Raw chocolate covered marzipan snowballs!


I had some left over marzipan and wanted to create a little treat for after dinner on christmas day so I thought I’d make some raw choc covered marzipan snowballs 🙂

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I used this marzipan recipe from my christmas cake post and for the chocolate you need:

35g Cacao butter

25g Raw Cacao powder

Sweet freedom to sweeten (up to 1/2 tbsp)

Extra raw cacao powder and dessicated coconut for decoration. Maybe some edible glitter too 🙂

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Grate the cacao butter into a small bowl and then place over a saucepan of water (bain marie). Heat the water gently and allow the butter to melt. Once melted whisk the cacao powder in with a small balloon whisk or fork. When thoroughly combined remove from the heat and stir in the sweet freedom. I like my chocolate quite bitter for this recipe so I only added a small squirt but add as much as you need 🙂

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Put some raw cacao powder in a small bowl and the dessicated coconut in another bowl.

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Roll the marzipan in to small balls and line up your bowls of chocolate, cacao powder and dessicated coconut. Drop the marzipan into the choc and used a fork to gently move around until covered. Then, if you’re using it, drop the ball into the bowl of cacao powder or dessicated coconut and gently shake it around to cover it. Remove and place on greaseproof paper. When they’re all covered pop in the fridge to set. This choc has a very low melting point so keep in the fridge until you want to serve. Enjoy! 🙂

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Mini Christmas cake – gluten free, dairy free cake, marzipan and fondant icing!


A little while ago I posted a recipe for a gluten and dairy free christmas cake. I said I’d have a go at creating some marzipan and icing to go with it and I’ve managed it! Now, I know my icing skills are pretty poor so just over look that! I’m certain you guys can do a better job at laying the icing but this is my first attempt and I was going more for taste than looks….! 🙂

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I’ve used a rollable fondant icing and a royal icing for the decoration. Read the instructions for the fondant icing before you start as once the sugar is boiling you can’t really leave it to check the instructions! 🙂

The recipe for the cake is here.

For the marzipan (this will cover 4 small cakes – approx 3 inches cubed) – :

200g Ground Almonds
100g Raw icing Sugar
1 tbsp  Lemon Juice
2 tbsp Maple Syrup
1 tbsp Cold Water
1 tsp Almond extract

Put the ground almonds and icing sugar in a bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre and add the liquid ingredients. Mix thoroughly. You should end up with a pastry-like dough. If it is too dry add a drop of lemon juice but be careful you don’t make it too moist. Wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge for at least an hour.

For the fondant icing.

5 tbps water
1 tsp agar-agar powder or “gelatine” substitute (kosher gelatine is often non-animal based so can be used)
225g Raw icing sugar
1 tbsp glucose syrup
1 tsp glycerine (optional)

Put the agar-agar powder or gelatine substitute in a small bowl and add 1 tbsp of water and leave to soak. In a heavy-based saucepan, put the icing sugar, 4 tbsp water and the glucose syrup. Heat over a medium heat until sugar has dissolved, stirring gently all the time.

When the sugar mixture comes to the boil, boil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the syrup has reached soft-ball stage. Now if you’re like me you don’t know what that means! It’s actually quite straight forward – it’s the point at which if you take a spoonful of the mixture and drop it in a bowl of very cold water that you can form a ball with the syrup using your fingers (once it’s in the water!). At this stage it will easily form a ball in the water and will flatten when you remove it. For me it was almost eactly 3 minutes of boiling so you could just go by that. If you happen to have a sugar thermometer it’s when it reaches 112 degrees C.

While the sugar is boiling warm the bowl that the the soaked agar-agar or “gelatine” is in (over a saucepan of simmering water is easiest) until it dissolves.

When the sugar has finished cooking, remove from heat and dip the saucepan’s base in cold water to stop it from cooking. Leave to cool for a few seconds and then add the agar-agar/”gelatine” and glycerine and mix well.

