April 15 2017

Vegan and Gluten Free Chocolate Fridge Cake (Dairy Free No Bake Cake)

No bake cakes are quick and easy to make and this vegan and gluten free chocolate fridge cake is no exception. These are good activity for young children as they do not require an oven to be used. Fridge cakes can be varied in many ways to suit your individual or family’s taste. Other items such as dried fruits, vegan marshmallows, chopped or whole nuts and flavourings such as mint or orange essence could be added to the mixture.

The finished vegan and gluten free chocolate fridge cake can also be decorated in a variety of ways: for example with fresh or dried fruits, nuts, piped icing (made using icing sugar and water), grated vegan chocolate, vegan chocolate buttons or with any commercially available cake decorations that are vegan and gluten free such as sprinkles or edible glitter.

 

Vegan and Gluten Free Chocolate Fridge Cake

 

Vegan and Gluten Free Chocolate Fridge Cake

  • 200g (7oz) vegan and gluten free biscuits
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup or agave nectar
  • pinch salt
  • 100g (3.5oz) vegan dark chocolate, (or vegan milk chocolate if preferred)
  • Strawberries, halved, to decorate

 

  1. Line a container with foil or cling film.
  2. Put the biscuits into a mixing bowl and break into small pieces using the end of a rolling pin.
  3. Melt the margarine, syrup or agave and chocolate over a low heat, stirring.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture over the biscuits pieces and mix well so that they are all coated.
  5. Pour the mixture into the lined container and press down firmly. Place the halved strawberries on top.
  6. Cover and place in the fridge for 3 hours (or overnight is fine).
  7. When you are ready to serve, remove the container and foil/cling film and cut the cake into squares with a sharp knife.

If you have made my vegan and gluten free chocolate fridge cake it would be great to hear what you think or what variations you have given a try. I really like the cake made using mint dark chocolate as I am a big mint fan. My son loves marshmallows so is always happy when we have some to add. Honeycomb is also a really nice addition and makes the cake extra crunchy!

 

Ingredients Profiles For Vegan and Gluten Free Chocolate Fridge Cake

Cocoa

Cocoa is the substance that is left after cocoa butter is extracted from cacao beans and is also known as cocoa powder, cacao or cocoa solids. This brown powder contains several minerals including calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc as well as being rich in flavonoids. Flavonoids are believed to be helpful in preventing illness such as heart disease and stroke. Cocoa contains phenethylamine which acts as a mood lifer and natural anti-depressant. Cocoa may also have the ability to boost endorphin and serotonin levels which both increase feelings of happiness.

The flavonoids in cocoa are part of a group of antioxidants called polyphenols. These are particularly high in minimally processed and raw cocoa powder as they have bitter taste and so are removed in some products. An article in Science Daily stated that drinking cocoa can help to fight cancer and heart disease. Cocoa may also be useful in lowering LDL cholesterol, reducing the risk of blood clots, lower high blood pressure and in boosting cognitive performance.

In contrast to all its potential health benefits cocoa does contain caffeine which can have a negative effect on the health of many people. Caffeine can cause insomnia, increase heart rate and blood sugar levels and can result in a physical dependence if used regularly, especially in sensitive individuals.

 

Dark Chocolate

When eaten in moderation dark chocolate has a number of health benefits. Studies have shown that eating a small amount of dark chocolate 2-3 times a week can help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow and help to prevent the formation of blood clots. It may also help to protect against hardening of the arteries. The phenethylamine content of dark chocolate encourages your brain to release endorphins which increase feelings of happiness.

Dark chocolate has been shown to improve blood flow to the brain and so may aid cognitive functions. It does contain caffeine; however it is much less than is found in coffee. 1.5oz of dark chocolate contains approximately 27mg of caffeine compared to the 200mg of caffeine contained in an 8oz cup of coffee.

The mild stimulant, theobromine is found in dark chocolate and has been shown to lower the risk of dental cavities (as long as good dental hygiene is followed) as it hardens tooth enamel.

Dark chocolate contains several vitamins and minerals that are needed for good health. These include potassium, copper, magnesium and iron. Iron helps to prevent anaemia, magnesium helps prevent type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease and copper and potassium are known to protect against stroke and heart ailments.

 

Strawberries

Strawberries are a commonly used and loved fruit, popular with children and adults alike. They are rich in vitamins and minerals including folate, potassium, manganese, fibre, magnesium and vitamin C as well as antioxidants.

Strawberries contain flavonoids, phenolic phytochemicals and elagic acid, all of which help to ensure good eye health and help prevent eye damage and problems caused by harmful oxidants. The potassium found in these berries can also help to correct any issues relating to the pressure within the eyes.

The vitamin C in strawberries is a great boost to the immune system and is a well-known cure for common coughs and colds as well as having a role in the healing of infections. Vitamin C helps the body to neutralise free radicals and prevent healthy cells from becoming diseased or cancerous. The flavonoids present in strawberries have excellent antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties.

