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Category Archives: Treats and desserts

Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

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I am absolutely nuts about coconut (pun intended)! A few weeks ago we went for brunch at some friends of ours’ house. Since I’m such a fussy eater compared to most people, I thought it only polite that I take a dessert that we could all enjoy. That meant that it had to (obviously) be Paleo/Primal for me and suitable for not one but two nut allergy sufferers! I was flipping through “Make it Paleo” by Staley and Mason and came across a delicious sounding recipe for coconut cake. I tweaked it a little and my coconut cupcake recipe was born! These cupcakes were so moist and delicious and quite light for a grain free cake. I might even go so far as to say they were in the the top 5 cupcakes I have ever made! Yes even out of all the cupcakes I ever made before going Paleo/Primal! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did (I think I’m still trying to shift the damage they did to my waistline!)

Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting (makes 13-14)
Ingredients
Cupcakes:
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup grass fed butter (substitute the same amount of coconut oil for a dairy free cake)
8 eggs
1 cup dedicated coconut
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
120 ml coconut cream
1 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 170 C
Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
Gradually add in all wet ingredients to form a thick batter.
Line a cupcake tin with individual liners.
Fill 3/4 full with batter.
Bake in oven for 20-22 mins until lightly golden and pass the toothpick test.
Leave to cool in tin for 10 mins.
Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting

Frosting:
400g cream cheese at room temperature
1/3 cup maple syrup
40ml coconut cream
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer.
Gradually add in maple syrup, then vanilla and coconut cream.
Mix in desiccated coconut, and lastly the melted coconut oil (this will help to make the frosting set a little as it cools.
Cover each cupcake with frosting and place in the fridge to set slightly.

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Paleo Christmas Pudding

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Happy New Year!!!
I hope you all had a good Holiday season and that 2014 is treating you well so far.
I had a lovely Christmas, staying in a house in the country and cooking Christmas lunch in an aga – a very different experience indeed! I have to say, the slow-roasted turkey that my sister and I created (15 hours in the aga) was amazing! Tender and delicious!

Anyway, I know that I’m a bit late with this post (I should really have posted this before Christmas, but you know how busy a time it is). Now you have it well in advance for next year!

Before I went grain-free, I always loved the flavour of Christmas pudding, but I must say I found it terribly stodgy and ridiculously filling/bloating (maybe that was partly to do with the fact that it always came at the end of Christmas lunch during which I had stuffed my face!). This Christmas pudding however has all the delicious, boozy, fruity, spicy flavour of a traditional Christmas pud, but a lighter texture. I can honestly say, I much prefer this version to the original and I have even converted a few people who never used to like Christmas pud! If you don’t like a lot of booze, you can certainly lessen the quantities (or omit it altogether).

Paleo Christmas Pudding (makes 1 medium and 1 small pudding)

Ingredients:
7 dates
200g prunes
100g raisins
100g sultanas
1/3 cup dark rum
1/3 cup brandy (plus extra for igniting the pudding before serving)
1 large carrot, grated
1 apple, finely chopped
5 eggs, beaten
150g grass-fed butter (or ghee), frozen and grated
Juice of 1 orange
Zest of half an orange
1 tsp vanilla
150g ground almonds
2 tbsp coconut flour
3 & 1/2 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Put the raisins and sultanas in a bowl, cover with the booze and leave to soak for a few hours or overnight.
Place the prunes and dates in a jug, cover with boiling water and microwave for a minute or two until the water is boiling and the fruit is soft. Drain off the water.
Purée the prunes and dates in a food processor and leave to cool.
In a large bowl, mix the eggs, puréed prunes and dates, spices, vanilla, zest, orange juice, salt and bicarbonate of soda. Add in the flours.
Next stir in the grated carrot and chopped apple, along with the boozy dried fruit (including the booze!)
Finally, grate the frozen butter and add into the mixture.
Grease your pudding basins and set up your steamer(s) or slow cooker.
Steam (or slow cook) your puddings for around 4-6 hours.
Leave to cool and then refrigerate for up to a week and a half until Christmas Day, or when needed.
Before serving, steam the pudding for a couple of hours.
Turn out onto a plate and decorate with holly if you like.
Pour a tablespoon or two of brandy into a metal ladle and heat over a burner until warm.
Ignite the brandy and pour flaming liquid over the pudding. Keep spooning it up and pouring it over the pudding to keep the flames going while you wow your guests or family! Be careful not to burn yourself or set fire to your house in the process!
Serve with homemade brandy butter, brandy cream or regular heavy cream (if you are Primal), or whipped coconut cream for a truly decadent but delicious Holiday treat!

