Cheeky Choccie Chunk Cookies

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I am constantly on the search for a paleo chocolate chunk cookie recipe that comes close to my fond memories of Cookie Time cookies and this is a pretty good contender.

I used block chocolate that I roughly chopped into chunks, but you could use whatever form takes your fancy, chips, drops – the world is your oyster.

 

INGREDIENTS

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (the real stuff please, no imitation essence here thanks!)

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 cup almond flour

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

90g dark chocolate chunks (we’re talking at least 70% cocoa, yum)

 

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat your oven to 180ºC.

Sift your flours and baking soda into a large bowl.  In a mixing jug whisk together the egg, coconut oil, coconut sugar and vanilla extract, then mix into the flours in the bowl to form your dough.

Next fold in your chocolate chunks (I found that I had to scrunch them in with my hands as the coconut oil means the batter is not very sticky).

Using your hands shape roughly tablespoon amounts of the dough into cookie shapes and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Bake for around 12 minutes, but start to check them after 10, you want them to be turning deliciously golden brown.

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EASY CHEESY SCONES

cheese scones

I love me a good cheese scone.  It’s a rare indulgence, but one that I revel in.  Hubby bear used to buy them for me from a wee café up the road from where he used to work, the only place I have ever seen a gluten free cheese scone and my they were good.  These however could totally take those cheese scones out and I’m not saying that just because I made them.  Well, maybe just a tiny bit, but these are seriously good!  They are not Paleo, but 80/20 right?

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ Cups grated cheese, I use a mix of mild and parmesan

80g cold, diced butter

2 ½ Cups gluten free baking mix (I use Healtheries Baking Mix, if you’re just using a gluten free flour that has no rising agents added you’ll also need 3 tsps gluten free baking powder)

Salt & pepper

1 Cup full fat milk

Paprika

DIRECTIONS

Pre heat your oven to 220 C.

Now you need to mix the butter into the flour.  I do this in my food processor fitted with an S blade, but you can also do it in a large mixing bowl with your hands by ‘rubbing’ the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add big pinch of salt and good grind of pepper, the milk and 1 Cup of the grated cheese and working quickly combine until it forms a dough.  Place it on a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray than with your hands shape it into a rectangle about 4 cm high then cut into whatever shapes you want your scones to be in.  I go super creative for smaller rectangles as you can see.

Separate the scones slightly so all edges crisp up, then sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese and give everything a dusting of paprika.

Pop into the oven and cook for ~15 mins till they’re deeply golden brown and crunchy on the top and bottom.  If you take them out, split one open and they’re still a bit doughy put them back in the oven for a few more minutes because a doughy scone is just miserable.

SACHERTORTE REIMAGINED

sachertorte reimagined

This is a serious Chocolate Cake (note the caps).  I personally don’t think this needs the jam and ganache topping that a Sachertorte traditionally has, however if you want it I’ve included directions for that as well.

Inspiration for this recipe comes from the Green & Black’s Chocolate Recipes cookbook.  This is currently the only brand of chocolate that I buy and it is glorious.  If you know of a better one please tell me, I’d love to check it out, but if you haven’t tried Green & Black’s yet, I’d urge you to give it a go!

INGREDIENTS

200g 85% cocoa solids chocolate

6 eggs

Tiny pinch of salt

310g coconut sugar

150g ground almonds

1 ½ tsps decaf instant coffee

DIRECTIONS

Pre heat your oven to 180C and line your cake tin with baking paper.

Gently melt the chocolate (easiest if broken into small pieces) in a bowl suspended over a pot of simmering water, don’t let the water touch the bottom of the bowl.

Separate 5 of the eggs, beat the 5 yolks and 1 whole egg with the sugar until thick and creamy.

In a separate bowl beat the 5 egg whites with a tiny pinch of salt until it will hold a firm peak.

Add the ground almonds, coffee and melted chocolate into the egg yolk mixture and stir well.  Next comes the trickiest bit, combining with the egg whites.  The easiest way to do this is to take a large spoonful of the egg whites and generously beat them into the egg yolk/chocolate mixture to loosen it, then very carefully and gently fold the rest of the egg white mix in a spoonful at a time until fully incorporated.

