Love is in the air…. well this is what I’m promoting at my place!
Cherubs the world over are now busy tuning harp strings in preparation for the world’s greatest love fest – St Valentine’s Day.
Certainly there are many ways to show that special someone you care, like breakfast in bed or a surprise weekend away. But as a very wise person once said, “Flowers and champagne may set the stage, but its chocolate that steals the show.”
I love chocolate and just because you follow a gluten free diet doesn’t mean you can’t be pampered with the works.
Whether your preference be hard centres, liqueur truffles or a block of something dark and bittersweet, there are many chocolates that are gluten free to choose from. But with often unclear labelling, choosing correctly can often become a navigational minefield.
While, you don’t need to buy chocolate products with a specific ‘gluten free’ label, there are some ingredients to watch out for. The tips below will help you when deciding what chocolate products to buy:
- Wheat Glucose Syrup is safe for gluten free diets. A useful tip that I use when reading ingredient labels is that things ending in ‘ose’ such as glucose syrup are safe and things ending in ‘arch’ (and derived from gluten sources) such as wheat starch are unsafe.
- The most common unsafe ingredient is Barley Malt Extract often found in milk chocolate and is present in some brands milk chocolate product but not in their other dark or white chocolate products.
- Other more obvious unsafe sources include biscuit crumbs and wheat semolina, so watch out for add-ins.
- Finally, check all labels, even if it was safe last year (in case the ingredients have changed).
My two favourite chocolates at the moment are peppermint in any form and those delicious praline shells. My friends and I managed to devour a few boxes under the pretence of ‘coffee time’ at dinner parties over the past month.
But to be a true romantic, why not get into the kitchen and bake a gift from the heart. Our Choc Fudge Brownie mix is not only gluten free, but can also be made free from any dairy or eggs so it’s great for those with different food allergies.
And to really add the love, why not use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to create little individual treats choc-full of affection, then sandwich two halves together with a little chocolate ganache. Simply melt 150ml cream and 300g gluten free chocolate together slowly then rest until thickened.
You could create a dairy free ganache option as well using soy cream and dairy free chocolate.
Another great idea is to use our Choc Fudge Brownie mix as a base, then add just a few twists and tweaks to come up with two entirely new indulgences and chop into little bite sized bits.
To finish off our chocolate special this month have a look at some delicious variations of our favourite premix below.
Choc Fudge Brownie Pudding
A delicious chocolately fudgy pudding rich and luscious enough to warm any heart. Throw in some raspberries, serve it with cream – and you have the perfect end to a romantic gluten free dinner.
1 x Melinda’s Choc Fudge Brownie Premix
2 x extra large eggs
1 cup fresh or frozen berries
Preheat oven to 170 degrees fan forced. Combine premix sachet one and two (choc pieces) together in a bowl. Melt butter and milk together until steaming. Lightly beat eggs with a fork. Pour steaming milk & butter into bowl and stir until combined, add eggs and stir. Pour into medium sized casserole dish and sprinkle with berries or raspberries. Bake for 15-20 minutes until just cooked and gooey in the centre.
Choc Fudge Brownie Sprinkle Bikkies
These choc fudge brownie biscuits are so deliciously moreish it’s impossible to stop at one! Bake in the love then decorate for a fun and playful way to show you care.
1 x Melinda’s Choc Fudge Brownie Premix
1 cup dessicated coconut
1/4 cup milk
1 packet freckle chocolates
Preheat oven to 170 degrees fan forced. Combine premix sachet one and two (choc pieces) together in a bowl, add coconut, melted butter, milk and beaten egg (add a little more milk if needed) Roll dessertspoonfuls of mixture into balls, place on lined trays and press a freckle on top. Bake for 10 -15 minutes until cooked. Cool on trays.
Enjoy your Valentine’s Day this year and even if you don’t believe in this event you can still make it an excuse to eat chocolate all month long!