BANOFFEE PIE WAFFLES WITH RAW TOFFEE SAUCE (vegan, low-sweetener & gluten-free)

Love banoffee pie? Love waffles? Feel like an indulgent, utterly delicious treat sans refined sugar/eggs/gluten/dairy?

These are probably my favourite plant-based waffles, hence featuring them for my daughter’s 2nd birthday party “waffle bar” last year!

Yes, this post is THAT belated… it’s her 3rd birthday today!

So, in honour of this special day and in dedication to my sweet little Cupcake, I wanted to share this recipe with all of you.

And the timing couldn’t be better for those of you who like to celebrate Shrove Tuesday with a customary pancake stack; these yummy waffles can translate to pancakes quite easily for those who don’t own a waffle iron. :)

<3 MM xx

MissMarzipan_banoffee_pie_waffles

BANOFFEE PIE WAFFLES WITH RAW TOFFEE SAUCE

(vegan, low-sweetener & gluten-free)

Makes: 6 waffles | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time 30 mins 

INGREDIENTS FOR RAW TOFFEE SAUCE

12 medjool dates
175 ml warm water
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/2 tsp maca powder
20 ml coconut oil
1/2 tsp lemon juice
pinch or 2 of salt (according to taste)

DIRECTIONS FOR RAW TOFFEE SAUCE

  1. Place all other ingredients in a blender and process on high speed until sauce is completely smooth and creamy. For a “thinner” version, add a touch more water before blending again.

 

*I have used a very efficient blender to create this, but if you want to be sure your dates will process smoothly, soak them in warm water first (for at least an hour).
**The toffee sauce will keep in the fridge for a few days.
***Recipe inspired by this one.

MissMarzipan_banoffee_pie_waffles1

INGREDIENTS FOR WAFFLES

50 ml water
1 tbsp chia seeds
95 g gluten-free oats
420 ml almond milk (or “mylk” of choice)
125 g gluten-free plain flour blend
30 ml coconut oil, melted
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla powder
1 tsp maca powder
1 tbsp rice malt syrup (or maple)
1/4 of a banana, mashed (the rest reserved for topping)
A pinch of salt

ADDITIONAL WAFFLE TOPPINGS

1 large square dark dairy-free chocolate (such as Lindt 85%/90%), finely grated
Remaining 3/4 banana, sliced
Whipped coconut cream
Pecan nuts, roughly chopped (gently pan toasted, if you prefer)
Vegan ice-cream (optional)

DIRECTIONS FOR WAFFLES

  1. Preheat your waffle iron.
  2. Combine chia seeds and water together in a small bowl to make a “chia egg”.
  3. In another small bowl combine mashed banana and rice malt syrup.
  4. Pulse oats in food processor to create oat flour.
  5. Add “chia egg”, almond milk, gluten-free plain flour, coconut oil, baking powder, vanilla powder, maca powder and salt to oat flour; blend until batter is just mixed. Add banana mix and stir through.
  6. Ladle batter into preheated waffle iron. Cook the waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes.

 

*Waffle irons vary in size and design, so you may want to make a test waffle to ensure the volume of batter you use to make each one is correct. To produce 1 waffle in my waffle iron, I used approximately 120 ml of batter.
**If making a pancake version, you may want to experiment a little with the amount of almond milk you use to achieve a batter consistency that works for you.
***IQS peeps, the toffee sauce is not IQS-friendly (on account of the dates), but if you swap it for an IQS-style chocolate fudge sauce or berry compote, you should be good to go!

 

MissMarzipan_banoffee_pie_waffles2

BERRY BURST BUCKWHEAT MUFFINS

With 6 days to go until baby 3’s due date, I am truly in full-blown nesting mode… and, for me, that includes food preparation (and eating :D ).

I have had this recipe hanging around for some time now, but decided to modify it further. It now contains just 1 teaspoon of stevia granules for an entire batch. So, if you’re looking for a treat to share with your Valentine this year (and you think they’re sweet enough ;) ), why not give these simple, healthy muffins a go?

