Saturday, 10 September 2016

Vegan, Dairy Free & Gluten Free Caramel Shortcake

Readers, a miracle happened in the kitchen this week… I made something with substituted ingredients which tasted, not too bad AND remotely close to the real deal. I found the original recipe for these on Pinterest, named as Twix Bars, but in reality, when I made them, they looked more like slices of caramel shortbread.  Maybe in America, they don’t get caramel shortbread?

Anyway, this actually only uses about 6 ingredients, just reformatted in a lot of different ways.  I even ended up with something remotely chocolate like from cocoa powder.  Who knew?!

This made around 10 slices, and they are REALLY filling, so around 5 days after making them I still have 3 slices in the fridge.  Be warned, you really need to keep these refrigerated before you eat them, otherwise the “chocolate” and the “caramel” go really soft and gooey – I made the mistake leaving it on the desk at work, barely edible by the time I got to it in the afternoon.

Anyway, many thanks to Bakerita for the original recipe.  I made my own nut butter for the recipe – easy – ground almonds, in a food processor for a bout 15 minutes.  Prepare to be amazed!!!!


2/3 cup coconut flour
¼ tsp salt
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/3 cup solid coconut oil

½ cup almond butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt

¼ cup melted coconut oil
¼ cup coca powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup


  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan.
  2. Line a silicone 8inx8in pan with baking parchment.
  3. Combine all ingredients for the base in a bowl and bring together to a dough, using your hands.  Press the dough into the base of the baking pan and transfer to the oven. Bake for around 8-9 minutes until the biscuit goes golden.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan.
    Press into the tub

    Bake perhaps for 30 seconds less than I did!
  4. For the filling, add all filling ingredients to a small pan and gently warm through, stirring, until the ingredients are fully combined.  Remove from heat, pour over the biscuit and transfer to the fridge to set. 
    Prep the filling 
  5. Make the chocolate topping by melting coconut oil and whisking with the maple syrup and cocoa powder.  Pour over the set filling and use a silicone spatula to smooth out before returning to the fridge to set.
    gluten and dairy free caramel shortcake
    The finished article
  6. Once set, slice into small rectangles and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve. 

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Dairy Free Protein Brownies

Readers, I’m just about surviving this whole non dairy thing.  The lack of cheese has been challenging and I’ve absolutely failed in kicking my chocolate habit completely, but I am noticing a difference.The bloating has stopped, I’m starting to get into shape and I’m discovering how creative you can be with non-dairy ingredients in cake.

I saw this recipe in Joe Wicks Lean in 15 cookbook and decided it to give it a go for myself. Note – these don’t really last any more than a couple of days – I made them midweek last week and by this morning (Sunday) they were starting to go mouldy. I assume it’s because of the lack of preservatives.  So if you happen to be the only person in your gaff that enjoys a protein brownie, I’d suggest you make a half batch to stop any wastage…

These were dense, super moist, made without refined sugar and the lack of flour also means they are suitable for gluten free diets.   Worth a go, but note – these are more cakey than brownie, expect a dense moist cake like thing coming out of the oven, rather than a gooey brownie.  I’m pretty sure these are a bit better for you though, than something off the shelf, or a standard chocolate brownie recipe.  

Happy baking.

The original recipe is available in the Joe Wicks book – I made a few amendments based on the ingredients I had available in the house.
dairy free protein brownies

Dairy Free Protein Brownies

Ingredients – makes 12 bars
140g cooked beetroot (in natural juice)
175g ground almonds
120g chestnuts (blitzed in a processor with water to make a puree)
30g cocoa powder
45g honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 medium eggs


  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan
  2. Add all your ingredients to a food processor and turn into a smooth batter (you may need to stop and start and wipe down the sides with a spatula, to make sure the mix is well incorporated).
    In the beginning, there were ingredients

    And then they were blitzed
  3. Line a silicone 8in x 8in brownie pan and transfer the mix to the pan.
  4. Bake for around 18 minutes before removing from the oven.  Allow to cool, then cut into bars.  Enjoy!
Allow to cool before slicing

dairy free protein brownies