Category Archives: afternoon tea

Decadent Chocolate Cups

IMG_3185 If you’re looking for a treat for mother’s day. These hit the spot. Super decadent chocolatey goodness but no processed sugar or lecithin in sight! They are also vegan and Paleo friendly. I have given you  the basic recipe which you can use to play around with different flavours or you could just make the almond butter cups (pictured). I have a few other variations that I’m working on, which I will add as I make sure the recipes are blog worthy. Some possibilities are raspberry coconut and cacao rocky road, walnut butter cups, pistachio and mint or just the all time favourite coconut rough! Would love to know if you try any of them or if you make up your own creations! Let me know how you go!

Basic Chocolate Recipe

Makes about 12 mini sized chocolates and 1 portion of chocolate for the other variations.

Ingredients

1/4 cup coconut butter

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup raw cacao

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 – 4 tbsp. coconut nectar

Method

1. Combine raw cacao, vanilla, coconut oil and coconut nectar in a small bowl and mix to combine until no lumps. Add coconut butter and mash together with a fork until forms a paste.

2. Pour mixture into mini or medium silicon/paper cupcake moulds (or if you have them, use chocolate moulds) and place in the fridge for 1 hour or until set.

3. To serve take out of their wrappers/moulds and place on a platter. Nice with a warm chai or coffee or a glass of full bodied red wine.

Almond Butter Cups

Ingredients

1 portion of basic chocolate

3 tbsp. almond butter

1 tbsp. coconut oil

small pinch of Celtic sea salt

Method

1. Divide half of the chocolate mixture between your chosen moulds. Make sure it covers the base adequately. If it is too thin the chocolate may break after it is set. Place in fridge to set.

2. In a small bowl mix almond butter coconut oil and salt together until well combined. Divide between the chocolate filled moulds, to cover the layer of chocolate.  This is the middle layer that will be the filling.

2. Pour remaining chocolate mixture over the almond paste and return to the fridge for 1 hour or until set.

 More Variations being tested, so watch this space!..

Bitter-Sweet Vegan Chocolate Truffles

If you follow me on instagram, you would have seen some experimenting going on in my kitchen last night. I was working on a healthier version of the sweet potato chocolate truffles I made earlier this year. The older version was a a bit of a cheat as it used chocolate, which had processed sugar and some milk solids in it. They were delicious and I don’t mind eating chocolate as a treat but  I wanted to challenge myself to make a true vegan and paleo version. I guess just to see if I could but also, of course, for the health benefits. I didn’t use any recipes so this was a true experiment! You can use the ganache` mixture to make truffles or as icing for a cake, like my paleo chocolate cake. For this deliouse ganache`  I used cacao butter, cocoa, dates, coconut flour and sweet potato and boy are the truffles made from it delicious! A great addition to the end of a meal or to accompany a coffee, tea or a nice glass of full-bodied red wine. I hope you enjoy them.

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Recipe

Ingredients

1 medium sweet potato

120 g raw cacao butter

4 tbsp cocoa, plus about 1 cup extra for rolling the truffles in

3 medjool dates, roughly chopped

1 tbsp coconut flour

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Bake sweet potato whole with skin on for 30-40 minutes or until it is soft and squishy to touch. Set aside to cool enough for you to peel it.

2. Place cacao butter in glass or metal bowl set over a small pot of boiling water and melt gently. Once it is melted, whisk in the cocoa.

3. Peel the sweet potato and place the flesh in a food processor with the dates. Pulse a couple of times to combine. Add the warm cacao butter mixture and pulse to combine.

4. Pour mixture out into a medium mixing bowl and sprinkle over the coconut flour. Mix together and if using as icing on a cake spread over the cooled cake. If using for truffles, set aside for 10-15 minutes to cool and start to set.

5. To make the truffles, place the remaining cocoa on a plate for rolling the truffles in. Roll the truffles into small bite sized balls and then roll in the cocoa. Place in a container or on a plate large enough to let all the truffles sit flat. Leave covered in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.

