Peanut butter brownies

Last Saturday it was one of my best friend’s 21st party and she asked me to make a healthy delight for her dessert table. As I was driving an hour to get there I needed something that wouldn’t melt and could be easily transported.

Brownies are always popular so I decided to add some natural peanut butter to make them really dense and fudge-like.

Main ingredients

The combination of peanut butter and chocolate is a classic. These flavours transform what is a fairly simple dish into something really decadently indulgent.

Brand of chocolate

The little shards of chopped chocolate add to the dense chocolate flavour throughout the brownies.

Thick brownie batter

Brownie batters are always thicker than cake batters as this is what makes them rich and fudge-like.

Blobs of peanut butter

The swirls of peanut butter add an extra element to the brownies and provide a contrasting colour to the rich chocolate.

Swirled through the brownie

This batter doesn’t have any flour, however I was surprised to see how much it rose. This was due to the baking soda, as it is a rising agent.

Presented to serve

These brownies can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to four days.

Peanut butter brownies

Makes 24 

Ingredients:

  • 400g natural peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 90g dairy and sugar free dark chocolate, chopped

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160C/325F and line a 18x28cm rectangular baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Mix 350g peanut butter, cacao powder and baking soda in a large bowl.
  3. Add eggs, honey, vanilla extract and salt, mix until combined.
  4. Stir in chopped chocolate.
  5. Pour batter into tray and place extra 50g peanut butter on top. Using a cake tester, swirl around.
  6. Bake in oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Cool completely in tray then cut into edible sized squares. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • These will come out slightly undercooked – exactly how you want them because as they cool they will become dense and fudge-like
  • You can use a slightly larger baking tray if you want them to be flatter

Are you a fan of the peanut butter and chocolate flavour combination?

Spelt pita crisps

I believe everything tastes better and fresher when made from scratch, which is definitely the case with these pita crisps. They are the perfect addition to a middle eastern meal, served with dips or taste amazing just by themselves.

Some people have the perception that making your own pita crisps is difficult. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. I have included photos of practically every step so you are able to be guided through.

Activating the yeast

When adding the warm water to the yeast, little bubbles should appear. This means it is activating and will ensure your dough rises.

Ready to knead the dough

It is really important to knead the dough until it is not longer sticky. This helps the pita bread to become elastic which in turn helps it to expand and rise.

Finished kneading

Your dough should be smooth and easy to handle once kneaded.

Dough has risen

It’s important to let your dough rise for 90 minutes as it enables the flavours to develop.

Ready for rolling

Break the dough up into eight portions as they will not only cook quicker but are easier to manage.

Rolled and set for cooking

I actually prefer all the pita bread to be different shapes and sizes as this gives the dish a rustic feel.

Last step!

The macadamia oil and salt add flavour to these pita crisps. You could add spices such as cumin, paprika, dried herbs or pepper as well.

Now enjoy!

These will keep in a sealed container in the pantry for up to four days. Either reheat them in the oven at 180C/350F for 5 minutes or enjoy straight from the container!

Spelt pita crisps

Serves 6 generously

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups wholemeal spelt flour, extra for kneading
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, extra for topping
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 2 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature
  • 2 TBSP macadamia oil, extra for bowl

Method:

  1. Combine the flour, salt, honey and yeast in a large bowl.
  2. Stir in the water and macadamia oil until well combined.
  3. Knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes, or until smooth.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a cloth or plastic wrap.
  5. Let dough rest and rise until doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes.
  6. After the dough has doubled, punch down to release some gas then divide into 8 portions.
  7. Roll each potion into a ball then cover and rest for a further 20 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line a tray with baking paper.
  9. Roll out one portion of the dough.
  10. Place rolled dough on lined tray and bake for 3-4 minutes.
  11. Take out of oven, cut into wedges and drizzle with salt and macadamia oil.
  12. Bake for a further 5 minutes, until crisp. Serve and enjoy!

I’d love to hear if you’ve have you made pita bread before?!

Raspberry macadamia white chocolate muffins

There’s something so indulgent about eating a muffin for breakfast; perhaps because they are virtually a small ‘cake’.

This muffin flavour is one what you often see at cafes. Although, I’ve really never had it before as I always used to go for the ‘so-called healthy’ bran option.

This ‘healthified’ version exceeded my expectations and is definitely one I’ll be making more often!

