Easy vegan rocky road

In my quest to veganise every single type of chocolate treat I have ever had in my life, the time has come to give the rocky road a once over.  I like a basic rocky road – nothing fancy, not too many ingredients, and easy to make.  If that sounds like you then you need to make this rocky road.  NOW.

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After creating this batch I realised that I had made a grave mistake with the recipe.  There just wasn’t enough of the end product.  I scoffed the whole lot in… well I’m not going to tell you how long it took me because that would be embarrassing 😉  So if you want a nice, small amount of rocky road then go ahead and follow this recipe.  If you want plenty of the stuff (and trust me, you will), double the recipe.  Just make sure you have a big enough tin/container to fit it all in, of course.

Any digestive style biscuits can be used in this recipe, and I would suspect that chocolate or chocolate chip biscuits also work.  I found it difficult to source vegan marshmallows initially, but did manage to pick some up at Holland & Barrett in Brixton the other week, and they were brilliant in this.  I dream of a day when I can just walk into Tesco and everything you could ever want was available as a vegan version.  Not long now guys, keep pushing…

As ever, feel free to add anything to this recipe that you might like.  I’ve seen cherries, coconut, peanut butter, nuts and dried fruit all make appearances in rocky road before.  Mix it up a bit.

I will now add this recipe to my list of successfully veganised chocolate treats.  This veganising stuff is EASY.

Ingredients

100g dark chocolate

½ cup vegan marshmallows

100g crushed digestive biscuits (I used Dove’s Farm organic digestive biscuits, but any vegan option will do)

1 TBsp rice malt syrup (or agave if you don’t have rice malt syrup to hand)

Instructions

Line a 16cm x 10cm (approx) baking dish/tin with parchment paper

Roughly chop the dark chocolate

In a large glass bowl, melt down the chocolate with the rice malt syrup in a double boiler on the stove (see here for instructions)

Once melted and combined, add the marshmallows and biscuits to the bowl

Stir carefully until all the ingredients are fully integrated and the chocolate is covering all of the other ingredients

Transfer mixture into the lined baking dish/tin and press down gently

Place dish in the fridge to set (approximately 30 minutes)

Once set, remove from the dish carefully, onto a chopping board, and slice into squares

Serve immediately.  These should last up to 5 days in the fridge.

Time to cook: 5 minutes prep, 10 minutes melting the chocolate, 5 minutes mixing, 30 minutes in the fridge = 50 minutes (20 minutes not including time to set)

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = Easy treats 1.5/5

#nowplaying: The Fall – Touch Sensitive

Matcha-lime cheesecake (vegan/raw)

Probably the sexiest thing I have ever made to date…

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I recently bought a (very expensive) small packet of matcha on a whim and wasn’t sure what kind of recipe to incorporate it into.  There are so many options for adding matcha to sweet treats, so making a raw cheesecake seemed like a good option.  I’m a big fan of citrus fruits, and matcha kinda goes with lime (they’re both green, right?!) – and adding pineapple to the second layer makes it ultra citrus-y and delicious.

img_6649There are plenty of recipes for raw cheesecakes online, so just search around for what you think you might like and go from there.  As with all the recipes on this blog this one is dairy and egg free.

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If you have a spare day on the weekend you’ll smash this one… patience you must have, my young padawan 😉

 

Ingredients

Base

1 cup desiccated coconut

1 cup almonds (you can sub for any other nut here – hazelnuts or pecans would work)

6 medjool dates

Middle layer

1 cup cashews soaked for at least 4 hours (best overnight if possible)

1/2 cup of coconut milk

1/2 cup pineapple pieces (fresh or from a tin)

1/2 cup agave or brown rice syrup

Top layer

1/2 cup cashews (again, soaked overnight)

1/3 cup coconut milk

2 Tbsp agave or brown rice syrup

juice of two limes

1 Tbsp matcha powder

 

Method

Base layer – Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until well combined, around 60 seconds.  Scrape down the side as necessary.

Transfer to a small springform cake tin, lined with baking parchment.  Press down evenly.

Transfer tin to the fridge/freezer while you work on the second layer.

Middle layer – Add the cashews to the blender and blend until almost smooth.  Scrape down the sides as necessary.

Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

Remove your cake tin from the fridge/freezer and add the blended middle layer to the top, using the back of a spatula to ensure even coverage.

