Chocolate Waffles with Crushed Nuts and Raspberries. Dairy free. Egg free. Vegan.

When it comes to weekend treat breakfasts, waffles are a firm family favourite. They are so easy to make and take very little time to prepare. We love experimenting with different ingredients and flavour combinations. I’ve already posted recipes for our Easy Vegan Waffles and Gingerbread Waffles and today, we’re sharing the recipe for our quick and easy Chocolate Waffles.

Chocolate Waffles with Crushed Nuts and Raspberries

These waffles have a decadent dark chocolate flavour, which works in perfect harmony with the nutty, berry toppings. Continue reading “Chocolate Waffles with Crushed Nuts and Raspberries. Dairy free. Egg free. Vegan.”

Top Picks of Dairy Free ‘Milk’ Chocolates

One of the most exciting developments that I’ve witnessed in the world of confectionery has been the perfecting of vegan ‘milk’ chocolate. After decades of dodgy ‘dairy free alternatives’ to milk chocolate (that barely even tasted like chocolate!), there is now an array of quality vegan ‘milk’ chocolates available. I’ve discovered most of them via The Vegan Kind subscription box, so a big thank you to the TVK Team for seeking them out for us.

Here are my top picks of vegan ‘milk’ chocolates that would be perfect for gifts, stockings and hampers this Christmas. And if planning to purchase online, why not buy from a charity shop such as Viva! or Animal Aid? That way, you’ll be making a purchase that’s not only cruelty free, but supports the protection of animals too. That’s a ‘win-win’ in my book :o)

Vegan Milk Chocolate Collage 3 Continue reading “Top Picks of Dairy Free ‘Milk’ Chocolates”

My “Go-to” Chocolate Cupcake Recipe. Dairy Free. Egg Free. Vegan.

Today I’m sharing my “go-to” recipe for chocolate cupcakes. This recipe has never left me down. My oven can be really temperamental when it comes to cake baking, but these cupcakes always turn out perfectly. They’re light, fluffy and deliciously moist.

Chocolate Cupcake

I’ve made them numerous times for fundraisers and they always sell in a flash. None of the children at our local school are vegan, but they choose these cupcakes simply because they love them. It also makes me happy to know that the children with dairy allergies are able to join in.  I often spot their mums making a beeline for me as I step through the school gate with my cake tin.

Next Friday is the annual Macmillan coffee morning here in the UK, which has now gained the status of the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. Last year, the event raised a wopping £25 million for people affected by cancer.

Macmillan Coffee Morning 2015 Continue reading “My “Go-to” Chocolate Cupcake Recipe. Dairy Free. Egg Free. Vegan.”

Chocolate Peppermint Cream Bars. Raw. Dairy-Free. Gluten-Free. Vegan.

Chocolate Peppermint Cream Bar

If you’re a long-time reader of my blog, you may remember my sad attempt to grow veggies a few years back. Everything I planted quickly got devoured by the gazillion veggie-loving critters that live in our garden. Some plants literally disappeared overnight :/

I’ve long since abandoned the veggie patch dream and my latest strategy is to leave the patch in a semi wild state and observe what will happily grow there with no intervention on my part. So far, amongst the multitude of wild flowers and “weeds”, I have three edible crops that are flourishing – Golden Raspberries, Lemon Balm and Chocolate Mint!

Chocolate Peppermint Plant

Continue reading “Chocolate Peppermint Cream Bars. Raw. Dairy-Free. Gluten-Free. Vegan.”

Dairy-Free / Vegan Easter Eggs – Top Picks for 2015

With just over a week until Easter, our minds have been on all things egg and bunny shaped, and preferably made of chocolate. We’ve been scouting the shops and online stores, checking out what’s on offer for vegans and the dairy free. Every year, the selection gets bigger and bigger. I remember not so long ago that it was impossible to find a dairy-free egg (even the dark chocolate eggs contained dairy :/). This year, whether you’re a milk, white or dark chocolate lover, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our top picks for 2015.

Milk Chocolate Lovers text

 

 

Dairy Free Milk Chocolate Eggs 2015

1. Moo Free Organic Dairy-Free Milk Chocolate Bunnycomb Egg 100g (Vegan Town, Animal Aid, Viva!)

2. Moo Free Organic Dairy-Free Milk Chocolate Egg 100g (Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Holland & Barrett, Ocado)

3. Moo Free Organic Dairy-Free Milk Chocolate Cheeky Orange Egg 100g (Animal Aid, Viva!)

4. Plamil Organic Dairy-Free Milk Chocolate Egg 85g (Holland & Barrett, Vegan Town)

5. Choices Dairy-Free Easter Egg & 6 Choc Discs 125g (Holland & Barrett)

6. Choices Dairy-Free Caramel Flavoured Egg with 3 Caramel Chocolates 120g (Holland & Barrett)

7. Vantastic Large Vegan Milk Chocolate Easter Bunny 100g (Vegan Town)

Guaranteed dairy-free: Moo Free, Plamil

White Chocolate Lovers text

 