6. Serve straight from the fridge with your chosen beverage or as a dessert plate with some bliss balls.

Vegan Lime and Mango Cheeze Cake

This dessert is raw, vegan and paleo as it is based predominantly of nuts with no cheese, processed sugar or dairy in sight. The base is made with a combination of nuts and sweet dates to stick them together while the filling is made from cashew nuts blended to create a beautifully smooth paste that takes on the flavours of lime and coconut perfectly. Diets aside though, this is a truly delicious cake that has been boyfriend and kid approved, so you don’t have to save this for those following a diet. Serve it to anyone and I guarantee they will be impressed.

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Recipe

Ingredients

Base

8 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped

2/3 cup walnuts (Activated* are ideal)

1/3 cup almonds (Activated are ideal)

1/4 cup shredded coconut

pinch celtic sea salt

Filling

3 cups cashews

3/4 cup coconut nectar

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice ( I used 5 but this will vary according to how juicy they are)

3/4 cup coconut oil

Topping

2 fresh mangoes, flesh removed (you could also use defrosted frozen mango)

lime juice and coconut nectar, to taste

1/3 cup shredded coconut

1 lime, zest finely grated

To serve

1 fresh mango, peeled and flesh thinly sliced

coconut ice cream

Method

1. Grease and line a 25cm round springform cake tin.

2. For the base, place the walnuts, almonds and coconut in the food processor and pulse until resembles the texture of bread crumbs. Add dates and pulse until well combined. Press into the base and place in the freezer while you make the filling.

3. For the filling, wash the food processor and add all the filling ingredients. Pulse at high-speed until smooth and creamy. Pour onto the base layer and spread out evenly. Return to the freezer to set firm enough to pour over the topping.

4. In a blender, blend the mango and add the lime and coconut nectar to taste. You won’t need much so add each in small amounts until you reach the right balance of sweet and tangy. Pour over set filling layer and spread evenly. Sprinkle over the coconut and lime zest and return to freezer to set for at least 4 hours.

5. To serve, remove from freezer to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Use a sharp hot knife to cut slices of the cake. You can heat the knife by placing it under hot running water. Do this between each slice. Serve with fresh mango slices and small scoop of coconut ice cream.

* Activated nuts have been soaked in water over night to activate the digestive inhibitor and then dried out at a very low temperature to retain their nutrients. For this reason they are considered to be more nutritious and easier to digest. You can find them at all good health food stores.

Recipe adapted from www.taste.com.au

Apricot and Coconut Bliss Balls

This recipe comes straight from the cookbook “wholefood for children” by the amazing wholefood chef Jude Blereau. This is a regular creation in my kitchen so I just had to share it with you. I’ve renamed them because they are absolutely bliss! But the recipe is exactly the same a Jude’s. These bliss balls are best eaten nice and cold and are a great afternoon pick-me-up or a nice addition to a sweets plate for a party. I usually make a combined tasting plate of these with my paleo chocolate cake and sweet ‘chocato’ truffles. The only sugar in these balls of bliss come from the dates and apricots, and the fat from the coconut fills you up and gives you slow released energy too so you don’t get that crash like you would from a processed sweet. Dates and apricots also provide you with a variety of vitamins and minerals and are a good source of fibre all of which you would not get from a candy or a chocolate bar. So if you are going to have a sweet treat try these little balls of bliss!

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Recipe

Ingredients

95 g dried apricots (preferably sulphur-free), roughly chopped

55 g dates, pitted and roughly chopped

185 gr coconut butter* (spread)

1 tbsp coconut oil, melted, if required

25 g desiccated coconut

Method

1. Process the apricots in the food processor until they are finely chopped and beginning to come together.

2. Add the dates and coconut butter and process until combined.

3. Scrape down the sides, if needed and continue to pulse again. If the mixture does not come together, add the coconut oil and pulse again.

4. Roll mixture into small balls and then roll them in the coconut and place on plate.

5. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes to set.

6. The balls will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

*Coconut butter is the coconut flesh ground into a paste. It is also sometimes called coconut manna. Do not mistake coconut oil for the coconut butter you need for this recipe, as some coconut oils call themselves ‘butter’. You must use the true coconut butter made with the whole flesh in this recipe, otherwise the balls will fall apart. So make sure you check the ingredients that it is made with the whole coconut flesh.