Transfer cake tin to the freezer and allow to freeze for at least one hour.

Top layer – As with the middle layer, blend the cashews first.

Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.  If the colour is too pale green add some more matcha and blend again.

Remove the cake tin from the freezer (after allowed hour) and transfer the top layer onto the middle layer.

Smooth with the back of a spatula and then place back in the freezer.

Allow at least an hour to freeze.

When ready to serve, allow five to ten minutes out of the freezer before cutting.

 

Time to make: 15 minutes for each layer, 2 hours in the freezer = 2 hours 45 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 3.5, each layer is kinda straightforward, but there’s the fun of going back and forth to the freezer.

#nowplaying Deap Vally – Smile More

Basic bitch banana & walnut bread

I LOVE me a good banana bread.  There are so many things you can put in them (blueberries, chocolate chips, poppyseed etc.) and many and varied ways of making the bread itself.  Because you’re on this blog however, let me show you how to make yourself a basic bitch VEGAN banana bread.

No weird ingredients, no faffing, just basic and hot damn tasty.  When I make this bread it rarely makes it out of the house, or lasts for longer than a day, it’s SO yum.  I’ll usually make bread when I have overloaded on smoothie bananas in the freezer and have to use up ultra spotty bananas some other way.

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If you manage not to scoff the entire loaf within hours of it coming out of the oven, it’s a good idea to cut into slices and individually wrap them – chuck them in the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer if you want to keep some for later.

But honestly, it won’t last long 😉

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Nice nuts.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar of your choice)

2 medium bananas, mashed

1/3 cup plant milk (I used hemp in this recipe but any other plant milk will be fine)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, plus a few reserved for the topping

Instructions

Preheat oven to 185C (365F).

Grease and line a 20cm x 12cm (or thereabouts) loaf tin.

In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl combine the oil and sugar.  Stir until well combined.

Add the bananas and milk to the large bowl with the sugar and oil, and stir well.

Transfer the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.  Fold in the walnuts (feel free to add chocolate chips or blueberries here instead!).

Transfer the mix to the lined baking tin.  Place the reserved walnuts on top for decoration.

Place the tin on the middle rack in the oven and cook for around 45 minutes, rotating half way.

Check to see if ready by inserting a toothpick into the middle of the bread – if it comes out clean you should be ready to go.

Allow to cool (if you have the patience for it…) for 30 minutes, then slice and serve.

Time to make: 10 minutes prep, 45 minutes cooking = around an hour, plus cooling time

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  1.5.  Basic bitch is as basic bitch does!

#nowplaying PiL – Death Disco

Matcha bliss balls

Yup, officially obsessed with matcha.  When an ingredient makes food look this colour though, who WOULDN’T be obsessed?!  The flavour isn’t overpowering either, so there are loads of recipes you can add it to without making the finished product taste odd.

IMG_5965I’m currently on a quest for the perfect bliss ball, so thought try some using the green goodness of matcha.  Bliss balls are so easy to make, and you can pretty much put anything in there and they’ll taste awesome.  Use different nuts, add some dates, coat with chocolate – the variations are endless.

These were rolled separately in black sesame seeds and desiccated coconut, but feel free to leave plain. (OR dip in chocolate – everyone’s preferred option, surely!) An awesome, raw, sweet pick-me-up for your morning or afternoon snacking.

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Ingredients

3/4 cup macadamia nuts (you can use brazil nuts or almonds if you prefer)

1.5 cups of desiccated coconut

2.5 tsp matcha powder

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup rice malt syrup (or agave if you prefer)

2.5 tsp vanilla extract

Optional – black sesame seeds/desiccated coconut/dark chocolate for coating

Instructions

Grab your blender, chuck in all the ingredients, blend until all ingredients are combined and chopped sufficiently.

Transfer to a flat container and place in the freezer for around 15 minutes, or until just firm.  You don’t want to roll them into balls immediately as the mix will be too sloppy and go everywhere!

Remove from freezer and roll into small balls.

Roll in black sesame seeds or coconut and you’re all done.

Time to make: 5 minutes prep, 2 minutes in the blender, 15 minutes in the freezer, 5 minutes rolling in coating = around 30 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  1.5 – Easy peasy!

