Chocolate Cup cakes

IMG_3361
Chocolate cup cakes. Delicious. Dairy Free and Gluten Free.

This recipe makes 14 large chocolate cup cakes

Dairy free & Gluten free.

Health warning: Only intended as a treat!!

You will need: weighing scales, Large muffin cases, a muffin baking tin, sieve, a set of bowels (large, medium, small), fork, spoons, electric mixer (optional),

Cake Ingredients

200g Sunflower spread (eg. Vitalite)

200g Golden caster sugar

4 Eggs, free range, large, beaten.

unsweetended soya milk, 4 tablespoons (60ml)

150g White flour, self raising, gluten free (eg freee by Doves farm a blend of rice, potato, tapioca, maize and buckwheat)

50g Cocoa powder

 

Icing Ingredients

50g Sunflower spread, or vegan butter

100g Icing sugar

1 tablespoons sieved Cocoa

A few twists of the sea salt mill.

 

Method

  1. Set the oven to Fan 180oC/200oC conventional/ Gas 6.
  2. Put the large muffin cases in a muffin tin.
  3. Gently combine the flour and the cocoa.
  4. In a separate bowl beat together the butter and sugar until lighter in colour and no longer ‘grainy’.
  5. Add half the beaten eggs and 1 tablespoon of the flour + cocoa mix to the butter and sugar mixture. Combine well using a low speed on the electric mixer or with a spoon.
  6. Repeat step 5) with the rest of the egg.
  7. Using a fine sieve add the remainder of the flour + cocoa to the cake mixture and gently combine using the low setting on the electric mixer.
  8. Add the soya milk and gently mix until combined.
  9. Half fill the waiting muffin cases. Approximately 60ml (¼ cup) to each muffin case.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes. (The cakes should be ‘springy’ on top when gently pressed with your index finger, if not they will need longer a few more minutes in the oven)
  11. Leave to completely cool (about 1 hour) before adding the icing to the top of the cakes.

 

To make the Icing (optional)

  • Measure the spread or butter into a bowl.
  • Gently combine the cocoa into the icing sugar with a spoon.
  • Sieve the icing sugar + Cocoa mixture into the butter add a few twists of the seasalt mill and then combine well with an electric mixer or by hand.
  • Transfer to the fridge to ‘firm up’ while the cakes cool.
  • Add a generous dollop to each cake and enjoy or cover and Keep in the fridge for a few days.

 

Enjoy! X

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Chocolate Squares

Dairy Free
Suitable for Vegetarians
(Also suitable for Vegans if you can find a vegan approved biscuit)

Dairy-free and No-bake, chocolate treats
Dairy-free and No-bake, chocolate treats

Preparation time 15 mins.
Chilling time 1 hour 30 mins
Makes approx. 45 Squares
Keep fresh in the refrigerator for a few days

Serve with coffee at the end of a special meal.

Ingredients
Sunflower spread (‘Pure’) 120g
Dates (approximately 20) 110g
Golden caster sugar 60g
Cocoa powder (1/3 of a cup) 40g
golden syrup 2 tbsp
Mc Vities Light digestive biscuits 250g
Plain chocolate (Check there is no butter oil /whey/lactose) I use 1 bar of ‘Green and Blacks’ organic dark chocolate 70% Cocoa 150g

You will need a shallow rectangular baking dish/tray (approximately 20cm X 30cm X 2cm depth) to put the prepared mixture in to chill in the refrigerator (you don’t need to serve in this dish).

Method

1) Chop the dates into small pieces*.

2) Put the sunflower spread, dates, caster sugar, cocoa powder and golden syrup** into a medium sized saucepan and stand over the lowest heat that you have on your hob. Melt very slowly stirring occasionally with a metal spoon to prevent the mixture burning.
Continue to heat gently until the mixture is loose and blended together nicely and all the traces of spread and sugar have melted. This should take approximately 5 minutes.

3) While the mixture is melting put the biscuits into a medium sized freezer bag and smash them with a rolling pin.

