Chocolate Orange and Almond Brownies – dairy and gluten free


I think I’m in heaven. I’ve managed to combine three of my most favourite things – Willie’s Cacao Luscious Orange chocolate, roasted Almonds and my dairy and gluten free brownie! And wow – this is good! I’ve even managed to win over my orange chocolate hating friend! Win! 🙂

IMG_0026.JPG

You will need:

1/4 cup Rice flour

1/2 cup Ground almonds

1 cup unrefined Raw sugar (golden caster sugar, coconut sugar etc)

1/2 cup almond oil (or coconut oil)

1/4 cup raw Cacoa powder

2 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 6 tbsp water

1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp Orange extract

Handful of Almonds

1 – 2 bars Willie’s Luscious Orange chocolate (chopped)

For Icing

1 – 2 bars Willie’s Luscious Orange chocolate

50 – 100g Unrefined icing sugar (adjust quantity to depending how runny you want it)

Silver balls to decorate

IMG_0476.JPG

Preheat the oven to 170C and grease a 20 x 20cm square baking pan with parchment paper.

Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan until they just start to turn brown. To make them even crunchier I let them cool to room temperature then chopped them and toast again briefly. Pop to one side until later.

Mix the ground almonds, flour, cacao powder, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl soak the chia seeds in the water. Once the chia seeds have absorbed all the water add them to the mix along with the orange extract, and oil. Whisk together using a hand mixer until well mixed. It should be thick and glossy when mixed.

Stir in the chocolate and almonds. Pour in to the baking tin and place in the oven for 25 – 30 mins until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack

Then prepare the icing. Melt the chocolate and then stir in the icing sugar a little at a time until you get the consistency you want. Spread quickly on to the brownies and sprinkle the silver balls and any other decorations you want to use on to the top!

Enjoy!

IMG_0478-0.JPG

Advertisements

Spicy Hallowe’en biscuits


I couldn’t resist whipping up a batch of my favourite biccies for Hallowe’en. These are so super easy! And I had these fun spooky icing eyes I’ve been wanting to use so I just had to make some.

IMG_7614.JPG

The original recipe is here (click here) but I’ll quickly run over it here.

You just need:

2 cups Spelt or gluten-free flour

1 cup unrefined Icing sugar

6oz dairy-free spread

Spices to taste – in this version I used

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

Pinch nutmeg

Preheat oven to 180 C. Mix the flour, icing sugar and spices together and then cream the spread in. Mix well until it forms a dough but try not to over mix. Pop in the fridge to chill for as long as you can wait! Then remove, sprinkle a little flour down on a clean surface and roll out to your desired thickness. Use biscuits cutters to cut in to shapes and then pop in the oven for 5 – 7 mins or until golden brown. Do keep an eye on them – especially if they’re thin!

Allow them to cool and then if you want to you can ice them – just mix icing sugar with a little water or non-dairy milk and then have some fun!

Enjoy Hallowe’en!

IMG_7644.JPG

Peanut butter fruit and nut brownies – dairy and gluten free


Two very exciting things happened recently…Firstly I was given this beautiful pot full of scrummy raisins from my friend Dee 🙂 and secondly I finally found some PB2 powdered peanut butter!

photo (1)

The raisins… well that’s a long (somewhat amusing) story which I won’t go in to here, but needless to say they were very gratefully received :). Now PB2….What on earth is that and why would I be so excited to find it? Well for a start it’s a powdered peanut butter which means it’s a great way to get peanut butter in to your baking (if you want to.. which I do!). As an added bonus it has 85% less calories from fat compared to traditional peanut butter, but it isn’t full of rubbish. It’s all natural, slow roasted peanuts which are then pressed to remove the fat and oil. It comes as natural and chocolate (yum!) and you can either just add water to make it in to a butter to use as you would normal peanut butter…. or you can use it as a powder in bakes and shakes!

2014-09-06 18.04.13

So these two wonderful things were just crying out to be combined into something yummy…. and here it is! Peanut butter fruit and nut brownies! A great way to have a healthy treat with a little bit of a protein boost too!

2014-09-07 12.47.56

You can change the fruit and add different nuts if you like but I wanted to really give that peanut punch so I stuck with peanuts! You can also use peanut butter if you don’t have PB2 but it will change the consistency so I suggest you go a little lighter on the oil.

You will need:

1/4 cup Rice flour

1/2 cup Ground almonds

1 cup unrefined Raw sugar (golden caster sugar, coconut sugar etc)

1/2 cup almond oil (or coconut oil)

1/4 cup raw Cacoa powder

4 heaped tbsp PB2 (if you don’t have this you can use normal peanut butter – 2 – 3 tbsp)

2 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 6 tbsp water

1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp Vanilla extract

100g dried Raisins

50g dried Cherries

Handful of natural roasted Peanuts (halved or chopped)

For topping

2 – 3 tbsp PB2 original

1 – 2 tbsp PB2 chocolate

a little Water

Preheat the oven to 170C and grease a 20 x 20cm square baking pan with parchment paper.

