Chia Threesome! Chocolate, Vanilla Caramel Cinnamon and Berry Pud


I thought I would have a little fun with some chia puds yesterday and what better, given it’s nearly Valentine’s day, than a decadent looking and tasting, yet totally healthy threesome pud!

I can almost feel the love! 😉

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This is super easy to make. Of course you don’t have to make three flavours – you can make two, or one! whatever you like! If you don’t have lacuma you can leave this out of the chocolate pud, and for the caramel one you can use maca instead (though go easy and keep tasting to get the taste you want, or use vanilla instead).

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For the Chocolate chia pud you will need:

5 tbsp Chia seeds

1 1/2 cups of Almond or coconut milk (or soya milk if you prefer)

1 tsp liquid sweetener (to taste) – you can use coconut syrup, maple syrup, agave, rice malt syrup – your choice

1 tbsp Raw cacao powder

1 heaped tsp Lacuma

 

For the Vanilla caramel cinnamon pud you will need:

5 tbsp Chia seeds

1 1/2 cups Coconut or almond milk (or soya milk if you prefer)

1 heaped tsp Lacuma

1 tbsp Mequite powder

1 tsp Cinnamon (to taste)

2 tsp liquid sweetener (to taste)

 

For the Berry chia pud you will need:

4 tbsp Chia seeds

1 1/2 cups of berries – I used blackberries, blueberries and strawberries

1 cup Almond or Coconut milk (or soya)

1 heaped tsp of Vanilla powder (if you don’t have this then use 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)

Liquid sweetener – to taste (I didn’t bother using any as I like my berries tart 🙂 )

For each of the puds pop the chia seeds into a bowl (one bowl for each flavour), mix the dry ingredients in and then add the milk and liquid sweetener and mix really well with a fork. For the berry pud I pureed the fruits in a blender – blitzing them for a few seconds, then poured that straight over the seeds.

Make sure you mix really well and then cover and leave in the fridge to set for a few hours (at least). Check after an hour and give another stir. If you prefer a thicker texture add a little more chia at this point. If you want it a bit more liquid add a little milk.

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Once set remove from the fridge and layer in to your bowl or jar. Sprinkle some desiccated coconut on top and a couple of berries to decorate and enjoy!

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Pancakes! Super quick dairy and gluten free pancake recipe


I’d been having cravings for pancakes for weeks so the other weekend I whipped up a quick batch of these lovely gluten-free, dairy free fluffy pancakes!

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I used rice flour because it’s what I had in the cupboard but you could use buckwheat, coconut flour, spelt flour (if you’re not fussed about gluten) etc – just adjust the amount of milk if needed (with coconut flour you will need more).

You can serve these with anything you like – I went for berries, coconut syrup and banana ‘nice’ cream (frozen bananas blitzed in my vitamix). They’re also lovely with banana, chia jam and lemon curd – yum yum!

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You will need:

1 1/4 cup rice flour
1 tbsp Coconut sugar
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon (optional)
1 1/4 cup Soya/almond/coconut milk
1 1/2 tbsp Almond oil (or another light oil)
1/4 tsp Vanilla extract

Mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl.
Mix the wet ingredients in another and then add to the wet mixture. Stir well.
Heat a frying pan with a little oil – drop a good dollop of batter in, allow to cook, turning so both sides are done.

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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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Peppermint Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Brownies – gluten and dairy-free


I’m a bit late posting this but hey, what can I say – it’s been christmas and all that 😉

I actually re-made this over this weekend so thought it was about time I posted the recipe.

This was a birthday creation for myself, to be shared with my favourite cake-eating friend 🙂 We are both fans of chocolate and peppermint so what better than this delicious minty chocolatey combo! The crunch of the peppermint candy canes on top really make this something special (you can use any hard mint candy for this).

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You will need:

1/4 cup Rice flour

1/2 cup Ground almonds

1 cup unrefined Raw sugar (golden caster sugar, coconut sugar etc)

1/2 cup almond oil (or coconut oil)

1/4 cup raw Cacoa powder

2 eggs (or 2 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 6 tbsp water)

1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1/8 Tsp Pure peppermint extract

Milk, white and dark chocolate chunks (optional)

For Icing

100g Dairy free chocolate

200 – 300g Unrefined icing sugar (adjust quantity to depending how runny you want your icing)

drop of Pure peppermint extract

a dash of warm water

Hard mints or candy canes, silver balls, any other decorations

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Preheat the oven to 170C and grease a 20 x 20cm square baking pan with parchment paper.

