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Raw Peppermint Truffle Bars

Raw peppermint truffle bars

Raw peppermint truffle bars

As a tweenie in the 80s I used to walk to the local deli (milk bar) to buy my favourite peppermint truffle bars for 20c… I wonder if they still sell them, but I bet they’re not vegan.

I tried to make my own by just adding peppermint oil to the standard date/almond/cacao mix, but the truffle didn’t quite work out the right deepness of colour and texture. The next time I included a handful of juicy prunes, yep, prunes. Tasted delicious to me so I coated them in raw “chocolate” and served them up at the autumn ayurveda mini-retreat – perfect little sweet vata pacifier!

Ingredients

Truffles

300g pitted medjool dates

200g pitted prunes

250g raw almonds

1/3 cup (about 60-75g) raw cacao powder

1tsp peppermint oil

Raw chocolate coating

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

Instructions

Grind the almonds into almond meal a food processor or thermomix.

Add the dates and prunes and process until smooth. The mixture will be very sticky, so add the raw cacao and peppermint oil and process until it’s all mixed through.

The mixture will be much more solid now, you should be able to pull it out of your processor with your hands and press it into a 20cm x 20 cm pyrex dish or cake tin lined with baking paper. Freeze for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan (or your thermomix) over a low heat together with the maple syrup and raw cacao, stirring until it’s all smooth. Pour about a third of the raw coating over the solid truffle slab, still in it’s container. Return to freezer until set, usually 15-20 mins.

Once set, invert the truffle slab and peel the baking paper from underneath. Place it on a new sheet of baking paper choc-coating side-down and return it to it’s container. Again, cover the truffle side-up with about half of the remaining raw coating in the saucepan, you may need to melt it again over a low heat. Return to the freezer 15-20 mins.

Once set, remove the slab from the tray and slice it into 8-12 rectangular bars. Keeping the bars on the baking paper and spacing them a little apart, spoon-drizzle the third long side of exposed truffle centre with the chocolate coating. Return to freezer, then repeat with the fourth long side.

Keep in the freezer until ready to serve. Or if you’re a choc-mint-a-holic like me and don’t want to share, individually wrap them in a little paper, hide them right at the back of the freezer and eat one each day while the kids are at school!!!!

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Vanilla Bean Pannacotta – Regular recipe and Thermomix adaptation

Vanilla Bean Pannacotta

Vanilla Bean Pannacotta

For when you’re just craving something small and sweet to finish your meal!

Ingredients

600mL unsweetened almond milk

1/3 cup cold water

2 sachets Queen brand Jel-It-In

400mL can 100% coconut cream

Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (not essence!).

4 Tbsp castor sugar

3 cups sliced strawberries (or other fruit of choice e.g. cubed mango, peach, blueberries etc.)

Instructions

Pour the almond milk and water in to a pot, or your thermomix, and sprinkle in the Jel-It-In. Stir well to combine or pop the thermomix to speed 2 for 60 seconds.

Add coconut cream, sugar and vanilla bean.

Stovetop cook over a low flame, gradually increasing to boil over the course of 5 mins, stirring constantly. Reduce to simmer for one minute then remove from heat. If using the thermomix, set temp to 100C, speed 2, for 10mins. As soon as you notice the temperature reaches 100C, let it proceed for one more minute and then press stop.

Pour into 8 ramekins/oiled moulds/teacups. Refrigerate 2 hours to overnight.

If using a mould you’ll need a knife to break the seal between the mould and the pannacotta and turn it onto a serving plate, otherwise just leave the pannacotta in the ramekin or tea cup. Garnish each with 3/4 cup berries (or other fruit of choice).

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Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache

Vanilla Bean cupcakes with chocolate ganache

 

My husband doesn’t have a sweet tooth and rarely will eat cake – but since we have 2 daughters that take after mum he will never have a cake-free birthday again! Given he loves vanilla bean ice cream we thought he might appreciate these this year…Soft cup cakes speckled with real Tahitian vanilla bean and dark chocolate ganache to mess up his fingers. We even made extra small ones for him just in case us girls would, dear oh dear, have to finish them for him!

Ingredients
Vanilla Bean Cup Cakes

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp chia seeds

1 ¼ cups plain flour (I used spelt flour, which makes the cakes a little more dense)

¼ cup cornflour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

⅓ cup olive oil

¾ cup raw sugar

1 ½ tsp vanilla bean paste plus vanilla bean scraped from 1 whole vanilla bean

Dark Chocolate Ganache

⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk

100g dark chocolate (I use 52% cacao)

2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Instructions

For the cup cakes, preheat oven to 180C or 150 C if fan-forced. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners. Spray lightly with cooking spray.

Whisk the almond milk, vinegar and chia seeds in a small measuring jug and set aside for 10 minutes to make “chia egg replacer”.

Mix the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and mix.IMG_0738

Transfer the “chia egg replacer”, oil, sugar, vanilla bean paste and vanilla bean into a large mixing bowl. Beat together (I use an electric mixer set to “beat”) until all combined. Slowly add in the flour mixture and continue to mix (medium speed) until no large lumps remain.

