Raw coconut chocolate salted caramel slice

It’s been a week since I moved to Melbourne and I’ve finally settled into my own place. As I’m working in the CBD, it has been great exploring new cafes and have already found some that will become my go-to places for coffee and lunch during the week.

Green Press in Melbourne CBD. Emma Lauren Food.

Colourful salads from Green Press

If you haven’t already been to Green Press, do yourself a favour and go! It has an array of healthy vegan salads to choose from, changing almost daily. There is the option to add chicken, beef and falafels on top. They also offer some breakfast items and sweet treats, along with pressed juices.

I enjoyed this so much that I went back again on Thursday for lunch!

Almond milk latte from Madamimadam. Emma Lauren Food.

Almond milk latte from Madamimadam

Madamimadam is a cool cafe down one of the many side streets in the CBD. It was quite busy the morning I went so that is usually a good sign. They make their own cold pressed almond milk which tasted amazing in my latte. Will definitely be heading here when I need my caffeine fix for the day!

Pantry essentials. Emma Lauren Food.

Pantry essentials

Now that I’ve moved into my own place, I have already started stocking up my healthy pantry. To start with I’ve purchased almond milk, cacao powder, coconut nectar, buckwheat flour, buckwheat groats, coconut oil, almond butter, coconut yoghurt and Himalayan pink salt. I look forward to adding to this each week.

Raw coconut chocolate salted caramel slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Almond milk latte from Forest Green

Today, an early morning walk was on the cards as I wanted to explore the area I’ve moved to. I came across Forest Green, a nice cafe on High Street, and fortunately they stocked almond milk. So, I enjoyed a latte whilst reading the paper. I always like to have a look at the menu even if I’m not ordering food and Forest Green’s menu sounds really delicious so will have to go back for breakfast one morning.

Raw coconut chocolate salted caramel slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Choc-coco base

Since arriving in Melbourne, I was fortunate enough to stay with my good friend and her family until I found more permanent accommodation. As a thank you, I made dinner and dessert for them on Saturday evening. Dinner consisted of roasted pumpkin stuffed with moroccan spiced lamb and dessert was this indulgent slice.

Raw coconut chocolate salted caramel slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Smooth chocolate layer

I wanted the different layers to consist of different textures. The base was slightly chewy, the chocolate was smooth and the salted caramel had little bits of crunch to it.

Raw coconut chocolate salted caramel slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Chocolate layer

The chocolate was glossy in appearance and as it’s quite rich only a thin layer was needed. I used coconut oil as one of the ingredients as it sets quite quickly and is easy to cut through.

Raw coconut chocolate salted caramel slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Salted caramel…YUM!

The salted caramel really enhances the flavour of the slice and is very simple to make, only three ingredients needed.

Raw coconut chocolate salted caramel slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Final layer

This recipe purposely makes a small batch as now I’m living on my own I don’t have anyone to eat all these goodies. If you’d like to make more, just double or triple the ingredients.

Raw coconut chocolate salted caramel slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Indulgent squares

This slice will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to four days or in the freezer for up to two weeks.

Raw coconut chocolate salted caramel slice

Makes 6 slices

Ingredients:

Base
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, extra for decoration
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP cacao powder
  • 1 TBSP coconut nectar*
Chocolate
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP cacao powder
  • 1 TBSP coconut nectar*
Salted caramel
  • 1 TBSP almond butter
  • 1 tsp coconut nectar*
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Line a small baking tin with baking paper.
  2. Mix base ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Press into prepared baking tin and should be about 1cm thick. Set in the freezer.
  4. Mix chocolate ingredients together and pour over base. Return to freezer.
  5. Mix salted caramel ingredients together and spread over chocolate. Set in the fridge.
  6. Cut into slices and enjoy!

Note: you can substitute the coconut nectar for honey, 100% pure maple syrup or rice malt syrup – may have to adjust quantities to suit your taste buds!

Raw coconut chocolate salted caramel slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Layers of goodness

These are not very thick but are quite rich so a little slice goes a long way.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed your Easter long weekend and have indulged in some healthy chocolate treats!

Double chocolate macadamia cookies

This weekend I’ve enjoyed some good old-fashioned baking, something I haven’t done in a long time. Baking cookies is a favourite pastime of mine; I have fond memories of baking multiple batches for school bake sales.

I posted this photo on Emma Lauren Food’s Instagram and Facebook page yesterday and many of you were asking for the recipe. So, I thought I’d share it with you all today so you too can enjoy theses little morsels of chocolately goodness!

Double chocolate macadamia cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

Oops… I couldn’t wait to try them!

These are a little on the undercooked side, meaning they are soft and chewy – just how I like my cookies! They will slightly harden once cooled though.

Double chocolate macadamia cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

Rich in colour

I made this batch of cookies twice, once using coconut palm sugar and another with 100% pure maple syrup. Personally I preferred the coconut palm sugar to sweeten these as they actually tasted like a cookie as opposed to a brownie with occurred when I used the maple syrup. Mind you, they really are both delicious.

