chocolate orange fest (vegan & gluten-free of course)

chocolate orange fest (vegan & gluten-free of course)
yummy little chocolate biscuits kissed together with orange icing

Yay!!! It’s Friday and the sun is trying to make an entrance after days of heavy rainfall. I have definitely got that Friday feeling, so I thought that we could all celebrate together with some chocolate orange, tasty treats free-from allergens.

Aars preferences for flavour combinations vary and flit about, but chocolate orange has remained a firm favourite for a few years now.  If you receive my newsletter you will know that I have mastered and been enjoying the delights of aquafaba vegan meringues. Obviously I have an incessant need to experiment and play with food so once the vegan meringues had been mastered I thought to myself – why not try to make orange blossom vegan meringues? So I did and they were YUM!

gluten-free vegan meringues
yes! they are egg-free!!

My dad loves oranges and it was his birthday on Friday, so we made him a delicious vegan & gluten-free chocolate orange cake and decorated it with my newly invented orange vegan meringues. My extended family are not vegan and couldn’t believe that the meringues were egg free.

It was a hit. So here are some of our favourite chocolate orange combos – some require a little more effort than others. So if you need a speedy chocolate orange fix, why not make some little chocolate kisses to be kissed together with vegan orange icing. or our yummy orange and choc-chunk cookies. They are so great.

If you’re a more patient soul then the vegan orange blossom meringues are REALLY worth the wait! We kissed ours together with a new coconut yogh*rt icing I have been developing. Once I’ve tried and tested it a few more times it will find it’s way onto the blog.

I hope you catch that lovely Friday feeling and have a great weekend,

Smiles and love to you,
Rai

gluten-free & vegan chocolate orange kisses

  • Yield:

    64 biscuits (32 kisses)
  • Cooking Method:

    baking
  • Prep Time:

    15 mins
  • Cook Time:

    15 mins
gluten-free & vegan chocolate orange kisses

These gluten-free & vegan chocolate orange-blossom kisses are a fresh and yummy combo. The orange-blossom icing is light and summery, bringing some freshness to the rich chocolatey melt-in-your-mouth chocolate biscuits.

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz sunflower spread
  • 2 oz icing sugar
  • 6 ½ oz gluten-free self raising flour
  • 1½ oz raw cacao powder*
  • ORANGE-BLOSSOM B*TTER CRE*M ICING
  • 2½ oz sunflower spread
  • 1C icing sugar
  • 1 tsp orange blossom extract or orange juice

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC and prep a baking tray with baking paper. In a bowl beat the spread &sugar thoroughly. When it's nicely creamed add the flour & raw cacao powder* and mix well. 

    gluten-free & vegan chocolate orange kisses
    looks sticky but rolls into little balls nicely!

  2. Even though the mix seems wet & cloying it rolls into little balls surprisingly well. Place your little rolled balls of dough on waiting baking tray, then flatten them with two fingers. Pop into the oven for 15 minutes.

  3. Place on a colling rack once cooked and ensure they are cold before making into chocolate orange kisses (otherwise residue heat will melt the icing!).

  4. To make the orange blossom b*tter cre*m beat the sugar into the spread then add the orange blossom extract. When the biscuits are cold you can put a dot of icing on one and then squidge another biscuit on top. Job done! 

Notes:

*if you don't have raw cacao powder use cocoa powder

The biscuits (with no icing) freeze brilliantly and take less than an hour to defrost so I tend to make a mass of them and pop them in the freezer in a sealed bag, ready to whip out if people drop by. I keep the icing in an airtight container in the fridge so the biscuits can be transformed into kisses at a moments notice. 

B*TTER CRE*M icing is butter-free, better-cre*m icing, it's 100% vegan and I use the *s to avoid confusion - as there is no butter or cream in our recipe.

vegan, gluten-free orange chocolate-chunk cookies

  • Yield:

    24 cookies
  • Cooking Method:

    baking
  • Prep Time:

    5 mins
  • Cook Time:

    17 mins
vegan, gluten-free orange chocolate-chunk cookies

Really simple to make, for speedy scrummy results, these cookies are impossible to mess up and great for children learning to bake. (We also enjoy eating the raw cookie dough!)  