Mix the ground almonds, flour, cacao powder, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl beat the eggs (or if using chia seeds instead then soak them in the water). Make a well in the center and add the beaten egg (or soaked chia seeds), vanilla extract, peppermint extract and oil. Whisk together using a hand mixer until well mixed. It should be thick and glossy when mixed.

If you are the chocolate chunks stir them in now. Pour in to the baking tin and place in the oven for 20 – 25 mins until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack

Take the hard mints (or candy cane) and bash with a rolling pin in to small pieces.

Then prepare the icing. Melt the chocolate and then stir in the icing sugar and peppermint extract.

Use enough icing sugar to get the consistency of icing you want (if it’s too thick add a little water). Spread quickly on to the brownies and sprinkle the crushed mint and any other decorations you want to use on to the top! Then enjoy (with a big old candle if it’s your birthday 😉 )

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and in case you’re wondering if they taste good… well this is all that’s left of this weekend’s creation!
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Christmas Hats! Black Pepper, Coconut Cream and Strawberry Festive Fun!


I love dressing up (as my friends well know…) .. so much in fact that even my bakes are getting in the act this year….. 🙂

These are a fun little festive treat to make for parties over the Christmas season. The biscuits themselves are very light, and not too sweet and so they go nicely with the sweetness of the strawberry and the rich coconut cream – the pepper adds a bite and make these a perfect bit of adult fun. If you want something a bit sweeter for the kids you can use my basic biscuit recipe for the bases instead – recipe here

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You will need:

150g Spelt, rice or gluten-free flour blend

50g Dairy free margarine

50g raw Coconut sugar / unrefined dark sugar

1 egg (if you want to go egg-free then use a little oil instead – 1/4 cup olive or almond oil but add less of the mixture in (see below)

2 tbsp Maple syrup (or agave or rice syrup, or honey)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper

1/8 tsp ground Cloves

1/8 tsp ground Nutmeg

A punnet strawberries

1 can of Coconut cream (milk – the canned milk, not the carton) (65 – 70% coconut extract – see below)

a little unrefined icing sugar (optional)

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A few hours before you make these (or a day if you can) you need to set the coconut milk. I use this variety.

Pop the can in the fridge for a few hours or overnight and try not to move it. The coconut fat solidifies and separates at the top, leaving clear liquid at the bottom. When you are ready to make the cake remove the can carefully from the fridge and turn the can upside down in one move (i.e. no shaking!). Then open the can at the bottom – yes – trust me, open the bottom! You should find that the fat has solidified and you will see a few cm’s of clear liquid. Pour this off (don’t throw it away – you can pop it in a smoothie!) and then you are left with the coconut cream to use! 🙂

To make the biscuits:

Preheat the oven to 170 C.

Pop the flour, baking powder, spices and sugar in a food processor and blend briefly. Add the margarine and mix again for a minute or so.

While this is mixing break the egg in to a bowl and whisk the maple syrup in to it to form combine. Trickle a little of this mixture in to the processor bowl while it is running slowly. Keep adding until the mixture forms a firm dough (you may not need all of it).

Once it forms a dough use your hands to combine it and remove from the processor. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 3 – 5 mm thick and use a small round cutter to cut shapes. You will probably have more dough than you need but it can be wrapped in cling film and frozen for later 🙂

Pop the biscuits on to a lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes or until they start to brown. Remove and allow to cool.

Coconut cream:

Take the solidified coconut cream and using electric or a hand whisk beat until fluffy. If you want a little sweetness add a little unrefined icing sugar in as you whip it.

Strawberries:

Remove the stem of the strawberries and cut the top off each to give a flat base.

Now you can assemble your biccies!

Pop the whipped coconut cream in to a piping bag. If you don’t have one (I don’t!) then put it in a plastic ziplock bag and just snip the corner of the bag off to use as a nozzle. Pipe a small amount of cream on to the centre of each biscuit. Pop a strawberry on top and then pipe around the base of the strawberry and add a little dot of cream to the top (for the bobble on the hat!). You could dust with a little icing sugar and a grind of black pepper if you wanted to. Serve as soon as possible. They will last overnight but the biscuits will go softer so wait to assemble until as close to serving time as possible. Any extra biscuits can be stored in an airtight container for a few days and they will stay crispy.

