Our Chocolate Hazelnut Wedding Layer Cake

Vegan Hazelnut Chocolate Wedding Layer Cake Vegan Hazelnut Chocolate Wedding Layer Cake Vegan Hazelnut Chocolate Wedding Layer Cake Vegan Hazelnut Chocolate Wedding Layer Cake

What’s that sound?

*Sound of wedding bells*

Just kidding, I’m not getting married in a church, so there are no bells involved.

But the rest is true: by the time you read this, I’ll be walking down the aisle towards the next chapter of my life, and to be perfectly honest, I can’t bloody wait for it anymore because I’ve planning it for so long now!

There are big changes coming ahead: I’m moving jobs and moving across the country (back to the Big Smoke), but I’m marrying my absolute best friend here in bonnie Scotland first. It’s been a tumultuous year leading up to this point.

And of course it didn’t really happen if you didn’t celebrate it with cake.

Can I tell you a secret? I’m sick to death of this cake. I never want to bake it again. I’ve been through so many trials that I just want it to turn out perfectly on the day so I can finally enjoy it, and then I never want to hear about this cake again.

I went through quite a few trials of this cake, even baking it at a friend’s house to be sure I’d be able to bake it in a different oven, the day before the wedding, and I thought after trialling 7 or 8 I’d nailed it… but something about it still felt a little off. I kept thinking that this was the cake I’d present to my guests, and yes it looked pretty, but the crumb could be better, there were air pockets in places if I wasn’t careful with folding the ingredients together…

And then it hit me.

Vegan Hazelnut Chocolate Wedding Layer Cake
Vegan Hazelnut Chocolate Wedding Layer Cake

I was trying to make a chocolate hazelnut layer cake recipe from scratch when I already had one on the blog.

Cue me yelling to myself: WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO REINVENT THE WHEEL, CLEM?!

I dusted off the ol’ recipe and doubled it up to make the layers. I’d forgotten how good this cake tastes – soooo hazelnutty, so damn good. I wanted it to look like a proper layer cake with buttercream icing though so while I kept the recipe for the cake layers the same, the whole thing is a very different to the original.

And yes, while I’m very proud that I did this, if you asked me… no I would never, ever do this again. WHAT A BLOODY STUPID THING TO STRESS YOURSELF OUT LIKE THIS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING.

But the stress is over now. I’ve got my pretty dress on, a glass of bubbly in my hand, and my best friend waiting at the end of that aisle. Cheers to that.

Vegan Hazelnut Chocolate Wedding Layer Cake

Our Chocolate Hazelnut Wedding Layer Cake

Note: this is based on my recipe for Boozy Hazelnut Chocolate Cake. For the cake layers, you basically want to make the recipe twice. Don’t double it. I’ve tried and honestly if you haven’t got some kind of industrial kitchen mixer there’s just too much batter to handle at once, so it’s easiest and safest to make the recipe ones, put two layers in the oven, and then do it again. Up to you if you want four layers or just three. Three is about all I can fit in my travel cake tin, so that’s what I went for, but you could go bigger.

The cake layers freeze very well. I made the layers at home, froze them, then took them with me to my Airbnb and assembled the cake there before taking it to my wedding.

Ingredients:

Cake:

The cake layers from this recipe, twice

Buttercream:

250g vegan margarine (I use Stork)
500g icing (confectioner’s) sugar
50g dark cooking chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp hazelnut milk

Chocolate drip and decoration:
1 tbsp Frangelico
100g chocolate
1 tbsp hazelnut milk

Ground hazelnuts, to dust
Chocolate hazelnut paste, to spread between the cake layers

