Tag Archives: dessert

raw vanilla coconut fig slice …

Because of our long hot dry summers (and Mediterranean climate) figs grow very well in South Australia.

My mum has a couple of huge fig trees in her backyard and, without fail, every year there’s always a heavy crop of figs for us (the family) to enjoy. That’s if the birds don’t get to them first!

fig_tree

fig_tree_closeup

One of the joys of growing figs is being able to eat them fresh from the tree! Or better yet – making a dessert with them.

fig_slice

This recipe is courtesy of Secret Squirrel.

Ingredients
Walnut Fig Base
½ cup walnuts
¼ cup almonds
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons flax seeds (I used psyllium husk instead)
½ cup dried figs
½ cup medjool dates
½ tablespoon water
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Vanilla Coconut Cashew Cream
½ cup cashews (soaked in water overnight)
½ cup coconut milk
½ cup desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Fresh figs to decorate
10.5cm x 20.5cm loaf tin

Method
1) Walnut fig base – add all ingredients into a food processor and process until the mixture sticks together when pressed between the fingers.

base_ingredients

base_ingredients_processor

base_ingredients_mixed

2) Line tray with cling film. I used baking paper.
3) Pour mixture into tin and carefully press firmly using the back of a spatula until base is completely flat and even.

base

4) Put into the freezer to set, whilst you make the vanilla coconut cashew cream.
5) Vanilla coconut cashew cream –  add cashews to a food processor and process for a few minutes.

cashews

cashews_processed

6) With the food processor still running, slowly add the coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla bean paste.

milk_syrup_paste.jpg

7) Keep processing until the mixture becomes very smooth and creamy.

milk_syrup_paste_mixed

8) Add desiccated coconut and pulse to combine.

coconut

coconut_cream

9) Pull the walnut fig base out of the freezer and fill with the coconut cashew cream layer.

coconut_cream_layer

10) Put back into the freezer for 2 hours to set. Slice can be kept in the freezer until serving. (Let it defrost for approximately 15 minutes for cream to soften).
11) Decorate with fresh figs, slice carefully with a sharp knife and enjoy this delightful treat with your family and friends.

figs

The family loved the fig slices. They went even so far as to say that it was one of the better desserts that I have made. Big call. But the slices did look amazing (vibrant colours) and the combination of the dried figs in the base and the fresh figs on the top was delicious!

sliced

sliced_

“To eat figs off the tree in the very early morning, when they have been barely touched by the sun, is one of the exquisite pleasures of the Mediterranean.” ~ Elizabeth David, An Omelette and a Glass of Wine.

Save

Advertisements

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.”

 

 

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

 

 

 

raw cherry ripe bars …

The recipe is in Donna Hay’s ‘Fresh and Light’ magazine. I don’t have the magazine – the recipe was passed onto me by a friend from gym. She has the magazine and told me about the recipe. I had cherries left over from Christmas/New Year so I was very much interested in the recipe.

Ingredients
6 fresh dates, pitted
1 cup (80g) desiccated coconut
1/3 cup (80 ml) melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 cups (210g) fresh cherries, pitted
100g raw organic 70% dark chocolate, melted *

Coconut base
1 cup (150g) cashews
1 cup (80g) desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons rice malt syrup **

*  I used dairy free raw organic coconut milk chocolate.
** I used maple syrup but an liquid sweetener can be used.

Method
1) To make the base, place the cashews, coconut and rice malt syrup in a food processor and process for 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl until the mixture starts to come together.

2) Press the mixture into the base of a lightly greased 20cm x 20cm baking tin lined with non-stick baking paper and refrigerate for 20 minutes or until set.

3) Place the dates, coconut, coconut oil and vanilla in a food processor and process for 1 minute or until the mixture starts to come together.

4) Add the cherries and process for a further 30 seconds  or until the mixture is just combined.

5) Place the coconut mixture over the base and use a palette knife to spread evenly. Refrigerate for a further 30 – 40 minutes or until firm.

6) Pour over the chocolate, smooth the top with a palette knife and refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.

7) Slice using a hot knife and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

These are the perfect treats to have for morning or afternoon tea. These are much better than the store bought cherry ripe bars!

Makes 20. These bars will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

“Cherries of the night are riper than the cherries pluckt at noon … in the cherry pluckt at night, with the dew of summer dwelling, there’s a juice of pure delight, cool, dark, sweet, divinely smelling …” ~ Robert Graves

gluten free and dairy free lemon bars …

It’s that time of the year when my meyer lemon tree gives me a whole heap of lemons. And when that happens I’m either giving the lemons away or I’m making lemon desserts.

Note: For other lemon desserts, go to the Recipe Index and search on ‘lemon’ – there’s about 14 lemon recipes that you can try :)

The first lemon dessert for this season are the gluten free (and dairy free) lemon bars. The bars, a classic dessert, are a little sweet and a little tart. Delicious!

This recipe has been adapted from Gluten free On A Shoestring.



Ingredients
1 2/3 cups (233g) gluten free plain flour
1/2 (58g) cup icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 large lemon
9 tablespoons (126g) unsalted dairy free butter, melted and cooled
4 eggs
1 cup (200g) caster sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Method
1) Preheat your oven to 325F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan, line with baking paper that overhang the sides, and grease the baking paper. Set the pan aside.

