Coconut and Apple Cake – gluten and dairy free


This is a wonderful combination of squidgy, moist and dry and crumbly cake which makes it super moreish. It’s also full of goodness and, if you add the protein, is also full of extra protein too. It can be made completely vegan if you want it to be (see below), or you can use eggs if you’re not fussed.

IMG_9677

This is especially good if served with the topping I’ve whipped up too and even better with a big dollop of Soya yoghurt or ice cream šŸ™‚

I’ve used the Bali Nutra Coconut Syrup in this recipe which I absolutely love – it’s so tasty!

IMG_9641

 

I’ve recorded a little video of this recipe here too :

IMG_9643

You will need:

1Ā cup of flour – you can use any flour you like here – spelt, almond, coconut. I used Almond flour

1/2 cup Ground Almonds

1/2 Ā cup Vanilla Protein Powder (I use this one) – or if not then just add more flour

1/2 cup Desiccated Coconut

1 cup Coconut Syrup (from Bali Nutra)

1/2 cup Coconut Oil (melted)

3 eggs (or 3 tbsp Chia seeds soaked in 9 tbsp water)

2 heaped tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground Cardamom (or 1 drop of cardamom extract)

1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

1 – 2 Bramley apples (depends how big they are!) (plus lemon juice to squeeze over them once cut if you want)

Optional – if your batter is too dry (it will depend on the flour you use) then you may need to add a small amount of any non-dairy milk (I splashed a bit of coconutĀ milk in mine)

A sprinkle of coconut sugar and some coconut flakes to decorate.

I also madeĀ a little topping to go with it for this you will need:

4 tbsp Coconut milk (use the 65 – 70% extract milk and see here for instructions on how to get the thick creamy part)

2 tbsp Coconut oil (melted)

2 – 3 tbsp Coconut syrup (adjust to taste)

2 tsp ground Cinnamon (adjust to taste)

IMG_9685

Preheat the oven to 180 C and grease and line a baking tin (I used a large loaf tin and three small ones as I had some extra batter but you could any tin you like – a 20 – 25cm round tin would work).

Put all the dry ingredients (flours, protein powder, spices etc) into a large mixing bowl and stir well. Peel and dice the apples. Set the apples aside and if you don’t want them to go brown add a squeeze of lemon juice while you wait to add them. Put all the wet ingredients in another bowl and mix well. Add the wet to the dry and combine. The batter will be thick but if you have used coconut flour and the chia seeds then you may find your batter is far too dry. In which case add a little milk to loosen it up. Fold in the apple.

IMG_9652

Spoon the batter in to your tin, sprinkle a little coconut sugar and coconut flakes over the top for decoration if you fancy, and pop in the oven. If like me you have too much batter then make some small cakes too! Depending on the size of your tin it will take 25 – 40 mins to cook but just keep checking it and when a skewer comes out clean it’s done! As it cooks you may find the top starts to brown too much so just pop some foil over it if so.

IMG_9670

This is best eaten warm with a dollop of the topping – combine the topping ingredients together and serve!

IMG_9689

Sweet Potato Brownies – sugar, dairy and gluten free


Brownies are a staple treat for me, my husband and our friends and it’sĀ 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 thatĀ 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!).

IMG_6622

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).Ā  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 AppleĀ PurĆ©e (make your own – recipe here)

60g Buckwheat flour

80g ground Almonds

75g Cocoa powder

6 Medjool Dates

IMG_6621

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!

IMG_6625

 

 

Apple and Coconut Cinnamon Caramel Swirled Loaf – Dairy free, Gluten Free and Vegan


This may be my best loaf recipe yet… This was so good I had to make it twice, in two days.. and it didn’t last long!


I was sent a bottle of this fab Coconut Syrup, which I was already a big fan of, and I’m really enjoying playing around with date caramel at the moment, so I thought why not combine the two in an appley-caramely-coconutty-squidgy loaf! The coconut syrup adds a lovely richness to the loaf which is fab. The syrup is great for drizzling over yoghurt, sweetening smoothies or pouring over your finished slice of loaf too! You can find out more here – Bali NutraĀ Coconut Syrup.


