Apr 29, 2016

Nutella cake (v+gf)

I love healthy sweets. Especially those with which your thoughts wander through its chocolatiness without mentioning the lack of white flour, milk, eggs and butter. While testing this recipe, I've started to recall my less successful vegan bakes and by the end I don't really know what compelled me to take up the creation of the cake free of almost everything. But with a little bit of determination something wonderful was born - an intensely moist, chocolate cake with a gentle hazelnut taste, which was a great success even among the most bitter traditionalists. 

Ingredients for 18cm cake tin:

- 4 tablespoons of ground flaxseed + 10 tablespoons water
- 1 cup (250ml) of unsweetened almond milk
- 1.5 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tsp baking soda 
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup (honey for non-vegan option)
- 154g cane sugar 
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract 
- 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup of good quality cocoa
- 120g almond flour
- 50 g oat flour
- 200g gluten-free mix*

Chocolate ganache:

- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 230g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 150 g powdered sugar
- 175g roasted hazelnuts, half whole, half chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/360F. Grease two small cake tins with oil and coat with flour. 
2. Mix almond milk with apple cider vinegar and leave for 5 minutes to curdle.
3. In a large bowl, combine flaxseed with water. Leave for couple minutes until adding sugar, maple syrup and curdled milk. Mix everything to combine.
4. Add apple sauce, vanilla, coconut and salt. Mix again.
5. Then stir in cocoa, flours and baking soda. If the dough seems too thick, add a little more almond milk. 
6. Separate the batter between two cake tins and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center of cake will be dry. When ready, take out the tins from the oven and let them chill for about 15 minutes. After that, carefully remove the molds and put the cakes on a wire rack to cool completely. 

1. In a small saucepan heat up the almond milk and turn off the fire as soon as it begins to boil. Pour into a bowl, add the chocolate and leave for 3 minutes to melt. 
2. Once melted, stir with a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients and add coconut oil. Leave for another 10 minutes.
3. Use a hand mixer to beat the mixture adding sugar at the same time. When smooth, refrigerate for about 10 minutes to solidify. Proper ganache should be solid but easy to spread.
4. Beat the mass again and if it turns out to be too thin, add a bit more sugar.
5. Place the first layer of cake on a plate and spread approximately 1/3 of chocolate on the top. Sprinkle a handful of chopped nuts.
6. Set the second layer and use the remaining ganache to evenly coat the edges and top of the cake. Garnish with whole hazelnuts. 

* Mix together: 280g rice flour, 100 g of potato starch and 30g of tapioca starch. Store in a sealed container.


Apr 28, 2016

Peanut butter & chocolate cookies

These cookies are an ultimate favourite in our house. Everyone loves them and I wouldn’t hesitate to say that they are also one of the best things under the sun. Besides, the frequency with which they land in the oven speaks for itself. If you love peanut butter and chocolate as much as I do, you must give them a try!

Ingredients for about 12 cookies:

- 250g good quality dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
- 100g good quality milk chocolate, cut into small pieces
- 75g cane sugar 
- 85g butter, softened
- 100g peanut butter 
- 1 gree-range egg
- vanilla
- 100g flour 
- 1/3 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 teaspoon baking soda 
- 100g salted peanuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 360F.

Using a water bath, melt 100g of dark chocolate. When slightly cooled, combine in a large bowl with sugar, butter, peanut butter, egg and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and blend again. Stir in the remaining chocolate pieces and nuts.

Start taking a heaping tablespoon of dough and forming it into balls, then place them on a baking tray, leaving a fairly large distances, and slightly flatten each one. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges seem a  little darker. When ready, leave to cool completely before removing the cookies from the tray.