Strawberry White Chocolate Bars

I am absolutely loving the amount of fresh fruit that is in season right now. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries… all sorts of delicious little morsels to snack on. Which is why it’s exciting that this month’s MiniMoFo theme  is fruit. Fruit is something that can sometimes seem a little uninspiring and “healthy”, but it can also sometimes seem exciting and fresh and tasty!

I’ll start off by saying, if you’re looking for a super-healthy fruit recipe… this is not your place. But I imagine most of you know that by now. This recipe is sweet and tasty, stuffed full of lots of strawberries (it’s a great recipe to use any you haven’t got round to eating yet) and topped with a gorgeous white chocolate crumble.

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If you’re in the UK, you can get vegan white chocolate fairly cheaply from Tesco or Sainsbury’s, and the Co-Op do white chocolate buttons in their free-from section too. Or you can splurge and buy the wonderful iChoc white chocolate which is absolutely delicious.

The way I “crumble” the chocolate actually was born out of my laziness. I like to make chocolate chip cookies but sometimes I have difficulty finding vegan chocolate chips, so I often use a bar of chocolate chopped up for chunks. In my laziness, however, this sometimes translates to me bunging the bar of chocolate in the food processor and blending a few seconds to chop it up. Once, I blended a few seconds too long and ended up with crumbled chocolate…and it works perfectly in this recipe.

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The crumbled chocolate gets mixed with flour, (vegan) butter, sugar, and oats to make a crumbly topping for the strawberry bars. You bake the shortbread first, then top with the strawberries, then the crumble, and finally bake again until it’s nice and golden brown.

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The strawberry topping is made by chopping strawberries, mixing with a little vanilla and sugar, and leaving them aside to macerate for half an hour. This allows some of the juices to drain so they’re not too soggy for your bars. Then you drain the juice (keep it – it’s tasty!) and put the strawberries on top of the cooked shortbread.

These bars should be kept in the fridge because of the fresh fruit, and they’re delicious on a warm sunny day, such as the one we’re strangely having right now in the UK!

Strawberry White Chocolate Bars


Ingredients

    For the Shortbread
  • 150g vegan butter
  • 80g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225g plain flour
  • 35g cornflour (cornstarch in the US)
  • pinch salt
  • For the Strawberry Filling

  • 500g strawberries, roughly chopped
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • For the Crumble

  • 150g vegan white chocolate, blitzed in a food processor to a crumbly texture
  • 50g vegan butter
  • 25g oats
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 100g plain flour

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 175C/350F
  1. First, make the shortbread. Cream together the butter and sugar until well mixed, then mix in the vanilla.
  2. Add the flour, salt, and cornflour to the butter/sugar mix and combine. The mix will be quite dry and crumbly – use your hands to bring it together into a dough.
  3. Press the dough into a baking tin – mine is 9×13 inch – and squash it down to make it level.
  4. Bake the shortbread in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
  5. While the shortbread is baking, prepare the strawberries. In a large bowl, mix together the chopped strawberries, the sugar, and vanilla. Set aside for 30 minutes, and then drain the liquid off.
  6. Next, make the crumble topping. In a bowl, add all the crumble ingredients and rub together with your fingers until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to use.
  7. Once the shortbread is baked, spread the drained strawberries on top of it, making sure to cover the biscuit evenly.
  8. Sprinkle the crumble topping over the strawberries, again covering it evenly.
  9. Place back in the oven for a further 30 minutes until the crumble is golden brown.
  10. Cool in the tin, then slice and serve! Store in the fridge.


 

 

Apple Crumble Bars

When I was a child, we had a great big apple tree in our garden. It grew Bramley apples, which are a cooking variety of apple, so super sour. Every autumn, when apple season arrived, we would climb the tree and pick apples. My mum worked (and still does!) as a childminder, and so we always had loads of kids around to help us climb the tree. I was the tallest so I climbed the highest and reached the top apples, and threw them down to whoever was waiting on the floor to catch them. My brother, lover of all things sour, would eat the apples raw despite warnings, and then moan of stomach ache later. We might also go and pick some blackberries from the bushes in the fields behind our house – or maybe not, and just have the apples on their own in a pie or a crumble. The apple tree is long gone now, but there’s something unmistakably autumnal about baking apples.