IF you have a marble slab or suitable work surface then grease it and pour the mixture out onto the marble slab, and begin turning and mixing with a palette knife until it becomes a paste and clay-like. If, like me, you don’t then you can leave the mixture in the saucepan and just keep turning and stirring it in the pan using a wooden spoon (you need to mix vigorously!).

At first, the fondant will be very fluid, but it will gradually harden. After 5 – 10 minutes of  mixing, the fondant will become very stiff, crumbly and hard to manipulate. At this point, lightly grease your hands, and knead the fondant into a ball. The fondant will begin to come together and become softer and smoother. Stop kneading when it is smooth.

Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least an hour.

For the royal icing:

125g icing sugar
2 tsp soya milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 tsp glucose syrup mixed with 1/2 tsp boiling water

Mix the icing sugar with the milk and stir until smooth. Add the glucose syrup and mix well. If it’s too runny add more icing sugar, if too dry add a little more milk.

Now to put it all together!

Roll out the marzipan on a greased board. Lay it over your cake. Roll out the fondant icing and lay that over the marzipan making sure you press it down firmly. Finally decorate using the royal icing. You can use a fork to create a “snow-like” appearance. Add silver balls, edible glitter or whatever you like to finish it off. Then place in the fridge to set! Enjoy! 🙂

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It’s CHRISTMAAAAAAASSS! :) Gingerbread christmas tree


Christmas is getting near so I thought I’d have a bit of fun this afternoon, radio on, baking utensils at the ready.. and the end result…… me and my kitchen are now covered in icing powder and glitter, but it was worth it!

Gingerbread Christmas Tree! (gluten and dairy free, of course!)

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Something fun to do with the kids, or on your own!

To make the gingerbread biscuits (this quantity makes LOADS – probably enough for a whole gingerbread house! so if you are only making a few then halve the recipe or even quarter it):

1/3 cup Olive oil

3/4 cup unrefined raw sugar (golden raw caster sugar, coconut palm sugar, or dark raw cane sugar)

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup soya milk

1 cup amaranth flour / quinoa flour

1 cup gluten free flour mix (make your own or you can use an organic pre-mixed one. If you want low gluten not gluten free then go for spelt flour instead of the amaranth and gluten free flours)

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 and 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt salt

Whisk the oil and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the soya milk and the molasses and whisk all together. Sieve the flours, spices and baking powder, salt and bicarbonate of soda in to the wet ingredients and mix until it forms a dough. The dough may seem quite moist. You want it to be workable but not so sticky that you can’t lift it. Add a bit more flour if it is too wet. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge to chill for an hour (the dough can be left in the fridge for several days so you don’t have to use it all at once. It can also be frozen).

Preheat the oven to 175 C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Roll the dough out on a floured surface. It’s worth trying small amounts of dough at a time and be generous with the flour. It will stick a bit but don’t worry. You want it to be rolled out fairly thin but not too thin – maybe 5mm thick or so.

To make the tree you need at least 3 star cutters of different sizes. If you don’t have them don’t fret. Draw some stars out on a piece of card and use them to draw around 🙂 If you want to make a massive tree then you could use more stars, I only had 3 sizes so 3 it was! You want at least 3 of each sized star. I used a tiny christmas tree shaped cutter for the very top, but you could use another star.

Cut out the biscuits and transfer to the baking tray. Bake for 8 minutes. Then remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. They will seem soft when they come out the oven but as they cool they harden. If you want super crispy biscuits just pop them back in the oven for another few minutes.

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For the icing:

1/2 cup raw icing sugar

1 tsp soya milk (or any non dairy milk)

1 tsp liquid glucose (not essential)

Mix the icing sugar with the milk until it’s smooth. If you are using the liquid glucose add that and stir well. If the icing is too runny just add more icing sugar until you get the consistency you want. Transfer to a piping bag (if you don’t have one then use a plastic freezer bag and snip the corner off to pipe through).

