Easter Hot Cross Buns…In Cake Form!

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Cakes / Chocolate / Dessert / vegan

The incredibly creative and talented Hayley McKee from @stickyfingersbakery came up with a delicious twist on the Easter classic, hot cross buns.

I love cake, I love buns, so this was perfect!

The recipe has been adapted to be vegan friendly, and I decided against the meringue style buttercream. You can certainly make a vegan Italian Meringue Buttercream if you wish (and I highly recommend you do at some point). A go-to recipe by Geeky Cakes can be found via the link. The shortening in my recipe below is for added stability, but you can use all vegan butter if you prefer.

Hot Cross Bun Cake

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Recipe adapted from Sticky Fingers Bakery Hot Cross Bun Cake

Hot Cross Bun Cake

Ingredients:

  • 125ml soy milk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup sultanas
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 1/3 cup dried figs, diced
  • 8 cloves
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 nutmeg, grated
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g vegan butter or margarine
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp molasses
  • 90ml liquid from canned chickpeas, separated into 2 x 3 Tbsp liquid (for more Aquafaba goodness, head to this Facebook Group
  • 180g plain flour
  • 60g wholemeal flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 pinches sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius (fan forced).
  2. Lightly spray 1 x 20cm cake tin with oil, dust with flour and line the base with baking paper.
  3. Combine the soy milk and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
  4. Combine the ground flaxseeds and water in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Combine the dried fruit in a bowl, cover with warm water and set aside.
  6. Split the cardamom pods, remove the seeds and place in spice grinder. Add the cinnamon, ginger, grated nutmeg and cloves. Grind the spices to a very fine powder.
  7. Place the spices, vanilla extract, vegan butter, sugar and molasses in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  8. Add the flaxseed mixture to the mixer and beat on low speed until combined.
  9. Add half (3 Tbsp) of the chickpea liquid to the mixer and beat on low speed, add the remaining chickpea liquid and beat until combined. At this point, the mixture may split – this is fine and will come back together with the addition of the flour.
  10. Sift the flours together with the baking powder into a bowl, return the flour husks to the bowl. Add the sea salt and stir together.
  11. Add both the soymilk/vinegar mixture and the flours to the wet ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until incorporated.
  12. Drain the dried fruits and add to the batter, fold together.
  13. Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin, smooth the top and bake for 45-50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  14. Allow the cake to cool in the tin before turning out. Ensure cake is completely cold before frosting.

Orange Icing

Ingredients:

  • 115g vegan butter or margarine
  • 55g vegan shortening
  • 270g icing sugar, sifted
  • zest of 3 oranges
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Cointreau (optional)

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and shortening until light and fluffy.
  2. Sift the icing sugar and add to the mixer, continue beating until light, fluffy and you can no longer feel the sugar crystals.
  3. Add the vanilla extract, zest and Cointreau if using. Beat to combine.

Candied Oranges

Ingredients:

  • 1 orange sliced into 3-4mm slices
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 250ml water

Directions:

  1. Place the sugar and water into a large frying pan, and bring to a gentle boil.
  2. Add the orange slices in a single layer and cook at a very gentle boil for 15 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to it’s lowest point, flip the orange slices over and cook for another 15 minutes.

Remove the slices and place on a cooling rack over a plate or parchment paper to drain. They will be very sticky – you have been warned.

candied oranges

Candied Oranges

Piped Hearts

Ingredients:

  • 60g flour
  • 15g sugar
  • 30 – 45ml warm water

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees celsius (fan Forced)
  2. Mix all of the ingredients to a paste that is a consistency that can be piped.
  3. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  4. Fill a small zip lock bag with the mixture, snip off the tip and pipe desired shapes onto the baking paper.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool.

Assemble

It just wouldn’t be Easter without some chocolate.

Additional Ingredients:

Vegan chocolate eggs or rabbits. I tempered couverture chocolate and used half mould shapes that could stand up against the cake.