<3 MM xx

MissMarzipan_berry_buckwheat_muffins_vegan

BERRY BURST BUCKWHEAT MUFFINS

Makes: 10-12 small muffins | Prep time: 5-10 minutes | Bake time: approximately 15 minutes 

INGREDIENTS

160 ml buckwheat flour
120 ml gluten-free oats
2 tbsp desiccated coconut
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp bilberry powder (I used Nordic Nordic)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
125 ml unsweetened apple puree
65 ml almond milk
1 tsp stevia granules
1 tbsp chia seeds (I used Fitnessguru)
1 tbsp olive oil/melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 drops bitter almond extract (optional)
65 ml frozen raspberries
65 ml frozen blueberries

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line a standard cupcake tin with paper liners (or grease tin with coconut oil and line bases of muffin forms with cut circles of baking parchment).
  2. Prepare chia egg by combining 1 tbsp chia seeds with 3 tbsp water, leaving it to gel for 5 minutes before stirring again.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl combine wet ingredients (including the chia egg), then add to dry ingredients. Mix until just combined and fold through berries.
  5. Bake for around 15 minutes, checking to see if muffins are baked through (by inserting a toothpick into the centre of one ensuring it comes out mostly clean).
  6. Remove tray from oven and after a couple of minutes, carefully remove muffins (I use spoons to do this) and pop them on a wire rack to cool.
  7. Serve them warm or cold, topped with whipped coconut cream sprinkled with extra berry powder, if you fancy!

 

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*These muffins can be frozen in and will defrost perfectly, remaining moist and lovely.

 

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*The “prep time” referred to here regards the frosting of the muffins. In fact a dollop of coconut cream and a tiny sprinkle of berry powder is the work of seconds!

GOLDEN MILK HOT CHOCOLATE WITH GINGER (a low-sugar, plant-based treat for one)

As I await the arrival of Baby Marzipan (I am currently 38 weeks pregnant… goodness me!), my inner voice urges me to embrace all that is restorative, fortifying and nurturing. Whether that takes the form of wholesome food, a long shower, the use of calming essential oils (lavender is always a favourite) or a prenatal yoga session, it will undoubtably make me feel far more comfortable and comforted than I would be without it.

So, when I first saw a version of golden milk cocoa shared on Instagram a couple of weeks ago, I just knew it would bring me joy. I had a look at a couple of recipe versions and they were all heavily sweetened or contained ingredients that I didn’t have access to. And so, in the face of a short-lived gestational diabetes scare (it was a false alarm, but still…), I created this easy, low-sweetener version for one.

And I promise it is worthy of the ol’ “hug in a mug” tag/cliché.

Big <3 from a big-bellied MM! xx

MissMarzipan_golden_hot_chocolate_ginger

GOLDEN MILK HOT CHOCOLATE WITH GINGER

Prep time: 5 minutes | Serves: 1

INGREDIENTS

250 ml unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp organic cacao
1 heaped tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp organic rice malt syrup (alt. honey) or to taste
1 tsp organic coconut oil (I used Fitnessguru)

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small saucepan, warm almond milk gently over low heat.
  2. Sift in the cacao, turmeric and ginger and whisk. Add rice malt syrup and whisk until combined.
  3. Drop in the coconut oil, stir and remove pan from heat.
  4. Pour and serve immediately.

 

*Recipe inspired by fabulous Local Milk

SPICED SWEET POTATO PANCAKES WITH TOFFEE NUT CRUNCH

I have now reached week 35 of this amazing third pregnancy and my focus is (rather naturally) on nesting, resting and comfort food… lots of it too! It’s hard to believe it was exactly 3 years ago that I was starting to breathe deeply again, knowing I was at the tail end of my high risk pregnancy with Cupcake. To those of you who were with me then and are still here today, I will never forget your kindness during those months leading up to my daughter’s eventual happy arrival. Thank you.

Taking into account my current pregnancy cravings and after having watched That Sugar Film, I felt particularly inspired to create another IQS-style recipe; one that’s big on comfort and low on sugar. These plant-based pancakes are easy to prepare and, no doubt, delicious with all manner of toppings, though I heartily recommend my super-easy-to-make Toffee Nut Crunch (an old recipe from 2014, but a truly perfect pairing!) and whipped coconut cream.

I hope you’ll like this recipe as much as I enjoyed eating these pancakes!

