Posts tagged baked desserts 1
Carrot Cake Loaf

Well I know I said my my sticky toffee pudding was a final indulgence after the overload of Christmas naughtiness…well, maybe that was a tiny fib, but I do have an excuse for this cake… and it’s a good one!

For Christmas as a bit of a novelty gift, I made my very own ‘Including Cake vouchers’ to give each of my family so that they could trade them in for a tray of sweet treats of their choosing.

My sister is going back to university this weekend after her holiday’s back at home and so decided to trade her voucher in so she had a little treat to take back with her. So you see, this cake is not for me at all!

She opted for a good old classic carrot cake…super healthy style!

I’ve made a few variations of carrot cake before, but as yet they have not appeared on my blog. The recipe I use makes for quite a dense sponge best suited to mini loaf pans (as I have used here) or muffin/cupcake tins.

When I previously made it using a regular sized loaf tin I felt it was a little gummy in the centre, don’t get me wrong it still tasted really good but would be best suited to a smaller pan so the centre maintains a cakier crumb. I've also used spelt flour here but I would imagine that my typical 30/30/30 combo of ground almonds, buckwheat flour and tapioca starch would work well as a GF sub (note- this hasn't ben tested in this recipe)

I haven’t frosted these loaves as they really don’t need it, but you may want to add some frosting if you are opting for cupcakes.

I haven’t included a frosting recipe here as I have yet to create a ‘white’ frosting that I really love. My previous investigations lead me down the route of blending firm tofu, coconut butter, orange zest and agave syrup- but although this does create a viable healthy frosting, I simply felt it needed a little more work…feel free to experiment!

I promise I do have some soups coming up very soon! Soups are great for all seasons, all times or day and for wherever you happen to be. They are the perfect healthy winter comfort food and what could be better than that?

(ok, well maybe a little bit of cake for dessert!)

I also have some granola style bar investigations underway. I want to create the perfect healthy snack bars for all situations… a slow release energy bar, an quick release energy hit, a high protein snack. This has been inspired in part by one of my colleagues who asked my to create him a healthy sugar free energy bar. Not one to turn down a challenge…investigations are well underway…I’ll keep you posted!

Recipe: Carrot Cake Loaf

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup apple sauce (or soy yoghurt)
  • 1/3 cup crushed pineapple
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup agave and a pinch stevia
  • ¼ cup soy milk
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • ½ cup chopped nuts
  • ½ cup chopped dates or raisins (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 180C. Blend together wet the ingredients in a food processor then mix in melted coconut oil. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl (except nut/dates/carrots) then add wet mixture and stir until thick. Fold in grated carrot, chopped nuts and dates last. Pour mixture into 3 mini loaf tins or

12 cupcake / muffins pans. Bake for approx. 20-30 minutes depending on pan sizes used. Check to see when a toothpick comes away clean.


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‘Twelve Days’ day 11: mini choco-nog sponges

I had really enjoyed my chocolate yule log, it was so indulgent yet not at all heavy and sickly sweet (meaning I could eat a lot in one go). It was the combination of the light and airy fat-free swiss roll sponge combined with the luxurious (but healthy)

chocolate frosting that made such an amazing pairing and so it got me thinking….how else could I achieve that same effect?

Frosting is the obvious answer, so this time instead of going for the obvious cupcake and frosting scenario, I decided to make another tray of swiss roll sponge but this time instead of rolling it up, I cut out circles with a cookie cutter and frosted those instead. So then you have mini chocolate sponges.  But the chocolate sponge needed something a little bit special and a little bit (ok, a lot bit) seasonal to top it. 

I’ve already given you a number of cranberry and mincemeat inspired creations (and I haven’t quite finished with the cranberries yet!) so I didn’t really want to go down the fruit route again.  This left the Christmas spiced combo up for grabs. Not that I mind…I love ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla- all warm and creamy dreamy. Mmmmm.

So egg nog anyone? Or maybe more accurately in this case, simply ‘nog’. Or even more appropriately… choco-nog mini sponges!

Ok, so now you’ll think I’m crazy…but…I have never actually tried egg nog. I’m not sure I’ve ever even come across it on the shelves (although often if you’re not looking for something you don’t realise it actually exists when its right in front of you face!)  So, here I am making what I call a ‘nog’ frosting having never actually tried egg nog before!  This may be nothing like real ‘nog’ but it’s a warm and creamy nutmeggy-vanillary frosting and to me that sounds like a noggy creation…or what I imagine one to be!