4) Take the pan off the heat and tip the broken biscuits into the pan. Mix really well

5) Lightly oil your dish and wipe away all the excess with some kitchen roll. Tip the prepared mixture into the dish and press the mixture firmly down with the back of a metal spoon so you have a nice firm compact layer. (This is easier to do with a cold, lightly oiled dessert spoon).

6) Melt the chocolate: Break it into a heat proof bowl and sit this bowl on the top of a small saucepan of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally as the chocolate gently melts. This process takes about 10 minutes.

7) Tip the melted chocolate over the prepared mixture and make a pattern through the chocolate with a clean fork.

8) Leave to set for about 1.5 hours in the fridge.

9) Using a sharp kitchen knife cut the praline into small squares (about 2cm square).

10) Share with your nearest and dearest.

Enjoy!
Tracey-Anne

Cooks notes
*Dates are very sticky and it is easier to chop them with the skin-side of the fruit down on to the chopping board.
**To accurately measure golden syrup – first rub your measuring spoon with a small amount of cooking oil and wipe away the excess with kitchen paper, the syrup then slides off the spoon easily.
As this is a dairy free dish it is important to check the digestive biscuits and plain chocolate for butter/buttermilk/milk/whey/lactose etc. The McVities light digestives are dairy free at the time of writing.

Dairy free Chocolate Mousse

dairy free chocolate mousse
Chocolate mousse

Dairy Free. Vegetarian.

Yes, really, it’s dairy free…. Yay!!!

Thank you to the chef James Martin, and Women and Home magazine (Feel Good Food, christmas 2008) for this recipe, you have transformed my life.

Serves 6

prep. time – 15 minutes, plus 2 hours chilling

Ingredients

Dark chocolate (your favourite, 70% cocoa solids and check it is dairy free*) – 200g

3 large free-range eggs

Golden caster sugar – 40g

125 ml warm water

Method

1) Break up the chocolate into a large sized heat proof bowl and melt slowly over a pan of gently simmering water. Add the 125 ml warm water to the chocolate and stir now and again during the melting process.

2) While the chocolate is melting separate the egg yolks from the whites. The whites need to go in to a very clean bowl (no traces of grease).

3) Take the chocolate off the heat and stir well until it is smooth and glossy. (you may go through a bit of a lumpy phase but keep stirring and all will be ok)

4) Whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until softly peaking. Add the sugar. Continue whisking until the sugar is incorporated and the whites will stand in firm peaks in the bowl (the whites should stay in an upturned bowl!). The whites should look glossy – do not over beat.

5) Add the egg yolks to the cooled melted chocolate and mix thoroughly.

6) Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the melted chocolate and mix thoroughly to loosen the mixture.

7) This is the delicate, gentle bit… Add the next 1/3 of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and gently fold with a metal spoon. Do not beat, you want all those lovely bubbles to make the mousse light and fluffy.

8) Repeat step 7) with the final 1/3 of egg whites.

9) Divide the mixture between 6 of your favourite serving glasses/dishes.

10) Put in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours.

Enjoy. X

Extra…

• I have lovely memories of my grandmother teaching me how to make the chocolate leaves  -melt some left over chocolate and gently coat  the underside of clean rose leaves. Leave to set in the fridge for 1 hour. Take out the fridge and leave for 5 minutes, then carefully peel the leaf away.

Make more than you think you will need….there are always casualties!

*Cocoa butter is ok in a dairy free diet (this is a product of the cocoa bean and is not related to milk butter)

 

A quick, chocolate, ‘steamed’ pudding

Dairy free and Suitable for vegetarians.IMG_2125

Sometimes you just want a lovely comforting pudding.. instantly…

Well, your wish just came true.

This recipe is as fast as it takes you to mix some butter, sugar, eggs and cocoa and warm some custard- about 10 minutes from brain to stomach!

Use the best quality cocoa you can find.

(You need a microwave!!)

