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A Special Valentine's Day Dessert

One of the first things you notice when eating out on a dairy-free diet, is that the dessert menu is extremely limited. If you're lucky you might get a fruit salad but that's pretty much it. Everything else on offer is likely to contain milk, cream, butter or eggs.

Love is in the air...

St Valentine's day is probably one of the most profitable nights of the year for restaurants. They are always packed, and often offer an overpriced set menu. Cashing in on the fact that going for a romantic meal is a surefire winner for making your loved one feel special. However these set meals can be difficult for diners with food allergies. So this year on Valentine's day I decided to cook a special meal for us at home. I was particularly determined to include an indulgent dairy-free dessert.

Whippable Cream

I continue to be amazed at the variety of dairy substitutes on offer and when I spotted a 'whippable' soya cream I had to try it! I actually had it in the cupboard for ages. I'm finding that another benefit of such products is that they don't have the limited shelf life of dairy ingredients so you can keep them in the store cupboard for emergencies!!

So to the dessert itself. I decided to make it a simple 'assembly' job so that I wasn't under too much pressure and could enjoy myself rather than slaving away in the kitchen. I started with a cheesecake-style biscuit base (using dairy and egg free biscuits of course) and then layers of bananas and blueberry syrup. Then the spoonfuls of floaty soya cream and finally topped with toasted almonds. Mmmm!

Step 1

Dairy-Free Biscuits

Start off with some biscuits containing no eggs or dairy. I used digestives.

Step 2

Crush the biscuits in a plastic bag

Place the biscuits in a plasic bag and bash them up using a rolling pin or similar, this is always a fun part!

Step 3

Stir in almonds

Melt some dairy-free margerine in a pan and stir in some almonds.

Step 4

Add crushed biscuits

Add the crushed biscuits to the pan and stir until browned.

Step 5

Push biscuit base into glasses

I made individual desserts in glasses, and the first step of the assembly was to push the biscuit base into the bottom of the glasses.

Step 6

Place slices of banana on top

Then place slices of banana on top of the biscuit and squash them down a bit.

Step 7

Blueberries, sugar and water

Now for the blueberry syrup. I put about 100g fresh blueberries in a saucepan with a dessert spoon of sugar and about 50ml water.

Step 8

Blueberry Syrup

Keep it on a fairly low heat until it begins to thicken and look like syrup. Leave to cool slightly.

Step 9

Whip the cream

Now whip the cream, following the instructions on the carton. I used an electric hand whisk (and made a bit of a mess!).

Step 10

Ready to serve!

Now pour the blueberry syrup over the banana and biscuit base, and spoon on the whipped cream. Then topped with toasted flaked almonds.

And so there you have it - a special dairy-free dessert for St Valentine's day. Obviously the star here is the soya cream, which you can use as a substitute for dairy cream in lots of different ways!

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