Peanut butter cups

I just stumbled on a recipe from Sarah Wilson’s book I Quit Sugar on chocolate butter cups (great book by the way, for anyone else on a sugar-free journey :)). That made me think, that this would be another good use for the fudgy chocolate I made the other day!!! Homemade healthy peanut butter cups – yum!

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VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

Makes around 12 cups.

For the chocolate – follow the recipe for Fudgy Chocolate on one of my other posts.

The only other ingredient is peanut butter. Either you can buy some (make sure you check the labels – lots of them have added Palm Oil and sugar in it – I buy one called 100% Nuts which is exactly as it says on the label, only nuts). Or even better, make your own (I do this when I have time, it’s cheaper as well).

Variations to this recipe:

There is no end to the flavors and substitutes that you can make. As someone else commented on my fudgy chocolate recipe (thanks Anne) – you can swap the vanilla essence with mint essence! You can also substitute the peanut butter with any other nut butter you can think of – or, how about adding in homemade Nutella, white chocolate, mashed banana, or anything else your creativity might inspire – do share if you think of something new!

Directions:

Make the chocolate mix and tip it into something which is easy to pour from (I used my measuring cup). As soon as you have stopped stirring the chocolate it will start separating. This is actually what I really like about this recipe. The ‘liquid’ part will harden into crunchy chocolate whilst the ‘thick oozy’ part will shape into chewy fudgy chocolate. Use this to have some fun. Pour the two different densities into separate containers. I poured in a little liquid in all the cups first. Now pop it in the freezer for 5 minutes.

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Take it back out the freezer (don’t leave it for any longer or the rest of your chocolate mix will get to dense to pour). Now spoon a little peanut butter in the middle of each cup. I choose to add a little peanut oil to my peanut butter to make it runny as you bite into the final product (but this also means that you will get a flat line of it as in the top picture). If you want more peanut butter in your cup and for it not to touch the sides, all you have to do is not add any oil. Then it will be dense enough to dollop and form a ball, rather than spread out.

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Now pour on a layer of the thick chocolate and wait for it to spread out evenly. Then pour on a finishing layer of the liquid.

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Then, pop the tray in the freezer and let it set for 30-60 minutes. Your peanut butter cups are now ready to use and will have a crunchy layer on bottom and top with soft peanut butter and chewy chocolate in the middle. You can keep them in the freezer for storing OR in the fridge if you are eating them within a week (regardless, they taste best when they are at fridge or living room temperature depending on your taste – they take about 15-30 minutes to ‘defrost’ when they come straight out of the freezer). Enjoy!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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Fudgy chocolate

This recipe was a little bit of luck. I had run out of dextrose to make chocolate chips for another recipe (mint chocolate chip ice cream – will post later this week), so I used glucose syrup instead. Rather than hard and crunchy, this chocolate turned out decadent, chewy and fudgy! This chocolate can be used for anything – add as chips in ice cream, cupcakes or cookies or just eat as a treat.

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VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

100 grams cocoa butter

3 tbsp glucose syrup

2 1/2 tbsp cacao (or cocoa)

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Directions:

Measure out your cocoa butter.

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Then chop it up and melt over a water bath. Then add the glucose syrup whilst stirring and keep stirring until it has dissolved as much as possible (it will separate a little bit and the syrup will stay at the bottom. You may find that it doesn’t dissolve completely, that’s okay, it will still turn out fine).

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Take off the heat, add in the rest of the ingredients and stir some more.

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Then pour into a container (lined with a baking sheet) or make into chips or other decorative  shapes (just keep in mind that if you go too thin the end shape will bend at room temperature due to it’s fudginess). It will naturally separate into layers of liquid and dense chocolate (as seen by the different brown colors in the photos below. I love the different texture in bars etc. However, if you want more fudgy, chewiness rather than crunch, add more syrup and chocolate or reduce the cocoa butter.

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Then freeze until it has set (10 min – 30 min) and chop up and use for whatever purpose you desire! Or, you can keep it in the freezer for whenever you have a craving for it – after 10 seconds out of the freezer it has softened a little bit and you can munch away (depending on the thickness you may have to be patient a little longer if it’s completely frozen – the thicker you go, the longer it takes to ‘defrost’). Enjoy!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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Delectable white chocolate

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After making the chocolate cheesecake I found that the white chocolate worked great in the cake and as chips but I wanted more…. I wanted a white chocolate so great that it could be scoffed all by itself. After a failed attempt (too much coconut just doesn’t taste chocolaty), another fail (not creamy enough) and one nearly-there (good, but missing the awesome factor), I now have created a recipe that I almost didn’t get to photograph as it was disappearing too fast.

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VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

50 grams of cocoa butter

2 tbsp dextrose

Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean pod

1/8 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp almond butter (homemade or shop bought – but look for a 100% nuts one, no additives)

1/2 tsp rice flour (I used brown rice flour, you can also use normal riec flour or rice milk powder)

Directions:

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Measure out the cocoa butter, chop into smaller pieces (the smaller, the faster it melts) and melt over a water bath (meanwhile, make the almond butter if you need to). You can also do this in the microwave for a few minutes (it takes a lot longer than butter) but I feel more in control when I can look at it and stir when needed.