Ingredients

100g caster sugar

100g ‘pure’ sunflower spread

2 large eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

75g self raising flour

25g green and blacks cocoa powder (not drinking chocolate)

pinch of salt

Provamel dairy free soya custard to serve

Method

1) Prepare a 1 litre pudding basin (it must be microwave safe, and preferably have a removable lid). Smear a little bit of sunflower spread around the bowl, not too much. A dusting of flour is not required.

2) In a separate bowl cream the sunflower spread and sugar together until well blended.

3) Put the flour and cocoa powder together in a separate bowl, add the salt and sieve to mix and incorporate some air.

4) Add the vanilla essence to the beaten eggs and gently whisk to combine. Add half the eggs to the butter and sugar along with a tablespoon of the flour/cocoa, and mix it all together thoroughly

5) repeat step 4.

6) Sieve in the remaining flour/cocoa and gently combine using a ‘folding in’ technique to incorporate as much air into the mixture as possible.

7) Transfer the mixture into the prepared pudding basin and loosely attach the top, so that the pudding is vented as it cooks.

8) Microwave for 5 minutes at 70% power (800w microwave oven)

9) When cooked, immediately take off the lid and let the pudding rest for 2 minutes whilst you warm the custard.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Tray Bake

Dairy- FreeIMG_2465

Preparation 25 minutes (actual work time is about 10 minutes). Baking time 35 minutes. Serves 20

 I found this recipe years ago in a magazine and I don’t know who to credit it to, but I thank my lucky stars I found it! This recipe makes a fantastic chocolate cake. It stays lovely and moist. It keeps well for a few days in the refrigerator and freezes brilliantly (always freeze without the icing). So you can get-ahead and bake the dairy-free birthday cake a few weeks before the big day. And the best bit is…everyone loves it.

One word of warning- this cake has a tremendous amount of muscavado sugar in it, enjoy it, but only now and again 🙂

You will need- a roasting tin or a large tray bake tin approx. 23cm X 30cm X 4cm. A measuring jug. Measuring spoons (useful if you have them). A large mixing bowl. A small mixing bowl. Hand held electric mixer. Balloon whisk. Large metal spoon. Greaseproof paper or baking parchment.

Ingredients

 75g Cocoa powder (check it is good quality and there is no dairy)

¾ tsp (7.5ml) bicarbonate of soda

4 medium eggs

370g dark muscavado sugar

180ml vegetable oil (rapeseed for preference)

200g self raising flour

The icing- 150g dark chocolate (check dairy-free), 3 tablespoons (45ml) almond or oat milk.

Method

 1) Pour 200ml of boiling water into a medium mixing bowl and add the cocoa powder. Whisk frantically with the balloon whisk until all the lumps are removed.

2) Add the bicarbonate of soda to the cocoa mixture and whisk again to incorporate. Leave on one side to cool for 20 minutes.

3) Preheat the oven to 160oC fan (gas mark 4). Pour a tablespoon of oil into the tin and coat the tin in oil using a piece of kitchen roll. Line the base of the tin with baking parchment.

4) In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and the sugar together until the mixture is smooth and all sugary lumps are removed. Add the oil and whisk again. Add the cooled cocoa and whisk again.

5) Sift the flour into the mixture and gently fold the flour into the mixture until you have a runny chocolatey mix. Be warned- it is very runny!

6) Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared tray and bake in the preheated oven for approx. 30 minutes until it has risen and is firm.

7) Take the cake out of the oven and test that it is done by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake- if it comes out clean the cake is done. If there is a bit of sticky cocoa mixture on the skewer it needs to go back in the oven, probably for another 5 minutes and then test again.

8) When the cake is done, Run a knife around the edge of the cake and the tin. Allow the cake to cool in the tin and then transfer to a cutting board. If you are freezing the cake (make sure it is completely cool first) you can wrap it in foil now and freeze without the icing.

9) To make the icing, gently melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a small simmering saucepan of water. Add the almond milk and stir until the mixture becomes smooth again. Pour the chocolate icing over the cooled cake and decorate any way you like.

Enjoy!