Key Lime Pie

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It’s been ages again since I last posted a recipe. I don’t know where the time is going! I guess it’s partly work, weather and lack of time that has prevented me being experimental in the kitchen.

A few weeks ago I made this delicious key lime pie and just haven’t got around to posting the recipe yet, so here it is…

Key Lime Pie (makes a 24cm pie)
Ingredients:
For the base
1 1/2 cups dessicated coconut
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 170C
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
Press into the bottom and up the sides of a pie dish.
Bake in oven for 10 mins until it begins to turn golden. Remove and allow to cool completely.

For the filling
12 medjool dates
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Zest and juice of 10 limes
200g coconut cream concentrate
3 large ripe avocados
1 tbsp runny honey

Boil the dates in water until very soft. Discard water.
Whilst dates are still hot, add coconut cream concentrate a d allow to melt.
Put into a food processor along with all remaining filling ingredients and blitz until it forms a smooth paste.
Fill pie shell with filling and place in fridge to chill and set for at least 1 hour.
Try not to eat the whole pie in one sitting (unless you are sharing it with many people!)

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Blondies

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The weather is so amazing here in London. We are having a heat wave with absolutely clear blue skies and 30C temperatures. It actually feels like summer!

We went to garden party on Saturday. Lots of bubbly, swinging in hammocks, dancing like maniacs and drunken yoga! I made these delicious sweet potato and coconut based Blondies to take along (and persuade my friends that grain-free is the way forward!) Everyone loved them and they all disappeared very rapidly!

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Blondies (makes 16)

Ingredients:
4 sweet potatoes
12 medjool dates
1/2 tsp salt
200g coconut cream concentrate
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup coconut flour
4 eggs
100g dark chocolate chips
200g frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 170C
Roast sweet potatoes for an hour. When cool remove skins and place the flesh in bowl.
Cover dates with boiling water and microwave on full power for 2 minutes. Drain off water.
Add coconut cream concentrate to hot dates and allow to melt.
Add into bowl with sweet potato and blend using a stick blender.
Add salt, coconut flour, cinnamon, vanilla, and then eggs.
Stir well, then add in dark chocolate chips and finally frozen raspberries.
Pour batter into a prepared brownie tin.
Bake in the oven at 170C for 40 mins.
Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan completely.
Remove from pan and cut into squares.
Enjoy!

Spiced Pear Muffins

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It’s Fathers Day today and I decided to have the whole family over for a huge Paleo feast! This meal alone will keep me in recipes to share for a couple of weeks!

It has been ages since I did any baking and I really had a hankering for something cakey on Friday. I got a whole load of pears in my organic fruit box last week which were starting to look like they had seen better days, so they had to be the focus of my baked goods. Those were my parameters, this was the result…

Spiced Pear Muffins (makes 12)
Ingredients :

3/4 cup milled flaxseeds
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup macca powder
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 tbsp mixed spice
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 can coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut oil melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 eggs, beaten
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 pears, diced

Preheat oven to 170C
Mix all dried ingredients in a bowl.
Gradually add in all wet ingredients.
Finally, fold diced pears carefully into the batter.
Spoon batter into muffin cups – you can fill them quite full as they won’t rise that much.
Bake in oven for 20-25 mins or until golden and they pass the toothpick test.
Leave to cool before stuffing into your face or you may burn your mouth!

