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Tag Archives: Chocolate

The Low FODMAP Vegan: Gluten-Free, Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

The worst thing about being on this low FODMAP diet is not knowing what to make when you have a craving and don’t stock 20 different types of gluten-free flour in your house. I had Sourghum and Tapioca flour – which i’ve been trying to make use of – i’ve made chocolate brownie bites, banana muffins, and now, chocolate chip cookies.

The more I eat them, the more I love them. But they didn’t come easy – I had a few disasters along the way as I was adapting a recipe to my own needs and disregarding things like the wet : dry ingredients ratio. I suppose I better start at the beginning…(you’ll have to excuse the awful photos, i still havent mastered the art of food photography – i’ll get back to that one at some point!)

I started with the following ingredients:

1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp egg replacer with 3tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sourghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips (dairy free if you can, i used dark chocolate chips)

I used my new stand mixer with a paddle attachment and creamed together the oil and sugar. Added the egg replacer and vanilla. Beated well. In a separate bowl, combined the dry ingredients. Added the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mixed for a minute to incorporate. Stir in the chocolate chips. Droped by the teaspoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Baked for 8-12 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 180C until the sides and top are golden brown.

So far it looked good..

Ok so it did look a bit on the shiney side..too much oil maybe? I gave it a go anyway and put them on my baking sheet oh so carefully…

Ok now it really looked greasy…and they really kind of…smooshed into each other and spread way too much. I didn’t take a picture of it in the baking tray..I was way too dissapointed with the look, but when I tasted them – all I wanted was more! So how was I meant to rectify this?

I added another 1/4 cup of sourghum flour, put it back in the mixer with the paddle attachment, wizzed away for a bit until it was all incorporated, and then tried again, this time – they turned out better – didn’t spread as much, but resulted in slightly cakey cookies that tasted awesome. Even my dad liked them and you wouldn’t be able to tell they were gluten free. By no means are they the best GF, Vegan chocolate chip cookies in the world, but definately a great first try!

The ones at the top of the plate in the picture are the smooshed out ones that just crumbled in your hands – way too oily. The lower ones are far less oily – much tastier.

I’ll keep trying though!

Rxx

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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Baking, Cookies, Gluten Free, Low FODMAP, Snacks, Vegan

 

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For the love of…Dinner Parties (Part 2)

So yes, I’m still in a funk. And this weather doesn’t really help. And when you tell someone you’re in a funk in the vague hope they cheer you up, it backfires. So I really have to bring myself out of this funk. But I don’t know how.

So I started thinking about mum’s potential dinner party again. And I started thinking about chocolate again. (My best friend has realised I have a chocolate craving every 15.5 seconds which combined with the funk lead to a considerable consumption of chocolate during my working day in less than 10 seconds…but we won’t mention that). Moving on…

Where was I? Oh yes, mum’s dinner party and chocolate, which then got me thinking about these amazing chocolate pots my sister had brought back from waitrose one evening and it was the tiniest little chocolate pot but the most heavenly and the most satisfying and one little pot was all I needed to completely satisfy that craving. So, if my sister could buy it from a supermarket, then why couldn’t I make the equivalent at home for a dinner party? It would be IDEAL…make in advance, set in the fridge until ready to serve, no hassle no fuss right? But I don’t have a recipe. It surely can’t be as simple as melting chocolate with a little cream and/or  butter and pouring it into a pot?

You’re right, it’s not. But here is a pretty simple recipe:

Ingredients

1  14 oz can of full fat coconut milk

200g soy chocolate (your fav kind, could even be some kind of raspberry chocolate..seriously..ANY chocolate you like..)

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

– Break the chocolate up into pieces, put it into a food processor with the vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon

– Bring the coconut milk up to a simmer on the stove, and then pour it over the ingredients in the food processor

– Blend everything together until smooth and creamy, pour into espresso or sake cups or even shot glasses and chill (takes about 5 hours for them to be firm and creamy) before serving.

See..then I started thinking some more (don’t you just love how I involve you in my thought processes these days?) and I thought how about some kind of ginger-chocolate pot dessert thing? So what would happen if I grated some fresh ginger into that? I’m not entirely sure, I’ll have to try it out and let you know…

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2010 in Chocolate, Dessert, Dinner Party, Indulge, Recipes, Vegan

 

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For the love of…Brownies

It’s been about a month since I baked anything, let alone anything worth mentioning on the blog. I’m not really sure what got into me, April has been crazy. My weekends have been filled with birthday celebrations (family, friends and my own), and weekdays have been filled with..well..work. I lead a boring life! I started getting these horrible cravings…for sweets, and no matter how many chocolate bars or how much ice cream I had it just wouldn’t do the trick, so I decided to bake.

