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Dairy & Egg Free Baking: Date & White Chocolate Cookies / Biscuits

As-Salamu Alaikum Sisters / Greetings Dear Readers,

I originally eyed a version of these cookies/biscuits on The English Kitchen and was immediately drawn to them not only because they looked scrummy but the way Marie described them was oh so tempting!

I admit I have a lot to learn on how to write a come and bake me now foodie blog post but one thing I can do is photos, mobile phone photos at that which I'm not ashamed to say have then been edited in Photoshop!
Yes, I have to work with what I've got, not only in my digital life but also in my kitchen cupboards and I wanted to make these especially for my dairy and egg allergic daughter and masha'Allah I just so happened to use my last Orgran No Egg, Egg on these yummy cookies!

No second guessing, I took a bite out of one, two OK I forgot how many I had......they were good and the perfect bite size treat.

I'm 95% happy with these cookies, the only thing I may do differently next time is increase the amount of vegan margarine a smidgen.

The original recipe contained 50g butter plus the fat from 1 egg and 50g white chocolate chunks which meant Marie's cookies spread due to being higher in fat than mine but hey the sugar content more than made up for any loss in fat in my version and you know what excess sugar converts to don't you? F.A.T. so I won't be saying these are the healthiest cookies in the world but again I'm working with what I have got ...... sugar! you can only imagine what this hormonal pregnant woman did when my 4year old knocked the tub containing my rare buy of rather expensive unrefined golden caster sugar on the dining room floor, yes I cried that's how much sugar means to me......sad but true.

OK so if you have the need like i did to make these cookies allergy free or you just fancy a change in  your all butter and egg kitchen then follow my recipe, if not check out the original I'm sure you will enjoy either.

Date & White Chocolate Cookies / Biscuits (Dairy and Egg Free)

Makes: 19 x 1 tbsp sized cookies
Adapted from the English Kitchen


50g Pure Dairy Free Sunflower Spread or any other suitable vegan spread
80g unrefined golden caster sugar
few drops of pure halal vanilla extract or use vanilla golden caster sugar in place of regular golden caster sugar
1/4 tsp Orange Blossom Water optional (provides I subtle background flavour)
Equivalent of 1 Egg of your chosen egg replacer (I used 1 heaped tsp orgran No Egg made up with 2tbsp water )
70g whole, pitted dates, cut into chunks
50g Dairy Free chocolate buttons (These are halal certified)
130g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder


Preheat the oven to 160*C/140C (Fan) /325*F/ Gas mark3. Line two baking sheets with baking paper and set aside.

Beat together the vegan spread and sugar with a wooden spoon until light and creamy. Add the vanilla, orange blossom if using and egg replacer, mixing it in well. Sift together the flour and baking powder and stir into the creamed mixture. Stir in the chocolate and the dates.

Drop tablespoon sized drops onto the prepared baking sheets. I did 9-10 per baking sheet

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until they are pale golden brown, and a bit crispy on the edges. (I move the trays around halfway through the baking time so that they bake evenly.) Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
**Please note I have not been compensated or asked to advertise any of the allergy free products displayed in this post, they are personally what I chose to use and although I can't guarantee 100% that the Pure Dairy Free Sunflower Spread or Orgran is halal, I wrote to the manufacturer of Pure Dairy Free who responded that they don't make any claims that their products are suitable for a halal diet they did say they don't use alcohol to make their spreads and that their spreads are suitable for vegans.
I haven't had chance to write to Orgran about their egg replacer but if you look here you can read the ingredients list and this product is also suitable for Vegans.

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Islām’s Prohibition of Taking Lives Unjustly and Causing Fear in the Earth