I’ve used banana in this recipe which does give a little bananary taste. If you would prefer a more neutral base to let the spices shout more loudly then feel free to reduce or omit the banana and substitute for more cashew (or other neutral) nut butter instead.

I know…I really must find some egg nog to try this Christmas, I’ve heard the vegan versions are pretty good so I just need to track some down! In the meantime whipping up a bit of this frosting with some almond milk and a dusting of nutmeg on the top may well just do the trick- I’d certainly recommend it and it's definitely the best way to clean up the remnants in your blender!

Recipe: mini choco-nog sponges

Ingredients

Frosting

  • ¾ cup cashew nut butter
  • 4 dates
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp rum extract
  • ¼- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ a frozen banana (or another ¼
  • cup nut butter)
  • ½ cup firm tofu (water pressed out)
  • 3 tbs maple syrup/brown rice syrup/agave nectar
  • Pinch of stevia powder (approx. 1/6 tsp or to taste)
  • 3 tbs coconut butter melted- if you want a thicker frosting (omit for a soft whippy frosting)
  • Makes approx. 1 ½ - 2 cups

Sponge

  • 10 1/2 oz. firm silken tofu
  • 1/3 cup rapadura
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup
  • 1 tbs vinegar
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract 
  • 1 tbs ground flax mixed with 2tbs hot water
  • 1 cup whole wheat spelt flour
  • ¼ cup ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½  tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Makes approx. 20 mini sponges (depending on their size and shape)

Method

Prepare frosting by adding all the ingredients to the food processor and blending together until smooth. If your blender is less powerful you may want to chop up the dates and soak them in a little hot water first. Once fully blended, the mixture will be thick but fairly runny. Set aside to use as a soft frosting or if you added the coconut butter for a thicker frosting, spoon into a bowl and allow to firm up in the fridge for an hour or two.

To make the mini sponges. Preheat oven to 180C degrees. Line a 10x15 inch pan with baking parchment.

In a food processor, mix tofu, rapadura, agave, vinegar, water, vanilla and flax mix (see note below). In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ground almonds, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pour the blended tofu mixture into flour mixture; stir together thoroughly.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top of the batter evenly and bake for 10-12 minutes. 

Once the sponge is cool, lift out of the pan, place on a cutting board and using a circle (or any simple shape) cutter, cut rounds of sponge out of the slab. There will be a little wastage (or nibbles), so to avoid this you could cut the slab into squares.

Once the frosting is prepared, drizzle, spoon or pipe the nog frosting onto the individual sponges and serve immediately. The frosting and sponges can be prepared up to a day in advance and stored separately for last minute frosting.


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‘Twelve Days’ day 4: Chocolate Yule Log

Yesterday was a full of crazy happenings in the kitchen… a chaos that took over much of the dining room as well!  The reason....? It was my work Christmas party and this year we were cooking a gourmet meal ourselves, and yes you guessed it I was in charge of all the veg. Piles of peelings and sprout leaves adorned all surfaces.

In amongst all of that I was also determined to create a festive dessert that would both look and taste the part.

….Please enter the healthy Christmas Yule log, complete with a sprig of holly (I picked this from a hedge outside after having already taken the first few photos and felt it needed something more!)

The meal was a great success, with everyone eating seconds and even thirds. The only down side to this was that no-one really had much room for cake further on into the evening! However those that did have a slice gave it their seal of approval.  I can also vouch for its ‘yummyness’ the second day in having eating a slice for breakfast ‘dessert’ today!

I used my chocolate frosting recipe with a little extra added coconut oil to create a slightly firmer frosting although that wasn’t really necessary.  I had also planned on using a ‘healthy’ vanilla frosting for the centre, but I have to admit here that timing got a little crazy and amidst all the rushing around I had to resort to a more speedy traditional ‘butter icing’ made with vegan spread and icing sugar. I have included below the recipe I would have liked to have used but please note I have not yet been able to test this. Let me know how you get on if you do use it as I plan on trying it out very soon. You could also add a layer of sugar free fruit spread along with the vanilla frosting if you wanted to go all out!

Recipe: Chocolate Yule Log

Ingredients

For sponge roll:

  • 10 1/2 oz. firm silken tofu
  • 1/3 cup rapadura
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup
  • 1 tbs vinegar
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract 
  • 1 tbs ground flax mixed with 2tbs hot water (see egg replacer note below)
  • 1 cup whole wheat spelt flour
  • ¼ cup ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½  tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.

