Category Archives: sweet treats

Sex begins in the kitchen!

Did I get your attention? A number of years ago I read a relationship book with this title.  It actually wasn’t so much about how food is the way to a man’s heart, it was about how all the little things we do to help each other (like cleaning up the kitchen!) can go a long way towards increasing our desire (specially us chicks who might need a little lead time ;-)!) for intimacy.  Given this is a food blog though and not a marriage blog I’ll turn my attention to sharing a few recipes that you might like to consider for a romantic night in tomorrow night for Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is not a day on our marriage calendar that is given massive attention, however we do usually buy each other a card.  I’d much rather a gift or flowers at a random time than on a ‘required’ day, but given this year the day falls on a Saturday, and we have no other social plans, we’re planning on cooking a nice dinner (probably a family dinner), putting the kids to bed, then having dessert and watching a movie together.  Then it will be a date night at home and the boys will learn a little about the importance of Mum & Dad having time for our relationship without them.

I haven’t decided exactly what to cook, but here are a few ideas I’ve got that you might be inspired to try too.

If you’re after a 3 course meal, why not try this roasted field mushroom with rocket, persian feta (omit for paleo), sun-dried tomatoes and roasted beetroot chips for an entree? Mushroom+Beetroot

Here are a couple of main course suggestions, depending on what kind of protein your after.  I really like this eye fillet with mushroom & crispy sweet potato.

eye fillet mushrooms sweet potato

If you’d rather some lamb (or are feeding the family), why not cook a butterflied leg of lamb.  butterfliedlamgfigglazecooked

If fish is more your thing grill some fresh salmon and serve it with a fabulous salad, like this rainbow noodley one:vegespaghettisalador this pretty peach & greens salad:pretty peach & green salador even some good old brussel sprouts!

brussel sprouts

The pinnacle of any Valentine’s Day dinner is surely the dessert! Here are a few of my favourite desserts that I think qualify as ‘romantic’ and  fit within the ‘paleo or paleo-ish treat’ category.

These lemon coconut tarts are even AIP friendly and if you have a heart shape mould are even more perfect!

Lemon coconut tarts

Sexy Choc- caramel tart:

choccarmelcoconuttart Raw choc-nut raspberry tarts with banana ice cream: 

photo(5)

chocolate coconut ganache

 

Here is a super easy paleo-ish dessert. Chocolate coconut ganache with fresh strawberries. Bring 1 cup coconut cream to a simmer with 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste, turn off and after 5 mins stir in 100g dark choc till combined. Pour into little dishes (or tart shell) and refrigerate until set. Serve with fresh strawberries.

 

 

Or if paleo is not your thing and you want, what I think is the prettiest of desserts, have a go at this Pretty Persian Rose Ice Cream.

Well, hopefully that’s got the romance building in the air/kitchen!  I’d love you to post/comment with your Valentine’s Day meal ideas or after the fact, let me know what you cooked.  You can always tag your photos with #whatannabelcooks and I’ll see what you’ve made.

♥  Annabel x

Advertisements

raw paleo snickers bar

raw paleo snickersEarlier in the year I made a different (and much more complicated) version of a paleo snickers bar merging a few recipes I found online and then I couldn’t remember what I did so never posted the recipe!

I was recently out for dinner with a couple of friends and one was telling me about a slice she and her teenage girls devour – sounded close enough to a paleo snickers bar in concept, so here is my attempt at my version!   It was easy and relatively quick.  Tasted delicious with my coffee this morning too.

raw paleo snickers bar recipe

First step is to soak the cashews for the middle layer, then make in order below…

Base:

  • 8 fresh dates (pitted)
  • 1 cup mixed nuts (raw or toasted… but then not a raw slice!)
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1 Tbsp melted cacao butterIMG_0116
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp water
  1. Line a square baking tin with baking paper.
  2. Blitz together in a food processor/blender/thermomix until sticking together – can be a bit chunkier if you like the crunch, or smoother if you don’t.
  3. Spread out evenly in the baking tin, freeze until next layer is ready.

Middle layer:

  • 1 cup cashews (soaked for about an hour and rinsed – the longer you soak the smoother the ‘cream’ layer)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup (or to taste)IMG_0117
  1. Blend in a food processor/blender/thermomix until a smooth paste.
  2. Spread over the base layer – doesn’t matter if it’s not completely smooth (see picture).  Return to freezer for at least 30 mins.
  3. BEFORE adding the chocolate layer, smooth over this layer with a large spatula or cake knife so that when the chocolate is poured on, the finish is smooth and not lumpy.

Top/Chocolate layer:

  • 1/4 cup melted cacao butter
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/8 cup maple syrupIMG_0118
  1. Whisk ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Pour  the chocolate over the smoothed middle layer – spreading by either rolling the tin around or using a cake spatula.
  3. Return to freezer until set.

To serve:

Remove from the freezer, let it stand for 5 mins or so before cutting so you don’t crack the chocolate layer.  Cut into squares or bars.  It is rich, so small pieces is best and will make it last longer!  Store in the fridge or freezer.

Makes up to about 50 pieces.

IMG_0121

Mint slice the paleoish way! (GF, DF)

I’ve been wanting to make these for a while and in fact had made the coconut mint pattie a few weeks ago and had them in the freezer. I just hadn’t got around to either making paleo chocolate or just dipping them in melted chocolate. I’d eaten a number un-dipped, but as I was making rocky road the other day I thought I’d dip the few I had left!

The original recipe comes from Food Matters recipe I’d pinned on Pinterest a while ago but as I already had the chocolate (Lindt covouture) melted I just dipped in that. It did make for a crisper shell than the true paleo version, but certainly what earns the paleoISH description. I think next time I’ll add a little peppermint essence to the chocolate too. Delicious.