Pour into your cake tin and put in the over.

Bake for 20-25 mins then cover with tinfoil and bake for a further 25-30 mins.  Check that it’s cooked by inserting a wooden skewer into the cake, if it’s clean when it comes out, it’s cooked, if it’s a little gooey, it ain’t.

This is where I leave it, it’s scrumptious served with a dollop of yoghurt or cream, coconut or otherwise.  However if you want to go all out ‘traditional’ Sachertorte leave the cake to cool on a rack while you melt 6 Tbs sugar free jam (such as St Dalfours) over a low heat.  Strain out any bits and then brush over the cake.  Melt 100g 85% cocoa chocolate over a saucepan of simmering water add 40g unsalted butter and stir until smooth and glossy and the consistency of thick cream.  Pour over the cake and leave to set.

GINGER CRUNCH

ginger crunch

From the recipes I post I’m sure you’re able to tell that I rather like my treats and am not particularly ascetic, after all you only get one life (as far as I know any way) and I’m damned if I’m not going to enjoy it while still trying to do the best for myself and my family that I can.  So it’s always doubly gratifying when I can make something that tastes ah-ma-zing and still be nourishing for my body.

Ginger is said to be good for digestion and helping to combat nausea, which makes this slice an awesome option post-prandial or after you see Fat Bastard caressing himself in Austin Powers.  And of course it’s refined sugar free, dairy free, gluten/grain free etc. etc.

Credit where credit is due, inspiration for this recipe comes from Dr. Libby Weaver’s Book, Sweet Food Story.

INGREDIENTS

Base:

1 Cup ground almonds

1 Cup desiccated coconut

1/3 Cup buckwheat groats

¼ nut butter

½ Cup melted coconut oil

¼ Cup maple syrup

3 Tbs fresh, finely grated ginger

Pinch of salt

Topping:

1 Cup nut butter

1 tsp vanilla paste or extract

¼ Cup maple syrup

¼ Cup water

1 tsp lemon juice

4 Tbs ground ginger

150g Cup melted cacao butter

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat your oven to 160C.

Put all the base ingredients in a food processor fitted with an ‘S’ blade and processes until combined.  Scrape out into a lined slice tin and bake for 25 mins.  Then remove and allow to cool completely.

To make the topping put all the ingredients in the food processor and gently (low speed) process until combined.  Pour evenly over the base and place in the fridge to set, 1 – 2 hours.

Keep in the fridge and take as required.

Coco-Choccie Cookies Courtesy of Little Bear

coco choccie cookie

What do you do when it’s a yucky weekend and Little Bear is at a loose end?  Well in our house to stop her from getting creative on the walls with her crayons or completely removing every article of clothing from the drawers that she can reach (and that’s quite a few now…)  you get her to do some baking with you.

The following cookies were supposed to be like Tammy Credicot’s Salted Chocolate Cherry Jumbles, but A) we didn’t have the right ingredients and B) Little Bear didn’t agree with some of the quantities.  Any way the resulting cookies might not stack up in the looks department, but they are definitely tas-tee.

Enjoy with a nice cold glass of coconut, almond milk.

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs

Pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp almond extract

2 Tbs coconut flour

¼ Cup almond flour/meal

¼ Cup raw cacao powder

1/3 Cup maple syrup

½ Cup shredded coconut

1/3 Cup sultanas

1/3 Cup dark chocolate chunks (we used Green & Blacks 85% cocoa chocolate chopped into nuggets)

DIRECTIONS

Heat your oven to 180C and line your baking tray with baking paper.

Mix everything together in a large bowl to combine and then scoop soup-spoonful amounts onto your baking tray pressing down slightly to flatten.

Bake for 12 – 15 mins.  Let them cool completely before storing in the fridge.

