Posts tagged dessert
Christmas Wreath Cheesecake! (with so many options!)

I recently took a trip to Spain to soak up some winter sunshine and do some work without the distractions of my kitchen. I have lots of travel plans for next year and this was something of a trial for a location independent work life.

That meant as soon as I landed back in the UK… I was straight back in the kitchen to unleash all that repressed kitchen creativity, ha ha

This was something of spontaneous unplanned creation, although the idea was triggered by a toffee wreath sponge cake in the Ocado Magazine. I veganized it, healthanized it, changed up the flavour and tuned it into a cheesecake. Nothing like the original really!

gingerbread wreath cheesecake 1 includingcake.jpg

What I love about this recipe is the pure versatility…

  • you can make your own plain cheesecake base or if you are pushed for time buy a plain one and focus on making the bliss balls decorations.

  • you can use any cheesecake recipe you prefer (if you have a tried and tested version you love- just go for that!)

  • you can make it any flavour you fancy - I went for gingerbread but any festive theme (or non-festive) would be awesome.

  • You can make the topping ahead of time and then decorate your cheesecake last minute for a super speedy show-stopping dessert.

So have I got your attention yet? :-)

Below, I have provided the cheesecake recipe I used if you want to try it, but as I mention above the main focus of this post is on the decorations, so you could literally use any plain smooth topped cheesecake base you like.

I kept my bliss balls plain for a ‘simple’ understated cake but after I made it I remembered my ‘bliss baubles’ from previous years- they would look absolutely epic on this cake! (Why didn’t I think of that at the time!!)

I developed the ‘baubles’ for a brand so I don’t think I showcase them on my blog at the time - but the concept is simple. Toss desiccated coconut in a little turmeric, greens powder and beetroot powder and roll the balls in it to get a pretty multi-coloured batch!

baubles bliss balls includingcake.jpg

Recipe: Christmas Wreath Cheesecake!

Makes an 8’ cheesecake

Cheesecake Ingredients:


  • 1/2 cup oats

  • 1/2 cup nuts

  • 1/2 cup nuts

  • 1 tbs coconut oil


  • 1 cup water (separated into 2 x 1/2 cups)

  • 1 tbs agar flakes

  • 1 cup cashews (soaked overnight in cold water or for a couple of hours in hot water, then drained)

  • 1/4 cup syrup of choice (I used coconut)

  • 2 tbs coconut oil

  • 1 tbs lemon juice

  • 1 heaped tsp ground ginger

  • 1/4 tsp mixed spice

*NOTE: I found my base to be quite ‘bendy’ so it wasn’t as easy to remove from the pan as I would like. (But maybe that’s just me being clumsy as most of the recipe I have looked at use a similar base type)


Add the base ingredients to a food processor and blitz together until quite fine and clumpy. Press firmly into the bottom of a spring form pan (lining it may also help- optional). Set aside.

Add 1/2 cup water with the agar flakes to a small sauce pan. bring to a boil and then simmer for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, blitz the remaining ingredients together in a food processor until thick and smooth (you may need to scrape down a couple of times). By this time the agar should be ready. Add this to the food processor and blitz for a further 20-30 seconds until the mixture is as smooth as it can be.

Working quite quickly (because the agar will begin to set) spoon/pour the mix on top of the cheesecake base. Tap the tin gently to smooth the top and get rid of any air bubbles. Once cooler enough place the cheesecake in the fridge to fully set (an hour or so).

Meanwhile, make the bliss ball topping as directed below.

Bliss Ball Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup dates (use medjool dates if you haven’t got a powerful food processor)

  • 1 cup dessicated coconut (or nuts of choice- cashew/almond/pecan or a mix all work well)

  • 2 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice

  • handful of goji berries and pumpkin seeds for additional decoration.

*Remember you could use any flavour here or a mix of flavours - e.g orange, cherry bakewell, chocolate, vanilla would all work well depending on what base favour you opt for!


Blitz all ingredients together in a food processor. The mix should be soft and clumpy and easy to roll into balls. Using your hands, roll into balls of various (fairly small) sizes.

If choosing to decorate as multi-coloured ‘baubles’ - dust a little extra desiccated coconut with turmeric, greens power and beetroot power (plus blue spirulina if you can get your hands on it!- any other colours?!) and roll the balls in it.

Allow them to chill and firm up whilst the cheesecake base firms up.

Once ready to decorate, place the balls gently in a mix of sizes around the perimeter of the cake top. Sprinkle goji berries and pumpkin seeds as desired in the gaps as ‘foliage’.

