Sweet Potato Brownies – sugar, dairy and gluten free


Brownies are a staple treat for me, my husband and our friends and it’s usually the dessert of choice whenever we go to our friend’s house for dinner. My usual brownie recipe (see all the various recipes here) is a firm favourite and is also dairy and gluten free but I needed a sugar-free version for this weekend. My very special friend Colette from The Pure Form Fitness Kitchen is in training for an upcoming competition and I just couldn’t bring dessert that she couldn’t eat!

So thinking cap on…. I knew I could use sweet potato to add some natural sweetness but I searched and searched online and couldn’t find a recipe that didn’t have any added sugar of any type (aside from fruit/veg sugar). Every recipe had maple syrup, agave, coconut syrup or rice malt syrup in it. So I decided to have a go at creating one myself, based on all the recipes I found (and there are a lot of sweet potato brownie recipes out there!).

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I have to be honest – this was a complete experiment, but I’m pretty happy with the results. It’s tasty, it’s got a natural sweetness and it’s actually really good (even better the day after they’re made).  I’ve gone for the smallest amount of dates, apple and sweet potato possible to limit the amount of fruit sugars whilst still keeping the flavour.

You will need:

2 Sweet potatoes (approx 500 g in total – unpeeled weight)

50g Apple Purée (make your own – recipe here)

60g Buckwheat flour

80g ground Almonds

75g Cocoa powder

6 Medjool Dates

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Preheat the oven to 180 C

Peel and dice the sweet potato and then pop in a covered bowl in the microwave. Microwave until soft (a couple of blasts of 2 – 3 minutes). Using a fork mash up the sweet potato and then pop into a blender or processor. Chop the dates and add them to the sweet potato (it’s easier if you do this while the potato is still warm). Blitz it until the dates are well combined with the sweet potato. I actually like a bit of substance to the dates so I’m not fussed if it’s not smooth but it’s up to you.

Mix together the flour, almonds and cocoa and then stir the sweet potato mixture in (it will be quite stiff). Add the apple and mix well. You want a sticky, quite thick mixture – thicker than a normal brownie batter. If the flour won’t all combine (as it will depend a little on the moisture content of the dates and apple) then add a drizzle of warm water, but not too much.

Pour into a lined tin and place in the oven for 30 -35 minutes. The top will be crusty and if you stick a skewer in it will come out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin (if you can wait :)). Then slice and serve!

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Chocolate Orange and Almond Brownies – dairy and gluten free


I think I’m in heaven. I’ve managed to combine three of my most favourite things – Willie’s Cacao Luscious Orange chocolate, roasted Almonds and my dairy and gluten free brownie! And wow – this is good! I’ve even managed to win over my orange chocolate hating friend! Win! 🙂

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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 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 6 tbsp water

1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp Orange extract

Handful of Almonds

1 – 2 bars Willie’s Luscious Orange chocolate (chopped)

For Icing

1 – 2 bars Willie’s Luscious Orange chocolate

50 – 100g Unrefined icing sugar (adjust quantity to depending how runny you want it)

Silver balls to decorate

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

Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan until they just start to turn brown. To make them even crunchier I let them cool to room temperature then chopped them and toast again briefly. Pop to one side until later.

Mix the ground almonds, flour, cacao powder, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl soak the chia seeds in the water. Once the chia seeds have absorbed all the water add them to the mix along with the orange extract, and oil. Whisk together using a hand mixer until well mixed. It should be thick and glossy when mixed.

Stir in the chocolate and almonds. Pour in to the baking tin and place in the oven for 25 – 30 mins until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack

Then prepare the icing. Melt the chocolate and then stir in the icing sugar a little at a time until you get the consistency you want. Spread quickly on to the brownies and sprinkle the silver balls and any other decorations you want to use on to the top!

Enjoy!

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Peanut butter fruit and nut brownies – dairy and gluten free


Two very exciting things happened recently…Firstly I was given this beautiful pot full of scrummy raisins from my friend Dee 🙂 and secondly I finally found some PB2 powdered peanut butter!

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The raisins… well that’s a long (somewhat amusing) story which I won’t go in to here, but needless to say they were very gratefully received :). Now PB2….What on earth is that and why would I be so excited to find it? Well for a start it’s a powdered peanut butter which means it’s a great way to get peanut butter in to your baking (if you want to.. which I do!). As an added bonus it has 85% less calories from fat compared to traditional peanut butter, but it isn’t full of rubbish. It’s all natural, slow roasted peanuts which are then pressed to remove the fat and oil. It comes as natural and chocolate (yum!) and you can either just add water to make it in to a butter to use as you would normal peanut butter…. or you can use it as a powder in bakes and shakes!

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So these two wonderful things were just crying out to be combined into something yummy…. and here it is! Peanut butter fruit and nut brownies! A great way to have a healthy treat with a little bit of a protein boost too!

