Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

The Great British Bake Off – gluten and dairy free technical challenge – week 8

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Technical challenge – week 8. Gluten and dairy free teacakes

Making teacakes took me back to when I worked in a bakery in cornwall.

We made the biscuits ourselves but the marshmallow came in 10kg buckets. It was a thick rubbery clear jelly which you whisked for 10 minutes to make the marshmallow. It definitely didn’t taste as good as this recipe.

My silicon mould is slightly smaller than the recipe so I have sat my biscuit above the line of the mould to allow for a good portion of marshmallow.

I have adapted Mary Berry’s recipe.

Makes 6

Equipment and preparation: You will need a silicone mould that has 6 x 7.5cm/3in wide, half sphere moulds.


400g/14oz dark dairy and gluten free chocolate. I used Plamil 60% chocolate 
50g/1¾oz Doves Farm plain gluten free flour
50g/1¾oz maize flour
pinch salt
½ tsp gluten free baking powder
25g/1oz caster sugar
25g/1oz dairy free margarine
1 tbsp almond or soya milk

For the marshmallow

3 free-range eggs, whites only
150g/5½oz caster sugar
6 tsp golden syrup
½ tsp salt
½ vanilla pod, seeds only

Preparation method

1.To be able to get the teacakes out of the mould easily without breaking and with a lovely shiny chocolate you need to temper the chocolate first. I find it easier to do this in a microwave. Break up 300g/ 10½oz chocolate into a microwavable bowl. Melt on a low microwave setting stirring every 30 seconds.

Stop heating the chocolate when you can just see tiny lumps of unmelted chocolate, stir slowly until completely melted. If you stick your clean finger in the chocolate it should feel just warm, not hot.

Pour the chocolate into the mould. Move the mould around so all of it is covered with the chocolate.

Turn the mould upside down over the bowl so the excess chocolate falls out. Place still upside down onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and leave to set.

Do not put the domes in the fridge as the chocolate will lose its shine. When the chocolate has set, pick up the mould at the edge, try not to touch the chocolate as the warmth of your hand will melt the chocolate onto the mould.

2.Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3.

3.To make the biscuits, put the gluten free flours, salt, gluten free baking powder and caster sugar into a bowl and rub in the dairy free margarine with your fingertips. Add the almond milk and stir everything together to form a smooth ball.

4.On a surface dusted with gluten free flour roll out the dough to about 5mm/¼in thick. Cut out six rounds with a 7.5cm/3in straight sided round cutter.

5.Place the rounds on a flat plate or board and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. Make sure the biscuits are perfectly round and well chilled, otherwise they might spread or shrink when baked.

6.Bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes. They do need to be hard, not soft as they form the base of the teacake.

7.Remove the biscuits from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

8.Meanwhile dip the cooled biscuits in the remaining melted chocolate, covering them completely (you may need to melt more chocolate). You can either dip the biscuits in the chocolate or spread the chocolate onto the biscuits with a palette knife. Place the coated biscuits onto parchment paper.

9.For the marshmallow, place all of the ingredients in a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water), and whisk with an electric hand whisk for 6-8 minutes, making sure it is smooth, silky and doubled in volume. Make sure it is very stiff, the consistency of whipped cream, so it will hold when piped – you don’t want it runny.

10.Spoon the marshmallow mixture into a piping bag.

11.Melt the remaining chocolate, and place into a disposable piping bag with a sealed end. Set aside to cool and stiffen up a bit, but not harden.

12.Peel the biscuits off the parchment and place them onto clean parchment, flat side down.

13.Pipe the marshmallow into each chocolate-lined mould just up to the top.

14.Snip a 2cm/¾in end off the piping bag with the chocolate in it.

15.Carefully pipe some chocolate on the marshmallow and a rim of chocolate around the biscuit base and swiftly place the biscuit on top of the marshmallow filled dome. Smooth the join with a knife.

16.Leave the teacakes to set until completely cool and sealed together.

17.Very carefully remove the completed teacakes from the mould – be careful of fingerprints on the glossy dome.

18.Place on a plate and keep cool – but do not refrigerate, to make sure the chocolate keeps its glossy shine.

I had a lot of marshmallow left over so I made some dairy free snowballs. I piped the marshmallow onto baking parchment. Placed in the freezer to firm up slightly then dipped into melted chocolate and coated with coconut. I’m afraid my photos were not too pretty as I did this very quickly so I am not going to post them.

I have now eaten so much of the leftover marshmallow I cannot face anymore teacakes so I am going to make some mums at school very happy with the leftovers.