Mix the ground almonds, flour, cacao powder,PB2, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl soak the chia seeds in the water. Once the chia seeds have absorbed all the water add them to the mix along with the vanilla extract, and oil. Whisk together using a hand mixer until well mixed. It should be thick and glossy when mixed. Have a taste – if you want a bit more peanutty flavour you can add a little more PB2 now but mix it in really well.

Stir in the peanuts, raisins and cherries (cut them in half if they are large). Pour in to the baking tin and place in the oven for 25 – 30 mins until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack

Then prepare the topping. In separate bowls mix the original PB2 and chocolate PB2 with water. Add a little water at a time – you want a runny consistency but not too runny.  Drizzle the original one over the brownie, then the chocolate one. Pop in the fridge to set  – or just eat straight away!

2014-09-07 12.46.56

2014-09-07 12.45.17

Chocolate Cherry Brownies – gluten and dairy free


My hubby and I had a rare evening out last night with some very good friends to go and watch “Dirty Dancing” at the open air cinema. Tasked with providing dessert I decided I’d go for some good old chocolately goodness and whip up a new version of my brownies for us to munch on whilst watching the film… They’re almost as tasty as Patrick Swayze 😉

The sweet-sour of the cherries works so well to balance out the rich chocolate in these and they’re brilliant served with berries and some cashew cream (recipe here) for a decadent (but not too bad for you) dessert.

photo 4

You will need:

1/4 cup Rice flour

1/2 cup Ground almonds

1 cup unrefined Raw sugar (golden caster sugar, coconut sugar etc)

1/2 cup almond oil (or coconut oil)

1/4 cup raw Cacoa powder

2 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 6 tbsp water

1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp Vanilla extract

100g dried Cherries

Dairy free chocolate (I use Willie’s cacao drops) – about a handful (approx 100g)

For Icing

100g Dairy free chocolate (again I use Willie’s cacao drops)

100 – 200g Unrefined icing sugar (adjust quantity to depending how runny you want your icing)

Freeze dried Cherries to decorate

Preheat the oven to 170C and grease a 20 x 20cm square baking pan with parchment paper.

Mix the ground almonds, flour, cacao powder, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl soak the chia seeds in the water. Once the chia seeds have absorbed all the water add them to the mix along with the vanilla extract, and oil. Whisk together using a hand mixer until well mixed. It should be thick and glossy when mixed.

Stir in the chocolate and cherries (cut them in half if they are large). Pour in to the baking tin and place in the oven for 25 – 30 mins until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack

Then prepare the icing. Melt the chocolate and then stir in the icing sugar a little at a time until you get the consistency you want. Spread quickly on to the brownies and sprinkle the freeze dried cherries and any other decorations you want to use on to the top!

photo 1

Then enjoy (preferably with a side helping of Patrick Swayze 😉 )

photo 3

Peppermint Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Brownies – gluten and dairy-free


I’m a bit late posting this but hey, what can I say – it’s been christmas and all that 😉

I actually re-made this over this weekend so thought it was about time I posted the recipe.

This was a birthday creation for myself, to be shared with my favourite cake-eating friend 🙂 We are both fans of chocolate and peppermint so what better than this delicious minty chocolatey combo! The crunch of the peppermint candy canes on top really make this something special (you can use any hard mint candy for this).

3648

01ed1c23089e903956a29203b04989f148abd8ec5b

You will need:

1/4 cup Rice flour

1/2 cup Ground almonds

1 cup unrefined Raw sugar (golden caster sugar, coconut sugar etc)

1/2 cup almond oil (or coconut oil)

1/4 cup raw Cacoa powder

2 eggs (or 2 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 6 tbsp water)

1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1/8 Tsp Pure peppermint extract

Milk, white and dark chocolate chunks (optional)

For Icing

100g Dairy free chocolate

200 – 300g Unrefined icing sugar (adjust quantity to depending how runny you want your icing)

drop of Pure peppermint extract

a dash of warm water

Hard mints or candy canes, silver balls, any other decorations

photo 1

Preheat the oven to 170C and grease a 20 x 20cm square baking pan with parchment paper.

Mix the ground almonds, flour, cacao powder, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl beat the eggs (or if using chia seeds instead then soak them in the water). Make a well in the center and add the beaten egg (or soaked chia seeds), vanilla extract, peppermint extract and oil. Whisk together using a hand mixer until well mixed. It should be thick and glossy when mixed.

If you are the chocolate chunks stir them in now. Pour in to the baking tin and place in the oven for 20 – 25 mins until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack

Take the hard mints (or candy cane) and bash with a rolling pin in to small pieces.

Then prepare the icing. Melt the chocolate and then stir in the icing sugar and peppermint extract.

Use enough icing sugar to get the consistency of icing you want (if it’s too thick add a little water). Spread quickly on to the brownies and sprinkle the crushed mint and any other decorations you want to use on to the top! Then enjoy (with a big old candle if it’s your birthday 😉 )

017a036669e0ee6626053c99677bb8d2b2e6ec2f8e
and in case you’re wondering if they taste good… well this is all that’s left of this weekend’s creation!
photo 2

Christmas Hats! Black Pepper, Coconut Cream and Strawberry Festive Fun!


