Recently many of us lovely bloggers have been lucky enough receive some Stork and fabulous spices from Steenbergs so we can carry on and bake in the aftermath of the Great Bloggers Bake Off!
I was thrilled when my Stork arrived to discover it was dairy-free which meant I could use it to cook for my children, one of whom is currently on a strict dairy-free diet. He loves chocolate and so I had a look in my Marks and Spencer Chocolate Box cook book for inspiration. And there, on page 60, was a recipe for spiced chocolate muffins. Something which would use both of my recently gifted ingredients whilst satisfying every member of my sweet toothed family!
Here’s the recipe, adapted to be fully dairy-free.
100g Stork (the foil wrapped variety, not the one in a tub!)
150g caster sugar
115g brown sugar
2 large eggs
150ml Alpro soya cream
5 tbsp soya milk
250g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp cocoa powder (I used The co-operative’s Truly Irresistible Fairtrade Drinking Chocolate)
1 tsp Steenbergs organic mixed spice
200g dark chocolate chips (I used Silver Spoon chips)
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin paper cases and preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5.
Place the Stork, caster sugar and brown sugar in a bowl and beat well. Beat in the eggs, soya cream and soya milk until thoroughly mixed. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa and space mix into a separate bowl and stir into the mixture. Add the chocolate chips and mix week. Divider he mixture evenly between the paper cases. Place in the pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container until needed!
This week for the #greatbloggersbakeoff I was excited to try and make a vegetable cake as my middle child is currently on a dairy-free diet and this fitted the bill perfectly! The dietician recommended a chocolate and beetroot cake and as this recipe had ground almonds in it as well it was another way of getting my son to eat some foods he probably, in any other circumstance, wouldn’t touch! I found this recipe on delicious magazine.co.uk and changed it slightly. The recipe called for raw beetroot which I could not find, and the icing contained sour cream, which isn’t dairy-free, so I made a buttercream icing with dairy-free spread instead. My son randomly wanted me to make it into the shape of a vacuum cleaner, but I’m afraid I wasn’t that brave!
Here is the recipe for this week…
250g dairy-free plain chocolate, broken up
3 large free-range eggs
200g light muscovado sugar
100ml sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g self-raising flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
50g ground almonds
150g cooked beetroot (original recipe said 250g raw beetroot)
For the icing
150g dairy-free plain chocolate
100g icing sugar
50g Pure dairy-free spread
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Grease a 22cm round, loose-bottomed cake tin with a little butter and line the base with baking paper.
2. Place the plain chocolate in a bowl and set over a pan of gently simmering water. Allow the chocolate to melt slowly until smooth, then set aside to cool.
3. Place the eggs, sugar and sunflower oil in a large mixing bowl and whisk together, using an electric hand whisk, (I did this by hand as I have no electric whisk!) for about 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in vanilla extract, then sift over self-raising flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and gently fold in, together with the ground almonds.
4. Using a pair of rubber gloves to protect your fingers from staining, peel and grate the beetroot, then squeeze out the excess liquid. Fold the beetroot into the mixture with the cooled chocolate, until thoroughly mixed.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes-1 hour. Cover with foil if the cake browns too quickly. Test the cake by inserting a skewer into the centre to see if it comes out clean. Cool for a little while, then remove from the tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
6. For the icing, place 150g plain chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Allow to melt gently until smooth. Set aside to cool, then beat in icing sugar and Pure spread until you have a thick, creamy and spreadable icing. Spread it over the top of the cooled cake. I didn’t have enough to spread over the sides as well so I used a ready made sorry icing which was also dairy-free. I added Sainsbury’s dairy-free buttons to decorate the top. If I’d had enough I might have though about doing the sides as well! And there you have it, a delicious chocolatey dairy-free cake!
Thank you, as always for reading and for Helen and Jenny for hosting. If you’d like to join in the link or read lots more yummy recipes then click on the badge below!