For chocolate frosting:

The frosting is pretty much the same as this original recipe reprinted below for ease with an additional table spoon of coconut oil. Note- this recipe makes more than required for the cake (unless you frost very thickly!) so set aside for cupcakes or eat as a dessert, or I have even frozen it successfully.

  • 350g (1 carton) firm silken tofu (I use Mori nu)
  • 1 tsp melted coconut oil
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 25g coconut flour
  • 40g agave nectar
  • 1/4 tsp stevia powder
  • 1tbs vanilla extract

For vanilla centre:

  • 2 cups cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1/3 cup water (add more for a runnier frosting)
  • 3 Medjool dates (soaked 1 hour)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tbs agave plus a pinch of stevia (to taste)

Method

To prepare the frosting and vanilla centre, blend all ingredients listed together in a powerful food processor (to handle the cashews) until a smooth consistency forms. Spoon each into bowls and set both aside, if too runny place in the fridge whilst preparing the sponge.

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 10x15 inch pan with baking parchment.

For the sponge, in a food processor, mix tofu, rapadura, agave, vinegar, water, vanilla and flax mix (see note below). In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ground almonds, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pour the blended tofu mixture into flour mixture; stir together thoroughly. 

Note: In some recipes I noted that egg replacer was used instead of a ‘flax egg’. I don’t use egg replacer but this may help with the integrity of the finished sponge. If you decide to use egg replacer, in a small bowl, beat Egg Replacer and water together until soft peaks form and then fold into blended ingredients as the final step.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth batter evenly into pan; bake for 10-12 minutes. 

(tricky part coming up!)

Take the cake from oven, loosen sides and carefully invert onto a tea towel or more baking parchment sprinkled with cocoa powder. Carefully peel off the waxed paper that it was baked on. Sprinkle cake with more cocoa powder. Fold one end of the towel over the short end of cake; carefully roll up the cake, with tea towel inside it, trying not to crack the cake. (Do this while the cake is hot.) Set rolled cake and towel aside on a rack to cool

. Note- my sponge split a bit but once frosted and assembled it was barely noticeable so don't worry if this happens!

To fill the roll, carefully unroll cake, leaving it on top of the tea towel. Spread cake evenly the vanilla frosting.  Carefully roll cake up again as neatly as possible. If desired cut the end off cake and attach to the side of the roll as a ‘branch’.

Fully frost the cake and decorate with cooked cranberries (as I did originally) or holly!

Voila!  It takes a little time…but it is worth the effort!

On a side note, I think my love of vegetables is now becoming a little renown….since this was my Secret Santa gift this year!

For more Christmas themed recipes... check these out!


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‘Twelve Days’ day 3: Coconut ‘snow’ cookies

Today I have a double whammy for you- one batch of cookie mixture baked two ways:

Coconut spritz snowflakes & Coconut macaroon snowballs

…your choice! (or to save the decision making go for both)

I had originally trialled a number of spritz cookie recipes a few months back. I found the trickiest part was keeping the cookie crisp after day 1. Having tried a few different recipes I have now come to the conclusion that the spritz cookies are best eaten on the day they are made, or warmed in the oven to bring back that crisp edge on subsequent days.  They could probably be frozen and then heated through in the oven- note I haven’t actually tried this.

The idea for the macaroons came from a post I’d seen on Oh She Glows website a few months back, I then tweaked both the macaroon recipe and my own spritz cookie recipe so that they used the same ingredient base.

I love getting two very different cookies out of one mix- half the work for twice the fun!!

Recipe: Coconut ‘snow’ cookies

Ingredients

  • 200g coconut butter
  • 30g fine desiccated coconut
  • 50g agave and ¼ tsp pinch of stevia
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp almond essence
  • A pinch of salt
  • 70g arrowroot powder (corn starch or tapioca starch would probably also work but I haven’t tested them)
  • 10g instant polenta (optional to give extra crunch)

For macaroons:

  • extra desiccated coconut for coating.

For spritz cookies:

  • 1-2 tbs thick coconut cream or soy yoghurt if necessary to reach required consistency for piping.
  • Makes approx. 20 macaroons/spritz cookies

Method

Melt coconut butter (or make your own) and once nice a drippy add all the other ingredients. Mix together well and divide dough into halves if making both cookie types.

