chocolate salami (salame di cioccolata) …

The inspiration for this recipe came last Saturday afternoon when I stumbled upon Season 2 of the Spring Baking Championship TV show on the SBS Food channel. One of the contestants had to use curry powder in her recipe. She decided to make chocolate salami with dried fruits, nuts and curry powder. Whilst watching her bake I wondered if there was a ‘raw’ chocolate salami recipe that I could try – without the curry powder! Later that night Pinterest got a good working over. I pinned that many chocolate salami recipes it wasn’t funny. All I had to do now was to go through the recipes and pick out the one that I could try. I wanted a gluten free, dairy free and vegan recipe. I found a recipe that I could adapt.

This recipe comes from Vera’s Cooking – however I have tweaked it a bit.

The original recipe consists of dates, prunes, walnuts, coconut milk and vegan dark chocolate.

My recipe has dates, cranberries, walnuts, almonds, pistachios and dairy free choc chips. Very easy to make with a delicious result. It’s a little bit whimsical as you can trick your dinner guests into thinking that’s it’s the real thing. A perfect decadent dessert. Serve with a cup of coffee or tea :)

chocolate_salami_1

chocolate_salami_2

Ingredients
1 cup dates, pitted
1/3 cup cranberries
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup pistachios
1/2 cup almonds
100g dairy free choc chips
Icing sugar, to coat.

ingredients

Note: I doubled the recipe to make 2 chocolate salami logs.

Method
1) Process the dates and the cranberries together in a food processor until well blended. Tip – soaking the dates in hot water for 5 minutes prior to processing will make it easier for the dates to be processed.

dates_cranberries

2) Put the chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl and place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.

choc_chips

melted_choc_chips

3) Process the nuts until they’re well blended.

mixed_nuts

blended_mixed_nuts

4) Add the melted chocolate and mix well until incorporated.

bowl_of_mixture

add_chocolate

mixture

5) Form the mixture into a log on baking paper. (If you double the recipe, like I did, divide the chocolate mixture in half. I went so far as to weigh the mixture – yep, that’s the Virgo in me!)

logs

6) Roll up the logs in cling wrap and twist the ends to seal. Roll back and forth to make the logs evenly round. Refrigerate for about 2 hours.

sealed

refrigerate

7) Remove the cling wrap from the logs then roll them in icing sugar until coated. Leave the logs at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving!

coated

coated_

8) You can tie the chocolate logs like a real salami with baking string (there are plenty of instructions on YouTube) or just leave it unstrung. Cut into slices and serve. Enjoy! FYI, it’s a great conversation piece.

Here’s the video that I watched to help me string the salami – go to the 3.05 minute mark > Chocolate salami

strung

This recipe is a keeper. You can use whatever you like to replicate the look of the ‘fat’ in the salami so long as you have the binding ingredients like the dates and cranberries.

These will last in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or you can freeze them for up to a month.

I did try another another recipe. This recipe is courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis >> chocolate dessert salami. I substituted the ‘two 5 inch long plain biscotti, coarsely crushed’ with 70g of gluten free Leda Arrowroot biscuits.

leda_arrowroot_biscuits

The logs are slightly  smaller and the slices don’t hold their form when you cut them. The slices are a bit crumbly. However the flavour of chocolate, orange and coffee is to die for. May have to keep practicing this recipe until I get it right ;)

chocolate_salami_3

chocolate_salami_4

“Late on a Friday night, I’m home with my dog drinking chocolate milk and eating salami slices. I need to get my partying under control.”

 

 

deep dish apple pear tart …

I had a few Granny Smith apples that I wanted to use and bake with. I looked for a recipe online. The recipe had to be raw, gluten free and dairy free. I found a recipe – thanks to Pinterest and Sweetly Raw.

apple_pear_tart

The crust is a cashew coconut crust. The filling is apple, pear, dates and cinnamon. The tart is topped with a coconut drizzle.

It makes one deep 8″ tart, or a 9″ tart of regular depth. If you have a regular tart pan (sides about 1″ high), you’ll have some crust and filling leftover for a snack for yourself.

Ingredients
Crust
1 1/3 cups cashews
1 1/3 cups shredded coconut
2 1/2 – 3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 pinches salt
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil

Apple pear filling
4 large apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
2 ripe pears, cored and diced (no need to peel)
4-6 medjool dates
1 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
Splash of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

Coconut Drizzle
1 tablespoon melted coconut butter
2 1/2 teaspoons hot water
1 teaspoon melted coconut oil
2 drops vanilla stevia

Method
Crust
1) Grind the cashews and coconut into flour in a food processor.

cashews

cashews_coconut

2) Add the remaining ingredients. Process to combine.

remaining_ingredients

3) Press the mixture evenly into a deep 8″ tart pan with removable bottom.

crust

4) Chill in the freezer while making filling.
I put the crust in the fridge and let it chill overnight.