<3 MM xx

MissMarzipan_sweetpotato_pancakes_toffee_nut

SPICED SWEET POTATO PANCAKES

Prep time: 5 minutes (assuming purée is made) | Makes: 6 pancakes

INGREDIENTS

425 ml plain organic flour (can be gluten-free, if you prefer)
1½ tbsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground ginger
100 ml of sweet potato purée
3 tbsp of melted coconut oil/olive oil
1 tbsp rice malt syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
400-450 ml almond milk (start with 400 ml, and add a tbsp extra or two if required)
Coconut oil/olive oil for the pan

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, giving them a little whisk. Combine wet ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl the add to the dry ingredients. Stir just until blended.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled pan over medium-high heat. Drop the pancake batter by large spoonfuls (I use a small ladle) into the pan and cook until bubbles are starting to form on the surface and the edges appear dry. Flip, and cook until browned on the other side. Repeat until all batter is used.

*These pancakes can be made ahead and reheated.
**Pumpkin puree could be used in place of sweet potato.

TOFFEE NUT CRUNCH

INGREDIENTS

75 g of mixed raw, unsalted nuts (I used a mix of almonds, cashews and pecans)
2 tsp raw cacao nibs
1 tbsp of melted coconut oil
2 tbsp rice malt syrup
A pinch of salt
1/4 tsp vanilla powder

MissMarzipan_Toffee_Nut_Crunch_ingredients

DIRECTIONS

  1. Roughly chop nuts. Pop them in a bowl with cacao nibs.
  2. Mix melted coconut oil with rice malt syrup, salt and vanilla powder. Pour syrup mixture over the nuts and stir everything to combine.
  3. Tip this mixture into a skillet/non-stick frying pan and toast over medium heat, stirring frequently, until nuts are turning golden and a syrupy caramel has formed around them (3-5 minutes).
  4. Tip out onto a sheet of baking paper, flatten mix out with your spatula, before breaking up slightly. Allow to cool, then use as you please (though preferably atop a gorgeous stack of sweet potato pancakes ;) ).

MissMarzipan_35weeks_pregnant_pancakes

SWEET POTATO & KALE CURRY WITH CASHEWS

This humble, hearty Sweet Potato & Kale Curry dish ticks all of my “ideal” boxes. A pleasant kick of heat and fragrant spice combined with a vibrant assortment of plant-based goodies (including some of my favourite vegetables), makes for an exciting vegetarian dish… whether you pledge yourself to a strictly plant-powered way of eating or not.

It’s warming, delicious and, for those to whom it matters, this curry is vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, Paleo, IQS-friendly, featuring an impressive cast of nutrient-dense ingredients.

We like to serve this curry with quinoa, cooked using the absorption method with organic vegetable stock instead of water, and a pinch of saffron (just a few threads will do), but please feel free to serve it with whatever you like.

I first shared this recipe a year ago via the healthy lifestyle site Three Silver Spoons, for which I am a guest contributor (check it out for beauty, nutrition, happiness and healthy food inspiration!).

I am fast approaching week 35 of this pregnancy and, despite taking it easy (by my standards) in order to watch my stress levels, the days are flying by! I am currently giving myself a couple of very simple daily challenges; 1) to try out prenatal yoga flows/short workouts available online and 2) to undertake the daily tasks from the latest Peter Walsh 31 Days to Get Organized challenge (coincidentally, the last time I took on the challenge was exactly 3 years ago, when I was around 35 weeks pregnant with Cupcake!). I will share more about both of these little personal challenges soon… and hopefully hang out in the blogosphere a little more too (I miss spending time here with you)!

In the meantime, lots of <3 from Stockholm and best wishes for an amazing 2016!