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You can change the fruit and add different nuts if you like but I wanted to really give that peanut punch so I stuck with peanuts! You can also use peanut butter if you don’t have PB2 but it will change the consistency so I suggest you go a little lighter on the oil.

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

4 heaped tbsp PB2 (if you don’t have this you can use normal peanut butter – 2 – 3 tbsp)

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

100g dried Raisins

50g dried Cherries

Handful of natural roasted Peanuts (halved or chopped)

For topping

2 – 3 tbsp PB2 original

1 – 2 tbsp PB2 chocolate

a little Water

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

Mix the ground almonds, flour, cacao powder,PB2, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl soak the chia seeds in the water. Once the chia seeds have absorbed all the water add them to the mix along with the vanilla extract, and oil. Whisk together using a hand mixer until well mixed. It should be thick and glossy when mixed. Have a taste – if you want a bit more peanutty flavour you can add a little more PB2 now but mix it in really well.

Stir in the peanuts, raisins and cherries (cut them in half if they are large). Pour in to the baking tin and place in the oven for 25 – 30 mins until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack

Then prepare the topping. In separate bowls mix the original PB2 and chocolate PB2 with water. Add a little water at a time – you want a runny consistency but not too runny.  Drizzle the original one over the brownie, then the chocolate one. Pop in the fridge to set  – or just eat straight away!

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Chocolate Cherry Brownies – gluten and dairy free


My hubby and I had a rare evening out last night with some very good friends to go and watch “Dirty Dancing” at the open air cinema. Tasked with providing dessert I decided I’d go for some good old chocolately goodness and whip up a new version of my brownies for us to munch on whilst watching the film… They’re almost as tasty as Patrick Swayze 😉

The sweet-sour of the cherries works so well to balance out the rich chocolate in these and they’re brilliant served with berries and some cashew cream (recipe here) for a decadent (but not too bad for you) dessert.

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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 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 6 tbsp water

1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp Vanilla extract

100g dried Cherries

Dairy free chocolate (I use Willie’s cacao drops) – about a handful (approx 100g)

For Icing

100g Dairy free chocolate (again I use Willie’s cacao drops)

100 – 200g Unrefined icing sugar (adjust quantity to depending how runny you want your icing)

Freeze dried Cherries to decorate

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 soak the chia seeds in the water. Once the chia seeds have absorbed all the water add them to the mix along with the vanilla extract, and oil. Whisk together using a hand mixer until well mixed. It should be thick and glossy when mixed.

Stir in the chocolate and cherries (cut them in half if they are large). Pour in to the baking tin and place in the oven for 25 – 30 mins until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack

Then prepare the icing. Melt the chocolate and then stir in the icing sugar a little at a time until you get the consistency you want. Spread quickly on to the brownies and sprinkle the freeze dried cherries and any other decorations you want to use on to the top!

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Then enjoy (preferably with a side helping of Patrick Swayze 😉 )

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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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Brownie Love Bites


I was asked recently if I had a recipe for vegan brownies… well I do… and so I thought I’d re-post it to make it a little easier to find! 🙂 These were originally made for Valentine’s day, hence the heart shapes, but I kinda like them like this anyway! 🙂

Enjoy!

Brownie love bites

 

165g Silken tofu

100g white spelt flour

65g Whole-wheat spelt flour

70g Cocoa powder

6 tbsp Water

8 tbsp Agave syrup  AND 2 tbsp Date syrup

200g unrefined raw sugar/ coconut palm sugar

A handful of chopped pecans and dried cherries

2 tsp Vanilla extract

1/2 tbsp Ground brown linseed

1.5 tbsp Hot water

1/4 tsp Baking powder

1/4 tsp Salt

Mix the ground linseeds with the 1 1/2 tablespoons of hot water and set aside to thicken.  Preheat the oven to 180 C  and then line an 8-inch x 8-inch x 2-inch baking tin with greaseproof paper and lightly oil.

Blend the tofu, water, agave syrup, date syrup, cocoa powder, linseed mixture, and vanilla extract until completely smooth. Place the remaining ingredients, except the pecans and cherries, in a mixing bowl and stir until they are well combined. Then pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir well. Finally, gently fold in the pecans and cherries.  Pour the mix into the tin and place in the oven for 30 mins, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins, then cool on a wire rack. Whilst still warm use a small heart cutter (2 – 3 cm) to cut out heart shaped brownie bites. You should get 12 – 15 out of one tray of brownie (and you get to eat all the little off cuts!) :)

Love is in the air! and in my cake tin…


I am not a big valentine’s day person to be honest, at least not in it’s commercial form but as an excuse to make cute little heart shaped yummy things then I think it’s great! 😉

Sooo I’ve been playing again and have come up with a few simple, tasty, low gluten, dairy free valentine’s treats! These are available in limited numbers to order, just drop me a line if you’d like some.