Dairy Free Advent Calendar – Vegan Store

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

If you are on the look out for a dairy free chocolate advent calendar and other Christmas chocolate then you should really visit this website if you haven’t already.

This is a brilliant website stocking vegan groceries, toiletries and clothing but the page which really excites me is Chocolate and Sweets!

Not only can you buy a whole range of dairy free chocolate, you will also find vegan jelly sweets, dairy free fudge, vegan marshmallows and loads more.

The best dairy free chocolate for baking and cake decorating.

Friday, August 5th, 2011

It is becoming a lot easier to find dairy free dark, milk and white chocolate in the shops. Supermarkets will now stock at least one dairy free Easter egg and you can even buy a dairy free milk chocolate advent calendar made by Moo Free Chocolates.

But do they taste nice and can they be used successfully in cakes and for decorating in the same way as usual chocolate?

Some chocolate may be labelled as Vegan but state ‘May contain traces of dairy’ as dairy products may be produced in the same factory or production line. They maybe safe for a person on a dairy free diet to eat but that is for that person to decide. As a caterer you need to be sure that the product you are using is safe for for the customer. For a one off commision you could ask the customer what they usually eat and are happy with or if you plan to make a lot of dairy free cakes, find a brand you are happy with.

Dark/Plain Chocolate

Not all dark chocolate is dairy free. Many brands are labelled with ‘May contain dairy’ and some brands add dairy so it is cheaper to produce. So as ever always check the label.

For baking I think it is best to use a chocolate with about 55 – 60% cocoa solids. A chocolate with a high cocoa content can make a cake quite dry or a ganache too firm.

If you only need a small amount, Kinnertons produce a luxury dark chocolate bar which is suitable for dairy free, gluten free, egg free and nut free diets. It contains 55% cocoa solids and can be found in most supermarkets as an 85g bar.

If you need a large amount of dairy free dark chocolate, Plamil produce a range of dairy free chocolate which is also gluten free and nut free and it is available in 1kg bags and 6kg bags from their website

 They produce a chocolate with 60% cocoa solids which is perfect in baking and for making dairy free chocolate ganache. I also recommend their dairy free chocolate chips which is available in 200g tubs from whole food stores or in bulk from

Dairy Free ‘Milk’ Chocolate

Plamil produce a nice dairy free ‘milk’ chocolate. it can be found as a 100g bar in whole food shops or in bulk from their website.

Organica produce a 100g bar which can also be found in whole food shops. This has a nice flavour but is labelled as vegan and may contain traces of dairy and nuts.

My favourite dairy free milk chocolate is Humdinger dairy free milk chocolate buttons available from most supermarkets. I think this tastes and melts in the mouth the closest to dairy milk chocolate. You can use it to make chocolate cigerellos and moulded chocolates.  The only trouble is it is only available in 25 gram bags. This chocolate does contain soya.

Dairy Free ‘White’ Chocolate

Some dairy free white chocolate is quite different to usual white chocolate and doesn’t work in the same way in recipes.

Plamil produce a dairy free white chocolate which can be bought in bulk from their website. It can vary in colour from a creamy colour to light brown.

Organica produce a 100g bar which is available from whole food shops. It is off white in colour with flecks of vanilla in it.

If you want a dairy free white chocolate that tastes similar to dairy white chocolate then the best to use is Humdinger dairy free white chocolate buttons available from most supermarkets. Again it is only available in 25g bags and contains soya. This is the only white chocolate which will work well for dairy free chocolate ganache.

Quick Dairy Free Chocolates For Mother’s Day

Friday, March 25th, 2011

My two year old and I decided to play in the kitchen today so we made some dairy free chocolates for nanny. These are quick enough to make to hold a toddlers attention!

First we made dairy free white chocolate pennies. We topped half with Hundreds and thousands and half with dairy free plain chocolate chips.

We then made dairy free white chocolate cornflake bites.

To make 14 chocolate pennies

100g dairy free white chocolate
Dr Oetker Hundreds and Thousands (these are not gluten free)
Plamil dairy free chocolate chips

Place a piece of baking parchment onto a baking tray.

Break up the white chocolate into a bowl. Melt on a low heat in a microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.

Place teaspoon full amounts onto the baking tray. Using the back of the spoon, shape into flat discs.

Sprinkle Hundreds and thousands over the top of half the discs until completely covered. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the other half.

Leave to set before tipping the tray to let the excess topping roll off.

