Sunday, July 26, 2015

PEPPERMINT CHOCOLATE BROWNIE CAKE


Moist, fudgy and decadent, this peppermint chocolate brownie cake has a dense and rich texture. It could very well be enjoyed as it comes although In this particular version I have topped it with a creamy coconut chocolate icing. Vegan, gluten free and naturally sweetened with dark muscovado sugar, this cake is sure to please all.




1 1/4 cups coconut or almond milk
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 tsp pure peppermint extract or essential oil
1 cup flour of your choice*
3/4 cup ground almonds/almond meal
1 cup muscovado, rapadura or coconut sugar
1 cup good quality cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
a pinch of sea salt


*I used breadfruit flour, although spelt, quinoa, amaranth or buckwheat flour would all work well.

For the icing:

1 cup coconut cream
¼ cup maple or rice malt syrup
1/2 cup cocoa or cacao powder

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted.

Preheat the oven to 180 C, and line a cake tin with baking paper.

Whisk together the coconut milk, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and peppermint extract.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, and then gradually stir in the wet ingredients. The batter will be quite thick and sticky.

Pour the batter in to the prepared cake tin, and smooth out evenly.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cake feels firm in the the middle when touched.

Remove from the oven and leave the cake to cool completely before carefully turning out on to a plate.

To make the icing, combine icing ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth and creamy. You can also do this in a high powered blender if you prefer. Pop the icing in the fridge to thicken up for half an hour or so while the cake cools.

Top the cake with the icing, and smooth out evenly. We like to decorate the cake with a few edible flowers for a finishing touch.

Serves 8.

Will keep for 2-3 days stored in an airtight container.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

WHITE COCO BEANS


White coco beans. Have you cooked with them before? I have been craving simple vegetarian dishes lately, so look forward to turning these in to something warming and delicious. The beans are from Sabato in Mt Eden. If you have not been there before, I definitely recommend a visit! They sell a delicious range of Artisan ingredients from Europe and often make you a complimentary coffee to sip on while you walk around the store. It's quite lovely!


Thursday, July 23, 2015

RHUBARB CRUMBLE WITH A HINT OF ORANGE AND GINGER


The magical filling in this delicious crumble is made with tangy rhubarb, ginger and a hint of orange. Rhubarb goes gorgeously well with sweet and rich flavours, making this buttery crumble topping a match made in heaven. Enjoy with lashings of cream, or coconut yoghurt if you feel like something a little lighter.

You can find the recipe in this weeks column for Viva. x

PLAYDATE COOKIES



We call these Playdate Cookies. Simple & quick to throw together, these wholesome little sweet bites are sure to please even the pickiest of little eaters! 


Preheat the oven to 160 C, and line two baking trays with baking paper. Combine 2 cups rolled oats, 1/2 cup ground almonds, 3/4 cup coconut or rapadura sugar, 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or butter, 1 egg, 2 tsp milk, 1/2 tsp baking soda & a pinch of sea salt in a bowl. Mix until well combined, then roll in to little balls and place 2-3 cm apart on the baking tray. Flatten in half using your fingers. Bake for 8 minutes - you want them to be golden on top & soft on the inside. 


They will firm up as they cool (unless you devour them first!) Eleanor x

CHICKEN WITH FENNEL, APPLE & LEMON


Slow roasted chicken with fennel, apple & lemon, cooked in the most beautiful cast iron pot from Nest, a lovely home wares gift store that I love.The gentle aniseed flavour from the fennel is lovingly balanced with the sweetness of the baked apple. This is one of those dinners that you are still thinking about three days after eating. Click here to view the recipe & find out more about this gorgeous slow pot. Eleanor x

CHOCOLATE, BANANA & AVOCADO MOUSSE CAKES


The best things in life are simple — or at least the best recipes are. These luscious little chocolate, banana and avocado mousse cakes are a cinch to prepare, and contain only a few natural ingredients. The topping is sensationally creamy and rich, without being over-the-top sweet. I use raw honey in this recipe, although pure maple or rice malt syrup work well also. Recipe over on the Viva website. x

Monday, July 13, 2015

BANANA, WALNUT & DATE CAKE WITH NUT BUTTER CARAMEL SAUCE



Banana, walnut & date cake, smothered in whipped coconut cream and then topped with almond butter caramel sauce. I created this delight yesterday to celebrate my Mum & Auntie's birthday. Full of texture and spice, this rustic cake takes only minutes to prepare. Enjoy! 


