Dessert, Snacks

Chocolate coconut squares


These chocolate coconut squares are free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar, but are nonetheless one of the most intensely chocolate flavoured desserts I have ever eaten. I had intended the recipe to be for chocolate coconut bars, but they came out so rich I had to downgrade the size to squares. These are lovely with a cup of coffee or as an after-school treat for hungry children.


Chocolate Coconut Squares

360 g pitted medjool dates

100 g organic cacao powder (I use Creative Nature)

60 g dessicated coconut + extra to sprinkle

50 g chopped almonds

2 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons water

pinch of salt

Makes about 30 squares.

Line a 20 x 20 cm baking tin with parchment paper.

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth.

Tip the mixture into the tin and spread out evenly. Press down and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Sprinkle a bit more coconut over the top and press into the surface.

Refrigerate for at least one hour, then cut into squares. Refrigerate until ready to serve.



Chocolate mousse


Before 2014 draws to a close,  I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for following me here, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

In 2015 I am planning to post more healthy breakfast and snack ideas. I am also developing some bread recipes, both GFCF and GAPS, which I hope be able to have ready for you soon. And I would like to cook more desserts that are free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar – so watch this space.

In the meantime, with no apologies, here is a chocoholic’s dream of a recipe for dairy-free chocolate mousse. Enjoy!

Chocolate mousse

300 g dark chocolate (I use Green & Black’s cooking chocolate)

40 g cocoa powder (again, I use Green & Black’s)

80 ml hot water

2 egg yolks

6 egg whites

200 g caster sugar

Serves 8

Break the chocolate into squares and melt in a bowl over a pan of hot water, on the hob.

Mix the hot water and the cocoa powder to form a thick paste. Combine with the melted chocolate and egg yolks and mix well. Set aside to cool.

Whip the egg whites, gradually adding the sugar.

Add a third of the egg whites into the chocolate batter, mixing well, then fold in the rest carefully.

Put the mixture into a large bowl or eight small bowls, glasses or ramekins.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.


Chocolate olive oil cake


April is a month of birthdays at my house. And thus a month of baking as well – so there will be plenty of gluten and dairy free celebration recipes to share with you over the coming weeks.

We kicked off the festivities with a chocolate olive oil cake that is one of my family’s firm favorites. It is a very rich, moist cake that is a breeze to make (especially with a small helper) and appeals to adults and children alike. I made the cake with my daughter and we used a peppery Spanish olive oil that gave the cake a bit of a kick – but you can stick with a mild olive oil for a more classic taste.

Chocolate olive oil cake (from a Nigella Lawson recipe)

50g unsweetened cocoa powder

100ml boiling water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

150g ground almonds

1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder

a pinch of salt

3 large eggs

200g caster sugar

150ml olive oil

Serves 8 (generous slices) to 16 (dainty slices)

Preheat your oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.

Measure the cocoa powder into a bowl, then slowly add the boiling water and whisk well until the mixture forms a thick chocolate paste. Add the vanilla extract then set aside to cool.

In another bowl, combine the ground almonds, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and mix in the sugar and olive oil using a handheld or standing electric mixer until the mixture is pale and creamy, about two minutes, then gradually add the chocolate paste and mix well.

Fold in the dry ingredients, then pour the batter into a 23cm springform cake pan, lined and greased (I use ghee but you could also use a bit of oil). Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the sides are firmly set but the top is still slightly springy to the touch. Cool on a rack, then remove from the tin. Insert suitable number of candles.


Chocolate rice krispie treats

rice krispie treats

My children and I do not see entirely eye to eye on what makes a fun cooking project. On a rainy “let’s make something” day, I might suggest we attempt pavlova, or California rolls, or something slightly ambitious that I bookmarked in my Charcuterie book. The kids, on the other hand, love to make rice krispie treats.

It’s pointless to argue. The recipe is simple enough that very little adult supervision is required. Also, it is not only gluten and dairy free, but also nut free.

But the main point is really that kids love to make rice krispie treats because kids love to eat rice krispie treats.

Chocolate rice krispie treats

(adapted from Ellen’s South Hampstead Dinners, available from South Hampstead Junior School)

250g golden syrup

25g unsweetened cocoa powder

300g gluten-free puffed rice cereal (we buy Kallo brand)

Makes enough to feed a houseful of kids.

Heat the golden syrup over a low flame in a large heavy bottomed pan or dutch oven. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth.

Remove from the hob and stir in the rice cereal.

Transfer to a lightly-oiled, high-rimmed baking tray, spreading evenly. Refrigerate for one hour or until firmly set.

Cut into squares to serve.