Double chocolate macadamia cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

Cookie dough almost finished

Almond meal is a great base for these cookies as it’s light which helps to balance out the rich chocolate flavour.

Double chocolate macadamia cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

Decadent additions

My philosophy with food is if you’re going to enjoy something, you might as well go all out! This was definitely applied when adding the chopped chocolate and macadamias to the already indulgent cookie dough.

Double chocolate macadamia cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

Final ingredients

Don’t be alarmed if the cookie dough appears to be quite ‘wet’. Once baked it prevents the cookies from drying out.

Double chocolate macadamia cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

All rolled…

By rolling the cookie dough into balls, this ensures the cookies are evenly shaped and are of similar size.

Double chocolate macadamia cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

… now flattened

Using your index and middle finger, gently press the cookie dough balls down to flatten and resemble cookies.

Double chocolate macadamia cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

Cool on a wire rack

Store in a sealed container in the pantry for up to four days or in the fridge for up to one week.

Double chocolate macadamia cookies

Makes 15 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar*
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg*
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1/4 cup macadamias, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs or any sugar and dairy free chopped chocolate*

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Mix almond butter, coconut oil and coconut sugar in a large bowl.
  3. Add cacao powder, vanilla, egg, baking soda, salt and almond meal then mix until well combined.
  4. Stir through macadamias and cacao nibs/chopped chocolate.
  5. Roll into 15 evenly sized balls, place on prepared baking tray and gently press down with your fingers.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes then allow to cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • I used Loving Earth Coconut Mylk Chocolate
  • Replace coconut palm sugar with honey or 100% pure maple syrup however this will result in a different texture once baked
  • For vegans/egg free alternative: replace the egg with a ‘flax egg‘ – mix 1 TBSP flaxseed meal and 3 TBSP water
Double chocolate macadamia cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

In the cookie jar!

Ready to be enjoyed with a cup of tea during the coming week!

Mini salted caramel chocolate tarts

My younger sister moved interstate this week and as she loves chocolate I made her a little going away treat. It’s also Valentine’s Day tomorrow and what kind of day would it be without a little chocolate?!

These mini salted caramel chocolate tarts are an ideal size to satisfy any chocolate craving as they are quite rich. They incorporate two of my favourite flavours: chocolate and salted caramel. So, they are definitely a winner in my books!

Mini Salted Caramel Chocolate Tarts

Raw tart crust

I used almond meal as the main ingredient in the crust as it’s quite fine in texture and ensures the base is fairly light in comparison to the ganache.

Crumbly crust

Once processed, your crust should be crumbly and easy to mould together. The coconut oil brings the ingredients together and solidifies once placed in the freezer to prevent the crust from falling apart.

Salted caramel filling

This salty yet sweet filling complements the decadent chocolate ganache. It breaks up the flavours and allows your palate to experience different tastes all in the one bite.

Ready to set!

Once the crust has been moulded and the centre has been filled, the tarts are ready to be set! These could easily be eaten just like this but I do prefer that extra layer of decadence. After all, if you’re going to enjoy a treat you might as well go all out!

Rich, decadent chocolate ganache

The cacao butter lends the ganache a richness and ensures the chocolate doesn’t melt quickly. If you don’t have cacao butter, you can replace it with coconut oil but it will melt quicker.

Little morsels of heaven

I love the rustic look of these tarts, especially the little peaks the chocolate ganache forms once decorated.

Pure decadence…

These mini tarts will keep in the fridge for up to three days in a sealed container or in the freezer for up to one week in a sealed container – just make sure you allow them time to slightly defrost before consuming.

Mini salted caramel chocolate tarts

Makes 14 mini tarts

Ingredients:

Crust
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 6 fresh medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil, extra for greasing mini tart pan
  • 2 TBSP cacao powder
Salted caramel filling
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Chocolate ganache
  • 1/2 cup cacao butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder
  • 4 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Grease 14 mini tart pans with coconut oil.
  2. Process all crust ingredients in a food processor for 2-3 minutes or until well combined.
  3. Roll into 14 even sized balls and place in the greased tart pan. Gently press down in the centre and mould into a tart shell.
  4. Mix salted caramel ingredients together in a bowl with a spoon until smooth.
  5. Place caramel filling inside tart crust and set in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  6. Process chocolate ganache ingredients together in a food processor for 2-3 minutes or until smooth.
  7. Spoon on top of caramel filling and ensure it is completely covered.
  8. Set in the freezer for a further 20 minutes or until hardened.
  9. Remove mini tarts from pan by running a knife around the edge of each tart and using the same knife to pop the tart out from the bottom. Enjoy!

Note: we enjoyed these mini tarts with dairy free ice cream!

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all for tomorrow, I hope you indulge in a healthy chocolate treat!

Raw mars bar bites and turning 22

Well, today it’s my 22nd Birthday! I cannot believe how fast this past year has gone and reflecting back it really goes to show how much can be accomplished in the space of a year – I’ve started Emma Lauren Food, almost finished my double degree and have been successful in leading a healthy lifestyle I am proud of!