I’ve even done a little video too! šŸ™‚


You will need:

2 cups Gluten-free flour or spelt flour
1 cup coconut palm (or any unrefined) sugar (plus a little extra to sprinkle on top)
1/4 cup Coconut Syrup
1/4 cup and 2 tbsps almond oil or olive oil
3/4 cup apple purĆ©e (make your own – instructions here)
1/2 cup desiccated coconut (plus a little extra to sprinkle on the top)
1/2 cup date caramel (recipe here)
1 tbsp Cocoa powder
1 small apple – diced
1/4 cup soya milk mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp himalayan rock salt

Preheat oven to 350 F / 175 C. Line and grease a small loaf tin (approximately 8 inches x 4 inches).

Mix the flour, baking soda, coconut, cinnamon, allspice and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix the oil and sugar together until well combined. Add the apple purƩe and the soya milk (to which vinegar has been added), the coconut syrup and the vanilla extract. Add this mix to the flour mixture and stir well. Add the diced apple and stir well.

Remove about one cup of this batter and put it in a separate bowl. Stir the date caramel in to this mix. Add the cocoa powder and mix well – this adds a lovely richness to the batter and also darkens it to make the swirls more obvious, without giving a Chocolate flavour šŸ™‚

Start by adding a layer of the plain batter in your loaf tin. Drop a few spoonfuls of the caramel batter and use a fork to marble it, then add another layer of plain batter. Continue to layer and marble the batters until you’ve used it up! Sprinkle with a little coconut sugar and desiccated coconut.

Ā 


Place in the oven for an hour, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Once cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 mins then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Ā 

This is absolutely divine when warm and if you have any spare date caramel I highly recommend smearing some on top!

You can easily freeze this too – it keeps brilliantly.

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! šŸ™‚

IMG_0026.JPG

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

IMG_0476.JPG

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!

IMG_0478-0.JPG

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 šŸ™‚ and secondly I finally found some PB2 powdered peanut butter!

photo (1)

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 thatĀ 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!

2014-09-06 18.04.13

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!

2014-09-07 12.47.56

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)

ForĀ 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 theĀ chia seeds in the water. Once the chia seeds have absorbed all the water add them to the mix along with theĀ vanilla extract, and oil. Whisk together using a hand mixer until well mixed. It should be thick and glossy when mixed.Ā 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, raisinsĀ 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.Ā Ā Drizzle the original one over the brownie, then the chocolate one. Pop in the fridge to set Ā – or just eat straight away!

2014-09-07 12.46.56

2014-09-07 12.45.17

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 šŸ˜‰

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.

photo 4

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 chocolateĀ (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 theĀ chia seeds in the water. Once the chia seeds have absorbed all the water add them to the mix along with theĀ 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.Ā Spread quickly on to the brownies and sprinkle the freeze dried cherriesĀ and any other decorations you want to use on to the top!

photo 1

Then enjoy (preferably with a side helping of Patrick Swayze šŸ˜‰ )

photo 3

Lemon curd thumb biscuits!


Having made a big batch of lemon curd (recipe is here).Ā I thought I’d better find some yummy ways to use it!

photo 5

Now I could just eat it straight from the jar (and actually I do!), or with yoghurt and fruit for brekkie….

photo 1

… but… it’s also pretty delicious combined with almonds in these divine little biscuits.

photo 4

They are super easy to make and take less than 30 mins.

To make about 12 biscuits you will need:

130g Ground almonds

1/4 tsp Baking powder

1/4 tsp Himalayan rock salt

1 tsp Vanilla extract

Zest from 1 – 2 lemons (you can use any left over zest that you froze after making the lemon curd)

2 1/2 tbsp Coconut oil

2 tbsp Maple syrup

1 tbsp Lemon juice (or 1/4 tsp Lemon extract)

1 – 2 tbsp Lemon curd (recipe here)

a handful of Dried cherries

Preheat the oven to 180 C

Place the ground almonds, baking powder, salt and lemon zest in a bowl and mix well. Add the vanilla extract, maple syrup and coconut oil and use your hands to mix into a dough.

