Dessert

I baked a thing

Yeah, I know, it’s been a while. And I really shouldn’t be blogging at all considering I’m attempting NaNoWriMo and have hit the wall at 33k words. But anyway: yay procrastination.

So, call me hormonal, but I just felt like I needed to bake a chocolate paleo thing. Generally speaking, I’ve stopped making these kinds of foods because whilst they’re technically within the confines of paleo, they’re still full of (coconut) sugar and chocolate. They’re going to make you fat. It’s just that they’ll make you smug fat. There’s a difference, apparently. Usually speaking, if I need a chocolate hit I’ll just have a few squares (ok, an entire bar) of 85% chocolate. But not today.

Today I decided to make Paleo Dark & Salty Caramel Pots, from The Paleo Cupboard. Except without the pots (I used ramekins). And I didn’t make the whipped cream because a) I wasn’t arsed and b) I didn’t have enough coconut milk. Also, see a).

Obviously, we had to pretend to be adults and eat our dinner first, and since I bothered to take a photo let’s talk about it. We had sea bass, sweet potato chips and green veg. I ususally do a pretty mean sea bass where I cook it 90% through, skin-side down, then flip it over at the last minute to reveal lovely crispy skin, but today I either left it on too long or my griddle pan has lost its stick, because the skin peeled off. Still, it tasted it pretty good. But yes, it was ugly.

At least the chips were good. (I tossed them in a little bit of coconut oil and sprinkled with salt and dried rosemary, then baked for 20 mins at 200°C.)

Back to the chocolate pots.

The ingredients for the cake part of the dessert were all pretty standard except for one thing: palm shortening. Does anyone else think that sounds like a secretary from the 80s? Just me? Anyway. I didn’t have any, nor have I have ever seen it sold anywhere, plus I’ve been lead to believe that palm-anything is bad for orangutans, so I just substituted it with butter.

Actually, come to think of it, this must have been where I went wrong. I used salted butter. And there was definitely too much salt in the cake. And a weird, unexplained aftertaste. Hmmm. I probably should have used ghee. Or done more research. But anyway.

So then there was the salted caramel sauce. GOOD GOD THIS STUFF WAS AMAZING. Sorry for shouting. But yes, unbelievably delicious. From here on in I proclaim that this will be my go-to sauce for paleo desserts. It would taste INSANE with these brownies. Oh God, I’m sweating.

Ahem.

So, whilst the cake wasn’t that great (probably my fault rather than the recipe), I’m still glad I did it. Because, the sauce. THE SAUCE.

Yeah.

The ultimate paleo banana bread

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Ok now, listen up, because on August 2nd I’ve decided that I’m going to start a Whole30. That means no processed foods of any kind, no sugars or honey, no dairy, and absolutely no more bastardised paleo foods (such as banana bread). For 30 whole days I’m just going to eat meat, fish, vegetables and small amounts of fruit and nuts. And no booze.

NO BOOZE?!

No booze.

So before I dive into that, I need to give you my recipe for banana bread, because a) it’s definitely not Whole30 approved, and b) I have tried them ALL, with varying results, and this is the one that makes my heart sing. The thing with paleo banana breads is that when they’re bad, they’re so dry they suck the spit right out of your mouth, but when they’re good, they’re moist and delicious and ah-mazing. This one is almost more chocolate than banana, but you can still kid yourself that you’re eating a healthy fruit thing, right? Who cares anyway, it’s a treat that’s sweet but is grain- and dairy-free. I have fed this to non-paleo people at 3am when they’re angry and drunk and they have practically wept with the deliciousness.

By the way, all the recipes that I tried used American measurements so that’s what I’m working with here. You’re just going to have to go with the cups thing – yes I know it’s annoying – or use an online converter.

Ingredients
Dry ingredients
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
Optional: 1 tbsp of chia seeds (because I put them in everything)

Wet ingredients
3 eggs
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup melted ghee (or butter)

Method
1. Preheat oven to 160°C, grease a loaf tin with butter and line with baking parchment.
2. Combine all the dry ingredients (coconut flour, ground almonds, cocoa powder, bicarb of soda, salt, chia seeds (if using) in a large bowl and remove any lumps with a fork.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, honey and vanilla. Add the mashed bananas and mix well. Then add the melted butter and stir.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
5. Pour into loaf tin and bake for 45 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Paleo Chocolate Cake

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My husband has a thing about chocolate desserts. He considers anything that’s not chocolate strange and unnecessary. So when he turned 33 during the week I knew I had to make him a cake. A chocolate cake. And because we’re deep in paleo mode at the moment, well, you get the idea.

The only other paleo dessert I’ve ever dabbled in is chocolate brownies. They’re good, but they use up an entire jar of almond butter which, at almost €4 a jar, is pretty expensive. Plus, you know, it’s not cake. So, being the dutiful wife that I am, I searched the interweb and found this recipe and decided to give it a shot. I had to source a few weird ingredients (coconut palm sugar, I’m looking at you), but I eventually managed to scrounge everything together from a few different health food shops.

It took three hours of hardcore baking, but I’ve got to tell you, it was completely worth it. This is a rich, chocolatey, decadent cake. It is moist and delicious and I can honestly say that it’s one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever eaten. And I’m not just saying that because it’s relatively healthy. Yes, it’s gluten free, dairy free and uses naturally-derived sugars, but it is goddamn tasty and I’d definitely recommend giving it a go. So do it and eat it and delight in your own amazingness. You’ll find the recipe here.

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