I'm off on holidays today, but I didn't want to go before posting this blog post. Because I can’t believe it’s
been a year since I decided I needed a creative outlet and started this blog!!
think I definitely have ‘looked over the edge of my plate’ and discovered new
places, ingredients and even met so many lovely people through this blog.
Online and offline.
I love challenging
myself and that was exactly what I set out to do. A year on, I seem to get more
adventurous and try things I wouldn’t have tried a year ago. Avocado-chocolate
mousse?? Really? It’s actually really yummy and so much better for you than the real deal. (And don't worry, there is still chocolate it in!).
Our friends SJ &
Pete invited us to their house last weekend for a non-Christmas in July dinner
party. I offered to bring a dessert and got the brief something lactose free
would be great. I’m doing the IQS-8Week-Program at the moment, so I’m cutting
out most processed sugars. And I also wanted a showstopper of a dessert for my
Blogiversary. I googled and looked through cookbooks and finally came across
this one. Choc-Caramel-Chunk and Peanut Butter Cheesecake. Sounds divine but is
actually lactose-free, processed sugar free and you have to admit, it looks
amazing, right? I didn’t want to tell everyone that this was actually a ‘healthy’
dessert, so I just served it to them. Obviously it doesn’t taste like a
sugar-laden chocolate caramel ice-cream cake but has a subtle nuttiness to it. After
everybody had tried it and liked it, I told them. And no one guessed there was
avo in it!
It’s not the cheapest
of all cakes, but it serves 12-14 people and for a cheaper version, substitute
the pecans with walnuts.
1 cup peanuts or
macadamia nuts, or both, roughly chopped
3 cups raw unsalted
1 1/4 cups coconut
2 large or 3 small
1/3 cup raw cacao
1 1/2 teaspoons sea
1 1/2 tablespoons
3/4 teaspoon ground
1 1/2 cups natural,
sugar-free and salt-free crunchy peanut butter
1 1/2 tablespoons
1/4 cup coconut oil
or butter (I couldn't get mine to work with coconut oil)
1 1/2 tablespoons
rice malt syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons raw
small pinch of sea
1 tablespoon coconut
Line the bottom of a
23-cm spring-form tin with baking paper then start by making the crust. Pulse
the pecans in a food processor until roughly chopped. Add the remaining
ingredients and process until the mixture has a moist, crumbly consistency.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly around the base and 5cm
up the sides. Place in fridge or freezer to set.
To make the caramel
sauce, melt the butter with the syrup in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring
to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium so the mixture keeps bubbling - do
not stir or the caramel will split. Cook for a further few minutes until the
caramel has turned golden and appears gooey when dripping off the back of a
spoon. Remove from the heat and add the coconut cream, stirring gently.
Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
To make the praline,
preheat the grill to high and line a baking tray with baking paper. Warm the rice
malt syrup gently in a pot on the stove or in the microwave. Mix the syrup with
the nuts and transfer to the prepared tray. Grill for five minutes or until
most of the water has evaporated and the syrup has turned golden and
crystallised around the nuts. Remove from the grill and cool, then smash the
praline into small pieces. Reserve 1/2 cup for the topping, and keep the rest
for the ice-cream filling.
To make the ice-cream
filling, pulse the cashews with 1/3 cup of the coconut cream in a food
processor until the mixture is fairly smooth and buttery. Transfer to a large
bowl and set aside. Again using the food processor, pulse the avocados with the
remaining coconut cream, cacao, salt and stevia until smooth. Add to the cashew
mixture, then add the cinnamon, peanut butter, cacao nibs and praline. Stir
well to combine.
Spoon about half of
the ice-cream mixture over the crust in the spring-form tin and spread right to
the edges of the crust. Free for about 5-10 minutes, then drizzle over half the
caramel sauce. Freeze for another 5-10 minutes, then add the remaining
ice-cream mixture. Freeze for 5-10 minutes, then add the remaining caramel
sauce and freeze the assembled cake for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
Now, a word of
warning, it took me three attempts to get the chocolate sauce right. I have
never had so much trouble with anything like I did with this sauce (and I cook
a lot!). The mixture kept clogging up after I had added the cacao and seemed to
split, so that I ended up with a big lump of rice malt syrup/ cacao mixture and
the coconut oil on the side. The rice malt syrup/ cacao mixture is very tasty,
but just didn’t have the right consistency to drizzle over the cake at the end.
I tried switching pots, I let it cool more, I stirred it slower. NOTHING
WORKED! L suggested I use butter instead
of coconut oil. And for a moment it looked like it would split again, but it
didn’t! It was the perfect consistency!
To make the chocolate
sauce, melt together over low heat the coconut oil or butter and syrup in a small
saucepan. Remove from the heat and whisk through the cacao powder and salt
until thoroughly combined, with no lumps. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then
whisk through coconut cream until smooth. (This sauce will thicken as it cools
and can be reheated to make it runnier.)
To serve, remove the
cake from the freezer and the tin and transfer to a serving plate. Arrange the
reserved praline around the edge of the plate and drizzle over the chocolate
sauce. Allow to stand 5 minutes before serving.