Tag: Chocolate

Chocolate Brownies {vegan and gluten-free}

Tis the season of indulgence and all that. I’m trying not to give in too much to my sugar cravings but I’ve succumbed to temptation and it is mainly in chocolate form. These brownies are so good. I like my brownies to be the perfect amount of gooey with a crisp/crunchy top, and these deliver my requirements. If you prefer more of a cakey texture keep these in for twenty minutes, if not, fifteen minutes and you’ll have your brownie of dreams. If you’re looking to give edible gifts this Christmas, these will make an ideal gift, wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string or a ribbon.

vegan chocolate browniesvegan chocolate brownies

Chocolate Brownies
Makes 12
100g rice flour
100g buckwheat flour
1 tspn xantham gum
1 tspn baking powder
180g dark chocolate
50g cocoa
150ml sunflower oil
100g caster sugar
1 tbsp cashew/almond butter
275ml oat milk
50g pecans

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C and grease a line a 20cm baking tin with greaseproof paper.
  • In a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt half of the chocolate along with all of the cashew butter.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the flours, xanthum gum, baking powder, cocoa and sugar.
  • Add the oil, oat milk, melted chocolate and cashew butter and stir until all is thoroughly mixed together.
  • Chop the remaining chocolate into pieces and add to the mixture along with the pecans, and stir through.
  • Spread evenly into the lined baking tin and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Cut into even squares whilst warm, and once they’ve cooled a little turn them out onto a wire rack (although these are best eaten straight from the oven in my humble opinion!).

Enjoy! x

 

Hazelnut & Chocolate Truffles

I haven’t eaten any chocolate for three months. Surprisingly I’ve not really missed it – except for the occasional craving. However, Easter is fast approaching, really quickly actually, and there is no escaping the fact that usually around this time of year I would be consuming my body weight in easter eggs. Oh boy, I love easter eggs! So, I’m going to need my fix. I found inspiration for these bad boys via Top  with Cinnamon and Rawsome Vegan Life  (awesome blogs fyi) and came up with this version below.  The nuttiness of them reminds me of a Ferrero Rocher. Perfect to eat yourself or to give as an easter gift.

Vegan Chocolates

Vegan Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Truffles

Easter chocolates

Hazelnut & Chocolate Truffles
(Makes about 20)

100g Hazelnuts
200g Dates
200ml Water
100g Oats
50g Almonds
2 tbsp Nut Butter (I used almond)
3 tbsp Raw Cacao Powder

Toast the hazelnuts in a pan on a high heat for a few minutes, tossing regularly so they don’t burn. Leave to cool.

Roughly chop the dates and add to another  saucepan along with the water, bring to the boil and simmer for ten minutes. Leave to cool.

Roll the cooled hazelnuts around so their skins come away and then blitz in a blender (or roughly chop).

Toast the oats (in the same pan the hazelnuts were toasted in) for a few minutes. Add the chopped hazelnuts.

Chop the almonds and add to the oats along with the cacao powder and nut butter.

Add in the dates and mix thoroughly. Shape into balls and leave to set in the fridge.

As simple as that! Happy Easter.

Veronica x

Vegan Chocolate Cookies

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Yesterday I had a food intolerance test at my local health food store. I’ve been suffering with my stomach for the last 5-6 years, and it has made my life somewhat miserable. I went to the Doctors a few years ago. I was tested for Coeliac Disease, the result was negative. She told me to keep a food diary or to cut all food out and slowly add it in. (Er…wtf?) I cut out a few things, wheat, rice, all sorts really, but nothing helped and I just put up with the daily discomfort of a seriously bloated gut.  Last spring my colleague told me about Candida (an overproduction of yeast), and the symptoms it can cause and how to get over it. I thought this crazy diet was worth a try, but it meant giving up sugar, fruit, processed food, bread, everything good basically. I did it, I spent five days sugar free and had never felt so great. My stomach gave me no issues whatsoever! But, I didn’t stick to it – it seemed too depressing. When I became vegan I hoped that it might sort some of my problems out, it helped a little, made me feel healthier but I still had terrible bloating.

