Nutella Chocolate Truffles (4 ingredients!)

#vegan #Nutella Chocolate Truffles
Thank goodness it’s the weekend! I don’t know about you, but for me it’s been a long week, both for good and bad reasons. We won’t dwell on the negative, because I have too many positive things to cheer me up:

  1. The flat is really coming together! I moved into my flat in Edinburgh two months ago but it is now properly starting to feel like a home. We didn’t have a whole lot of furniture to begin with, and funds were low, so we had to buy things piece by piece with each coming pay check. I’m happy to report that I am no longer writing these blog posts from my bed or sofa but from my desk! The spare room/office is now nearly complete and I have the coolest desk built into the wardrobe. Pictures will follow on Instagram soon!

  2. It’s starting to feel a bit more like spring, despite the chill weather. If it rains in Scotland, you know spring is coming. I get warm fuzzy feelings when I see snowdrops growing in Princes Street Gardens.

  3. You guys are going crazy for my Easy & Quick Vegan Crème Brûlée! Thank you for pinning the recipe, sharing it on Facebook and Tweeting about it. It makes my heart glow with happiness :)

  4. I’m going to my first ever rugby game today! It’s going to be super exciting even though I don’t understand much about sports. And after that my friend and I are going dinner — which is brilliant because I already had dinner with her last night. Girlfriends for life <3

#vegan #Nutella Chocolate Truffles
#vegan #Nutella Chocolate Truffles
And speaking of last night, we had these incredible “Nutella” truffles. They are TO DIE FOR. I couldn’t help sneaking spoonfuls of melted chocolate into my mouth while I waited for it to cool down. So much better than the “real stuff”. (I also made the easiest and most delicious crumble ever, so watch out for that recipe soon!)

The are stupendously easy to make, and really quick too. Perfect for when you want something a little more special than just a piece of chocolate during after dinner, but not too fancy either. It’s the perfect pick-me-up — we certainly felt cheerful eating these truffles last night!

The hazelnut butter I use in this recipe is manufactured by Meridian Foods. In my opinion (and this not sponsored at all) their nut butters are the best. They don’t use any palm oil in their products, which I personally appreciate. I buy it at Holland & Barrett in the UK but you can also find it online. US and other international readers, a quick Google search will tell you where you can purchase hazelnut butter in your own country — or just make you own at home. 

Note: this stuff does not taste 100% like Nutella. It probably could if I added a ton more sugar, cream, fat and whatnot… but then the list of ingredients would be much longer and the recipe wouldn’t be as quick or easy to make. This stuff tastes AMAZING. Pinky promise.
#vegan #Nutella Chocolate Truffles 

Vegan Nutella Chocolate Truffles in 4 Ingredients
Yields 12
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 200g (7 oz) dark chocolate OR dairy-free milk chocolate
  2. 2 heaping tbsp Meridian crunchy hazelnut butter
  3. 1 tbsp maple syrup OR regular sugar (1/2 tsp tsp stevia powder for sugar-free version)
  4. Cocoa powder, to cover the truffles
Instructions
  1. Place the first three ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. After a couple of minutes everything will start to melt together. Stir gently with a wooden spoon until evenly melted.
  2. Set aside to cool, then place in the fridge to set. After a couple of hours the chocolate should be solid enough that you can scoop up pieces with a teaspoon and roll 12 walnut-sized balls.
  3. Add the cocoa powder to a shallow bowl. Roll each truffle in the cocoa powder to cover them entirely.
  4. Keep in an airtight box or in the fridge for up to 5 days (if you can resist them for that long!).
Notes
  1. Using dairy-free milk chocolate will give you a more authentic 'Nutella' flavour, but dark chocolate works fine too -- it just doesn't taste entirely like Nutella.
The Vegan Cookie Fairy http://thevegancookiefairy.com/
 What are you grateful for these days?

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Love and cookies,

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Easy & Quick Vegan Crème Brûlée

Crème Brûlée
YOU. GUYS. I AM SO STOKED ABOUT THIS ONE. 