A petit four (plural: petits fours) is a small confectionery or savoury appetizer. The name is French, petit four (French pronunciation: [pə.ti.fur]), meaning “small oven”.
A week ago on Friday I met the lovely Jenny Paulin from Mummymishaps at Yeo Valley, and whilst we were eating their delicious home made cakes *mouth waters at the memory* we quickly got chatting about The Great British Bake Off…a programme a lot of us religiously watch every week, hoping that we may ourselves be able to recreate some of the amazing things they bake. Now, I’ve not been able to do any baking recently after my oven trouble but when Jenny told me about her linky #thegreatbloggersbakeoff I was desperate to join in and try something new. So try something new I have…and I could either be embarrassing myself totally by revealing my lack of cooking ability in this post….or you could discover a new recipe you’d like to try yourself! (Fingers crossed!)
So, with no oven (new one hopefully being bought this morning!) I plumped for making petit fours this week! Making petit fours that did not require any cooking. I thought about cheesecakes, but didn’t know how I’d make them so small as none of my kitchen utensils matched the ideas I had. Then, whilst I was brainstorming in the kitchen my middle son walked in asking for some chocolate (a regular occurrence) and I had a light bulb moment! Recently my son has been advised to avoid all dairy due to a nasty phlegm producing cough that just won’t go away. (sorry to mention the word phlegm in a cooking post, it won’t happen again!) Luckily in the supermarkets these days there are so many dairy free options that he still can have chocolate and baked treats, but I hadn’t yet done any real dairy free baking for him. As a child I loved chocolate refrigerator cake (who doesn’t?!) and so my offering for today’s Great Bloggers Bake Off is just that…
Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie and Fudge Refrigerator Petit Fours.
125g dairy free chocolate chip cookies (I got mine from Sainsbury’s)
150g plain dairy free chocolate
50g Pure dairy free spread
75g golden syrup
100g dairy free chocolate chips (Silver Spoon)
50g dairy free fudge, chopped into small pieces (from Asda)
Hundreds and Thousands (yes old school I know, but I had nothing else to decorate with!)
Put the chocolate chip cookies into a bag (top tip: use a strong bag to do this and not one that will burst like I did!) and hit them with a rolling pin until they are in lovely little chunks. Quite therapeutic I found! Then place the Pure spread, golden syrup and chocolate into a heatproof glass bowl and melt slowly over a saucepan of simmering water. Try and avoid having a taste at this point if you can, otherwise there may be none of this mixture left for the cakes!
Remove from the heat and add the fudge, biscuits, raisins and chocolate chips and mix them all together thoroughly. Now, don’t be too concerned at this point if the contents of your bowl represent something you’d find in your child’s nappy. It really does taste better than it looks I can assure you!
Next, grease your container (I used an old silicone one I had for weaning) with the Pure spread and fill with the chocolate mixture, pressing it down into the container firmly. (again, if it still looks unsavoury don’t worry, this is where the hundreds and thousands come in!)
Lastly sprinkle with hundreds and thousands, or glitter sugar, or dairy free buttons, or spray with gold food spray…be creative, I would’ve been I just didn’t have any of those things in the house! Then place in the fridge for one and a half to two hours and sit down and have a cuppa. When they are set remove them from the fridge and press out onto a chopping board.
Cut into petit fours size bites. (if I was actually on the programme I’d have measured each one to make sure they were of equal size obviously, however this time I went for the rustic look!) Then I chose to put mine in cases, but how you display them is up to you.
I did put a couple of sticks on two to make lollipops for the children which went down very well!
And then finally….eat them! They seemed to have gone down very well here and the boy loves his dairy free bite sized treats! Next time I may experiment with orange and chocolate flavoured bites as you can get dairy free orange flavoured chocolate; or add some dried apricots and cranberries. The possibilities are endless!
Right, I’m now off to do some oven shopping…for if I am to join in with pies next week I am going to need one!
Thank you, as always for reading and if you’d like to join in the link then make sure you visit Jenny Paulin at Mummymishaps! 😉