Skip to content

Tiramisu Cake Version 2

December 21, 2014

A better, quicker version!

A better, quicker version!

There’s always room for improvement.

This is what I’m thinking as I make my tiramisu cake from a previous post. When I developed this recipe, I was particularly interested in keeping it vegan as requested by a reader but it has been playing on my mind that a few non-vegan tweaks might not go astray. Don’t get me wrong – that recipe is a good one, but for non-vegans, this one is better!  In my typical caffeine-sensitive fashion, I have steered away from heavy-duty coffee and used strong dandelion tea, but feel free to use the high-octane stuff if you are so inclined. The former method was also a little complicated and I have simplified it further – it’s worth the effort.

Just like the previous version, the sponge in my tiramisu is based on a pancake batter.  The filling is more or less the same but instead of Irish moss ( a commonly used thickener in raw food cooking) or xanthan gel, I have just used psyllium powder* to thicken – sometimes I can’t see the wood for the trees! This makes a 22cm cake which cuts into many pieces as it is very rich, start by melting the coconut oils before making the pancakes:

170g coconut oil
100g cacao butter
Melt on SP 2 @ 50°C for 5 minutes, or until combined. Set aside for the cake.
Sponge base
25g coconut flour
30g almond flour
20g tapioca flour
1 rounded teas baking powder
4 eggs
1 tab honey or coconut nectar
15g melted ghee or macadamia oil 
100g nut milk _ I used almond milk
2 teas apple cider vinegar
Mix all of the ingredients on SP 6 for 20 seconds until well combined. Let sit for 5 minutes and mix again. Depending on your coconut flour, it should be a thick pourable batter – if it’s a bit thin, add 1/2 teas coconut flour.
In an oiled frying pan, make 4  x 22cm pancakes and set aside.
240g cashews, soaked in water overnight or at least 4 hours
480g homemade nut milk (I used almond)
160g coconut sugar
1 teas apple cider vinegar
1/2 teas salt
1 tab vanilla extract
100g maple syrup or brown rice syrup
4 teas psyllium powder
170g coconut oil & 100g cacao butter melted – see above
60g cacao powder or cocoa
2 tabs nut milk, extra
2 teas instant coffee
80g made up espresso coffee, cooled (I used strong dandelion tea)
40g dark chocolate, grated finely or raw cacao powder for dusting
Blend the soaked nuts, milk, sugar, vinegar, salt, vanilla, and syrup on SP 9 for 2 minutes. Add the psyllium and the combined oils and mix on SP 7 for 20 seconds. It will be very smooth and glossy.
You will have about 1200g of filling. 
Pour out 600g filling into a separate bowl and add the cacao & extra milk to the remaining mix in the TM. Mix to combine well for 10 seconds on SP 7.
Grease and line a 22cm round cake tin with baking paper.  Place a pancake in the tin and brush with some cooled espresso (or dandelion tea). Pour in half of the chocolate mixture and smooth over. Top with another pancake and brush again with espresso.
Without washing the TM bowl, return the remaining mix and add the instant coffee. Mix to combine well for 10 seconds on SP 7. Pour over the second pancake and top with another pancake. Brush with espresso and repeat with the rest of the chocolate mix, finishing with a pancake.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours to firm up before dusting with grated chocolate or cacao to decorate. 
See? Easy!
I’m thinking that this might be nice if I omitted the chocolate and the coffee and sprinkled in some berries instead…….mmmm, more room for improvement!
*It MUST be fine psyllium powder not husks.

Christmas Truffles

December 14, 2014


These are probably the naughtiest rum balls on my blog! There are varying degrees of rum ball recipes from the healthy, to healthier and healthiest, and despite their being no granulated sugar or dates, this recipe breaks the mould.  It’s a bit naughty! So go enjoy!!

170g almonds, toasted

40g coconut oil

10g cacao

90g coconut nectar or brown rice syrup

1/4 teas vanilla powder

100g 70% dairy free dark chocolate

30g coconut cream or yoghurt

20g rum or other liqueur

stevia to taste (optional)

1 tab lacuma or maca powder (optional)

a handful of walnuts, preferably toasted

2 tabs dried cherries (or dried cranberries)

2 tabs cacao, for rolling

Mill the almonds on SP 9 for 20 seconds or until almost butter, scraping down if necessary. Add the chocolate and continue on SP 9 for about 20 seconds. The chocolate will melt with the warmth of the nuts. If its really cold where you are, assist the melting on 37°C for a minute.

Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the walnuts and blend on SP 4 until the mix just comes together. Don’t worry if it separates a little. Throw in the walnuts and combine on REVERSE so that they remain chunky. Pour into a bowl and set in the fridge for at least 2 hours. When firm, roll teaspoonfuls in the cacao to coat. The mix will be very soft and you won’t get round smooth balls, so leave them a bit knobbly and knarly! Refrigerate to firm up.


A Festive $hit Hot Brandy Sauce

December 13, 2014


Easy?              Yes

Yummy?         Yes

Boozy?            Very

Lactose free? Of Course!

Here is my secret recipe for my $hithot brandy sauce that I give as my Christmas present to you, my lovely readers. Thank you for an absolutely amazing year – it has been so much fun!

I wish you and your families a very happy, safe and relaxing festive season (you notice that I add in relaxing there, as Christmas seldom is).

I will be experiencing my first-ever white Christmas on the ski slopes of Hokkaido. (Actually, my first-ever white anything as I have never been to the snow before!) I look forward to sharing with you lots of amazing Japanese culinary delights via facebook and will be looking for inspiration for next year!

There really is not much to say about this recipe except that it has been a family favourite for years. Just as the three wise men, I have delivered 3 gifts: A lactose free version; a dairy version; and a completely dairy-free version too! Warning: there is no alcohol version….

Lactose free version – My Favourite

250g ghee

100g rapadura (I use Natvia/rapadura mix, 70:30)

3 egg yolks

1 whole egg

100g port

120g brandy

125g almond milk

1/4 teas vanilla powder (or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean)

1 teas cornflour (optional)

Add all of the ingredients in the TM  and cook for 10 minutes on 90°C at SP 4. Serve warm or cold on Christmas Pudding or ice-cream!

Dairy Version 

125g butter

120g rapadura

3 egg yolks

1 whole egg

100g port

120g brandy

300g cream

1/4 teas vanilla powder (or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean)

1 teas cornflour (optional)

Add all of the ingredients in the TM  and cook for 10 minutes on 90°C at SP 4. Serve warm or cold on Christmas Pudding or ice-cream!


Dairy free version – Coconut

125g coconut oil

120g rapadura

3 egg yolks

1 whole egg

100g port

120g brandy

250g coconut cream

1/4 teas vanilla powder (or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean)

1 teas cornflour (optional)

Add all of the ingredients in the TM  and cook for 10 minutes on 90°C at SP 4. Serve warm or cold on Christmas Pudding or ice-cream!

Hazelnut Cream Slice with Mesquite

December 7, 2014

A nice change from caramel slice

A nice change from caramel slice

On a recent trip to the Eagle Farm markets, I met the lovely Yasmin from Yorganics Health Food Store who sells a fabulous selection of pesticide free products from Australia including nuts, seeds, cacao and healthy pantry staples.

She also makes some very yummy raw food treats including a cracker & granola range which are a labour of love for her.

Yasmin educated me about mesquite powder which is a new ingredient for me. Mesquite is an extremely hardy, drought-tolerant (legume) plant. It is native to South America and the southern US states. Mesquite powder is a traditional Native American food that is made by grinding ripened seed pods of the mesquite tree into a fine powder or meal.

Mesquite powder is full of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc and is also rich in the amino acid lysine, which is helpful if you are a cold-sore sufferer. It has traditionally been used as a flour or low GI sweetener and can be blended into smoothies, used in baking or sprinkled onto your cereal. It has a nutty flavour with a strong hint of caramel. It is sweet, but not sweet enough to use as a sweetener on its own, I used it to enhance a hazelnut slice without turning my recipe into a caramel slice. I think it worked well.


100g blanched almonds or macadamias
70g coconut
1 tab mesquite powder
1 teas cacao powder
1 tab psyllium husks
1 tab chia seeds
40g dates or dried figs
1 teas coconut oil
pinch salt
Add all of the ingredients to the TM and grind on SP 8 for 5 – 10 seconds. It will become floury then come together as wet crumbs that press together in a ball when pressed. Add a tablespoon water if it’s too dry.
Press this mix into a square tin and put in the freezer while you make the filling.
120g hazelnuts (toasted and skinned)
100g cacao butter
60g coconut sugar (I used Natvia)
30g dates
1 teas mesquite powder
120g coconut cream
40g butter
1/2 teas gelatine
1 teas vanilla extract
Grind the cacao butter, sugar, dates and nuts in the TM for 5 seconds, SP 8. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on SP 4 at 70°C for 5 minutes. Blend on SP 8 for 20 seconds to ensure it is smooth and pour over the base. Refrigerate until firm – about 2 hours. 
Chocolate Topping
80g chocolate of your choice
20g coconut oil
Melt the chocolate and oil together on SP 3 at 50°C for 2 minutes or until smooth. Pour over chilled slice and leave to set. Cut with a warm knife to prevent the chocolate from cracking.