IMG_3261.JPG

it’s beginning to a look a lot like Christmas

Hi Everyone,

It’s unavoidable now that Halloween is over… Christmas is just around the corner.  I’m looking forward to sharing some favourite recipes over the next couple of months and hearing about what you all are cooking for Christmas!

I really want to thank you all for your support this year with ‘whatannabelcooks’  – whether you were one of the 28 women that attended one of my paleo cooking classes (we raised just over $800 for daughtersofcambodia.org), ‘liked’ one of my recipes on Facebook or Instagram, opened the email you receive with each blog post or just generally support and encourage me, I really do appreciate it.  It’s been a big year on a number of fronts, so thank you.

I am experimenting with selling what has become my ‘famous’ (in my own lunchbox I know!) Christmas Rocky Road.  It falls deadset within the ‘treat’ category and is not paleo (although IS gluten free) but is a well deserved decadent splurge for the Christmas season.  Unfortunately they can’t be shipped so only available to my Brisbane peeps.

I’ve had to order a carton of ring tins so feel free to pass around to a few friends if you think they might be keen.  Orders will need to be in ASAP and preferably by end of November and available for collection anytime from next week until 18 December.  There are a variety of sizes so could make great teacher gifts/neighbour gifts and the large ones would look fabulous as the centre piece for your Christmas party or dessert table on Christmas Day.

If you want an order form, please send me an email to annabel.bateman@gmail.com and I’ll send you one.

Happy cooking,

Annabel x

IMG_0129

fudgy chocolate protein balls (raw, nut, coconut, dairy & gluten free)

Can’t believe we’re on the fast train to Christmas! Stay tuned for upcoming Christmas recipes and treats. For those who receive these blog posts via email, you might want to consider following me on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest as I often post quick photos, short recipes and bits and pieces on those formats as it’s easier than writing and publishing a whole blog post 😉

fudgy chocolate protein balls

I came up with this recipe whilst trying to think of a natural, high protein energy boost for my oldest child (11) who is very fussy and has had glandular fever and really needs an energy boost from time to time.  Surprisingly he loves these little balls. I really like them too – they have a fudgy consistency.   They also cater for most food intolerances 😉

fudgy chocolate protein balls

  • 10 fresh dates (pitted)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp raw cacao + extra for rolling
  • 1/4-1/3 cup cacao butter – melted (you could try coconut oil instead but they will be much softer)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1& 1/4 cups protein powder of choice (use a DF one like pea protein for DF)
  • 1/4 cup water
  1. Blitz dates in food processor until finely chopped.
  2. Add rest of ingredients until it forms a thick paste.
  3. Refrigerate for about 20 mins so it’s not so sticky.
  4. Roll heaped teaspoon sized scoops into balls then roll in extra cacao – this will help with the stickiness.  I have rested them in mini muffin tins until a bit firmer to help hold their shape
  5. Freeze.

Makes about 20 balls.

Your hands will get very sticky rolling these balls, you may need to wash them a couple of times during the process!

spiced pumpkin ice cream (GF)

With October and all things pumpkin just around the corner, here is a recipe that will appeal to the Australian readers because we’re coming into the warmer weather and ice cream is always good in summer.  It will, however appeal to the North America followers as well with October’s focus on pumpkins and then Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie in November. So, here is spiced pumpkin ice cream.  The recipe is taken directly from taste.com.au

I served it with a version of my 11 nuts & seeds muesli sprinkled on top for the crunch.  It would also work really well served in the date & nut tart shells.

spiced pumpkin ice cream

Spiced pumpkin ice cream

 

  • 1/2 butternut pumpkin (about 500g), peeled, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 300ml milk
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (110g) castor sugar
  • 5 egg yolks (I used 4)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) maple syrup

 

  1. Steam pumpkin for 12-15 minutes until tender, then allow to cool completely. Once cooled, puree the pumpkin in a blender until smooth – you’ll need 200g. Set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, place milk, cream and spices in a pan over medium heat. Bring to just below boiling point. Using electric beaters, beat sugar and yolks until thick and pale. Stir in warm cream mixture, then return to a clean pan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 8 minutes or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain into a bowl, then place bowl in a large bowl of ice and stir until cool.

  3. Stir syrup and pumpkin into custard. Pass through a fine sieve, pushing down on solids. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Alternatively, pour strained mixture into a shallow container and freeze for 2 hours until frozen at the edges. Beat with electric beaters, then return to the freezer. Repeat 2-3 times, then freeze until firm.

 

 

apple almond scones (gf, paleo)

apple almond sconesI love brunch.  (Well actually there isn’t a meal I don’t like, but if had to pick a least fav it would be lunch.) I love breakfast too, so brunch in my mind is really just an excuse to eat breakfast a little bit later in the day!  We were invited to friends for brunch today for Father’s Day and because I’ve inherited the inability to ‘bring nothing’ I thought scones would be a nice brunchy thing to bring.  I did make a regular batch of jam & cream topped regular scones, but here is the gluten free version – not really like a jam & cream topped scone at all, but yummy none-the-less.

I had made similar scones a few years ago but couldn’t find the recipe, so after finding a few different ones online,  I based mine on this Apple Scones recipe from Paleo Foodie.

  • 2 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1&1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2-4 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 -2 apples grated (1 large or 2 small)1. Preheat the oven to 170C.
    2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
    3. Stir until combined into a batter.
    4. Put small cookie sized mounds of the batter on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
    5. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool, serve and enjoy!

Makes about 15