Have fun! 🙂

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Cinnamon Glazed Pumpkin Cookie Cake Gingerbread Yumminess! Gluten and Dairy Free


Sometimes the best bakes are created by accident! This is one of those bakes!

Ok, so these did not turn out in any way like I intended! However, I absolutely LOVE what I’ve created! I don’t know what to call it – is it a cake? is it a biscuit? is it a pumpkin gingerbread? who knows! All I know is that it is scrummy! It’s moist on the inside and so full of flavour and you would never know there was pumpkin in there 🙂

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I set out to make a cookie-type of biscuit using pumpkin. These have come out less like a cookie and more like cake or soft gingerbread in texture – a failure? No – not in any way shape or form! They are simply divine – especially with the cinnamon glaze!

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This will make around 24 – 30 cookie-cakes.

You will need:

2 cups Rice flour or Spelt flour (spelt is an option if you don’t need gluten-free but want to go for a low-gluten option, or you could also use a gluten free flour blend)

1/4 tsp Xanthan gum (unless you choose to use a ready-mixed gluten free flour blend which has it in – check the ingredients!)

1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg

1/2 cup Coconut oil

1 cup unrefined Coconut or other raw sugar

1/4 cup Molasses

1 Egg (or this can be replaced with 1/4 cup of ripe mashed banana or 1/4 cup of puréed apple if you prefer)

1 cup Pumpkin purée (recipe here)

1/3 cup Coconut, almond or soya milk

1 tsp Vanilla extract

 

For the glaze:

1 cup unrefined Icing sugar

1 tbsp Coconut, almond or soya milk

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon (or more – just add to taste)

 

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Put the flour, xanthan gum, bicarbonate of soda, and spices into a large mixing bowl. Combine well (using a whisk or fork works well for this).

Put the oil and sugar in a separate bowl and mix together. Add the molasses, egg (or egg substitute), pumpkin, milk and vanilla and use a hand mixer (or whisk) to blend together.

Add the flour mix to the wet ingredients and stir well until completely combined. Place generous heaped teaspoons of the mixture on to a greased and lined baking tray and place in the oven for 10 – 13 minutes (until they are slightly crispy on the outside and are starting to turn colour – it’s hard to see as they’re dark but you will see a change).

Place the icing sugar and other glaze ingredients in a bowl and mix together well.

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Once the cookie-cakes are done, remove from the oven and let them cool for a couple of minutes. Then spoon the glaze over them whilst they are still warm.

Then enjoy with a cup of tea! 🙂

 

 

Salt and Spice and all things nice! The smallest pumpkin in the world and a yummy pumpkin seed snack! Re-post :)


As if you hadn’t noticed, it’s that time of year again – PUMPKIN TIME! So as part of my drive to post all things pumpkiny I thought I would re-post this little recipe from last year!

I’m getting my hands on another one of these little munchkin pumpkins for this year, but in the meantime – here’s last year’s delights! 🙂

Well, when I asked for a small pumpkin I wasn’t expecting something quite as small as this….

But anyone who knows me knows I love a challenge so not to be thwarted I decided I’d do my best with this little munchkin of a pumpkin and lo and behold look what I managed to create! Scary eh?

So there wasn’t much meat in this little pumpkin so rather than create the pumpkin-based hallowe’en cake I had planned I decided instead to do something funky with the seeds. It’s a sweet salty treat which sounds odd but combines some wonderful autumn flavours. I adapted it from the SNOG healthy treats book.

Salty and Spicey Sweet potato, raisin, pumpkin seed yumminess!

So I started off by creating some salted roasted seeds. Take your pumpkin seeds, remove all the stringy bits of pumpkin flesh and put in a pan. For every half cup of pumpkin seeds add 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and allow to cool slightly.

Then spread them out in one layer on a baking tray and place in an oven at 200 degrees C for anything from 5 – 15 minutes. Just keep checking them as it will depend how big the seeds are. Mine took around 8 minutes 🙂

These are yummy as they are or you can hull (de-husk) them if you really want to (I couldn’t be bothered!). Eat them just like this or use them in the next bit of the recipe.

