Guilt-free Chocolate cake (with beetroot!)


You can’t beat a good chocolate cake and this is definitely a good chocolate cake! It’s totally vegan and totally yummy! This was inspired by a delicious cake my friend Vicky made so I thought I’d have a go at veganising and gluten-freeing it! :)

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You will need:

250g cooked Beetroot

250g unrefined Raw sugar (coconut palm sugar etc)

190g self-raising gluten free Flour

60g raw Cacao powder

1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

3 tbsp Chia seeds soaked in 9 tbsp water

180 ml Almond oil (or other non flavoured oil)

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1 tsp Chocolate extract (or extra Vanilla if you don’t have this)

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Preheat the oven to 170 C. Lightly grease a 23 cm diameter cake tine.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cacoa and bicarbonate of soda. Then stir in the sugar.  Pop the cooked beetroot in to a food processor and blend until smooth. Place this in to a sieve over another bowl and push out any juices with the back of a spoon. You don’t need the juice for this recipe but don’t bin it – you can throw it in to a smoothie :)

Put the beetroot pulp back in to the processor and then turn on the motor and add the soaked chia seeds, vanilla and chocolate extract (if using) and then slowly pour in the oil.

Mix until well blended. Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and add the beetroot mixture. Gently fold together with a large spoon. Pour the mixture in to the cake tin and place in the oven for 35 -40 mins (or until a skewer comes out clean). Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 – 10 mins in the tin, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool.

Then enjoy with a cup of tea (and maybe a cat)! :)

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Chocolate hazelnut cherry loaves


Fresh out the oven!

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Chocolate hazelnut cherry loaves – vegan and low in gluten (or gluten free if you want :) ). I used the same recipe as my usual choc cherry loaves but used chunky hazelnut butter instead of almond butter and it’s divine!

Yum!

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Fruity Raw Chocs


As you’ll know from my recent raw choc recipes (see here and here) I’ve been having loads of fun playing around with my raw choc and raw white choc recipes, and my collection of freeze-dried fruit powders. The results were awesome!

The fruit powders work brilliantly with both the dark and white raw choc and they add an amazing tartness and freshness to the chocs. They also make the white chocs look very pretty :) (I get my fruit powders online from here)

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You can make solid chocs of one flavour or you can use the flavoured white chocolate to add colour and patterns to dark chocs. They come out looking amazing! If you are very clever (and more patient than I am ;) ) you can add different colours to different parts of your mould to highlight certain details :) The world is your chocolate box! Warning though – if you’re anything like me your entire kitchen will be covered in raw choc when you’re done! Is it wrong that I considered licking it up to clean it….. (don’t judge me ;) )

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Now I couldn’t decide which of my freeze-dried fruit powders to use so I used them all (separately!). I think my favourite were raspberry, passion fruit and cranberry – I love the tartness of them :)

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So all you need for the dark chocs is:

1 cup Cacao butter (melted)

1 cup Raw Cocoa powder

1/3 Cup Maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)

Freeze-dried fruit powder of your choice – approx 1 tsp – adjust to taste

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For the white choc you need:

1/4 cup melted Cacao butter

1 tbsp Cashew butter

1 tsp dry dairy-free milk powder – rice, coconut or soya milk powder (This is optional but it makes the chocolate creamier so is worth it if you can find it)

1 tbsp unrefined raw Icing sugar (adjust to taste)

1/4 tsp Vanilla extract

Freeze-dried fruit powder of your choice – approx 1 tsp – adjust to taste

The method is the same for both – melt the cacao butter and then stir in all the other ingredients. Mix well.

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Now for the fun! and mess…. You can do whatever you like! I made a load of small quantities of chocolate of various flavours. Then I filled some moulds full of that flavour which worked well.   Then I had some fun….. either carefully dribbling one flavour in to the mould or liberally splashing it around to create a beautiful marble effect. Splash one flavour at a time, then pop in the fridge to set before doing the next.

