Tag Archive | chocolate

55. Blackpool and Brownies


I went to the Northern Vegan Festival in Blackpool on Saturday with a few buddies, one of which was my uni-friend and fellow blogger, the Boltonian Vegan.


This gorgeous sweetie is courtesy of the Run Free alliance (http://runfreealliance.co.uk/)


 Lesson of the day – do not down 3 bottles of these in one go. Swear I didn’t know which end it was going to come out of first…

We had a good time but although the venue was absolutely stunning, I couldn’t help but think that the event lacked some of the atmosphere I experienced at the North West Vegan Festival that I went to in Lancaster earlier in the year.


Perhaps it was the lack of a beer stall…which I did moan about. A lot. But I still enjoyed myself, especially when I got chatting to the lovely people at Harper’s Bizarre and Homemade by Erica Jayne. These ladies are crazy and I love them! It’s the second time I have visited their stalls and both times I have bought something. Delicious tasting chutneys and fabulous smelling candles… I can’t resist either!  I just hope my purchases made up for my foul dialect 😉 *has no internal filter*

I also bought a book from a really really nice gentlemen of whom I could have chatted to for a lot longer had other customers not turned up. Unfortunately I forgot to take down the name of his stall. Looking at the Northern Vegan Festival website, he may have been “Cruelty Free Cookbooks”. Hopefully I will find out for sure at the next event.


The highlight of the day however had to be the big fat dirty burger I bought from the Vegan Grindhouse.  I’ve been DYING to try one of these guys’ burgers and I was not disappointed with my quarter pounder with cheeze, onions and burger relish *drools*.


Anyway, a while ago (like years ago, before I turned vegan) I made some brownies for work, which had they not have contained dairy milk chocolate, would have been SFV. I was reminded of my recipe when I was flicking through a free copy of LABL magazine. Inspired by this article and also by a piece of pecan pie that I sampled at the festival (courtesy of The Homemade Vegan) I routed out my recipe and simply swapped the chocolate for a dairy free version. In fact I used a bar that I got in my Vegan Kind box this month, which for the record was gorgeous! Creamy with a hint of coconut:


Ombar (http://ombar.co.uk/)


Pecan pie


The best part of this recipe is that brownies are super easy to make!

Pecan and chocolate chunk brownies


125g Plain flour
175g Caster sugar
35g Cocoa powder
125 ml Oil (I used sunflower)
125 ml



1 tsp

1 tsp


Dairy free “milk” chocolate (broken into chunks)

Chopped pecan nuts

Baking powder

Vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 180oC.

Then, simply mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and cocoa powder together, before adding  the oil, water and vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly until a smooth glossy batter is formed. Then fold in the nuts and chocolate chunks.

Pour the mix into a lightly greased 7 x 7” baking tin and bake for 20 mins. I turned the tin around after 10 mins to ensure an even bake.




…and after

Allow to cool before cutting into 8 triangles.


Enjoy with a nice cuppa 🙂




52. Chocolate and Lotus Spread cinnamon cake

ps1 20140810_182135_zps2zxogvss

It’s my birthday at the end of the month so I’ve been trialing a few cakes. I want to try and persuade my work colleagues that vegans don’t just live off dust 😉

I’d heard very good things about the new Lotus Biscoff Spread (http://www.lotusbiscuits.co.uk/lotus-products/spreads/) via the Vegan Groups on Facebook, so when I saw a jar in the shops I couldn’t resist. Facebook was right, this stuff is gorrrrrgeous! So gorgeous in fact that I had to invent a cake to put it into. This one is definitely a contender for the birthday bake-off!

Chocolate and Lotus Spread cinnamon cake:


¾ x cup vegan marg
¾ x cup sugar
3 x tsp “No Egg” in 6 tbsp. water (http://www.orgran.com/products/174/)
4 x tbsp. soya milk
1 x tsp cider vinegar
1 1/3 x cups self-raising flour
1 x tsp baking powder
2 x tsp cinnamon
2 x tbsp.   Lotus Biscoff spread (plus extra for decorating)
2 x tbsp.   Vegan friendly chocolate spread (have a Google search if you don’t already have a favorite brand!)


Preheat the oven to 180oC

Put the marg, sugar, No Egg, soya milk and cider vinegar into a bowl and whizz up until a pale batter is formed (it might look slightly “curdled” but don’t worry).

In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and cinnamon together.

Add the dry ingredients to the batter a spoonful at a time and fold in until thick and thoroughly mixed.

Pour half the mixture into a well-greased baking pan. Dollop in blobs of the Lotus Spread and chocolate spread. Pour the rest of the mixture on top and swizzle around using a skewer.

Bake for 35 – 45 minutes, depending on the dimensions of your tin. A skewer will come out of the centre of the cake clean once cooked. If the outside of the cake is browning too fast, wrap in foil.

Allow to cool in the tin for 10mins before turning out onto a wire rack.

Once completely cool, you can decorate. Using a butter knife, I alternated blobs of Lotus and chocolate spread to make a pretty pattern.

ps2 20140810_182119_zps2nidqkju

My favorite part of this cake is the slightly chewy crust and of course the Lotus – chocolate spread topping. Enjoy!




39. Chocolate, coconut and raspberry nutty date bars

20140328_072642_zpsswdb0tlf ps2

I like to take these bars to work in case I get hungry, especially since the canteen doesn’t cater well for vegans.

They’re super easy to make as well, simply throw all of the ingredients into a food processor and when coarsely ground spread into a tin lined with cling film before chilling in the fridge overnight. Simple!

Chocolate, coconut and raspberry nutty date bars:


1 x 32 g raspberry liquorice bar (completely optional – I had a Panda bar that needed using up)

½ x cup cashews

1 x cup almonds

200g pack of dates (pitted and roughly chopped)

½ x cup frozen raspberries

¼ x cup desiccated coconut

3 x tbsp drinking chocolate (I used Cadbury’s – make sure it’s not the instant version)


Put all ingredients into a food processor and whizz until all ingredients are coarsely ground. The mixture should bind together when pinched.

Spoon into a container (e.g. a baking tin), lined with cling film and using the back of the spoon, press down.

 20140328_072427_zps9jjvgkeo ps4

Refrigerate overnight.

Turn upside down onto a chopping board and peel off the cling film. Cut into bars and wrap individually in tinfoil. Store in the fridge.

20140328_073210_zpsr2cltcqf ps1

In the not too distant future I’ll be in France, staying in the arse-end of nowhere for three nights with work. Call me paranoid but I don’t want to go hungry, so I’ll be popping a few of these babies into my suitcase!

 20140328_072526_zps41rjpn9e ps3