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180ºC/gas mark 5/350ºF.
  2. Start by baking the cake layers. Line and grease 2x 20cm springform or loose bottom tins.
  3. Prepare the cake batter as per the recipe linked above, then divide the batter equally between the two tins. Bake for about 40 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the icing. Start by melting the chocolate and hazelnut milk in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir lots to prevent the chocolate from burning. Using an electric whisk, whisk the margarine and the melted chocolate together,  then progressively add the icing sugar until totally incorporated. You should now have a smooth icing. Place in the fridge till needed.
  5. When you have the first two cakes ready, let them cool and then release from the tins. Clean, line and grease your tins again. Time for round two: make the same recipe again, divide between the two tins, bake again.
  6. When 3-4 cakes have completely cooled, level them if needed (I rarely do). Place the first layer on your prettiest cake stand, spread some hazelnut chocolate paste over it then about 1/5 of the buttercream. Smooth out a thick layer, then place cake layer number 2 on top of this. Repeat the same with the hazelnut chocolate paste and buttercream. And so on. I don’t usually put hazelnut chocolate spread on the top layer but don’t let me stop you. Use the rest of the buttercream to spread over the sides and top of the cake. Using a cake spatula, make the icing as even and smooth as possible (it’s not that different from plastering).
  7. Place the cake in the fridge while you prepare the chocolate drip. The cake should be very cold by the time you drizzle the melted chocolate over it, so that it can grip onto the buttercream and set quickly (otherwise it will drip too far down). The drip needs to be liquid enough to fall down the sides in elegant drips, but not so thin that it will run to the bottom and leave a thin layer over the cake.
  8. Melt the chocolate in the Frangelico and hazelnut milk in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir lots to prevent the chocolate from burning. Set aside to cool when there are no more lumps. Keep an eye on it and keep stirring it every so often: it should be running, not gloopy, but it should also hold on to a wooden spoon just a little; if it runs off like water, it’s not set yet, or you’ve added too much liquid. Once it’s the right consistency, slowly drizzle onto the centre of the top of the cake. It should pool in the centre and start spreading to the sides, and eventually drip over. You can also help spreading with a spatula or wooden spoon. Dust with ground hazelnuts.
  9. Place in the fridge to set, and serve when ready! Eat within 2 days and keep refrigerated.

 

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Love and cookies,

Vegan Coffee & Chocolate Macarons

Vegan Coffee Macarons - The Vegan Cookie Fairy
Vegan Coffee Macarons -- The Vegan Cookie Fairy
Vegan Coffee Macarons -- The Vegan Cookie Fairy

I originally wrote and published this post on Friday 16 October but my blog crashed and the whole post was gone. I’d written quite a heartfelt post, and in just one second all those words were gone. I don’t have the heart or patience to rewrite the whole thing, and maybe it’s for the best that some of those words are now gone. At any rate, I was able to copy-paste an extract that was posted in the newsletter.


Perfectionist.

How many times has that word been thrown around when people describe me, or comment on something I’ve done (or rather, not done as well as I would like). You’re a born perfectionist, Clem. Even my star sign says so; virgo, the ultimate perfectionist, nothing’s ever good enough, always has to try harder, do more, be better.

My whole life I felt like that word was ill-suited to me. I never felt like I was doing anything right anyway – I was never the prettiest girl in class, never thin enough, never good enough at maths or sciences, never very techy, my brain is a sieve and I get flustered and shy, I’m not the social butterfly I wish I could be, and on and on and on – in fact I was far from perfect. But I guess even the fact that I don’t feel good enough to deserve the brand of ‘perfectionist’ just goes to show how much of  a true perfectionist I am. Sometimes though, I wish I could rebrand myself a ‘failurist’, which seems much more apt.

I like to think I’ve made small improvements: I don’t get into quite a panic about getting stuff right the first time around. But then if I do mess up something, the mental self-flagellation begins: I can’t stop thinking about what I could have done better, what small detail I overlooked, how lazy, how stupid, damn stupid I can be. I imagine that’s what it’s like to be a postman attacked by a small chihuahua that’s bitten into your leg and refuses to let go until it’s tasted blood. And boy, do I bleed.

My biggest failure to date has been haunting me for six months. I loved a man, and tried so hard for almost three years to make our relationship last, and it didn’t work. I gave it everything I had – and I still lost. I can’t tell you how much that hurts. It’s the hardest lesson I’ve learnt so far: that sometimes, no matter how long or how hard you try, you will lose, because some things are out of your control and that’s ok. Let go.
Vegan Coffee Macarons -- The Vegan Cookie Fairy
Vegan Coffee Macarons -- The Vegan Cookie Fairy

I know these macarons look far from perfect. Macarons require a lot of practice, and i’m still learning. Clearly, i’m overzealous with the filling, but hey, I like my chocolate, ok? I’m just happy these feet, are properly baked, and taste effing fantastic. Taste first, looks second.

