Any excuse for chocolate!

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Other more obvious unsafe sources include biscuit crumbs and wheat semolina, so watch out for add-ins.
  4. 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.

Choc Fudge Brownie & Raspberry Pudding
Choc Fudge Brownie & Raspberry Pudding  


Recipe

1 x Melinda’s Choc Fudge Brownie Premix
125ml milk
120g butter
2 x extra large eggs
1 cup fresh or frozen berries

Method

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.

Choc Fudge Brownie Sprinkle Bikkies
Choc Fudge Brownie Sprinkle Bikkies


Recipe

1 x Melinda’s Choc Fudge Brownie Premix
1 cup dessicated coconut
90g butter
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 packet freckle chocolates

Method

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!

Happy cooking

Mel

9 Responses

  1. InTolerantChef Says:

    Chocolate and raspberries are a match made in heaven! Perfect for Valentines day indeed!

  2. Wendy Joyce Says:

    Thankyou for your ‘blog’ – I love it, and have made quite a few of your dishes. Will be trying the chocolate bikkies, but am wondering about your comment about the ‘chocolate shells’ you ate with a friend. Could you perhaps tell me which chocolates they are ‘cos I once loved them but haven’t eaten them for years. I wanted to use them on top of your Brownie I thought to make it lovely and goey and drippy. Would appreciate to know. Wendy Joyce

  3. Melinda Says:

    Hi Wendy, thanks for your comments. My friends purchased Guylian brand. I checked their website and they have a ‘contains traces’ gluten statement but nothing in the ingredients. They confirmed shared equipment was the reason behind their statement so I was happy enough to eat and didn’t have any reaction. If you decide to try them I would love to see a photo of your praline brownie on our Facebook page when they are ready…sounds divine! Haighs make a gorgeous Hazelnut Praline Truffle with a ‘may contain traces’ statement due to processing. It’s worth a try too.

  4. Jacqueline Says:

    Hi Melinda, I was just wondering why you would eat foods that have a may contain statement? As a coeliac, I would never risk eating any products that are not 100% gluten free.

  5. Melinda Says:

    Hi Jacqueline, thanks for your comment. As mentioned I contacted Guylian to investigate the ‘contains traces’ statement and was advised it was due to shared equipment. Basically the product has no glutinous ingredients but the manufacturer will not go to the level of cleaning down machines and perhaps lab testing the product like we do. My feeling is if I ruled out every food item with a ‘may contain’ or ‘contains traces’ I would be limiting my options severely. I haven’t seen any chocolate in the confectionary aisle marked gluten free but companies like Cadbury have a list on their website with products they claim as gluten free by ingredient so perhaps go for this option. Thanks Melinda

  6. Helen Says:

    OMG…our family had our first batch of Choc Fudge Brownies today. How awesome are they!!! My poor son who has the food intolerance issues will be fighting me for them, what’s left of them, lol. Can’t believe it’s taken me so long to purchase a box. Have bought the risotto cakes and muffins before but never the brownies. Definately a convert now. Thanks Melinda, off to brag about them on facebook now.

  7. Melinda Says:

    Great news Helen, you better hide some in the cupboard!

  8. Lone Says:

    Try the brand Gran’s, they make delicious creamy completely gluten free chocolate. I found it at Coles, Woolworths and Big W. Just divine. Enjoy!!

  9. Lone Says:

    Oops I forgot to mention that Toblerone (yellow pack) is gluten free also. Don’t forget to check label as I believe the new version could have gluten in it.

Leave a Comment





Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.