My daughter Jenna made this chocolatey fruit and nut concoction a few weeks ago and I can't tell you how deliciously moreish it was!!
So I obviously had to make a batch myself!
We chocolate lovers can delight in the knowledge that good quality high cocoa solids chocolate is incredibly good for us! It contains antioxidants with heart protective qualities, phenylethylamine, an amphetamine like compound which acts as a natural mood enhancer along with magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and B vitamins.
All of that considered, dark chocolate just doesn't have the same creamy mouthfeel as milk chocolate, even though most of us are aware that milk chocolate doesn't have any of the benefits of dark chocolate and has lots of refined sugar!
So this recipe, adapted from The New Vegan by Aine Carlin, one of my favourite vegan authors actually manages to combine all the health benefits of dark chocolate with a lovely texture and creamy mouthfeel, due to one of my favourite ingredients....tahini!
Tahini is made from sesame seeds, its packed with calcium and magnesium and its alkaline so easy for the body to absorb. It's so versatile and can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.
We literally use it every day!!
The other healthy ingredients in this delightful sweet are hazelnuts, goji berries and apricots, coconut oil and a good pinch of Himalyan sea salt.
With thoughts turning to Christmas, this could be made quite festive with the addition of cranberries and a teaspoon of mixed spice or cinnamon and maybe some orange zest! It really is good enough to give as a gift.
I will most definitely be making this again before Christmas.
It is perfect with an after dinner coffee or in fact any time you happen to pass the fridge!
It will keep happily for a fortnight in aforementioned fridge but not in our house! It's literally gone in a few days max!!
So here is the recipe.....
CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE SLICE
100g bar of dark chocolate
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup or brown rice syrup
large pinch of himalyan sea salt
30 g hazelnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
30g apricots, raisins or cranberries
1 tablespoon goji berries(optional)
cocoa powder for dusting
I hope everyone is out enjoying this lovely weather and topping up their vitamin D levels!
I've been rather busy trying out new recipes. I had my lovely juicing buddies over for dinner with a few dietary restrictions between them,! Gluten, nuts, fish, lentils and beans to name a few! Considering I don't eat meat or dairy that presented a bit of a challenge!
Anyway I put on a delicious tapas spread and for dessert I made these absolutely delicious, I'm talking SERIOUSLY OMG DELICIOUS totally raw caramel slice.without any nuts!
The original recipe was from the lovely folks over at Food Matters, which I adapted slightly!
They are extremely healthy and packed full of incredibly nutritious ingredients, including dates, tahini, maple syrup, raw cacao, coconut oil and buckwheat, my genius alternative to nuts!
Most of us are familiar with caramel shortcake, a rather sweet concoction full of sugar, saturated fat and dairy, not healthy on any level!!
So this is a similar but much healthier alternative and it tastes much better too.
Some of you may be unfamiliar with buckwheat which is a gluten free grain, containing all 8 essential amino acids.a great source of complete protein. Its contains fibre, magnesium and high levels of rutin and quercetin, which strengthen the blood vessels, lower cholesterol and blood pressure and enhance the action of Vitamin C.
So its an all round good guy and well worth including in your diet. Holland & Barret and Wholefoods stock it.
The other ingredients are all nutritional superstars, which I have mentioned in various other posts so a quick summary will suffice!
Dates are just fabulous and although deliciously sweet and fairly high in sugar they are also packed with fibre, protein, vitamins and antioxidants. Both fibre and protein slow the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the blood so has a much lower effect on your blood sugar levels, which is exactly what we are aiming for in the health stakes.
Tahini is a fantastic source of calcium and magnesium and its alkaline so great for strong bones, a much better source than dairy! It also has fibre, protein and good fats. Its made from sesame seeds, another of my favourite ingredients.
Raw Cacao is the best source of antioxidants on the planet and will boost your mood, provide you with magnesium, iron and a multitude of other nutritional goodies!