MM xx

MissMarzipan_sweetpotato_kale_curry

SWEET POTATO & KALE CURRY WITH CASHEWS

Makes: 6 servings | Cooking Time : 50-55 minutes

INGREDIENTS

3-4 tbsp melted coconut/macadamia oil
600 g sweet potatoes
1 aubergine (approximately 350 g)
150 g cashews
1 fresh red chilli (medium heat)
2 cloves garlic
2 red onions
1 small thumb sized piece ginger
1 small bunch coriander or parsley
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
4 tsp curry powder
1 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
6 plum tomatoes
100 g kale, de-stalked and chopped
1-2 tbsp water if needed during cooking
Sea salt
1 fresh lime

MissMarzipan_sweetpotato_kale_curry3

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C.
  2. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into chunks (of approximately 3 cm x 3 cm). Pop them into a large bowl and coat lightly and evenly with oil. Turn them out onto a large foil-lined roasting tray.
  3. Chop the aubergine into similar sized chunks before coating lightly and evenly with macadamia oil then adding them to the roasting tray with the sweet potatoes.
  4. Roast the aubergine and sweet potatoes for 30-35 minutes, until cooked through and starting to colour.
  5. Meanwhile, peel and slice the red onions.
  6. Finely slice the coriander or parsley stalks, reserving the leaves for garnishing later.
  7. De-seed and slice the red chilli, peel and crush the garlic and grate the ginger.
  8. Place a large, deep frying pan (one that has a lid; it will be used later) on the stove top set to medium heat. Tip the cashews in and toast them until golden and starting to brown a little. Tip them into a bowl and leave to one side.
  9. Place the same pan back on the stove top set to medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, followed by the onions, coriander/parsley stalks, chilli, garlic and ginger, and fry everything for 5 minutes until starting to soften.
  10. Add the dry spices to the pan, with a little more oil if necessary and continue to fry the onion and spice mix for another 3-5 minutes.
  11. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add them to the pan (with a tablespoon of water if needed). Bring to the boil before reducing to a simmer. Pop the pan lid on but leave it slightly ajar and cook for around 20 minutes.
  12. When the roasted vegetables are done, remove them from the oven and add them to the curry, along with the chopped kale, the cashews and a tablespoon of water if needed. Pop the lid back on and cook the curry for a further 10 minutes on a low heat.
  13. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary using salt. Sprinkle with fresh coriander/parsley leaves and serve with lime wedges (a squeeze of fresh lime adds a lovely zing) and quinoa cooked with vegetable stock (or plain rice/an alternative, if you prefer).

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HERE’S TO A FABULOUS 2016! (my annual visualisation mood board)

As New Year’s Eve rolls around again, the item on the top of my to-do list (aside from cooking!) has been the creation of my annual visualisation mood board! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it is the perfect way for a “visual person” to set a positive intention for the coming year and far better than creating a list of New Year’s resolutions, in my opinion.

And it works. Really.

I am, noticing a pattern, however. All of my mood boards from the past few years bear a striking similarity in theme and content. And this coming year’s mood board includes images I took during 2015 which, I suppose, is a fair indication that I am already happy with “my lot”.

And indeed I am :)

MissMarzipan_2016_moodboard

You can easily create your own using images sourced online** and a page layout program such as InDesign, make one using magazine images and ye olde cut-and-paste method or, if really pressed for time, why not create a Pinterest board called “2016” and cram it with pins of the things you’d like to fill your life with this coming year?

Here’s to the New Year! May your 2016 be happy, healthy and love-filled!

<3 MM xx

*Borrowing yet again from my post back in 2012! Ultra lazy of me, I know  ;)
** Picture credits: I have included images by I Quit SugarJasmine DowlingDonna HayJamie Oliver and loads of others (without credits attached, sourced from Tumblr). Please let me know if one of these images is yours so I can credit you! x

Previous mood boards:
2013
2014
2015

HOMEMADE OVERNIGHT OATS KIT DELUXE (a DIY gift that’s fun to make & nice to receive!)

These Homemade Overnight Oat Kits may just be the perfect homemade gift for a foodie, breakfast-loving friend!

MissMarzipan_overnight_oats_kit_construction

I gave these kits as gifts when I hosted our annual pre-Christmas food and crafting day a couple of weeks ago. With one of my friends about to jet off to NYC, the others busy with little ones and myself very pregnant, I thought it might be a wise idea to combine our annual get-together with a bit of a pre-baby do… not exactly a baby shower or blessingway, rather something still lovely, yet far more informal.