4 ripe bananas
3 free-range eggs
2/3 cup melted coconut oil or butter
2 cups almond meal
2/3 cup buckwheat, rice or spelt flour
11/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey, maple or brown rice syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

For the caramel sauce:
3 tbsp cashew or almond butter
2 cups pitted dates, soaked & then drained
2 tbsp honey, maple or brown rice syrup
1/2 cup coconut cream
2 tsp vanilla extract


For frosting:
1 can coconut cream placed in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight for icing.

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease a regular sized cake tin.

Add all the cake ingredients except for the dates & walnuts to a food processor and blend just until you have a smooth batter; take care not to over-mix. Fold in the dates & walnuts.

Pour the batter in to the prepared cake tin and then bake for 30–40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and leave in the tin until completely cool, before carefully removing from the tin. 


To make the caramel sauce, add all ingredients to a high powered blender. Blend until smooth.

Use the thick coconut cream at the top of the can to ice the cake. I like to whip it a little with a small egg beater until smooth and creamy. This step creates a beautiful frosting effect although can be left out if desired.

Top with the caramel sauce, and allow to drizzle down over the edge.

Decorate with flowers if you like.

Best served on the day of making, or will last 2-3 days in an airtight container if un-iced.

Serves 4. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

ROASTED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS WITH CAPONATA & PECORINO



These earthy baked mushrooms are topped with an intensely flavorful eggplant sauce and salty pecorino cheese, it's a match made in heaven. Lovely served as a starter, on toasted sourdough bread, or alongside a simple green salad.





You can find the recipe in my weekly column for Viva - The New Zealand Herald. Happy weekend! x

Sunday, July 5, 2015

SALTED HONEY & COCONUT CARAMEL SLICE



How do you like your caramel slice? I love a thin and slightly sweet biscuity base topped with luscious salted honey caramel sauce. I use coconut cream for my caramel which is reduced on the stove top until thick and creamy. Sound a bit like you? Here's the recipe x

For the caramel:
400 ml tin full-fat coconut cream
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil or unsalted butter
Sea salt

For the base:
1 1/2 cups blanched almonds, or nuts of your choice
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
A pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup melted coconut oil or unsalted butter

For topping: 
A handful of silvered almonds

Put the coconut cream, honey, coconut oil and a pinch of sea salt in a saucepan over medium heat and stir to combine.

Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 20–30 minutes, or until the mixture is a lovely golden caramel colour.  Stir often towards the end as the sauce can burn easily.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly. Stir vigorously for a minute or so and watch the sauce become nice and thick.

While the sauce is cooling, you can make the base.

Add the nuts, dates and sea salt to a food processor. Process for a minute or so until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add the coconut oil, and then process until the mixture starts to come together.

Press mixture evenly into a slice tin lined with baking paper.

Pour the caramel on top the base, and smooth out evenly using a spatula. Sprinkle the almonds on top.

Place in the fridge or freezer to set for at least 2 hours.

Slice and enjoy!

Makes 12 small slices, best stored in the fridge.


LIME & COCONUT YOGHURT BREAD



Adding a generous amount of lime zest to this coconut yoghurt loaf creates a bewitching perfume as it bakes in the oven. The hint of tartness makes it particularly good toasted with a thick smear of butter, honey or berry jam. Lemon or orange also works well if you do not have any limes in your fruit bowl.

1 1/2 cups spelt flour*
3/4 cup rapadura or coconut sugar
1/2 cup melted coconut oil or olive oil
3/4 cup coconut yoghurt or natural yoghurt
3 free range eggs, lightly beaten
zest of two limes, lemons or oranges
1 tsp baking soda

*You could use buckwheat or all purpose gluten free flour to become gluten free if you prefer.

Pre heat the oven to 180 C and grease a loaf tin or line with baking paper.

In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients together. Whisk in the greek yoghurt, eggs and lemon zest until well combined.

Gently fold in the melted coconut oil, the batter will be thick and shiny.

Pour the batter in to the prepared loaf tin and smooth out evenly.

Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in to the center.

All the loaf to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, and then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cut in to thick slices and enjoy with a smear of butter and jam.