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

23rd Birthday + Raw caramel coconut crunch slice recipe

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and certainly my favourite time too! Christmas is here, and I’ve already been enjoying the silly season festivities this past week. Last Thursday was my 23rd birthday and was fortunate to have … Continue reading

Chocolate – that’s healthy, vegan and refined sugar free!

Before I share the decadent chocolate recipe, I have some exciting news to tell you. It’s not blog related, but more on a personal note – I am moving to Melbourne! I’ve been offered an amazing career opportunity and am very much looking forward to checking out all the amazing cafes and restaurants the city has to offer!

If you have any favourite places to eat, I would love to hear from you so I too can try them out.

Now, moving onto the much anticipated chocolate recipe. This is definitely one to make over the coming Easter period as it’s prime time to indulge in chocolate.

Chocolate - that's healthy, and vegan! Emma Lauren Food.

Cacao butter melting

I’ve use cacao butter as it ensures the chocolate remains solidified longer, meaning it won’t melt as quickly as using only coconut oil.

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and refined sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Adding in the cacao powder

Cacao powder is what makes this chocolate chocolatey and is considered a superfood due to its high nutrient and antioxidant value.

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Glossy appearance

I just love how the chocolate takes on a glossy appearance once all mixed together, makes you want to eat it by the spoonful.

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and refined sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Lined tray

By lining a baking tray, this ensures the chocolate does not stick and can be easily removed once solidified.

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and refined sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Variety of toppings

What I love most about this chocolate is the toppings you can add. The combinations are only limited by your imagination!

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and refined sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Pouring into the tray

The consistency should be thin enough to pour straight into the prepared tray.

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and refined sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Spread evenly

Once all has been poured, spread the chocolate evenly over the tray as quickly as possible. Once the cacao butter starts to cool, it will start to solidify.

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Ready for toppings

Now it has been evenly spread, the chocolate is ready to be decadently decorated.

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Designer chocolate

You could say this is designer chocolate, but homemade and healthy!

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Variety of toppings

The decadent toppings I chose were from left to right: goji berries and coconut chips; pistachios, cacao nibs and buckwheat groats; and salted caramel macadamia.

This chocolate will keep in the freezer in a sealed container for up to one week, if it lasts that long that is.

Chocolate

Makes a lot!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cacao butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups cacao powder
  • 2/3 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Melt cacao butter over low heat in a small saucepan.
  2. Line baking tray with baking paper (the size of the tray was 18 x 28cm).
  3. Place all ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
  4. Pour chocolate onto prepared baking tray.
  5. Add toppings of your choice.
  6. Place in freezer for 1 hour or until hardened.
  7. Cut into pieces and enjoy!
Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and refined sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Salted caramel macadamia chocolate

To make this decadent topping, for the caramel I mixed 1 TBSP almond butter with 1 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup with a pinch of salt. Chop macadamia nuts and sprinkle on top of chocolate and add dollops of salted caramel. Set in the freezer, then enjoy!

 

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and refined sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Goji coconut chocolate and pistachio cacao buckwheat chocolate

I sprinkled enough of each ingredient to cover the surface, then placed it in the freezer to set!

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and refined sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Coconut salt chocolate

This topping is simple, coconut chips and salt. Perfect for those who are unable to eat nuts!

I hope you all enjoy this chocolate recipe over Easter and throughout the year too. Comforting to know you can indulge in decadence that is actually healthy!

Chocolate tahini spread

This past weekend was spent mostly outdoors, something I am definitely trying to incorporate more into my life especially as I live on the beautiful Gold Coast! Last Sunday involved an early morning road trip to Byron Bay to enjoy breakfast and have a change of scenery.

Byron Bay

It was a picture perfect day in Byron Bay with many people enjoying all that nature has to offer.

The Roadhouse, Byron Bay

This was definitely worth the early morning drive! The Roadhouse is one of my favourite cafes in Byron Bay as they always serve delicious food, beverages including almond milk lattes and has a really relaxed atmosphere. A must-try when visiting Byron!

However, enough of my weekend and onto the velvety chocolate tahini spread!

Rich in colour

I love the colour of this spread: it’s rich, dark and luxurious. Just how it tastes too!

I used unhulled tahini in this recipe as it’s made from whole sesame seeds ensuring its nutritional value remains. It definitely has a stronger flavour than hulled tahini and is a great source of iron and calcium.

Velvety

The almond milk allows the spread to become silky in texture and appearance.

Store in a glass jar

This spread is best stored in a glass jar, just clean out an empty nut butter jar or jam jar. I often use these jars to store pestos, chia seed jams, hummus and salad dressing.

All filled up!

I can assure you this jar of chooclately goodness won’t last long at all!

Chocolate tahini sauce

Makes approximately 1 cup of sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unhulled tahini
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup almond milk, more or less depending on the consistency you prefer

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix until smooth.
  2. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to one week. Enjoy!

Here’s two ways I’ve already enjoyed the chocolate tahini spread:

Oozing over the pancakes

A delicious way to start the day, pancakes topped with chocolate tahini spread and fresh strawberries!

Colourful breakfast

I devoured this parfait for breakfast today, it was actually one of the most delectable breakfasts I’ve had in a long time!

What do you do to make the most of the outdoors? I’d love some ideas!

Vegan french toast

There’s something so relaxing about Sunday mornings, I think it’s because you’re able to ease into the day at your own pace – no matter how fast or slow. Today I started mine slowly with a beach swim, delicious breakfast followed by some writing.

Enjoying my Sunday morning…

A couple of weeks ago I injured my back, resulting in me having to take it easy – this meant no cooking! Such a difficult thing for me to do as I love cooking; this also explains my absence in regards to recipe posts. However, I’m well and truly on the mend now and have been enjoying creating recipes once again.

Batter.

As breakfast is my favourite meal of the day I’ve been creative in the kitchen this past week – my favourite of them all has been french toast! I’ve only ever enjoyed french toast a handful of times however since creating this recipe and knowing how easy it is, I will be making it more often.

Soaking up all the flavours

It’s such a versatile breakfast as it can be enjoyed with a variety of toppings – fruit, nut butters, yoghurt, maple syrup and chocolate sauce just to name a few!

Make sure you coat both sides!

This batter is not your traditional french toast batter as it is made without eggs, making it vegan. It’s quite light yet the cinnamon and maple syrup lend a subtle sweet earthy flavour to the french toast. I will definitely create a batter with eggs in the coming weeks as an alternate option!

Crisping up

Once cooked, the toast takes on a beautiful golden colour and as it’s fried it becomes quite crunchy, YUM!

Beautiful breakfast

The french toast is best served immediately otherwise it will lose its crunch. The batter can be made the night before to save time in the morning – store this in a sealed container for up to two days.

Vegan french toast

Serves 2 – 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of gluten free bread
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 TBSP buckwheat flour
  • 1 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Coconut oil for frying

Method:

  1. Whisk together the almond milk, maple syrup, buckwheat flour, cinnamon and vanilla extract in a shallow dish.
  2. Place each slice of bread into the batter and allow it to soak for 1 minute each side.
  3. Heat coconut oil in a medium-size frypan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, place the bread slices in the pan and cook for a few minutes per side, until golden brown and crispy.
  4. Serve with chia blueberry jam, fresh fruit, coconut chips and almond butter – also, extra maple syrup if you like! Enjoy!

Notes:

  • Substitute the almond milk for another dairy free milk.
  • Substitute the buckwheat flour for another gluten free flour – quinoa or plain gluten free.
  • Substitute the maple syrup for honey (however this won’t be vegan)

I’d love to hear what breakfasts have you been enjoying lately?!