Directions:

  1. Once the cake is completely cooled, level the top and split in half.
  2. Frost the middle with half the icing mixture, and place the bottom half of the cake on top, with the bottom upwards (this ensures a flat top.
  3. Spread the remaining icing mixture on the top of the cake, and decorate with the piped shapes and candied oranges.
  4. Using a blob of icing, secure the chocolate decorations on the side of the cake.
    hot cross bun cake

    Hot Cross Bun Cake

    DSC_0021

     

     

    hot cross bun cake chocolate

    Hot Cross Bun Cake with Dark Chocolate

     

    Enjoy!

Birthday Caking.

comments 4
Cakes / Dessert / vegan

Birthdays mean one thing, cake! Oh how I love thee.

This vanilla cake is incredibly versatile, it’s really a blank canvas. You can edit the flavours any way you see fit, spice it, zest it, do your thing.

The recipe halves very successfully, and you get enough height from the standard recipe to split the 2 cakes into a total of 4 layers if you’re feeling particularly fancy.

The jelly layer sets up quite firm, so you don’t have to be particularly careful when moving it onto the cake. The layer in the photo is probably closer to 2cm thick, which is a tad overdone in my opinion – so aim for 1 1/2cm or thereabouts when you add the jelly liquid.

The Grand Marnier pairs well with strawberry, but you can leave this out if you wish. You may have noticed a boozy theme with my recipes *cough*, however, the alcohol will be evaporated when you heat the jelly mixture. Feel free to swap it for any other flavouring you prefer.

I recommend serving this cake with a glass of champagne, and many happy returns.

Vanilla and Strawberry Birthday Cake

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Vanilla Cake

Ingredients:

  • 750ml unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 425g cake flour
  • 1 tsp bi-carb soda
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 250ml rice bran oil
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius (fan forced).
  2. Lightly spray 2 x 20cm cake tins with oil, dust with flour and line the bases with baking paper.
  3. Place the soy milk and apple cider vinegar in the bowl of a stand mixer and stir, set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients into a separate bowl and mix together.
  5. Add the oil and vanilla to the milk and apple cider vinegar and mix on low speed.
  6. Once the wet ingredients are mixed, slowly add the dry ingredients and beat on low until completely incorporated.
  7. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared cake tins. I prefer to weigh the batter to ensure even cake layers.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Leave in the cake tins for 15 minutes before turning out onto a cake rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Icing

Ingredients:

  • 325g Nuttelex or other vegan margarine
  • 375g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the Nuttelex until light and creamy (about 5-7 minutes).
  2. Sift the icing sugar and add to the Nuttelex, continue beating until light, fluffy and you can no longer feel the sugar crystals.
  3. Add the vanilla extract, you may need to adjust the amount to taste.
  4. If the mixture is too stiff, add a splash of soy milk, if it’s too soft, add a little more sugar.

Strawberry Jelly

Ingredients:

  • 750ml water
  • 240g caster sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Grand Marnier
  • 7 g agar agar powder (not flakes)
  • Approx. 1/2 punnet strawberries (set the remainder aside)
  • Edible flowers (optional)

Directions:

  1. Hull and slice the strawberries
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar and Grand Marnier.
  3. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add the agar agar powder and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Pour the jelly mixture into a shallow dish that is at least 20cm x 20cm. You may not need all of the liquid (it depends on the size of your dish). Fill the dish to about 1.5cm deep.
  6. When the mixture is starting to set, carefully arrange your strawberry slices and edible flowers if using. Keep in mind that this layer will sit on top of the cake, but you will trim the gel to size so the edges don’t need to be perfect.

    DSC_0047

    Strawberries and Violas

Assemble

In addition to the cake, icing and strawberry jelly, you will need:

  • 2-3 Tbsp strawberry jam
  • Remaining strawberries, hulled and sliced
  1. Once the cakes are completely cooled, level the tops.
  2. Place a blob of frosting onto a cake board (if using) and secure the bottom cake layer.
  3. Spread the jam onto the bottom cake, top with a layer of the icing, and arrange the sliced strawberries on top.
  4. Place the other cake bottom side up onto the first cake. (The bottom of the cake will be more even than the trimmed side and will result in a flatter surface.)
  5. Crumb coat the entire cake and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.

