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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

♥ Sinless Vegan & Gluten-Free Chocolate Raspberry Tart ♥


for the crust:
  • 2 cups raw nuts (I used half and half of almonds and cashews) *
  • 1 cup dates, pitted
  • a pinch of maldon salt
for the chocolate filling:
  • 1 cup dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 6 tbsp cacao powder
  • 4 tbsp all-natural peanut butter (or any other kind of nut butter)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • unsweetened plant-based milk (or water), until desired consistency
for the final layer:
  • roughly 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • grated and/or melted dark sugar-free vegan chocolate (optional)
serving suggestions:
  • whipped coconut cream (see recipe below)

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place all the ingredients for the crust, except the dates, in a food processor and pulse it until you have a coarse meal. Add in the dates and process until you have a sticky dough. Press this firmly into the bottom of either a tart or pie pan lined with parchment, before punching holes all around the bottom using a fork. You get the most aesthetically pleasing result by using a tart pan, but taste-wise either works perfectly. Bake for about 10-20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the crust from the oven and set it aside to cool.

2. While the crust is baking, go ahead and make the chocolate filling. This is done simply by placing all the ingredients into a food processor and run until you have a smooth and creamy paste. Start with using 1 cup of milk and add more as you go along. I ended up using about 1 1/2 cup, but you might need slightly more or less. The texture should be similar to Nutella! Pour the filling over crust, flatten with a spatula and transfer the pie to the refrigerator. Leave it for at least 2 hours, preferably over-night, allowing it to set properly.

3. Once the chocolate filling has set, remove the tart from the refrigerator. Start by picking out all the best-looking raspberries that are roughly the same size. Arrange them as close together as you possibly can on top of the chocolate filling. To achieve the best result, start in the middle and work your way towards the edges, working in circles.

 4. Now simply garnish with whatever you wish. I chose to melt some sugar-free vegan dark chocolate and drizzle it on top of the raspberries, as well as adding a dash of grated chocolate on top. I served it with some whipped coconut cream, which tasted heavenly.

Makes 1--9"pie.

Whipped Coconut Cream

makes 2 cups
  • 1 can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • a pinch of maldon salt

1. Place the coconut milk in the fridge and allow it to sit overnight. Take it out the following day and resume to the second step.

 2. Open the can and scoop out the hardened coconut mass that has gathered on the top into a bowl. The coconut water that remains can be used in any recipe that calls for plant-based milk so there is no need to throw this out.

 3. Grab either an electric or manual hand mixer and start whisking the mass until you have a smooth cream. I used an electric hand mixer and it took less than 1 minute from start to finish. It will probably take slightly longer if you use a manual hand mixer but it is far from un-doable. Serve immediately.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

♥ Spiced Peach-Carrot Bread ♥


  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped fresh, ripe peaches 
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated carrots
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk 
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool 15 minutes.
  2. Stir together flour and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl; add peaches, next 4 ingredients, and toasted pecans, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into a lightly greased 9- x 5-inch loaf pan.
  3. 3. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

♥ Zucchini Chocolate Cake with Orange Glaze Recipe ♥


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 3 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • GLAZE:
  • 1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Coat a 10-in. fluted tube pan with cooking spray and sprinkle with flour.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in applesauce and vanilla.
  • Combine the flour, baking cocoa, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and soda; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Fold in the zucchini, walnuts and orange peel.
  • Transfer to prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  • Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • In a small bowl, combine glaze ingredients. Drizzle over cake. Yield: 16 servings.
~~ Healthy Cooking, Aug/Sept 2011~~

Sunday, August 4, 2013

♥ Two-Step Fresh Peach Pound Cake ♥


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup milk 
  • 1/2 cup peach schnapps
  • 6 large eggs 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 2 1/2 cups diced fresh peaches 


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 325°. Place flour, sugar, butter, milk, peach schnapps, eggs, and vanilla (in that order) in 4-qt. bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer. Beat at low speed 1 minute, stopping to scrape down sides. Beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Stir in peaches. Pour into a greased and floured 10-inch (16-cup) tube pan.
  2. 2. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack; cool completely (about 1 hour).
Serves 10-12.

Friday, August 2, 2013

♥ Vegan: Crumb Cake ♥

Serves 9 (8×8″ cake)

Crumb Topping
8 Tbs Earth Balance Margarine, melted
2/3 Cup Granulate Sugar*
1 tsp Molasses
3/4 tsp Cinnamon
1 Pinch Salt
1 3/4 Cup Flour (cake flour or all-purpose)

*The original recipe calls for 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/3 cup brown sugar.  I was out of brown sugar, so I used only granulated sugar with added molasses.  Afterall, that’s how brown sugar is made commercially–they simply add molasses back into the sugar after processing. 

1 1/4 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/3 Cup Canola Oil, or 6 Tbs Earth Balance Margarine, softened
1/3 Cup Soymilk + 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar (or lemon juice)
1 Tbs Cornstarch mixed with 1/4 Cup Water
1-2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Powdered Sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

Whisk the still-warm melted earth balance with the sugar, molasses, cinnamon and salt.  Mix in the flour with a spoon, or your hands, until a thick dough forms, similar to the texture of cookie dough.  Let sit to cool for about 10 minutes.  It should be ready when after you’ve put together the batter for the cake.

Line an 8×8 pan with aluminum foil (two sheets in a cross formation, leaving excess draped over the edges to help you remove the cake later).  Spray with vegetable oil.  Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add oil, soymilk mixture, cornstarch mixture and vanilla extract.  Whisk until smooth, but do not overmix.

Add the batter to the lined pan.  Begin to break apart the crumb mixture into smaller, pea sized pieces.  You want to take chunks from the bowl and gently break off the crumb.

Cover the batter evenly with all the crumb mixture. It will seem like a lot! When I thought I had enough, I wasn’t even half-way through the mixture. Use it all, as the cake will expand and the crumb mixture is tasty. After all, this is crumb cake. Don’t be shy!

 Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350ºF, or until the crumbs are slightly browned and a toothpick in the center of the cake comes out clean. Use the toothpick to push over a crumb or two in the middle an make sure the top doesn’t look gooey (I went the whole 50 minutes).  Grab the aluminum foil and gently lift the cake out to cool for 20-30 minutes on a cooling rack. Give it a nice dusting of powdered sugar, slice and serve.

Wrap up any leftovers in plastic wrap. If there are any leftovers!