Luxury Dairy-free Twix Bars

The ‘free-from’ chocolate ranges are constantly improving and getting more exciting (thank you Nomo and MooFree), but there is still a real lack of the kind of interesting chocolate bars you can buy in any convenience store or supermarket. Think KitKat, Mars Bar, Milky Way or Twix; the kind of bar that people will grab at the counter in a petrol station, where is the alternative for these? Since week 2 of The Great British Bake Off 2019 BakeAlong is biscuit week, I’ve decided to update my previous Twix recipe with a more deluxe version, and wow is it good!

This week’s choices on the show were: a chocolate-coated biscuit bar, fig rolls or a biscuit-based 3D showstopper. Well I ruled out fig rolls as I knew no-one would eat them in my house, so that’s just a waste, I didn’t have time for a 3D showstopper, and I love working with chocolate, so my choice was a no brainer! The challenge spec was that despite being chocolate-coated, the biscuit had to be the star of the show, so my thoughts immediately turned to using my chocolate sable biscuits which really are probably the best biscuits I’ve ever made. (They’re also a constant request in this house, so they really must be good!)

My previous Twix recipe is perfectly nice, but it used condensed soya milk which is hard to come by, whereas this deluxe recipe uses more standard store cupboard ingredients and gives a far more luxurious finish. I use Nomo dark chocolate as I love the shiny finish you get by treating it right, and I think the slightly bitter chocolate combines well with the sweet caramel filling. To be more traditional and authentic to a regular Twix Bar you could always use the creamy version.

It may seem like a complex recipe, but each of the three distinct steps are fairly simple, so with just a bit of time you can end up with some showstopper results in both taste and appearance.

Luxury Twix Bars

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

makes 12 fingers

for the chocolate coating:

250g dairy-free dark chocolate, my preference is for Nomo/Kinnerton

35g dairy-free white chocolate, for decoration

for the caramel layer:

 

1/2 cup oat cream

1/2 cup granulated suagr

2 tbsp dairyfree margarine

1/4 cup golden syrup

pinch good quality salt, such as ‘fleur de sel’

  1. Line a baking tray with parchment and oil well.
  2. Melt together the oat cream and dairy-free margarine. Set aside.
  3. Pour the syrup and sugar into a saucepan. Heat to melt the sugar.
  4. Stir in the cream and spread mixture.
  5. Heat to 240 degrees Fahrenheit or 115 degrees Centigrade (or to between soft and hard ball stage).
  6. Pour onto the oiled parchment, sprinkle with the salt and leave to set (an hour or two should suffice)
  7. Peel off the paper and using scissors cut into rectangles

For the biscuit layer:

 

45g plain flour

7g good quality cocoa

pinch of bicarbonate of soda

35g dairyfree margarine

30g soft brown sugar

12g caster sugar

pinch good quality flaky salt, such as fleur de sel

  1. Cream together the margarine, sugars and salt.
  2. Gently mix in the flour, bicarbonate and cocoa and combine to form a soft dough.
  3. Place in the fridge to chill, you want it to be as cold as possible
  4. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment. roll out the dough to a thickness of about 3mm, cut rough rectangles which are about double the size of the eventual bars
  6. Bake for 7-8 minutes. They should have spread out nicely.
  7. Cool briefly on the sheets then cut into rectangles to fit into the moulds

The process:

  1. Start by tempering the chocolate. If you don’t know how to do this, the method is here.
  2. Pour a blob into each mould and evenly coat all the sides, a small brand new paint brush may help. Leave to set for a few minutes and then paint on another layer (or preferably two more). Place in a cool spot to firm up.
  3. Place a rectangle of caramel into each bar
  4. Top with a rectangle of cooled biscuit
  5. Coat with the remaining chocolate and place back in the fridge to set.
  6. Un-mould and decorate with melted white chocolate

Dairy-free homemade Twix bars

dairy-free Twix bar Part two of my series of recreations of classic chocolate bars is the iconic Twix bar- surely a common favourite. As I’ve always maintained, my ultimate aim is to recreate any food item in an allergen friendly form, maybe one day everyone, everywhere, will be able to enjoy the same things and no children will have to make do with the odd ‘special’ food that has been packed to make them safe. Too much of an ask? I don’t think so! vegan homemade twix bar Besides, I definitely think the average diet has too much emphasis on animal based products and it is better for us and our planet to find alternatives. Look at aquafaba meringues – a meringue made of a by-product from legume consumption has to be friendlier to the environment than eggs, often produced by chicken in horrific conditions? Anyway, that’s beside the point, right now this post is about recreating a classic chocolate bar so my girls can say they’ve eaten a Twix, know what it should taste like and not feel like they’ve missed out. A Twix bar is relatively simple to recreate; basically a variation of millionaire’s shortbread: a shortbread base topped with gooey caramel and then enrobed in chocolate. The difficultly, if there is one, is the gooey caramel as it’s easy to end up with break-your-teeth stuff instead! I used a mixture of dairy-free margarine, sugar and condensed soya milk to make a fantastically authentic substitute and I was extremely happy with the final results. If you want proper chocolate bar style like mine, you’ll definitely need some chocolate bar moulds (I recommend these from Mason Cash) for giving fantastic results, or you could opt for a more free-form result and simply spread the caramel over the shortbread, then pour over some melted chocolate – it may not look as professional, but it’ll still taste mighty fine!

Homemade Dairy-free Twix Bars

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

dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free twix

Makes about 12 with leftover shortbread fingers to be enjoyed simply sprinkled with sugar

For the shortbread:

225g plain flour

75g golden caster sugar

150g dairy-free margarine (I used Pure sunflower)

1 vanilla pod seeds scraped out, or 1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp granulated sugar, to sprinkle [for the leftover ones]

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.  Line a baking sheet with parchment
  2. Sift the flour into a bowl and stir in the sugar and vanilla. Add the dairy-free spread and rub in with fingers. Once it starts to combine, bring together to form a soft dough.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1cm thickness. Cut into even sized shapes to fit the chocolate moulds you are using
  4. Place on the lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Then turn the baking sheet round and bake for another 10 minutes.
  5. [for the ones not used in the Twix bars] Once the shortbread is golden brown remove from oven. Leaving it on the baking sheet, dust with the granulated sugar. Cool on the baking sheet.shortbread fingers for twix bars, vegan

For the caramel layer:

1 can of soya condensed milk

2 tbsp dairy-free spread/margarine

4 tbsp soft brown sugar

  1. Melt the sugar into the condensed milk, stir in the spread. Then bring to a boil for about 5 minutes to thicken the caramel (be sure to stop it catching on the bottom of the pan). Once thickened and caramel like, set aside to cool.making vegan twin bars

For the chocolate coating:

150g dairy-free chocolate, melted and tempered

Assembly:

  1. Start by tempering the chocolate. In a microwave or over a Bain Marie, only just melt the chocolate, then stir until all the pieces are melted. You need to bring it down to degrees either by stirring in the bowl until the temp had reduced or pouring out onto a cold work top ( I have a marble board which is perfect for the job) and move it around with a palette knife until it has cooled and has turned beautifully shiny.
  2. Pour a blob into each mould and evenly coat all the sides, a small brand new paint brush may help. Leave to set for a few minutes and then paint on another layer (or preferably two more). Place in a cool spot to firm up.
  3. Spoon caramel into the lined chocolate moulds, squeeze a shortbread finger on top and then seal with more melted chocolate.assembling homemade twix bars
  4. Leave to set in a cool place, cover in foil for an authentic look and keep in the fridge.dairy-free nut-free twix bar