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Place in the fridge between each one until you’re finished. Allow to set properly in the fridge and store in there until you want to eat them!

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Dairy Free Raw White Chocolate!


I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for a while now. White chocolate is one thing that’s pretty hard to come by if you’re trying to avoid dairy so I wanted to come up with an easy to make alternative and I think I’ve found it!

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I made some plain white choc ones, some mixed with dark raw choc and for some I added some freeze-dried raspberry powder to give a yummy raspberry choc!

If you have some interesting chocolate or ice moulds you can have some fun with a mix of white and dark raw chocolate (see recipe for raw chocolate here)

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You will need:

1/4 cup melted Cacao butter

1 tbsp Cashew butter

1 tsp dry dairy-free milk powder – rice, coconut or soya milk powder (This is optional but it makes the chocolate creamier so is worth it if you can find it)

1 tbsp unrefined raw Icing sugar (adjust to taste)

1/4 tsp Vanilla extract

Optional – (Freeze-dried raspberry powder – approx 1 tsp – adjust to taste)

Melt the Cacao butter and then stir in all the other ingredients. Mix well and then pour in to moulds. Pop in the fridge until set. Enjoy!

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Blueberry and Lemon Curd with a surprise ingredient – dairy and egg free!


My lemon curd recipe (here) has gone down a storm so I thought I’d have a little go at some more curd! I’ve had some blueberries in my freezer for the last few months waiting to be used for something so I decided a blueberry and lemon curd was the one to try!

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This curd is lovely! It’s especially yummy smothered on sourdough fruit toast :)

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What’s this surprise ingredient then? Well it’s certainly not something you’d expect to find in a fruit curd! The problem with blueberries in baking is that they do tend to lose their flavour and I didn’t want to overpower them with the lemon. After a bit of research I discovered a nifty little trick to enhance the blueberry flavour; the addition of coriander seeds! Trust me you will not taste the coriander at all but it does bring out the blueberry flavour. This is because they both contain a similar compound so adding the coriander gives the blueberry flavour a real boost!

So you will need:

approx 400g Blueberries (don’t worry if you have a few more or less – it’s not critical)

1/2 cup Water

12 Coriander seeds ground (or a 1/4 tsp ready ground coriander)

Up to 1 cup of Lemon juice (see below) – I used 4 very large lemons

3/4 cup of unrefined raw Sugar (but adjust to taste)

10 tbsp Cornflour

zest of 2 – 3 Lemons

4 tbsp Dairy-free margarine

12 tbsp Coconut milk (or other non dairy milk – almond milk or soya milk will also work)

Pop the blueberries in to a saucepan with the water and heat gently until the blueberries are softened.

While the blueberries are softening you can juice and zest your lemons. You only need the zest from 2 – 3 lemons but it’s worth zesting all of them and keeping the remaining zest in the freezer to use in other recipes later.

Once the blueberries have softened add the ground coriander seed, stir well and heat for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and pass the blueberries through a sieve. Use a wooden spoon to push as much through the sieve as you can. You will be left with a small amount of skin and pulp. Save this and use it in a smoothie! :)

Measure your blueberry juice out  – you need a total amount of liquid of 3 cups. The blueberry juice will be about 2 cups or so,  so make it up to 3 cups with the lemon juice. Place it all in to a cold saucepan. Add the cornstarch and whisk to dissolve. Add half the sugar and turn on the heat. Continue to whisk as you bring the mixture to a boil slowly. Taste as you go and add more sugar until you get to a sweetness that suits you. Once boiling allow it to boil gently for one minute without stirring.

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Add the rest of the ingredients, whisking the whole time, and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl or jars and allow to cool. Place in the fridge once cooled. Then enjoy! :)

Chocolate Coconut Treats


This is a super simple Easter recipe for some yummy little melt in the mouth coconut chocolate bites. In fact it’s not really a recipe at all it’s so simple! :)

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All you need is some of this wonderful stuff – Artisana Cacao Bliss. It’s just chocolate coconut butter, made from coconut flesh (not the coconut oil).