12 white chocolate cornflake bites

65g dairy free white chocolate
25g cornflakes (can use gluten free cornflakes)
30g dried cranberries

Place a piece of baking parchment onto a baking tray.

Break up the white chocolate into a bowl. Melt on a low heat in a microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.

Crush the cornflakes into smaller flakes – not too small. Stir into the chocolate, then stir in the dried cranberries.

Use a teaspoon to place small amounts onto the baking tray. Leave to set.

Put the chocolates into little cellophane bags tied with ribbon. We are going to buy a nice tin for our chocolates.

Vegan chocolates / dairy free Easter eggs

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

If you’ve been searching for a vegan chocolates or Easter eggs and are not inspired by the choice, why not make your own?

They don’t take long to make and would make an extra special gift.

You can buy simple egg moulds from cook shops or try Lakeland.

Squires produce some lovely heavy duty moulds which will last years.

Dairy free white and milk vegan chocolates can be bought from whole food shops, online or some supermarkets.


Easter egg - equipmentYou will need –

  • 100g dairy free plain, milk or white vegan chocolates
  • 2 halves of an Easter egg mould, about 14cm high
  • 1 sheet greaseproof paper on a flat baking tray
  • a large glass bowl
  • spatula

If the chocolate moulds have been used for dairy chocolate, clean and make sure they are really dry.

Polish the inside of the moulds with a piece of kitchen roll. This will help to give the chocolate egg a shiny finish.

If using solely for dairy free / vegan chocolate you don’t need to wash the moulds after using. Just wipe out the mould with a piece of kitchen roll when you are finished with them and wrap in cling film to keep clean for next time. This will build up a layer of cocoa butter which will add to the shine and help to release the finished chocolate egg.

Break up the vegan chocolates into the glass bowl. Microwave on a low setting for 30 seconds. Stir the chocolate. Continue microwaving for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each 30 seconds until the chocolate has just melted. If there are a few tiny lumps of chocolate left, stir until melted. If they don’t melt, microwave for another 30 seconds and stir again.

Pour half of the chocolate into each mould and swirl around to coat. Don’t touch the egg part of the mould as the temperature of your hands may cause the chocolate to stick to the mould and not come out easily.

Filled chocolate mouldsIf the chocolate is quite runny and only leaves a thin coating – place the mould on the table for a minute then swirl around again. When the chocolate is the right thickness, turn each mould upside down over the bowl to empty out the excess. If the chocolate looks too thin, refill and swirl around again. When it is the right thickness, place upside down on the greaseproof paper and leave to set.

To speed up setting, place the tray into the fridge.

When the chocolate has set you will see the chocolate has come away from the mould in places.

Chocolate eggTake care not to touch the egg part of the mould, turn out each half of the egg.

Rub the moulds with kitchen roll to clean and wrap in cling film ready for next time.

Warm a frying pan over a low heat. Turn off. Gently touch one half of the chocolate egg on the frying pan to melt the edge and stick to the other half of the egg. Leave to set.

Melt 20g dairy free chocolate in the microwave and pour it in a blob onto the greaseproof paper, stand the egg in the chocolate and hold in place with jars until set.


You could pipe a message on the egg with melted chocolate or royal icing.

Make flowers out of sugarpaste or modelling chocolate to decorate the egg.

Before sealing the egg, fill the egg with vegan chocolates, dairy free chocolates, vegan fudge (see recipes) or sweets.

Break up bars of dairy free chocolates to fill.

Buy a sheet of cellophane from your local florist and wrap up the egg, tying with a length of ribbon.

Finished Easter egg

Dairy Free / Vegan Chocolate

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

Did you know you can buy dairy free white and milk chocolate?

 Vegan white and milk chocolate contains rice milk as a milk replacement which works really well.

My favourite vegan white chocolate is made by Organica. You can buy it as a 100g bar.

Quite a sweet chocolate with a strong vanilla flavour, it can be used exactly the same as conventional chocolate in baking. For example, melting and moulding into chocolate moulds, making chocolate fondant for covering cakes, making sugar cake decorations and making dairy free truffles (see my recipes).Organica also produce a milk and plain chocolate bar made with rice milk which can be used in baking.

Their website is

Plamil Dairy Free Chocolate Chips.If you can’t eat dairy and have missed ‘proper’ chocolate chips in your cookies then get excited as you can now buy Plamil dairy free chocolate drops which are also gluten free and nut free.

I was so pleased to find this product. Before I was chopping up dairy free chocolate to add to cakes and biscuits which took ages and ended up with chocolate crumbs everywhere.

They are made of real chocolate and taste really good.

Their website is