Vegan Coffee & Chocolate Macarons

Ingredients:

For the coffee shells:

  • 100g (1/2 cup) ground almonds
  • 50g (1/2 cup) powdered sugar
  • Aquafaba (brine) from a 400g (14 oz) tin of chickpeas
  • 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons coffee extract

For the chocolate filling:

  • 260g (1 cup + 1 tbp) vegan butter
  • 200g (7 oz) chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Drain the aquafaba into a bowl and then pour it into a saucepan and simmer until reduced to 1/3 cup. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. Meanwhile, sift the ground almonds and powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Discard any almond crumbs that are too large to pass through the sieve.
  3. Pour the aquafaba into a stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk attachment and whisk on medium-high speed until pale and frothy, but not quite stiff yet. Alternatively, use a handheld electric whisk for this process.
  4. Add the coffee extract and caster sugar and continue whisking until the aquafaba forms glossy, stiff peaks.
  5. Use a spatula to scrape the meringue off the whisk and into the bowl.
  6. Sieve half of the dry mixture into the meringue and mix gently, using downward strokes with the spatula. Sieve the second half of the dry mixture into the meringue and fold until all the dry mixture is incorporated.
  7. Spread the mixture with the spatula against the side of the bowl and then scoop up from underneath and turn over; this counts as one turn. Repeat this process a further 19 times. Be careful not to do this more than 20 times as it can make the macarons greasy. This step is known as the macaronnage.
  8. The macaron batter should be thick but run off the spatula and spread slightly if left in the bowl. Spoon the mixture into a large piping bag and secure the top. Place the piping bag in a tall drinking glass or mug to help support it as you spoon in the mixture. Pipe 2.5cm (1 inch) circles onto baking trays lined with baking paper, leaving room for the macarons to spread slightly. It’s important when piping the macarons to hold the piping bag directly above the baking tray, not at an angle, and to pipe in one smooth motion.
  9. Then take one baking tray at a time and drop it onto the counter or table from a small height and drop it once more. Repeat with the other trays. This helps the macarons have an even shape and aids in developing the “pied” or foot. With a moist finger, gently press down any tips left on the surface of the macarons.
  10. Leave the macarons to dry at room temperature for 2 hours.
  11. Preheat the oven to 100ºC (200ºF). Bake the macarons on the top shelf of the oven, one tray at a time, for 30 minutes. Keep checking on them to make sure they brown too quickly but do NOT open the oven door. This will ruin the macarons. When the 30 minutes are over, switch off the oven and leave inside for 15 minutes, then open the oven door and leave for another 15 minutes before taking out of the oven.
  12. Repeat this process with all of the trays of macarons.
  13. Once your baking tray and macarons are completely cold, you’re ready to sandwich them together with your filling. The macarons should have a nice, crisp shell, a ruffled foot or pied around the bottom and a firm underneath.
  14. For the filling, melt all the ingredients together in a heat-proof bowl suspended over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon to prevent any burning. Set aside to cool completely, then pipe onto the bottom of half of the macaron shells. Finally, sandwich the remaining shells on top.

Notes:

Keep in an airtight box for up to 3 days.

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Love and cookies,

thevegancookiefairysignature-2

 

Vegan Aquafaba Chocolate Mousse – 3 Ingredients!

How to make #vegan #aquafaba chocolate mousse tutorial
Earlier this week, I stood staring at the house I grew up and lived in for 18 years and two weeks of my life, and which I hadn’t seen for five years.

Mum and I drove past it on Tuesday, after having spent the weekend at my cousin’s wedding in Belgium. Since we were in the country, we figured it was a good opportunity to see my childhood best friend and then drive up to Flanders to see my brother. And Mum said, ‘Do you want to go see the house?’.

I didn’t know how I’d feel about it, but I knew I wanted to see it. The people who bought it from us — and made tons of changes, such as installing a pony paddock in my favourite field, where I used to read books and take walks — got divorced some years ago and sold the house for a huge loss. I don’t know who lives there now, but they have children: there were toys in the garden, and, I was pleased to see, they’d kept our old trampoline that dad brought home as a surprise one day.