Crust
2) In a medium sized bowl, combine 1 cup (140g) of the flour, icing sugar, salt and lemon zest and whisk to combine, breaking any clumps of lemon zest.

3) Add the butter and mix with a fork until well combined. Press the mixture into the bottom on the prepared baking dish in an even layer. Place the baking dish in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly.

Custard
4) In a medium sized bowl, place the eggs, sugar, baking powder, lemon juice and remaining 2/3 cup (93g) flour, whisking vigorously to combine after each addition.

5) Pour the custard mixture onto the baked crust and return the pan to the centre of the oven. Bake until just set (20 to 25 minutes). The custard is set when it does not jiggle more than a tiny bit in the centre when the pan is gently shaken back and forth. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes.

6) Place in the refrigerator to chill until firm, about 2 hours and up to overnight. Remove the bars from the pan by running a butter knife or thin spatula around the perimeter of the baking dish, and then lifting the bars out of pan by the overhung pieces of baking paper. Dust lightly with icing sugar and slice into 9 or 12 squares with a large knife. Serve chilled.

These bars are light, tangy, not overly sweet and refreshing. The crust is buttery. The lemon custard (curd) is so creamy. Perfect for morning or afternoon tea. And so easy to make. Try stopping at one!

“If life wanted to hand me lemons I was not only going to make lemonade, but I’d use the zest for cookies, plant seeds for future fruit and turn the rind into compost to grow flowers, all the while giving thanks for lemons.” ~ Bridgette Mongeon

raw mini apple pies …

Not only do these mini apple pies look good, they taste good. These cute apple pies are healthy and so simple and quick to make. The crust is gluten free and the apples are coated with a spiced date puree. Yum! They are fresh and filling.  And, say it with me now, there’s no baking involved!

This recipe is courtesy of Eating Bird Food.

Note: I doubled the recipe and used a normal sized muffin tray. I was able to make 12 apple pies. And I used home grown Granny Smith apples – yes, I have an apple tree :)

Ingredients
Crust
1 cup dates, pitted
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raw almonds

Raw apple pie filling
3 medium apples
1 cup dates, pitted
3/4 – 1 cup water, plus additional water for soaking the dates
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch of nutmeg

Makes 12 mini raw apple pies.

Method
Crust
1) Place dates, coconut and almonds into a food processor and process until the dates have turned into a sticky paste holding the crust ingredients together.

2) Place a layer of plastic wrap over a mini muffin tin to keep the crust from sticking. (I used a silicon muffin tray so I didn’t use the plastic wrap.)
3) Using a tablespoon, scoop a heaped tablespoon of the crust mixture into 12 muffin cavities and press until the mixture down with your fingers until it starts to go up the sides and form a little crust.

4) Once all 12 crusts are pressed, place the tin into the freezer to allow the crusts to set up while you make the filling.

Raw apple pie filling
5) Soak the dates by placing in a small bowl with just enough water to cover them. Allow them to sit for about 10-15 minutes.

6) Prepare apples while the dates are soaking by coring and chopping into tiny chunks. Place in a bowl and set aside.

Note: I peeled the apples because I wanted a smoother pie filling. If you don’t mind the texture of apple skin, don’t peel the apples.

7) When the dates are finished soaking, drain and discard the water. Add the dates, fresh water (start with ¾ cup), cinnamon, salt and nutmeg into a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Add more water to thin the filling out if needed. The consistency should be thick but pourable like syrup.

8) Pour the date puree over the bowl of apples and stir to combine.

9) Grab the muffin tin with your mini pie crusts from the freezer and fill with apple pie filling.

You will have some apple pie filling left over — you can use it as a topping for pancakes, yogurt, oatmeal, etc.
10) Freeze mini apple pie bites for at least 30-45 minutes. Allow to thaw 10 minutes or so before serving.

You can store the left over pies in the freezer for up to two months.

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

 

fudgy coconut flour brownies …

This recipe came to my attention via Facebook.

The recipe is courtesy of Empowered Sustenance.

The preparation time was so quick – it took me 8 minutes from adding the coconut flour to the mixing bowl to pouring the mixture into the cake pan. (However, I did stop and start to take photos so your prep time would be much quicker!)

The brownies were delicious, moist and definitely fudgy. Not overly sweet. A hit with the family. You’ll find it difficult to stop at one …

Ingredients
1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon coconut flour (use the “dip and sweep method” to measure or use a kitchen scale and measure 50 grams of the flour)
1/2 cup cocoa powder – substitute carob powder if there is a chocolate sensitivity
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 eggs, at room temperature (egg substitutes will not work)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup. I used maple syrup.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

Method
1) Preheat the oven to 300F and grease a glass baking dish (8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″). I used an 8″ x 8″ cake pan.
2) Mix together all ingredients. You can do this by hand or with an electric mixer or a high-powered blender.

3) Pour into the baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes before cutting or removing from the pan.

4) These store well at room temperature or in the fridge for a few days. Make sure you keep them in an airtight container.

“I won the Nobel! And I made Radium brownies to celebrate!” ~ Marie Curie