Boiled Orange, Carrot & Almond Cake

boiled orange cake

This is a lovely dense, moist cake, with an amazingly vibrant orange flavour.  It does require a little pre-work but I promise you it is worth it.  Grandma Bear has lots of oranges on her trees at the moment and this is made with the small blood oranges which I don’t like eating fresh.

I tend to start this this day before making the orange puree and then leaving it in the fridge overnight, but whatever works for you.

If you can bear to leave it this is actually better the day after baking, but it’s still really good just cooled as well.

INGREDIENTS

350 – 375g orange puree

250g ground almond meal

150 – 175g grated carrots

Large handful of well washed and dried sultanas

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon of baking soda

50g coconut sugar

2 large eggs

DIRECTIONS

To make the orange puree, take approx. 4 small oranges (organic if you can get them because you’re going to be eating the skin) give them a cursory scrub and cover in a pot with cold water.  Bring them to the boil and then turn the heat down to keep them simmering for 2 hours.  Let them cool completely and then rip into chunks, removing any seeds you find on the way, and puree in your food processor or with a stick blender.

To make the cake, pre-heat the oven to 180 C on normal bake.

Combine the orange puree, eggs and sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.  Gently stir together all remaining ingredients into a big mixing bowl then add the orange, egg, sugar mix in to and stir until just completely combined.

Tip into a cake tin lined with baking paper, I use a 25cm round spring form tin, and bake for 1 hour.  Depending on your oven you may want to start checking the top after 45 mins or so to see if you need to cover with foil to stop the top burning.  Trust me the cake is so moist it will need the full hour of baking.  To test for done-ness stick a wooden skewer in the middle, it should come out reasonably cleanly with just a few moist crumbs sticking to it.  It if looks like it’s got cake batter on it, keep baking for a bit longer.  When cooked remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin before turning out.

LET’S CELEBRATE CHOCOLATE CAKE!

choc cake

I’m back!  Did ya’ miss me?  Don’t worry, I know you did, but it’s all OK now.

keep-calm-i-am-back

If you saw my last post you’ll know my absence has been due to rampant pregnancy induced nausea and I can’t even begin to tell you how ecstatic I am to be back on the food wagon!  Please keep the garlic and coffee away from me still though…

My first foray back into the kitchen was for Grandma Bear’s birthday.  This is not strictly Paleo as it does use butter, but it is also quite delicious.  I gave it another crack for our office morning tea and there was not a crumb left over.

INGREDIENTS

200g dark chocolate, my favourite is Green & Blacks 85% cocoa

150g butter

½ Cup coconut sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 eggs

1 ¼ Cups ground almonds

2 Tablespoons cacao powder

Pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat your oven to 160°C and line your cake tin with baking paper.  I use a springform cake tin and this makes the removal of the cake so much easier.

Gently melt the butter and chocolate together in a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bowl).  This is easiest if you chop them up into bits first.

Remove the bowl from the heat once they’re both melted and mix through the almonds, vanilla, sugar, egg yolks and cacao powder.

In another bowl whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form.  Next bit mildly technical, but you can do it!  Take one spoonful of the beaten egg whites and beat them into the chocolate mixture.  This will loosen it and make it easier to gently fold the rest of the egg whites in.  We need to try and maintain the aeration in the egg whites as that is what provides the lift to the cake.  The best motion to do this is a ‘cut’ rather than a ‘beat’.

Once all the egg whites have been incorporated gently pour into your prepared cake tin and bake for ~40 mins.  You want the texture of the cake to be sort of fudgy, so you’re definitely not looking for a clean skewer if that’s how you test the done-ness of your cake.

Enjoy with some coconut yoghurt or cream.  Birthday candles are optional, but they do add a rather jaunty, festive note 🙂

MOSTLY PALEO SAVOURY QUICK BREAD

quick bread

I have been lusting after cheese scones for a while now and this is the best I have come up with to sate the cravings so far…

I don’t usually have cheese and I think you could definitely leave it out here if it doesn’t fit with the way you eat, but I really felt like it!