We peered at the house through the fence, like thieves checking the perimeter, wondering if it’s worth the risk. Exiled. But I made that choice five years ago – it’s just weird getting the opportunity to go back, and see what you gave up.
How to make #vegan #aquafaba chocolate mousse tutorial
How to make #vegan #aquafaba chocolate mousse tutorial
The whole time I was in Belgium it felt like I’d stepped off my favourite carousel, and was now trying to hop back on but couldn’t settle into the rhythm of it anymore. My life moves to a different tune now. I asked myself constantly if I missed it — and people have been asking me that too. Would you ever move back? Do you ever miss it?

And the thing is, I want to say that I miss it — when I saw the rolling hills of the Ardennes, and walked into my old school where I bumped into my principal, and shopped on the high street where we used to go for lunch — but in reality… I don’t. I got on the plane to Scotland with such a solid feeling of purpose: I was going home.

I’m grateful for the upbringing I had, and for the place I grew up in. It forged my character, my personality, it made me innately trilingual. But there was a definite time limit on that part of my existence on this earth, and I left my little hometown at precisely the right time.  I found my spiritual home in the sun-dappled Highlands of this windswept country, and I’m proud to call the splendid city of Edinburgh my home. This place, it doesn’t just speak to me, it fucking sings to me. Home home home. These words are buried deep inside my bones. I’d die if I had to move away.

But this being said, last weekend stirred up some powerful emotions. All the things you leave behind, they’re always there somewhere for you to revisit, sometimes even in a physical place. It’s a good thing, though: it allows you to measure how much you really want the life you chose for yourself.
How to make #vegan #aquafaba chocolate mousse tutorial
How to make #vegan #aquafaba chocolate mousse tutorial
IMG_5917
There is comfort in the familiar, and it’s easy leading a life of routine and tradition. You don’t have to ask yourself too many questions, and you know exactly what your place is in the community. But does that mean you really chose it? I chose to deviate from the path. At times it was hard, disheartening, confusing. And yet, at no point over the last five years did I ever doubt I’d made the wrong choice in moving away.

Yesterday I showed a new friend around Edinburgh (hi Lucia!) and I felt such a pride in this city. Home home home. I cry tears of joy at random when this realisation hits me. I never believed much in destiny when I was younger, but I’m a convert now. I was always meant to be here. That is the one certainty I have in life. Through all the storms, this was my anchor: that I was meant to one day call Scotland home, for this is where my destiny and my happiness lie. 

Whatever higher power there is out there — call it what you will — I thank it daily for giving me this life.

(P.S.: Mali says hi.)

IMG_5655

Aquafaba Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients:

  • 100g (3.5 oz) vegan chocolate, either dark or milk chocolate
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1 packet (1 tsp) cream of tartar
  • Sweetener of choice (optional): either a drizzle of maple syrup, a good pinch of stevia or a few teaspoons of sugar

Instructions:

  1. Open a tin of chickpeas. Pour the brine (aquafaba) into a medium-sized bowl and save the chickpeas (I like eating them in a salad, or you could make some hummus).
  2. Using an electric whisk, beat the aquafaba for about 10-15 minutes, or until stiff peaks begin to form. The brine will act exactly like egg whites: first it becomes white and foamy, then the texture becomes denser until, after a while, it will become stiff enough that you can tip the bowl upside down and the whisked aquafaba remains in place.
  3. Add the cream of tartar to this in the last minutes of whisking. Place the whisked aquafaba in the fridge.
  4. Melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. After a few minutes, the chocolate should be melted; stir with a wooden spoon to make it silky and glossy. Set aside to cool; if you are using any sweetener, add it now.
  5. When the chocolate is cooled but still melted (you don’t want it to be too pasty — on the other hand, warm chocolate will ruin the recipe) add a dollop of the whisked aquafaba. Gently, VERY gently, fold it into the chocolate. Continue this process with the rest of the aquafaba until there is none left. You will notice the mousse will gain a lot of volume. It’s important that you complete this step slowly so as not to beat the air out of the whisked aquafaba.
  6. Pour the mousse into 4 little pots or cups, and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours to set before serving.