Paleo Chocolate Cake

IMG_2633These little cakes are absolutely divine! Being paleo means they are sugar, dairy and grain free so they are also a relatively healthy treat. The ganache` icing is not quite paleo but there is no sugar or dairy added, just what is in the chocolate. The icing compliments the cake so well, I could not use a different one!I cooked this with kids, so it is super simple. They ate it all up too, which means it must also be delicious, as we all know kids can be the toughest and most honest critics. Their parents loved it too making it a winner all round!

You can cut the cake into little baby cakes like I did or if your cooking it for a birthday you might like to keep it as a whole cake.

Recipe adapted from my favourite blogs paleospirit.com and live right be healthy.

Since writing this recipe I have created a vegan and paleo version of the ganache`. You can get the recipe here.

Recipe

Serves 10 small slices.

1/3 cup coconut flour, plus 1-2 tbsp extra if needed

1/4 cup good quality cacao powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp celtic sea salt

3 eggs

1/4 cup coconut oil

Butter or oil for greasing cake tin

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup water

1 batch of sweet potato chocolate ganache`

1 punnet of strawberries, thinly sliced into rounds.

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl: coconut flour, cacao powder, baking soda, salt. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with electric beater until pale, light and very fluffy. Try to make them as fluffy as possibly as this will create a light and moist cake but keep an eye on them as you don’t want to them either.

4. Add the oil, maple syrup, water and vanilla extract into the egg and continue to whisk until combined.

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5. Gradually pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir in gently to combine with a wooden or metal spoon. The batter should not be too runny but still fluffy and thick. You want it to be a batter that can pour out with the help of a spoon and scraper. If it is too runny add a tablespoon of coconut flour and if it is too thick add some more water, 1 tbsp at a time.

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6. Pour batter into prepared cake tin and spread it out evenly.

7. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a fan forced oven/20-25 min in a conventional or gas oven or until a skewer come sout clean.

8. Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes and then on a wire rack until room temperature.

9. Cover cake with ganache`.

IMG_262010. Cut the edges off each side to make the cake even.

3. Top with strawberries.

4. Cut into small squares or serve as a whole cake with a bowl of creamy coconut ice cream to dollop next to each slice.

5. Enjoy!

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Sweet Potato ChocolateTruffles

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These truffles use the sweet potato chocolate ganache` in my previous recipe, with a few little changes to the ingredients. They make a great addition to any afternoon tea platter or a little after dinner sweetie. Wrap them up in a little foil and they are also a good pick-me-up to take to work! I am working on a paleo friendly version. I will keep you posted on my progress! In the meantime enjoy this version. Which may be a cheat but are super delicious for a little treat!

You can now find the recipe for the paleo and vegan version here.

Ingredients

1 cup sweet potato mashed (see method in sweet potato chocolate ganache` recipe)

200 g chocolate

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp honey

3 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

Cacao and desiccated coconut for rolling the truffle balls in.

Method

1. Gently melt chocolate in a metal or glass bowl over a pot of boiling water. You don’t want the water to be touching the bowl so put in about 1 inch of water. Set aside, once melted.

2. Puree` sweet potato in a food processor until there are no lumps and it is forming a smooth paste.IMG_2617

3. Add chocolate, maple syrup, honey, vanilla and coconut oil. Blend until combined.

4. Leave to cool, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick enough to roll into balls.

6. Roll the ganache` into small bite sized balls.

7. Roll the balls in coconut or cacao.

8. Store in fridge for at least 2 hours. Serve straight from the fridge.

Sweet Potato Chocolate Ganache`

Ganache` is usually a beautiful combination of chocolate and cream that, when left to cool, forms a  decadent chocolate paste great for a rich icing or filling for cakes. This one though is a bit different as instead of cream it mixes sweet potato with the chocolate along with some clean natural sweeteners: honey, vanilla and maple syrup. It really is quite amazing how the combination of sweet potato pure` and chocolate creates the same rich but light mouth feel as the traditional recipe. I am working on a paleo and vegan version of this, which replaces chocolate with raw cacao and cacao butter, but for now this definitely does the trick. I hope you enjoy them!

