Six Ingredient Chocolate Brownies (gluten, dairy & refined sugar free)

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After I was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries in 2006 I did lots of research into coping with and counteracting the symptoms. One of which is insulin resistance so I did everything in my power to reduce my sugar intake, as it seemed a steady path to type two diabetes by the age of forty otherwise.

Over the years I’ve learnt to make the most of natural sugars and my deserts are always well received. Friends and family are amazed that they do not contain added refined sugar. Although I won’t get to eat these fudgey chocolaty brownies for a while, they are one of my favourite things to make and I wanted to share them with you. They are gluten and dairy free, loaded with vitamin D and iron and extremely yummy. Next time you’re in the mood for a sweet treat give them a try, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Ingredients (for 12 generous squares):
4 free range eggs
400ml tin of coconut milk
100g dates
150g cashew nuts
150g pecan nuts
50g organic cocoa/cacao powder

Method:
– preheat the oven to 170C/350F/GM4 and grease a 20cm cake tin

– if you have a powerful blender or food processor grind up the cashews, pecans and dates, then add the rest of the ingredients and whiz on the highest setting for about thirty seconds until you have the consistency of a thick shake

– if you do not have a powerful mixer chop the nuts and dates finely by hand

– in a separate bowl whisk the eggs for a full minute to get lots of air into them, add the cocoa incorporating well, then slowly add the coconut milk. Tip your bowl of nuts and dates into this bowl and mix together with a spoon

– pour your batter into the prepared tin and bake for 30 mins

– leave to cool, cut into squares and store in the fridge for maximum fudge-like consistency

– for a smaller batch halve the ingredients, bake in a loaf tin and cook for just 20 mins

Linking up to the fab linkies below: 

recipe-of-the-week  tasty tuesday

Choco banana cupcakes (gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free)

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I’m not going to complain that summer is finally here, but the super bright mornings mean that my girls are up super early. Anything from 5am is fair game in our house. Fortunately baking always keeps my eldest entertained, and this morning we tried something new. This cupcake recipe is another chuck it all in the blender jobbies, couldn’t be easier. I let her divide the batter into the cases, which took ages but meant this task kept her occupied for a good half hour. Mission accomplished!

Ingredients for 15 cupcakes:
3 ripe bananas
2 eggs
200ml coconut oil
120g dates
80g pecan nuts
20g cocoa powder

Method:
– preheat your oven to 170C fan assisted/180C non-fan/325F/GM3 and line your tray(s) with cupcake cases

– whiz together all the ingredients until you have thick shake consistency – see here if you do not have a powerful blender or food processor

– divide the batter between your cases and bake for 20 mins

Gluten, Dairy & Nut Free Carrot Cake

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The dreadful winter we had here in the UK has a lot to answer for including a distinct lack of springtime veg. However the seemly never ever ending cold snap also meant an endless supply of fab root veg. Carrots have made an almost weekly appearance in our veg box since way before Christmas, and after playing around with my trusty Vitamix I have finally conjured up a suitably tasty carrot cake.

I have a good friend who has a nut allergy, and this was inspired by having her over for tea last week. She loved it, and my hubby was so impressed I’ve had to make two more cakes since!

Ingredients (for 8 decent slices):
400g peeled and finely grated carrots
4 free range eggs
240ml coconut oil and extra for greasing
100g dried apricots – the dark brown organic ones are best as they will be sulphite free
100g raisins
50g desiccated coconut
Tsp cinnamon
Tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp honey

Method:
– preheat your oven to 170C fan/180C non-fan/350F/GM4 and grease a 20cm cake tin or silicone mould with coconut oil

– whisk your eggs and oil by hand or in your blender until really creamy, then add the cinnamon and vanilla incorporating well

– finely chop the apricots and place in a large bowl, add the raisins, coconut and grated carrot. Mix well

– pour your wet mixture over the top and give it all one last big stir

– pour into the prepared tin and bake for an hour

– remove from the oven, and prick all over lightly with a fork then drizzle over the honey

– leave to cool before serving with cream, ice-cream or yoghurt

– keep leftovers in the fridge

Gluten Free Caramel Slice

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Before we cut out refined sugar, caramel slice was my hubby’s favourite treat, and I have spent the best part of a year trying to recreate it. I’ve found it completely impossible without adding some sort of sweetener, and after trying to make the caramel with xylitol and honey, have settled on unrefined dark muscovado. It’s still sugar, but I figure it’s the best of a bad bunch.

The recipe below is for a fairly small batch of 6-8 slices, but you could easily double up on ingredients if you need to make more. Be warned this stuff is seriously addictive, I doubt highly you’ll manage to keep leftovers longer than a few hours!

