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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.

Food & Drink, Summer

Vegan Quorn Recipe Idea | AD

This vegan Quorn recipe idea is a paid-for post in association with Quorn

Looking for a vegan Quorn recipe idea? Well, I’ve got you covered! Let me show you how to make this vegan creamy Mediterranean dish, made with Quorn Vegan Pieces and flavourful vegetables.

vegan Quorn recipe idea

What if I also tell you that once you’ve prepped your vegetables, that this recipe comes together in one pot in about 15 minutes? Oh yes! I am well and truly all about no-fuss cooking.

For this particular recipe, Quorn challenged me to use up what I had in the fridge. I had some vegetables needing using up – some halved peppers, half an onion, and half a courgette, as well as a few tomatoes. Pasta and pesto is my go-to comfort food, so there is always a jar of opened pesto in there, and I had some vegan cream leftover from the previous evening’s pudding (strawberries and cream!).

To make this a practical zero-waste recipe,  I’ve suggested a few variations depending on what’s in your cupboards, which all work just as well below.

My Vegan Quorn Recipe Idea

Quorn Vegan Pieces in a Creamy Mediterranean Pesto Sauce

Enjoy this delicious vegan Quorn recipe, that cooks in one pot in just 15 minutes.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 250 grams Quorn Vegan Pieces (frozen)
  • 1/2 red pepper chopped into small strips
  • 1/2 green pepper chopped into small strips
  • 1/2 courgette chopped into small strips
  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1 clove of garlic mashed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 125 ml vegan single cream
  • 125 ml vegan vegetable stock
  • 6 tbsp vegan green pesto
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 handful fresh basil to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add the oil to a pot and gently heat.

  2. Once heated, add the onions, crushed garlic, chilli flakes, and Italian seasoning, and cook until the onions are translucent.

  3. Next, add the frozen Quorn Vegan Pieces and the red and green pepper strips and cook for around 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Now add the courgette strips and quartered cherry tomatoes, and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  5. Add the vegetable stock, pesto and cream to the pot and stir well. Allow to cook on a medium heat for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

This dish is delicious served with pasta or rice, and salad, and has a lovely summery flavour.

Zero-waste Recipe Swap Ideas

To make this recipe zero-waste then simply adapt this recipe depending on what you have in your fridge. Have red pesto? Use that instead. Don’t have any peppers or courgettes? Other vegetables that lend themselves well to this dish include:

  • mushrooms
  • baby / salad potatoes
  • aubergines
  • asparagus
  • artichoke
  • summer squash
  • carrots
  • olives
  • opened jars of sundried tomatoes

Want to make it vegetarian rather than vegan? Simply swap the vegan cream and pesto to vegetarian varieties.

The Zero-Waste Chef also has a great recipe for zero-waste vegetable stock, that is well worth checking out.

If you are looking for more one-pot vegan Quorn dishes then do check out my Quorn lime and coconut vegan curry recipe. It’s another great midweek staple, that comes together really quickly!

Quorn also have a great vegan recipe section on their website that is well worth a peruse for vegan Quorn recipe ideas.