I’m very excited by the belated Christmas pressie I just received!
Watch this space as I work my way through this book! Yay! 🙂
My Valentine’s treat to myself….
I bought this lovely little heart shaped cake tin so thought I should use it!
I was in need of some chocolate so decided my chocolate brownie would be perfect!
And just to make it special I added a little sparkler (I’m such a child!) 🙂 yay! Hope you all had a lovely valentine’s day 🙂
This is a simple dessert recipe marrying two of my favourite flavours – raspberry and chocolate! Tastes like it shouldn’t be as healthy as it is! 🙂
The chocolate part of this recipe is this awesome chocolate pudding from Colette’s Fitness Kitchen. Check out the original recipe on her site, but I’ve copied it below for you for ease too (I’ve omitted the orange extract for this pud) 🙂
17g fresh Raspberries
1 1/2 tbsp Cornflour
2 1/2 tbsp of raw unrefined Caster sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cold Water
Put all the ingredients in to a small pan. Stir well until the flour is dissolved whilst heating gently. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and allow it the mixture to thicken (probably about 5 minutes). Remove and pour straight in to ramekins and set to one side. Now on to the chocolate pud bit!
1oz Cocoa butter
3 tbsp Cocoa powder
2 tbsp Pure protein powder (vanilla)
Agave syrup to taste
Melt the cocoa butter gently on the hob or in the microwave. Mix the cocoa in until well combined. Add the avocado and blend until smooth (a wand blender works best). Mix in the protein powder and agave to taste. When smooth transfer to the ramekins and spread a layer on top of the raspberry mixture. Place in the fridge to cool and then serve with a dusting of cocoa powder
Ok, I think I need new friends, or maybe I need ones that don’t have such great ideas…. Once again I find myself in my kitchen, baking biscuits at nearly 11pm….Definitely worth it though (thank you my lovely friend Colette from Colette’s Fitness Kitchen for planting yet another seed in my head for some scrummy biscuits!).
So it’s the same biscuit recipe as before but this time I’ve added in:
approximately 100g Dried cherries
approximately 75g Macadamia nuts
100g of good quality white chocolate (omit this if you want it dairy free – or better yet replace with dairy free dark chocolate! yummo!)
a handful of dessicated coconut!
Chop the cherries, nuts and chocolate fairly small and then add all of the ingredients in to the dough at the end and ensure they’re mixed well throughout. You can just make little round dollops of these, or you can roll them out (gently!) and use a cutter as I’ve done.
They will be bit thicker so may need longer in the oven. Enjoy! 🙂
Oh and I should say… they are also yummy with the raspberry icing on…! 🙂
Apparently I’m very suggestable… which is why I found myself in my kitchen at 11pm on a Monday night making more biscuits! What, I hear you cry? has she not made enough biscuits already! Well no, apparently not! A very dear friend, who shall remain nameless (though her name begins with a C, has an o, two l’s and a couple of e’s and t’s in it…….) suggested to me this evening that those valentine biscuits would be even better with some dessicated coconut in them… now I’m a massive coconut fan and though it pains me to admit when she’s right… she was right, in fact she was damn right!
I went straight home and whipped up a batch! (well after a trip to the local shops for some ingredients!)…. and wow are they good! Seriously you need to try this! I think they’ll work brilliantly with the raspberry icing too – I just ran out of icing sugar so couldn’t ice them tonight!
So it’s the same recipe as before ( i halved it this time) with some dessicated coconut added
2 cups Spelt flour or gluten-free flour mix
1 cups Unrefined Icing sugar
6 oz Dairy-free margarine (get the best quality you can)
Approx 1/2 cup (to be honest I just shook a load in from the tub but just try a little at a time and keep working it in until it’s evenly spread throughout the dough!)
Pre-heat the oven to 180 C. Put the margarine in a large mixing bowl, sieve the flour and icing sugar in and cream it together. Try not to over mix but make sure the margarine is properly mixed with the dry ingredients. Add the dessicated coconut as the dough starts to come together and ensure it’s evenly distributed throughout. Once it’s formed a dough wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins. If you find the dough is too sticky then add some more flour. Once chilled, roll out and use a biscuit cutter to cut whatever shape you have. Sprinkle with a little raw sugar if you like and place on a greased baking tray and bake for 8 – 10 mins, or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray.
I got a little over-excited in the biscuit-cutter section of the cake shop and end up with a loast of new valentine’s cutters! So here, for you, is a feast of valentine’s biccies for the one you love (in my case, that’s me! ha ha!) 🙂
All the biscuits are based on the same biscuit recipe which I’ve posted before – here but here it is again for ease. This makes LOADS of biscuits so you may want to halve the amount to start with.
4 cups Spelt flour or gluten-free flour mix
2 cups Unrefined Icing sugar
12 oz Dairy-free margarine (get the best quality you can)
Pre-heat the oven to 180 C. Put the margarine in a large mixing bowl, sieve the flour and icing sugar in and cream it together. Try not to over mix but make sure the margarine is properly mixed with the dry ingredients. Once it’s formed a dough wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins. If you find the dough is too sticky then add some more flour. Once chilled, roll out and use a biscuit cutter to cut whatever shape you have. Sprinkle with a little raw sugar if you like and place on a greased baking tray and bake for 8 – 10 mins, or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray.
