Vegan Chocolate Muffins

vegan chocolate muffins

‘I use linseed as an egg replacement for these very chocolaty and moist muffins.  If you are looking for a diabetic friendly alternative use stevia instead of sugar. What I like about these muffins is that they really rise’

For the muffins you will need:

250g self raising flour [for a gluten free recipe use gluten free self raising flour]
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
75g cocoa powder
a pinch of coffee powder
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of salt
250g soft brown sugar
300ml hot water [not boiling]
3 tablespoons linseed
1 tablespoon vinegar
50g coconut oil
30g coconut pulp

Preheat oven to 160C.
Prepare a muffin tin by lining it with muffin cases. [Optional: On tv, I sprayed the muffin cases with Butter Flavour Fry Light Cooking Spray which is vegan for those who miss a buttery taste!]
Sieve twice the self raising flour, bicarbonate, cinnamon.
Add the salt and mix.
Place the water, linseed, coconut pulp, coconut oil, vinegar, brown sugar and coffee in a liquidizer and turn on until the linseeds are broken up and the mixture appears consistent.
Use a large metal spoon to fold in the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Use a spoon to fill the muffin cases and place in the oven to bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Allow to cool and top with the icing or serve as they are.

vegan chocolate muffins 3.jpg During the tv programme today I used a bar of lactose free milk chocolate but if you want vegan icing use dark chocolate.

For the icing [optional], you will need:
75ml water
50g coconut pulp
50g soft brown sugar
a pinch of coffee powder
a pinch of cinnamon powder
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
150g chocolate

12 fresh cherries [optional]
Cocoa Nibs to sprinkle on top [optional]

Place all the ingredients in a saucepan on low heat. As soon as it start to boil, remove from the heat. Keep stirring until you have a smooth, glossy consistency. Allow the muffins to cool completely before pouring the icing on top of them.
Sprinkle some cocoa nibs and decorate with a fresh cherry.
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Trade Enquiries:
Cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, spices, brown sugar, linseed, bicarbonate of soda, self raising flour by Good Earth
Valor Chocolates, Govinda Stevia, Govinda Coconut Oil, Govinda Coconut Pulp by J Calleja
Fry Light Cooking Spray Butter Flavour by Rimus Trading
Fresh Fruit by Big Fres Mosta

Photography by CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show.

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Quick Chocolate Muffins with no refined sugar and no added fats

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Quick Chocolate Muffins with no added sugar and no added fats.  Photography CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show

‘quick and easy chocolate muffins sweetened with dates.  They contain no added fats and are moist and delicious’

You will need:

250g dates
200ml warm water
250g self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vinegar
4 eggs
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of coffee powder
a pinch of salt
vanilla
4 tablespoons chocolate powder
3 tablespoons cocoa nibs [optional]

Soak the dates in the warm water. Prepare a muffin tin with paper cases.
Use a hand blender to bind the dates with the water until they form a smooth paste.
Sieve the self raising flour,chocolate powder and baking powder twice. Add the vanilla, salt, cinnamon and coffee powder. Mix the ingredients together until the mixture is consistent. Beat the eggs and add them to the blended dates. Add the vinegar and mix well to get a consistent mixture. Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture and use a large metal spoon to fold in without over mixing. If you are using the cocoa nibs add them. Pour the batter into the Pour the batter into the muffin cases and bake for 25 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly before taking the muffins out of the tin.

I topped my muffins with a mix of fresh berries.

I use ingredients by Good Earth

No bake coconut chocolate cherry slice

coconut chocolate cherry slice

Coconut chocolate cherry slice photo taken during a live tv show by Marconia Schembri

‘An incredibly quick dessert, ideal for the hot summer days. It is vegan, gluten free, lactose free and has no added processed sugar. Worth a try if you are reading this recipe as it will not disappoint’

cherry coconut chocolate credit george aquilina

Coconut Chocolate Cherry no bake slice, photo take by George Aquilina during a live tv show

You will need:
2 cups coconut
2 tablespoons agave
1 vanilla pod
2 tablespoons cold pressed coconut oil
400g sugar free dairy free chocolate

a tart tin with a loose bottom
cling film
10 cherries

Place the coconut, agave, seeds from the vanilla pod and cold pressed coconut oil in a blender and pulse until it forms a paste.
Cover the bottom part of the tart dish with cling film.
Place the mixture in the tart dish and press down by using a spatula.
Place in the fridge for an hour.
Melt the chocolate by placing in a microwave or bain marie.
Pour the chocolate over the coconut

Place in the fridge over night or the freezer if you are not going to serve immediately.  Before serving dip the cherries in melted chocolate and place on top of the tart.