I love dressing up (as my friends well know…) .. so much in fact that even my bakes are getting in the act this year….. 🙂

These are a fun little festive treat to make for parties over the Christmas season. The biscuits themselves are very light, and not too sweet and so they go nicely with the sweetness of the strawberry and the rich coconut cream – the pepper adds a bite and make these a perfect bit of adult fun. If you want something a bit sweeter for the kids you can use my basic biscuit recipe for the bases instead – recipe here

2464

You will need:

150g Spelt, rice or gluten-free flour blend

50g Dairy free margarine

50g raw Coconut sugar / unrefined dark sugar

1 egg (if you want to go egg-free then use a little oil instead – 1/4 cup olive or almond oil but add less of the mixture in (see below)

2 tbsp Maple syrup (or agave or rice syrup, or honey)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper

1/8 tsp ground Cloves

1/8 tsp ground Nutmeg

A punnet strawberries

1 can of Coconut cream (milk – the canned milk, not the carton) (65 – 70% coconut extract – see below)

a little unrefined icing sugar (optional)

2435

 

A few hours before you make these (or a day if you can) you need to set the coconut milk. I use this variety.

Pop the can in the fridge for a few hours or overnight and try not to move it. The coconut fat solidifies and separates at the top, leaving clear liquid at the bottom. When you are ready to make the cake remove the can carefully from the fridge and turn the can upside down in one move (i.e. no shaking!). Then open the can at the bottom – yes – trust me, open the bottom! You should find that the fat has solidified and you will see a few cm’s of clear liquid. Pour this off (don’t throw it away – you can pop it in a smoothie!) and then you are left with the coconut cream to use! 🙂

To make the biscuits:

Preheat the oven to 170 C.

Pop the flour, baking powder, spices and sugar in a food processor and blend briefly. Add the margarine and mix again for a minute or so.

While this is mixing break the egg in to a bowl and whisk the maple syrup in to it to form combine. Trickle a little of this mixture in to the processor bowl while it is running slowly. Keep adding until the mixture forms a firm dough (you may not need all of it).

Once it forms a dough use your hands to combine it and remove from the processor. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 3 – 5 mm thick and use a small round cutter to cut shapes. You will probably have more dough than you need but it can be wrapped in cling film and frozen for later 🙂

Pop the biscuits on to a lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes or until they start to brown. Remove and allow to cool.

Coconut cream:

Take the solidified coconut cream and using electric or a hand whisk beat until fluffy. If you want a little sweetness add a little unrefined icing sugar in as you whip it.

Strawberries:

Remove the stem of the strawberries and cut the top off each to give a flat base.

Now you can assemble your biccies!

Pop the whipped coconut cream in to a piping bag. If you don’t have one (I don’t!) then put it in a plastic ziplock bag and just snip the corner of the bag off to use as a nozzle. Pipe a small amount of cream on to the centre of each biscuit. Pop a strawberry on top and then pipe around the base of the strawberry and add a little dot of cream to the top (for the bobble on the hat!). You could dust with a little icing sugar and a grind of black pepper if you wanted to. Serve as soon as possible. They will last overnight but the biscuits will go softer so wait to assemble until as close to serving time as possible. Any extra biscuits can be stored in an airtight container for a few days and they will stay crispy.

Have fun! 🙂

2437

 

Gingerdead men! Quick and Easy Spooky Biccies!


Happy Hallowe’en!

photo 1

I couldn’t resist whipping up a few little Hallowe’en biccies today!

photo 4 (3)

It’s been a bit of a challenge as my oven is broken (yes, broken – an absolute disaster!) but luckily I was able to get the little mini part of the oven working so can bake really really tiny batches of things! Phew!

So these are so easy and so fun! You can choose to keep them plain or add some spices. I have also iced them with a cinnamon icing but you could keep the icing plain or add any flavour you want. I had such fun finding some cool little hallowe’en cutters but obviously you could just use any shapes! For the gingerdead man I used a normal gingerbread man cutter and then iced on the bones.

photo 1 (2)

You will need:

2 cups of Spelt flour (or gluten free flour mix)

1 cup unrefined Icing sugar

6 oz Dairy free margarine

Optional: 2 tsp ground Ginger or 2 tsp ground Cinnamon

For the icing:

1 cup unrefined Icing sugar

1 tbsp Soya, almond or coconut milk

Optional: 1 tsp ground Cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Put the margarine in a large mixing bowl, sieve the flour, icing sugar and spices (if using) and cream it together using your hands. 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 biscuit cutters to cut out the shapes of your choice. Use a palate knife to transfer them carefully to a greased baking tray. Sprinkle with a little raw sugar if you like and bake for 8 – 10 mins, or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray.

photo 4

Mix the icing ingredients together and then pipe the icing on to the biccies. Enjoy!

These won’t last long!

photo 5 (2)