Raw Almond Caramel Chocolate Fingers


I’ve been dying to make something nutty and caramel-ly for ages and just haven’t got round to it  – finally the other weeked I got all my ingredients out and had a play and I’m very very pleased with the results! These are delish! They need to be kept in the freezer and are best eaten cold otherwise they get a bit squishy… although… that’s not such a bad thing!!

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You will need:

For the base:

1 cup Macadamia nuts

2 – 3 Tbsp Coconut syrup (or any liquid sweetener – agave, rice malt syrup etc)

1/2 tsp Vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp Almond extract

For the caramel:

12 – 14 Medjool dates

3 tbsp Almond butter

1/8 tsp Almond extract

pinch of salt

A little Water as needed (it depends how dry your dates are)

For the chocolate:

1/2 cup Coconut oil (melted) or Cacao butter (melted)

1/3 cup Raw cacao powder

1/4 cup Coconut syrup or maple syrup (or any liquid sweetener)

1/4 tsp Vanilla powder or 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

First you need to make the base. Pop all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well blended and it forms a sticky dough. Line a small tray with baking paper and then press the base mixture in to the tray firmly.

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Pop this in the freezer and then start on the caramel layer. I find it easier if you chop the dates up a bit first, so chop them and pop in to the processor together with the other ingredients, but not the water. Pulse until blended in to a paste. If it’s a little too dry then add some water (carefully so you don’t add to much). Once you have the consistency you want (sticky but spreadable) then take the base out the freezer and spread the caramel on top. You may have some caramel left over – this is no bad thing, I rolled it into balls which I coated in chocolate for some extra little caramel bites! 🙂

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Place this back in the freezer for as long as you can – an hour or more if possible.

Once you’re nearing the end of your the hour you can make up the chocolate (if you want to make it sooner you can, and you can just gently warm it to re-melt it). It’s best to use a large bowl for this so your caramel fingers will fit in (it makes it easier to coat them). Add the cacao, coconut syrup and vanilla to the melted coconut oil or cacao butter and mix well using a fork or a small hand whisk. Remove the caramel from the freezer and slice into fingers (or any shape you want).

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Then comes the fun bit! First of call place a wire rack over some baking parchment (or a board – or anything you don’t mind getting messy!). Make sure your chocolate is melted and combined well, then begin the dipping! Dunk the caramel fingers in the chocolate and ensure they’re coated. Then transfer to the wire rack and allow to set. They will stick to the rack, so before they’re set just move them slightly. If you’re anything like me you will probably end up with a bit of a mess on the bottom side, don’t worry, just wait til the top is set (it won’t take long) and turn them over and drizzle chocolate over them to tidy them up.

If you find the chocolate starts to thicken while you’re still coating them then just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to re-melt (or even just place in a warm area – like on a radiator for a few moments – it melts so easily). Once they are all coated and lightly set (because the fingers are frozen it sets pretty quickly but will still be fragile) pop back in the freezer (I just popped them in a tupperware pot).

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Store in the freezer until you want to eat them.. then eat! They’re delicious as a quick pick me up.. and if you’re feeling really naughty they’re even better dipped in a tofu chocolate chili mousse (oh yes I did..!).

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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.

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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!

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Chewy, Crispy Pumpkin Cookies – Dairy and Gluten Free


This is the last of my pumpkin-based goodies (for now!). It may be the last but it’s certainly not the least! This was my second attempt to make the elusive crispy pumpkin cookies and this time I think it worked! My first attempt was delicious but turned out more like a gingerbread-texture cakey cookie  (the recipe for the cinnamon glazed pumpkin cookie cakes is here). These ones however are just as I intended  – crispy on the outside and chewy and soft in the middle. They need to be eaten the day they’re cooked if you want them to stay crispy (trust me you’ll have no trouble wolfing them all down on day one!), but you can always pop them back in a low oven for a few mins to re-crisp them up if you want to 🙂

The best thing to do is split the dough and freeze half if you don’t want to eat them all at once. It freezes really well and will keep for several weeks in the freezer.

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The secret to these is the use of the pumpkin butter (recipe is here). So the first thing you need to do is make a batch of pumpkin butter! 🙂

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For the cookies you will need:

1 cup Dairy-free margarine

1 1/4 cups raw Coconut sugar or other unrefined raw sugar

1 cup Pumpkin butter (recipe here)

1 Egg (or 1/4 cup pureed apple)

2 tsp Vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups Gluten-free flour mix or Spelt flour

1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground Cloves

1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground Ginger

1 tsp Himalayan rock salt

Zest of 1 orange

1 cup dairy free Chocolate chunks (I used Willie’s Chef’s drops)

Preheat the oven to 170 C.

