No-Bake

Boost Bar Biscuit Cake

They may not enjoy quite the same popularity as Mars bars, Maltesers or Cadbury Buttons, but I think Boost bars are such an underrated chocolate. Chewy caramel, a generous coating of Dairy Milk and super crunchy biscuit melded into one – what’s not to like?!7cb7d785-db18-473b-a25a-1d0131a49410Boosts have been my mum’s all-time favourite chocolate bars for as long as I can remember, and so I wanted to use them as the inspiration for her birthday cake this year. She’s not the biggest fan of chocolate sponge cake and the idea of doing one sandwiched with caramel and topped with Boost pieces didn’t really grab me. I Googled ‘Boost bar cheesecake’ and, to my immense surprise, there were no results! Needless to say, this was all the motivation I needed to rectify this and attempt one myself, particularly given the enticing can of Carnation caramel already sat waiting in the pantry.

After thinking about it some more, I decided cream cheese didn’t really seem necessary and decided to stick with recreating each element of the chocolate bar to create a large, sliceable, homemade version. No frills, no faff and no baking but the end result was delicious and went down a storm!

I realised afterwards that, due to the soft consistency of the tinned caramel, this creation is actually perhaps more reminiscent of Munchies chocolates rather than their chewier Cadbury cousin. Either way, it tastes good which is the main thing I think!

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INGREDIENTS

For the base:

  • 170g/6 oz digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 55g/2 oz butter or margarine, melted

For the filling:

  • 3/4 of a 397g can Carnation caramel
  • 250g/9 oz milk chocolate (preferably Cadbury’s Dairy Milk)
  • 55g/2 oz butter or margarine
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 x 108g bag Boost Bites (or Munchies!), or 2 Boost bars, chopped into 2cm pieces

METHOD

For the base:

  1. Place the digestive biscuits in a hole-free carrier bag and bash into crumbs with a rolling pin, or place them in a food processor.
  2. Place the butter/margarine in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave until liquid, and then pour in the biscuit crumbs. Mix thoroughly to combine.
  3. Pour the mixture into a lightly greased flan dish and press down with your fingers or the back of a spoon until flat and firm. Place in the fridge to set for at least half an hour.

For the filling/topping:

  1. Remove the set biscuit base from the fridge and spread the caramel over it evenly with a spatula.
  2. Place the flan dish back in the fridge and allow to set for at least an hour, until the caramel has firmed up a bit. Remove from the fridge before making the chocolate topping.
  3. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave on low heat in blasts of 30 seconds-1 minute until completely smooth.
  4. Stir in the butter/margarine and syrup and pour the mixture over the caramel layer. Once the chocolate has cooled completely, arrange the Boost Bites on top, and then place back in the fridge for at least 25 minutes before serving.

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Boost bar image copyright cadbury.co.uk
Other photos copyright cloud9point1
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Categories: Chocolate, No-Bake | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Healthy No-Bake Choco-Date Bars

I went to the Foodies Festival at Alexandra Palace the other week with my other half as an early birthday present for him and we had a wonderful day, despite the blazing heat (made even better by the fact that we got the tickets half price through Groupon!) We saw some fantastic cooking demonstrations, ate lots of free samples and bought lots of goodies! A definite highlight for me was the ‘Embrace the Cake’ stall where I had the most incredible raw, vegan, no-bake pecan pie. It was so delicious that I couldn’t believe it was free from refined sugar and made from only healthy, natural ingredients – mostly ground nuts, dates and coconut oil if I remember correctly. The other sin-free treats on offer looked similarly mouth-watering, including apricot crumble, coconut balls, lemon slices, ‘rawreos’ (raw Oreo cookies) and gingerbread balls.

I’m also a huge fan of Nakd bars, which are similarly raw and vegan friendly with no refined sugar (unlike most cereal bars which claim to be healthy but are in fact teeth-rottingly sweet!), and I have been eating an obscene amount of them recently, especially the cocoa ones. Feeling inspired, I decided to have a go at making some healthy no-bake treats myself and the results are these absolutely scrumptious, gooey and chocolatey-tasting date bars 🙂 This recipe was also the perfect excuse to try out the Beloved date nectar that I bought from the festival, which is a gorgeously sweet alternative to sugar, made from nothing but smooshed dates. If you don’t have this, simply replace it with a second tablespoon of honey, or use maple or agave syrup instead.

I used honey and milk in my recipe here but I realise these aren’t vegan ingredients, so I’ve given suggestions for replacements below if you want to make the bars completely free from animal products.