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz sunflower spread
  • 4 oz sugar
  • 6 oz gluten-free self-raising flour (we use Doves)
  • grind of salt
  • 1 tsp orange blossom extract
  • generous sprinkling of chocolate chunks* (around 2 oz)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (fan oven) and prep a large baking tray with baking paper.

    vegan, gluten-free chocolate-chip cookies
    yummy cookie dough!

  2. Beat the sunflower spread and sugar together until creamed.

  3. Add the flour and salt to the mix and combine, add the orange blossom extract as it starts to turn into a dough. Don't over-beat the mix.

  4. Stir in your chocolate chunks* as many or as few as you fancy!

  5. Dollop spoonfuls of the mix onto your waiting baking tray - you can see the size we make ours in the photo.

  6. Pop into the oven for 17** minutes. Leave the cookies on their tray for 3 minutes once they have come out of the oven before transferring onto a cooling rack (or onto a waiting plate!) 

  7. Eat whilst the chocolate is still warm and melty ;P 

Notes:

*as it is often hard to find chocolate chips free-from dairy and soya so we chop up safe dark chocolate into chunks to go in these scrummy cookies. 

**If you prefer crunchy biscuits bake these for 20 minutes, if you prefer them softer go for 15 minutes. We like ours between the two and bake them for 17 minutes to get our crunchy/chewy perfection balance! Likewise if you choose to make mahooosive cookies they will need to bake for longer than 17 minutes. 

gluten-free & vegan chocolate-orange cake

  • Yield:

    2 cakes
  • Cooking Method:

    baking
  • Prep Time:

    20 mins
  • Cook Time:

    20 mins
gluten-free & vegan chocolate-orange cake

We love a good chocolate orange flavour combination, and this chocolate orange cake ticks all the boxes for us. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 C water
  • 1 C Sunflower spread
  • 4 Tbs (heaped) raw cacao powder*
  • 2 C vegan marshmallows
  • 1 Tbs cidre vinegar
  • 1 C gluten-free oats
  • 1½ C gluten-free self-raising flour
  • 1½ C demerara sugar
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • ¾ Tbs orange blossom extract

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (fan) and prep 2 cake tins (you can grease and then dust flour over them or use baking paper. 

    gluten-free & vegan chocolate-orange cake
    cooling before icing

  2. Pop the water, sunflower spread & raw cacao powder into a pan & place over a low heat to slowly melt, stirring occasionally.

  3. In a large bowl combine the oats, self-raising flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and salt.

  4. Once the ingredients in your pan are melted and combined, stir in the marshmallows, and cider vinegar. When the marshmallows start to melt into the mixture add the dry ingredients from your bowl and remove the pan from the heat. Continue to stir until everything is combined and then add in the orange blossom extract - mix them in well.

  5. Pour the mix into your waiting cake tins and pop into the oven for 20 minutes. (All ovens are different - check your cake is 100% cooked by putting a skewer through the middle - if it comes out clean it's ready to come out of the oven)

  6. When your cakes come out of the oven let them sit for five minutes in their tin before turning them out onto a cooling rack. Make sure that they are 100% cooled before icing them. 

Notes:

*if you don't have raw cacao powder use normal cocoa powder
**if you don't have mini marshmallows chop up some big ones! 

The cake pictured has been iced with a new recipe I've been developing made with coconut yogh*rt! It's not been tried and tested enough to go on the blog but if you are after a good vegan icing try this chocolate one or this orange one!  I also popped on some orange vegan meringues as they got so well together!

orange blossom gluten-free vegan meringues

  • Yield:

    makes 15
  • Cooking Method:

    baking
  • Prep Time:

    15 mins
  • Cook Time:

    90 mins
orange blossom gluten-free vegan meringues

Yes! These little delights are egg-free and lovely and light with that perfect meringues texture my granny used to make. They are great on their own or kissed together with some dark chocolate icing!