Have a great time at the party X

Chocolate & almond mousse cake

Dairy free. Suitable for vegetarians.IMG_1972

Serves 8. Prep time 30 minutes. Cooking time 40 minutes

This is a rich, moist and dark cake for chocolate lovers. It is perfect with a cup of coffee and also makes a lovely dessert at the end of a special meal. Serve on its own or with fresh raspberries/strawberries and it is great with a scoop of vanilla or raspberry soya ice cream.

Store in the fridge and it will keep for a couple of days.

Ingredients

Plain chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids)- 180g

‘pure’ dairy-free, sunflower spread- 180g

Caster sugar- 180g

4 medium eggs

Ground almonds -75g

Plain flour- 2 heaped tablespoons

Equipment – 1X 20cm cake tin. Baking parchment or greasproof paper to line the base. Whisk. Wooden spoon. Metal spoon. Small (heat proof), medium and large mixing bowls

Method.

1) Heat the oven to 160oC fan (180oC or gas mark 4). Lightly grease the sides of the tin and dust with some flour. Cut the baking parchment to the correct size and use it to line the base of the tin.

2) Melt the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl over a gently simmering pan of water. When it is completely melted carefully remove the chocolate from the heat- careful the pan and steam are very hot!

3) Cream the butter and sugar together. Make sure they become lighter in colour but do not overbeat as it may split.

4) Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. (Put the egg whites in a clean and grease-free medium sized bowl for later).

5) One at a time- Add the egg yolks to the creamed sugar and fat, beating well between each addition. The mixture will start to thicken up a bit.

6) Add the melted, cooled chocolate and stir in to the mixture until combined.

7) Add the plain flour and the almonds to the mixture and mix in thoroughly.

8) Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff enough to hold tall peaks. (The fun test is to hold the bowl upside down and the whites shouldn’t fall out!)

9) Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and give it a good mix together to loosen the mixture up a bit.

10) Now add the next 1/3 of the egg whites and gently fold them into the mixture using a metal spoon. Please be as gentle as you can at this stage, the egg whites are full of air bubbles which are needed to lift the cake, try to incorporate as much air into the mixture as you can.

11) Repeat step 10)

12) Gently pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes.

13) When done the top of the cake should have a light crust and the insides will be soft and fudgey. Leave it to cool in the tin.

14) Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle over icing sugar for the finishing touch.

Enjoy!

Scones

IMG_2223Makes about 8 scones. Preparation takes 10 minutes. Cooking time 20 mins and cooling time 20 minutes more.

So easy to do ……they are best eaten as soon as they are ready.

Ingredients

300g self-raising flour, plus extra for rolling out.

50g caster sugar

1 tsp baking powder

70g ‘pure’ sunflower spread

150ml almond milk or soya milk.

Equipment- 2 X baking tray, 6cm cutter, large mixing bowl, rolling pin,

Extra sunflower spread and Strawberry jam to serve.

Method

1) pre-heat the oven to 180oC fan (gas mark 6). Lightly grease 2 baking trays and find your cutter as your hands will get messy later on!

2) Sift the flour, caster sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt into a bowl.

3) Tip the sunflower spread into the flour mixture and using a hand mixer combine the flour and spread until it resembles fine bread crumbs.

4) Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add in the almond or soya milk.

5) Using a table knife, gently mix the milk into the flour (do not be heavy-handed). The dough should start to come together quite quickly but be warned, it is a very wet dough.

6) Tip the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface and sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of flour over the top of the dough to make it easier to handle. Fold the dough in on itself a few times and then gentle form a round dough shape using cupped hands. This stage is key – the less you can touch the dough the lighter your scones will be.

7) With a floured rolling pin roll out the dough (the dough is so soft the action required is more like patting than rolling!) to approx.1 cm thickness and using the cutter cut out the scones – do not twist the cutter, just press straight downwards and transfer to the greased baking tray. Gently reshape any left over dough, you should get about 8 scones.

8) Put in the oven, close the door and immediately turn the oven down to 160oC fan (gas mark 4). Bake for 20 minutes.

9) Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack, cover with a clean tea-towel and leave to cool for 20 minutes before devouring.

Enjoy!