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The final #MiniMofo challenge is to make something to welcome in Autumn, and I knew I had to do something with apples. A pie, or a crumble, would be the obvious choice, but I wanted something a little more portable and snackable than a big dessert. One flavour combination that is a classic is apples and caramel – and I decided to incorporate that into my dish too.

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These bars are made with a shortbread base, which is baked while the apples are caramelised on the stove top, and then spread on top of the freshly baked biscuit. To finish it off, an oaty crumble topping is added and the whole thing is baked until crispy and golden brown. The tarter the apple you use in this recipe, the better, to balance out the sweetness of the caramel. If you don’t have golden syrup, use corn syrup, or agave, or even maple, but the latter will give it a more distinctive taste.

Caramel Apple Crumble Bars

Ingredients

    For the Shortbread

  • 150g vegan butter
  • 80g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225g plain flour
  • 35g cornflour (cornstarch in the US)
  • pinch salt
  • For the Apple Filling

  • 50g vegan butter
  • 350g peeled, cored, and small-diced apple (about 4 apples)
  • 75g brown sugar
  • 2tbsp golden syrup (or substitute corn syrup)
  • pinch salt
  • For the Crumble Topping

  • 100g plain flour
  • 50g vegan butter
  • 50g oats
  • 50g brown sugar

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 175C/350F
  1. First, make the shortbread. Cream together the butter and sugar until well mixed, then mix in the vanilla.
  2. Add the flour, salt, and cornflour to the butter/sugar mix and combine. The mix will be quite dry and crumbly – use your hands to bring it together into a dough.
  3. Press the dough into a baking tin – mine is 9×13 inch – and squash it down to make it level.
  4. Bake the shortbread in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
  5. Now, make the apple filling. In a medium saucepan, melt the vegan butter.
  6. Add the apples, sugar, syrup, and salt to the melted butter, and cook, stirring regularly, for 15 minutes until the apples are soft and golden. Taste to adjust sweetness, and remove from heat.
  7. Now, prepare the crumble topping. Add all the crumble ingredients to a bowl, and mix together with your fingers until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs.
  8. Once the shortbread is cooked, pour the apple mixture over the still-warm biscuit, and spread, making sure it’s all covered.
  9. Sprinkle the crumble mixture on top of the apples, again making sure it’s all even, and put the whole thing back in the oven for 30 minutes, until the crumble is golden.
  10. Remove from the oven, and leave to cool on the countertop before transferring the whole thing to the fridge. Let cool completely before slicing.

Vegan Millionaire’s Shortbread

Also known as “caramel shortbread” or “caramel square” or even in some cases “homemade twix”, this is usually very non vegan. But oh so good. Melt in your mouth shortbread, creamy caramel, and a chocolate topping? Mmm. I decided to make a vegan version of this delicious treat.

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The most difficult part, I figured, would be the caramel. There are some vegan recipes for millionaire’s shortbread out there, but a lot of them use either peanut butter, coconut milk, or dates. Peanut butter and coconut milk are too strongly flavoured for me, and dates…well, they’re alright for a fruit, but they aren’t caramel.

So I decided just to go with vegan butter (I used Pure), sugar, golden syrup, and some almond milk, and see how it worked. And it worked perfectly! I did use a sugar thermometer (you can usually get these fairly cheaply now) but I think you could make it work without one.

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First however, I made the shortbread. This is a simple shortbread recipe, and I used Stork margarine in the foil. The one in the foil is vegan – but avoid the one in the tub as it’s not! (thanks veganoo.net!) If you’re not in the UK, try to use a “solid” type, more like butter than spread. I pressed the dough it into my tin (this is a 9×13 dish) and baked until golden brown.

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Next step was to make the caramel. This is basically melting the vegan butter with the sugars, golden syrup (if you’re not able to get this you could use corn syrup), and vegan milk. Once melted, hands off, and leave until it reaches 115C/240F. This is the “soft ball” stage in sugar making, where the hot mixture will, if dropped into a cup of cold water, form a soft ball without breaking apart. You can do this without a thermometer by periodically testing small amounts of the mixture – use a cup of very cold water (put ice in if you like) and drop a bit in. If you can pick it up with your fingers and squeeze it around, it’s good to go!