Making the batter

Compared to other muffin batters, this one is quite thick. However, when cooked the white chocolate softens and creates pockets of gooeyness that just melt in your mouth.

Brand of white chocolate

When looking for white chocolate at the local supermarket that was free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar this was the only one that came close to the criteria.

Unfortunately it does have some cane sugar in it but I was willing to overlook this minor detail to enjoy these muffins (considering there is only two tablespoons of honey in the batter I wasn’t too worried!)

Mixing in final ingredients

These muffins have so much texture to them. The macadamias provide a crunch whilst the raspberries are soft and delicate. Who wouldn’t love to eat these?!

Oops!

They just looked and smelled too good to resist so I had one before I had a chance to take a photo!

These muffins will store in a sealed container in the fridge for up for 4 days! Either reheat in the oven at 180C/350F for 15 minutes or serve cold!

Raspberry macadamia white chocolate muffins

Makes 9 muffins
Ingredients:
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 1/2 cup macadamias, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dairy free white chocolate, chopped

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line muffin tin with baking paper squares or alternatively grease with coconut oil.
  2. Mix almond meal and baking soda together in a large bowl.
  3. Add honey, eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Add raspberries, macadamias and white chocolate, and mix well.
  5. Spoon into prepared paper.
  6. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until skewer comes out clean. Enjoy!

Delicious breakfast!

I enjoyed my muffin with a glass of homemade cashew milk. Not a bad way to start a Tuesday!

What do you like to eat for breakfast?

Coconut raspberry cake

Coconut and raspberry are a match-made in cake heaven. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this combination earlier! I love the pink colour from the raspberries throughout the cake, it definitely entices you to eat it. They also provide the cake with a tartness which contrasts against the honey used to sweeten it.

Cake batter

Even though this cake is quite dense, the batter is surprisingly ‘dry’. Don’t be alarmed by this, it will turn out once cooked!

Ready for the oven

Make sure you line the cake tin to ensure the cake can be removed easily once cooled. Don’t flatten the cake batter too much before cooking it as it doesn’t rise much. The little peaks provide a rustic look, plus they become crunchy once cooked!

Cooked and cooled

This cake is quite dense however I love the use of desiccated coconut as it breaks up the almond meal and provides another element of texture.

Cake time!

This can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Coconut raspberry cake

Serves 12

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries, thawed*
  • Coconut yoghurt for serving

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease and line a 9 inch round cake pan.
  2. Combine the almond meal, desiccated coconut and baking powder in a medium sized bowl.
  3. In a jug whisk the eggs, coconut oil and honey and add to the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined.
  4. Fold through the raspberries and pour into cake pan.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool in the pan before turning it out onto a plate. Slice, serve with coconut yoghurt and enjoy!

Note: thaw the raspberries by leaving them on the kitchen bench, don’t microwave or heat them over the stove as they will lose their shape and add too much liquid to the cake.

Do you like the combination of coconut and raspberry for a cake?

Gluten free chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing

Whilst in New York, we frequented Magnolia Bakery several times (made famous by Sex and the City). It absolutely killed me that I couldn’t have their infamous cupcakes due to the wheat, dairy and sugar. I have been waiting for an opportunity to make some cupcakes that I could enjoy.

We celebrated Easter early this year, providing me with the perfect occasion to bake chocolate cupcakes.

Cupcake batter

The batter is quite sticky, so make sure you use two spoons when placing it in the cupcake liners.

All cooked

As almond meal has been used for the base, they unfortunately won’t come out completely smooth on top like ‘normal’ cupcakes. On the plus side, this gives you all the more reason to make the chocolate icing!

Chocolate avocado icing

I am sure many of you would be surprised to see avocado in the icing. This gives it a creamy, smooth texture whilst providing your body with good fats.

Decorated for Easter

Gluten free chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing

Adapted from The Healthy Chef

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • 3 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 2 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 4 TBSP honey
  • Desiccated coconut

Icing

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP cacao powder

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160C/320F. Line muffin tray with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine almond meal, cacao and baking powder.
  3. Mix in the eggs, coconut oil, almond milk and honey until smooth.
  4. Spoon into prepared liners and bake for 25 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. For the icing, either place all ingredients in a food processor and process until well combined or mash the avocado and mix in the other ingredients until smooth.
  6. Top the cooled cupcakes with icing and sprinkle with desiccated coconut. Enjoy!

What is your favourite chocolately treat to eat at Easter time?