Spritz cookies: make these first whilst the mixture is still nice and pliable. Spoon into a robust piping bag with a large nozzle attachment and pipe circles or snowflakes shapes onto a lined baking sheet. If the dough is too stiff (which is likely) add a little coconut cream/soy yoghurt (as little as possible as too much will reduce the crispness of the cookie).

Macaroons: form small balls of the dough and roll in the extra coconut before placing on the lined baking sheet.

Bake for approx. 10-15 mins at 180C until lightly golden at the endges. Spritz cookies will need no longer than 10 minutes so keep a close eye on them. Allow to cool fully before removing from the sheet.


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‘Twelve Days’ day 1: Spiced cranberry orange cake

At my mum’s house, traditionally we wouldn’t put the Christmas decorations up until a couple of weekends before Christmas. However this weekend my sister had popped back home from uni and so with all the Christmas baking plans that I was busy drafting up we decided that we’d break that tradition and get full on into the swing. 

Yesterday afternoon was spent with boxes of decorations all around us on the floor- trying to decide which ones to use and which ones were just a bit too old/battered/silly to put up this year. Nostalgia usually gets the better of us and we end up with a Christmas tree ornament collection that looks so random it is almost an embarrassment to visitors who might not appreciate the odd shaped and badly stitched felt stocking that my brother made in primary school about 20 years ago!

So this year, we tried to keep to more of a theme with just a few of the most important nostalgic decorations allowed permission on the tree. It looks so much better!

We don’t go overboard on decorating the whole house from top to toe, but fairly lights are essential! I love fairy lights- I’d keep them up all year round if I could. They give such a warm happy glow to a space and make me want to twirl around the room! Ok, well maybe that is just me…?

Once the tree was up it was time to sit back with a glass of mulled wine. This year I thought I’d try making my own- it was based on a Jamie Oliver recipe that involves first making a syrup base to mix into the red wine. It was lovely, and I’ve bottled up the remaining syrup to have over Christmas itself. 

Along with mulled wine came dessert... a spiced orange and cranberry cake! This dessert becomes the first of the ‘Twelve Days’ of recipes and is super versatile in that it can be served warm as a dessert with custard, served cold as a slice of cake or even baked in muffin tins.

We ate ours warm with custard (Alpro soya custard in fact as I just didn’t have time to make my own).  Mmmm, it was good- dense, moist, lightly spiced and sweet but not overly so with a crisp tang from the cranberries and a warmth from the citrus and spices. Those who like a very sweet dessert may want to increase the sweetener slightly to compensate for the sharpness of the cranberries.  I imagine this cake would freeze well, but I can’t imagine this one being around long enough to test that out!

Recipe: Spiced cranberry orange cake

Makes one 7” cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1/3 cup rapadura plus ¼ tsp stevia (add a little extra if a very sweet cake is preferred)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • 4 tbs apple puree
  • 2 tbs coconut butter (melted) or coconut oil
  • 2 tsp orange zest or 1 tsp orange extract
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 banana- mashed
  • Small tin of mandarins or two clementines peeled in to segments and roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries partially chopped

Method

Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.  Blend together the wet ingredients (other than oranges and cranberries) in a food processor until well mixed and then add to the dry ingredients. Lastly add the oranges and cranberries to the mixture and mix through gently to break up the oranges but do not over mix. Pour the mixture into a greased  7” round cake pan. Bake at 180C for approx. 25 minutes loosely covering the cake for the final 10 minutes if the top begins to brown before the middle is cooked through.

For a similar cake idea but with a lighter sponge see this post with apples and blueberries.


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Super Healthy & Decadent Chocolate Brownie Torte

Following on from yesterday's little teaser.....

....This is a brownie recipe that has come about through reading many other blogs and online vegan recipes and combining what I consider to be all the ‘best bits’ to create a healthy brownie of my own. This was one of the first ‘healthy cake recipes’ I ever created and it has undergone various refinements over time to maximise the balance between yummy and healthy. I don’t know why it’s taken me until now to get it up on the blog- you saw a little sneaky teaser way back here at the beginning (ok so maybe it wasn’t so long ago but if feels ages to me!!)

It contains a lot of fruit and veg… maybe it can even count as one of your ‘five a day’…. now wouldn’t that be amazing!