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Love and cookies,

thevegancookiefairysignature-2

Oreo Chocolate Truffles in 3 Ingredients

Vegan Oreo Chocolate Truffles
Vegan Oreo Chocolate Truffles
Two and a half months.

Where has the time gone?? It’s been two and a half months since I started my new job. I feel like I’ve learned a lot in that time — about my work itself, of course, but also about my workplace and my colleagues. Like for example everyone’s tea drinking habits. And how we’re a ‘biscuit’ office — we’re crazy for our biscuits, and we start getting jittery when the biscuit tin starts looking empty. We’re also a boozy office, but that’s a story for another time…

One of the partners in my office told us about the chocolate truffles his fiancée makes — Oreo chocolate truffles. Why I never thought of trying that recipe myself, I don’t know. Who loves chocolate + Oreos more than me? So I set to work and created a super easy vegan version.

3 ingredients, 20 minutes hands on time, and voilà: creamy, irresistible Oreo chocolate truffles!
Vegan Oreo Chocolate Truffles
If you do try this recipe, tag me @thevegancookiefairy on instagram or @clemcookiefairy on Twitter, and use the hashtag #thevegancookiefairy so I can see your vegan creations!

But I’ve got more good stuff to share with you today — Just V Show are kindly offering free tickets to all my lovely readers for next weekend’s veggie-friendly show in London. Just visit this link to download as many free tickets (worth £10 each) as you like (!!!). I can’t attend this year as I’m busy in Edinburgh, but I want you all to enjoy the show if you’re in the city next weekend.

‘Nuff talk, more chocolate please.
Vegan Oreo Chocolate Truffles
Vegan Oreo Chocolate Truffles

Oreo Chocolate Truffles

  • Servings: makes 15 truffles
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 300g (10.5) oz dairy-free dark chocolate chips
  • 6 tbsp full-fat coconut milk OR coconut cream
  • 6 Oreos, crushed to fine powder/pieces

Instructions

  1. Smash the Oreos to pieces, either by hand or in a food processor. You want a coarse powder with larger pieces through it.
  2. Place a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add the chocolate chips and the coconut milk/cream to it and gently let them melt together, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Fold in the Oreo powder, then set aside to cool before placing in the fridge for about an hour to set.
  3. When the chocolate has set, scoop up a teaspoonful and roll the chocolate into a small truffle size.You could make 15 medium-sized truffles, or 20 smaller ones.
  4. Store them in the fridge for up to a week – maybe more, but they’ve never lasted that long in my house!

I love making chocolate truffles, so leave me your suggestions in the comments for what kind of chocolate truffle I should make next!

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Love and cookies,

thevegancookiefairysignature-2

The Chocolate Tree – Vegan In Scotland

vegan in Scotland TVCF banner
In this blog series I review vegan/vegetarian restaurants, cafés and shops in Scotland. Ever since I moved here, I noticed it is noticeably harder to eat out and stick to a plant-based diet in Scotland than it was when I lived in London. After several months of frustration, I am making it my mission to suss out vegan/vegetarian places to eat all over Scotland — if it takes me all the way out to the Hebrides! (The things I do for you guys…)


The Chocolate Tree - Blog Review #veganinscotland
The Chocolate Tree - Blog Review #veganinscotland

I’ve been very excited about this review for a while. I moved to Edinburgh four months ago now, and I was eager to find my essential foodie spots: the farmers’ markets, my preferred supermarket, my local pub and café, and the like. It was at the Edinburgh farmers’ market, on a cold Saturday in January, that I stumbled upon a stall of chocolate bars. The stall holder handed me a free – FREE – cup of hot melted chocolate. Just water and chocolate, melted together. It coursed through me like a magic potion, thawing my chilled body. And man, it tasted good.

That stall belonged to The Chocolate Tree.

Most weeks I visit the farmers’ market. I make sure to buy my fruit and veg first, and what money I have left goes on chocolate. I knew the company owned a shop in Edinburgh as well – not far from where I live in the West End, actually – but I knew the temptation would no doubt bankrupt me and expand my waist size exponentially.

And yet, I had to know… so I finally went!

Let me walk you through the wonderful shop that is The Chocolate Tree, in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh.

