Sticky date and walnut pudding

It’s been a great start to 2015! Can’t believe January has come and gone already though. Feels like it was only yesterday I was celebrating Christmas on the Gold Coast with my family. I am well and truly back into the … Continue reading

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!

Back to Basics: Apple Crumble

This past weekend I graduated from university with my double degree! After four years of study it feels amazing to be finished this chapter of my life and I am definitely ready to start my career.

Graduated.

Apple crumble was always a staple dessert in our house growing up as it was the only dessert my Dad would eat. I think it was because he thought it was ‘healthy’ as there were apples in there… To continue the tradition and my ‘Back to Basics’ series, I wanted to make my own version of apple crumble that is actually healthy.

Seasoning the apples

As the apples become sweet when cooked, they actually don’t require a lot of sweetener. I used coconut palm sugar but you could use 100% pure maple syrup, honey or coconut nectar instead.

Crumble base

To ensure the oats are fine, I processed them with the cinnamon and coconut before adding the remainder of the crumble ingredients. This results in a light crumble mixture that is easy to enjoy!

Nearly finished…

The dates and coconut oil bring the oat mixture together and lend a slight chewiness to the crumble.

Crumbly mixture

Once processed, the crumble mixture is ready to be spread over the seasoned apples and will become slightly crisp on top once baked.

Ready for the oven!

The crumble will keep in the fridge for up to three days; just ensure it is covered with plastic wrap or a secure lid. If you don’t want to bake it straight away, it too will keep in the fridge covered for three days before being baked.

Back to Basics: Apple Crumble

Serves 8
Ingredients:
Filling
  • 6 green apples, washed and diced
  • 3 TBSP coconut palm sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP cinnamon
Crumble
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 8 fresh medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Mix all filling ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Place in the bottom of a 25cm oven proof dish.
  4. Place oats, cinnamon and coconut in a food processor then process for 3-5 minutes or until fine in texture.
  5. Add dates, coconut oil and vanilla extract to the food processor then process for an additional 2-3 minutes or until it resembles a crumble texture.
  6. Sprinkle crumble mixture over filling until completely covered.
  7. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden.
  8. Serve with dairy free ice cream or dairy free yoghurt. Enjoy!

Note: I used CoCoLuscious coffee ice cream – it tasted delicious with the apple crumble!

**This recipe is not gluten free as it contains oats. Use quinoa flakes as a gluten free alternative.

Earthy and sweet dessert!

Well, it’s safe to say this was a hit with my Dad and the rest of my family. So, I guess this healthy version will become a staple in our house once again!

Raw rum balls

In our household, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without rum balls. Instead of using crushed biscuits and condensed milk, I opted for a healthier version this year. It actually surprised me how much they taste like the ‘real’ ones.

I wanted to share this recipe with you before Christmas so you too can hopefully enjoy them come Christmas Day!

Ball ingredients

I find that brazil nuts are quite oily which work really well in this recipe as they keep the rum balls moist.

Crumbly mixture

Once processed, the mixture is quite crumbly but the coconut oil and dates help to combine the rum balls when rolled.

Christmas rum ball tree

These are a great addition to your Christmas menu and are a healthy treat to enjoy throughout the day!

Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to one week.

Raw rum balls

Makes approximately 30 balls

Ingredients:

  • 10 fresh medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup brazil nuts
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 TBSP dark rum – start with 1/2 TBSP then add more to suit your taste buds

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor and process for 5-7 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides.
  2. Roll into 30 decent sized balls.
  3. Place in the fridge to harden and enjoy!

Note: for an alcohol free version just omit the rum.

Only two sleeps to go…!

Raw gingerbread tart

Yesterday family friends were coming over for morning tea and there weren’t any healthy treats in the house to enjoy with our morning coffee. This just wouldn’t do! So, I decided to whip up a raw tart and as I wanted to keep with the Christmas theme, gingerbread flavour it was.

I realise I’ve posted two raw tarts in a row but many of you were asking specifically for this recipe to enjoy over Christmas. So, here it is…

Base ingredients

I used sultanas in the base as they add a very natural sweet flavour which contrasts with the ginger spiced filling.

Pressed into the tart pan

As with all my cakes and tarts I always grease and line the pan. This ensures your creation can be easily removed from the pan and all your hard work does not go to waste.

Roasting the walnuts

I acknowledge the maple walnuts are not ‘raw’ however the tart definitely needed something crunchy yet decorative on top. These certainly fit the bill and really enhance the overall aesthetic and flavour of the tart.

Cinnamon and maple syrup flavoured

I like to utilise the same ingredients just in a different way in many of my recipes. I used the same flavours from the tart base for the maple walnuts to ensure the flavours all tied together.

Keep moving them…

It is important to keep moving the walnuts once they are out of the oven the second time around to ensure they don’t stick together.

Morning tea is served

This raw tart will keep in the freezer in a sealed container for up to two weeks.

Raw gingerbread tart

Serves 16

Ingredients:

Base
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 4 fresh medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
Filling
  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 2 TBSP ginger, spice
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup
Maple walnuts
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 TBSP cinnamon

Method:

  1. Place all base ingredients in a food processor and process for 3 minutes or until crumbly.
  2. Press into a 22cm tart pan which has been lightly greased with coconut oil and lined on the bottom. Smooth with the back of a wet spoon then place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  3. Place all filling ingredients into a Vitamix or food processor and process for 5 minutes or until smooth.
  4. Pour into tart base and even out with a spatula.
  5. Place in the freezer for 1 hour, or until solidified.
  6. Decorate with crushed maple walnuts, cut into 16 slices and serve. Enjoy!
Maple walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Spread walnuts on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  2. Place in the oven and roast for 8–10 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove walnuts from oven and set aside to slightly cool.
  3. Combine the maple syrup and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  4. Add walnuts to the bowl and coat in mixture.
  5. Spread coated walnuts and the rest of the mixture on the same lined baking tray and return to oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven once cooked and with a spoon keep moving for the first few minutes to prevent them from sticking together.
  • If there are maple walnuts left over, enjoy them as a sweet snack!

Are there certain flavours that signify Christmas to you?