Coconut Chocolate Cherry Slice

Coconut Chocolate Cherry Slice, photo taken during a live tv show by Charles Vassallo

Tip:  This tart was made in a rush during a live tv show without being placed int the fridge long enough to set.  You can have a must neater finish by allowing the tart to set overnight in the fridge or freezer before decorating.

I use agave and coconut oil by Good Earth, chocolate by Valor, vanilla by Schwartz, cherries by Big Fresh, tart tin by Tescoma, coconut by St Georges Brand, cling film by AMC, decorative tableware by Loft.

Quick No-bake Easter Treats

‘No celebration is complete without a sweet treat. Here are a few quick and easy chocolate recipes that require no baking that will be a hit for Easter. ‘

Carrot and date coconut balls

1 large carrot, grated
A pod of vanilla
2 cups oats
1/2 cup dates
A pinch of salt
1/4 cup mixed chopped almonds and Pistachios (optional)
A pinch of cinnamon
A grating of fresh nutmeg
A pinch of mixed spice
Grated zest of a tangerine
Water
2 cups coconut for rolling the balls

In a saucepan, place the dates and grated carrot. Add 1/4 cup of water, the spices and grated citrus zest and allow the dates to break down on low heat. Add more water, a few tablespoons at a time, if necessary, and do not allow the mixture to dry up. When the dates are soft and mushy turn off the heat, mix and allow to cool.

In a large bowl place the oats, add the vanilla and then add the cooled down date and carrot mixture. Add the chopped nuts (optional) and mix until the consistency is even.

Use a melon scoop to measure out the balls. Shape them lightly in your hands and roll in coconut. Place on a tray covered with baking paper and, if you are making them last minute, place them in the freezer to set quickly.

Chocolate Nests

100g chocolate
50g butter
1 tbsp honey
150g Cornflakes, organic and gluten-free
An assortment of mini Easter eggs

Quick and effective, these gluten and dairy free chocolate nests can be prepared last minute and frozen until needed, then decorated with mini Easter eggs.

I use gluten free organic cornflakes and dairy-free chocolate with no added sugar.

Break up the chocolate and place it in a large bowl with the butter and honey.

Place the bowl on a simmering bowl of water (bain marie) making sure it does not touch the water. Stir the ingredients until the chocolate and butter melt and it appears consistent.

Remove the bowl from the heat and add the cornflakes. Mix until the cornflakes are all coated with the chocolate mix.

Prepare a muffin tin with muffin cases, or line the whole tin and cavities with cling film.

Divide the mixture into the 12 spaces and use a spoon to press down and make an indentation in the middle of each chocolate nest.

Put in fridge for a couple of hours. Peel off the muffin cases or cling film. Arrange the nests on a decorative plate and place the mini Easter eggs in each nest.

Baci

2 packets gluten-free, plain biscuits
4 tbsp cocoa powder
100g crushed hazelnuts
50g whole hazelnuts
2 tbsp ground hazelnuts
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp brandy/rum
100ml coconut milk
200g melting chocolate
4 tbsp coconut

Our Easter meal nearly always finishes with Baci, either the delicious store-bought ones all the way from Perugia, or homemade ones made with condensed milk. My recipe has reduced sugar and reduced fat and contains no condensed milk.

They still taste marvellous and you would not know the difference. They are also gluten-free!

Crush the biscuits very finely. In a bowl, mix together the biscuits, cocoa powder, crushed hazelnuts, coconut, honey, rum and skimmed milk. Mix well.

Bind the mixture into very small balls. On top of every ball put a hazelnut.

Leave to set for four hours before you cover using the melting chocolate. Cool down quickly and allow to set in the freezer.