I decided to bake the most amazing chocolate brownies I have ever tasted! (ok, so i’m boosting my own ego here but hey, I think I have a right to!)  THey were *almost* perfect – so soft and gooey on the inside, and cake-like on the outside. The only problem was they started to fall apart when I pulled them out of the tray. So they don’t look like the kind of brownies that you get in a restaurant, but they are very rustic, home cooked and full of chocolatey gooeyness…enough to satisfy anyones cravings and go perfectly with a dollop of vanilla ice cream..

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar (use what you wish, my preference is usually raw cane sugar..)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Method

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pour in water, vegetable oil and vanilla; mix until well blended. Spread evenly in a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top is no longer shiny. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares.
  • Ok so I didn’t follow this recipe EXACTLY, i had a little less sugar, and a little less cocoa powder, and I added a whole lot more chocolate buttons…BUT, that’s the beauty of experimenting – you do what works for you! Next time i’m probably going to add walnuts…and yes…there is going to be a next time for baking these 🙂

    The Verdict: I LOVE THEM!!!!

    R xx

    As per tradition, a photo from the handy dandy blackberry:

    They turned out to be more like Molten Chocolate Brownies when warm...still YUM!

     
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    Posted by on April 29, 2010 in Baking, Chocolate, Dessert, Indulge, Recipes, Vegan

     

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    For the love of (Soy) Milk

    I’ve always been mildly lactose intolerant, so the adjustment to soy milk for me was really none at all because for as long as I can remember I’ve been substituting regular milk for soy in everything from tea and coffee to cereal and in cooking and baking. I’ve even used soy cream in cooking – but lets leave that for another “For the love of…” entry.

    Alpro Soya Milk

    Alpro Soy products used to be my favourite when living in the UK, everything from their cream to yogurt to flavoured milks I used to absolutely love. Unfortunately I don’t seem to get the same selection here although if I did it would definately be on my permanent shopping list!! I used to love their soy chocolate milk too, full of chocolatey goodness!

    So Good Soy Milk

    With my limited selection however, So Good Soy Milk is amazing, they have a huge range of sweetened and unsweetend soy milks, with various flavours ranging from plain to vanilla.

    The Verdict: This one is definately on my permanent shopping list. I do prefer the individual serving cartons though, as I find that I go through periods where I just don’t drink it fast enough before it goes off or don’t have enough cereal to go with it. So this way, I feel I can have what I want in moderate amounts with no pressure to finish the massive carton super fast. And since I’m the only one that drinks it in my house, it’s perfect!

     

     
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    Posted by on November 24, 2009 in Breakfast, Food, Vegan, Weight Loss

     

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    Chocolate Temptation

    I am an avid reader of TheBittenWord.com. They have fabulous recipes and ideas which they pull from various magazines, try out, and write about. Fab really! Although they next to never post anything vegan, they appear to be avid carnivores! However, a super surprise entered my inbox this morning – Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake!

    They have taken this from GourmetNovember 2009 and it looks so amazing I simply must try it out! Although you know me, my lack of time these days doesn’t usually allow for much baking, so as usual, I’m posting the recipe before trying it out for myself, let me know what you think if you try it before me!!

    Note: I would substitute all sugars for organic raw cane sugar, and all my graham crackers are organic with no refined sugars, and my chocolate is soy, but it’s entirely up to you.

    Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake

    Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake - Gourmet

    Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake - Gourmet

    yield: Makes 12 servings
    active time: 35 min
    total time: 10 hr (includes chilling)

    INGREDIENTS
    For graham cracker crust:
    1 1/4 cups chocolate or regular graham cracker crumbs (from nine 5-by 2 1/2-inch graham crackers)
    3 tablespoons sugar
    4 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan buttery spread, melted and cooled, plus additional for greasing pan

