recipes for healthy living

Tag: ganache

Chocolate and Caramel Tarts

Chocolate and Caramel, a match made in heaven, add some berries for a delicious contrast and this makes a great dessert. Easy to make and even easier if you buy a good quality short crust pastry but you didn’t hear that from me. The only thing to watch about this recipe is the caramel, so if you have small kids about the house, make sure they stay well away from the hob when you are making it as it is lethally hot until the cream and butter have been added. Apart from that health warning, these look and taste delicious, are sure to up your reputation as a dessert queen and as a bonus, the ganache can be used as icing for a cake and the caramel works over ice cream or great with apple desserts – A real multi tasking recipe.

275 gm caster sugar
110 ml cream
135 gm unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
20ml dark rum

100 gm unsalted butter
25g icing sugar
2 eggs
270g gluten free plain flour

Chocolate ganache
225g dark chocolate (64% cocoa solids), finely chopped
200ml single cream
25gr butter

For the pastry tip the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt into a food processor, add the butter and process until like fine breadcrumbs
Tip in the egg and process in bursts until it just comes together.
Add a tablespoon of icy cold water if it seems to be a bit dry.
Tip out onto a floured surface and form into a disc. Wrap in cling and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 180C. Roll out pastry to 3mm thick and line your mini tins with the pastry
Blind bake for about 8 minutes, remove weights and paper and bake for another 3-4 minutes or until pastry is golden.

For the caramel, Combine sugar and 1/3 cup water in a saucepan and stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves.
Then without stirring, bring to the boil and cook for 8-10 minutes or until dark golden in colour, remove from heat and
carefully add the rum, cream, and .5 tsp sea salt (mixture will spit loads so mind your hands).
Return to heat and continue stirring until it is lovely and smooth, Stir in the butter and set aside until it cools enough to use.
When cool, Pour into the pastry cases and refrigerate any left overs for future use with ice cream.

For the ganache, put cream in a saucepan, bring just to the boil, tip over the chopped chocolate and butter and stir until melted.
Beat the chocolate mix until smooth and as it cools it will thicken.
Before it set, pour over the caramel tarts and chill until set.
Remove from refrigerator about 20 minutes before serving – delicious with raspberries.


Raw Chocolate Tart

Raw Chocolate Tart

This is an adaption from Channel 4’s River Cottage episode in which Raw food expert Laura Coxeter showed Hugh how to make a chocolate tart with raw ingredients. I reduced the amount of cocoa powder and added 100gr of good quality dark chocolate. Similarly the agave nectar is for sweetness but I have problems with the Fructose so I decided I would use Coconut palm sugar and experiment with the amount in order to use the minimum. I was really very happy with this cake. The vote all round on this one is really positive and my husband who works out a huge amount (big understatement!) said his body felt really good after having it. Frankly, sometimes I look at ‘vegan’ ‘healthy’ recipes and I just think, that looks awful but this one looks good and delivers great taste and BONUS, it packs a nutritional punch thanks to the avocado, nuts, coconut oil, the dates..try it and let me know what you think.

Serves 8
For the base
300g pecans or almonds
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt, or any other good-quality salt
200g medjool dates, stoned and chopped

For the filling
4 medium sized ripe avocados
150g virgin coconut oil
2 vanilla pods, seeds only
100gr Cocoa
100 gr of between 60 and 70% chocolate

Pinch of salt
120gr of coconut palm sugar, if you don’t have this use unrefined dark brown sugar as a better sub than white sugar

In a food processor, blend the pecans or almonds (if possible, soak them for around 6 hours and then dehydrate them first. The soaking releases the enzyme inhibitors and makes them easier to digest.)
Add the salt and medjool dates and blend until you have a crumby mixture which is a bit sticky.

Press this mixture into the bottom of a 10″ spring form tin.
Cover in cling film and leave to harden in the freezer until you are ready to pour on the filling.

For the filling, blend everything together until really smooth, then pour onto the base.

Set in the freezer for 1 hour, then it should be firm enough to slice up. Top with berries, edible flowers, a dusting of cacao powder- whatever you like. I used a raspberry puree and some almond crackle I had made earlier.

Eat and enjoy in disbelief that it is the goodness of avocado and coconut oil you are taking into your body and not a really unhealthy chocolate dessert!.

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