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I have been struggling to recreate the original crème brûlée without any animal byproducts. The first attempts took place last summer, when I was convinced tofu was the answer to replicate that creamy, jiggling texture, as well as sort of ‘healthify’ (yuck) the recipe. Fail, fail, fail. 

Then I tried it again last week, thinking this time for sure I had the answer. Cashews! If I just made a cashew cream, the texture would be bang on. Nah-uh. It was thick and creamy, sure, but where was that yummy jiggling? The pudding was solid and thick as muck. Back to square one. 
Crème Brûlée Crème Brûlée
Someone on Twitter then mentioned agar agar flakes. I had thought about it before but as you know I always try to keep things simple on this blog; that means avoiding rare and/or expensive ingredients if I can help it. Well I guess this time I couldn’t, so I gave that old transparent seaweed flakes a go.

AND LO AND BEHOLD – PERFECT CRÈME BRÛLÉE!

I am so ecstatic that all caps are required to express my joy. I DID! It jiggles! It’s yellow! It’s creamy! It’s SO EFFING YUMMY!
Crème Brûlée 3 #glutenfree #easy #vegan Crème Brûlée 2 #glutenfree #easy #vegan
Sometimes there is a place and time for simplicity — and sometimes you have to crack a recipe using seaweed and a blowtorch. (I admit I felt super badass using the kitchen blowtorch. So badass.)

P.S.: Do read the notes on the recipe carefully. If you’ve never used agar or coconut milk in cooking before, READ THE NOTES.

P.P.S.: Cute cat photo at the bottom of this post, because I know you guys are besotted with Mali. 

Easy & Quick Vegan Crème Brûlé
Serves 6
The classic French dessert is now available to all plant-eaters! And it's quick & easy to boot, with very few ingredients required to achieve that perfect creamy consistency.
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Cook Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
For the cream
  1. 800ml (3.25 cups) full-fat coconut milk
  2. 2 tbsp brown or white sugar
  3. 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 1 heaping tbsp agar agar flakes
  5. a dash of turmeric for colour
For the topping
  1. 6 heaping tsp white sugar
Instructions
  1. Add all of the ingredients for the cream to a saucepan over high heat. You want to bring the coconut milk almost to the boil, stirring continuously as you do so to prevent burning and to mix all the ingredients evenly. The agar agar flakes should soon start to dissolve.
  2. When the milk looks like it's about to boil, remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir a few more times to ensure all the ingredients are evenly blended, then set aside to cool.
  3. Pour the cream into 6 individual ramekins and place in the fridge to set for about 3 hours. If you wish to leave the puddings in the fridge for longer, please see the notes below.
  4. Scatter a heaping teaspoon of white sugar evenly over each pudding, then caramelise using a kitchen blowtorch. Leave to cool for a minute, after which the caramel topping will be hard. Serve immediately, with a side of vanilla ice cream if desired.
Notes
  1. Coconut milk always separates in the fridge. Although the agar agar flakes will hold together all of the ingredients, much like a panna cotta, a small bit of separation will occur if the ramekins are allowed to stay in the fridge for any longer than 5-6 hours; this will take form in some excess water around the puddings. Luckily these puddings are ready to serve after just 3 hours but if you needed to prepare the crèmes brûlées in advance, you would simply have to drain the excess liquid from the ramekins over a sink, holding your outstretched fingers close over the pudding to prevent it falling out altogether, then proceed with the topping as per the instructions. The puddings will otherwise remain intact and their flavour won't be affected.
The Vegan Cookie Fairy http://thevegancookiefairy.com/

I hope you make these for some seriously epic dinner parties. That feeling when you swoop into the room bearing a tray of puddings that people think you slaved hours over but in fact is super duper simple. Or just eat it all yourself. Like I did. (Mr Cookie Monster didn’t want these — say what?! Is this man for real?) Because what good is life without crème brûlée.

