Marshmallow Krispie Cake

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Well hello! I’ve been gone for a while, life and work has got in the way so the very word “spare time” has been extremely rare. Somehow weeks turns into months, and months  turns into years – which I hadn’t realised! In that time I got a new job, refurbished our  house (mostly DIY), and my children have grown a few years: my not-so-littlest has started school, and my eldest is selecting a secondary school for next year. Yikes.

I’ve still been making things to eat for my lively allergic ones, and lately Mr Normal has been doing it more so, but documenting it is another thing. So let’s kick off with something simple shall we? But absolutely no less delicious….

Ingredients

45 grams butter
300 grams mini marshmallows, plus some extra for decoration
180 grams rice krispies
50g Free From Chocolate

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a low heat.
  2. Add the marshmallows and cook gently until they are completely melted and blended, stirring constantly.
  3. Take the pan off the heat and immediately add the cereal, mixing lightly until well coated.
  4. Press the mixture into a greased 32cm x 23cm tin / 13 x 9 inch pan; you may have to put on vinyl CSI gloves and press it down into the corners, as it will be very sticky. Flatten the top and then scatter over the edible glitter or sprinkles, if so inclined.
  5. Let the marshmallow crispy squares cool completely in the tin and then cut them into 24 squares.
  6. Break chocolate into cubes and place into a small heatproof bowl. Set over a pan of simmering water (do not allow the base to touch the water) and stir occasionally until melted.
  7. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the krispie cake and add marshmallows. Leave to set and when cooled, cut into 12 pieces.

 

Instant Frozen Berry Yoghurt

This is the quickest dessert to rustle up, it’s ridiculously easy to make and very forgiving so I don’t even have to bother measuring ingredients anymore. There are only 3 ingredients: frozen berries, soya yoghurt and liquid honey. That’s it. And what it creates is something so nice to eat and the good thing is, it’s healthy too – so no guilt involved.

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It does need to be eaten straight away though, as it starts to melt the instant you’ve made it. Alternatively if it’s looking a bit too melty put into the freezer to firm up. My kids love this as it’s just like ice cream and it never lasts long; they also like to add a bit of fresh raspberries or blueberries on top.

Ingredients (for 2-3 servings) 

200g Frozen Berries
1/2 of a 500g tub Plain Soya Yoghurt
2 – 3 tbsp Liquid Honey (or to taste)

You will need a liquidiser/blender.

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Method

Put all 3 ingredients into a blender, and whizz until combined. Add more honey to taste if required and mix again. Spoon into glasses/bowls.

The quickest recipe I ever had to write!

 

Strawberry Cupcakes

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Recently it was Little Two’s birthday. My sister had already baked a lovely vanilla sponge cake the week before but on her actual birthday I decided I needed to come up with something different. Funnily enough she is not overly keen on the cake part itself so I’ve been experimenting to see if she’ll be satisfied by one of my creations.

This is a recipe I usually roll out all the time to make cupcakes, my kids really like it and the sugar content has been reduced so it’s not too sweet. I decided to use a 50:50 ratio of coconut milk/soya milk to give a different flavour to the sponge.

I’m still at the amateur stage of cupcake decorating so have been trialling with the piping bag, they do have a rustic look about them. If it was the summer I would have decorated with a fresh strawberry on each, but as it isn’t I let my 8 year old do the rest of the decorating and let loose with the sprinkles which kept her occupied for an evening!

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Ingredients (Makes 12 hefty cakes or 24 small ones)

200ml/7floz dairy free milk (I used 100ml of KoKo coconut milk and 100ml of unsweetened soya)
20ml (4tsp) cider vinegar
200g/8oz self raising flour
150g/6oz caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
80ml/3floz vegetable/sunflower oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Strawberry Buttercream:

180g/7oz icing sugar
25g/1oz dairy free margarine
25g/1oz Trex (hard white vegetable fat)
1 – 4 tsp dairy free milk
1/4 tsp strawberry flavouring
pink food colouring

Plus:
Various cake decorations, e.g. sprinkles, balls, edible glitter, glitter sugar
Piping bag plus icing nozzle (Star shape size 1M used for the ones in the picture)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Line a 12 hole bun tin with cupcake cases.
  • Measure the milk out into a jug, add the cider vinegar and give it a stir. After a few minutes it will appear to curdle which is a result of the milk proteins being broken down. This allows it to perform better as a substitute for dairy which normally reacts with the raising agents.
  • In the meantime place all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl and combine thoroughly. Pour in the curdled milk, oil and vanilla.
  • Using a metal spoon gently fold the dry into the wet mixture together until just combined. For best results do not overmix, a few flecks of flour are ok.
  • Spoon the batter into the cases; just over 1/2 or 2/3 full will give you a decent size cake. You will see the raising agent at work and small bubbles on the surface of the mixture.
  • Just before you put your cakes in the oven give the tin a gentle tap on the worktop to pop the bubbles, which will stop the raising agents from working too quickly. Bake in the oven for around 10-15 minutes for small cakes or 15-20 minutes for large until they are golden brown on top. Cool for 10 minutes in the tin then put on a wire rack.
  • To make the icing, this can be done by mixer or by hand:
    Place the fats into a bowl and beat together until smooth. Add half of the icing sugar, 1 teaspoon of milk and the strawberry flavouring. Mix until combined.
  • Add the rest of the icing sugar, another teaspoon of milk, a couple of drops of food colouring and mix again. You may need to add more liquid a little at a time to achieve a smooth and creamy consistency, but stiff enough to hold its shape. Food colourings differ so you may need to add more depending on how vibrant you like your icing.
  • Pipe the icing onto the cakes, then decorate with sprinkles or whatever you fancy!