Ingredients:
(base) 50g cashew nuts
50g dates
50g dried apricots
50g prunes
25g desiccated coconut
100ml almond oil
(caramel) 50g unrefined dark muscovado sugar
50g butter (I use goats)
50g double cream (I use goats)
(chocolate) 2 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp coconut oil
Tbsp runny honey

Method:
– either whiz your base ingredients together in a blender or food processor until they form a firm dough, or finely chop all your fruit and nuts and mix with the coconut and oil until you have dough

– put a layer of grease proof paper on the bottom of a cake tin, dish or tupperware box. Tip your dough on top of the paper and press down firmly against until it  is covered. Put into the fridge for 2 hours to harden up

– meanwhile, melt the butter and sugar together over a med heat stirring continuously until they resemble syrup. Take off the heat and slowly whisk in the cream until thick and luscious

– pour over the base and place back in the fridge, leave for another two hours to set

– once the caramel has set, combine the chocolate ingredients in a small bowl until you have the consistency of melted chocolate

– pour over the caramel, and place back in the fridge. Leave for a further two hours (or longer)

– cut up into slices once you are ready to serve and store anything that’s left in the fridge

Birthday Cake/Chocolate Fudge Cake (dairy & gluten free)

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Something I have learnt recently is that especially when it comes to kids, you can’t please everyone and it’s best all round not to bother trying. Between keeping sugar intake to a minimum and the collective food intolerances of my little family, I have to be resourceful when it comes to catering en masse.

I made a lovely fudgey chocolate cake for my littlest’s birthday a few weeks back, and it was only rejected by two children out of a party of 25, complete success in my books! The cake itself is gluten and dairy free, and works well if you’re looking for a dense, fudgey chocolate sponge. With the added delight of sweet buttery icing, it’s a pretty yummy celebration cake. You could go one step further and decorate it too, and also double up the ingredients to make it two-tiered with extra icing in the middle… decisions decisions!

Ingredients:
(cake) 4 free range eggs
150g brazil nuts
150g pecan nuts
150g desiccated coconut
200g dates
60g cocoa powder
400ml coconut milk
Tbsp olive or coconut oil for greasing
(optional icing) 100g softened butter – I use goats
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp good quality honey

Method:
– preheat the oven to 170C fan/180C non-fan/350F/GM4, and grease a large cake tin or silicone mould with the oil

– whiz together all the cake ingredients in your blender or food processor on the highest setting for about thirty seconds, until you have thick shake consistency OR

– finely chop the nuts and dates, then add the cocoa powder. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs for a full minute until nice & fluffy, then gradually add the coconut milk. Combine well with the nuts and dates

– pour the batter into the tin or mould and bake for 40 mins

– when your cake is cooked and completely cool, mix together all the icing ingredients until smooth and spread over the top

Lemony cake slices

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Whilst trawling the Internet for new desert inspiration, I came across this fab recipe. Realising I only had half the ingredients and also wanting to put my spin on it, I’ve come up with something similar and of course rather delish.

Ingredients (for 6 slices):
Large free range egg
75g cashew nuts
75g brazil nuts
75g dates
75g desiccated coconut
Tbsp lemon oil
Tbsp coconut oil (plus extra for greasing)
Tbsp mixed omega boosting seeds

Method:
– preheat the oven to 175 degrees, and grease a loaf tin with coconut oil. I always use silicone parchment paper to ensure nothing sticks

– put all ingredients except the seeds into your food processor or blender and whiz on high until a sticky dough forms

– press into your loaf tin, sprinkle with the seeds and bake for 20 mins

– leave to cool down then cut into slices, as pictured below

 

Hubby’s birthday cake

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It was my wonderful husband’s birthday on Tues, and I made his perfect meal for dinner: meatza & salad. For his cake I kept things nice & simple, but it was very tasty so I thought I’d share it with you.

Ingredients:
(cake) 2 eggs
75g ground almonds
25g cashew nuts
75g dates
40g cocoa
90ml coconut milk
30ml coconut oil & extra for greasing
Tsp baking powder

(icing) tbsp softened butter – I use goats
Tsp cocoa
Tsp honey

Method:
– preheat the oven to 170 and grease a loaf tin with coconut oil

– whiz all the cake ingredients together in your blender on the highest setting for about ten seconds, until it is smoothie consistency

– pour into the prepared tin and bake for half an hour. Take out and leave to cool

– once the cake has completely cooled down mix together your icing ingredients and spread over the top of your cake. You could make extra and put a layer of icing in the middle too if you felt like being decadent