Place the margarine and sugar in a bowl and cream together using a hand mixer. Add in the egg (or apple), vanilla extract and pumpkin butter and mix well together.

Place all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl mix really well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined. It will form a sticky dough. Stir in the orange zest and the chocolate and then wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for 30 mins to rest.

Take small chunks of dough (about a tbsp in size) and flatten on to a lined baking tray. The cookies won’t spread so make sure you spread them out on the tray a little. If they are too thick they will still be delicious but will be a bit more “cakey”.

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Pop in the oven for 15 – 20 mins until starting to change colour and slightly crispy. They will harden further as they cool. Allow to cool on the tray for 5 mins then transfer to a wire rack.

Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Breakfast Muffin Loaf – Gluten and Dairy Free


This little beauty really packs a punch – it’s strong on the spices and will satisfy you for the day ahead. It is quite a dense little loaf and is more like a tea-loaf than a muffin and it’s lovely smothered in the pumpkin butter (recipe here)

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You will need:

1 cups Rice flour (or gluten-free flour of choice!)

1 1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

2/3 cups Coconut sugar

2 tsp ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground Cloves

1 tsp Vanilla extract

2 tbsp ground Flax (linseed)

4 tbsp Water

1 cup Pumpkin purée

1 ripe Banana

1/4 cup Coconut oil

2 tbsp Maple syrup

For the topping:

4 tbsp Rice flour

2 tbsp Coconut oil

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

2 tsp Raw pumpkin seeds

Mix together the flax seed and water in a small bowl. Whisk it with a fork and then pop in the fridge for 15 mins or so.

Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Add all the ingredients in to a large bowl (except the topping ingredients). Mix well together and then add the flax seed mix. Depending how ripe your banana is you may find the batter is a bit too thick so add some warm water until it forms a thick but spoonable batter.

Add the batter to muffin trays or mini loaf tins.

Combine the topping ingredients in another bowl and then sprinkle on the top of each loaf. Press the topping into the batter a little bit.

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Bake for 15 – 20 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool and then eat!

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Gingerdead men! Quick and Easy Spooky Biccies!


Happy Hallowe’en!

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

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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.

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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.

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

These won’t last long!

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Cinnamon Glazed Pumpkin Cookie Cake Gingerbread Yumminess! Gluten and Dairy Free


Sometimes the best bakes are created by accident! This is one of those bakes!

Ok, so these did not turn out in any way like I intended! However, I absolutely LOVE what I’ve created! I don’t know what to call it – is it a cake? is it a biscuit? is it a pumpkin gingerbread? who knows! All I know is that it is scrummy! It’s moist on the inside and so full of flavour and you would never know there was pumpkin in there 🙂

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I set out to make a cookie-type of biscuit using pumpkin. These have come out less like a cookie and more like cake or soft gingerbread in texture – a failure? No – not in any way shape or form! They are simply divine – especially with the cinnamon glaze!

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This will make around 24 – 30 cookie-cakes.

You will need:

2 cups Rice flour or Spelt flour (spelt is an option if you don’t need gluten-free but want to go for a low-gluten option, or you could also use a gluten free flour blend)

1/4 tsp Xanthan gum (unless you choose to use a ready-mixed gluten free flour blend which has it in – check the ingredients!)

1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg

1/2 cup Coconut oil

1 cup unrefined Coconut or other raw sugar

1/4 cup Molasses

1 Egg (or this can be replaced with 1/4 cup of ripe mashed banana or 1/4 cup of puréed apple if you prefer)

1 cup Pumpkin purée (recipe here)

1/3 cup Coconut, almond or soya milk

1 tsp Vanilla extract

 

For the glaze:

1 cup unrefined Icing sugar

1 tbsp Coconut, almond or soya milk

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon (or more – just add to taste)

 

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Put the flour, xanthan gum, bicarbonate of soda, and spices into a large mixing bowl. Combine well (using a whisk or fork works well for this).

Put the oil and sugar in a separate bowl and mix together. Add the molasses, egg (or egg substitute), pumpkin, milk and vanilla and use a hand mixer (or whisk) to blend together.

Add the flour mix to the wet ingredients and stir well until completely combined. Place generous heaped teaspoons of the mixture on to a greased and lined baking tray and place in the oven for 10 – 13 minutes (until they are slightly crispy on the outside and are starting to turn colour – it’s hard to see as they’re dark but you will see a change).

Place the icing sugar and other glaze ingredients in a bowl and mix together well.

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Once the cookie-cakes are done, remove from the oven and let them cool for a couple of minutes. Then spoon the glaze over them whilst they are still warm.

