{Recipe} Chocolate-Covered Crunchy Speculoos Balls

Speculoos bites

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We hosted a small, pre-Christmas celebration at our home yesterday. My mother-in-law, Maureen, is staying with us at the moment and she provided invaluable ‘baby-wrangling’ services while Mat and I conducted last-minute preparations.

I served the ever-popular pumpkin lasagne for lunch.

For dessert, I unveiled fresh cherries and Chocolate-Covered Crunchy Speculoos Balls. A truly decadent treat.

The original ‘award winning’ recipe is available here. I made some minor adjustments to ingredient quantities (eg. reducing sugar content). The original recipe also includes a variation using peanut butter in place of Speculoos.

I used leftover melted chocolate to ‘enrobe’ a few cherries.

You Will Need:

280g  non-dairy chocolate chips

300g crunchy Speculoos spread

1/4 cup vegan margarine, softened

1 cup crisp rice cereal (eg. Rice Bubbles)

1/2 cup icing (powdered) sugar

Quantity – 18 balls

Method

1. Combine Speculoos and vegan margarine in a large mixing bowl.

2. Add sifted, icing sugar. Mix well.

3. Add rice cereal and mix well.

4. Use a tablespoon to measure the mixture, and form into ball shapes. Place each ball onto a tray covered with baking paper:

Speculoos bites

Form mixture into ball shapes

5. Insert a toothpick into each ball:

Form mixture into balls, and insert toothpicks

Insert toothpicks

6. Place the balls into the freezer for at least 20 minutes (I left them in overnight).

7. To prepare the chocolate: fill a saucepan with a few inches of boiling water. Keep stove on a low heat. Place a heat-proof bowl into the saucepan, then add the chocolate to the bowl. Stir gently as it melts:

Melted chocolate

Melted chocolate

8. Dip each ball into the melted chocolate, using a spoon to coat thoroughly:

Coat the 'bites' in melted chocolate

Coat each ball in melted chocolate

9. Return each ball to the tray and remove the toothpick:

Place on baking paper and remove toothpicks

Remove toothpicks

10. Use the back of the spoon to smooth chocolate over the small holes left by the toothpicks.

11. Put the balls in the freezer (or fridge) to allow the chocolate to set. Remove just before serving.

Time to indulge!

***

Speculoos bite

Our tiny gathering was very enjoyable, featuring lots of laughs, some white wine, scrumptious food, and an under-rehearsed (albeit amusing) performance of Sleeping Beauty by the children.

Where's my Speculoos Bite?

What?! I’m not allowed to eat a Speculoos ball?

Wishing you all a relaxing and peaceful Christmas day, surrounded by loved ones and dear friends. May your day be filled with love and laughter.

Ally

Each Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe – one that is enjoyed by my own family. I hope your family enjoys it too.

{Recipe} Mango and Macadamia Cous Cous Salad | Cherry Cake


I am posting two recipes today. Both recipes are suitable for an Aussie Christmas lunch (or dinner). The Cherry Cake is suitable any time of year!

Mango and Macadamia Cous Cous Salad takes advantage of the Summertime abundance of delectable mangoes. Macadamia nuts, fresh herbs and spices also feature in this easy recipe. This salad is adapted from a vegetarian Weight Watchers recipe book that belonged to my mother-in-law, Maureen, many moons ago.

I also present Cherry Cake – a decadent, moreish treat that is my ‘go to’ cake for special events. I have found it to be popular with non-vegans too. The original source of the recipe is unknown, unfortunately. A non-vegan version of this recipe was passed on to my mum by a friend who had copied it out of a magazine. My mum veganized it, and I made further small amendments.

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20121216-221750.jpg

Mango and Macadamia Cous Cous Salad

Quantity: Serves 6 people as a side dish

(For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free cous cous).

You will need:

1 1/2 cups wholewheat cous cous (I use Macro brand)

1 3/4 cups boiling water

2 small mangoes, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

50g raisins or sultanas

75g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground cardamon

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped (I use garlic chives)

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/4 -1 /2 cup extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Method

20121216-222803.jpg

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1. Prepare the cous cous first. Prepare as per instructions on the pack, or use the following simple method that aims to avoid added oil.

Boil water in a kettle. Pour cous cous grains into a saucepan, then add the boiled water. Stir the grains briefly. Cover the saucepan. Do not place the saucepan on a hot plate. After 5 minutes, remove the saucepan lid and use a fork to separate the grains.

The grains should appear fluffy and light, like this:

cooked cous cous

2. Transfer the cous cous to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

3. Place a fry pan on a medium heat, add approximately two tablespoons of water, and heat. If you prefer to cook with oil, use that instead of water.

4. Add the spices and stir until fragrant, then add the onions and cook until soft, stirring occasionally to ensure the onions are coated with the spices. Add the garlic, stir.

5. Add macadamia nuts and raisins, mix well, then turn off the heat.

6. Add the onion mixture to the cooked cous cous. If using olive oil, pour it in now. Mix well.

7. Add the mango and herbs. Stir gently. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and decorate with parsley sprigs and blades of chives.

Mango and Macadamia cous cous1

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Mango and Macadamia Cous Cous2

***

Cherry Cake1

Cherry Cake

Quantity – 12 slices

Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C/350 F

You will need:

For the cake:

1 1/4 cups wholemeal flour

1/2 cup raw sugar

1/4 tsp salt

175g vegan margarine, melted

1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp soy or almond milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:

 400g can/jar of Black cherries OR Morello cherries, drained and cut in half

1/4 tsp lemon juice

For the topping:

1/2 cup plain flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp vegan margarine, melted

Method

Grease and line a spring form cake tin.

For the filling: Although I always buy pitted cherries, I cut each cherry in half to ensure that no pits are present. Invariably, I find one or two. In a small mixing bowl, add cherries and lemon juice. Stir, then set aside:

Morello Cherries

For the topping: In a small mixing bowl, add flour and brown sugar, mix well. Pour melted vegan margarine over the mixture, and use a fork to combine the ingredients until they form coarse breadcrumbs:

Topping

Topping

For the cake: In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, raw sugar and salt. Add melted vegan margarine, soy milk and vanilla. Stir only until ingredients are incorported. Do not over stir.

To assemble the cake:

Pour mixture into the cake tin:

cake batter

Cake mixture

Sprinkle half of the topping over the cake:

Add topping

Add half the topping

Next, spread the cherries across the surface of the cake:

Add cherries

Add the cherries

Then, sprinkle the remaining topping over the cherries:

Sprinkle topping

Ready for the oven!

Bake in the oven for approximately 35 minutes. I always check this cake at the 25 minute mark (I have a temperamental oven). If the top already looks very golden, I cover the cake tin with foil for the last 5-10 minutes of baking.

Allow the cake to cool on the bench for 10-20 minutes before removing the sides of the cake tin. Carefully remove the bottom section of the cake tin, and transfer the cake to a rack to cool entirely. Or, indulge while it is still warm.

Cherry cake is delightful on its own, or you can serve it with vanilla soy ice cream or non-dairy cream.

20121216-222215.jpg

***

Cherry Cake2

Each Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe (or two!) that is enjoyed by my own family. I hope your family enjoys it too.

Ally

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