The Chocolate Tree - Blog Review #veganinscotland

It’s a little like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory meets the witch’s wood carving shop in Brave: all dark and moody wood furniture, electric wallpaper and classic mural paintings. The business started as a solar-powered chocolaterie touring festivals across the UK, and TCT is still committed to recycling and being kind to the environment: they use biodegradable cellophane for their packaging and reusable FSC certified paper to print their labels on.

I’ve quickly fallen in love with this brand and this company because a) their chocolate is orgasmic, and they’re not afraid to play with flavours (but more on that later) and b) their staff are so dedicated to giving you the best experience enjoying their chocolate. They are always chatty at the market stall, telling me all about their chocolate-making process and telling me about their vegan options, and giving me free hot chocolate to taste.

My favourite flavours so far are peppermint, cardamom, salted caramel and haggis (!!). I was really into winter spice over the cold months, and probably would still enjoy it now if I wasn’t so enamoured with cardamom. It’s important to mention that their chocolate is made bean-to-bar, which means it’s all made right here in Edinburgh from raw cacao beans to achieve the best result possible.
The Chocolate Tree chocolates
The Chocolate Tree - Blog Review #veganinscotland
I had the most delicious vegan chocolate Easter egg, made with creamy coconut milk, and I wish I had bought more (but my bank account thanks me for exercising some restraint) because IT WAS THAT GOOD, but they also had plenty of dark chocolate bunnies (and they might still have some if you hurry and snap ’em up!).
The Chocolate Tree - Blog Review #veganinscotland
You can’t visit the shop and not try the Giandutto truffles. You know how much I love that hazelnut-chocolate combination – just see my Gianduja Chocolate Mousse Cake recipe for proof – and these truffles did not disappoint. All their truffles are labelled with vegan and dairy-free when they are so.

They also sell sorbets (all vegan) and ice creams (not vegan) in their shop, plus a vegan chocolate spread that I have yet to try but have my eye on. And if you need an impressive cake for a party, you’re in luck: The Chocolate Tree also makes whole cakes!

In short, The Chocolate Tree is the perfect place to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon sipping on hot chocolate at one of their  tables by the window. And don’t forget to take a few of their chocolate bars home with you – one isn’t enough!

**************

The Chocolate Tree
123 Bruntsfield Place
Edinburgh EH10 4EQ
0131 228 3144
www.choctree.co.uk

+ they’ve got a shop in Haddington, too!

11 Hardgate
East Lothian
Haddington
EH41 3JW

**************

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Love and cookies,

thevegancookiefairysignature-2

Vegan Chocolate Praline Easter Eggs

Vegan Chocolate Praline Easter Eggs
Vegan Chocolate Praline Easter Eggs

I have to say that though there have been dramatic improvements in the range of vegan and dairy-free Easter chocolate egg options on the mainstream market, I’m still disappointed in the available products.

Maybe I’m too picky? I don’t know, but I do know that for now, the commercial vegan Easter eggs just don’t live up to the chocolates I used to enjoy as a child. It could also be that traditions being different here in the UK, I find it hard to recreate my childhood Easter celebration, which consisted of my mother hiding mini chocolate eggs all around the living room, dining room and kitchen, and my sister and I racing to gather the most. We’d count them up afterwards, sorting them into large mixing bowls (that I still have to this day) and whoever had the most was the winner.

But in the UK people buy these great big Easter eggs – and they’re hollow. What’s the point in that?? If I wanted a plain chocolate shell I could have just bought a plain slab of chocolate and been done with it. Easter is about total indulgence: pralines, truffles, boozy fillings, white and dark chocolate eggs, …

So, Dear Chocolate Makers of Britain, I’m sorry to say that your Easter eggs are not up to scratch.

Vegan Chocolate Praline Easter Eggs Vegan Chocolate Praline Easter Eggs

Call me finnicky, but I just want what I want. Enter these vegan Chocolate Praline Easter Eggs.

This recipe is based on my Guylians Chocolate Sea Shells, which would also be perfect for Easter. An Easter egg should be a surprise, a delight; that’s what these are. A creamy chocolate shell covering a decadent hazelnut praline chocolate centre, wrapped in fierce determination and served with a side of gluttony.

