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recipe

Food & Drink, Kitchen Staples

How to Make Vegan Chocolate – 3 Ways

Want to know how to make vegan chocolate? I’ve got three easy sugar-free chocolate recipes for you today.

Joanne Wood from the blog The Balanced Kitchen has got this fantastic recipe for dark chocolate chilli and orange vegan chocolate. And not only is it vegan, but it’s also free from refined sugar too, for that healthier edge.

how to make vegan chocolate, three ways

Joanna has helpfully shown us how to make the chocolate in three different ways, depending on our preferences and budget. She’ll talk you through the differences each option makes to the chocolate, to help you decide which option suits you best.

How to Make Vegan Chocolate – 3 Ways

Prep time: 5 minutes 

Cook time: 5 minutes 

Chilling time: 3 hours 

Servings: 15 chocolates 

Equipment required: Floral silicone moulds*

Vegan Chocolate Option 1 – With Coconut Oil

Coconut oil gives a creamier texture to your vegan chocolate. However, it does tend to melt more easily in warmer weather if left at room temperature.  It’s the cheapest option and the easiest to prepare.

  • 100 g coconut oil (the white solid oil, not the fractionated liquid oil)
  • 25 g raw cacao powder 
  • 1.5 TBSP powdered xylitol – grind the xylitol to a powder in a coffee grinder 
  • 2 tsp orange zest 
  • 1 pinch chilli powder

Option 2 – 100% Dark Chocolate

100% dark chocolate is becoming more widely available in supermarkets and shops. This recipe is mid-price. And of the three vegan chocolate options, it’s easy to prepare and gives a nice, hard consistency for the finished chocolates.

  • 100 g 100% dark chocolate 
  • 1.5 TBSP xylitol – grind the xylitol to a powder in a coffee grinder 
  • 2 tsp orange zest 
  • 1 pinch chilli powder

Option 3 – Cacao Butter and Cocoa Powder

Cacao Butter is more expensive and harder to source than the other recipes. You will need to visit a health shop or buy it online. The good news, however, is that cacao butter can be kept in the freezer and melted down as needed.  It’s best bought in button-sized pieces for ease of using the quantity needed.  Cacao butter gives a harder consistency than coconut oil for the vegan chocolates once prepared.

  • 100 g cacao butter 
  • 25 g dark cocoa powder 
  • 1.5 TBSP xylitol – grind the xylitol to a powder in a coffee grinder 
  • 2 tsp orange zest 
  • 1 pinch chilli powder

Method

  1. For all options, begin by melting the coconut oil / Dark Chocolate / Cacao Butter in a bain-marie. To make a bain-marie, simply place the ingredients in a bowl and pop the bowl over the top of a pan which has two inches of water in it. Heat the water over a medium heat until the ingredients have melted, stirring continuously. Do not allow the bowl to touch the water.
  1. Once the coconut oil / dark chocolate / cacao butter has melted, remove the bowl from the pan and turn off the heat. Place the bowl on a heat-proof surface and stir in the raw cacao or dark cocoa powder. Please, note, you do not need to add chocolate to the 100% dark chocolate option.
  1. Next, add the powdered xylitol and a pinch of chilli powder and stir until combined.
  1. Place the chocolate silicone mould onto a moveable flat surface. A baking tray or chopping board works well.
  1. Sprinkle a small amount of orange zest into each mould. 
  1. Now spoon the vegan chocolate mixture on top until each mould is full.
  1. Leave to set in the fridge for a few hours before removing each chocolate from its mould. Store your chocolates in a suitable airtight container.
  1. It is best to eat these within 4 days of making them – not that they will last that long! This is because the chocolate can start to crystallise after then.

You can also check out my post on healthier baking tips, which includes healthy vegan alternatives to dairy products. And don’t forget to check out Joanne’s blog, or follow her on Instagram.

Autumn, Food & Drink, Winter

25 Vegan and Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes For Autumn and Winter

vegetarian and vegan slow cooker recipes

Looking for vegan and vegetarian slow cooker recipes to nourish you this autumn and winter?  I’ve got 25 right here for you!

Of all the appliances in my kitchen, it’s my slow cooker* that I love the most.  We use it at least three days a week, and there’s nothing quite like that smug feeling of sitting at work at 10 am knowing that dinner is all taken care of. 

We were on the fence about buying a slow cooker for ages because we wondered just how much use we would get out of it.  Apparently, the average UK household has £415 worth of unused cooking gadgets and utensils in their kitchen.  I didn’t want my slow cooker to add to this!  

What made me so wary about purchasing a slow cooker was that the majority of slow cooker recipes I came across were been meat-based.  So, I spent some time doing a little research for vegan and vegetarian slow cooker recipes and I feel like I hit the jackpot.  I found so many great-looking vegan and vegetarian slow cooker recipes that I thought it would be useful to share them all here with you, in case you have a slow cooker or are considering buying one.

Here are 25 vegan and vegetarian slow cooker recipes that will nourish you and keep you going all autumn and winter! I plan on trying each and every one of them!