Once the caramel is at the right temperature, you have to stir, off the heat,  for 10-15 minutes, non stop. This helps it thicken as it cools and stops it from being too runny or chewy. Yes, it takes a while and your arm will ache – play some nice music or have something to read while you do it!

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Next was the chocolate. After I made the caramel, poured it over the shortbread, and allowed it to cool, I melted vegan chocolate (mine is from Lidl but you can use whatever chocolate you prefer) and spread it on top. You don’t need a very thick layer of chocolate – it gets hard to cut if you do. Then, I just left the whole thing to cool before cutting it into squares!

Vegan Millionaire's Shortbread

  • Servings: Makes 30 shortbreads
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Ingredients

    For the Shortbread
  • 150g vegan butter, softened
  • 80g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 225g plain flour
  • 35g cornflour/cornstarch
  • pinch salt
  • For the Caramel

  • 180g vegan butter
  • 200g golden syrup (or corn syrup)
  • 180g brown sugar
  • 100g white sugar
  • 150ml vegan milk (I used almond but any would work)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • For the Chocolate

  • 200g dark chocolate

Directions

    Preheat the Oven to 170C/340F
  1. First make the shortbread. In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, then add the vanilla.
  2. Mix in the flour, salt and cornflour. The mixture will be stiff and crumbly but that’s right. Use your hands to mix rather than a spoon if you need!
  3. Press the mixture into a lined tin. Mine is 9×13 size. Try to make it evenly spread so it bakes at the right speed.
  4. Place the tin in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the shortbread is beginning to go golden brown on top. Leave to cool in the tin.
  5. Next, make the caramel. In a large saucepan, add all the caramel ingredients except the salt and vanilla.
  6. Put the saucepan over a low heat and allow the sugars to dissolve and the butter to melt.
  7. Once everything is dissolved, stop stirring and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Let it heat until it reaches 115C/240F. (If you don’t have a thermometer, see the instructions above)
  8. When the mixture reaches temperature, remove it from the heat and quickly add the vanilla and salt. Stir.
  9. Stir the mixture off the heat with a wooden spoon for 10-15 minutes, until it thickens significantly.
  10. Pour the caramel over the cooled shortbread and spread evenly. Put in the fridge to cool.
  11. Once cooled, begin the chocolate layer. Melt your chocolate (I used the microwave) and spread it over the cooled caramel layer. Again, put in the fridge and leave to cool.
  12. Finally, once everything is cool, remove it all from the tin and slice it into squares. Let it warm to room temperature before cutting if you like – this helps the chocolate on top not crack under the pressure of the knife.

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

It’s true, I already have a brownie recipe on my blog, posted nearly two years ago! And those brownies are really great and super simple to make. But they’re cakey brownies – which I think are great, but there’s always room for more than one type of brownie! These brownies are fudgy, gooey, sticky, and indulgent – mmm!

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With fudgy centres and a crackly top, these brownies are pretty much perfect. I make them with chocolate chips, because you can never have enough chocolate, right? But you could also jazz them up with walnuts or dried cherries if those take your fancy!

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They’re a little more involved than my regular brownies, and they use aquafaba, which I’ve explained in a previous post – it’s the liquid from a tin of beans or chickpeas! Yeah, weird right? But it works, so well. And, I’m not joking, you cannot taste beans in the slightest! Do me a favour and just try it, okay?

Fudgy Brownies

  • Servings: 20 brownies
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Ingredients

  • 115g dark chocolate, broken into chunks
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 90g vegan butter (I used vitalite)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 tbsp aquafaba
  • 360g sugar
  • 50ml milk of choice (I used oat milk)
  • 265g plain flour
  • 100g chocolate chips

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 175C/350F/Gas Mark 4
  1. In a heat-proof bowl, combine the dark chocolate, cocoa powder, and vegan butter. Either in a microwave, or over a double boiler, heat until the chocolate is completely melted.
  2. Into the melted mixture, stir the vanilla, salt, milk, bicarbonate of soda, and aquafaba, and mix until well combined.
  3. Add in the sugar and mix with a fork until completely mixed in.
  4. Gently fold through the flour until there are no pockets of flour remaining.
  5. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips. The mixture is quite thick at this point – that’s what it’s meant to be like!
  6. Transfer the mixture into a baking dish and press down until evenly spread.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean.
  8. Leave to cool before slicing, if you can resist!

