{Recipe} Rocky Road

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I regard rocky road as a Christmas time indulgence.

Aargh, Christmas!

I know that some of you are preparing for Thanksgiving, while others may still be recovering from Halloween (or the Virtual Vegan Potluck 4.0!). In that case, the thought of Christmas is a little confronting. Nevertheless, it will be here before we know it!

I have been considering the recipes that my family may indulge in for Christmas lunch this year.

Well, in all honesty, I’ve mostly been thinking about the desserts. 🙂 But, one has to start somewhere when planning a menu!

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Vegan marshmallows are quite pricey in my part of the world, so rocky road only makes an appearance in our home on special occasions, like Christmas.

I use dark chocolate or ‘milk-style’ non-dairy chocolate, but you could use non-dairy white chocolate if you prefer. Many rocky road recipes contain glace cherries, but I prefer to use dried papaya. You may prefer to use another variety of dried fruit, or a vegan ‘gum- style’ lolly (candy) like ‘gummy bears’.

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Ingredients

250g/8.5oz non-dairy chocolate

100g/3.5oz vegan marshmallows, roughly chopped

2 generous Tbsp dried papaya (paw paw) OR other dried fruit OR vegan ‘gum-style’ lollies, finely chopped

1/2 cup raw macadamia nut pieces

1/3 cup desiccated or shredded coconut

Method

1. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.

2. Add all of the ingredients, except chocolate, to a medium mixing bowl. Mix well.

3. Melt the chocolate. I use a large glass bowl, resting over a saucepan that contains a small amount of boiling water. Ensure that the boiling water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Do not allow water or steam to come into contact with the chocolate. Once the chocolate has completely melted, remove the bowl from the heat.

4. Add the other ingredients to the bowl of melted chocolate. Mix well with a spatula, and ensure that the ingredients are well-coated by chocolate.

5.  Scoop the rocky road mixture into the loaf tin, and press down with the spatula.

6. Refrigerate for approximately 90 minutes, or until ‘set’. Then remove rocky road from the tin, and cut into 12 pieces.

Indulge!

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Are you wondering what the tiny vegans think of rocky road?

4- year-old Tiny Vegan doesn’t like marshmallows. That rules out rocky road for him, since I’m not going to make it without its star ingredient. And, Little Baker is too little for chocolate. The other tiny vegans enjoy it, of course. No surprises there!

But, now that I have made rocky road in order to share the recipe with you, I probably won’t be making it for Christmas day after all. I have just had my rocky road ‘fix’ for the year.

What is your favourite Christmas day dessert?

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

Ally  🙂

If you missed the recipe that I took to the Virtual Vegan Potluck, click here

{Recipe; Vegan MoFo} Freaky Friday: Freckles

freckles1Today, on Freaky Friday, I bring you freckles.

Chocolate freckles.

Yes, I have more than a few freckles, but these chocolate ones are tastier, I assure you. 🙂

I made a couple of tiny changes to Cara’s sno-caps recipe at Forks and Beans. Cara is following a candy theme for Vegan MoFo. You will want to check it out – trust me!

freckles2These chocolates consist of raw cacao powder, pure maple syrup, icing sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. They are topped with vegan and gluten-free 100s and 1000s (hundreds and thousands).

I used mini cupcake moulds (silicone and paper) to shape and set the chocolates. They are not uniform in shape. Some are thicker than others. The ones that I shaped in paper cupcake cases have a larger circumference. I made 23 uniquely-shaped chocolates.

The chocolates are very rich. You only want to eat a couple at a time. This is a good thing. 🙂

The recipe is available here.

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The Tiny Vegans’ Verdicts

Tiny Vegan, 6 years old, is not keen on bitter chocolate, so I did not think that he would like these.

I was right.

He took one bite, and asked for water!

Of course, my daughter and 4-year-old Tiny Vegan were enthusiastic about these treats. 4-year-old Tiny Vegan identified a great injustice – his sister’s chocolate was ‘fatter’ than his chocolate.

I hadn’t planned on giving one to Little Baker but he snatched one as I was photographing them – he is my photography assistant. 🙂

Clearly, he does not have an aversion to bitter chocolate.

Once the tiny vegans had sampled them, I hid them away for Mat and I. They just don’t know it yet. 😉

Wishing you all a glorious weekend in your part of this beautiful world.

Ally

{Recipe; Vegan MoFo} Macadamia Goji Chocolate Block

In the MoFo universe it’s Freaky Friday.

And, it’s Friday the 13th.

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I’m having a Fudgy Friday!