Bananarama cake

December 4, 2014

Chocfull of banana's!

Choc-full of banana’s is this cake!

A funny thing happened at the grocer yesterday.

Bananas are a real treat for me as I don’t eat them very often and I was hankering for a nice ripe banana to eat.  I was craving a perfect sliced banana on toast and was at the local vege shop looking for a ripe, not too hard, banana to buy. Just one. For me. My husband always buys them very green and likes them with a green tinge, which is great for his gut but not for mine!

When cooking banana cake, I often ask the greengrocer if there are any manky bananas ‘out the back’ for cooking. You know, the ones that are not saleable anymore, and am delighted when I am given a few destined for the bin. The blacker, ‘mankier’, squishier bananas make the best cake. They have a higher sugar content and lower starch content.

But today I was looking for a banana to eat, rather than cook with and the ‘A grade’ bananas were a bit too green for me. They did have some ‘C grade’ bananas being sold by the 2 kilo bucket but I only wanted a single one.

So I grabbed one of these said bananas and headed to the checkout before where,  I was accosted by a staff member.

“You can’t just buy a single banana out of the buckets for the discounted price” he explained.

“That’s OK, I’m happy to pay the ‘A grade’ price for this banana” I replied.

“Are you crazy?” he said. “That one banana at the full price will cost the same as a whole kilo of the cheap ones”

To which I replied “I’m happy with that, I don’t eat bananas very often, and would prefer to pay more for a banana that I can enjoy today, rather than buy 2 kilos of bananas that I am unlikely to use”. And I didn’t want to freeze them as I don’t need any reason to make banana cake at the moment.

And the man stood there. And blocked my way. And just wouldn’t allow me to buy a single banana at top dollar and have me ‘waste” my money. In my mind, I wasn’t wasting my money at all, I just did not want to be sucked into the consumerism of buying something that I didn’t need just because it was on special! Goodness, my husband would have been so proud of me!

So out I walked with 2 FRIGGIN’ kilos of ripe ambrosial bananas under my arm for a dollar. As if I needed any excuse to make another banana cake!! That’s the end of my story.

Should you find yourself with a glut of ripe bananas that your husband & kids won’t eat, make this cake. It uses 500g ripe bananas and not much else! It has no added sugar, refined or otherwise and the stevia is purely optional – I don’t use it. You can make it with either coconut flour or buckwheat/almonds. Both work perfectly well but I prefer the buckwheat/almond version better.

500g banana flesh
120g raw almonds
50g buckwheat
3 eggs
140g nut butter
100g butter or coconut oil
2 teas baking powder
1/2 teas salt
stevia (optional)
Grind the buckwheat on SP 9 for 10 seconds. Add the almonds and mill a further 10 seconds until fine. Add the baking powder, cinnamon and salt and give the mix a whiz to combine.
Add the bananas, eggs, nut butter, butter and blend on SP 6 until smooth. Pour into a loaf tin and bake at 170°C for approximately 35 minutes. Cool before slicing and serve with lashings of butter!
Alternative Coconut flour version:
500g banana flesh
70g coconut flour
4 eggs
140g nut butter
100g butter or coconut oil
2 teas baking powder
1/2 teas salt
stevia (optional)
Method is as above but  no grinding required!

My Paleo Royals

November 30, 2014

Use stevia if you want these to be sugar-free

Just like the real thing only healthier!

As a child, I regarded Arnotts royal biscuits as a luxury in our house. Whilst snowballs were relegated to school fundraising drives, they didn’t quite have the same texture as the chocolate coated marshmallow sandwiched with jam on a vanilla biscuit. Similar to the Scottish Tunnock’s teacake, American mallomar, or New Zealands mallowpuffs, the royal comes in two versions; dark chocolate (with white marshmallow) or milk chocolate (with pink marshmallow). The milk chocolate one was always my favourite.

There was ceremony in how you had to eat it too. We smashed them on our foreheads to break the crisp shell of chocolate, in order to pick it off and savour slowly, then we sucked the marshmallow off before gobbling up the shortbread base! Having written this down, I’m almost embarrassed to admit it!

The chocolate royal biscuit was one of my all time favourite biscuits as a child – not so for my sons, who much preferred their marshmallow in a wagon wheel biscuit. I think size did matter!

Use stevia if you want these to be sugar-free

Use stevia if you want these to be sugar-free

As previously promised, here is my healthified version of a chocolate royal. I have included a paleo biscuit version and a gluten-free biscuit version. Personally, I prefer the gluten free version which has a little more crunch than the paleo version. Both are good – the paleo biscuits will be faster to cook and quicker to brown.  They are not as fiddly as they sound and surely all the components are fun to make. The kids will love putting them together. I used some dehydrated strawberry powder to colour and flavour my marshmallow pink. Omit this for a white marshmallow or use a little beetroot juice.