Happy Easter, everyone! I hope you have a wicked weekend and eat chocolate to your heart’s content.

Vegan Chocolate Praline Easter Eggs  
Vegan Chocolate Praline Easter Eggs

Note: I have included a link to an Easter egg mould in the recipe BUT it isn’t the one I have. It’s as close as I could find. The Easter egg mould I own came from eBay but doesn’t seem to be available anymore. The egg sizes are like small chicken’s eggs, or quails’ eggs. Medium-small-ish is what I would call them, but I know that’s infuriatingly vague. This one also looks similar to my mould.

[yumprint-recipe id=’17’]What’s your favourite Easter tradition?

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Love and cookies,

thevegancookiefairysignature-2

Giant Vegan Cookie Butter Chocolate Cups

Chocolate Cookie Butter Cups

I am constantly reminded of my ‘European-ness’. I lived in England for three years and have been happily settled in Scotland for the last year and a half, and while there are some habits I have happily adopted – such as eating baked beans on toast, watching British and Irish comedy shows, and some colourful Scottish slang words, of course – there are some European traits I just can’t leave behind.

Chocolate Cookie Butter Cups
Chocolate Cookie Butter Cups

My veneration of food is – obviously – the biggest one. I must have meals at the proper times. I always have an afternoon snack – what in French we call un quatre-heure (a “four o’clock”, not that you have at that specific time). I feel comfortable drinking alcohol any day of the week, even at lunch time, because that’s OK in Europe so long as you don’t get trolleyed. I see chocolate as a totally appropriate breakfast food ingredient. And I can’t live without Speculoos.

The Americans have their peanut butter, the Brits have their Cadbury – Belgians have Speculoos. Long-time readers of my blog will know what I’m talking about, but for those of you who don’t, let me explain: it’s a cinnamon, gingery type of biscuit (the British type of biscuit; a crunchy cookie) which is available in shops year round and is a beloved snack, but features most prominently as a celebratory treat during St Nicholas’ Day, on the 6th of December. If they’re not available in your country, don’t worry: I recreated the recipe for this heavenly biscuits on Keepin’ It Kind.

Chocolate Cookie Butter Cups

I’m having tons of fun filling chocolate cups with all sorts of fillings (expect to see a lot more coming to the blog!) (oh and check out these pistachio matcha chocolate cups from My Darling Vegan), especially now that Easter is around the corner; filled chocolates are my favourite at this time of year. Cookie butter (as it’s known in the US; Speculoos spread anywhere else) just seemed like a no-brainer to me.

Chocolate Cookie Butter Cups
Chocolate Cookie Butter Cups

Giant Cookie Butter Cups

  • Servings: serves 10-12
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Ingredients

For the chocolate:

  • 500g (18 oz) dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 75ml (1/3 cup) non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

For the filling:

  • 125g (4 1/2 oz) caramelised biscuits (like Speculoos)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) non-dairy milk

Instructions

For the chocolate

  1. Place a small saucepan over medium heat and add the coconut oil and milk to it. Wait for the milk to be warm before adding the chocolate chips. Stir continuously until evenly melted, then take off the heat.
  2. Set aside the chocolate to cool. When it is cool enough to dip in a finger, but still warm enough to be liquid, pour 2/3 of it into the bottom of 8 cupcake moulds. Swivel the moulds around to coat the sides, all the way up to the top.
  3. Place the moulds in the freezer to firm up, then make the cookie butter filling.

For the filling

  1. Blitz the caramelized biscuits in the food processor or blender. When they have reached a fine powder-like consistency, add the remaining ingredients and blend again. After a few minutes, the mixture should be thick and creamy, with no lumps remaining; in other words, it should be like cookie butter.

To assemble

  1. Spoon the cookie butter into the cupcakes moulds, over the firm chocolate base. Smooth out the top, then cover with the remaining chocolate. Place the cupcake moulds back in the freezer for another hour.
  2. Keep the chocolate cookie butter cups in the freezer for up to a month or in the fridge for up to a week.

I’m curious to know where YOU are from. Let me know in the comments below your country/city of origin and your favourite native food 🙂

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Love and cookies,

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