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SoyaToo! Soy Whip Spray Cream

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So I finally got around to trying Soy Whip in a can. I have to say I was quite excited about this and trying it out in various ways for the kids.

First the good news: it tastes great, in fact pretty much the same as the carton version – sweet, but with a very light aerated texture, like a dessert version of whipped cream. Probably not the best for a low fat, organic diet but even so the ingredients listed aren’t that bad.

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It works in exactly the same way as a can of normal dairy whipped cream. The kids loved it squirted directly on some fresh berries. We started to get creative and made some egg free meringues using Orgran Egg Replacer and made a raspberry cream sandwich:

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These were scoffed in seconds.

Even the husband started to get enthusiastic and sneakily tried to eat it straight out of the can! We started to plan all manner of desserts and uses for it but then…here’s the bad news. After only the third time we had used it, it had stopped dispensing and we couldn’t get the cream out! The can was still full of cream (I could hear it sloshing inside when it was being shaken) but even after following the recommended instructions by cleaning the nozzle each time after use with warm water and leaving at room temperature for 15 minutes after taking out of the fridge, every time we pressed the nozzle there was the hiss of gas and nothing else…until all of the nitrous oxide had been emptied out.

A quick internet search revealed that this had happened to pretty much everyone else who had bought it too, which is a massive shame as I was hoping my can was just a dud. In summary it means that the product just doesn’t work, which is really disappointing as it actually tastes really good. I’ll stick with the carton next time.

Dairy and Egg Free Trifle

This is a wee project I’ve been planning on doing for a while, and I’ve finally got around to it. It’s somewhat unfair that we always get to eat these lovely cakes and desserts while my poor girls just get to eat the same old stuff every time, so it makes me really happy to create something new for them.

It has lots of different elements to it, and it took a couple of days to make having to wait for each of the layers to set. First, jelly and fruit on the bottom – I used fresh raspberries but any soft fruit works; followed by a sponge layer, homemade; and then some dairy free custard. For the custard I used a 50/50 mix of soya/coconut milk (the KoKo brand) as personally I find the coconut is quite neutral tasting and masks the overpowering taste of soya.

However the success of this is all down to this fantastic product I found called Soya Too which I got from my local health food shop. It comes in a carton, and weirdly comes out in a kind of semi-solid block, but it whips up like double cream and for those that have had dairy before, tastes like Bird’s Dream Topping (remember that, ’80s kids?).

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The “cream” tastes quite sweet and dessert-like, though don’t go too overboard if like me you don’t like things too sugary. They also do a spray version in a can which I’m hoping to try out soon, so there are lots of things we could do with this. How exciting!

Anyway back to the trifle – I have to say it was a resounding success, and everyone had double helpings all round. Definitely one to try again, and it is very easy to tweak by substituting with different ingredients and quantities.

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(Apologies for the poor picture quality, by the time I finished it was the evening and the lighting in the kitchen isn’t great for taking photos)

Ingredients

Jelly Layer:
1 packet of jelly (makes up to 1 pint)
Fresh soft/tinned fruit (I used fresh raspberries)

Sponge Layer:
200g (7oz) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
125g (4oz) caster sugar
55ml (2oz) sunflower oil
200ml (14fl oz) dairy-free milk
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Custard:
1 tbsp custard powder ( I use Birds)
250ml dairy free milk (I used 50/50 soya/coconut)

1 packet of Soya Too! Soy Whip

Instructions

  1. First make up the jelly according to the instructions, you may want to use around 50ml less water if you wish your jelly to be firmer. Pour into a large glass serving dish.
  2. When the jelly has cooled add your fruit making sure they are evenly spaced. Put in the fridge to set (this will take all day if you have made it in the morning or leave overnight).
  3. While the jelly is setting make your sponge:
    a)  Preheat the oven to 180C and line a springform cake tin(23cm/9inch is ok) with baking parchment.
    b)  Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and sugar into a large mixing bowl and mix together. Whisk together the sunflower oil, milk, syrup and vanilla in a jug and pour the mixture into the dry ingredients, mix together gently until thick and creamy.
    c)  Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30-40 minutes until risen and cooked through. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes in the tin, then remove and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. Make the custard up according to the instructions. You want the layer to be quite firm and not too liquid so I use double the recommended quantity of custard powder. Put in a jug to cool and cover with cling film to prevent a skin forming.
  5. When everything has cooled and the jelly has set it’s time to assemble! Cut the sponge cake into slices, you can make these as thin or as thick as you like – I did mine quite thin so it wouldn’t be too filling. Arrange these over your jelly layer.IMG_4521
  6. Pour over the cooled custard and spread evenly.IMG_4522
  7. Whip the Soy Whip according to the instructions in a large bowl, then spread over your custard. It’s now ready to eat and enjoy!IMG_4526 2