    DSC_0039

    Crumb Coat!

  6. Add the final frosting layer and smooth the sides and top with a bench scraper or palette knife – a cake decorating turntable makes this infinitely easier. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Using the base of one of the cake tins as a guide, trace a 20cm circle onto baking paper. Cut the circle out slightly smaller than the edge so that you have space to pipe a border around the jelly.
  8. Lay the circle of paper on top of the jelly and carefully cut around the shape. Remove the jelly circle and carefully place on top of the iced cake.

    DSC_0048

    Cut Jelly Layer

  9. Fill a piping bag fitted with a small round piping tip with the remaining icing and pipe a border around the jelly and around the base of the cake.

    DSC_0065

    Strawberry & Vanilla Birthday Cake

Keep the cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Cherries, chocolate…what more could you want? Perhaps a touch of alcohol, yes, that could do it.

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Cakes / Chocolate / Dessert / vegan

This is certainly not a black forest gateau, but it is delicious.

My German friend would be unimpressed if I labelled it as such, but let’s just say that it has kirsch, chocolate, cherries and be done with it.

You could make this as one large cake, and adorn it with lashings of the whipped coconut cream and cherries (perfection)…or make 8-9 adorable mini versions as I’ve done here. Either way, there will be cake.

The whole ensemble is very simple, and you could use any good chocolate cake recipe. I wanted to road-test Nigella’s vegan chocolate cake, and it worked beautifully. As the Dark and Sumptuous name suggest, the chocolate flavour is deep with the addition of espresso powder, and the cake itself is dense in a delightful almost fudgy kind of way.

Vegan Black Forest Cake

  • Servings: 8-9 mini cakes or 10-12 slices if making a large cake
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Chocolate Cake – Nigella’s Dark and Sumptuous Chocolate Cake

Follow the recipe as per the link above, with a couple of adjustments if making individual cakes:

  • Omit the icing, rose petals and pistachios
  • Replace the 20cm spring form tin with a 12 cup muffin pan. The yield will depend on the size of the cups, I made 8 full size cakes and a small ‘test’ cake. Fill the cups 2/3 full.
  • Adjust the baking time to 20-25 minutes, test for doneness at 20 minutes.
  • Allow to cool completely before assembling.

Cherry Syrup

Ingredients:

  • Juice from a 670g jar of morello cherries (yield will be roughly 300 mls). Reserve the cherries.
  • 1.5 Tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 4 tsp water

Directions:

  1. Place the cherry juice and caster sugar in a small saucepan over medium – high heat to reduce to 150mls.
  2. In a glass or small bowl, combine the cornflour and water and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add the cornflour mixture to the cherry juice and whisk to avoid lumps.
  4. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is a syrupy consistency.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Whipped Coconut Cream

Ingredients:

  • Solid cream from a 400g chilled can of coconut cream

Directions:

  1. Chill the beaters of a handheld or stand mixer in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Open the can of coconut cream (do not shake the mixture) and scoop out only the solid portion into the mixer bowl.
  3. Beat on high until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
  4. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

  • 100g dark (70%) vegan chocolate
  • 100ml coconut cream (you could increase the quantity for a runnier ganache)
  • 1 Tbsp of agave syrup or sweetener of choice

Directions:

  1. Melt the chocolate for 20 seconds in the microwave, stir, and then heat in 10 second bursts (stirring in between) until completely melted. Be careful not to burn the chocolate.
  2. Once the chocolate is fully melted, add the coconut cream and agave syrup and stir until it is a smooth consistency.