Take 1 sweet potato and cut it into 1cm cubes. Spread on a baking tray with 2 – 3 tablespoons of the salted roasted pumpkin seeds. Add a handful of raisins and then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of coconut palm sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Finally drizzle over some coconut oil (approx 2 tablespoons) and place in the oven at 190 degrees C for about 20 – 25 minutes until the sweet potato is cooked through and the sugar is caramelised. Stir occasionally.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Then enjoy on it’s own or spoon it over some natural yoghurt (or ice cream!). It sounds odd but trust me – the sweetness of the sweet potato and raisins go really well with the salty roasted seeds and the cinnamon adds a lovely autumnal twist! Divine and healthy too! 🙂

Happy Hallowe’en!

Spiced Toffee Apples!


Before I start with my glut of hallowe’en inspired pumpkin bakes I thought I’d quickly get this one in! Nothing says autumn, Hallowe’en and fireworks night like toffee apples! I’m always so disappointed with the ones you buy in the shops so I thought I’d make my own this year!

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These are easy to make but you just have to have a little faith and let that sugar boil! They’re great fun to make for the kids, though I certainly wouldn’t let the kids make them themselves – children and boiling sugar aren’t a great combo!

If you have a sugar thermometer for the toffee then that’s brill! I don’t, but luckily my mum does, so I borrowed hers! If you don’t have a handy mum to borrow one from then never fear, you can still make this by using a bowl of cold water to test when the toffee is ready (see below).

You will need:

300g Golden granulated sugar

100g Unrefined brown sugar

1 Star anise

1 large Cinnamon stick

2 Tbsp Maple syrup

100ml Water

75g Pecans crushed/chopped finely

6 Apples (Braeburns work well, as do Granny Smiths – you want an apple with a bit of tartness to combat the sweet toffee)

6 wooden sticks or lolly sticks

Put the granulated and brown sugar in to a large pan. Add the water and stir over a low heat until the sugar had dissolved. Add the vinegar and maple syrup and then bring to the boil.

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Once boiling allow it to boil rapidly without stirring until the toffee reaches 150 C on a sugar thermometer (or the “hard crack” level). If you don’t have a thermometer you can test when the toffee is ready by spooning a little in to a bowl of cold water. It should harden immediately and be easy to snap. Now it will take a while to get to this stage so don’t be afraid to leave that sugar bubbling away!

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Once it reaches “hard crack” remove from the heat and stir in the pecans.

Place a stick (I used lolly sticks) in to the core of each apple. Dip the apples in the toffee while it is nice and hot and then place on a baking sheet to cool. You need to work quite quickly. If the toffee gets too hard you can gently re-warm it (but be very careful not to overheat it).

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Once the toffee has cooled and set then you can tuck in! They’re definitely best eaten the day they’re made but can be kept somewhere dry and cool and enjoyed over the next few days too.

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An array of Easter Biscuits!


I couldn’t let the day pass without whipping up some tasty treats! These are fun spicy Easter and spring biccies that are great fun to make, and eat! Perfect holiday activity for the kids too!

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The icing is flavoured with either lemon, fresh raspberry or fresh blueberries.

For the biscuits you need:

2 cups gluten free or spelt flour

1 cup raw Icing sugar

6 oz Dairy free spread

2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

1/2 tsp Cloves

For decoration:

Raw coconut palm sugar

Cinnamon and chilli sugar (see here)

Currants

Raw Icing sugar

Lemon juice, raspberries and blueberries

Sugar balls etc

Preheat the oven to 175 C. Mix all the biscuit ingredients together in a bowl – ensuring the spread is well combined with the flour an sugar. Once it forms a dough pop it in the fridge for 30 mins if you have time. Remove and roll out. Use whatever shaped cutters you like to it your biscuit shapes and transfer to a baking tray.

If you are using currants for bunny eyes and noses then add those now. Sprinkle with raw coconut sugar and cinnamon and chilli sugar. Place in the oven and cook for 8 – 12 mins or until golden. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Once cool you can ice the biscuits. Mix up your icing powder with lemon juice or fresh raspberries or blueberries and then spread on the biscuits. Add sugar decorations if you like. Allow to set and then eat!

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