Fill cupcake liners two-thirds of the way and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare the ganache.Dark choc ganache

In a small sauce pan, bring the milk to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer and add the chocolate and syrup. Stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate has almost melted. Turn the heat off and continue stirring until the chocolate is fully melted, the consistency should be smooth. Allow ganache cool for 10 minutes.

To ice the cup cakes, dip the top of each cooled cake into the ganache and set them on the serving platter. Spoon drizzle the remainder of the ganache over cupcakes. Vanilla Bean cupcakes with chocolate ganache bLet the ganache set at room temperature for at least an hour if you can wait that long, or place in the fridge to set. If you can’t possibly wait and don’t mind messing up your fingers and face, serve them immediately to equally messy but happy beings!

Vanilla Bean cupcakes with chocolate ganache c

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Raw cacao pecan fudge bars

Raw cacao pecan fudge bars

I must acknowledge the beautiful young woman, Em, from this Rawsome Vegan life. Her recipes are amazing and she is a beacon of light for all of us. This is an adaptation of one of her recipes, made to delight my non-vegan girlfriends at an upcoming school quiz night! Gooey, sticky tempting treats that are also very good for you!

Ingredients
Processed baseBase

1.5 cups of pecans

1.5 cups of raisins

1 tsp of Tahitian vanilla bean paste

 

Fudge

18-20 medjool dates

¼ cup raw cacao powder

¼ cup melted coconut oil

¼ cup 100% nut butter of choice

½ cup purified water

Instructions

Pecan basePulse grind the pecans in a food processor until finely ground, then add the raisins and vanilla bean paste and process until it clumps together. Press into a baking tray lined with non-stick paper and allow to harden in the fridge.

Fudge layer

Meanwhile, pulse process the medjool dates with the cacao powder. When it begins to clump, add the remaining fudge ingredients until smooth and thick. You may need to add a little more water, but try not to so that it thickens when set.

Spread the fudge onto the pecan base layer, then place in the fridge (or even the freezer if you like them harder) to set for at least 3 hours.

Raw cacao pecan fudge bars 2Remove from the baking tray to slice and allow to soften a little before serving so as not to miss their sticky fudgey goodness!

I cut them into 24 squares, but you could make bigger bars and just slice into about 16 rectangles…mmmm!

Raw cacao fudge bars 3

 Nutritional information (per square)
Calories 172
Fat 8.4g
Sat fat 3.7g
Carbs 23.1 g
Fibre 2.2g
Sugars 17.5g
Protein 2.6g
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Sticky Date and Macadamia Ice Cream

Sticky date and macadamia ice cream bowl

Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the cool stuff – ice cream!!!!

I have so many favourite brands of vegan ice cream at my local grocer, but they are so pricey. Hence I’ve been experimenting by checking out labelled ingredients and different blending methods – I gave my ice cream maker away years ago when it was still new in the box thinking I’d never use it…I wish I didn’t!

Below is my first contribution to the Go Yoga vegan ice cream recipes, because it was Fathers Day on Sunday and my dad loves sticky date pudding. The dates were processed smooth as I wanted to create streams of caramel-like sauce.

Stayed tuned, my husband loves vanilla bean and salted caramel, my girls love chocolate and I adore mint chip as well as mango ice cream. This are all next in the pipeline to summer!

Ingredients

200 – 250g medjool dates

1 x 400mL can 100% coconut cream (not milk as this makes the ice-cream icy)

*¾ cup pure maple syrup (or stevia if you’re watching your sugars)

2 Tbs cornflour or arrowroot

1 tsp guar gum

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

½ cup raw macadamia nuts

*optional and can be omitted if you’re curbing your sweet tooth

Instructions

Sticky DatePre-cool a medium stainless steel bowl in the freezer.

In another small bowl cover the medjool dates with boiling water for 10 minutes, then drain. Add 70ml of the coconut cream and optional ¼ cup maple syrup or stevia and process until smooth. Set aside.

Measure 70ml of the coconut cream in a small jug and add the cornflour and guar gum. Whisk until all dissolved with no lumps.

Meanwhile, simmer the remaining coconut cream and maple syrup or stevia in a small saucepan over med-low flame. Once bubbles form, remove from heat and whisk in the cornflour/gum mixture and vanilla. Coconut creamTransfer to the pre-cooled steel bowl, cover place in freezer for 1 -1.5 hours until the edges start the freeze.

Stir in the processed medjool dates and nuts, cover and return to the freezer for 1-1.5 hours again until the edges freeze.

Continue to stir once every 60-90 minutes another 4-5 times, or until its almost frozen resembling soft serve, then allow to freeze completely. You can be civilised and scoop it into a bowl or cone or just give everyone a dessert spoon and eat it right out of the the container! Mine didn’t last long but you could transfer it to a airtight container to store longer than 1 day, just allow it to sit at room temperature and soften a little before you dive in!Sticky Date ice creamsticky date ice cream 2

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