Assemble

In addition to the cakes, syrup, whipped coconut cream and chocolate ganache, you will need:

  • Approx. 60mls kirsch (a clear cherry liqueur)
  • Dark chocolate curls or shavings – use a peeler on the side of a block of chocolate to shave little curls for decoration
  • The reserved morello cherries
  1. Once the cakes are completely cooled, split them in half horizontally.
  2. Using a pastry brush, brush the cut sides of both halves with kirsch
  3. Using a piping bag fitted with a plain round nozzle (or a sturdy ziploc bag with a corner cut off), pipe a ring of coconut cream on the bottom half of the cake. This is to stop too much of the cherry syrup and cherries from escaping.DSC_0239
  4. Spoon about 2tsp of the cherry syrup in the centre of the cake and add 3 morello cherries and top with the other half of the cake.
  5. Spoon about 2 tsp of the ganache on top of the cake (you may need to warm it to a runnier consistency in the microwave in 10 second bursts, depending on the temperature of your kitchen).
  6. Sprinkle with the chocolate shavings.

Serve with a few more cherries and a little extra of the cherry syrup.

 

 

 

Carrot cake, for grownups

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Cakes / Dessert / vegan

A little bit boozy, a little bit fancy. A whole lot of delicious.

Don’t be put off by the number of elements here, they are all quite simple and totally worth it. The praline is deep caramel with the deliciousness of the seeds – think adult sesame snaps.

The praline is deep caramel with the deliciousness of the seeds – think adult sesame snaps. The carrot gel brings a much-needed hit of ‘real’ carrot flavour to the cake, lightening the rum and raisin element and adding a pop of colour. It’s a little reminiscent of pumpkin puree, sets very quickly and takes minutes to prepare – a hit. Both the praline and carrot gel makes more than you will probably need, but I promise you will find thinks to sprinkle or spread them on. I recommend serving them alongside the cake for people to add to their plate as they wish.

You can tinker with the spices as you wish. The rum is there for background and is not overpowering. Heating the rum and raisins plumps the dried fruit and gets the flavour in there without adding too much moisture.

The freezing and whipping process of Yummybeet’s cashew buttercream is absolutely worth it for the creamy, melt in your mouth result. If you forget to soak the cashews the night before, you can boil them for 10-15 minutes to soften, but may not get quite the same level of smooth lusciousness.

IMG_6025

Carrot Cake

Enjoy!

Carrot Cake with Cashew Rum Buttercream, Carrot Gel & Sesame & Pepita Praline

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Carrot Cake

Ingredients:

  • 90g raisins
  • 100g dark rum
  • 70g pistachios
  • 190g muscovado sugar
  • 150g coconut yoghurt
  • 135g rice bran oil
  • 135g cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp of bi-carb soda
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 230g grated carrot

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 160°C (fan-forced). Grease a 20cm spring-form cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
  2. Place the raisins and dark rum in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute, set aside.
  3. In a small pan, toast the pistachios over medium-low heat until fragrant, being careful not to burn them. Set aside to cool.
  4. Place the sugar, yoghurt and oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed for 1-2 minutes, until all the ingredients are fully incorporated and there are no lumps of sugar.
  5. Sift in the flour, bi-carb soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Mix on low speed until just incorporated.
  6. Strain the raisins and add to the mixture with 1 teaspoon of the rum, reserve the remainder. Fold in the raisins, carrots and toasted pistachios.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 40-45 minutes. The cake is ready when it springs back to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean or with a few crumbs.
  8. Leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes before carefully turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. The cake is very moist but will firm as it cools.

Cashew Rum Buttercream – Adapted from Yummybeet’s Ultimate Cashew Buttercream Frosting

Follow the recipe as per the link above, with a couple of adjustments:

  • Omit the almond extract
  • Replace the maple syrup with light agave syrup
  • Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved rum from the carrot cake recipe (or to taste)

Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Carrot Gel

Ingredients:

  • 350g fresh carrot juice
  • 50g muscovado sugar (or to taste)
  • 3.15g agar agar powder, not flakes

Directions:

  1. Combine the carrot juice, sugar and agar agar powder in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring to the boil and boil for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl and allow to set at room temperature, about 1/2 an hour
  4. Once set, use an immersion blender to blitz the gel until creamy and smooth.

Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Sesame & Pepita Praline

Ingredients:

  • 200g sugar
  • 50g sesame seeds (black or white, I used black)
  • 50g pepitas
  • Sea Salt

Directions:

  • Lightly toast the sesame seeds and pepitas over a medium heat until fragrant.
  • In a small saucepan, carefully heat the sugar until it starts to melt (do not stir).
  • Once the sugar is melting, gently swirl the pan to mix the sugar.
  • Heat the sugar until it is completely liquid and a medium caramel colour, this can happen very quickly, so watch it carefully.
  • When the sugar is ready, add in the sesame seeds and pepitas. Stir to distribute and immediately pour the mixture onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  • Let the praline sit for a couple of minutes, and then sprinkle with sea salt to taste before it’s fully set.
  • Allow the praline to cool completely.
  • Once cool, break off a few shards and reserve for decoration.
  • With the remaining praline, break it into smallish pieces and pulse in a food processor until you have a nicely textured crumb.

Assemble

  1. Once the cake is completely cold, split it in half and fill with half the cashew buttercream.
  2. Spread the remaining buttercream on top and smooth the surface.
  3. Push the shards into the cake so that they are upright.
  4. Sprinkle the praline crumb around the shards.
  5. Pipe the carrot gel in between the shards and praline crumbs.
  6. Serve immediately.

As the praline is essentially sugar, it will melt due to the moisture in the buttercream. It’s best to decorate the cake just before serving, but it will still be delicious if it has to be prepared a few hours in advance, just be aware that the praline will melt somewhat, which gives a nice caramel flavour.

You could serve the cake iced with the buttercream and plate with a smear of the gel and sprinkling of praline crumb to pretty effect instead.

Due to the coconut oil in the buttercream, the cake must be stored in the fridge to prevent the frosting becoming too soft.

Meringues – Egg Free!

comments 5
Dessert / Gluten Free

Aquafaba is the bombe

That liquid from a can of chickpeas that you’ve been tipping down the drain is pretty amazing stuff. You may have heard of aquafaba, and already be using it in anything and everything which is what one does.

For those not already converted, it whips up much like egg whites and can be used as an egg substitute in so many ways. I encourage you to join and explore this Facebook group for ideas and tips galore.

There are many variations on the basic meringue and whipped coconut cream recipes, below is what I find works for me. You can use each element together or as you wish, I highly recommend an Eton Mess style dessert made by layering the coconut cream, crushed meringue, and a drizzle of the molasses. It’s up to you how much effort you put in. Just eat them off the tray! Heed my warning, you need to compose the dessert immediately before eating as the moisture from the pomegranate and cream will make the meringue disintegrate relatively quickly – great at the time, but not if it’s been let to sit.

DSC_0191

The meringue is quite sweet, and you can dial back the sugar a little if you wish. Keep in mind that it is essentially a sugar structure, however, with the aquafaba evaporating to leave behind the shell. Sugar is crucial here. I find that a 1 part liquid to up 2 parts sugar works well and that is what is noted below.

DSC_0180 (1)

Meringue – sandwich style

Aquafaba whips up like nobody’s business, and you can’t really take it too far. You will find that beating it to stiff peaks before adding the sugar (by the tablespoon) is important.

DSC_0063

Stiff peaks

The sugar is fully incorporated when it is no longer gritty when you rub the mixture between your fingers, and it will become beautifully glossy. I add a little cream of tartar for stability, I’ve read this isn’t essential but I’m too nervous to try it without. You can add flavourings other than vanilla if you wish, and can certainly tint the mixture any colour you like.

DSC_0081

So shiny!

The meringue may flatten slightly when you bake it, but I find it holds up pretty well. They also take a while to bake 1 1/2 hours as a minimum, this is a perfect amount of time to catch up on an episode of Game of Thrones (just saying).

DSC_0091

Before they go in the oven

Whipped coconut cream is nothing new, just be sure to chill the can of cream overnight so that the cream floats to the top ready for scooping. I keep a couple of cans in the fridge so that you can be ready for any kind of whipped cream situation. Be sure to keep that delicious coconut water for smoothies or chia puddings.