I did create these little Dear Baby printables…

MissMarzipan_wishes_for_baby_babyshower_printable

The girls filled them in as we sat around the table after tucking into our lunch/afternoon tea of Red Lentil and Vegetable Soup, Broccoli Bites + Allergy-Free Bread (both made from recipes in Sarah Wilson’s new book, Simplicious) with herby cheese smash, Vegan Chocolate Fudge Cake Pops, Matcha Gemstone Chocolates, Cinnamon Dusted Sugar Cookies… and contributions brought by the girls, including ginger orange tea, buns and chocolate balls.

Phew! That’s a whole lot of eating! :D

And back to the Overnight Oats Kits, of course they could be constructed in many ways, with certain items or ingredients swapped for others, but this is how I put mine together based upon what I had available and what I thought my friends would like…

I thought it would be timely to share this post now… with 10 days left to go until Christmas, I am sure there are a few people (myself included!) still organising and preparing. I hope you like this simple gift idea (which happens to double as a recycling project!).
<3 MM xx

 

MissMarzipan_overnight_oats_kit_deluxe

HOMEMADE OVERNIGHT OATS KIT DELUXE

ITEMS (to make 1 kit)

A recycled, sterilised jar* with lid, approx. 350 ml capacity
*see the method I have used for sterilising below
3 small cellophane bags (you could use small jars instead, if you have some around)
1 box/basket (I bought mine from Granit)
Tissue paper (even newspaper would be cute, though!)
Ribbon
A rubber band
A paper bag or thin cardboard
Washi tape (optional)
A pretty spoon (this might be the only thing you need to buy other than ingredients!)
Staples and a stapler
Clear tape

INGREDIENTS (to make 1 kit)
100 ml porridge oats of choice (I used gluten-free)
1-2 tbsp activated buckwheat groats
1 tbsp cacao nibs
2 tbsp dried cranberries
2 tbsp raisins
75 ml crunchy granola (I made a batch of IQS Coco-Nutty Granola and replaced cinnamon with homemade pumpkin spice mix for a festive twist)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut squares of tissue paper large enough to cover the lid of the jar (you may need 3-4 layers of tissue paper).
  2. Pop 100 ml of oats into the jar and seal. Secure the tissue paper squares in place over the lid with a rubber band.
  3. Make a gift tag using rectangles of cut brown paper bag/card (mine measured 90 mm x 45 mm) and write “Overnight Oats Kit Deluxe” on one side. On the reverse side of the tag, you can write a message and/or the instructions for usage… along the lines of:
    “Simply add 200 ml milk of choice to the jar, give it a shake, pop it in the fridge overnight and add toppings of choice + a little extra milk in the morning. Enjoy!”
  4. Tie ribbon around the lid of the jar to cover the rubber band and attach the gift tag.
  5. Cut a smaller piece of ribbon and tie a bow around the spoon.
  6. Measure your cellophane bags to determine the size of the labels you need to create. Cut 3 labels of the suitable size from your paper bag/thin card, bearing in mind that they need to be folded in half so should be rather square-ish in shape.
  7. Fold each label in half and write a description of the bag contents (I used little stickers that I had to spell out “Crunchies”, “Berries” and “Granola”). If using washi tape, line up a strip of your chosen tape with the edge of each label and stick down.
    MissMarzipan_overnight_oats_kit_deluxe_labels
  8. Fill each bag with your chosen toppings, fold the top edge of each bag over and attach a small piece of clear tape to hold it in place. Place the appropriate label over each bag and staple the sides.
  9. Place tissue paper in the bottom of the box/basket and arrange your items inside.

 

TO STERILISE JARS

  1. Wash jars and lids thoroughly. They should be spotless.
  2. Place jars upside down in a cold oven and then heat oven to 160 degrees C. Once the oven has reached this temperature, turn off the heat.
  3. Sterilise lids by boiling them in water for 10 minutes. Leave the lids in the water until you are ready to use them.
  4. Once your finished product is cooled in the sterilised jar, lift out the lid out using a pair of tongs, dry it off and seal the jar before storing or using.

