Tag Archives: chocolate

Chocolate Viennese Whirls

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Sweet, buttery, melt in the mouth Viennese Whirl biscuits sandwiched together with a chocolate truffle filling; these are perfect for a special occasion and would be a great alternative to cake. You’d never guess how simple these are to bake just by looking at them! 

Sometimes, I just don’t fancy cake. There, I said it! Sometimes something a little more sophisticated, a little less sweet does the trick. And just like there is a cake for every occasion, the same can be said for the humble biscuit… right the way from a rough and ready chocolate chip cookie to these splendid Viennese Whirls. They look so impressive, so time consuming, so “did you really make these at home?!“, but they are so so simple! IMG_1359 In texture, these biscuits are like an extremely short shortbread. A very buttery texture, they drift away in the mouth (because to even suggest melt would make them sound too heavy!) leaving behind a sweet buttery taste – yes, even without real butter!

These are Chocolate Viennese Whirls; unlike their familiar counterparts which are usually filled with jam and buttercream, they are less sweet, slightly more rich, and far more decadent. The chocolate filling is simply melted chocolate, then mixed with butter and caster sugar. I was surprised at the addition of caster sugar, but the texture of it really works and compliments the smooth biscuits with the smallest amount of pleasant crunch. And if you have some filling left over, you can roll it into balls and coat in cocoa powder for a quick and easy chocolate truffle! IMG_1370 I found this recipe a long long time ago in You magazine, and had it hoarded away in a pile marked ‘to try’. I’m so glad I did. The recipe was perfect and the only tweak I made was to the cooking time – I found mine needed a little longer in the oven to completely dry out, which is important as this is what gives them their lighter than light texture. IMG_1381 The trick to the shape of these fancy biscuits is a piping bag and nozzle. This might make you shy away in horror – but trust me, this is not a recipe where you need to have piping skills! The nozzle does all the work for you; pipe any shape you want and with a slightly damp finger, smooth over any edges you want to hide. If this really does fill you with fear, pipe some practice shapes onto a plate until you’re happy, then scoop the dough back into the piping bag to make your final biscuits.

If you don’t want to go as far as making the filling you can simply melt the chocolate and dip the biscuits in, as I did with some of mine – or, even easier, use a dairy free chocolate spread thickened with a little cocoa powder or icing sugar to sandwich them together! IMG_1393 Continue reading

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Rocky Road

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A rich chocolatey treat that’s ideal to make in advance for a crowd. A chocolate lover’s dream that will surely delight anyone, and really no one will believe this is dairy free!

Rocky Road is one of my favourite recipes to whip out whenever we have a big group of people over. Whoever they are, whatever their age, whatever their tastes – no one says no to a piece of Rocky Road! With chunks of biscuit, marshmallow, nuts and cranberries enveloped in a chocolate blanket you can quickly produce something with universal appeal in advance – which is a winner in my book when a large number of people descend on your house!

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I also think Rocky Road is the ultimate chocolate treat, duly satisfying the biggest of chocolate cravings. It is rich and dense, packed with tasty sweet treats making it very moreish. The pieces might look small but trust me when I say they pack a serious chocolate punch! The perilous thing is that it is so easy to make, and worse yet, you probably have most of these ingredients in your cupboard at any one time… you have been warned!

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For this Rocky Road I used Hobnobs as the biscuit for crunch (For those of you not in the UK and perhaps not familiar with Hobnobs, they are an oaty biscuit – a bit like a flapjack in cookie form. The most important thing, of course, is that they don’t contain any milk, which can be a hard thing to find in a good biscuit) and added hazelnuts to compliment the chocolate and give additional texture. I’ve used dried cranberries – but any dried fruit with a sweet/sour edge would be perfect, such as dried sour cherries. The fruit is a sweet relief that cuts through the thick, luscious chocolate.

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So, next time you need to bake for a crowd or just want to make yourself a chocolatey treat, give this Rocky Road a try!

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Chocolate Chip & Hazelnut Cookies

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Soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies with crunch hazelnut pieces throughout. You’ll never go for a shop bought cookie again!

Oh cookies… Even just the word makes my mouth water, my attention drift towards thoughts of warm, chewy, soft, chocolatey bites of goodness. At least that’s certainly how I felt about cookies before giving up dairy! Now, the best I’ve managed to find are Sainsburys’ Free From Chocolate Chip Cookies; However, also being free from gluten and wheat, they’re missing some of the best characteristics of a good cookie in my opinion.

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And so the long quest started to find the recipe for the perfect dairy free cookie. I’m still not sure I’m there, but these are pretty darn close – and a considerable improvement to any ‘free from’ cookies I’ve eaten. These are best eaten warm from the oven, and the best way to do this is wrap any chilled cookie dough you won’t eat immediately in clingfilm, roll into a sausage shape, freeze, then when you want cookies simply slice off into rounds and bake. And voilà!

These cookies are the perfect mix of crisp, crunchy outside with a soft chewy centre. I’ve added hazelnut pieces and syrup into the dough to give some extra flavour to compliment the chocolate, but you could leave this out if you wish.

What could be better than a freshly baked cookie… go on, give it a try and treat yourself!

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Chocolate Truffle Cake

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Deliciously rich, moist and intense chocolate cake with a hazelnut truffle buttercream filling and covered in chocolate ganache, it’s perfect for any special occasion. No one will ever believe this is dairy free!

Is there any cake as universally loved as chocolate cake? Certainly not in my experience, and what’s wonderful about chocolate cake is the huge variety you can make. A chocolate cake can be light, sweet and perfect for an afternoon treat or it can be rich, dark and decadent. This cake without a doubt falls into the second category.

The chocolate sponge gets its depth of flavour and soft texture from some surprising ingredients – melted chocolate, coffee and coconut yoghurt. The chocolate and coffee provide the intense chocolate flavour – be sure not to skip the coffee, you really can’t taste it but it helps bring out the chocolate flavour like nothing else. The coconut yoghurt is added to help the cake stay soft and moist and it provides a slightly tangy unsweet flavour which works well in such a rich cake. You could use any type of plain non dairy yoghurt but I preferred coconut. You can’t taste the coconut flavour, but it provides the tang of normal yoghurts which I find most non dairy yoghurts lack.

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The hazelnut truffle buttercream filling has to be one of my favourite things about this cake and no words will do it justice. Naughtily smooth, sweet and chocolatey but less rich than the ganache, it is the perfect filling to provide sweetness to the rest of the cake. It’s called ‘truffle’ filling because you could refrigerate this buttercream and when cold, spoon it into little truffles… Not that I did that of course…

To finish off the cake I’ve covered it with chocolate ganache and chopped roasted hazelnuts. Ganache is just chocolate and cream but it makes the perfect cover for a special occasion cake, shiny and smelling divine it makes the cake irresistible to all… even to those rare people who say they don’t like chocolate cake!

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‘Easy’ Chocolate Mousse

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I call this ‘easy’ dairy free chocolate mousse, but I am well aware that ‘easy’ for most people is popping to the shop and buying some. Even so, whether you eat dairy or not, I don’t think any shop bought chocolate mousse can ever really compare with the delightfully rich homemade variety.

This is definitely a grown up version – rich, chocolatey and gently flavoured with coffee for extra depth and flavour. So although this is not as easy as buying ready made I would encourage you all to try this, as we all deserve something as scrumptious as this for a treat.

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