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If you can’t find this then you can use the normal Artisana Coconut Butter and just add raw cocoa powder to it (to taste).

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All you need to do is melt the coconut butter in a pan on a very low heat. I like this just the way it is but if it isn’t sweet enough for you then you can add some maple syrup to taste. Once it’s melted all you need to do is pour in to moulds – egg shaped or otherwise! Pop in the fridge for 20 mins to set. If you’re doing eggs remove from the fridge and mould. Warm the back of the eggs using a hair dryer or a warmed spoon just to melt it slightly, then press 2 halves together. Place back in the fridge for a few mins.

Enjoy!

Raw Chocolate filled eggs and fruity eggs


Well… it is Easter… and I happen to know someone who loves raw chocolate so it gave me the perfect excuse to  whip up a batch of raw chocolate eggs.

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I fancied having a bit of a play with all the exciting things in my cupboard – peanut butter, pecan butter, coconut butter, freeze dried passion fruit powder, freeze dried cherry powder, freeze dried cherries, freeze dried raspberries so decided I’d make a batch of medium filled eggs and some little mini fruity eggs!

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You will need:

1 cup Cacao butter (melted)

1 cup Raw Cocoa powder

1/3 Cup Maple syrup (or other liquid sweetner)

A selection of fun things to fill or flavour them with! Your choice – nut butters, coconut butter (this isn’t the same as coconut oil – I use the Artisana brand – available online), freeze dried fruits etc.

Egg moulds (or any other shape!)

Filled eggs

Mix the cacao butter, cocoa and maple syrup together and ensure there are no lumps. Pour a small amount in to the egg mould – you are filling your eggs so don’t fill the mould – probably aim for a third of the mould. You will probably find that it settles at the bottom leaving the sides with only a very thing layer. This is ok – just pop it in the fridge for now. After about 5 mins check it and as it’s beginning to solidify just swirl the mould around so the chocolate coats the sides too. Place back in the fridge until set hard (15 mins should do it).

Add your filling

If you’re using nut butter then add a tsp or two and you can then sprinkle in some freeze dried fruit if you fancy it (raspberries work well with peanut butter).  Remember to do an even number of each filling (unless you want eggs half one flavour, half another).

If you’re using the coconut butter use a whole coconut flesh butter, rather than coconut oil. I used the Artisana brand.

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It’s easier to work with if you melt it very gently in a pan – just until it’s runny and then just pour it in to the eggs and pop straight in to the fridge.

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Once the filling has set, cover with a layer of chocolate. You don’t have to do this but it makes it much easier to join halves later in a relatively neat way!

Allow to set in the fridge until really well set (at least 15 mins).

Put your halves together!

Pop your eggs out the mould and then you can either use a small amount of melted raw chocolate to sandwich them together, or you can use a hair dryer on a low heat to very gently melt the back of the eggs (be super careful as raw choc has a very low melting point so handle the eggs as little as poss and be gentle with the hair dryer). Once melted press the halves together and pop back in the fridge!

Then eat!

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Fruity eggs

Take your raw choc mix and stir in to it your freeze dried fruit or fruit powder of choice. I split my mixture and in one half I added 1 tbsp freeze dried cherry powder and a handful of crushed freeze dried cherry slices. In the other half I added 1 tbsp freeze dried passion fruit powder and a handful of freeze dried mango pieces. Mix well and then pour in to your egg or whatever shape moulds.

If you want you can add a little powdered or crushed freeze dried fruit to the mould before you add the chocolate  – it makes the eggs look pretty :)

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Pop in the fridge for at least 15 mins. Remove and stick the halves together with a little melted raw choc or using a hair dryer to melt the backs a little as before.

Enjoy! :)