Apple pear filling
1) In a food processor puree 2 of the apples, with the dates, cinnamon, lemon, vanilla and salt until as smooth as possible (stop and scrape the sides down a few times). Transfer to a large bowl.

apples

dates_cinnamon

apple_puree

The food processor wasn’t working for me so I used the stick blender. Worked a treat :)

apple_pureed

2) Pulse the other 2 apples in the food processor until chopped, NOT pureed. Add to the puree.
3) Add the diced pears. Stir all together. Add a bit more chopped apple or pear if the mixture is too wet.

To save on time I chopped the apples and pears at the same time.

apples_chopped

chopped

4) Spread into the tart crust.

filled_tart

Coconut drizzle
1) Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl. Make sure to keep warm or it will cease.
2) Drizzle over the tart.

I served the tart to my family. The tart was enough for 11 people with one piece left over. The family loved it!

leftover

“Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness.” ~ Jane Austen

 

 

gluten free apple spice upside down cake …

What to do with left over apples and you don’t want to make an apple pie? For something different – make an upside down cake!

This recipe is courtesy of Tried and True.

upside_down_cake_

There is nothing difficult about this recipe.

Ingredients
Apple Upside Down Topping
3 small apples, cored and thinly sliced (peeling is optional)
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Cake
6 eggs
2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Method
1) Grease and line the base and sides of a round 9 inch (22cm) cake tin. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius, fan forced.

lined_cake_tin

2) Quarter and core the apples and cut into thin crescent shaped slices. You can peel them if you want to but this is not essential. I used Granny Smith apples and I peeled them.

apples

3) Place apple slices into a heatproof bowl covered tightly with glad wrap and microwave for approx 2 – 3 minutes until softened.
4) In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond meal and spices until combined.

almondmeal

spices

almondmeal_and_spices

5) Stir the brown sugar into the hot from the microwave apple slices, microwave again, covered, another 20 seconds. Stir to evenly coat.

apples_covered

apple_syrup

6) Strain the sugary syrup from the apples and reserve for later.

apple_syrup_

7) One by one, arrange the apple slices concentrically in the base of the prepared tin, overlapping them, trying to fit them all in, the more apple the better.

apples_lined

8) In a large bowl, beat the eggs, vanilla and sugar on high for 8-10 minutes until light, fluffy and thick. You really need to do it for this amount of time. (I set the timer for 10 minutes!).

eggs_sugar

meringue

9) Once mixture has thickened to an almost meringue-like consistency, gently fold through the almond meal and spice mixture until just combined being careful not to over mix so as to not lose the incorporated air.

meringue_and_almondmeal

mixed

10) Pour cake mixture over the arranged apples, smoothing down with a spatula.

poured

11) Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes until golden brown and springy in the centre to touch, or skewer comes out clean.

baked

12) Leave to sit for 10 minutes before flipping upside down onto serving plate.
13) Remove paper lining and then pour over the remaining sugar syrup. Serve warm or cold.

upside_down_apple_spice

This cake is very light and incredibly moist. It’s such a quick and easy cake to make. And it looks good!

“An apple? Have you ever been tempted by an apple? I would have been like, ‘cover it in caramel and come back to me. You got any cake back there?'” ~ Jim Gaffigan

 

 

 

 

chocolate and peanut butter slice …

This is such an easy slice to make. And with natural ingredients you can’t go wrong.

chocolate_peanut_butter_slice

The recipe is courtesy of Wholefood Simply.

They are delicious, decadent and addictive.

Ingredients
Chocolate layer

1 cup crushed peanuts
1 cup desiccated coconut
3 tablespoons cacao powder or cocoa
2 tablespoons honey / rice malt syrup
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 pinch of salt

Peanut butter layer
8 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey / rice malt syrup
3 tablespoons maple syrup
4 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons coconut cream
1/2 teaspoon concentrated natural vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Method
1) Line a square 20cm tin with baking paper overhanging the sides for easy removal.
2) Place the ingredients for the chocolate layer into your processor and at high speed until the mixture is well combined and resembles a fine, sticky crumb.

crushed_peanuts

coconut

cocao_malt_syrup

chocolate_layer

3) Press the mixture firmly into your prepared tin and set aside.

chocolate_layer_base

4) Place the ingredients for the peanut butter layer into your processor and blend until the mixture is smooth and well combined.

peanut_butter_

coconut_oil_cream

rice_malt_syrup

peanut_butter_layer

5) Pour the mixture over your base, level the top and place the slice into the fridge or freezer to set and to store.

peanut_butter_layer_

peanut_butter_layer__

Slice. Serve. Eat and enjoy.

slice

sliced

I have made these slices twice now – in a week! They were a hit with family and friends! This could be my go to recipe. Someone suggested to me that you could make bliss balls with the chocolate layer. What a good idea. I must try that.