Fast forward to yesterday, when I finally went for a food intolerance test, using some weird machine and electrodes*. The man tested all sorts of foods on me and what did he tell me? Well I am intolerant to YEAST, caused by candida and fed by SUGAR! My fear has been confirmed. So for the next three months I am to cut out all sorts of foods that not only include sugar and yeast, but mushrooms, carrots, peas, parsnips, most fruits, and all alcohol (crying into my pillow)!  Candida, apparently can be caused by a lack of friendly bacteria in your gut and then your body overproduces yeast and causes all sorts of symptoms, something that can be a result of being on the Pill or taking Antibiotics. It is something that can be put right, so hopefully after 3 months I can reintroduce some of these foods back  into my diet. You can find out more about it here, but this is the extreme strict version that I have been told I don’t need to follow.

Sometimes people scoff at people with food intolerances and think it is all in the mind – SHUT UP.

I made these cookies the morning of my food test, turns out they were my last sugary snack for awhile. Over the next few months I will be incorporating Xylitol and Agave Syrup  into my baking to ensure I don’t miss my sweet fix, so stay tuned to see what things I come up with. But for now sugar, in all its glory…….

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Vegan Chocolate Cookies (Makes 6-8)

1 small Avocado
1 cup of Plain Flour
1/2 cup of Brown Sugar
50g of Dark Vegan Chocolate
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup of Water
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
A pinch of Salt

1. Remove the avocado from its skin and mash it up using a fork in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the cocoa, flour, brown sugar and salt and stir until mixed well.
3. Chop the chocolate up into small pieces and stir into the mixture.
4. Add the water & vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.
5. On a lined baking tray, spoon the mixture out to the size of the cookies you would like (they don’t spread whilst cooking).
6. Bake at 180C for 12-15 minutes.
7. Leave to cool on a wire rack or eat whilst warm (that’s my favourite way).

Enjoy and consider them vaguely healthy because they have avocado in!

Veronica x

*Apparently these tests are 70% accurate, so I wouldn’t swear by them for every case – although for me it seems to correspond with what I thought i may be intolerant to.

(If you think you may be suffering from a similar food intolerance I suggest you do some more research as I’ve only touched on the basics about candida here.)

Cruelty free: Chocolate Orange Tofu Cheesecake

Newsflash! Tofu is awesome and here is the proof.

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Tofu, I think has a bad reputation. I kind of understand why. I mean, it doesn’t exactly look appealing (see one of the pictures below) and on its own is pretty bland. But, it is the lack of flavour that is Tofu’s genius, making it an extremely versatile ingredient. Sweet or savoury, sliced or scrambled it has a lot going for it. That’s right I said scrambled and it is good, fried until crispy and added to a stir-fry also good, or blended with chocolate and sugar to make…..CHEESECAKE! That’s right I said it.

Cheesecake was one of those deserts I hated as a child, the name put me off alone and I always refused it without so much as a teeny taste. Then I grew up. Watched that Friends episode, you know, The One with all the Cheesecake. Discovered my love and adoration for this delicious desert. How is it possible to have that creamy loveliness in vegan form? Well here it is and it is thanks to our new friend tofu, and chocolate obvs!

I found this recipe one day randomly googling vegan food and came across it on the Guardian. I have adapted it slightly here but have also made the one on their site and that is equally as good. This one just saves a little time without having to faff around toasting hazelnuts, forgetting about them and then burning them, but if that is your thing go for it.

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Ingredients

For the base:
10 hobnob biscuits
3 tbsp dairy free margarine
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp icing sugar

For the filling:
300g silken tofu (there is more than one type of tofu, you need silken for this recipe)
100g 70% + dark fair trade chocolate (dairy free)
2 tbsp fairtrade cocoa powder
4 tbsp icing sugar
grated zest of one orange (you can leave this out if you prefer)

1. Blitz your biscuits in a food processor until fine, or bash them in a bag using a rolling pin. Add the cocoa and icing sugar and mix through thoroughly.
2. Melt the margarine and add to the biscuit base and mix in. Press firmly into a flan or cake tin (I used a 20cm).
3. Leave to chill in the fridge whilst you make the filling.
4. Drain your silken tofu, and blitz until smooth in your food processor or get those muscles going and using a wooden spoon!
5. Melt the dark chocolate using a bain marie (that’s just a bowl standing in a saucepan of hot water).
6. Add and mix the cocoa, icing sugar and orange zest to the tofu, and the melted chocolate.
7. Spread the filling over the biscuit base. Chill in the fridge for another couple of hours, if you can wait that long!

This is really tasty and only takes about half an hour to make, plus it is much less fattening than a normal cheesecake!