Thank you to veganbaking.net for the recipe inspiration!

Chocolate Crumbed Banana Muffins

The stereotype is that vegans eat lots of bananas. Go on any vegan Facebook or instagram page and you can see people oohing and ahhing over great deals they found on bananas. Confession: you won’t find me there. I just don’t particularly like eating bananas, not on their own. I know they’re good and healthy – full of potassium – but sitting down and chowing on a banana? Nah.

However, bananas are awesome in things. Strawberry banana smoothie? Great! But still a little “healthy” for me. Banana bread? Now you’re talking. It’s a little known fact that bananas are actually a fairly good egg substitute in baking! They do, of course, impart the taste of bananas, but in general you can sub one mashed banana for one egg when making cakes! So, banana bread? You don’t need eggs for that.

I decided to go a bit further and make my banana bread into muffins. Chocolate chip ones, to be precise. With a chocolate crumb on top. That maybe got away a bit from the whole “eating a banana to be healthy” thing but – it’s fruit, right? One of my five a day.

These are so very good when they are all warm and melty from the oven. With melty chocolate chips and a lovely banana-chocolate flavour….mmm.

Chocolate Crumbed Banana Muffins

  • Servings: 12 muffins
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Ingredients

    for the muffins:
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 55g white sugar
  • 55g brown sugar
  • 75ml sunflower oil
  • 4 ripe bananas – about 275g peeled weight
  • 50ml milk of choice (I used oat milk)
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar (or use lemon juice)
  • 100g chocolate chips
  • for the crumb:

  • 35g vegan butter, melted
  • 25g plain flour
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 40g granulated sugar

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 175C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and line a muffin tray with cases
  1. First, mash the bananas. Mash them well until there are no large lumps.
  2. Into the bananas, stir the oil, milk, and cider vinegar, and whisk.
  3. Add the sugars and whisk until combined.
  4. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and bicarb, and cocoa powder in a separate bowl.
  5. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet carefully – do not overmix!
  6. Once mixed, carefully fold through the chocolate chips, until just mixed.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tins.
  8. Next, make the crumb. Mix the dry ingredients together, and pour over the melted butter. Using your fingers, rub together until you get a “sandy” crumb texture.
  9. Sprinkle the crumb evenly over the muffins.
  10. Bake the muffins in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  11. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before removing (and eating!)

Double Carob Cookies

Carob. It’s almost a dirty word for some people – seen as a weird “not chocolate” imitation that is relegated to dusty shelves in health food stores. And in many ways, it is similar to chocolate. It comes from a bean, like cocoa, and is often found in powder, bar, and chip forms, like chocolate. It’s brown and usually used in desserts, though, like chocolate, has its occasional foray into the savoury world. But the comparison to chocolate is where carob gets its bad name. It does not taste like chocolate, and to pass it off as a “chocolate substitution” can lead to disappointment. Chocolate is nice! But carob is nice too, in it’s own, not chocolate way.

So, give carob a chance. Naturally sweet, caffeine-free, and very rich in calcium, carob is a great addition to your snacks! These cookies, soft and almost gooey in the middle, with chunks of carob running through, are an ideal introduction to the flavour.

You can buy carob easily in health food shops – Holland and Barrett stock it, or anywhere local to you should! You can also buy it online if you like. For this recipe, I used the powder and the drops, but if you can’t find the drops, just chop up a bar into small pieces and use it instead!

Now, there’s one other ingredient in this recipe that may seem a little strange. In many of my sweet recipes, I don’t necessarily use an “egg replacer” because the recipe is such that it doesn’t need one. But there are recipes that benefit from the binding and structure formation of eggs and in that case, there are many “replacements” that can be used – from seeds and fruits, tofu, to the latest discovery – “aquafaba“.

Aquafaba – literally “bean water” is the liquid that you drain from a can of beans, often chickpeas. This sounds strange, but really, it’s no stranger than eggs are if you think about it, and it makes use of a food that we often just throw down the sink. The liquid that the beans have been soaking in is full of protein that comes from the beans themselves, and this provides a similar structure to that of eggs! It even whips up just like egg whites – next time you open a can of beans, strain out the liquid and have a go with an electric whisk, you can whip it up to form peaks and make meringues, macarons, anything! Tasteless as well – you can’t tell it comes from the beans.