This time last year I was fortunate enough to celebrate my 21st birthday with family and friends in New York after travelling through Europe for three months. Walking through Times Square with 21 balloons is definitely a memory I will never forget.

21st in New York

This year’s celebrations will be a little more low key, but most importantly it will be spent with my family and close friends!

As birthdays always call for something sweet to celebrate, I thought I’d bring you raw mars bar bites today!

Nougat layer

This nougat layer is the base of the mars bar bites. This layer can be made either thick or thin depending on your preference. I made it thick, but just halve the ingredients it you’d prefer it a little thinner.

Pressed into the tin

Use the back of a wet spoon to press the nougat layer into the cake tin. This ensures it is evenly distributed.

Caramel layer

The caramel layer is the sweeter of the two – this is definitely my favourite! I love the combination of almond butter and dates, it takes on a chewy texture when frozen.

Chocolate coating

I used cacao butter in the chocolate coating as it ensures the bites won’t melt as quickly as just using coconut oil. There’s nothing worse than all your hard work melting in front of you!

Bite sized pieces

Whenever I cut brownies, slices or, in this case, mars bar bites, I always start by cutting down the middle then working my way to the outside. This ensures all, or almost all, pieces are the same size.

Using a fork to cover the bites

I used a fork to assist in coating the bites as this allowed the bottom of the bite to be covered in chocolate easily.

Almost finished…

Beautiful, glossy bites – these really are something special to serve to your guests!

Voilà! Healthy mars bar bites!

These bites will keep in the freezer for up to two weeks in a sealed container.

Raw mars bar bites

Makes 18 bites

Ingredients:

Nougat layer
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 3 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP water
Caramel layer
  • 1 TBSP almond butter
  • 8 fresh medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup – add more/less depending on how sweet you like it
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP water
Chocolate coating
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup cacao butter
  • 2 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil

Method:

  1. Line both a loaf tin and a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place nougat ingredients in the food processor and process for 2-3 minutes, or until smooth.
  3. Press nougat into lined loaf tin and place in the freezer to set.
  4. Whilst the nougat sets, place caramel ingredients in the food processor and process for 2-3 minutes, or until well combined.
  5. Spread caramel on top of nougat and return to the freezer for 30 minutes.
  6. Place cacao butter in a small saucepan over low heat until melted.
  7. Place cacao butter and the remainder of the chocolate ingredients into a bowl.
  8. Remove mars bar layers from the freezer and cut into 18 squares.
  9. Place one mars bar bite on a fork, then dip into the bowl of chocolate and use a spoon to coat all sides.
  10. Place on lined baking tray and repeat until all squares have been coated.
  11. Place in the freezer for a further 30 minutes or until set. Enjoy!

I hope you all have an amazing day today, I definitely will! Now, off I go for my birthday breakfast with my sister.

The OMG Sundae

I just HAD to title this The OMG Sundae as that is all my sister and I were saying after each bite. As she was visiting last weekend I wanted to make her something delicious for dessert. We absolutely love ice cream so what better way to enjoy it than with decadent yet healthy toppings?!

Coconut ice cream!

I used CocoLuscious Vanilla Ice Cream and chose the gold version as it is sweetened with coconut sugar not agave syrup. This also made it taste slightly caramelly. I paid $14 for this tub so it’s a little on the expensive side, however it is a rare treat that I am happy to indulge in. Plus you only really need 1 scoop so it will definitely last longer.

Cookie dough bite ingredients

One of my favourite past times was eating raw cookie dough, I honestly believe it tastes better than the baked cookies!

Raw cookie dough! YUM!

It doesn’t take long before all the ingredients come together to form a dough.

Little morsels of goodness!

After these little morsels of goodness have been in the fridge to harden, they become slightly chewy from the almond butter and crunchy due to the cacao nibs.

Decadent chocolate sauce

This sauce is beyond amazing. It’s so velvety and smooth that it’s hard to stop at only one spoonful.

The OMG Sundae!

This is best served immediately however the cookie dough bites, chocolate sauce and salted caramel sauce can all be kept in the fridge for up to two days in sealed containers.

The OMG Sundae

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 scoops coconut ice cream or any dairy free ice cream
Mini cookie dough bites
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 TBSP almond butter
  • 1 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cacao nibs
Chocolate sauce
  • 1/3 cup cacao butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 2 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Salted caramel sauce
  • 2 TBSP almond butter
  • 3-4 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup – depending on how sweet you like it
  • 2 tsp almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Place all cookie dough bite ingredients in a large bowl. Mix until it forms a dough. Roll into thumb-sized balls and place in the fridge to harden.
  2. Place cacao butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally until melted. Add in cacao powder, maple syrup and vanilla and mix until well combined.
  3. Place all salted caramel ingredients in a small bowl and mix together well.
  4. Place 1 scoop of ice cream, a handful of mini cookie dough bites, and a dollop of both chocolate and salted caramel sauce in each bowl. Enjoy this decadent dessert!

What’s your rare foodie treat?