#nowplaying Glass Animals – Youth

Vegan chocolate honeycomb

Another flashback to my youth in the land down under – Violet Crumble anyone?  Crunchie perhaps?  Gone are the days spending pocket money on a king sized Crunchie chocolate bar for morning tea (or sometimes for breakfast, alongside a packet of Twisties… how am I not dead?!), so now I have to make something similar from scratch to curb the cravings.

Making honeycomb is SO much fun, but it contains SO much sugar.  This is definitely a treat recipe, not a staple!  Makes you realise how much c r a p is in commercially sold chocolate bars.  At least with this recipe you know exactly what’s going into it.  The fun part is chucking in the bicarb soda – you’ll feel like you’re in a science lab, for real.

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Only four ingredients in this you’ll be happy to know, but it does take a bit of faffing.  It’s not the most immediate of chocolate craving crushers, but it’s worth it for the deliciousness that is waiting at the end.  The only question to answer now is – will you keep it in the fridge or leave it out?  That age old argument…

Ingredients

3 Tbsp rice malt syrup

1 cup coconut sugar

2 tsp bicarb soda

1 x block dark chocolate, melted (approximately 150 grams)

Instructions

Line a small baking tin/dish with parchment paper so that the paper is hanging over the sides (my dish measures 18cm x 10cm)

Add the rice malt syrup and coconut sugar to a medium sized saucepan (not a small one!) and stir occasionally on low heat.  You want all of the sugar to have melted, so continue to stir for up to 10 minutes, or until all of the sugar has dissolved.

Once dissolved, bring to the boil and without stirring, let the mix gently boil for about a minute.

Remove saucepan from the hob and add in the bicarb soda, stirring to combine.

The mix will fluff up a bit – the fluffier the better!  Ensure all of the bicarb soda is mixed in, but try not to over-stir.

Transfer the mix to the lined baking tin and allow to cool.

Once the mix has cooled, cover with cling film and place in the fridge overnight.

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Dat honeycomb…

The next day, remove the honeycomb from the fridge, remove from the baking tray and chop into bite sized chunks.  No need to be regimented here, rustic is good!

Line a baking tray/dish with parchment paper as before.

Melt the chocolate using the double boiler method.

Place the chopped honeycomb into a large bowl and drizzle the melted chocolate over the top.  Stir to combine.

Transfer the chocolate honeycomb mix to the lined baking tray/dish and press down with a spatula to ensure there are few gaps in the mix.

Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to set.

Remove from the fridge and serve immediately.

Time to make: 5 minutes prep, 15 minutes on the hob/pan, 5 minutes combining = 25 minutes (plus overnight)

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  2 – be careful not to burn the sugar/syrup mix, plus waiting time is excruciating!

#nowplaying The Cribs – We Share The Same Skies

Apricot danish

Pastry is life.  Every time I buy a roll of Jus Rol pastry it goes within the day.  Not raw mind you (I’m not that silly… although it does taste nice raw too), but made into anything and everything – savoury, sweet, big, small, as long as it’s tasty.

I used to buy danish pastries a LOT when I first started working.  It didn’t help that I worked in a cafe that had an abundant pre-made supply.  Then I worked as a junior baker and we baked danish pastries from scratch.  Apricot were always my favourite.

This is a pretty basic recipe, no faffing at all, and very delicious.  You could substitute apricot for blueberries, strawberries, cherries, peaches – you name it, it’ll probably work.  As long as you like the fruit, you’ll love it with pastry!

Cropped

 

Ingredients

2 x rectangle sheets of puff pastry (mine were approx 15cm x 10cm), room temperature

1 x apricot, peeled and halved (see here for how to easily peel an apricot)

1 x tablespoon apricot jam or marmalade

Optional – handful of slivered almonds

Method

Preheat your oven to 220C (425F).

Arrange a baking tray with parchment paper to cover and place pastry rectangles on paper to warm to room temperature.

Once your pastry is at room temperature, fold the corners into the middle of the pastry, then place your halved apricot in the middle (see below).

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Brush pastry with slightly warmed jam/marmalade (5 seconds in the microwave should be plenty).

Sprinkle slivered almonds on top.

Bake in the oven for around 25 minutes, but check so as not to burn.

Serve immediately, or can be kept at room temperature for around 2 days.

 

Time to make: 10 minutes prep, 20 minutes cooking = 30 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  1.5, not much to this recipe, which we like!