These cookies are quick and easy to make, and even bake in just ten minutes! You mix the dry ingredients together, the wet ingredients together, and then combine the two. The dough is quite stiff and you kinda have to get in there with your hands (it’s vegan, so safe to lick your fingers afterwards!), and form the dough into balls about walnut sized.

Bake for ten minutes, and then – this is important – leave to cool before picking them up. They’ll be pretty soft and fragile immediately out of the oven, but firm up once cooled.

Then you can eat as many as you want.

Double Carob Cookies

  • Servings: 15 cookies
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Ingredients

    Dry:
  • 160g plain flour
  • 50g carob powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
  • pinch salt
  • Wet:

  • 100ml neutral oil
  • 200g sugar
  • 3 tbsp aquafaba (liquid from a can of beans)
  • 3 tbsp almond milk (or non dairy milk of choice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 80g carob chips

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 175C/350F
  1. In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients until well combined.
  2. In a separate jug or bowl, mix the wet ingredients and whisk with a fork until creamed.
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix together. It may be a little stiff so get your hands in and mix it as best you can. Add an extra splash of milk if you really need to, but try not to add too much.
  4. Once the dough is formed, add the carob chips and work them through.
  5. Form the dough into balls about the size of a walnut, and place an inch apart on a lined baking tray.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for ten minutes. They’ll still look pretty soft, but this is how we want them.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray before you move them.
  8. Enjoy your cookies!

Recipe loosely inspired from The Post Punk Kitchen

Cranberry Marzipan Cookies

It’s been a while! Sorry! I actually made these cookies a couple of weeks ago but didn’t get the time to post them until now. You may notice the pictures are slightly fancier – I got a new camera! A proper posh DSLR (which I have no idea how to use properly). I’m still not great at food presentation but at least the pictures are clearer!

I’m on a bit of a marzipan kick at the moment – perhaps with Christmas baking it’s made me fancy it! Earlier this year I read a recipe on Elephantastic Vegan which used marzipan in the same sort of way you’d use chocolate chips and I have been determined to use it in a recipe of my own! The cranberries I feel pair well with the marzipan and make a great seasonal cookie! Once baked, the marzipan slightly caramelises and, if eaten warm, goes all gorgeous and gooey.

The marzipan I chopped into pieces about 5-10mm square (that’s 1/5 to 2/5th of an inch) – don’t bother about them being too even as they do melt a little in the cookie. If you want bigger or smaller chunks then go for it!

The recipe uses golden syrup, which is available readily in the UK and Australia, but if you can’t get it use any other thick syrup – agave would work, or a simple syrup of boiled sugar/water.

Cranberry Marzipan Cookies

  • Servings: 20 cookies
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Ingredients

  • 130g vegan butter
  • 80g soft brown sugar
  • 2tbsp golden syrup
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g self raising flour (or sub regular flour + 1tsp baking powder)
  • 100g oats
  • 100g marzipan, chopped into 5-10mm cubes
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp water

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 175C/350F
  1. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  2. Add in the golden syrup and vanilla extract, and beat until mixed.
  3. Stir through the flour, oats, and 2 tbsp water to make the cookie dough.
  4. Fold in the cranberries and marzipan – gently so as not to break the marzipan!
  5. Scoop tablespoon sized pieces of the dough onto baking trays, spread out slightly to allow for any rising.
  6. Place in the oven for 12-16 minutes, until golden brown!

Chocolate “Crunchie” Bites (Or, Honeycomb/Cinder Toffee)

Apparently, these go by several names. I’ve always known them as “that bit inside a crunchie bar” or honeycomb (no, not the bee stuff!). They can also be called cinder toffee, and, it seems, “hokey pokey” which I thought was a kid’s party song, but oh well.

I actually bought some chocolate-coated-honeycomb last week at the West Midlands Vegan Festival which inspired me to make this! I’ve made it before as a child, with my mum, but not for a long time! It’s actually pretty simple if you make sure you have everything set up already.

You only need five ingredients – sugar, golden syrup, bicarbonate of soda, and chocolate. Some people use a sugar thermometer, but you don’t need one – I don’t have one! You need to prepare a bit beforehand: Get your tray that you want your honeycomb to go into ready – I used a 10×15 inch roasting tin. Line it with baking paper and then grease that with a bit of margarine or oil – you don’t want the paper sticking to the toffee!