This fudgy chocolate block consists of goji berries, macadamia nuts, chocolate, white chocolate, coconut butter, and peppermint oil.

Cut the block into rough pieces or bars and serve with the white chocolate and goji berries on top – or as the base.

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Ingredients

(Inspired by Brandi’s 3 ingredient fudge recipe)

***

a heaped 1/4 cup of halved raw macadamia nuts

1/2 Tbsp dried goji berries (or dried cranberries)

1/2 cup coconut butter (not coconut oil)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped (non-dairy) white chocolate

2 drops peppermint oil (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)

Method

1. Line a square-shaped dish or container (14cm x 14cm / 5.5 inch x 5.5 in) with foil or baking paper.

2. Heat a small quantity of water in a large saucepan. Place a large glass bowl over the saucepan. Ensure that the water does not touch the base of the bowl.

3. Pour the chocolate chips into the bowl, and heat until melted. Then add the coconut butter, stirring with a spatula. Once the mixture is smooth pour it into the lined container. Distribute macadamia nuts across the surface of the chocolate, and gently push them to partly submerge them. Place the container in the freezer for a minimum of 30 minutes, until the chocolate has set.

3. Melt the white chocolate using the same procedure as outlined for the chocolate chips. Then remove the container from the freezer. Pour the white chocolate over the set chocolate (you don’t need to wait for the white chocolate to cool first). Scatter the goji berries across the surface of the white chocolate. Gently press the goji berries to partly submerge them. Place container in the freezer for a minimum of 60 minutes, until the chocolate has set.

4. Once the chocolate has set, remove the entire chocolate block from the container by lifting the edges of the foil (or baking paper) out of the container. Remove the foil (or baking paper), and place the block on a chopping board. Use a sharp knife to cut the block. I cut it into 15 rough pieces.

5. Serve immediately. Sprinkle a small amount of sea salt over the chocolate if serving with the white chocolate as the base (optional).

Store leftovers in the fridge.

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The Tiny Vegans’ Verdict (minus Little Baker, who is too little for chocolate)

I took the chocolates to my parents’ house, for dessert. There were no complaints from the tiny vegans when dessert was served. Soon after, there were a couple of chocolatey faces 🙂

These chocolates are quite rich, so you only need one (OK, two!).

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I will see you back here on Sunday, with some gluten-free baked goods. Tomorrow is my MoFo-free day.

Have a glorious weekend, friends. 🙂

Ally

{Recipe} Pistachio and Craisin Chocolate Bark| e-book winners announced!

Pistachio and Craisin Chocolate Bark

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This is a scrumptious, indulgent treat that features only one redeeming health quality – pistachios (the craisins contain sugar). If you are feeling the desire to indulge in an irresistibly chocolaty, sugar-laden treat, then this is the one to go for!

This bark featured as one of our Christmas day desserts. I have been promising Sookisu and Susykat that I would post the recipe. Here it is Soo and Su!

This recipe was sourced from a Coles Supermarket Christmas magazine, and was called Christmas Chocolate Bark. This is the veganized version, with a new, fancy name!

You will need:

85g pistachios, shelled

400g non-dairy dark cooking chocolate

200g non-dairy white chocolate (we use Sweet William)

1/3 cup dried cranberries (craisins), roughly chopped

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C (350F). Spread pistachios on a baking tray and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until just lightly toasted. Set pistachios aside to cool completely.

2. Place each chocolate into separate heat-proof bowls. Place one bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water, without letting the base of the bowl touch the water. Do not allow any water to come into contact with the chocolate. Leave the bowl until the chocolate softens. Remove bowl from the saucepan and stir chocolate with a metal spoon until smooth. Set aside. Repeat with the other chocolate.

3. Line a 25cm x 38cm baking tray (about 1.5cm deep) with foil. Spread dark chocolate onto the tray. Drizzle white chocolate over the dark and swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle with pistachios and craisins.

4. Place tray in fridge for at least 15 minutes to allow the chocolate to set. Then break into shards.

5. Serve with tea or coffee.

6. Store left-over shards in the fridge.

***

Image used with kind permission of Becky Striepe

Image used with kind permission of Becky Striepe

e-book Giveaway

Thank you to everyone who entered the 40 Days of Green Smoothies e-book giveaway.

The Little Firemen drew the winners from a fire helmet yesterday, with the help of the Fire Chief, their sister.

ebook draw

And the winners are….

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and….

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Congratulations!

e-book copies of 40 Days of Green Smoothies are on their way to Arohanui Vegan Love and Appetite Affliction. May you both enjoy the green smoothie delights that await you!

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

Ally

{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.

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