Coconut Oil is antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, immune boosting, metabolism boosting and supports every body system including your brain and digestion. Its a miracle in a jar, what more can I say!
You can use almonds instead of the buckwheat and just melt some dark chocolate with a tablespoon of coconut oil for the topping, if you don't have raw cacao. You can also use cocoa powder instead in the base but you lose all the associated health benefits and it won't be raw!
These keep really well in the freezer and are a fantastic treat when sugar cravings hit!
So without further ado here is the recipe.
RAW CARAMEL SLICE
3/4 cup buckwheat or almonds
3/4 cup medjool or deglet noor dates (pitted)
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
Simply put all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until well combined. When you pinch a piece it should stick together. If its not holding then add a teaspoon of warm water. Line a square baking tin with clingfilm, to make it easier to get out of the tin. Press the mixture evenly into the tin. A spoon dipped in hot water is a good way to smooth the base down.
Put it in the freezer.
1 cup of medjool dates
1/2 cup coconut oil melted
4 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
good pinch of Himalyan sea salt
Process in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Pour over the base layer and put it back into the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes.
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1/4 cup raw cacao
Put all the ingredients into a glass bowl simmering over a pan of boiling water and stir until melted and well combined. Pour over the caramel and put back in the freezer until set.
Cut into small squares and keep in a covered container in the freezer.
Remove 5 minutes before serving.
......your health in your hands....
I love Easter, its a time of new beginnings, lighter nights, gardening, wee lambs, snowdrops, crocuses, and of course lots of yummy food!
What's not to love....?
Easter is a great time to get together with family and friends. Most folks have some time off work and students return from Uni for a wee rest and some decent food ( well most of them do! )
Personally I love any excuse to spend time with family and friends and as anyone who knows me, knows that good food is a big part of any gathering at our house!
I'm sharing the recipe for the most delicious, decadent, chocolatey, gooey, fudgey, chocolate cake and its vegan, so egg and dairy free!
We had this cake, along with countless other delicious sweet treats at the Vegan Retreat and I will get around to sharing more of the recipes, as I try them out!
I can't pretend its healthy but hey we all need a treat every now and then and this cake fits the bill brilliantly and it is a celebration cake after all!
A perfect way to impress your family and friends this Easter with a fabulous home made cake, which I'm sure if you try it, will become your go to recipe for a celebration cake!
This recipe makes a large cake and it's very rich, and will keep for around 5 days in a covered tin, though I seriously doubt anyone would have the willpower to resist a second slice of this so be warned, it's seriously moreish!!
I would have decorated my cake with edible flowers if I had any but sadly I only have one pansy at the moment! On second thoughts I will put it in the middle of the cake and put mini eggs around the edges, though feel free to decorate yours whatever way you want! Grated chocolate, chopped nuts, orange zest would all work well.
So to recap this cake is sooo good we could hardly wait for it to cool so we could devour it! That's why the mini eggs are a bit skew-wif, the icing was still a bit warm!
It's moist, chocolately, gooey, fudgey, intense, moreish, and did I say chocolately, yes very chocolatey.........
Yum, yum, yum.........! Please give this a go, its seriously the best chocolate cake I have ever tried, vegan or not.
Happy Easter everyone and big thanks to my twitter buddy Lee Watson over at TheBeachhousekitchen for this fantastic recipe! In my haste to make this cake, I read the directions wrong and added the chickpea flour to the dry ingredients, instead of the wet ingredients. Luckily it didn't seem to make any difference and the cake was absolutely delicious, so don't fret if you do the same.
Note to self, read the recipe before you start!!
Here it is.
DECADENT CHOCOLATE CAKE
Ingredients makes 1 large cake (10 to 12 slices)
225g white flour
2 tablespoons chickpea flour (gram flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
80g cocoa powder
300g dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
375ml hot water
75g non dairy spread or coconut oil
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
150g dark chocolate
75g coconut oil
50g light brown sugar
60 ml cold water
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
....your health in your hands....
🍃 Health educator🍃