Next, get all your ingredients ready, except the chocolate. Once you get started, it happens fairly quickly. I’ve put together a little picture guide to how you make it!

Chocolate Crunchie Bites

Ingredients

  • 200g golden syrup
  • 400g sugar
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 heaped tsp bicarb of soda
  • 400g chocolate

Directions

First, mix together your golden syrup, sugar, and vinegar in a large saucepan over a very low heat. Stir this with a wooden spoon until it is melting and is more liquid than solid.  Note: It’s good to use a wooden spoon as the sugar gets very hot, and a silicone/plastic spoon might not be able to handle it. Similarly, a metal spoon will get too hot and the handle will burn your hands!

Once the sugar has dissolved, remove your spoon, and turn the heat up. and let the mixture come to a boil. You need to boil this until it darkens in colour, which takes about 5 minutes depending on your stove. The sugar needs to reach the “hard crack” stage, this is 150C if you are using a thermometer. If not an easy way to test is by getting a jug of ice water ready. I did not have any ice (it’s October, why would I have ice?) so used frozen peas instead to cool my water down, ha!

Using a long fork or spoon, dip the handle carefully into the sugar mixture and then immediately put it into the ice water. Give it 10 seconds and then pull it out and test it. If the mixture is hot enough, it’ll have set solid and you’ll be able to “snap” it off like a boiled sweet. If it’s not and it’s just sticky, keep on cooking your mixture!

At this point, make sure your bicarb of soda is ready! If you let your sugar cook too long it will burn and taste nasty.

Once your mixture is hot enough, quickly add the bicarb of soda and mix very quickly. The mixture will soon increase in size a lot. You don’t want to mix too much – just enough to get all the bicarb stirred in so you don’t get any nasty packets.

Immediately pour the mixture into your prepared tin, and set aside on the countertop to cool.

You want to clean your saucepan now. The easiest way to do this is by boiling the kettle and filling the saucepan with boiling water. Then, the sugar will melt and you can scrub it off quickly.

Leave the honeycomb to set for at least 2 hours, until the top is hard to touch. Then prepare your chocolate. Break it into pieces, and melt it – I did mine in the microwave.

Remove the honeycomb from the tin. It should have shrunk a little while it cooled. Make sure it’s all set – if it’s not, leave it a while longer until it is.

Next, break it into bitesized pieces! Either just smash it with your hands, or use a serrated knife (like a bread knife) to help you cut it. Taste some if you like, it’s nice!

The next step is to dip your honeycomb in the melted chocolate. I did not get a photo of this as it was rather messy. But, use a spoon and a fork to dip, and place it on a tray in the fridge to set. Once it’s set – you’re all done, chocolate crunchie bites!

Keep in the fridge so the chocolate does not melt.

Rhubarb & Custard Swirl Cake

The weather is starting to get cold, the evenings are drawing in, it’s pretty conclusive – winter is on its way. In some ways, this is great! Think of cosy evenings in warm jumpers curled up with a hot chocolate….or of snowy landscapes looking beautiful…lovely, right? But at the moment, I don’t have any of those. It’s just cold, slightly rainy, and I miss summer! So, I decided to make something with summery ingredients. I would say I planned ahead for this very occasion, and kept the rhubarb in the freezer intentionally, but in reality I just had too much and so froze some anyway! But really, freezing produce is a great way to have seasonal foods at not-so-seasonal times!

Rhubarb and custard is such a great classic flavour and I decided to combine them in one cake! I recently discovered that custard powder is actually vegan, which is great because if you make it up with vegan milk you can use it just as you would regular custard – great on puddings and desserts! But this time I just sifted the powder into the cake itself to lend its taste.

This stuff is vegan!

Since my rhubarb was frozen, I defrosted it first (I did this in the microwave but you could do it in the fridge overnight if you’d rather) and then drained off the water. You don’t want it to be too wet otherwise the cake just gets soggy – not good! I then put it in a saucepan with a little golden syrup (use brown sugar if you don’t have golden syrup) and vanilla, and let cook until it broke down. It’ll break down into a sort of compote which is what you want it to be!

before cooking

Then I made up the cake batter, and poured that into a pan – I used the same tin I make brownies in, which is rectangular, but you could use a round pan if you like – and made the “swirl”.