Ingredients:

  • ¼ C chickpea water (drained from a carton of chickpeas)
  • ¼ C granulated sugar (heaped)
  • ¾ tsp orange blossom extract
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar

Method:

  1. Drain a carton of chickpeas into a jug*

    orange blossom gluten-free vegan meringues
    ready to bake

  2. Preheat your oven to 120°C, and prep a baking tray with baking paper.

  3. Measure out ¼ C* of your chickpea water to go into a mixing bowl.

  4. Whisk the chickpea water until it becomes light and airy, and holds like beaten egg-whites. (This takes about 8-10 minutes in my Kenwood chef)

  5. Whisk in the sugar this should help stiffen up your light and frothy mix. Whisk until  it forms lovely peaks.

  6. Quickly whisk in the orange blossom extract and cream of tartar. As soon as they have blended in stop whisking.

  7. Spoon out blobs of your delightful meringue mix onto your waiting baking tray.

  8. Pop into the oven for 90 minutes. It is REALLY important that you DO NOT open the oven door during the baking process. Once the 90 minutes is over, turn off the oven but DON'T open the door - leave your meringues in there to cool down with the oven. Once the oven is cold you can open the door finally and enjoy your wonderful egg-free meringues. 

Notes:

* I let the chickpea water settle for a while and then pour off the top thinner liquid and use the thicker heavier juice at the bottom of the jug for my egg-free meringues - I don't know if it makes a difference but it is my habit as I know they work perfectly this way.

 

orange vegan frosting

  • Yield:

    ices 14 muffins (28 cupcakes)
  • Prep Time:

    15 mins

Allergens:

no allergens
orange vegan frosting

This orange vegan frosting is really easy to make and great a-top vanilla cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes. The citrus flavour is refreshing and light. Let us know what your fave flavour combination is with this vegan orange frosting. When I ice cupcakes for an event, I tend to do tiny little dots of icing on half the cakes and then full-on smothering (as pictured here) for the other half. It gives people the option of how much sugar they want to eat with their cupcake! 

Ingredients:

  • ¼ C vegan cream cheese (we use violife as it's dairy-free & soya-free)
  • ¼ C sunflower spread
  • 2 C icing sugar 
  • 1 tsp orange extract

Method:

  1. Cream the fats together until they are throughly combined and smooth.

  2. Then add the icing sugar, I do this in half cup measures with a lid on the mixer to avoid a sugar storm!

  3. Once the icing sugar is beaten in add the orange extract and beat for a couple of minutes and get ready to pipe.

Notes:

Always make sure that your cakes are 100% cold - with no residual heat in their centres before you start decorating them with this fresh and fruity icing! 

chocolate vegan frosting (light & fluffy)

  • Yield:

    ices 24 cupcakes
  • Prep Time:

    15 mins
  • Cook Time:

    0 mins
chocolate vegan frosting (light & fluffy)

This chocolate vegan frosting is really light and fluffy - you beat the air into it, so I recommend you use a machine to do this tiring job for you. I use my kenwood chef and it's K-beater attachment. That said it is worth the time and effort as it is  another lovely vegan frosting.

It makes me very happy that our children don't miss out just because they cannot have unhealthy butter cream. I also love that vegan food can still be naughty and nice. You don't have to smother cupcakes in icing to make them look cute and pretty!

Ingredients:

  • ¼ C trex
  • ¼ C sunflower spread
  • 1 ½ C icing sugar
  • ¼ C raw cacao powder
  • ¹⁄8 C m!lk alternative (we use Koko)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. In a mixer beat the trex & spread until they are well combined and fluffy (about 4 minutess in my kenwood chef with a K beater).

  2. Add the icing sugar & raw cacao powder and beat for another 4 minutes.

  3. Then add the m!lk alternative & vanilla; beat for about 7 mins until really light and fluffy. Pop the lot into the fridge for at least half an hour to cool before icing your cakes. 

Notes:

Always ensure your cakes are cold when you ice them, if they have any internal warmth still they will melt your icing. 

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