Rocky Road

135 g butter
300 g dark chocolate
4 tbsp agave
250 g Digestive biscuits
100 g marshmallows
100g Smarties, or M&Ms
100g milk chocolate
Chocolate confetti

This mix of chocolate, marshmallows and biscuits is a firm favourite with children and a great occasional treat.

Melt the butter, dark chocolate, carob syrup and golden syrup in a saucepan.

Put the biscuits into a plastic bag and crush them roughly with a rolling pin, so that there is a mix of pieces and crumbs.

Mix the biscuit pieces into the melted chocolate mixture, and then add the marshmallows and mix.

Tip into a tin foil tray (24cm / 9 inch square) lined with cling film. Melt the milk chocolate and drizzle over the top. Scatter the Smarties or M&Ms over the surface, followed by the chocolate confetti.

Place in freezer if using on the same day (or overnight in the fridge).

Cut into fingers before serving.

Lea’s Good Food Everyday is available via Midsea Books

Trade Enquiries:  Rimus Group  for President Butter

No bake: Gluten Free Easter Nests

Easter nests with chocolate cornflakes 2

No bake gluten free Easter nests as seen on TV

‘Quick and effective, these can be prepared in advance and frozen until needed, then decorated with mini easter eggs. I use gluten free organic cornflakes and dairy free no added sugar chocolate


You will need:
100g chocolate
50g butter
1 tablespoon honey
150g Cornflakes, organic and gluten free
An assortment of mini Easter Eggs

easter nests with chocolate cornflakes 8

You will find my kitchenware at Tescoma and ingredients at Good Earth and GS Superstore

Break up the chocolate and place it in a large bowl with the butter and honey.
Place the bowl on a simmering bowl of water (bain marie) making sure it does not touch the water. Stir the ingredients until the chocolate and butter melt and it appears consistent.
Remove the bowl from the heat and add the cornflakes. Mix until the cornflakes are all coated with the chocolate mix.
Prepare a muffin tin with muffin cases OR line the whole tin and cavities with cling film.
Divide the mixture into the 12 spaces and use a spoon to press down and make an indentation in the middle of each chocolate nest.
Put them in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
Peel off the muffin cases or cling film. Arrange the nests on a decorative plate and place the mini easter eggs in each nest.

Burrata from Puglia sealed in Dark Chocolate

burrata-encased-in-dark-chocolate-5

Simplicity is always best.  Authentic Burrata from Puglia is shipped to Malta weekly.

strawberries and burrata

Slice some strawberries and arrange them in a circle on a plate

strawberries and burrata 2

Place a burrata cheese in the centre

burrata dark chocolate goodfoodeveryday

Top with dark melted chocolate until the strawberries are partially covered to seal the burrata and strawberries together

burrata encased in dark chocolate 5

Garnish with rosemary flowers before the chocolate completely sets

burrata encased in dark chococlate 5

As the chocolate sets, gaze at it and admire the beautiful colours as you wait in suspense and curiosity of what is yet to come…

Burrata encased in dark chocolate 6

Time to dig in.  Tell me what you think?  Did you like it?

Goodfoodeveryday is aired everyday on Smash TV

I use Burrata by Murgella available from P J Sutters

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with baked ricotta filling

Chocolate Zucchini Cake, just out of the oven, let yours cool down before sharing !

Chocolate Zucchini Cake, just out of the oven, let yours cool down before sharing !

This cake was sliced and eaten as soon as we took it out of the oven because we wanted our audience to see the result. If you let it cool down, the middle layer will set and the cake will cut very nicely.

You will need:

250g self raising flour
2 tablespoons chocolate powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon oats
1 teaspoon cornflour
1/2 vanilla pod
1 tablespoon organic apple vinegar
4 eggs
2 tablespoons plain yoghurt
200g zucchini, grated
250g golden raisins soaked overnight and blended to a puree

Sift the flour into a large bowl and add all the dry ingredients and mix. Add the grated zucchini and mix gently until they are covered with flour.

Place all the liquids in another bowl and blend using a hand held electric blender.
Fold the liquids into the dry ingredients, very gently and do not overmix.