This is pretty easy – just take a spoonful of the compote, drop it in the cake batter, and using the spoon swirl it about a bit. Don’t worry if it looks a little messy – it still looks great when baked!

Rhubarb & Custard Swirl Cake

  • Servings: makes 1 traybake
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Ingredients

    for the cake:
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
  • 2 tbsp custard powder
  • pinch salt
  • 100g vegan butter, melted (or use 100ml oil)
  • 90g brown sugar
  • 75g white sugar
  • 250ml milk of choice
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • for the rhubarb:

  • 300g rhubarb (if frozen, defrosted and drained)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 180C/360F
  1. First, make the rhubarb compote. In a saucepan, combine the rhubarb, vanilla, and syrup over a low heat. Cook until the rhubarb breaks down and becomes like a compote – about 15 minutes for frozen rhubarb, more if fresh.
  2. Next, make the cake. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt, and custard powder into a large bowl.
  3. In a jug, measure out the milk and add the vinegar. Leave for a minute or two so it curdles.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugars. Whisk in the milk and vanilla.
  5. Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry one. Stir thoroughly.
  6. Pour the cake mixture into your tin and smooth.
  7. Add the rhubarb compote in spoonfuls, swirling it through the top of the cake.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cup: Vegan MoFo Day 21

Day 21! That’s three weeks of Vegan MoFo done, wow.

For today, our prompt was “What three endless food supplies would you take if you were going to be stranded on an island?”.

I wasn’t sure what to do – I could go the easy route and just take three foods I love to eat and just write about them (maybe three kinds of chocolate!) but I figured that wouldn’t be very interesting for you guys to read about.

So, I thought maybe I could choose three ingredients I could make something with! But what can you make with just three ingredients? Well a fair bit actually, but I decided to go with something super tasty that isn’t often vegan…

…Peanut butter cups! Now, I hear you can get vegan PB cups in the US, and occasionally you can find them in special stores here in the UK, but they’re expensive and these are so easy and cheap – why not make them? Just three ingredients.

These are the three ingredients I started with, peanut butter, icing sugar (powdered sugar) and dark chocolate.

First, you melt half the chocolate.

Mmm…melted chocolate. Don’t eat it yet.

Then, arrange your cases (I used “petit four” cases so they ended up mini cups) on a baking sheet on a tray. Put a blob of the melted chocolate in the bottom of each cup (don’t worry about them being messy!) and drop the tray lightly on the table a couple of times. This evens out the chocolate so it covers the whole base of the cup!

Told you it was a little messy!

Next, mix your peanut butter and icing sugar together in a bowl until you get a fudgy mixture. Roll it into small balls (slightly bigger than a chickpea!) and place one in each cup, on top of the chocolate.

Next, melt the rest of the chocolate and spoon it over the peanut fudge balls. Once again, tap the tray on the table to get the chocolate to settle.

I then put the tray in the freezer for 30 minutes so they could set, but you could just put it in the fridge if you prefer. Leave them to set entirely before you remove them from their cases.

Keep in the fridge and enjoy!

Bonus: Inside shot!

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cups

  • Servings: 24 mini cups
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 400g chocolate
  • 125g creamy peanut butter
  • 125g powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Set up a baking tray with your cake cases. Use petit four cases for mini cups, or cupcake cases for regular sized.
  2. Melt 200g chocolate (I did this in the microwave).
  3. Put a small blob of chocolate in the base of each cup case. Once each case has chocolate in, tap the tray on the surface to even out the melted chocolate.
  4. In a bowl, add the peanut butter and sift in the powdered sugar. Mix well until a fudgy mixture forms.
  5. Form the peanut fudge into small balls – slightly bigger than a chickpea, or even larger if you use full size cupcake cases.
  6. Add one ball to each case, placing it in the centre of the chocolate.
  7. Melt the final 200g chocolate and spoon it over the peanut butter balls.
  8. Again, tap the tray on the surface to even out the chocolate.
  9. Put the cups (still on the tray) in the fridge or freezer and leave until set.
  10. Enjoy! Store in the fridge, else they’ll melt!