Cutting and Decorating!
You can use any cutters you like but I had the pleasure of trying out all my new valentine’s ones! It was such fun! For most of the biccies I just sprinkled with raw sugar. I had a wonderful set of hearts that decrease in size so I had a lot of fun with those.
Then I also had some with lovely little messages stamped in them.
Those were all plain, but for other’s however I made some pink icing using raw icing sugar and raspberries. Simply pop a handful of raspberries into a fine mesh sieve and using the back of a spoon crush them through the sieve. You will end up with a lovely raspberry puree. Don’t throw away the seeds and pulp left in the sieve, you can whack this in to your next smoothie! 🙂 Use this, instead of water, to make your icing. I simply used raw icing sugar (you can use normal icing sugar if you prefer) and the raspberry puree. I added a little at a time until I had the consistency I wanted. If you want it runnier, add a little water, if you want it less pink then add more icing sugar and water down the puree a little and just experiment!
For these adorable ‘his and hers’ jigsaw hearts I used a piping bag to pipe a thin line of slightly darker icing around the edges and then filled the middle! You could use white icing to pipe names on each half. Allow to set and then share with the one you love 🙂
I then had a go at just smothering the little hearts in icing – yum!
And finally (for the icing fun) I had a go at filling in the messages on the shortbreads. This was super fiddly but I think it looks fab! I used a cake skewer dipped in the icing to fill the letters!
Valentine’s day wouldn’t be valentine’s day without a bit of chocolate! So I had a go with that too! I just melted some high quality, dairy free chocolate and filled the letters with it in the same way as the icing. This was messy and didn’t work out quite so well but I think with a bit of practice it will! 🙂
Finally I made some little double hearts. Once again I piped an icing border around them and then I filled the centre with chocolate.
I have had the immense pleasure of being able to review some delicious vegan ice creams from Razzle Dazzle Ices recently and I’ve been dying to tell you all about them!
Razzle Dazzle Ices are based in the West Country so not available across the UK yet, though their stockists are increasing by the day and I hear one day they may be able to send mail-order deliveries too (oooh I can’t wait! 🙂 ). They’re a small, family-run company who have developed these ices themselves for their own son and we have the pleasure of benefitting from that. They believe in being environmentally friendly and have great business ethics so they’re pretty much good guys all round in my book!
I was lucky enough to be given 5 flavours to try, each in 100ml pots: Mango Sorbet, Coconilla, Cocodough, Hintamint and Shokalate. They are essentially sorbets but you wouldn’t know that, they give the impression and mouth-feel of a lovely, creamy dessert. I’ll give my thoughts on each on in turn.
A blend of coconut and vanilla ice which is lovely and smooth and creamy. The coconut gives it a really smooth texture and removes any trace of that artificial flavour you can sometimes get with vanilla. The coconut is delicate though so doesn’t over power the vanilla at all. This is lovely on it’s own but even better alongside a vegan brownie or some fresh fruit.
Now I’m not a raw cookie dough fiend so I didn’t expect to fall in love with this flavour. It uses the coconilla as it’s base and has chunks of vegan cookie dough interspersed in it. My fears were wiped away with the first mouthful! The sweetness and stickiness of the cookie dough is balanced really nicely with the ice cream and you get just enough of both to feel like you’re getting something naughty but not tooooo naughty!
Divine. That’s all I can say about this! It’s so refreshing and delicious, and not in the slightest bit grainy or full of ice crystals. It’s so smooth it’s more like ice cream than sorbet and there’s no articificial fruit flavour that you can sometimes get in sorbets – you can really taste those fresh mangoes!
Now I confess.. I am not a chocolate ice cream fan. I love chocolate, chocolate cake, chocolate biscuits, chocolate anything in fact, but not chocolate ice cream, I never have. I think I find it too sickly and sweet, so it was with trepidation that I opened this pot. Once again I have been floored! This is so good! It tastes like a really good dark chocolate ice cream and because it’s a sorbet (though frankly you wouldn’t notice that) you get a massive chocolate hit which isn’t diluted by all that nasty creamy milk flavour! It’s just amazing; rich, smooth and just 100% chocolatey.
In my humble opinion, I’ve saved the best for last. This is far and away my favourite flavour. As I’ve mentioned before my two big things are choc-orange and choc-mint flavours so I knew I’d like this but this is beyond like, I love this. I could literally bathe in this stuff! It is just so good. This is a classic combination and the intense, dark chocolate ice combined with refreshing mint oil works perfectly. This is perfect for after dinner but also makes a delicious, indulgent treat for any time!
So “hintamint” is definitely my winner! Though it’s been a very tough call as they’re all so good! I shared my stash with my good friend Colette from Colette’s Fitness Kitchen (wishing I hadn’t now though… ;)) so I’ll be updating this with her views too. In the meantime I will continue to try to lick the remnants out of the bottom of the pots! A big thank you to Phil and Darrelle at Razzle Dazzle Ices for creating such amazing desserts (and for letting me review them!).
If you can find a way to try this ices you really must! They’re now being stocked in London (Ms Cupcake and a few other places) as well as in the West Country. Check out their website for your nearest stockist and enjoy!