Ginger love hearts

spice up your valentine's day

1/3 cup Olive oil

3/4 cup unrefined raw sugar (golden raw caster sugar, coconut palm sugar, or dark raw cane sugar)

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup soya milk

1 cup amaranth flour / quinoa flour

1 cup gluten free flour mix (make your own or you can use an organic pre-mixed one. If you want low gluten not gluten free then go for spelt flour instead of the amaranth and gluten free flours)

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 and 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt salt

This recipe will make about 50 small heart biscuits (2 – 3 cm) so you may want to halve it or even quarter it depending how many you want and how big your cutters are.

Whisk the oil and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the soya milk and the molasses and whisk all together. Sieve the flours, spices and baking powder, salt and bicarbonate of soda in to the wet ingredients and mix until it forms a dough. The dough may seem quite moist. You want it to be workable but not so sticky that you can’t lift it. Add a bit more flour if it is too wet. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge to chill for an hour (the dough can be left in the fridge for several days so you don’t have to use it all at once. It can also be frozen).

Preheat the oven to 175 C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Roll the dough out on a floured surface. It’s worth trying small amounts of dough at a time and be generous with the flour. It will stick a bit but don’t worry. You want it to be rolled out fairly thin but not too thin – maybe 5mm thick or so. Use a small heart shaped cutter (I use a 2 – 3cm cutter) to cut out the biscuits and transfer to the baking tray. Bake for 8 minutes. Then remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. They will seem soft when they come out the oven but as they cool they harden. If you want super crispy biscuits just pop them back in the oven for another few minutes.

Give them to the one you love.. or just eat them all yourself!

(these are available in bags of 20 for £2.50 – contact me for more details)

Brownie love bites

chocolately loveliness!

165g Silken tofu

100g white spelt flour

65g Whole-wheat spelt flour

70g Cocoa powder

6 tbsp Water

8 tbsp Agave syrup  AND 2 tbsp Date syrup

200g unrefined raw sugar/ coconut palm sugar

A handful of chopped pecans and dried cherries

2 tsp Vanilla extract

1/2 tbsp Ground brown linseed

1.5 tbsp Hot water

1/4 tsp Baking powder

1/4 tsp Salt

Mix the ground linseeds with the 1 1/2 tablespoons of hot water and set aside to thicken.  Preheat the oven to 180 C  and then line an 8-inch x 8-inch x 2-inch baking tin with greaseproof paper and lightly oil.

Blend the tofu, water, agave syrup, date syrup, cocoa powder, linseed mixture, and vanilla extract until completely smooth. Place the remaining ingredients, except the pecans and cherries, in a mixing bowl and stir until they are well combined. Then pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir well. Finally, gently fold in the pecans and cherries.  Pour the mix into the tin and place in the oven for 30 mins, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins, then cool on a wire rack. Whilst still warm use a small heart cutter (2 – 3 cm) to cut out heart shaped brownie bites. You should get 12 – 15 out of one tray of brownie (and you get to eat all the little off cuts!) 🙂

Available in bags of 5 for £4

Chocolate orange cupcakes – full of gluten free dairy free chocolately love!

perfect to share

1 cup rice flour

3/4 cup raw unrefined sugar (coconut palm sugar, raw cane sugar etc)

1 cup soya milk

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp natural valencia orange extract (omit this if you don’t like orange flavour – could be replaced with 1/2 tsp almond extract, chocolate extract or more vanilla extract)

1/3 cup cocoa powder

3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp himalayan rock salt

For the icing:

1/4  cup cocoa powder

1/4  Agave syrup

1 – 2 tbsps Unrefined golden icing sugar

Sugar hearts to decorate

Preheat oven to 175 C and line a muffin pan with muffin cases (this should make about 12).

Whisk together the soya milk and vinegar and leave to one side to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and any other extracts you’re using. Beat until foamy using a hand whisk (or you could use an electronic one if you’re feeling lazy!). Sieve the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add to the wet mixture a little at a time, stirring in between. Mix until smoothish (some lumps are ok). Taste it at this point and if necessary add more extract if needed. Pour into the muffin cases and place in the oven for 18 – 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. When done, remove and allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

In the meantime you can make the icing. Put the cocoa and agave into a small saucepan and heat very very gently (this is important – do not over heat it!). Stir continuously until it is well combined. Add the icing sugar and stir well. Have a taste to check it’s sweet enough for you, if not add a bit more agave or icing sugar. The mix will be quite runny when warm but will harden when cool – it will never be completely hard (unless you add a lot of icing sugar!) so it will be a bit sticky – which I personally love! 🙂

Once the cakes are cool you can apply the icing and then add some decorations – then enjoy!

These are available in boxes of 4 for £5.50