Feel free to use a decent sugar-free chocolate to dip them – I used my own Mockolate recipe. Or if you are feeling a bit lazy, you could also roll them in toasted coconut instead, but you won’t be able to smash them on your forehead then!!

Shortbread Base (Paleo)
100g almond meal (blanched)
1/4 teas guar gum (or xantham)
10g butter
30g honey (or coconut nectar)
1 egg yolk
pinch salt
Mix together all of the ingredients on SP 6 until forming a soft dough. There is no need to rest this pastry (no gluten) but after rolling out to about 4mm thick, cut 5cm rounds and chill for 15 minutes. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes in a moderate oven or until golden. Set aside to cool.
Shortbread Base (Non Paleo)
2 tabs coconut sugar
160g GF flour mix – I used this homemade one, feel free to use your own)
1/4 teas xantham gum (or guar gum)
40g blanched almonds
80g butter,  frozen preferably
1 egg yolk
Mill the sugar & almonds on SP 9 for 10 seconds. Add the flour & lard and mix on SP 6 for 5 seconds. Add egg and mix on SP 6 until just forming crumbs. There is no need to rest this pastry (no gluten) but after rolling out to about 4mm thick, cut 5cm rounds and chill for 15 minutes. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes in a moderate oven or until golden. Set aside to cool.
The kids will love the dipping part!

The kids will love the dipping part!

160g water
60g coconut sugar – I used Natvia
25g gelatine
1 teas honey
2 tabs strawberry powder (optional)
2 egg whites
1/2 teas cream of tartar
Whip the egg-whites with the cream of tartar in a VERY CLEAN TM bowl with the butterfly in on SP 4 at 37°C for about 5 minutes. The time will depend on the eggs, size and temperature.
They should be light & fluffy. Set the egg-whites aside but don’t worry about cleaning the bowl.
Add the water, sugar, gelatine, honey and flavouring to the TM bowl and heat to 80°C, SP 2 for 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Fold the syrup into the egg-whites until well combined, trying to keep as much volume as possible. This can also be done in a stand mixer too.
Place into a piping bag (or ziplock bag with the corner cut out) and pipe onto the cooled biscuits. If the marshmallow cools and starts to firm up, warm the piping bag gently under hot water. You will have more marshmallow than you need but, if there are kids around, it will not go astray! Place the royals in the fridge to firm up.
Chocolate coating
110g dark sugar free chocolate, or Mockolate
10g coconut oil
Melt the chocolate and oil together at 37°C on SP 2 until melted and smooth. Transfer to a teacup and dip the cold biscuits and refrigerate to set.
Prick the biscuits with a fork before baking

Prick the biscuits with a fork before baking





Summer Sauce

November 24, 2014


Barbeque season is upon us again – although here in Queensland we pretty much are in barbeque mode all the time – as it is Summer all year round!

I do like to steer clear of the ubiquitous tomato sauce that’s a steady constant at most barbeques. I have just about got the kids weaned off it now! It’s not that I have anything against tomato sauce. None whatsoever. But it’s so predictable and there are so many other yummy flavours out there that pair equally well with a small lamb chop! My dear friend, Lizzie, makes the most divine tomato sauce which my husband treats like liquid gold. He hides it at the back of the fridge so no-one can find it! So I don’t even compete with her and make it now!

I like to serve a chunky chutney or barbeque sauce instead of tomato. I also love a good green sauce, full of herbs and fresh flavour. This one is based on a typical salsa verde which is a cold Italian rustic sauce, and includes parsley, capers, anchovies and olive oil.Traditionally, ingredients were coarsely chopped by hand but  it can be done in the TM in a blink. Not quite a pesto, this nut-free sauce uses whatever herbs I have on hand. Serve with any meat or fish or use it as a dressing for your salad. It is also great on poached eggs.

40g parsley
2 slices lemon zest
1 clove garlic
10g basil leaves
1 sprig rosemary needles
1 handful mint
3 teas capers
juice of half a lemon
1/2 teas dried chilli flakes
120g olive oil or avocado oil
1/2 teas salt
Chop the garlic and lemon zest for 10 seconds on SP 9. Add the herbs, juice, chilli & capers and blitz up for a few seconds to chop. With the machine running on SP 4 pour in the oil slowly to mix in. It will not emulsify like mayonnaise and will look “split” but this is how its meant to be. Season well.
%d bloggers like this: