Sunday, 22 September 2013

A Chocolate and Coconut Fest

Vegan Coconut Chocolate Biscuits
We have been drinking Pukka tea for many years in this household. They have a wide range of interesting organic teas that are ideal for non black tea drinkers like me. However, until I was sent some products from Pukka to review recently, I didn't know that they did anything other than tea. Looking at their herbal website, I can now see they sell all sorts of interesting health products including Ayurvedic herbal supplements. I am particularly taken by their organic ghee which I've never seen for sale before. Well it seems you are never too old to learn. The other thing I noticed was that everything seems very reasonably priced. I was recently sent a pack of Pukka green tea with lemon, a jar of their own brand coconut oil and a bar of Divine 85% Chocolate.

A jar of organic virgin coconut oil is always to be found in my kitchen. It is purported to have many health benefits including being instrumental in weight loss. It also has a high smoke point making it ideal for frying food. I often have it spread on my breakfast toast with a smidgen of my chilli sauce, which is not only tasty but also kickstarts my morning. The quality seems to vary quite a bit from brand to brand I've noticed and the most expensive aren't necessarily the best. I could tell immediately on opening the jar that this was a good one. It smelt heavenly, unmistakably coconutty, so it hadn't been deodorised like some I've come across. The taste was of a freshly cracked coconut and better than some of the other brands I've tried. At £7.95 for a 300g jar, this is competitively priced compared to some other brands. At the moment, the coconut oil is on special offer at £5.95.

Organic September
As well as on toast, I have used coconut oil in cooking and to make raw chocolates, but I've never used it in baking before. Now seemed like the perfect opportunity to correct that omission. In celebration of #OrganicSeptember and to make the most out of the products I was sent, I wanted to create something sweet and delicious that was also as healthy as possible and contained no dairy or refined sugar (apart from the small amount in the chocolate) thus making them suitable for vegans and guilt free - always a bonus.

The tea was light and very refreshing and works particularly well as a breakfast beverage - you can find out a bit more about it on my Breakfast Bites post. Pukka customers think the tea goes so well with dark chocolate, that Pukka are now selling Choc au Citron for the perfect guilt free tea break. This consists of a pack of the lemon green tea and a bar of the Divine chocolate that I was sent and is priced at £3.99. However, I used the lovely bar of Divine chocolate combined with the coconut oil to bake two items: oaty biscuits and rice pudding - both dairy free. As if the coconut palm doesn't already give enough, I used coconut sugar too.

The biscuits were superb, crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle and very very moreish. As they are oaty biscuits. I'm entering them into this month's Tea Time Treats where the theme is Flapjack, Oats and Traybakes with Karen of Lavender and Lovage and Kate of What Kate Baked.

As this is all about coconut, I am entering both my biscuits and rice pudding into Lets Cook with Coconut over at Simply Food.

And as everything was cooked from scratch, I'm also sending the biscuits over to Made with Love Mondays over at Javelin Warrior's Cookin w/Luv.

With the subtle but tasty addition of fennel seeds, the biscuits are also being sent over to Cooking with Herbs with Karen of Lavender and Lovage.

A brand new bloggers challenge which is all about biscuits has the theme of chocolate this month, so how could I not enter these to The Biscuit Barrel created by Laura of I'd Much Rather Bake Than ...

I was sent these items for review purposes and as always, all opinions are my own.

print recipe

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Biscuits

Oaty Coconut, Fennel and Chocolate Cookies
Simple to make, dairy free and healthy too, these chewy cookies are delicious but will keep in the biscuit tin for a few days if you can manage it.
Ingredients
  • 50g Coconut Oil
  • 60g Coconut Sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds - ground
  • 1 Egg
  • 90g Wholemeal Spelt Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/8 tsp Sea Salt
  • 70g Oats
  • 50g Desiccated Coconut
  • 50g Dark Chocolate (85%) - chopped
Instructions
1. Cream the sugar and oil together along with the fennel until light and fluffy.2. Beat in the egg.3. Add the oats and coconut and stir.4. Sift in the flour, salt and baking powder and stir until just incorporated.5. Add the chocolate and stir until just mixed.6. Divide into 15 lumps and roll into balls. Place on a lined baking tray and press down to flatten a little.7. Bake at 180°C for 10 minutes or until golden but not dark. Remove onto a wire rack to cool.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 15


Vegan Rice Pudding
This is how I made:

Chocolate Coconut Cardamom Rice Pudding

  • Put 1 tbsp coconut oil in a pan and melted over medium heat.
  • Crushed 3 cardamom pods lightly and added to the oil. 
  • Added 50g of arborio rice and stirred for a couple of minutes or so ensuring that the rice was coated in the oil.
  • Added a 400ml tin of coconut milk, 1 heaped tbsp of xylitol and 50g chopped 85% chocolate.
  • Brought to a simmer, stirring until smooth, then poured into a greased oven proof dish.
  • Baked at 150°C for 45 minutes (1 hour would have been better, but I was in a hurry).
The pictures didn't do justice to this very tasty dish. It was creamy and chocolatey with a pronounced coconut flavour.



17 comments:

  1. Both of these look divine and I'm always really interested in recipes that use slightly healthier alternatives. I do like to try and be healthy sometimes even if my intentions don't always go to plan! I know I'm being really cheeky here by asking this but would you be interested in entering the cookies into my own (new) challenge, the Biscuit Barrel? It would be great if you could or even if you kept it in mind for a future month =)
    http://idmuchratherbakethan.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/the-biscuit-barrel-challenge-is-open.html

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Laura, you wouldn't know these biscuits were almost good for you, they taste so good. Yes of course I will enter your challenge - have just done so in fact.

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  2. yummy yummy what a flavour combo!!!Thankyou for linking these to lets cook with coconut event at simply.food

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  3. Just stumbled upon your blog (as I sit drinking organic, fair trade peppermint mint and eating some organic fair trade 80% dark chocolate, it seems like it was meant to be) and love the concept - what's not to love about chocolate. The package you were sent looks great, how lucky for you. And your recipes look great, I especially like the biscuit, I'll have to give them a try very soon.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks very much for visiting Barbara. Drinking peppermint tea whilst eating chocolate sounds like a fabulous idea. The biscuits are delicious, though I say it myself and fairly low on the guilt level too.

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  4. Love the idea of adding a little fennel to the cookies, what a great twist.

    That cardomom choc rice pudding looks divine! I want some

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Katie, fennel works quite well with chocolate - as long as you don't use too much. The rice pudding was very nice.

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  5. Now they look serious biccies - yes please! I would leave the fennel out as I cannot handle aniseed at all but I think they'd still be just as ace

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    Replies
    1. CC, you're right, these would still be great biscuits without the fennel. I'm thinking of trying cardamom next time.

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  6. The chocolate rice pudding looks to nice to be rice pudding, might give that a go as it looks amazing.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Babucho, but rice pudding is nice - isn't it?

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  7. I'm so intrigued by these cookies, Choclette - coconut, chocolate and fennel... I love the coconut and chocolate and oats together, but I never considered adding fennel flavor - although it has some of the same notices as anise so I can see that...

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  8. When I first read this post - sans glasses - I thought you were waxing lyrical about organic GLEE. Oops. Then I got distracted by the thought of those incredible biscuits! They look absolutely incredible. I've never been the world's biggest fan of rice pudding, but I think that actually sounds lovely too. Am now off to scratch around in the cupboard and make the biscuits (for some truly organic glee. Or ghee. Oh gee...)

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  9. These are amazing. Chocolate and coconut is certainly a great match. Delicious cookies!

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  10. I haven't used coconut oil for anything before but I love love love coconut! These cookies look delicious! Chocolate and coconut are just perfect together. Spread on toast with chilli sauce for breakfast sounds interesting though!

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  11. I ALWAYS love seeing what you come up with for TTT and Cooking with Herbs and you have NOT disappointed this month, as these biscuits are just gorgeous! Thanks! Karen

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