I’m quite lucky in that my mother has a bumper crop of zucchinis at the moment so that’s what I put in, but I think you could happily add whatever veges you wanted to put in; some chopped spinach or silverbeet, some sautéed mushrooms, some semi dried tomatoes…

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ Cups almond meal

¾ Cup of tapioca flour

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

5 eggs

1 ½ tsps. Cider vinegar

½ Cup grated zucchini

½ Cup grated sheeps milk parmesan

Handful of pumpkin and sunflower seeds for scattering over the top (optional, but nice)

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat your over to 180 C.

Grease and line a loaf tin with coconut oil and baking paper.

Put all your dry ingredients together in one bowl and in a separate container (I use a large jug, perfect for pouring) mix together all your remaining ingredients, except the seeds.  Beat well to combine and then pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients.  Mix together until just completely combined and then tip into your loaf tin.  Sprinkle the seeds evenly over the top and then put in the oven to bake for ~35 mins or until golden brown on top and a skewer comes out clean.

Remove from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack so the steam doesn’t make it soggy.  Eat within a couple of days or slice and freeze.

PALEO BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

blueberry muffin

Blueberry muffins are such a ubiquitous comestible that I feel like my cooking repertoire is incomplete without having a go to paleo version for those times when only a blueberry muffin will do.  You know the ones.

We’re very fortunate to be in the midst of blueberry season here and what better time to experiment with blueberry muffin recipes than when you can get punnets and punnets of them nice and cheap!

INGREDIENTS

½ Cup blueberries

3 eggs

2 Tbsps melted coconut oil

½ Cup coconut milk

1/3 Cup + 2 Tbsps coconut flour

2 Tbsps of maple syrup or coconut sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp baking soda

DIRECTIONS

Preheat your oven to 180 C.

Add all your dry ingredients to a large bowl.  Whisk together your wet ingredients in a separate bowl then pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients fold loosely together, then drop in the blueberries and gently mix together to distribute.  Line your muffin tray with patty cases and scoop your muffin mixture into each one.  Bake for 30 – 35 mins until they’re golden and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Store in the fridge if not using straight away.

blueberry muffin 2

Paleo Bagels

bagel

Season’s greetings everyone!  I hope you all had a safe and happy time with your loved ones.

Apologies for being silent for so long, the Bear family traditionally escapes after Christmas Day to a wee beach on the East Coast for some serious relaxing time.  It’s a stunningly beautiful place but there’s definitely no internet (I count myself lucky there is running water and electricity!) so we read lots of books (I can now recite Hairy Maclary and Zachary Quack by heart) and went for lots of walks.  Hubby Bear didn’t wear a shirt for the entire holiday and spent lots of time out the back mowing the lawn, grilling meat over flames and growling happily to himself.  Baby Bear ate lots of sand and wore no clothes at all while I rediscovered the delicious joy of naps on sultry afternoons and continued to wear clothes, technically.  This might be a bit of a Kiwi joke, but ‘togs, togs, undies’ doesn’t apply when you’re at the beach all the time!!  For those of you who have no idea what I’m going on about, check it out here, you’ll be richer for the experience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-Lx2ihpGbc

Well the other tradition we have is bagels for breakfast with my family on Christmas day with salmon, capers, red onions, tomato and avocado.  The following is an attempt to Paleofy that tradition.  Give it a go!  (Eating them for breakfast with my family is totally optional unless you like that sort of thing, in which case more power to you but I should warn you my sister has been known to bite during discussions over who gets the last of the smoked salmon.)

INGREDIENTS

½ C tepid water

½ tsp sea salt

4 T melted coconut oil

1 ¼ C tapioca or arrowroot flour

1 egg

¼ C + 2 T coconut flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp organic poppy seeds

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 180 C.

Combine the water, salt and coconut oil in a medium bowl, then slowly whisk in the tapioca flour. Next add the egg and combine well. Now add the remaining ingredients and let it sit for 3-5 minutes to firm up a bit.

Roll the dough into 4 standard or 8 mini sized balls. Press your finger in the middle and shape into a bagel shape.

Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 18 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!!

bagel 2