Recipe

Makes enough icing to cover 2 of my Paleo chocolate cakes.

Ingredients

1 cup sweet potato mashed (see method below)

180 g chocolate

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp honey

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

Preparing the Sweet PotatoIMG_2584

1. Preheat Oven to 180 C.

2. Once oven is hot place the whole sweet potato (do not cut it or remove the skin) onto a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes or until very soft all the way through (test with a skewer).

3. Take sweet potato out of the oven and cool for 10 minutes.

4. Peel the baked sweet potato and mash the flesh in a bowl, measuring 1 cup of it for the ganache`.

Making the Ganche`

1. Gently melt chocolate in a metal or glass bowl over a pot of boiling water. You don’t want the water to be touching the bowl so put in about 1 inch of water. Set aside, once melted.

2. Place sweet potato in a food processor and pulse until it forms a smooth paste.

3. Add chocolate, maple syrup, honey, vanilla and coconut oil. Continue to pulse until combined.

4. Spread over cakes or in between cake layers.

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Vegan Mango, Lime and Coconut Cheeze Cakes

I adore vegan baking. This kind cooking uses no animal products whatsoever and thus no animals are harmed in making the ingredients. My Karma points increase massively when I make these babies! Ethics aside though, I love vegan baking for the creative process and challenges involved. It provides new ingredients to explore and a diverse range of interesting dishes that many people have not tried or may not have even thought of. It’s a kitchen challenge that I love to give myself, seeing how I can make a cheese cake without cheese and a pastry without butter. It can also be a lot healthier and provides a different foods to add to my diet. Last week I made these little babies for yes, a baby shower. If you are new to vegan baking but want to put yourself up for the challenge, this is a good recipe to start with. The key is to make sure all the agar agar dissolves into the almond milk.

Ingredients

Crust:
1 3/4 finely ground wholemeal digestive biscuits (made from about 4 short of a normal sized packet)
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
3 tablespoons of  rapadura sugar (unrefined cane juice sugar)
5 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon of almond milk

Filling:
2 mangoes flesh removed, 1/4 of it mashed into a pure` and the rest cut into thin slices small enough to fit into cup cake moulds.
1 tablespoon of caster sugar
1 1/2 cups of almond milk (unsweetened is preferable)
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
2 tablespoons of agar agar flakes
1 regular can coconut milk
1/2 cup rapadura sugar
zest of 2 limes (from a fine grater)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Makes 24

Method

For the base
Preheat oven to 180 C.
Place cupcake liners into 2 x 12 hole cupcake trays.
Combine biscuit crumbs in a bowl with sugar and coconut.
Drizzle in coconut oil and mix with a spoon to combine.
Drizzle in almond milk and mix again with a spoon until forms a crumbly dough.
If the mixture is too dry add more coconut oil and almond milk as needed but you don’t want it too moist. You want it crumbly but moist enough so it will stick together when you press it into the base of the cupcake moulds.
Spoon a a heaped tablespoon and a 1/2 into each cupcake mould and press firmly into each base with a teaspoon, making sure they are packed in firmly.
Bake for 5 minutes or until firm and golden.
Set trays aside to cool.

For the filling
Combine mango pure` with the caster sugar and heat for 1 minute to combine then set aside.
Whisk almond milk, tapioca flour and agar agar flakes in a saucepan on medium heat.  Whisk constantly for 5 minutes.
Turn heat up and bring to the boil and continue to whisk constantly for about 5 minutes or until starts to thicken, making sure the agar agar dissolves.
Turn heat down to medium.
Whisk in the coconut milk, sugar, lime juice and zest.
Whisk on the heat for about 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat.
Whisk in vanilla and mango pure`.
Pour filling mixture into a pouring jug.
Pour enough filling into each mould to just cover each base.
Spoon mango slices onto the filling of each mould.
Pour more filling over the mango slices. I like to cover them slightly but still see some of the mango.
Cool on the counter for about 1/2 hour
Refridgerate for at least 3 hours until set.
Serve straight from the fridge with slices of mango and “Rad Whip” ( recipe to follow).

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