The middle ricotta layer
250g sheep’s ricotta
2 eggs
1 tablespoon cornflour
a pinch of cinnamon
1/2 vanilla pod
Mix together and keep aside

Grease a 23 cm cake tin with baking spray.

Pour half the chocolate cake batter and smooth the top.
Then the ricotta mix
On top of that the rest of the chocolate batter.
Bake in a preheated oven at 160C for 35 minutes.
Allow to cool before serving.

This week's vegetables from the farmers market #Malta

This week’s vegetables from the farmers market #Malta

Chocolate Coconut cake with reduced sugar and no butter

All in one chocolate coconut cake with reduced sugar

All in one chocolate coconut cake with reduced sugar

Some of my readers tell me that they are not able to get used to the taste of Stevia. Of course Stevia is not processed sugar and our tastebuds need to adjust. This chocolate coconut cake which I made during our show this week has equal quantities of sugar and stevia, with the idea of gradually eliminating sugar.

For the chocolate coconut cake you will need:

2 cups self raising flour
1 cup coconut
1 cup stevia
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup olive oil
half a cup plain yoghurt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
a few drops vanilla
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
3 eggs
1 cup water

In a saucepan gently heat the yoghurt, olive oil, water, coffee powder, vanilla and sugar. Stir and do not allow to boil. Remove from heat and stir.

In a separate bowl sieve and mix together the self raising flour, coconut and stevia.

Sieve the flour

Sieve the flour

Prepare a 23 cm tin lightly greased with butter and then dusted with flour. Remove excess flour.

Mix the liquid ingredients with the dry ingredients and fold in.

Adding eggs :)

Adding eggs 🙂

Stir in the eggs. Pour the batter into the prepared cake dish. Sprinkle coconut on the surface.

Chocolate Coconut cake prior to baking

Chocolate Coconut cake prior to baking

Bake at 160C for 35 minutes.

While it was still hot, i brushed mine with warm honey and dusted more coconut powder. The keep will keep moist for around 10 days if kept well in a air tight container.

Photography Ian Noel Pace

Coconut Chocolate Bakes, no added refined sugar, no added fats

IMG_6838

This bake contains no butter and no added refined sugar.  You will need:

  • 200g flour
  • 100g  coconut
  • 125g ricotta
  • 2 tablespoons agave
  • 2 drops good vanilla extract
  • grated zest of half an orange
  • 1 egg
  • cold water
  • 200g dark chocolate and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to decorate plus roasted chopped almonds (optional)

coconut and ricotta bakes with  chocolate

Preheat the oven to 170C.  Sieve the flour.  Add the ricotta/  Rub it into the flour using your fingertips.  Add the coconut and honey and mix well.  Add the other ingredients except the water and egg and mix.  Now add the beaten egg and mix using a knife.  Add the cold water, starting with three spoons and mix and then add a spoon at a time until you form a dough. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for half an hour.  Cut small pieces of dough and press into the almond shaped non stick moulds.  Flatten the surface.  Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool down. Melt the chocolate and add half a spoon of olive oil.  Place in a small jug.. Hold the jug firmly and drizzle the chocolate over the bakes moving your arm quickly backwards and forwards until they are uniformly and neatly decorated.

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They are soft and moist.

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My kitchenware comes from Tescoma, flour and baking goods from St George’s Brand, chocolate by Valor.

St Peter’s Pool, chocolate and cherries

You can now follow my blog via Facebook

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I had to borrow the photo of St Peter’s Pool in the South of the island. An amazing place and a must to visit if you are here.

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And some more fun with these chocolates studded with cherries. They are tiny, just bite size and great as a treat but also look stunning on a table served with coffee. Rather than moulds, I used cutters and you simply push the chocolates out once they are set to get completely perfect shapes.

To make 12, you will need:

300g white chocolate
1 spoon Olive oil
6 cherries, stone removed, cut in half
12 Cutters
Baking paper

Line a dish with baking paper. Place the cutters on top of the paper.
Melt the chocolate. Add a spoon of olive oil and stir.
Use a measuring jug to pour the melted chocolate into the cutters.
Before it solidifies place half a cherry in the centre of each cutter.
Place in the fridge for an hour.
Push out of the cutters and serve.

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