As-Salamu Alaikum / Greetings dear reader,

After recent events in Woolwich,  Birmingham, UK and elsewhere in the world, I came across the following piece of true Islamic knowledge which will benefit anyone muslim and non muslim to read, In sha Allah / God willing.
Islām’s Prohibition of Taking Lives Unjustly and Causing Fear in the Earth
From the Tafsīr of al-Allāmah ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn Nāṣir al-Sa’dī
Translated by Abū al-Ḥasan Mālik Ādam al-Akhḍar
Relating the story of the Prophet Mūsā (alaihissalam), Allāh (Subhanahu wa ta’aala) says in His Noble Book:
“And he entered the city at a time of inattention by its people and found therein two men fighting: one from his faction and one from among his enemy. And the one from his faction called for help to him against the one from his enemy, so Mūsā struck him and [unintentionally] killed him. [Mūsā] said, ‘This is from the work of Satan. Indeed, he is a manifest, misleading enemy.’He said, ‘My Lord, indeed I have wronged myself, so forgive me,’ and He forgave him. Indeed, He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.’” [al-Qaṣaṣ 28:15-16]
Until the verse:
“And when he wanted to strike the one who was an enemy to both of them, he said, ‘O Mūsā, do you intend to kill me as you killed someone yesterday? You only want to be a tyrant in the land and do not want to be of the amenders.’” [al-Qaṣaṣ 28:19]
In his Tafsīr [commentary] of these verses, al-Allāmah ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn Nāṣir al-Sa’dī (rahimahullaah) says:
“And from them (i.e. the benefits of these verses): The killing of a non-Muslim who has a compact [of security] by treaty or customary law is impermissible,[1] for indeed Mūsā(alaihissalam) considered his killing of the disbelieving Copt a sin, and he sought Allāh’s (Subhanahu wa ta’aala) Forgiveness for it.
Also from them: Whoever takes a life unjustly is considered from the oppressors, those who cause corruption in the earth.
And from them: Whoever takes a life unjustly and claims that he desires to rectify the land and to cause fear in the people of sin, then he is indeed a liar in this [claim] and is instead one who causes corruption, just as Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’aala) has related in the Copt’s statement (You only want to be a tyrant in the land and do not want to be of the amenders) by way of affirmation, not negation.”[2]
[1] This has also been explicitly stated by the Messenger of Allāh (sallallaahu alaihi wa sa in the ḥadīth collected by Imām al-Bukhārī in his Ṣaḥiḥ (no. 2929 and 6524) on the authority of ‘Abd Allāh ibn ‘Amr (radhi Allaahu anhu) who related that Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallaahu alaihi assalam) said: “Whoever killed a Mu’ahid (a non-Muslim who is under the pledge of protection by the Muslims) will not smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can be smelled at a distance of forty years (of traveling).”
[2] Taysīr al-Karīm al-Raḥmān (pg. 678)
Posted from : http://rahmaniyyahpublishing.wordpress.com/
Copied and pasted above article from: http://salaf-us-saalih.com/2013/05/24/islams-prohibition-of-taking-lives-unjustly-and-causing-fear-in-the-earth-imaam-as-sadee/



Treacle Tart

As-Salamu Alaikum / Greetings Reader,

Today I present you with Treacle Tart: a rich and buttery short crust pastry tart shell which is first blind baked and then filled with a mixture of Golden Syrup (Us folk in the north of England know it as Treacle), bread crumbs, lemon juice (to cut just some of the sweetness) and a pinch of ground ginger and then baked again for half an hour until the mixtures thickens and is set.

I was actually surprised when I made this tart at how much the lemon flavour cuts through the sweetness and the ground ginger adds a nice warming note sitting in the background but by no stretch of the imagination can I say that this tart isn't sweet as it is by far the sweetest dessert you can eat and the ultimate kids dessert, at least it was for me when I were growing up BUT I'm sure it tasted sweeter back in the day, ah when things were far sweeter and you didn't have a care in the world about how many pounds you were gaining..... the innocence of youth!

The bread crumbs add a nice chewy texture to the tart and keep the whole thing from falling apart when you cut a slice, I used white breadcrumbs as is traditional but I'm sure you could use brown/wholemeal instead which will make the tart more chewy, but remember it's always good to chew your food it helps the digestion process and let's face it you need all the help you can get with this sugar induced coma you have on your hands.

I used my one and only tart tin for this recipe, a 23cm petal / flower shaped loose bottomed flan/tart tin which you can find on amazon here or any 23cm loose bottomened tart /  flan tin will work the same.

There isn't really a substitute for Golden Syrup, but if you can't find it where you are in the world, you can try to make your own (I've done this in the past although the taste wasn't 100% identical). I may experiment in future and use honey instead of golden syrup, I will let you know if I can make this dessert just a tad healthier, promise!