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While the cocoa butter is melting you can de-seed the vanilla pod (split open lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a butter knife or spoon).

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Now add the dextrose and stir until dissolved. Take the bowl off the heat.

Add in the rice flour and vanilla seeds. Stir. Add vanilla essence. Stir. Add the almond butter. Stir.

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The mixture will look a little bit lumpy due to the almond butter which is fine (depends on how finely chopped and processed it is). Now, pour it into a container (chocolate shaped, bars, cheesecake, whichever shape, thickness or format you want – you can also pour it in a small bowl and wait for it to cool a bit in the fridge until it has the consistency of toothpaste and then pipe it on a baking sheet to shape chips). I made this batch one thin flat bar, to chop up and eat as is. Keep in the fridge or freezer.

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Enjoy!!!!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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Homemade Nutella

First, apologies for the week-long absence! My computer crashed, then I thought I would get it back yesterday, but it turns out that is impossible to resurrect it 😦 So, I now have a brand new computer to blog from!

I had a request for my healthy copy-cat Nutella recipe – so here it is (shop-bought Nutella is crammed full of sugar and 20% oil, this recipe only has 2 table spoons of oil + what is in your chocolate). Please note that this is not dairy or sugar free, but it IS palm oil free and gluten free as long as the chocolate is. Please see further below for a “free-from” chocolate spread.

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GLUTEN FREE – EGG FREE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

1 cup of hazelnuts
250 grams (8.8 ounces) of milk chocolate
2 table spoons of an oil that doesn’t solidify at room temperature, e.g canola oil

In terms of chocolate, I made mine with Whittaker’s Creamy Milk which is perfect, but I think mainly sold in New Zealand (Whittaker’s is a very popular brand here). However, if you can’t get this, aim for a milk chocolate which is (like Whittaker’s Creamy milk) around 33% cocoa solids, 30% milk solids, pure cocoa butter and no added vegetable fats (let me know if you find another brand that tastes just like Nutella in the final recipe).

Directions:
Heat oven to 175C (350F).

Place hazelnuts in one layer on a baking sheet and pop in the oven for 8-12 minutes. When the skins start to crack, take them out and let them cool down. If you haven’t roasted hazelnuts before you will notice a beautiful aroma spreading in your kitchen…. Like Nutella! It’s the roast hazelnuts that give it that unique flavour.

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While the nuts cool down melt the chocolate at low heat over a water bath, stir continuously (don’t let it get too hot, don’t let the water touch the chocolate bowl or it will burn and the chocolate will be ruined). When all lumps are nearly melted, take the bowl off the water bath. Let it cool for 10-20 min, or however long it takes, before it’s room temperature.

Place the hazelnuts in a tea towel or similar and rub until most the skins come off. Flatten the tea towel and run a flat hand over them to separate the nuts from the skins. Put the nuts in a food processor and combine until smooth (or keep crunchy if you like the texture, I know I do!). Then add the oil and your melted chocolate when it’s ready and process for another couple of minutes until its as smooth as you desire. If you want it completely smooth, strain it though a cloth (I skip this step as I don’t mind).

Transfer to a jar and you can munch away on your own home made Nutella 🙂

The all-you -can-eat chocolate spread

Right, so here comes my first attempt at a sugar, dairy, gluten and palm oil free version. Disclaimer! This does not taste exactly as the real deal, more like a dark chocolate version of Nutella. However, as I pondered how to alter my attempt to get closer to the Nutella taste, I found myself having a spoonful…. Then another spoonful and soon I had devoured about a third of the jar! Well luckily it is not specifically unhealthy haha… So, whilst I keep trying to find the perfect free-from “tastes-like-Nutella” recipe (and keep test-tasting), here is a super delicious, smooth and creamy dark chocolate hazelnut spread.

VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:
1 cup of hazelnuts

80g cacao (or high quality cocoa)

4 tbsp coconut oil

100g cocoa butter, cut into inch size pieces

3/4 cup water

100g dextrose

Directions:

Process the cacao and 2 tbsp melted coconut oil until smooth. Transfer chocolate paste to a separate container. Add the cocoa butter to the food processor and mix until you have a grainy texture, it doesn’t matter if there are a couple of bigger pieces.

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Pour the water into a bowl over a water bath. Add the chocolate paste and the cocoa butter to the water. Mix with a fork (it will be lumpy). Warm up slowly over low-medium heat until it is a completely smooth liquid, set bowl aside to cool while do do the next part.

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Now, process the roasted hazelnuts until as smooth as possible.

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Add 2 tbsp melted coconut oil to the hazelnut paste and process until smooth. Then add the chocolate liquid and process again. If you want it completely smooth, strain it though a cloth (I skip this step as I don’t mind).

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Then, all you have to do is pour it into a jar and try not to eat it all straight away!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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