Chocolate Nut Loaf

This is a very surprising cake, simple and perfect for anyone. I found this through my random google-ing to this site http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2012/03/accidental-chocolate-cake-grain-free.html where Ilay my eyes a chocolate cake that not only looked good but was also dairy free, gluten-free and contained no processed sugars! This was ideal for me to make for some friends I was going to visit that day, whom had those diety restriction, and all I had to do was a few minor tweaks to a fairly awesome recipe. Needlessly to say the end result is yummy. Dense chocolatiness, with hints of nuttiness and a waft of coconut, sweet enough in a very dark chocolate way.

So yeah, I was actually surprised that by taking so much out that you could still end up with a really yummy treat that even the tolerant may enjoy as it was ridiculously simple to make too! Literaly chuck in a bowl and whizz up. I can not ask for much more in a cake…..now I’m starting to ramble so I shall stop now and let you bake this cake :P

*note: I forgot to take a picture of finished cake, so imagine a giant chocolate brownie for me please x
Edit: I have the process pictures! ^_^

Oh and if you’re really fit or want a treat for a hike, marathon or just really like calories, then use carob instead of coco powder

260g peanut butter/almond butter (no added sugar or salt)

2 eggs

70g coconut oil

110g honey

30g cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

½ tsp baking powder, gluten-free

Pinch of sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

2. Put all your ingredients in a big bowl and beat well. The mix will be very stiff and glossy. Pour this into your tin and bake for 30-40min.

 


3. Leave cake to cool on a wire rack…yup that’s it. All you have to do now is eat it :)

Pavlova

Possibly the perfect summer dessert, it’s light and creamy and just plain wonderful for anyone with a sweet tooth! I love when mine are marshmallowy on the inside, light and fluffy as a cloud, with a crispy coating that just fizzles on the tounge. Of course it must also be smothered in freshly whipped cream and scattered with tons of your favourite summer fruits. I find strawberries with chocolate chips goes down well, as does a combination of blueberries, raspberries, sliced peaches, chopped mango, black berries, coconut…the list is endless, but basically if you love it then you should top your Pavola with it ;)

Another thing i like to do with my Pavlova to make it stand out a bit is to infuse it lightly with some vanilla or lemon oil. I find this lifts the sharpness of the sugar and complements the fruit. Using half vanilla sugar in your Pavola mix really adds a lightness to it, and the speckles from the beans are really quite beautiful when you break into the creamy center. Although sometimes it’s nice to have a slight sweet lemony note, as I do use lemon juice instead of white wine vinegar, it usually get’s people wondering what the ‘fresh’ taste is. Just a few drops though, it should only be a subtle hint.

Pavlova is one of those deserts that are really simple to make but have that WOW effect, they also have a tendency to go quick. So grab a slice before it’s all gone!

 

4 Egg Whites

250g Castor sugar or Half Vanilla Sugar Half Castor

2 tsps Corn Flour

1tsp Lemon Juice

Optional: 2-3 drops of lemon oil, if not using vanilla sugar

200ml Approx. of Fresh Cream

Few handfuls of Summer berries, chocolate, coconut  ect. . .

1. Preheat your oven to 180C  and prepare a circular cake tin/tart tin (20cm in diameter approx.) with baking paper. Separate you eggs and place the whites in big clean and greese-free bowl, the yolks can go in a smaller bowl covered in cling film and stored in fridge for a few days for a later use. Waste nothing

Make the paper fit by folding it in half then half again, finaly into a tight triangle. Rip it at teh corner to get a circle

Tah-Dah!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Whip up your whites until they have reached stiff peaks. You should be able to tilt the bowl and have no sliding, be dangerous and tip it over your head, if it doesn’t budge then you can start to add sugar! Add the sugar a table-spoon at a time, whisking it as you do untill it’s all still and glossy.

When it’s stiff add the sugar

Glossy!…I actually can’t tell the difference between these two pics but I’m sure you get the idea :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Try not to lick everything, but add the corn flour by sprinkling it over your mix followed by the lemon juice, and oil if using. Whisk quickly for a few seconds only.Now scoop this all out onto your prepared tin thing, you want to keep it on the paper and smooth it out into a big circle. CReat a dip in the center with a higher outer part, this will keep all your cream locked inside and gives more room for filling yay!


4. Pop this lovely mound into the oven and quickly drop it down to 150C in temperature. Bake for 60min, keep and eye on it though and make sure it only lightly browns. When i’s done switch off the oven and let it cool in there with the door ajar.

5. You can take it out when it has cooled, carefully peel off the paper and place on a big pretty plate. Fill with whipped cream and an assortment of your favourite summer treats x

Sugar Free Apple Crumble

Apart form the natural presence of sugar found in the fruit this contains no added sugar, no sweeteners, no weird and wonderful exotic ingredients that you won’t ever be able to find. Just simple and tasty, a bit kinder on the waist line too. This is a fairly simple dessert to make too and an absolute classic! Don’t serve it with lashings of custard and cream, or coated in sugar, but for an added bit of luxury whip up a bit of coconut cream on the side.