Assemble the tree!

This is the fun bit 🙂

Start with your biggest star and place it on the plate. Add a glob of icing to the centre and stick the next star on top (arranged so the points don’t overlap). I found it easiest to decorate each layer as I went, so pipe icing on to the points of the bottom star and decorate with silver balls, gold balls, edible glitter etc. Then add a glob of icing to the top of the uppermost star and stick the next one one… continue, going down in size until you get to the top! I then added a glob of icing and popped the tree shaped biscuit on the top. If it won’t stand up then break a small piece of biscuit and just pop it behind it to keep it upright 🙂

Finally dust with icing sugar so it’s all snowy-looking!

yay! 🙂

 

 

Limited Edition Christmas Bakes! :)


I’m selling a limited number of my favourite Christmas bakes! 🙂

All gluten free, dairy free and suitable for vegetarians and vegans  (products do contain nuts though).

All orders must be placed by 14th December (orders will be posted by 18th December or available for pick up/delivered on 17th/18th) and numbers are limited, once they’re sold out they’re sold out so get your orders in quick 🙂

1. Mince Pies (pack of 6) – £3 (2 packs for £5)

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Generously filled, homemade mince pies. Cranberry and apple mincemeat and a buckwheat based pastry. Totally gluten and dairy free and only 164 kcals too! Deliciously sticky and full of flavour.

Delivery options – local pick up (free) (I can also do local delivery for free), 1st class post £2.70

2. Festive Tree Decoration Biscuits (pack of 6) –  £3 (2 packs for £5)

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Spicy and sweet christmas biccies. These biscuits are a great christmas treat and can even be hung on the tree. You could also get the kids involved and get them to ice them before they are hung up (or you could just eat them!). Totally gluten free and dairy free.

Delivery options – local pick up or delivery (free), 1st class post £2.70

3. Ginger Biscuits (pack of 6) – £2 (2 packs for £3.50)

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Crunchy, spicy ginger biscuits. Perfect for dunking in a cup of tea while you wrap the christmas pressies or put up the tree! 🙂 Totally gluten and dairy free.

Delivery options – local pick up or delivery (free), 1st class post £2.70

How to order:

  • Email me at pureandsimplebakes@gmail.com and I will send you a paypal invoice
  • OR if you are local to me then cash is fine
  • For orders of more than 1 pack I can combine postage 🙂

You can also order via these links:

Mince Pies: paypal cart button

Festive Decorations Biscuits:  paypal cart button

Ginger Biscuits: paypal cart button

Baking-tastic! :)


This is how I will be spending most of tonight…

 

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To create these! 🙂

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Festive Biccies!


deliciously spicy and full of festive cheer!

Originally featured on Colette’s Fitness Kitchen 🙂

I’m just baking up a big batch of these for the Xmas fayre tomorrow 🙂

These biscuits are a great christmas treat and can even be hung on the tree. They’re simple and easy to make – perfect for making with the kids!

a tasty tree decoration!

4 oz Buckwheat flour

2 oz ground Almonds

5 tbsp Agave nectar

Up to 6 tbsp Water

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Allspice

1/4 tsp ground Nutmeg

Pinch ground Cloves

Small amount of Coconut palm sugar or unrefined Raw sugar to sprinkle on the biscuits before baking

Preheat oven to 180 C. Add the flour, almonds, spices and agave to a food processor. Pulse and gradually add the water until it forms a firm dough. Adjust spices to taste if necessary. Once it forms a dough remove, wrap in cling-film and place in the fridge for 30 mins to chill.

Roll out on a floured surface and use biscuit cutters to cut out. If you are hanging them on the tree then use a sharp knife to cut a small hole near the top of the biscuits to thread a ribbon through later.

Place on a baking tray and bake, sprinkle with a little sugar and cinnamon and bake for 10 – 15 mins or until very brown. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Thread ribbon through the hole and hang on your tree! 🙂