I have called this brownie a ‘brownie torte’ because to me the classic non-vegan brownies that use eggs (and all sorts of other things) tend to have a very characteristic delicate dry flaky top, I’m probably not explaining that very well…hmmm.  The vegan brownie recipes I’ve tried and tested seem to have a denser more moist consistency and don’t have that flaky topping. That’s not to say they are in any way inferior but I wanted to simply make a distinction so as not to evoke any pre-expectations.  Also, as I like to serve my brownies warm with a decadent soft and fudgey centre, as opposed to a more cake like bite the ‘Brownie Torte’ title seemed so much more appropriate.

It is typically the amount of ‘flour’ (either spelt of GF) used and the cooking time that dictates the ‘cakeyness vs torteyness’ and this has been noted below.

The inclusion of the balsamic vinegar, prune puree and cinnamon all help to bring out the best of the chocolate flavour. The can be omitted/substituted if necessary(i.e sub the prune for more apple puree or soy yoghurt).

This recipe also uses beans. The 'bean' theme in healthy baking seems to have become quite popular.  I also used beans in this amazing blondie recipe. The general idea is to use black beans for chocolatey cakes and white beans for lighter coloured cakes.

Note- brownies also taste better the next day once the flavours have had a chance to fully infuse and the texture becomes more ‘fudgey’ (not sure why this is!). They also freeze well...so make a big batch!

P.S these pics were taken at the 'veg patch lunch' at work during the summer- hence the warm glow (I could do with a bit of that sunshine now!) On this occasion I also frosted the top with some cocoa mixed with agave nectar, but it's perfectly fine without.

Recipe: Chocolate brownie torte

Makes 16 squares

Ingredients

  • 1tsp ground flax seed mixed with 1tsp hot water and 1tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ cup silken tofu (150g)
  • ¼ cup tinned prunes with juice
  • ¼ cup apple puree
  • ½ cup agave syrup and ¼  tsp stevia (more agave or maple syrup to taste if needed)
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup drained black beans
  • 1 cup wholemeal spelt flour or for GF sub see below* (use up to 1 ½ cups to get a more cakey brownie)
  • ¼ tsp baking powder (use ½ tsp to make more cakey)
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ chopped walnuts (or mixed nuts) optional
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chunks or cacoa nibs

Method

Mix the ground flax seeds with hot water and vinegar and set aside for 1 min. Blend all wet ingredients (including flax mix) and cocoa powder in food processor until very smooth. Mix all remaining dry ingredients (apart from nuts and chocolate chips) in a bowl and combine well. Pour wet mixture into dry and mix well. Add nuts and chocolate chips last and fold through. Pour batter into 8x8’ square baking tin lined with parchment paper. Bake for approx. 15 mins at 180C (bake for approx. 20 mins if you are going for a cakey brownie). Cool and cut into squares. Best stored in the fridge and heated for a few seconds in the microwave before serving!

Note: This mixture makes enough for a small 8x8’ pan at approx. 15mm thick. I have also made 1 ½ times this quantity and poured into a 9’ round cake tin cooked for 20 mins to get a slightly thicker slice and cut into wedges- when decorated with fruit and vegan cream this is a crazily decadent and rich desert!

* the spelt flour can be subbed with a mix of ½ cup almond meal and ½ gluten free flours- I use a mix of buckwheat and tapioca flour. I have tested this out and it tasted just as good as the spelt version!


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Christmas Advent brownie bites

Ok so it’s December 1st

……….  Ahhh it’s DECEMBER THE FIRST and I am not ready for Christmas in the slightest!!

How did that happen?  I love Christmas, I love food, I love treats, I love writing lists, I love making things and I love making people happy… so how has Christmas suddenly crept up on me this year?

Well, no use in pondering, I’d just better get cracking. If I’d been a little more organised I would have posted this little teaser of a post sooner. Oh well.

I will post the full recipe for these brownies tomorrow, but for now I just wanted to show you my version of an advent calendar before the day is out. 

Last year I wanted to buy a vegan advent calendar for the Boy… but could I find one?  Well, yes finally in the end but it was very hard to track down and nearly everywhere had sold out.  The one I ended up buying (although yummy!) was very very expensive and still full of sugar and naughtiness (ok- well it is Christmas so maybe that’s allowed!), but my point is that treats don’t have to be naughty and they can still taste amazing.  So, by that token I figured this year I would simply have to make my own.

Simple criteria.

It had to be:

  • Chocolatey
  • Indulgent but healthy
  • Small but satisfying
  • Customisable

… and most importantly last all the way through to Christmas day! 

I had been meaning to post my brownie recipe for quite some time so it was already at the forefront in my mind. In addition to that I know that brownies freeze very well… so that got my mind whirring…. And ta da!!

Mini Advent brownie bites!

…. store them in the freezer and take a little square out each morning for a mid-morning indulgence (if you can wait that long). Bonus points here also- because they are kept in the freezer they are less likely to be eaten all at once! (maybe?)

I added a large dark chocolate button to the top of each one (glued on with chocolate icing) and then iced the numbered days leading up to Christmas…… oh I’m such a child and it was such fun!

Happy Advent!! …has anyone else gone for something a little different from the norm this year?


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Coconut Tarts With Apple & Raspberry

Things are looking up!

On Sunday, following a few days of re-adjustment once all my kitchen equipment and baking boxes had found new homes, I started to feel more at ease. I began to look forward to baking again and I moreover I needed to cook up some snacks to keep me going throughout the coming week. 

So, I had to go for it. An afternoon of baking in a new environment and with a new perspective…  and it felt good.  I’d even go so far as to say it was a resounding success!

First up I tried a ‘safe’ recipe with few ingredients and minimal mess to test the waters… more on that in a later post (clue- it contained ginger!)

Second up, these apple and raspberry coconut tarts… indeed they are as good as they sound. Since I was feeling adventurous and surprisingly confident by that point I decided to go all out and put together a crazy gluten free pastry base to boot.  Feel free to use your own ‘tried and tested’ pastry recipe if you prefer (GF or not), but I felt this version turned out surprising well- see additional notes below. The ingredients and method might appear long winded- but please do not let this put you off, each step is pretty simple and there is really not too much to it. It will be worth it!

Do I really need say any more or does this picture speak for itself….mmmmm, crisp coconut flakes, sweet moist coconut buttery apple topping and drippy raspberry centres all wrapped up in a crisp pastry shell.

Recipe: Apple and raspberry coconut tarts

Makes 12 tarts

Ingredients

Pastry base:

  • 130g GF flour mix
  • 30g ground almonds
  • ¼ tsp xantham gum
  • 80g coconut butter
  • 40g banana puree (approx. ½ mashed banana)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Filling:

  • 1tsp sugar free raspberry  jam per tart case
  • 1 apple grated
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbs agave
  • 50g coconut butter (partially melted)
  • 40g unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 1/3 tsp stevia (or to taste)

Topping:

  • 1tbs ground flax plus 2 tbs hot water
  • Approx. ½ cup unsweetened desiccated coconut

Method

Prepare GF pastry base (as above or use own recipe) but combining all ingredients together and forming a ball of dough. Cover in cling film and let rest whilst you prep the remaining ingredients.

Mix the grated apple with the lemon juice and set aside. Mix the partially melted coconut butter with the agave, stevia and desiccated coconut then add the apple mixture.

Either roll the pastry and use a cutter to cut circles to lay in each tart case, or if the pastry is a little too crumbly (as in this case) put of sections of dough and press into each tart case with fingers tips ensuring the pastry is not too thick. Note- it is impotant that the pastry is pretty thin as otherwise it will dominate the tart and be too tough.

Mix the ground flax with hot water and allow to sit for a few minutes until gloopy.

Fill each tart with a tsp of jam and then top this with a ‘disc’ of apple/coconut mixture- I pulled off a piece the size of a walnut and then flattened this in my hands.

Lastly, using a pastry brush, cover the top surface of the tart with the flax mixture and sprinkle over a generous layer of desiccated coconut so that it sticks to the wet flax.

Bake at 180C for approx. 15 minutes until the top begins to turn golden.

First- add 1 tsp of jam per tart

Second- lay the apple/coconut 'pattie' over the jam (note I ran short of topping hence the lonely jam tart!)before adding the coconut sprinkles over the top.

Note: My pastry base was completely experimental, but I felt it worked quite well with a subtle sweetness of banana and coconut. I haven’t created a GF pastry before so have little experience to go on. It wasn’t at all flaking but neither was it too tough the next day (however it got tougher in the following couple of days so maybe still needs torefinement!) It had the characteristic of a more robust pastry shell with a substantial ‘bite’ as opposed to melt-in-your-mouth, so make sure you keep the pastry case very thin. I quite liked the robustness it gave it but I understand some people may prefer a more delicate flakier pastry. Any neutral pastry base would work well here so feel free to mix it up a bit and use your own pastry recipe.


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