I must say – and it might come as a surprise when thinking of my profession as a food editor, recipe artist and a cook book author – but I´m a quite terrible cook.
And that is when it comes to normal, real food, meaning warm dishes, meals and dinners. In that area of cooking my imagination just stops and mind goes blank. I have maybe two kinds of dishes that I can handle well: the other one is oven roasted or steamed vegetables and the other one is veggie soups. Oh yeah, there´s also a third one I like to serve and that´s called “Let´s go out to eat.” That´s something that is served in our family many times a week. And I´m not proud of it. It´s just that I might miss a chromosome that makes mothers eager to cook meals for their family. My man misses that too. His cooking chromosome, I mean. Well, maybe mine too.
Okay, I think I would have the basic skills one needs in preparing good meals, but it is the passion and interest that I lack. Even though the inspiration would be found everywhere. Cook books and internet are bursting delicious recipes, but for some reason mostly the sweet stuff catches my eye. Or snacks. Or breakfast things. That part of cooking makes my eyes sparkle and mouth water.
This being said it might not be a surprise that I´ll once again serve you guys something from that field. It is a great invention of mine called a Breakfast Cake. It unites granola and chocolate pudding. It is truly a brilliant thing. It´s really soft and fudgy and can barely hold a shape of a cake. But it can, and that is why it´s called cake, not just a pile of pudding and granola. It is not too sweet because in the morning too much sweetness for me is like loud noise to tastepuds. You will want to wake up your senses gently.
The other great thing besides the subtle and delicious taste and a great concept is that for a change this recipe is totally nut-free. I´ve received so many pretty requests for nut-free recipes from people with allergies that I thought now is the time.
I have also received many pretty requests for recipes for healthy meals but as you now know, I´m not quite there yet. Still developing. Maybe someday in the future I will start creating these great entrees for you readers and for my family. (to be honest, hopefully I will be able to hire someone to do that in my home and on this site…)
So for now I´ll continue with these sweeties and snacks! With them – I rock.
Try this and you´ll rock too.
CHOCOLATE PUDDING CAKE
1 ¼ cup gluten-free rolled oats
4 tbsp sesame seends (or other seeds you like)
½ cup soft dates
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of sea salt
1 ¾ cups oat milk (or coconut milk or other dairy-free milk)
¼ cups chia seeds
¼ cup raw cocoa powder
4-5 tbsp coconut oil (heaping tablespoons soft oil. or alternatively 4 tbls melted cacao butter)
1 ripe banana
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 soft dates
if more sweetness desired, use honey for example
Topping: (not necessary)
Coconut whipped cream. Get the recipe here.
(Size of the pan: max 7 inch or 4 x 8 inch / 17 cm or 10 x 20 cm)
Prepare a small cake tin by putting a piece of paper on the bottom of the tin so that the cake is easier to take out later. Prepare the crust by mixing all ingredients in a blender or use a hand blender. Mix only a little bit so that the dough is easy to mold but the rolled oats do not get grinded into pulver. Taste and add seasoning or sweetness if desired. Press the crust onto the bottom of the cake tin. Prepare the filling.
Put all ingredients in a blender and puree. Taste and add sweetness if desired. Pour the filling into the cake tin and put the tin into the freezer for at least an hour, or until it gets solid.
In the meantime prepare the coconut whipped cream for the top. (Cake goes also well without.) Get the recipe here.
Take the cake from the freezer, remove from the pan and let it melt for a little. Cut the cake into pieces while it is still slighly frozen. Add some coconut whipped cream on top of the cake and sprinkle some raw chocolate, muesli or cocoa powder. Serve and enjoy! Store in a refrigerator.
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Since my childhood I have always been a sucker for candy. I must say that it is the biggest temptation for me. Even now, when I have been eating quite clean for over 6 years, it is still sometimes hard for me to pass those colorful candy shelves. All those sweets, chocolates, flavors and smells just make my head blur. Usually I can manage myself, but if you give me a bowl of candies – I will sure empty it. And not leave one tiny piece behind.
Well, we all have our addictions.
And I´m not alone with this one. Candy business is huge and especially here in Finland and also in Sweden even adults eat candies like there´s no tomorrow! It is crazy. That is why it is my passion to create better alternatives for all those common candies filled with refined sugars, colourants and artificial flavors. One of my dream is to join forces with some candy factory and to start creating healthy sweets for people. So holler if you happen to be in candy biz! I´m your girl.
And then to the real topic of this post. It is the licorice toffee that I´ve created. I got the inspiration for it from this really popular retro toffee bar that we have here in Finland called “Hopeatoffee” as in Silver toffee. I don´t know where the name comes from, because it ain´t silver. It´s black. That is because it´s made from licorice. It´s soft tasty licorice toffee and I can understand why it has been on market for over 30 years now. It is good.
But of course not as good as my new version! This updated silver toffee has only three ground ingredients: organic rice syrup (or honey), almond butter and dairy-free milk. Then you flavor it with licorice, anise, vanilla and salt, cook it for 5 – 20 minutes, depending on how sticky you want your toffee to be, pour it on molds or on board, let it cool and you´re good to go!
You´ll love it.
Have fun time cooking and munching! And stay tuned, because there´s more clean candies to come!
- ½ cup rice syrup (or organic honey or coconut palm syrup)
- ½ cup almond butter (or nut butter of your taste or 1 cup butter)
- 3 tbsp oat milk (or other dairy-free milk)
- 3-4 tbsp black licorice root extract powder or grated liquorice root extract stick
- 1 tsp ground anise
- ½ tsp vanilla powder
- a tiny pinch of sea salt
Pour all the ingredients to a saucepan. Bring to boil. Stir constantly and turn the stove to low temperature. Heat the mixture stirring slowly for about 5-20 minutes. If you want it to be really thick and sticky, cook only for about 5-8 minutes. If you like softer toffee, cook for 10 – 20 minutes. To test if the toffee is ready, drop a tiny bit of mixture into a bowl of cold water. Toffee is ready when you can mold a soft but solid ball of it with your fingers. Pour the mixture into chocolate molds or spread to a silicon-lined or parchment-lined board or plate. Let cool in the fridge. If you spread the toffee onto a sheet, break it into bars or smaller candies. Wrap it for example in greaseproof paper or store in a jar. Serve and enjoy! Store sealed in a cool room temperature or in a fridge and use within two weeks.
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