Mali going cray cray on the chair copy 
Caught in a moment of madness. Oh how I love this crazy fur ball.

Like what you read here? Let’s keep in touch! Sign up for email updates in the sidebar and follow me on InstagramTwitterFacebookPinterest and Tumblr! You can also follow my blog through Bloglovin‘.

Love and cookies,

thevegancookiefairysignature-2

GF Cardamom & Pistachio Chocolate Tart

vegan cardamom pistachio chocolate tart
suma-bloggers-network-logo
Firstly, I’d like to apologise to all of you following Lent this year. (You poor souls.) There is a lot of vegan chocolate food porn coming your way, so dieters, avert your eyes!

My second point might actually kind of make up for the first one: this tart is gluten-free and vegan! Hurray!
almond meal and chocolate drip
vegan cardamom pistachio chocolate tart
This gluten-free baking shenanigans was a bleep to start with, but I feel like I’m slowly getting the hang of it. I’ve probably jinxed it by just saying that, but oh well… life’s an adventure, and so is cooking.

I was scared of it at first, and eyed it from a safe distance for a long time since I have never had any problems with gluten, wheat or any other grains, and I do love bread ever so much (I’m European — you’ll never change me when it comes to bread) but I appreciate that a lot of you guys do experience these dietary issues. So I finally rolled up my sleeves and set to learning how to bake vegan and gluten-free. 

(FYI, this book is a wonderful resource for gluten-free vegan baking. Go go get it.) (And this post by Oh Ladycakes, which I somewhat based this recipe on.) It’s been a bit tricky but I feel like for the first time I’m having success in the kitchen! And I’m no longer scared of my gas oven. Well, not that much anyway.
cardamom suma
suma chocolate and coconut oil
It pays off to be bold. To try something that you think: ‘There is no way on Earth I can EVER do that.’ But then you do it, and you look back and think actually, it wasn’t all that hard. 

Last weekend, I climbed the Pentlands. For those of you who don’t know, these hills are Edinburgh’s back garden; they stretch far into the distance, a supersized play area of lush green hills looking out over the city from the South. We climbed the first hill, and when I got to the top I thought: ‘That’ll do.’ I saw all the other ahead of us, even bigger, even more awesome, and I felt my legs shaking with the effort of that teensy first hill. My resolve wavered. We went on along a level path, thinking we’d leave it there — and then there came a fork in the path. We could go up, or we could go down and end our walk early. Mr Cookie Monster looked at me with that look in — ‘G’wan, sure!’ 

I sighed and began climbing again. 

The path was lined with wild mountain thyme, the hill covered in heather blowing like horse hair in the wind. It was cold and windy and my calves were screaming for mercy, but we kept going. I stopped to take pictures and rest, and drink in the view. There was beauty in the struggle.

And then we got there: the top
vegan cardamom pistachio chocolate tart
If you ever have a bad day when you feel about as attractive as a slug, where you doubt your abilities and feel like the biggest loser ever to walk this planet, take my advice: go climb a hill. You don’t need to be fit (I certainly am not), you just need to be hungry for something new to experience. 

We sat there looking over Scotland’s capital, catching our breath, feeling our ears burning from the cold, and thinking there were many other things we could have done with our Sunday, but nothing that would have been nearly this satisfying.

So I’ve climbed the Pentland Hills, and I’ve made progress with gluten-free vegan baking. If I ever have a bad day I can always remind myself of that. 
vegan cardamom pistachio chocolate tartvegan cardamom pistachio chocolate tart

Cardamom & Pistachio Chocolate Tart
Serves 8
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For the pie crust
  1. 3 tbsp Suma coconut oil, melted
  2. 210g (1.5 cups) Suma almond meal/ground almonds
  3. 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water
  4. 1 tbsp olive oil
  5. 2 tbsp brown sugar
Filling
  1. 400g (14 oz) Divine 85% chocolate, roughly chopped
  2. 2 tbsp Suma coconut oil
  3. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 3/4-1 tsp Suma ground cardamom
  5. 2 tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup
  6. A big handful of Suma pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
For the pie crust
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 20 cm (8 inch) pie tin.
  2. Mix the ground flaxseed and water in a small cup and set aside. The mixture will gel after a few minutes, creating a flax "egg".
  3. Add the almond meal and brown sugar and lightly combine. Fold in the flax "egg", melted coconut oil and olive oil. The "dough" will look quite wet and not at all like regular pie crust, and it won't stick together like normal glutinous dough does, but it should be fairly pliable. Once the ingredients are mixed well, roll the dough into a ball and place back in the bowl.
  4. Place the bowl in the fridge for about half an hour to allow the dough to firm up a bit.
  5. Cut two equal square pieces of parchment paper; place one a flat surface and save the other for later.
  6. After the half hour has passed take the ball of dough and place it onto the parchment paper. Flatten the ball into a rough circle and cover it with the second piece of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, flatten the circle to about half a centimetre (0.2 inch).
  7. Remove the top piece of parchment paper. Carefully flip the dough into the pie dish; or place the pie dish upside down over the dough and then flip it. Either way, press the dough into the pie dish and trip the edges. If any pieces of the dough happen to break off, it's easy to patch together using your fingers.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges are firm and slightly golden brown.
  9. Cool on a wire rack.
For the filling
  1. Place all the ingredients, except for the pistachios, in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir gently until evenly melted.
  2. Set aside to cool a little. When the base is baked and cooled, pour the chocolate filling into the base.
  3. Scatter the pistachio nuts all over the chocolate filling.
  4. Leave in the fridge to set for at least 5 hours, preferably overnight.
Notes
  1. This type of pie crust is not like your usual pie crust. It's healthier because it uses only natural ingredients but it doesn't behave like a typical glutinous flour-and-butter pie crust. The dough may crumble a little and will be wetter than what you're used to BUT I promise it works. I've tried it several times and if you're patient it really does bake up beautifully.
The Vegan Cookie Fairy http://thevegancookiefairy.com/

In other news, Easter isn’t so far away! I would totally serve this sophisticated tart at a grown-up Easter dinner party, because tarts always give the impression that you put lots of effort into them. In fact, this one isn’t tricky at all. But your guests don’t need to know that ;)

And if you needed any  more chocolate inspiration for Easter, check out my ebook: The Vegan Cookie Fairy’s Little of Chocolate. It’s full of easy chocolate treats that young and old will love. 

Chocolate ebook roundup TVCF the vegan cookie fairy chocolate ebook 

When was the last time you really challenged yourself to conquer something new, and what was it?

Like what you read here? Let’s keep in touch! Sign up for email updates in the sidebar and follow me on InstagramTwitterFacebookPinterest and Tumblr! You can also follow my blog through Bloglovin‘.

Love and cookies,

thevegancookiefairysignature-2

 

 

Disclaimer: This recipe is sponsored by Suma Wholefoods as part of the Suma Bloggers Network. All opinions are my own, and I think Suma is a great cooperative. You can find out more about them here 

Double Chocolate Banana Crunch Granola – in 30 minutes!

vegan double chocolate banana crunch granola
The other day I was watching this video about the diversity in breakfasts around the world, and it had me in stitches. Mr Cookie Monster was intrigued so I turned the screen for him to watch with me. 

The key moment that got me was when these American kids were served a typical Dutch breakfast: a slice of buttered toast topped with chocolate sprinkles. 

‘People have this for breakfast?’ one little girl says, looking at it with wide, incredulous eyes. 

Meanwhile, all the other kids go on eating with their eyes closed in a dreamy expression. 

Yup, in Belgium and the Netherlands, and in plenty of places in France, we slather chocolate spread onto our toasted baguettes, top it with sprinkles, and eat that without giving a single you-know-what. Oh and get this: we turned our favourite biscuits into a spread, because chocolate just doesn’t cut it anymore. It may not be the healthiest thing in the world, but then, we don’t eat hot dogs, burgers or french fries for lunch and dinner — we eat more baguettes, filled with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and other colourful foods. 