NOTE: you could make these ahead of time as they will store in the fridge for a couple of weeks. They transport well too if you needed to take them elsewhere to a festive party and decorate a cake there!

The entire assembled cheesecake will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.

gingerbread wreath cheesecake 2 includingcake.jpg
gingerbread wreath cheesecake 3 includingcake.jpg

Did you try it?

I’d love to see… tag @johodson on Instagram with your creation!! :-)

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The Festive Recipe Bundle!

A ‘Bliss’full Christmas?

With the festive season fast approaching… I had a slightly spontaneous idea to create a festive recipe bundle including a new version of my ‘top 5 recipes’ with some new favourites I have created since the first edition.

I coupled the Christmas Recipe Guides with my favourite Bliss Ball Guide (featuring loads of recipes that haven’t appeared on the blog) because, for me, Bliss Balls are the perfect Christmas homemade gift… so many of my customers and friends will likely attest to that, ha ha!


The fun bonus with these ebooks is that they are designed such that you can print them (ideally on card), cut them along the dotted lines to keep on hand in the kitchen OR even better, use the recipe card as a gift tag when you present your homemade gift… that way your ‘giftee’ can make the recipe again for themselves. Fun, right? ;-)

All the recipes are vegan (of course) gluten free (some use oats so opt for GF versions) and refined-sugar free… so you have an indulgent Christmas without compromise.

*Note… I don’t want to imply that there should be any ‘food guilt’ I aim to inspire your creativity with food NOT make you feel bad about food! So go full out and eat sugar and refined foods if you want to, I just know many of us feel so much better in mind and body when sticking to mostly whole foods and unrefined ingredients if there is the option, and so if that’s you thing… I’ve totally got you covered!

The whole bundle is just £5…

You can buy it HERE (or click the pic below!)

P.s I’d love you to tag me on social media in any recipes you make - Instagram is my favourite hangout- I’m @johodson over there :-)

If you don’t fancy getting the guides right now, you can still get lots of recipe ideas right here on my blog… Here are a few to get you going!

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The 'Bliss Cake' (aka a mega bliss ball!)

I have another Bliss Ball Workshop coming up this weekend and last weekend I was in full on recipe development mode last weekend which included making loads of Bliss Ball mix... but I fancied a different presentation to the norm to change things up a bit and so the 'Bliss Cake' was born.... Oh My Gosh..... a touch of heaven on earth!!

Recipe: The Bliss Cake 

Whaaaaaaa.... Why have I not create this before!

I love eating raw cakes BUT I am not typically big fan of making them, simple because of the time it often takes to make and freeze the different layers and also because they are often very neat and super slick and well, I guess I am a little more rough around the edges ;-) Basically, I like to keep things as simple and as quick as possible!

So this beauty ticked those boxes for sure. Be warned if you make it, it is VERY yummy and VERY moreish and a little slice is very rich and will go a long way!  As with blss balls themselves, you could literally make any cake base and then decorate with any toppings... as you can see I added as many colourful things as possible (I was trying out new freeze dried fruits from RealFoodSource at the time).

My base was a blend of dates, almonds, raw cacao and a touch of orange extract.

Other great options could be..... these turkish delight balls, these 'cake like' truffles, or a gingerbread slice. Or why not try a double-decker cake and layer it up- it will barely take any longer as you could just make the full mix without any cocoa, divide in half and add cocoa to the second half, press the first half into the plan followed by the second. 

If you wanted to add a frosting, then the raw frosting I used on these mini sweet potato muffins below (full muffin recipe here) would go down a treat!  Basically you mash slightly softened coconut oil, with a little syrup of choice and cocoa powder, the spread on top in rough peaks and store in the fridge.

vegan chocolate orange cupcakes

Or this lighter frosting (my classic go-to) uses silken tofu and is a total winner! (it just means the topping is not raw, if you were going for the raw cake thing!)

See... now you understand just how versatile the 'bliss cake' is! It;s going to be my new party piece for sure, I will be able to change up the flavours to suits my recipients favourite on a whim!

Recipe: The Bliss Cake 

Recipe: The 'Bliss' Cake 

Makes one 8" cake (or a deeper 6")


  • 2 cups medjool dates or soaked and drained deglet noor dates (I use the latter)

  • 1 cup ground almonds (or any ground nut/seed base)

  • 1/2 cup cocoa (for a non choc option use a little extra dry ingredient)

  • 1 tsp orange extract (optional- rose water, mint or almond would be fab too)

  • Toppings galore!!!


Simple blend everything together in a food processor, you may need to do this in two batches defending on the side of your processor (mine is a 2 litre Thermomix). You want a fairly smooth texture with no big pieces, some texture if ok as it makes it 'cake'.

Press fairly firmly into a springform cake pan (or a silicone pan works too) then press into lots of amazing toppings. Or feel free to first it (you will need to keep in the fridge if frosted).

Keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks (unfrosted) or on the counter for a few days. 

Let me know if you make your own 'bliss cake' tag me @johodson on Instagram as I'd love to see!

Recipe: The Bliss Cake 
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'Greens powder' FREE recipe book!

You may have seen over on my Facebook page that I've been experimenting with all things 'green' in the recipe department recently!

No it's not St Patrick's Day, it's because I've been developing recipes for Real Food Source using their Matcha powder and their Green Tea Blend.  I created another free ebook to add to their ever growing collection showcasing a collection of recipes using their green tea blend... most of these are also interchangable with pure matcha tea, so if you are a matcha fan you have loads of inspiration ready for you too!

The best thing about the green tea blend is that it combines a variety of nutritionally rich green powders at a very cost effective price.

Here's a little sneak peak.... but you can follow this link to download your very own copy!

One of my favourite recipes in the collection is this green tea 'Nice Cream' quick (with a little pre-freezing required) and perfect to pep you up on a summer afternoon. It's also totally ok to serve this as breakfast.... a seriously healthy treat!  Don't skip the nut butter as this creates a much creamier, richer result.

Recipe: Green Tea vegan ice Cream

Recipe: Green Tea 'Nice' Cream

Serves 2


  • 2 bananas- chopped into chunks and pre-frozen 
  • 2 tsp of green tea blend (or matcha tea)
  • 2-3 tbs cashew butter
  • Mulberry crumble (or other dried fruits, granola or choc chunks) sprinkled on top to serve.


Blend all ingredients together until smooth and totally smooth and creamy, it will be very thick when you spoon it in to bowls

Add toppings of choice... something with a little chew or crunch works well. (In the photos is this mulberry crumble)

Recipe: Green Tea vegan ice Cream
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Chocolate Banana Ice Cream... and another ebook!

I've been in full on design mode recently!

Making tweaks to my website.... did you see I now have two separate blog rolls AND a funky highlight's page? Of course I've also been busy gearing up for the Lanzarote Wellness Retreat!

Behind the scenes there has been even more ebook action. I have been collaborating with RealFoodSource in designing another FREE ebook... this time featuring their 'as raw as it get's' chocolate powder blend.

You can grab the book here... it has loads of inspiration and you could easily swap regular raw cacao and add your own extra sweetness. Their own raw powder blends cacao powder with coconut sugar and sea salt for an all in one ready to go option (if you are in the UK they currently have a launch promo offer).

Here's a little teaser of the recipes I created inside!

One of my favourite recipes from the book is featured on their blog... the chocolate banana ice cream. 

Perfect for the hot summer weather, or simply a treat all year round! Frozen banana makes the perfect no churn ice cream. Use greener bananas for a less dominant taste and add a little syrup if needed as they’ll be less sweet. You can add full fat coconut milk to replace some of the banana of you wish.

Or instead of a chocolate option, why not add fruits or vanilla powder to change up flavours. I feel a rum and raisin combo coming on! Or even a citrus flavour with orange and lemon.

You can find the full recipe HERE!

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here you might like to check out my 'About' tab up top. To buy healthy nibbles you can also find me over at my sister site Wholeplus. 

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

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Flax focaccia... sweet and savoury!

Once of my first keto experiments was the flax focaccia bread from Leanne's book. I wanted an easy snack recipe that I could eat on it's own (with almond butter!) or add as a extra boost to meals. I had to make some adaptations to make it vegan since the original recipe uses eggs, therefore the texture is likely not to be so 'fluffy' but it still tasted good to me!

I also decided to experiment with a second batch as a semi-sweet version using ground ginger. Since flax is quite a powerful flavour, I needed to use a spice that could hold its own work as a compliment. I also used vanilla bean for an edge of softenss and molasses … Well, just because gingerbread and molasses go hand-in-hand and you only need a tiny touch to get the depth of flavour.

Even though I call this a 'sweet' bread, it really is only very lightly sweet since I used only pure stevia and no other form of sweetness. If you are not on a strict low-carb diet then I would suggest adding 2 tablespoons of syrup or coconut sugar to taste.

I enjoyed this gingerbread version with plain soy yoghurt that I had also mixed with vanilla. Don't skip on the pecans, they really add a lovely touch to the bread and give great crunch. Pecans always remind me of caramel and toffee... I guess that's what they are often paired with, so for me they psychologically conjure up a hint of extra sweetness!

The savoury focaccioa slices makes a great side for a salad... the bowl in these pictures was a combo of lots of low carb raw veggies (plus a few tomatoes for a flavour pop), some homemade saurekraut plus an olive dressing mixed with a little water to make a drizzle sauce.

Recipe: Keto flax focaccia- sweet and savoury

This recipe is adapted from Leanne’s book- Keto Beginning

Makes 1 8” round cake pan


  • 1 cup ground flax
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup almond butter/tahini
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • Chia seeds for topping (savoury version)

For sweet version:

  • Reduce salt to a pinch
  • Add: 1 tbs ginger, 1 tsp vanilla bean powder, 1 tsp molasses and few drops stevia to taste.
  • A handful of toasted pecans.


Mix the flax, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside. (plus add ginger vailla for sweet version)

Melt the coconut oil and almond butter/tahini into the warm water (plus stevia and molasses for sweet version)

Mix the wet into the dry until well mixed then spoon the mixture into prepared baking pan- I used a round 8” silicone cake tray. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon, spinkle over the chia or reds in the pecans and transfer the pan to the preheated oven. Bake bread for 15-20 minutes, until top is lightly browned.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before lifting from the tin. Allow to cool fully before slicing.

Store in the fridge or freezer.

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus. 

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

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Chocolate crunch pudding.... sugar free and keto friendly!

I'm so excited about this recipe!

Over the last month of experimenting with the keto way of eatingdessert and snacks have been my main focus. Main meals have actually been the easiest part of the plan.... predominately a lot of veg! 

I have always been a snacker, and whilst I don't always feel the need for a sweet treat after dinner, I do have a sweet tooth and this dessert hit the spot perfectly. I would go as far to say everyone would really enjoy this, regardless of dietary preference. It's very easy to add a little extra fruit if desired, or if serving for a crowd with differing requirements. These single serve pots are really versatile in that way.

The shortcake clusters have been seen on my blog in various guises in this strawberry shortcake here and atop this blackberry and apple crumble. The almond flour creates a 'dry' shortcake like texture which perfectly compliments a yoghurt or save style base.  The simplicity and speed of the recipe is what grabs me time and time again. You could make a big batch of clusters and have the topping on hand for speedy deserts of snacks throughout the week. The almond flour (make sure you don't use ground almonds!) is also 50% protein making it a perfect low carb option.

Recipe: Chocolate crunch keto pudding

Serves 2


  • 1/2 cup blanched almond flour (not ground almonds- I use this one)
  • 3 tbs cocoa
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • a little stevia to taste 
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (or other)
  • 1 cup non dairy yoghurt such as soy or coconut
  • Few drops almond or vanilla extract to flavour the yoghurt- optional
  • a tiny handful frozen raspberries- crushed (they go further this way)
  • a handful of rough chopped macadamia nuts (or other nuts of choice)


Mix the almond flour and cocoa together then add the coconut oil, syrup and stevia, rub through with fingers to form crumbs. The crumbs should tick together when you squeeze the mix in your hands. if they don't the add a little water 1 tablespoon at a time.

Squeeze the mix into small clusters and lay evenly on a baking tray. Bake for approx 10 mins or grill for 3 mins on a medium heat until just toasted (keep a close eye as the almond flour can burn quickly!)

Meanwhile, spoon the yogurt (add flavours if desired) in two glasses or ramekins then add the choc clusters. Top with the macadamia and crushed raspberries to serve.

Chocolate shortcake clusters fresh from under  the grill

Chocolate shortcake clusters fresh from under  the grill

a few frozen raspberries give a pop of flavour without the high carbs

a few frozen raspberries give a pop of flavour without the high carbs

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus. 

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:


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Ginger Pudding with gingerbread sauce!

It's already 5th December… Ahhhh, I have so many recipes I want to share in the run up to Christmas but getting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) has just not happened as much as I would have liked. But don't worry i'm back on it now!

I've been crazy busy behind the scenes getting all my final Wholeplus Christmas orders packaged and delivered to happy customers, as well writing the Real Food Source Christmas ebook AND gearing up for lots of new exciting things happening in the New Year.

I haven't even yet talked about my 'grain free' November,  I will do that tomorrow... promise! Plus loads more news in relation to my own health that I wanted to fill you in on in the spirit of full honesty and because hopefully it will help some of you too. 

...But for today I am excited to be featured on WellToDo London...  London's richest weekly edit of health and wellness culture.  

I created a ginger pudding with gingerbread sauce. It was inspired by this sticky toffee pudding recipe and this gingerbread sauce.

Perfect for the festive season and beyond!  

Go and check out the full recipe on WellToDo London HERE!

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

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