 

MissMarzipan_overnight_oats_kit_deluxe_sml2

 

For other easy, inexpensive DIY festive gift ideas, see these old posts:

ROSEMARY-INFUSED SEA SALT (a perfect pantry staple or homemade gift)

SIMPLE LAVENDER SALT SCRUB (a quick, thrifty and beautiful homemade spa-in-a-jar gift)

CHRISTMAS HOT CHOCOLATE MIX IN A JAR (instructions for easy, pretty homemade gifts + FREE printable labels)

FROZEN BERRY JAM (no doubt the easiest, yummiest way to use up frozen berries!)

VEGAN CHOCOLATE SNICKERDOODLES (yummy spice-laced, sugar-coated, crackly-topped cookies)

FROSTY SNOWFLAKE-STAMPED SUGAR COOKIES (possibly the easiest way to “cheat” your way to a decorated festive cookie without candy, chocolate or icing!)

 

VEGAN CHOCOLATE FUDGE CAKE POPS (with matcha white chocolate crumbles)

Firstly, I feel compelled to say that the making and assembly of cake pops from scratch is a labour of love. Consider the number of steps involved, from the baking of a cake, to the preparation of frosting, to the melting of chocolate (or, indeed, the making of chocolate!) and the decoration of each cake pop… Yes. There is much to be done!

I do, however, hope that by experimenting with this myself, I will spare anyone who tries this any of the little frustrations I encountered along the way. It is also worth mentioning that any of the components alone are worth trying; the cake, the frosting, the matcha white chocolate.

I can’t claim that these are the healthiest pops out there, but they could provide a better alternative for many, especially those who are vegan, wanting to cut down on their sugar intake or trying to avoid artificial colours and flavours.

<3 MM x

MissMarzipan_vegan_christmastree_cakepops

Let’s begin with the recipes for the various components, starting with…

VEGAN CHOCOLATE OLIVE OIL CAKE

MissMarzipan_vegan_chocolate_olive_oil_cake

Prep time | 5 mins, Bake time | 45 mins

If making cake pops, you must start with making the cake! This can be done well in advance. We baked ours, stored it in the fridge and used it to make pops two days later.

CAKE INGREDIENTS

1 tin organic coconut milk
50 g cacao powder
200 g stevia sugar* (I used Dan Sukker, a one-to-one sugar replacer, not pure stevia)
200 ml olive oil
475 g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

* You could also try replacing this with a mix of coconut palm sugar and birch sugar for a richer taste (so 100 g of each). Or, if you prefer, simply use regular caster sugar.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (fan).
  2. Sift flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl/the bowl of a standing mixer (e.g. KitchenAid). Pour coconut milk, oil, cacao and stevia sugar* into a food processor and blitz to combine well. Pour wet mix over dry, stirring (or using paddle attachment on standing mixer) to combine.
  3. Pour batter into a baking parchment lined cake tin and bake for approximately 45 minutes in the oven until a knife/skewer comes out clean.
  4. Remove cake from oven and allow it to sit for a few minutes before removing it from the tin and allowing it to cool on a wire rack.

 

VEGAN MATCHA WHITE CHOCOLATE

MissMarzipan_vegan_matcha_white_chocolate

Prep time: 10 mins | Set/freeze time: 30-60 mins

One of the issues with traditional white chocolate is that it contains none of the health-boosting antioxidants that its dark chocolate counterpart can boast. Have no fear. Antioxidant-packed matcha to the rescue!

If using this Vegan Matcha White Chocolate to make crumbles for cake pops, you will want to prepare this in advance. It can even be done whilst your cake is baking. sure, it’s yet another step in the process, but it does provide a DIY healthier option for those wanting to avoid the use of artificially coloured sprinkles or candy melts.

INGREDIENTS

200 ml raw grated cocoa butter
3 tbsp coconut oil (I used Fitnessguru)
2 tsp stevia sugar (I used Dan Sukker, a one-to-one sugar replacer, not pure stevia)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp matcha powder (I used Matcha Maiden)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place a small saucepan with a few centimetres of water in it on the stove over low heat. Pop a large bowl over it, and gently melt the cocoa butter, stirring often. Mix in the coconut oil and combine well. Add stevia sugar, matcha and vanilla extract. Whisk to help the sugar dissolve and matcha incorporate.
  2. Pour into silicone ice-cube tray/candy molds while warm.
  3. Pop tray/molds into the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Store chocolates in freezer and remove before use/serving.