The point I’m trying to make is: it’s ok to have chocolate for breakfast. Your mother will not swoon with indignation, you will not have an instant heart attack, and you won’t put on five pounds with each mouthful of sweet chocolatey bliss. It’s ok. 

Not necessarily every day, but it’s still ok. 
vegan double chocolate banana crunch granola
I’m kind of tired of hearing these dieting rules. No carbs after lunch or you won’t be able to lose weight as easily; coffee will blacken your soul as well as your teeth; if you don’t have a juice at least every day you’ll develop cancer before you’re thirty (ok I might have  made up the last two ones, but you get the point). 

When I was a student — and still now, in fact — I didn’t have a lot of money. You know what’s cheap to eat when you’re low on funds? Oats. Rice. Potatoes. Lots and lots of potatoes. But every time I ate my roasties, or a leek and potato soup, I felt really guilty because all the ladies’ magazines (don’t you just hate that term? Yeuch) told me it would make me ugly and fat and undesirable. Not cool.

In the end, practicality wins — that, and my tastebuds. Because potatoes are yummy. 

And so is chocolate, and banana, and oh yes — more chocolate. 

I had this Double Chocolate Banana Crunch Granola for lunch the other day, because I felt like it. And no diet magazine gets to tell me that’s wrong.
vegan double chocolate banana crunch granola

Double Chocolate Banana Crunch Granola - in 30 minutes!
Serves 4
No weekend brunch is complete without this granola recipe. Gloomy weather or bright sunny day, it's a recipe for a perfect morning!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 200g (2 cups) Scottish rolled oats
  2. 40g (1/3 cup) chopped and pitted dates
  3. 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  4. 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  5. 1.5 tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar
  6. 40g (1/3 cup) mixed nuts, roughly chopped
  7. 50g (1/2 cup) banana chips
  8. 50g (1/4 cup) chocolate nibs
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4. Line two baking trays/cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine all the ingredients, minus the chocolate nibs and banana chips, in a large bowl. Mix until they are all mixed evenly and form clusters.
  3. Spread the granola mixture over the baking trays/cookie sheets and bake for 25 minutes.
  4. Cool on a wire rack.
  5. Add the banana chips and chocolate nibs to the granola.
Notes
  1. Store in an airtight glass jar for up to 5 days.
  2. You can also use cacao powder instead of cocoa if you wish and replace the maple syrup with another liquid sweetener of your choice.
The Vegan Cookie Fairy http://thevegancookiefairy.com/
#vegan double #chocolate banana #granola 5

What’s your favourite breakfast from around the world? 

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Love and cookies,

thevegancookiefairysignature-2

Vegan Haggis Cannelloni

haggis cannelloni #vegan

If you read my last post, you know I recently had a short story published on Food & Fiction, a really great up-and-coming website that celebrates my two greatest loves: food and literature. 

The short story, entitled ‘Making Cannelloni With Haggis’, tells the tale of a teenage girl who suddenly loses her mother and finds herself sent to a strange country, to live with her estranged father. Naturally, she doesn’t take the change very well and finds herself struggling to blend in with her new family. It’s a story about finding your feet in the face of shocking change and learning what you’re truly made of, but also learning to make the best of what you’ve got–like cooking your favourite childhood meal with the only ingredients that happen to be in your pantry. 

If it whets your appetite, you can also recreate the central recipe of the story. It’s a perfect meal to share with your love this Valentine’s Day as it’s so comforting and filling, something truly lovely to brighten up your day. 

Enjoy, my lovelies! And happy Valentine’s Day to you all :)

#vegan haggis cannelloni 2 #vegan haggis cannelloni 1

Like what you read here? Let’s keep in touch! Sign up for email updates in the sidebar and follow me on InstagramTwitterFacebookPinterest and Tumblr! You can also follow my blog through Bloglovin‘.

Love and cookies,

thevegancookiefairysignature-2