 

White Chocolate Easter Treats 2015

1. Vantastic Large White Chocolate Bunny 100g (Viva!)

2. Zotter Mi-Xing White Easter Egg 100g (Viva!)

3. Choices Dairy Free White Chocolate Egg & Buttons 65g (Holland & Barrett)

4. Choices Dairy Free White Chocolate Bunny Bar 40g (Holland & Barrett, Sainsbury’s)

Dark Chocolate Lovers text

 


Dark Chocolate Easter Treats 2015

1. Montezuma’s Dark Chocolate Chunky Button Egg 250g (Ocado)

2. Cocoa Loco Dark Chocolate & Ginger Easter Egg 225g (Cocoa Loco)

3. Divine Luxury Dark Chocolate Easter Egg with 100g Dark Chocolate Raspberry Bar (Waitrose, Ocado, Animal Aid)

4. Hotel Chocolat Dark Egglets 110g (Hotel Chocolat)

5. Hotel Chocolat Dark City Bunnies 90g (Hotel Chocolat)

6. Montezuma’s Dark Chocolate Mini Eggs with Almond Praline 150g (Montezuma’s, Ocado, Animal Aid)

Hotel Chocolat Milk-Free Milk Chocolate – NEW for 2015!
As soon as I heard that Hotel Chocolat had launched a range of milk-free milk chocolate, I headed straight to our store in Bath to check it out. It didn’t taste quite as I expected… it’s got that quality cocoa flavour that we know and love about Hotel Chocolat, but it didn’t have the creaminess (or sugary sweetness) that we associate with dairy chocolate. When Lil’ L tried it, he said that it was more like a dark chocolate than a dairy chocolate. If you’re a milk chocolate lover, I’d recommend trying a sample before you buy to make sure it suits your tastes. I like it… but then again I’m a dark chocolate lover 😉

Hotel Chocolat Milk-Free Milk Chocolate 1.   Milk-Free Milk Scrambled Egg 210g

2. Milk-Free Goose Egg 130g

3. Milk-Free Milk City Bunnies 90g

 

What chocolatey treat would you love from the Easter Bunny this year?

Cranberry, Orange and Dark Chocolate Florentines. Dairy-free. Vegan

For this month’s Suma Blogger’s Network entry, I though I’d share one of my latest treat obsessions – Vegan Florentines

Vegan Florentines

I’ve been dreaming about Florentines ever since I saw them on display in the patisserie shops of Venice and Florence a few years ago. I’d never seen anything quite like them before. They looked so dainty yet totally decadent with their dark chocolate bottoms! I was pretty sure that they’d be full of dairy and off limits to me, but I was excited about the thought of creating a vegan version one day.

This week I finally got round to a little Florentine experimentation in the kitchen.

Cranberry Pieces

After a quick internet search, I discovered that Florentines are typically made with cane sugar, honey, butter, candied cherries, candied citrus peel and almonds. Since I’m not a fan of the first 4 ingredients, and I know a lot of my readers aren’t keen on candied peel, I ended up subbing 5 of the 6 ingredients. The almonds stayed 😉

The cane sugar and honey was swapped for coconut sugar and maple syrup, which gave the Florentines a wonderful golden hue and caramel-like sweetness. Instead of candied cherries and citrus peel, I used dried cranberries and orange zest. This gave the Florentines a fresh, citrussy flavour which I absolutely loved. The butter was exchanged for non dairy spread or organic aroma-free coconut butter.

Vegan Florentines

I’ve done 6 trials so far this week, playing around with different ingredient ratios and combos. All have tasted delicious, but I was striving to bake a Florentine that was super thin with the traditional ‘lacey’ texture on the underside. By the 4th trial, I’d cracked it.

Vegan Florentines

Once cooled, I then added the classic Florentine wavy chocolate bottom.

Vegan Florentines

These Florentines are my new treat obsession. I absolutely love their texture – crisp on the outside, chewy in the centre with a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate bottom. Plus the flavour combination is so lush. The citrus zest gives them a wonderful lift while the dark chocolate makes them feel decadent.

Another great thing about this biscuit is that each one only contains 1 tsp of mixture which, in my eyes, makes it totally acceptable to go back for a second or third 🙂

‘M’ and Lil’ L seem to love them as much as me. I’ve made 72 so far this week, and there are very few left in the biscuit tin! I also took along a sample to my Tuesday night study class and they were a big hit!

Vegan Florentines

Unwaxed Citrus Fruits
Unwaxed lemons are widely available, but unwaxed oranges are a little harder to come by. In the UK, they are currently available in Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Tesco. If you’re only able to find waxed oranges, you’ll find tips online on how to remove the wax. The wax on citrus fruits often contains shellac (from the lac beetle) or beeswax, making them unsuitable for vegans. Organic citrus fruits are unwaxed, which makes them vegan friendly 🙂

You’ll find Suma products available to purchase in UK independent health food shops. You can also bulk buy many of their products from Amazon.