 

VEGAN CHOCOLATE FUDGE FROSTING

MissMarzipan_baby_eating_fudge_frosting

When it comes time to make your cake pops, you’ll need to mix up a batch of frosting to bind everything together…

INGREDIENTS

100 ml stevia sugar (I used Dan Sukker, a one-to-one sugar replacer, not pure stevia)
60 ml cornstarch
60 ml cacao
A pinch of salt
250 ml oat/coconut/almond milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cacao in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Whisk in the plant milk, stirring constantly over medium heat. Bring to a slow boil and continue to whisk until frosting has thickened substantially.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in oil and vanilla.
  4. Cool at room temperature before using.

 

VEGAN CHOCOLATE FUDGE CAKE POPS
(with matcha white chocolate crumbles)

MissMarzipan_vegan_christmastree_cakepops

If you have made it this far, you will be keen to get started with assembling and decorating your cake pops! I only decorated 8 Christmas tree-style cake pops with the matcha white chocolate crumbles, and the cake pop mix makes a LOT of cake pop balls (which can be frozen for later use, dipped in chocolate or decorated in other ways too). In any case, here is how I made them and here’s what you’ll need:

INGREDIENTS FOR CAKE POP MIX

2/3 of your cooled Vegan Chocolate Olive Oil Cake (you can eat the rest… yummy!)
1 portion of Chocolate Fudge Frosting

INGREDIENTS FOR MATCHA WHITE CHOCOLATE CRUMBLES (enough to coat 8 Christmas tree cake pops)

30 g solid portions of Matcha White Chocolate (direct from freezer)
100-125 ml desiccated coconut
Extra matcha for a more intense green colour (optional)

At least 50 g vegan dark chocolate for coating the cake pops in, melted
Dried cranberries, cut into teeny tiny pieces to decorate your trees (optional)

EQUIPMENT

Baking paper-lined trays
Cake pop sticks
A foam block or small glasses filled with rice (for setting the cake pops in)
A small food processor (I used this Braun hand blender chopper)
A cake pop presentation stand (I made my own from an empty Squarebars box, covered in white paper and a little fluffy “snow”)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Crumble your cooled cake in a large mixing bowl (or in a food processor before tipping the crumbs into a mixing bowl).
  2. Add the frosting, ensuring that everything is thoroughly incorporated. If your mix seems too dry (it should be moist, fudgy and hold together like dough), you can add a small dash of dairy-free milk.
  3. Take a tablespoon of dough, roll it into a ball the size of a large walnut and place onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Repeat until all your mix is used up.
  4. Shape 8 of your cake pop balls into Christmas tree shapes (the mix should be very easy to mould) and pop them into an airtight container lined with a little baking parchment. Refrigerate them for at least an hour (overnight, if you like). The rest of your cake pop balls can be placed in the fridge or frozen for later use.
  5. Now to decorate your Christmas trees! Take your formed cake pops out of the fridge, dip one end of a cake pop stick into your melted dark chocolate and insert it half way into one of your tree cake forms. Repeat the process, then place each cake pop into a foam block or small glass filled with rice. Pop all of them into the fridge for a few minutes, then take out one at a time to decorate.
  6. Prepare your matcha white chocolate crumbles by placing 30 g of Matcha White Chocolate (direct from freezer) into a small food processor (I used this Braun hand blender chopper) with the desiccated coconut and giving it a thorough blitz, until everything is incorporated. If you are happy with the colour, leave as is. Sprinkle a little extra matcha powder in and blitz again if you want a deeper green. Your mix may look a little wet at this point, so pop the chopper container into the freezer for a few minutes and quickly blitz again. Your crumbles should be good to go.
  7. Take one of your cake pops by the stick and dip into your melted dark chocolate, allowing the excess to drip off, then sprinkle over your matcha white chocolate crumbles. If adding cranberry “baubles”, dip them carefully into the dark chocolate and adhere them to your crumble coated pops, before placing them back into the fridge to set. Repeat the process until all your pops are decorated. You may need to refreeze and reblitz your crumbles a couple of times along the way. It is fiddly, but worth the extra effort.
  8. The set, decorated cake pops can be covered in cling film and refrigerated for a couple of days in advance of serving (this is what I did). When ready to serve them, simply place them in a presentation stand.