#nowplaying Blossoms – Charlemagne

 

Vegan cherry ripe

Is there such a thing as Cherry Ripe chocolate bars in the UK?  If there is, I haven’t found one yet.  And who cares anyway, because you can make them yourself!

I used to demolish Cherry Ripe bars when I was living in Australia, and along with Bounty bars they were top of the pile as far as naughty chocolate snacks go.  The fact that these home made ones aren’t so naughty makes them even better.  Four kinds of fruit (I KNOW!) and totally delicious.  Give them a try and let me know how yum they are.

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Ingredients

Bar ingredients
1 cup desiccated coconut
2 Tbsp coconut oil (ensure melted)
1 Tbsp agave
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup fresh cherries
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
2 medjool dates

Chocolate coating
3 Tbsp coconut oil
4 Tbsp cacao powder
2 Tbsp agave

Method

Line a 10cm by 5cm (or similar size) baking tin/dish with parchment paper that extends up the sides.

Add the bar ingredients to the food processor and blend until all ingredients are combined and broken down. You can leave a few chunks if you like, but I like it better when it’s smooth!

Transfer the mix to your lined baking tin and press down firmly with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Ensure the mix is spread out evenly and flat on the top.

Place the bar mix in the freezer to set for approximately 2 hours, while you go and watch your favourite YouTubers for a bit 😉

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Freeze me.

Remove bar mix from the freezer after the allocated time and cut into bars. Leave in the baking tin and return to the freezer while you make your chocolate coating.

Mix the chocolate coating ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Ensure your coconut oil is fully melted (but not hot) before mixing with the agave and cacao powder. Depending on what time of year it is, you will find that coconut oil will either be hard or completely melted. Right now it’s summer, so mine was melted and ready to go. (Although if you live somewhere like Australia or Cuba my guess is that your coconut oil is always on the melted side… don’t make me jealous now!)

Line a medium sized baking tray with parchment paper, big enough to fit all of your bars on without touching.

Remove the bars from the freezer and one by one, dip your bars into the chocolate coating. I use a fork and a spoon for this to ensure full coverage (and less chocolate-y hands).

Once coated, place the bars on the parchment covered baking tray to set.

When all the bars are coated, return to the freezer to set.

The chocolate coating should set quickly, so you can tuck into one of them after around ten minutes.

These can be kept in the freezer or fridge, depending on which you prefer.

They are best enjoyed cold, as the chocolate does tend to melt a bit when left at room temperature, especially for you guys who live in a warm climate..!

Time to make: 10 minutes prep, 2 hours to set, 10 minutes to coat, five minutes to set = 2 hours, 25 minutes (take out the setting times and it’s only 20 minutes out of your day!).

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  2.5, fairly fuss free but there is a long waiting period to set the bars.  Coating them is also a bit fiddly if you’re not already an expert.

#nowplaying Moonlandingz – Sweet Saturn Mine

Raw chocolate orange bliss balls

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I have now officially moved into the big time of small time cooking (!) – I bought a proper food processor.  Can you believe I’ve gone this long without one?  Crazy.

Making foods like these raw chocolate orange balls had been difficult previously – ever tried to make falafel by hand?  Or cheesecake crust in a – shudder – blender?!  This could be why my blender currently decided to give up the ghost and I had to throw it out.  Overuse and possibly using it for the completely wrong things.  Oops.

So first to be made in my new, all the bells and whistles Kenwood food processor were these chocolate orange bliss balls.  WAY easier with a food processor!  A pretty simple recipe too, difficult at all to make.

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EAT ME

This recipe made around 25 small balls, but feel free to halve the recipe if you’re not feeding a load of people (which I wasn’t – whoops.  More for me).

 

Ingredients

Balls

10 Medjool dates, pitted

1 cup almonds

1/2 cup ground almonds/almond meal

1 tsp vanilla essence

Juice and zest of one large orange

Chocolate finish

1/4 cup cacao powder

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 Tbsp agave nectar

Method

Place all the ball ingredients in a food processor and process until you get a sticky crumble (see below).

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Roll into approximately 25 balls, more or less depending on what size you want them to be.

Mix the chocolate finish ingredients together in a small bowl/ramekin.  If your coconut oil isn’t yet melted do this first.  It’s currently the height of summer here so mine was already melted!

Dip the balls one by one into the finish and use two spoons to coat so you don’t get chocolate-y fingers (unless you want to, of course).

