outside…. but this morning he has been savaged by a dog. The poor thing has now dragged himself into a very small gap between two houses and there is no way we can reach him. So far, the local vet has been useless (apparently we’ve got to take him in, despite the fact we can’t reach him), the RSPCA and the Fire Brigade have said they’ll call back. Meanwhile, the poor injured moggy is losing blood and we can’t help him :-(.

UPDATE: The RSPCA have now called and are on their way but it’ll take half an hour at least. Please hang in there Rocky…

So to while away the waiting time I’m going to make some brownies in his honour (hence the name) – I’ve never had much success with egg-free brownies before, so we’ll see, but this recipe is inspired by Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar, so I bet they’re lovely….

LATEST UPDATE: the fire service safely got him out. Poor little moggy was in a bad way. We got him to the vet, but sadly they couldn’t save him…. so we’re a pretty sad household now :-(. My youngest (little s) will be devastated, she even asked only yesterday  if we could come and visit Rocky when we eventually move out of our rental house…..

Hopefully, the brownies that are in the oven may cheer them up a bit.

RIP Rocky, these are in memory of you – dark with a few white flecks and a little bit craggy

Rocky Brownies (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan)

makes about 9

  • 90g dark dairy-free chocolate (Kinnerton is great)
  • 75g dairy-free spread
  • 2/3rds cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of oat milk
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsps drinking chocolate
  • 2 tbsps cocoa powder
  • 1 pack of white chocolate buttons (Humdinger do dairy free ones)
  • pinch of salt

– Line a square baking pan with foil and oil

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade

– Melt the dairy-free spread and chocolate together, stir until smooth

– Add the sugar and stir until dissolved

– Whisk together the oat milk, vanilla and cornflour. Add to the chocolate mix and stir

– Sift in the flour, baking powder and drinking chocolate. Gently fold in to combine. Fold in the white chocolate buttons

– Pour into the baking pan and level off

– Bake for 25 minutes until just set in the centre (they will be very fudgy)

– Let cool in the pan, then cut into portions.

– Serve with dairy-free ice cream – yum!

Easter!

From the aisles of the supermarket you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s nearly Easter – and to most little people Easter equals chocolate, possibly Christianity, fluffy bunnies, chicks and more chocolate. But if you are allergic to milk, chocolate is a bit of a nightmare. You’d possibly think that any quality dark chocolate would be fine, but in my experience it normally contains milk solids and so is immediately out of bounds. So the yearly hunt for suitable chocolate easter eggs has begun. Today I found a Kinnerton dark chocolate egg in Tesco (it’s guaranteed nut free too which is a big bonus) for £5.

To be honest, it’s not particularly appealing looking for a child is it? It certainly doesn’t compete with the cute character themed ones most children get to enjoy…. but it’s a start!

Today’s foray to a Holland and Barratt uncovered a couple more dairy free chocolate egg options by Choices. there were three varieties, dark, milk and white. All of them are dairy, egg and gluten free. My children will probably prefer the dark (because they’ve never known milk chocolate like other kids, they don’t tend to like the creamy taste!), but I bought one milk and one white for one of their Grandmothers to give them at Easter. These are a little more child-friendly, but it still isn’t Hello Kitty is it!

Pain au chocolat / Croissants

I always wondered if a vegan/dairy-free croissant/pain au chocolat would be possible, but always shied away from attempting them – they are, after all, an awful lot of work for it all to go wrong. However, thanks to inspiration from the recipes in The Vegan Boulangerie by Marianne and Jean-Michel and my time at Le Cordon Bleu, today was the day for an attempt. The dough is basically a yeasted puff pastry, so I’ve used dairy-free spread rather than butter – the buttery richness won’t be there, but hopefully the effect will be the same. I wonder if my daughters will like them? They’ve never tasted anything like it…. I’ll report back when they get home from school….

Dairy-Free Croissants (dairy-free, egg-free, soya-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan)

makes 4-6

  • 250g plain flour
  • 7g caster sugar
  • 25g dairy-free spread (I used Pure)
  • 1 rounded tsp yeast
  • 150ml oat milk, warmed (I used Oatly)
  • 125g dairy-free spread

– Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add the sugar and yeast. Add the dairy-free spread and cut into tiny bits

– Pour in the warmed oat milk and stir. Once come together, knead into a soft dough.

– Cover and leave to rise for a couple of hours

– Meanwhile, put the remaining 125g dairy-free spread on to some cling film and loosely wrap. Roll out to a square shape, and place in the fridge to harden.

– Once the dough has risen, turn out onto a floured surface and knead until a smooth dough. Roll out to a large rectangle. Place the cooled spread in the middle and fold over the remaining dough..

– Roll out and fold into thirds twice

– Place back in the fridge for ten minutes, then roll out and fold back into thirds twice more.

– Rest in the fridge for 10 minutes.

– Roll out to form a large rectangle. Cut into long thin triangles. Roll up from the wide end and curve round the edges to form a classic croissant shape.

– Let rise for 15 minutes on a baking sheet before placing in the oven.

– Bake at 200 degrees centigrade for 20 minutes

Pain au Chocolat (dairy-free, egg-free, soya-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan)

(makes 3)

  • 1 small bar of dark dairy-free chocolate
  • a sprinkle of caster sugar
  • melted dairy-free spread for brushing

– Follow the above instructions until the dough is rolled out to a large rectangle.

– Cut into three long strips

– Place a line of chocolate at each narrow end and roll both in to meet in the middle. Turn over.

– Brush with the melted spread and sprinkle with caster sugar

– Let rise on the baking tray for 20 minutes.

– Bake at 200 degrees centigrade for 20 minutes

Dairy, egg, sesame and nut free products

One of the real challenges of catering for allergies is finding suitable ready made products in the supermarket without spending hours walking up and down aisles, reading virtually every label. Here I’ll make a list of all the suitable products I have found (and where to buy them) and also brands/types to avoid. This will be a constantly evolving list – please be patient!

Breads

Bread is rather difficult if you are sesame allergic – it will never be possible to buy from in-store bakeries as the risk of cross-contamination will be too risky. It also rules out most bagels, pittas and burger buns.

Milk is likely to be present in many soft rolls, and egg is often used as a glaze. These are some of the safe brands…

Biscuits

It seems that the cheaper the brand of biscuit, the more likely it’ll be dairy-free. I guess the butter/milk add considerably to the cost of production.

Crackers
Crackers that are free from dairy, egg and sesame are particularly difficult to locate.

Crisps

Bread Sticks
  • Tesco own brand are the only ones free from traces of sesame that i have found

Popping Corn

  • Marks and Spencer stocks the only type I’ve found that doesn’t contain traces of sesame or nuts
Breakfast Cereals
The main problem with cereals is the risk of ‘traces of nuts’, but milk can also be present so do be sure to read the ingredient list. I’ve found that Kellogg’s is better than Nestle – in my experience you might as well not even bother checking Nestle cereals and just stear clear! The following are all ‘safe’….

Chocolate

‘Creams’

  • Granovita – Soya whipping cream (Available from Tesco)
  • Soyatoo – squirty rice/soya cream (available from Vegan Store)
  • Alpro soya (widely available)

‘Butters’/Spreads

Be careful as most margarine contains milk!

‘Ice creams’/frozen desserts 

Non-vegetarian convenience/frozen foods

Sauces