Honey and Ginger Panna Cotta

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Hoorah the sun is shining! I’ve just finished my breakfast of scrambled eggs and veggies with a nice cup of coffee with a splash of cream in it. I can’t remember what life was like before I got my Nespresso machine for Christmas! I think a leisurely stroll into town to run some errands and let my breakfast digest before a hardcore workout and then off to work in the afternoon. A good way to spend the day.

It’s now a week and a day until I fly to Thailand! I’m starting to freak out about the thought of wearing a bikini as I’m about 10lbs heavier than I’d like to be right now! I blame this blog! Grilled chicken breast and steamed veggies doesn’t make exciting reading for you! Anyway, this week I have to be really good in an attempt at losing a couple of extra pounds before I go (because let’s face it, who knows what’s going to happen while I’m away).

As promised here is the recipe for the delicious panna cotta I made on the weekend. Definitely not diet food! I probably wouldn’t be 10lbs heavier if I hadn’t eaten this on Saturday! Only joking! But seriously…this is an indulgent treat. I made this in individual ramekins. You could easily make one larger dessert which you can cut and serve. How many individual ones you can get out of the mixture really depends on the size of your ramekins. I had enough for 3 filled halfway (my ramekins are quite big). Non-dairy eaters could substitute coconut milk for the dairy. I’m actually looking forward to experimenting with making a coconut panna cotta as I think it will be equally delicious… But not until after my holiday!

Honey and Ginger Panna Cotta (Serves 2-4)
Ingredients:

2 inch piece of ginger root, peeled and pressed for juice, fibre discarded (I used a garlic press for this)
230ml double/heavy cream
230ml whole milk
4 leaves gelatine, soaked in cold water until soft
2 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp vanilla beans or 1tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Bring milk, cream, ginger juice, honey and salt to a simmer in a saucepan.
Whisk in vanilla and stir in softened gelatine until it has fully dissolved.
Pour the mixture into ramekins/ a mould.
Place in the fridge to chill and set (at least 2 hours).
Eat from the ramekin, or to remove, partially submerge ramekin/mould in a bowl of boiling water for about 15 seconds, until the edges loosen.
Carefully invert onto plate/ serving dish.
Garnish with sliced strawberries or any other fruit that takes your fancy.

Coconut Lime Cupcakes with Avocado Lime Frosting

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Aaarrrggghh! Sometimes I really hate London Underground! Today I was on the tube and there was a signal failure, so they suspended the two lines I can get from my local station to work. They kindly suggested that everyone get off the train and take busses instead! Thanks a bunch! Consequently I completely missed the boxing class I was supposed to be teaching at lunchtime. Really annoying!
If only I had some of these delicious cupcakes to come home to…sadly they are long gone!

Coconut Lime Cupcakes with Avocado Lime Frosting (makes 15)
Ingredients:

For the cakes
400g coconut cream concentrate, melted
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
250g zucchini/courgette, grated
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp honey
Zest and juice of 3 limes plus juice of 1 extra lime
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 170C
Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
Mix all wet ingredients in a bowl.
Add all dry ingredients and stir well to incorporate. This should form a thick batter.
Using an ice cream scoop, spoon batter into the paper liners almost up to the top. The cupcakes won’t rise much and will have quite a dense texture.
Bake in the oven for 25 mins.
Remove and allow to cool completely before icing.

For the frosting:
150g butter at room temperature
100g cream cheese at room temperature
100g mascarpone cheese at room temperature
1/2 an avocado
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp honey

Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally. If the frosting curdles, keep blitzing it – eventually it should smooth out.
When the cupcakes are completely cool, put frosting in a piping bag and pipe a nice dollop on the top of each cake.
Stuff them in your face and enjoy!