 

Phew! I told you this was an epic process. But the results are super-cute, rather delicious… and you can enlist the help of your family! ;)

MissMarzipan_making_vegan_chocolate_cakepops

GINGERBREAD OAT MILK SMOOTHIE

If you’re like me, the liberal use of spices in food and beverages is one of the things you treasure about this time of year. My children seem to be spice lovers too. And this super-simple dairy-free smoothie is a treat that our whole family has been enjoying since autumn came to Scandinavia. It can be served warm or cold, so take your pick according to your local climate or preference!

<3 MM xx

MissMarzipan_gingerbread_oat_milk_smoothie

GINGERBREAD OAT MILK SMOOTHIE

Prep time: 5 mins | Serves: 2-3

INGREDIENTS

500 ml oat milk (we used Oatly)
2 chopped, frozen bananas
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
A pinch of ground clove (or nutmeg if you prefer)
50 ml coconut cream (optional)
1/2 tbsp rice malt/maple syrup (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Blitz all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour and serve, with an extra light sprinkling of spice if you like.

*For a warm smoothie option, use chopped bananas (not frozen). Gently heat milk in a small saucepan, adding spices and syrup (if desired). Pour milk mix into blender over bananas and blitz until smooth. Pour and enjoy immediately.
*For a gluten-free/Paleo option, use almond milk

MissMarzipan_baby_drinking_smoothie

GO-TO RED LENTIL & VEGETABLE SOUP (+ Thermomix instructions)

Looking for an easy, filling, tasty make-ahead meal idea? This has been a go-to of mine for a few years now, and it’s a recipe I never tire of. I decided to give it a whirl in the Thermomix. New to modifying recipes for this machine (or even using it, really!), I had to make some uneducated guesses. But intuition saved the day, and I am happy to share this recipe again, now updated to include Thermomix directions. If you don’t have a Thermomix, worry not. This recipe is easy to prepare regardless.

I’ll be serving this hearty soup tomorrow when the girls come over for our annual pre-Christmas crafting day (which will double as a very informal pre-baby celebration). I look forward to sharing the rest of what I’ll be serving soon!

<3 MM xx

MissMarzipan_red_lentil_vegetable_soup_thermomix_lg

GO-TO RED LENTIL & VEGETABLE SOUP

Prep time: 5 – 15 min | Cook time: 35 min

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion
2 large celery sticks
2 large carrots
1 litre vegetable stock (or 2 stock cubes + 1 l boiling water)
200 ml red lentils, picked over and rinsed
100 ml brown rice, picked over and rinsed
Freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon

TO SERVE
Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
Salt and black pepper to taste
Slivered almonds, toasted (I like lots!)
Chilli flakes

DIRECTIONS 

  1. Peel vegetables and chop rather finely.
  2. In a large soup pot over medium heat, sauté the vegetables in olive oil until slightly caramelised, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add stock (or water + crumbled stock cubes), bring to a boil, then stir in the chilli flakes, lentils and rice.
  4. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the rice is tender. Add more water/stock if needed a little at a time until the soup reaches the desired consistency.
  5. Add the juice of half a lemon and stir through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  6. Ladle into bowls, squeeze a little extra lemon juice over each serving and top with toasted slivered almonds and chilli flakes.

 

DIRECTIONS FOR THERMOMIX

  1. Chop vegetables into large chunks (carrot and celery in halves or thirds, onion in quarters). Pop vegetable pieces into Thermomix bowl and chop for  7 seconds on speed 7. Check to make sure that vegetables are chopped evenly.
  2. Sauté vegetables on varoma temperature for 3 minutes on speed 1 (with no measuring cup).
  3. Add stock (or water + crumbled stock cubes*), lentils and rice and cook soup for 30 minutes at 100 degrees on speed 1.
  4. Add the juice of half a lemon and stir through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Ladle into bowls, squeeze a little extra lemon juice over each serving and top with toasted slivered almonds and chilli flakes.

 

*Tip: add extra stock (around 500 ml) for a thinner consistency. This works particularly well when reheating leftovers.

MissMarzipan_red_lentil_vegetable_soup_thermomix