Then enjoy with a cup of tea! 🙂

 

 

Ninjabread men! Chocolate, cherry and ginger dairy free biscuits


Gosh it’s been a long time since i’ve had time to bake – sorry! Real life has got in the way (in good and bad ways!), but oh how i’ve missed it!

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Thankfully I had an excuse to bake again 🙂 yippee! I wanted to make something yummy to celebrate (or rather commiserate) the last body combat class with a very special friend of mine. What better way to mark the occasion than by baking some funky little Ninjabread men! I used ginger, dark chocolate and dried cherries in mine but you could flavour the biscuits any way you like 🙂

For the biscuits you need:

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)

2 tsp ground Ginger

handful of chopped dried Cherries

handful of dairy free chocolate (I used Willie’s chef’s drops)

Ninja cutters (available online) or just use normal ginger bread man cutters 🙂

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C. Put the margarine in a large mixing bowl, sieve the flour, icing sugar and ground ginger in and cream it together. Try not to over mix but make sure the margarine is properly mixed with the dry ingredients. Add the cherries and chocolate and combine well. 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 the biscuit cutter to cut out your little ninjas. 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.

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Decoration

Once the biscuits are cool you can have some fun! I used a variety of ninja designs. For the dark icing you can get black food colouring or use melted dark chocolate. Unleash your best ninja using skills!! 🙂

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Dark chocolate cherry cookies (dairy and gluten free! :) )


You’d think I’d be bored of biscuits by now …but no, I just keep thinking of new scrummy flavour combos! Today it’s dark choc and cherry – a winning combination. The tartness of the cherries works so well with the rich, dark chocolate 🙂

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These use the same basic ingredients as my choc and ginger biccies but just replace the ginger with a handful of dried cherries! Simple! 🙂

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Yummy mummy! Dark choc and ginger cookies (low gluten and dairy free!)


You may have noticed a certain penchant for cookies and biscuits lately? what can i say? I just love this simple recipe and how easy it is to customise it with whatever flavours you like 🙂

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So this weekend Mother’s Day and the return of my lovely friend from holiday inspired me to bake some more biscuits for both of them 🙂 Both are fans of the combo of ginger and dark chocolate and they work brilliantly with these cookies. I also had some fun with a cool set of letter cutters (I’m such a child!).

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You will need:

2 cups Spelt flour or gluten-free flour mix

1 cup Unrefined Icing sugar

6 oz Dairy-free margarine (get the best quality you can)

A handful of crystallised ginger

A handful of dairy free chocolate (I used Willie’s chef’s drops)

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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. Chop the ginger and chocolate into small pieces and add to the mix. Once it’s formed a dough wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins (optional). If you find the dough is too sticky then add some more flour.

Roll the dough out and use cutters to cut your biscuit shapes and transfer to a greased baking tray. I found that this dough worked best as a thick biscuit (about half a cm). If you don’t want to roll it then take small balls and flatten on to the baking tray. Bake in the oven for 10 – 12 mins or until as brown as you like them (I like my biscuits bordering on burnt so I kept them in a little longer! 🙂 ).

If you have some letter cutters (or you’re handy with a knife and can freehand them) then you can have fun spelling stuff in biscuit form! 😉

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Lemon Drop Shortbread Biscuits (gluten and dairy free and oh so yummy!)


As we move from winter in to spring my thoughts turn to lighter bakes and lemon always features highly in my list of spring and summer baking yumminess!Once again this is the result of a little seed planted in my head by my good friend Colette (anyone would think she had a bit of a thing for these biscuit recipes… 😉 ).

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This is super-easy and fun – perfect to make for the kids and can be done pretty quickly after school or on a sunday afternoon. Equally yummy for adults too though! 🙂

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You will need:

2 cups Spelt flour or gluten-free flour mix

1 cup Unrefined Icing sugar

6 oz Dairy-free margarine (get the best quality you can)

zest of 2 small Lemons

1 tbsp fresh Lemon juice

Dairy- free (or non dairy free if you want!) Lemon curd – it will depend how much you use but less than half a jar should do it 🙂

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 zest and lemon juice and combine it well. Once it’s formed a dough wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins (optional). If you find the dough is too sticky then add some more flour.  Once chilled, make small balls of dough (approx 1 inch diameter) and pop them on a greased baking tray. Push them down to flatten them and use your thumb to create a deep hollow in the centre. Prick the bottom of the hollow with a fork.

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Bake for 8 minutes. Then remove from the oven and spoon in a small amount of lemon curd in to each hollow.

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Bake for a further 2 minutes or so, or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray. Be very careful when you remove them from the oven as the curd will be molten! Avoid the temptation to eat them straight away (trust me on this one!), just allow them to cool a little before you tuck in! 🙂

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