Take tablespoon-sized portions of the dough and place on a greased baking sheet. Pat down and then use your thumb to make an indent in the center.

photo 1 (2)

Place the tray in the oven and bake for 10 – 12 minutes. After 5 minutes check them and if the indents are starting to close just gently use your thumb to re-shape them. Bake until they are brown. If you like your biscuits a bit crunchier then bake a little longer.

Remove from the oven but leave the oven on. Fill the indents with lemon curd and place a dried cherry in the middle. Pop them back in the oven for 2 – 3 minutes.

Allow to cool.

They will be lovely and crunchy if eaten straight away. If left for the next day they become soft and macaroon-like – which is simply yummy! You can always pop them back in the oven to re-crisp if you fancy it šŸ™‚

photo 2

 

 

 

 

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 šŸ˜‰

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 šŸ™‚ 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).

3648

01ed1c23089e903956a29203b04989f148abd8ec5b

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

photo 1

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 šŸ˜‰ )

017a036669e0ee6626053c99677bb8d2b2e6ec2f8e
and in case you’re wondering if they taste good… well this is all that’s left of this weekend’s creation!
photo 2

Fight that grump! Chocolate, Cherry and Chilli Biscuit balls! Dairy and Gluten free


We all get a little grumpy sometimes don’t we? When I’m feeling the grump I usually reach for the chocolate (Willie’s Cacao is my chocolate of choice!) but I thought this week I’d try something a little different! It’s still chocolate but with a kick, and I guarantee this little beauties will cheer up even the biggest grump!

photo 2

This a modified version of my great balls of biscuit recipe but I’ve made these bigger – cos you need a bit more biscuit to fight that grump šŸ˜‰

photo 5

To make about 16 biscuit balls you will need:

260g Ground almonds

4 tbsp Raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)

30g Dark, dairy-free chocolate (I use the Willie’s Cacao Drops but any dark chocolate chopped up small will be fine)

30g Dried cherries

5 tablespoons Coconut oil (melted)

1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

1/4 – 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)

1/4 – 1/2 tsp hot chilli powder (adjust to taste)

1 tsp Vanilla extract

4 tbsp Maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener such as agave or honey)

Preheat the oven to 170 C.

Put the dry ingredients in to a mixing bowl and combine thoroughly. Start with a small amount of cayenne and chilli powder at this stage (unless you are confident in how hot you want it šŸ™‚ ). Then chop the chocolate and cherries into small pieces and add them in to the mixture.Ā Add the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract and mix together. Have a little taste and add more of the cayenne and chilli is required. I like it pretty hot so I added quite a bit! Mix it in well if you’re adding more at this stage. You should find the mixture will stick together when you squeeze it between your fingers.

Take tablespoon sized portions of the mixture and form in to a ball. Pop on a greased baking tray and flatten a little. Place in the oven for 10 ā€“ 15 minutes (start checking at 10 minutes). Remove when they are starting to brown. They will feel very soft when you take them from the oven but just leave them to cool on the tray and they will harden.

Enjoy with a nice cuppa and feel that grump melt away! šŸ™‚

photo 3

Apple and Cherry Cinnamon Biscuit Balls


Tuesdays are long, tiring days for me so I have just whipped up a batch of these bad boys to get me through!

01cc62a41d73daa109cedff7bd94155a2d26147c40

To make about 24 small biscuit balls you will need:

260g Ground almonds

40g Dried apple

30g Dried cherries

5 tablespoons Coconut oil (melted)

1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

1 tsp Vanilla extract

4 tbsp Maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener such as agave or honey)

Preheat the oven to 170 C.

Put the dry ingredients in to a mixing bowl and combine thoroughly. Then chop the apple and cherries finely and add them in to the mixture.Ā Add the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract and mix together. Ā You should find the mixture will stick together when you squeeze it between your fingers.

Take tablespoon sized portions of the mixture and form in to a ball. Pop on a greased baking tray and flatten a little. Place in the oven for 10 ā€“ 15 minutes (start checking at 10 minutes). Remove when they are starting to brown. They will feel very soft when you take them from the oven but just leave them to cool on the tray and they will harden.

Enjoy with a nice cuppa!

014a52b312eb3bb6bdf30bc382c19b384b035bd0e2