Strawberries are a rich source of potassium and magnesium which are both good at lowering high blood pressure. Potassium eases the flow of blood around the body by relaxing the arteries and so helps to keep cells oxygenated and working to their full potential.

 

vegan and gluten free chocolate fridge cake
Photo source – AgelessVisionsPhoto, [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

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December 2 2016

Vegan Cranberry and Almond Chocolate Bark Recipe

vegan chocolate bark

There is no need to be boring or limited when eating a vegan diet. Many foods are naturally vegan and there is a huge range of vegan cookbooks and recipe websites. Health food shops and some supermarkets stock delicious vegan items such as cakes, chocolate and ice creams or you can opt for making your own. Many recipes are simple and quick to make. My making your own you can tailor the finished treats to your own tastes and know exactly what went into making them.

My delicious recipe for vegan chocolate bark packed with healthy almonds and cranberries can be found here. The article includes information on the health benefits of the ingredients and a step by step easy to follow recipe. This vegan chocolate bark recipe can be used to create delicious gifts for friends and family. The recipe can also be used to make chocolate bark as an alternative to shop bought treats. The bark can be kept fresh in an airtight container. Try experimenting with other types of nuts and dried fruit to create a selection of great tasting vegan chocolate barks. Vegan varieties of milk and white chocolate can also be used instead of dark chocolate.

Vegan Cranberry and Almond Bark Recipe

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September 13 2015

Dairy and Gluten Free Chocolate Crispy Squares

These dairy and gluten free chocolate crispy squares are suitable for vegetarians and vegans and make a delicious treat at any time. the mini marshmallows melt easier but if you have trouble finding these, normal marshmallows can be cut into small pieces using scissors.

To vary the recipe different types of chocolate could be used including those that contain nuts or dried fruits, These dairy and gluten free chocolate crispy squares are great made using a milk dark chocolate.

Dairy and Gluten Free Chocolate Crispy Squares (Vegan/Vegetarian)

Ingredients

Crispy Cakes

3 cups of rice crispy cereal
5oz (140g) mini marshmallows
¼ cup dairy free spread
½ cup dairy free chocolate or chocolate nut spread
Chocolate Topping

1 cup dairy free chocolate or chocolate nut spread
1 ½ cups dark chocolate (or dairy free milk chocolate)

  1. Measure out the cereal into a bowl ready to use. Line a 15cm baking dish or pan with greaseproof paper or clingflim.
  2. Place the mini marshmallows and butter into a pan and heat gently. Keep the heat low so that they do not burn and stir often until almost completely melted.
  3. Keep the heat turned down low and add the chocolate spread to the marshmallow and butter mix. Stir well to combine.
  4. Stir in the crispy cereal and mix well so that they are all coated with the chocolate marshmallow mixture. At first it may seem like there isn’t enough but as you continue to stir it will cover the cereal fine.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish and allow to cool slightly. Press the mix down to firm up the crispy cakes.
  6. Put the chocolate topping ingredients into a pan and heat gently, stirring until melted and smooth.
  7. Pour the topping over the crispy cakes and spread with the back of a spoon. Allow to harden before cutting into pieces with a sharp knife to serve.

 

Super Easy Homemade Dairy and Gluten Free Chocolate Nut Spread
Ingredients

300g dark chocolate (or other dairy free chocolate)
454g jar of peanut butter

You will also need a lidded container large enough to hold approximately twice the amount of peanut butter.

  1. Empty the peanut butter into a large bowl.
  2. Break up the chocolate into small pieces and melt it, either slowly in a microwave or in a suitable dish over a pan of boiling water. Stir the chocolate every so often.
  3. Once the chocolate is melted and smooth pour it onto the peanut butter. Begin stirring the mixture straight away to combine the two.
  4. The spread can be used straight away but can sometimes be a little soft and even runny. Do not    worry about this as it will return to a soft peanut butter like texture.
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May 1 2015

Delicious Banana and Chocolate Wrap

This delicious and quick to prepare wrap is great for adults and children alike using simple ingredients. Many health food shops and supermarkets now sell gluten free wraps that can be used. Some of these are also suitable for vegans.

banana and chocolate wrap

To keep this recipe vegan you will need to chose a chocolate spread that is free of animal and dairy products. There are also several varieties of these available online, in health shop and supermarkets now. Instead of the chocolate spread you could also use a nut butter or a chocolate nut spread. There are several of these that can be bought including those made from almonds, cashew, peanuts and hazelnuts.

 Delicious Banana and Chocolate Wrap

1 wrap
1 small banana, sliced thinly
Chocolate spread
1 tbsp of rice crispy cereal

1. Spread the wrap with chocolate spread. You can use as little or as much as you wish.

2. Place the banana is the centre of the wrap and sprinkle the crispies over the top.

3. Fold over the bottom of the wrap and roll it up.

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