Oh sadly I didn’t snap a photo of this one but again I’ll use my words to describe its wonders :P

120g Plain Flour

60g Butter or Margarine, Cold

90g Oats

Pinch of Salt

Optional: 1tsp Cinnamon

2-4 Cooking apples, a sweeter or more flavoured variety like Brambles

Lemon, juice

1tsp Vanilla Extract

Optional: a handful of your favourite nots chopped or sliced. E.g. silvered almonds, roughly chopped walnuts or hazel nuts

1. Add the flour and butter to a bowl, rub between cold finger tips until the mixture is well combined and resembles fine bread crumbs. It’s best that your hands are very cold and that you keep it to just finger tips, away from the palm.

2. Tip in the oats, spice and salt and stir in until evenly mixed. Cover with cling film and set aside..

3. Peel and chop the apples into bite sized pieces. Approx. 2-3cm cubes. squeeze over some lemon juice to coat the chopped apple to stop browning. Mix well to coat in the juice, then add the vanilla extract.

4 To assemble fill a deep dish with the apple pieces, add a splash of water or apple juice over the apples to moisten them slightly then cover with the crumble mix. At his stage you make toss over a handful or two of chopped nuts. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 20-30min until golden brown on top

Serve hot with a drizzle of honey if desired, some more toasted nuts and a dollop of coconut cream*

Coconut cream

1 Tin of coconut milk or a carton of coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Leave the can/carton in fridge for a few hours until the solids have risen to top. Open and scoop out the solid cream, whisk in a bowl with the extract. Serve with apple crumble or your favourite dessert x

Ginger Muffins

Long over due but here she is!

I love ginger as a spice! She was also my favourite Spice Girl….but in baking I never use it as often as I’d like to. However I’ve cracked open the books and found a delightful recipe from the lovely Nigella Lawson. It’s lovely and dense and sweet but not overwhelming. I had to edit the recipe slightly due to allergies and personal preference, I was also missing some ingredients but luckily I found some alternatives knocking about the presses. In a way these are more like cupcakes because I smothered them in an icing (recipe lost) but they are fantastic on their own and sweet enough although nothing to stop you experimenting with toppings and flavour combos.

One weird thing about this recipe is it contains Balsamic vinegar, it works so just trust me. I think it does something chemically to make some very happy muffins. Smells a bit weird but when you mix everything to getter it’s wonderful! So just trust me…please

ingredients makes 12

250g Gluten Free flour

1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp Baking powder

2 tsp Ground Ginger

1/4 tsp Ground Clove

1/4 tsp Ground Allspice

1 large egg

50g Dark Muscavado Sugar or soft dark brown sugar

50g Light Muscavado Sugar or a soft light brown sugar

150ml Milk

1/4 tsp Balsamic Vinegar

6 Tbsp Oil e.g sunflower

4 Tbsp Golden Syrup

4 Tbsp Black treacle or Liquid Caramel

 

1. Preheat your oven to 200C and line your bun tin with muffin wraps. Take out two bowls, one for dry ingredients and one for wet and set them aside.

2.Take all your dry ingredients apart from the sugars and pop them all into a bowl. That’s your Flour, powders and spices all in one bowl and mix them up well. IT should smell subtly spicy, but add a touch more of your favourite spice or use cinnamon instead of allspice and bring it up to 1 full tbsp.

3. In your other bowl you want to beat your egg and then the sugars. Mix well to remove lumps. When smooth pour in milk, vinegar, oil and syrup. Whisk it all up till it gets slightly foamy.

4. Tip this into the dry mix and stir it in careful not to over mix. Should remain a tad bit lumpy and quite runny but don’t worry, just pour it into your cases about 3/4 full.

5. Bake for 20min, remove from the oven to cool when they have risen and the tops are dry to the touch.

 

Survey

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve had a baking post. It’s not because I’ve not been baking but more so that I’ve had no time to post! Yet here I am tapping away and writing this post….I dont really understand my logic either but just roll with it :)

Anyways, I’m just letting you know I’m still doing this and I have two posts on the way. If you follow me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/DeborahNugent) then you’ll know that I promised mint choc muffins, ginger muffins and a chocolate mouse. They are coming soon! and a little teaser…..

Ginger muffins with ginger glaze

Mint Choc Muffins

Chocolate Mousse in an Egg Shell

So for these little wonders please bear with me as I finish up with college :)

Lastly I’d like to direct your attention to a survey I’m conducting for a potential summer project/business. As I can’t seem to get a job (there are none) I will instead create one.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LHHLPL9

If you could fill this in I’d be grateful, especially if you have special dietary requirements and are living in Dublin, Ireland. Thank you so much x

%d bloggers like this: