Posted on Leave a comment

’tis the season to eat vegan chocolate truffles!

chocolate

These decadent and rich truffles have a chocolate ganache centre, perfect for an indulgent treat at Christmas. Making them is also great fun if you want a Christmassy activity to do with the children. You can choose your toppings based on what you like, we love coconut so we made coconut covered ones and plain cocoa powder rolled ones, but you could use chopped hazelnuts, or sprinkles or dip them in melted chocolate for a truffle with a hard shell and a soft centre.

It’s a super easy recipe with only two ingredients, the actual baking time is very little,most of the time is just allowing them to set.

Ingredients

  • 300g Vegan Chocolate or Chocolate Chips
  • 240ml Vegan Cream (We use Elmlea Plant, but you could use coconut cream or soya cream if you prefer)

Topping Ideas:

  • Chocolate Shavings
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Chocolate Sprinkles
  • Desiccated Coconut
  • Chopped Nuts
  • Dipped in Melted Chocolate

Method

  1. Break up the chocolate for the chocolate ganache and place into a mixing bowl.
  2. Heat the cream to a simmer and then pour over the chocolate pieces
  3. Leave to sit for around a minute to melt, then mix it into a chocolate sauce.
  4. Place into the fridge to set. This will take a few hours (2-3 hours, you’ll know it’s set when you stick a knife into it and it’s solid all the way down).
  5. When set, use a spoon to scoop out even amounts of the ganache and drop it into your chosen topping, then roll it into a ball with your hands. Place the truffles onto a parchment lined baking tray or a silicone sheet.
  6. Return to the fridge for the chocolate to set and enjoy!

These will last a week if you keep them in the fridge (well not in our house they won’t, but maybe in your house chocolate lasts a week)

Posted on Leave a comment

Christmas Cookie Bars

These cookie bars are a Christmas staple in our house and have been for years. The cinnamon makes the house smell all festive and you know it’s not long until the big day!

My mum and I would make them but instead of cutting the tray bake in to bars we would use biscuits cutters to cut out Christmas shapes to make them even more festive and so we could give them as gifts (it was totally not so we could sit on the sofa watching Christmas TV and scoffing a bowl of all the offcuts of cookie left behind by cutting out shapes)

This year I’ve made them with my toddler and we’ve adapted the recipe to be vegan and it’s also soya and nut free. Her opinion on them was that they were “yum yum”.

So here’s what you need:

Ingredients

  • 270g vegan baking spread
  • 160g caster sugar
  • 160g soft dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp egg replacer and 4tbsp water ( you could make 2 flax ‘eggs’ if you prefer
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 380g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 110g rolled oats
  • 220g raisins

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C.
  2. Put the butter and both sugars in a bowl and cream together.
  3. Add the egg replacer mix, mixing well.
  4. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  5. Add the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and oats to a separate bowl, and mix well.
  6. Then combine the dry mix with the butter mixture and beat until well mixed.
  7. Stir in the raisins until evenly distributed.
  8. Put the mix in a traybake tin, if it’s too thick and sticky thin with a little milk first (we use oat) .
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown and firm. It will depend on the size of tin you used as to how thick your bake is, so check regularly to make sure it’s not burning.
  10. Once they are cooled you can take them out the tin as they are easier to cut in to bars when cool. (Or you can cut in to Christmas shapes to give them as gifts and then so you don’t waste anything eat the leftover bits like we did!)

Notes: You can do steps 2-6 altogether if using a food mixer as the ‘all in one method’ just don’t use a mixer for the raisins as we want to keep them whole so you get large juicy raisins in the bars.

Posted on Leave a comment

Vegan Mince Pies

Vegan Mincepies

Nothing says it’s Christmas time like mince pies. I’ll admit even with a reputation amongst my friends and family as a domestic goddess, with a small teething baby clinging to me last Christmas, it being our first vegan Christmas and having just moved house and only having half a kitchen and most of the cookware still in boxes, we did resort to just buying ready made pastry and a jar of mincemeat.

However, this year we wanted to have a go at making them, especially as my daughter is 2 now and loves to bake. Plus making them yourself means you know exactly what’s in them and there’s no unnecessary preservatives or excess sugar, it also gives you the option to add slightly more or less of particular ingredients to suit your tastes. We’ve made this recipe alcohol free as my daughter usually eats more of the baking she helps with than makes it to the oven, but you could add a few tablespoons of brandy if you’d like a grown up boozy treat!

The combination of apples, cranberries, raisins, orange and spices ticks all the festive boxes! This recipe is not only vegan but also soya, peanut and tree nut free, due to my children’s allergies to those ingredients. I’ve broken it down in to pastry and filling so if you only want to or only have time for one half you can use shop bought pastry (like Jusroll) or a jar of mincemeat from the supermarket (lots of them are accidently vegan)

The Mincemeat filling

  • 1 large Bramley apple
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries (45g)
  • ¼ cup currants (45g)
  • ⅓ cup raisins (55g)
  • ⅛ cup mixed peel (20g)
  • The zest & juice of one orange
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ⅛ cup brown sugar (25g)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • 5 ground cloves
  1. Peel the Bramley apple and dice finely.
  2. Add all of the ingredients to a saucepan and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Making sure the apple is now soft and absorbed the spices and flavours.
  3. Remove for the heat as it’s ready to go in the pastry cases.

The Pastry

  • 85g vegan butter
  • 175g plain flour
  • 3 tbsp water
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Break apart butter into small pieces in large bowl.
  2. Add flour and mix together with fingers (or in a food processor) until a breadcrumb texture is formed. If you make your hands cold while doing this, just run wrists and hands under the cold tap beforehand, it will be easier to work the pastry. (Pastry and warm don’t go together.)
  3. Add salt and water then press together to form a dough. Be careful not over handle the dough.
  4. Form into a flat ball, cover with cling film and put in the fridge for 30 mins to rest.

The Pies

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200°C or 180°C fan.
  2. Lightly flour surface and roll out pastry.
  3. Using two different sized cutters (one medium one slightly smaller) cut out 12 smaller circles for the base and 12 larger circles or shapes (We used a star shaped cutter) for the lids.
  4. Place bases in your tray and spoon approx 1 tsp of the mincemeat filling into each pie. Make sure not to overfill them or they’ll spill over the sides.
  5. Cover with lids, pressing edges together with water.
  6. If using a circular cutter, pierce each lid with a fork to let air in. Brush with your plant milk of your choice, we used oat milk. You can also sprinkle a little brown or caster sugar on top of them for some festive sparkle and added crunch.
  7. Cook in the oven for 20-25 mins for the perfect golden brown colour.
  8. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy!