Posts tagged gift
Chocolate Biscuity Tiffin (p.s great Fathers Day gift!)

I made these treats a few week back and they were so incredibly good, but I didn't take photos! I made another batch (with a tweaked recipe) the following weekend! I used the excuse that they were a recipe test ahead of Fathers Day... but in all honesty it was just an excuse to eat more tiffin.. and take photos!

I suddenly realised Fathers Day was just a few days away... but these are so simply hopefull you still have time to make them. The only specialist ingredient is the almond flour, and you do need fine almond flour (not just ground almonds) as this is what creates the texture. I buy this flour from Real Food Source but other health shops should stock it (just make sure it isn't whole ground almonds as sometimes the wording on the pack can be misleading).

The tiffin biscuit chunks are actually not a new recipe as I have used them top top these strawberry shortcake parfaits and also this 5-minute fruit crumble... but I had never thought to cover them in chocolate!  I highly recommend you try it as it is such a simple concept and so versatile.

The first batch was literally just the biscuity chunks and dried fruit covered in dark chocolate (and I forgot to photograph them properly). But then I wondered whether having a softer base surrounding the biscuit might be more authentic so I made a variation to incorporate this (shown just below).  Both options were great!  If you do the latter be careful not to make the base to soft as it might fall apart. I kept mine in the fridge so that it was firmer. 

If you are pushed for time go for the first option! It literally takes about 10-15 mins.

Tiffin with softer base and chocolate over the top.

Tiffin with softer base and chocolate over the top.

Tiffin with just melted chocolate (apologies for rubbish quality iPhone pic!)

Tiffin with just melted chocolate (apologies for rubbish quality iPhone pic!)

Recipe: Chocolate Biscuity Tiffin Slices

Ingredients:

Biscuit chunks:

  • 1/2 cup fine almond flour 
  • 2 tbs agave syrup (or syrup of choice)
  • 1 tbs coconut oil (soft but not melted)
  • pinch of salt
  • a touch of water (approx 1tbs) 

Plus:

  • approx. 1/2 cup dried berries - I used cherries, cranberries and sultanas
  • 1/2 cup worth (approx 100g) dark chocolate (maybe less if you are just using it for a thin topping)
  • 1 tbs coconut oil (this helps the pouring consistency of the melted chocolate)

Softer base (optional):

  • 1/4 cup cashew or almond butter (could use peanut butter but would have a stronger flavour)
  • 1/2 cup dates (soaked for a few mins and drained)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil- melted
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder

Method:

For the biscuit, combine all ingredients using your fingers (as if making pastry) to form small crumbs then grab fistfuls of the mix to bind together and break off small globs. Add a touch of water (if needed) to help it stick together a little better.

Lay the chunks evenly on a baking sheet and bake the for 5-6 minutes until they begin to go golden- note it wont take long at all so keep a close eye! 

(Only if making the base) Meanwhile combine all the ingredients and blend in a food processor- you should have very thick smooth paste. Smooth this evenly into the bottom of a smallish cake tin (it should be approx 1xm thick).  When the biscuit is cooked allow to cool a little and then press lightly into the base along with the dried fruit. 

(If not making the base) place the biscuit chunks in the bootom of a smallish cake pan and mix the dried fruit in evenly. There mix should cover the pan generously with only small gaps - so use a smaller pan if needed (or double the recipe).

Pour the melted chocolate over the top in a thick even layer. Allow to set in the fridge before slicing and serving. 

Recipe: Chocolate Biscuity Tiffin Slices
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Raw chocolate almond slices... last minute gifting!

As of today, right now, I'm actually going to take some downtime over Christmas, ok well it's my version of downtime but what I actually mean is a little bit of time out from normal work, whole plus, my blog and crazy kitchen experiments so that I can dedicate some hard-core time to reading a huge pile of coaching books that have been waiting so long for me to get stuck into...and also to writing to my 'fit-food' e-book which still has a long way to go and I'm giving a seminar on the 17th January!!… so there's no going back now, it needs to be ready for that date.... ahhhh!

I have another one or two recipes scheduled, and who knows I may pop up again before New Year... i'm just not scheduling anything in at this moment in time. Taking the pressure off but let's see if i can keep away, ha ha.

So today... we're in last-minute-treats mode. As it happens this is the box of treats I gave my colleagues at the Spine and Wellness Centre last week. Those who follow me on Instagram will have seen it already :-)

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Sp quick and easy to whip up.... just process, press and slice!

If you are not such a fan of a pronounced almond flavour you could use anther extract and add other crushed nuts to the top... hazelnut would be good, opt peppermint or how about chocolate orange maybe with some zest or coconut sprinkles on top? For a nut free version, use desiccated coconut in place of the ground almonds.

Package up in cellophane with a few pieces of swirly ribbons and you're good to go! These treats will keep well right through the christmas period and don't need to be refrigerated. They are pretty robust too, so perfect for travels to friends and family!

P.s sorry the photos look 'fuzzy'. The have such a short depth of field because it was a really dull day and I struggled to get enough light so had to open the aperture as wide as it would go! (techie talk over now).

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Recipe: Raw chocolate almond slices

Makes approx 20 squares

Ingredients:

  • 300g dates
  • 70g coarse ground oats (or other equivalent GF flours)
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp almond extract (or other see notes above)
  • Blanched flaked almonds pressed into top- optional

 Method:

Process the dates to begin to form a paste, then add the remaining ingredients and process until fairly smooth, the mixture should become a sightly sticky dough.

Pack into a brownie sized baking tray and press down very firmly (use the flat end of a rolling pin to pummel down!). Decorate with almonds or as desired.

Chill for an hour or so and then slice into squares. 

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p.s You know that pile of books I was just talking about...!  

 

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Today I bring you a treat NOT a trick...an e-book!

Happy Halloween people!!   

Today I bring you a treat NOT a trick!!

I wasn't going to post today... but then I had some exciting news I wanted to share. 

I have launched a e-book. Ok, let me rephrase that a little. I have put together a little e-book on behalf of The Real food Source (RFS) who as many of you will know I work closely with in developing recipes for their site.   I'm feeling proud as this is my first book and is something i've been wanting to do for a long time (have many plans for my own too). I also fully developed and designed all the recipes and graphics for the book so it's been a labour of love!

The most important part for you is that it's FREE!!

 

Basically the RFS were keen to showcase their products in a way that would help people get creative and not shy away from the less mainstream ingredients they sell. We hope this will be one in a series on book all focussing on different ingredient type... for example i've already got lots of ideas for a 'nut butter' book!

The book is a 'living book' and will be added to over time (every month or so) as new recipes are developed. It is in PDF form and downloads will remain free forever so pop back in the future for updates.

This book focusses on coconut milk powder. I love this stuff and use it to make my morning oatmeal: just add a heaped tsp to the oats and pour over boiling water, stir through and add your toppings. Sooooo easy and less messy than a hob and potentially better for you that using a microwave.  The coconut milk powder is also very special since it is the only dairy free version i've ever come across since most powders contain sodium caseinate.  It can be used in so many different ways.

Anyway, I have so much studying to do today for my coaching courses- i'm trying to compile and write a 'starter pack' and am procrastinating too much already today.

So that is all. Please please go and check out the link here and if you are even a little bit curious why to get the book.  It's FREE!  Once you have it please share it around with anyone and everyone who could do with a bit of dairy-free delight in the lives . P.s let me know what you think... or any ideas you have to make it better or ideas for other books. :-) 

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Chocolate brownie butter

This wasn't made for me.

There is a reason I don't use create this kind of thing.

If I did I would eat it within minutes!

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This pot of indulgent chocolate brownie spread was especially made for my mum's birthday today!

Actually I made two types of chocolate pot; the other was a smooth and creamy spreadable 'Nutella style pot' similar to this creation but made with the addition of coconut milk powder.

The one you see here today is a thick chunky chocolate 'butter', the type to stick your spoon in and shove a globful in your mouth, the type that will layer up over biscuits and scones, it won't run anywhere... thick and chunky is the name of the game!

I added dried cranberries and walnuts to amp up the brownie style indulgence. But you could add any nuts or dried fruit or even biscuit crumbs if you fancied- the more texture the better!

The photos here imply the fruit being dipped (and apologies for the browning apple slices- photoshoots take too long!) however this is not so much a dippy spread as I thick butter, so grab a spoon or a knife and slather over your fruit or whatever you wish. You could serve it cold or warmed a little to soften up. If you added a little extra liquid to the mix you may also get more of the dippy spread, though I haven't tried this way.

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Recipe: Chocolate brownie butter

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup blanched almond paste (I ground up some blanched almonds. Regular roasted almond butter would also work but will alter the end flavour slightly)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa solids- melted
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or unrefined sugar of choice, date paste may also work) 
  • handful of dried cranberries
  • handful of chopped walnuts (toasted optional) 

Method: 

Dissolve the coconut sugar in the boiling water and add to the cocoa solids. Blend all with the almond paste until well mixed and smooth (ish). Mix the walnuts and  cranberries through lightly.

Store in a airtight jar. It should not need to be refrigerated. I have only just made this 'butter' so am sure of it's shelf life. 

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