Friday, 14 August 2015

Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

You all know that white-labelled jar with the red lettering: the one your parents tried to hide from you by putting it on the highest shelf in the tallest cupboard; the one you used to dig into with a spoon when you thought no one was looking- well, due to a request from our family we've created the vegan version of its nutty, chocolatey contents so you can once more indulge. We tried making it a couple of times, and decided on this version as the simplest, most effective recipe. If you have a food processor or high speed blender suitable for making nut butters, then you'll soon have your very own little pot of chocolate nut heaven...

400g shelled hazelnuts
200g raw sugar (such as Pakistani sukhar or Brazilian rapadura, but if you can't get those, ordinary soft brown sugar will do)
50g cacao powder (or cocoa if you can't get the raw cacao)
40g coconut oil

  • Lightly toast the hazelnuts in a medium oven.
  • Put into your food processor and get them down to a smooth butter.
  • Add the other ingredients and blend again. Make sure the level of sweetness is to your liking; adjust if necessary.
  • Keep in a lidded jar somewhere cool and dry.
This spread can also be used as a cake filling and frosting, in ice cream and as a general dessert topping- watch out for future posts explaining how!

Monday, 10 August 2015

Gluten free chapattis/ roti

Every so often it feels good to get away from our dependence on wheat and gluten-rich grains for the carby part of our diet, whether or not we have a gluten intolerance. I certainly find gluten free options a bit easier to digest, but the problem with bought gluten free breads if you're vegan is that they pretty much always contain egg. Luckily, a solution was waiting there in the kitchen cupboard in the form of farali flour and flax seeds.
Let me explain; farali flour is a blend of different gluten free flours; Japanese millet, water chestnut (aka singoda) and sago. You can find it in some Asian grocery stores. Flax "eggs" are made from ground golden linseeds whisked with water. One tablespoon of ground flax with three of water equals one beaten egg. The result was a fairly easy to handle dough that could be rolled quite thin, and a soft, slightly chewy-textured bread.
I made 9 chapattis, so to the amount of flour you would normally use for this amount, add a pinch of salt and two flax "eggs". Mix in water to make a soft but not sticky dough, wrap it up to stop it drying out and let it stand for half an hour. Then proceed as normal.
We already posted a gluten free chapatti recipe using buckwheat and potato flours, here
Take a closer look at the texture...