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INGREDIENTS – makes approx. 16 bars

  • 250g unsalted cashew nuts
  • 220g dried dates
  • 1 tbsp date nectar
  • 1 tbsp honey (or maple/agave syrup to make it vegan)
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 150g oats
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tbsp skimmed milk (or almond/soya milk to make it vegan/dairy free)
  • Handful of flaked almonds, to decorate
  • Handful of raisins, to decorate

METHOD

  1. Line a rectangular baking tin with baking parchment.
  2. Finely chop the cashew nuts or blitz them with a food processor depending on how fine you want them and place in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Roughly chop the dates then add them to the bowl along with the date nectar, honey, cocoa powder, oats, vanilla extract and milk.
  4. Blend the mixture together using a stick blender or food processor until it has a smooth, mushy consistency.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin and press down with your fingers or a rubber spatula, then top with the flaked almonds and raisins.
  6. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours then cut into bars with a sharp knife.
Categories: Healthier, No-Bake, Raw/Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

No-Bake Oaty Peanut Butter Squares

Originally posted 28/04/2015

These squares are my favourite things to make when I fancy some homemade treats but can’t be bothered to switch on the oven and create lots of washing up, or when I want something yummy that’s not as heavy as cake. 

They really couldn’t be easier to whip up and the salty crunchiness of the peanut butter goes amazingly well with the sweet honey and chocolate chips.

Although I wouldn’t call these creations ‘healthy’, they’re certainly a bit less sinful than a doorstop of frosted cake or a big gooey chocolate cookie. Having said that, they’re so ridiculously moreish that I find myself unable to stop at just one and could happily devour an entire batch in one sitting – and that definitely doesn’t constitute a guilt-free snack!

These squares are dairy-free (if you use ‘proper’ dark chocolate with a high cocoa content that doesn’t contain milk – check the label), and can be made vegan by using vegan-friendly chocolate and substituting the honey for maple syrup.

INGREDIENTS – makes approx. 15 squares

  • 300g/10.5 oz oats
  • 240g/8.5 oz crunchy peanut butter
  • 120g/4 oz honey
  • 60g/2 oz dark chocolate chips
  • Pinch of salt

METHOD

  1. Line a rectangular cake tin with baking parchment or clingfilm.
  2. Place the peanut butter and honey in a saucepan and stir on a low heat until smooth and melted together.
  3. Pour in the oats, chocolate chips and salt and mix with a wooden spoon until all the oats are covered.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and press down with the wooden spoon to form an even layer.
  5. Place in the fridge to set for a minimum of 1 hour before slicing into squares with a sharp knife.
Categories: No-Bake | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sealy Oreos

Originally posted 22/02/2015

No actual baking required but I just wanted to make a quick post about these cute cookies I made as a surprise for my Oreo-loving other half as part of Valentine’s Day dinner. They were inspired by The More Than Occasional Baker’s adorable penguin Oreos which can be found here: http://themorethanoccasionalbaker.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/penguin-oreos-for-valentine.html?m=1

Anyone that knows me knows I have a bit of a seal obsession, hence the adaptation – I just think they’re so so cute! Separating the cookies without breaking them and keeping the cream intact is easier said than done and putting the little whiskers on is a bit fiddly but they’re fun to make and sure to raise a smile 🙂

INGREDIENTS – makes 8

  • 8 Oreo cookies
  • 16 dark chocolate chips
  • 8 butterscotch chips
  • Handful of chocolate vermicelli

METHOD

  1. Use a sharp knife to carefully remove one side of each Oreo and put the non-cream halves to one side.
  2. Use the knife to gently scrape any excess crumbs off the cream.
  3. Place pairs of chocolate chips at the top of each cookie as eyes then add the butterscotch chip noses and use tweezers to arrange four vermicelli whiskers on each.
Categories: No-Bake | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

White Christmas Rocky Road

Originally posted 19/12/2014

I’ve not been great at keeping my blog updated over the last few months due to being busy with uni but now we’re officially into the festive season it’d be wrong not to post some recipes! Being a loan-less student in London means money is pretty tight so I’ve been doing Christmas on a budget this year by creating as many homemade edible/crafty gifts as time and ability allows. This snowy white rocky road is a twist on the traditional kind and so ridiculously easy and cheap to make. The ruby red glace cherries look beautifully festive and the spicy ginger of the biscuits contrasts wonderfully with the creamy white chocolate.

You could also add nuts (e.g. pistachios or walnuts) or experiment with other goodies like dried cranberries for an equally authentic yuletide taste.

INGREDIENTS – makes approx. 15-18 squares

  • 500g/1 lb 1oz white chocolate
  • 150g/5.5 oz ginger nut biscuits
  • 200g/7 oz glace cherry halves (1 standard tub)
  • 2 handfuls mini white marshmallows

METHOD

  1. Line a standard rectangular cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl in blasts of 30 seconds in the microwave (no longer or it’ll seize!) or over a pan of hot water.
  3. Roughly break the ginger nuts up by hand into pieces no bigger than a 50p piece and add to the chocolate then stir in the glace cherries and marshmallows until thoroughly coated.
  4. Pour the mixture into the cake tin then allow to set in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours before cutting into squares with a sharp knife.
Categories: Chocolate, Festive, No-Bake | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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