Treacle Tart

Recipe taken from James Martin's Treacle Tart


For the pastry
  • 225g/8oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 110g/4oz unsalted butter, chilled, diced
  • 1 medium free-range egg, lightly beaten
For the filling
  • 450g/1lb golden syrup
  • 85g/3oz fresh breadcrumbs
  • generous pinch ground ginger
  • 1 lemon, zest, finely grated and 2 tbsp of the juice
To serve
  • clotted cream or double cream (Optional but does help cut through the sweetness)


In a bowl, rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Mix in the egg with a knife, then knead on a clean, lightly dusted work surface to form a smooth dough.
Use the dough to line a 23cm/9in loose-bottomed tart tin, prick the base all over with a fork and leave to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190C/170C (fan)/375F/Gas 5.
Line the pastry with parchment paper and weigh down with rice or ceramic baking beans.
Bake the pastry blind for 10-15 minutes, remove the paper and rice or beans and return the pastry case to the oven for a few minutes more, until light golden-brown.
For the filling, mix together the filling ingredients in a bowl and pour into the pastry case.
Return to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Serve hot or cold with clotted cream or double cream (optional)

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'Easy' 2 Layer Mille Feuille

As-Salamu Alaikum Sisters / Greetings Reader,

I know, i know...i said i was taking a blogging break BUT i just couldn't keep myself out of the kitchen (never thought i would be saying that) and so sharing this easy 2 layer mille feuille recipe was inevitable.

As you may be aware from previous posts, i have struggled recreating mille feuille - one of my most favourite bakery staples. 

I discovered a while ago that most premade pastry contains alcohol (Haram/Unlawful to consume in islam) and while one may argue until the cows come home that the alcohol evaporates upon cooking i wanted to make sure i was using a completely halal product from the start.

So i got on my 'high horse' that would be me sat on the sofa writing an email to 'Jus-Rol' and i am pleased to report their frozen puff pastry blocks at the time of response and me writing this post (you never know things can change in an instance so please please always read the indredients list before purchasing) don't contain alcohol and are suitable for vegetarians, yippeeee!

On to my rough around the edges recipe/guide to making easy 2 layer mille feuille.

Easy 2 Layer Mille Feuille



500g frozen jus-rol(can be any brand of choice) puff pastry block - defrosted in fridge overnight
Jam of choice 
400ml (i used 500ml and had some leftover) - whipped 



Pre-Heat Fan Oven to 200C

On a lightly floured surface roll out your puff pastry block until it's about 50 x 35cm 1/4cm thick.

Divide in half (a ruler and sharp knife come in handy for this) and place each half on it's own lined baking sheet and bake for on 2 middle racks your oven for 15-20minutes or until light golden in colour (you may wish to rotate the baking sheets half way through so you get even cooking and colouring)

Remove puff pastry halves from oven, prick each, all over with a fork and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

To divide up equally, place one puff pastry half on top of the other, trim any curvy edges and divide up (ruler and serated knife) into 6 pairs each puff pastry pair being about 4-5cm wide and 15cm in length.

To fill, spread jam of choice on each pastry 'bottom' half, pipe or spoon on whipped cream and place second pastry half on top. Dust with icing sugar and keep chilled until ready to serve.

Note: Make sure the flat side of bottom pastry half is on face down i.e. touching serving plate, so you top the rough side with jam and then make sure the flat side of top pastry half is facing up so it can get a nice dusting of icing sugar and this way the mille feuille not only look prettiest but they are more stable.

P.S. i've written this post from the blogger app so if things dont look as pretty as usual then thats my excuse plus the photo is from my phone again with a few edits from instagram, a nice app called moldiv and i added watermark using an app called iWatermark 

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I'm Taking A Blogging Break & Black Tea Cupcakes With Honey Buttercream

As-Salam Alaikum / Greetings Dear Reader,

Honesty is always the best policy, my home baking journey doesn't always run smoothly and I still manage to blog about it because that's just me 'keeping it real' I learn something new almost each time I bake that's what keeps me motivated and passionate about this hobby but with arrival of a new born within a matter of weeks I am going to be taking a back seat in blogging for a while.
I will still be updating my instagram while i'm gone so keep a look out.

As of yesterday, I became aware there was such a thing as a UK Cup size in baking and guess what? I've been using UK Cups when trying out US recipes all this time.
US Cup = 236.5ml
UK Cup = 250ml
The UK Cup is slightly bigger than US Cup.

Apologises to all who have tried any of the few Cup measured recipes I've featured here if they haven't worked out as you hoped.

I try to avoid using Cup recipes because I've always been told weighing is a bakers way to achieve the best results and I still stand by that, although some recipes are too irresistible like this Black Tea Cake With Honey Buttercream a Tea lovers dream which quite easily could have been a nightmare for me, alhamdulillah it wasn't even I used the wrong Cup size!

I should have trusted Kristin's US Cup to metric conversions and gone with my measuring jug and weighing scales but I incorrectly thought she must be wrong because to me a Cup = 250ml after all I'd read it on my shiny Cups and to read her first ingredient Milk 1 Cup = 235ml I just dismissed it and went with my Cups.