DSC_0109

Firm cream from the top of the chilled can

The orange blossom water is very subtle, so add more or less to taste. You also don’t need much sweetener, I used agave syrup but by all means use regular sugar, xylitol, maple syrup, coconut sugar – whatever floats your boat. You can find pomegranate molasses and orange blossom water in some supermarkets, Middle Eastern grocery stores are a safe bet. By all means, use vanilla or just let the subtle coconut flavour shine through.

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Enjoy!

Vegan Meringues with Orange Blossom Whipped Coconut Cream and Pomegranate Molasses

  • Servings: 20 paired meringues, or 40 single
  • Difficulty: easy
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Meringues

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup aquafaba (the drained liquid from a can of chickpeas)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 90°C (fan-forced) and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Place the aquafaba in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on high speed until foamy.
  3. Add the cream of tartar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
  4. Gradually add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and keep whipping until all of the sugar has dissolved. It’s ready when the mixture no longer feels grainy between your fingers.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and whip until incorporated.
  6. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large star or round tip with the mixture, and pipe 4-5cm stars/rounds onto the trays. I get around 40 cookies out of a the above quantity.
  7. Bake for 11/2 hours, rotating trays half way through.
  8. Allow to cool on the trays in the oven with the door propped slightly open with a wooden spoon until completely cool or even overnight.

*The meringues will keep for a couple of weeks if kept in a well-sealed container and undressed. Moisture is the enemy here.

Orange Blossom Whipped Coconut Cream

Ingredients:

  • Solid cream from a 400g chilled can of coconut cream (see notes above)
  • 3 teaspoons of light agave syrup or sweetener of choice
  • 4 teaspoons of orange blossom water or to taste

Directions:

  1. Chill the beaters of a handheld or stand mixer in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Open the can of coconut cream (do not shake the mixture) and scoop out only the solid portion into the mixer bowl.
  3. Beat on high until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
  4. Add agave syrup and orange blossom water to taste, and beat for a couple of minutes to incorporate.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to use.

*The coconut cream will keep for up to a week in the fridge. Just re-whip as needed.

Assemble

Ingredients:

  • Meringues
  • Orange Blossom Coconut Cream
  • Pomegranate Molasses
  • Pomegranate Seeds
  1. Fill a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle with the whipped coconut cream.
  2. Pair the meringues into similar sizes and pipe a small amount of the coconut cream onto one of the meringue cookies, and sandwich with another meringue.
  3. Place onto serving plates and drizzle with the pomegranate molasses. Add a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds.
  4. Serve immediately – meringues wait for no-one.

Gluten free chocolate tart

comments 8
Chocolate / Gluten Free / Pies and Tarts

This tart is dark, it’s intensely chocolatey, luscious, and joy of joys vegan AND gluten free.

The process is simple, you will need to allow for the tart to cool and set (not much really), but the actual construction comes together in minutes. For the sake of ease, I left the toffee elements off but the result was delicious without adornment.

Like many things of beauty, a little extra time and effort make all the difference. I’d love to see your fully dressed versions.

I will use this beautiful Katherine Sabbath recipe as a jumping-off point for many variations. If you don’t already follow Katherine, I highly recommend you do. Her creations are stunning, neon-bright and above all delicious!

Watch this space for riffs on this delectable dessert…I’m thinking pistachio base, I’m thinking lemon and coconut cream filling. For times when chocolate is a must, cherries would work wonderfully in place of orange zest. I would poach them in vanilla sugar syrup before incorporating, leaving some pieces almost whole for texture. Dress the cherry chocolate tart with whipped coconut cream and shaved chocolate, naturally.

I halved the recipe without any issues. Let’s be honest, not many of us have an 18-inch tart pan and it’s probably best that I didn’t have the full sized version tempting me. New Year’s resolutions are still in full swing (for now). You could certainly make the full quantity and use individual tart tins if that’s your thing. I did keep the orange zest to the original quantity and suggest you do too. The orange flavour will intensify as the tart sits and the chocolate coating on the tart shell is a must. The tart will keep very well in the fridge for up to a week, if it lasts that long.

This will very likely become your new ‘go to’ dessert, I know it’s mine.