    For chocolate tofu filling:
    2 1/4 cups sugar, divided
    1/3 cup water
    8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (no more than 60% cacao), chopped
    2 (1-pound packages silken tofu, drained
    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
    2 (8-ounces) containers soy cream cheese at room temperature
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
    Equipment: a 9-inch springform pan
    PREPARATION
    Make graham cracker crust:
    Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in middle and lower third and put a baking sheet on lower rack. Flip bottom of springform pan so lip is facing down, then lock in place. Grease bottom and side of pan.
    Stir together all crust ingredients, then press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of pan. Bake until set, 10 to 12 minutes, then cool completely, about 45 minutes.
    Make chocolate tofu filling:
    Heat 1 cup sugar in a 1 1/2-to 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling pan occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber. Remove from heat and carefully stir in water (mixture will bubble up and steam and caramel will harden), then cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until caramel has dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in chopped chocolate until smooth. Cool fudge sauce slightly.
    Purée tofu and cocoa in a food processor until smooth.
    Beat soy cream cheese and remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until fluffy. At low speed, beat in tofu purée, vanilla, salt, and fudge sauce until incorporated.
    Pour filling into crust and bake on middle rack until top of cake is shiny but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour. Turn oven off and leave cake in oven 1 hour more.
    Run a knife around top edge of cake to loosen, then cool completely in pan on rack (cake will continue to set as it cools). Chill cake, loosely covered, at least 6 hours. Remove side of pan and transfer cake to a plate. Bring to room temperature before serving if desired.

    Cooks’s note: Cheesecake can be made 3 days ahead and chilled.

     
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    Posted by on November 13, 2009 in Chocolate, Dessert, Food, Indulge, Recipes, Vegan

     

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    The Binge…

    Every once in awhile we have cravings, every once in awhile we allow ourselves a time to binge. To eat what you want, in moderate amounts of course, and shock some sense back into your system. Don’t let anyone talk you into believing that this is not ok. It is perfectly normal. If you don’t do this, then you’re continuing to starve your body of what it needs, and what you want, and the cravings just get worse. Trust me.

    My sister has been home for a visit for a week and a half now, she leaves this Saturday, completeing an entire two week vacation at home. It has been lovely having her around, but not so lovely for my waistline. So this time with her, has been my binge. But let me tell you, I have NOT binged the entire two weeks. Just a little here and there.

    My sister has a few traditions every time she comes home, much like I did when I lived abroad too. She must have her favourite carrot cake from Dan Ryan’s – it is to die for. So after suggesting we go for coffee and pick up the carrot cake to go so she could enjoy it over a few days from the comfort of the sofa, we decided to have it there, complete with a tall glass of sweet iced tea. Now I couldn’t really sit there and watch her eat the whole thing now could I? This sweet, moist cake complete with cream cheese frosting is the perfect accompaniment to a tall glass of sweet iced tea with fresh lemon. Heavenly!

    My second indulgent treat came on sunday afternoon, at lunch with my mum and my sister. Some quality bonding time, combined with retail therapy and dim sum. Oh I do love dim sum. Most of it is made with rice flour and steamed with vegetables, so it’s not *that* bad…

    My third, and hopefully final (I’m not sure, still got 4 days left with my sister in town), was an excessively indulgent 3 hour, 3-course dinner complimented with 2 beers. The ultimate indulgence in comparison to how I have been prior to this. Beginning with lobster nachos (less cheese, more lobster), and salt and pepper crispy calamari, followed by pan fried snapper with creamy mash and roasted vegetables, followed by the most amazing Banoffee Pie EVER. Overlooking the waterfront, and watching fireworks being set off in the distance, it was a perfect end to my long weekend, and I don’t feel the least bit guilty for it.

    What I do know is that as of Saturday it will be hard-core training back at the gym and seriously healthy eating, because now, I do feel incredibly exhausted after eating so much, and lots of fatty foods, but you know what? Sometimes, it’s worth it.

     
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    Posted by on October 20, 2009 in Chocolate, Dessert, Exercise, Food, Indulge

     

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    To Cure Those Cravings…

    So seem to often have these mid-afternoon cravings at work for chocolate /coffee / something to give me the motivation that I need to power through the rest of the afternoon. But with the inability to have anything which contains refined sugars or milk products, I have found the perfect solution – SoyPudding!!

    Soy Chocolate Pudding - Cure Those Cravings!

    Soy Chocolate Pudding - Cure Those Cravings!

    This sweet, creamy chocolate pudding is exactly what I needed, full of soy chocolatey goodness! I will definately be buying this one over again!!!

     
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    Posted by on October 8, 2009 in Chocolate, Food, Vegan

     

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