As you can see from the photos, using UK Cups didn't affect this recipe too much masha'Allah.
My cupcakes were alot lighter in colour than Kristin's cake. Afterwards I realised this is due to using more milk than the original recipe and not more tea because as far as I know and please tell me if I'm wrong, a UK&US tablespoon are the same?!

Black Tea in the cupcakes and salt in the buttercream balances out the honey plus icing sugar sweetness in the frosting so they aren't overly sweet and the milk brewed tea flavour is definitely still there.

You can use any Black Tea you prefer but I went with this high quality Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Black Tea, that is said to have an aroma reminiscent of citrus, maybe next time I make these I will try to enhance that quality by adding some zest of lemon/orange.

Another thing I'm pondering over since my recent measurement lesson is the size of a Cupcake, as Kristin says her recipe makes 18 US cupcakes, my larger scale recipe made just 14, not that I'm complaining but still I'm thinking are UK cupcake cases bigger? after all I was under the assumption as many are that the US are the super sizes! Looks like us Brits are quickly catching up.

So go on if I've not managed to make you run for the hills and your a Black Tea admirer put these cupcakes or the original cake high up on your things to bake list.



Recipe Adapted from Pastry Affair
Makes 14
Measurements taken using UK Cups


Black Tea Cake                    

1 Cup milk                                            
3 tablespoons black tea (for me that meant contents of 6 Ceylon tea bags but it depends on size of teabags your using)                                            
1/4 Cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Cup caster or granulated sugar  (i used vanilla sugar)                                                
2 large eggs                                     
1/4 Cup vegetable oil                   
1 teaspoon vanilla  (use if not using vanilla sugar)                                  
1 3/4 Cups + 2 teaspoons self raising flour

Honey Buttercream

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature                              
3 tablespoons honey  (i used set honey)                                       
2 cups powdered sugar            
2 tablespoons milk/water (may not be necessary if you use runny honey)
Pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C / 160 degrees C (Fan) Place cases in cupcake pan.

Warm the milk until near boiling on the stove or in the microwave. Cut open the tea bags and add the tea directly into the milk. Allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Beat in the vegetable oil and vanilla. Gradually add in the self raising flour. Stir in the tea brewed milk, mixing until batter is uniform and smooth.

Transfer batter to cupcake cases, bake for 15-20minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before frosting or serving.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and honey until smooth.
Add the icing sugar and salt and continue mixing until the frosting comes together. If the frosting is too runny, add more icing sugar until it reaches the right consistency. Likewise, if the frosting is too stiff, add more milk/water to thin it out. If the frosting is too sweet, add a pinch more salt until the desired sweetness is achieved.

Spread or pipe (i used a 9mm open star tip) the honey buttercream onto the cooled cupcakes and serve.

*Photos taken with xperiaZ with added instagram effects

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Algerian Cooked Carrot Salad

As-Salamu Alaikunna Sisters / Greetings Reader,

I found this recipe a while ago....as with most recipes that I pin, this got put to the back of my mind and for a time I think I forgot about it altogether!

At the moment for no particular reason, other than husband brought home carrots when we already have some I have an abundance of carrots sat in my fridge. Rather than bake them into carrot cake or any other sweet right away (I have plans in the making) I remembered this salad and gave it a go.

The carrot flavour in this salad is mild and sweet due to the carrots being cooked first but also because you get a punchy flavour from the raw garlic, lemon, cumin and olive oil dressing.

If you don't like or despair to have the lingering after taste of raw garlic, I suggest you finely chop the garlic then steam / boil it along with your carrots although it's much more beneficial for your body especially your heart when eaten raw.

To read about the benefits of raw garlic, click here

Algerian Cooked Carrot Salad

recipe adapted slightly from tastingspoons
Serves 2


250grams carrots, washed and peeled
1 garlic clove - I used a small one and crushed it but if you prefer use a regular size garlic clove and finely chop it this will make it less pungent and like I said above you can always cook the garlic if you prefer the flavour even milder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon coriander or parsley, finely chopped 
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin - this is your seasoning but feel free to substitute with salt & pepper
1/4 teaspoon brown sugar


Cut carrots at an angle to your desired thickness, mine were about 1/4cm-1/2cm thick, steam for 15-20minutes or until they are cooked through but not mushy.
Place cooked carrots in a heat proof bowl and leave to cool slightly.
Make up the dressing in a separate bowl and then pour onto your carrots.
Served best at room temperature but if you like you can chill it in the fridge and serve it cold.

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