Place balls on a small baking sheet lined freezer tray.  Alternatively you can let them set on a wire rack so the chocolate finish drizzles off.  I personally like to have the chunky bits of chocolate on the bottom of the balls!

Feel free to add some dessicated coconut at this stage, or any other toppings.

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Place the balls on the baking sheet into the freezer for 20 minutes, then serve immediately.

Can be kept in the fridge for up to five days.

Time to make: 5 minutes prep/blending, 10 minutes rolling balls, 10 minutes dipping in chocolate finish, 20 minutes in the freezer = 45 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  2, chocolate dipping is a bit fiddly

# nowplaying Jamie T – Tinfoil Boy

Aquafaba chocolate mousse (vegan)

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I’ve been eyeing off aquafaba (chickpea brine) mousse recipes on the internet for months now so decided to pull my finger out on the weekend and give it a try.

Chickpea brine smells SO gross, so I was hugely skeptical at first as to whether you could make something out of the stuff that would taste any good.  So now you know, don’t throw away the aquafaba, it’s liquid GOLD.

The key to this recipe is to make sure that you’ve fluffed up your aquafaba enough – I used a hand whisk and kept whisking (alternating arms!) for a good 15 minutes to get it to the required consistency.  It would be MUCH easier to use an electric beater, so if you have one to hand, do yourself (and your arms) a favour and use that instead.

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My precious

Apart from the whisking, this is a pretty straightforward recipe with only three ingredients.  Give it a go – I need someone else to confirm that it doesn’t taste like chickpea brine!

 

Ingredients

100g good quality dark chocolate – as always, I used Lindt dark 70%

1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp chickpea brine (aquafaba) – there should be at least this amount from one 400g tin of chickpeas

3 tsp vanilla essence

Method

Break the chocolate into pieces and use a double boiler method (here’s a good step-by-step on how to do this) to melt the chocolate, 1 Tbsp aquafaba and the vanilla essence.  Stir occasionally until fully melted.

While the chocolate is melting, whisk the remainder of the aquafaba in a large bowl until stiff peaks form.  Be persistent – don’t stop until the peaks appear!

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Once sufficiently whipped, add 1/4 of the aquafaba to the melted chocolate (taken off the heat) and stir until combined.

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Now add the chocolate to the remainder of the aquafaba and fold until just combined.  You don’t want to mix it too much here as your mix will flatten and you won’t have fluffy mousse.

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Keep it fluffy guys

Pour into ramekins or small bowls and  refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

 

Makes dessert for four people (or two hungry ones!)

Time to make: 5 minutes prep, 20 minutes whisking by hand (take off 15 minutes if using an electric beater), 10 minutes to combine = 35 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 2, whisking can be a pain if you don’t have an electric beater, but otherwise it’s fairly straightforward.

#nowplaying Holy F**k – Xed Eyes

Peanut butter cups (vegan)

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You want easy and tasty?  You got it.  Not sure if I know of a recipe easier than this – two ingredients and easy assembly peanut butter cups.

TWO ingredients guys.  Two.

If you’re a fan of peanut butter and dark chocolate like I am, then you’ll love this.  Tastes like the real thing… if you were ever into the real thing!  I used crunchy peanut butter for this recipe, but feel free to use smooth if that floats your boat.

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Ingredients

300g dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70%)

6 Tbsp peanut butter (I used Whole Earth organic crunchy)

Method

Melt the dark chocolate using the two pot method (as described in the previous Vegan Bounty Bars post)

Measure 1/2 Tbsp of chocolate into each of six small muffin cases

Place into fridge for 10 minutes to set

When set, add a tablespoon of peanut butter to each of the muffin cases (see below).  No need to spread too evenly as the next step will cover it all up anyway.

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Could eat it now… better not.

Place back into fridge for another 10 minutes

When set, distribute the remainder of the melted chocolate evenly between the six muffin cases.  Ensure all of the peanut butter is covered with the chocolate.

Place back in the fridge for 10 minutes to set

When set, remove from fridge and eat until your heart is content!

 

Makes 6 small peanut butter cups

Time to make: 10 mins prep and melting chocolate / 30 minutes set time  = 40 minutes total

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 1 – if you have time it’s super easy.

#nowplaying Wild Beasts – Get My Bang