Note: if you don’t like peanuts you can substitute the peanuts in the chocolate layer with any nuts of your choice. And then you can substitute the peanut butter with almond butter, cashew butter or some other nut-free butter.

slices

“It’s like peanut butter and chocolate. Each is great, but they’re better together.” ~ Richard Whitehead

 

 

 

cappuccino slice …

For this week’s family dinner night dessert I modified last week’s recipe (rainbow paddle pop slice) and added a couple of flavours. Chocolate and coffee – a match made in heaven!

sliced_

Step 3 of the original recipe was to split the cashew cream into small bowls and colour into desired colours using natural food dyes. This week, instead of using food colouring, in one bowl I added coffee (1 tablespoon decaf coffee granules mixed with hot water) and in the other bowl I added chocolate (2 teaspoons of cacao powder mixed with hot water). The third bowl was just cashew cream.

chocolate_coffee

Then I repeated the steps of the original recipe.

Step 4 – Using a spoon, spoon the colours randomly over the base until you’ve used all of the colours up.

spooned

Step 5 – Using a knife, swirl the colours around. Give the whole loaf tin a shake to flatten the slice. Freeze the slice overnight. Slice with a hot, wet knife and enjoy! Keep it in the freezer and just defrost slices as you need. Enjoy!

knifed

frozen

sliced

“When coffee dreams, it dreams of chocolate.”

 

rainbow paddle pop slice …

I saw this recipe on Instagram and was immediately drawn to the colours. So pretty!

It’s a rainbow paddle pop slice and is based on the popular Rainbow paddle pop. A paddle pop is a milk-based frozen dairy snack made by Streets and sold in Australia, New Zealand and a few other countries.

streets_paddle_pop

I made these slices for Tuesday night’s family dinner night. Needless to say, they were a hit – even if we are in the middle of winter! My cousin said they were her favourite raw dessert. Mind you, she says that each time I make something new :)

sliced_

(This recipe is courtesy of @sobeautifullyraw).

Ingredients
Base
1 cup almonds
1 cup coconut flakes
1 cup pitted dates

Filling
3 cups cashews, soaked overnight and drained
1 cup non-dairy milk
2/3 cup rice malt syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
2/3 cup melted coconut oil
extra water – if needed
Pink, blue and yellow vegan friendly food colouring

Method
Base
1) Blend the almonds and coconut until a fine meal forms (using a food processor).

almonds

coconut_flakes

almond_coconut_meal

2) Add the dates last and blend until it forms a dough.

dates

mixed_base

3) Press into a lined loaf tin and freeze.

loaf_tin

Filling
1) Blend everything apart from the coconut oil in a high powered blender until smooth and creamy. (I used the food processor and I used almond milk as my non-dairy milk).

filling

cashew_cream

2) Add the oil last and blend until well combined and smooth.

coconut_oil

3) Split into small bowls and colour into your desired colours using natural food dyes of your choice. (Use basic colour mixing methods. A quick Google search will help if you don’t know what colours to mix).

split_bowls

colour_bowls

4) Using a spoon, spoon the colours randomly over the base until you’ve used all of the colours up.

spoon

5) Using a knife, swirl the colours around. Give the whole loaf tin a shake to flatten the slice. Freeze the slice overnight.

knifed

6) Slice with a hot, wet knife and enjoy! Keep it in the freezer and just defrost slices as you need.

out_of_tin

sliced

“God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us – in the dreariest and most dreaded moments – can see a possibility of hope.” ~ Maya Angelou

chocolate peanut butter mousse tarts …

You honestly cannot go wrong with the chocolate and peanut butter combination. IMO it’s the best food flavour combination of all time. With that in mind, these tarts don’t disappoint.They’re raw, vegan and gluten free – that covers everyone doesn’t it? ;)

tarts_

The base is crunchy  and the filling is smooth – nice. Easy to make. Absolutely delish!

This recipe is courtesy of Reveal Yourself ( on Facebook). My sister-in-law tagged me when this recipe popped up on Facebook. It was only fitting that I made them for her birthday.

Ingredients
Base
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup buckwheat groats (you can use coconut or rolled oats)
2 tablespoons cacao powder

Mousse filling
1 cup cashew nuts
1 banana
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
3 tablespoons cacao powder
1/3 cup coconut milk
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons coconut nectar or pure maple syrup

Method
Base
1) Soak the pitted dates in boiling water for 10 minutes to soften, discard water and add to your blender. Rinse your buckwheat groats under water. (I used wheat-free rolled oats.)

dates

2) Add all ingredients into your blender and process until the mixture starts to come together.

dates_almonds

cacao_oats

base

3) Take a large spoonful of the mixture and press into a muffin mould, lightly greased with coconut oil. I chose to make mini tarts using silicone moulds.

silicone_tray

4) Place in the freezer to set.

Mousse
1) Soak cashew nuts in water overnight.

cashews

2) Drain and rinse your soaked cashew nuts.
3) Add all ingredients into the blender and blend for about 5 minutes until thick and smooth.

cashews_

bananas

peanut_butter

coconut_milk

4. Remove the moulds from freezer and add the mousse to each tart case.

filled_moulds

5. Top with cacao nibs. (I chose not to use any toppings.)
6. Place back into freezer to set.
7. Use a knife to gently work around each mould to remove from muffin tin. Enjoy while you can!

Note: I used 2 silicone trays so I made 24 mini tarts.

tarts

“Nine out of ten people like chocolate. The tenth person always lies” ~ John Q Tullius