Tag Archives: dessert

Coconut Oil Chocolates

Coconut oil is definitely having a moment right now.  It’s being touted as a superfood due to its amazing qualities, being naturally antifungal, antibacterial, great for digestion, a fantastic cooking oil, an amazingly versatile beauty product, and of course, delicious.  I like using the extra virgin organic coconut oil for maximum benefits.

When I was on the HCG diet, I found a great recipe for Phase 3-friendly coconut oil chocolate.  That one used stevia to sweeten it, but I loved it!  I also found a recipe using honey, which I love.

I really like this recipe because not only is it ridiculously simple and foolproof, but it yields a delicious fudgy chocolate that is all natural, whole, real food, and its rich taste means that only a little square can kill any chocolate craving with a fraction of the calories, but is amazingly satisfying!  A quick suggestion would be to use refined coconut oil if you don’t really like the taste of coconut, because it is still noticeable.

Recipe

  1. Mix the following in a microwave-safe bowl – ½ cup coconut oil, ½ cup cocoa powder, ¼ cup sweetener of choice (here I used raw sugar), and any extras you want to add in (shredded coconut, nuts, etc. – I used chopped pecans here)
  2. Microwave if needed to soften the coconut oil, and simply mix until smooth
  3. Pour mixture into a dish or mold (ice cube trays would be great for portion control)
  4. Refrigerate until firm, I just leave it in overnight
  5. Cut up if needed, and enjoy!

Now you can easily enjoy all-natural chocolate, without fear of excessive sugars or chemically-laden ingredients!

Has anyone else tried this?  Or tried using coconut oil in general, let me know in the comments, I’d love to discuss!

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Red Velvet White Chocolate Cake Pops

Oh, Christmas baking is upon us!  Cookies and brownies and candy cane everything… it’s a dream for someone like me with a sweet tooth.  We were just at a Holiday Potluck and cookie exchange, so right now our fridge is stuffed with all kinds of festive treats and sweets.  Today I’ll be sharing the recipe for the treat I brought to the exchange – red velvet white chocolate cake pops.  They were really more like cake balls since I didn’t use lollipop sticks, but I’m still calling them cake pops 🙂   

It’s a recipe I made up myself as I was making them, adapting one of my favourite trifle recipes.  Here it is!

Red Velvet White Chocolate Cake Pops

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
  • ½ cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups (375 mL) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) red food colouring
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
  • 1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) apple cider vinegar

Cream Cheese & White Chocolate Frosting

  • 2/3 cup (heaping) white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (250 mL) light cream cheese, softened

Candy Coating & Garnish

  • 340g white chocolate chips
  • festive holiday sprinkles

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C) and line a 9 x 13-inch pan with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Reserve.
  3. Beat butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down sides of bowl. Add food colouring and vanilla and beat until uniform.
  4. Add a third of the flour mixture to the batter, beating until combined. Add half of the buttermilk. Repeat, adding alternating ingredients until all the flour mixture and buttermilk have been incorporated.
  5. Combine baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl, and stir until it foams. Add to batter and mix just until fully incorporated. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for at least 10 minutes.
  6. To make frosting, gradually melt white chocolate and cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl, and mix between heatings to create a smooth mixture.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, crumble the cake (you can also use a food processor for this).  Add the frosting and mix well, until uniform.  Roll into 36-40 balls and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.  Freeze for about 30 minutes, until cake pops are solidified.
  8. For the candy coating, melt the white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, gradually and mixing well.  Gently roll and cover each cake ball in the melted white chocolate, and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.  Top with sprinkles, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to firm up.

That’s it!  It took me a bit more work since I was experimenting as I was going to make the recipe, but they were fun to make and even more fun to eat!  Not too sweet since the frosting was more tangy from the cream cheese, and not too heavy – just delicious!  You could also top them with crushed candy canes, or maybe heart-shaped sprinkles for Valentine’s Day!

Who’s doing Christmas baking?  Anyone making cake pops?

 

 

Simple Pumpkin Pie – Thrown Together Edition

So, a few days ago,  I tried making my first ever pumpkin pie.  Yes.  And I wanted it to be from scratch, kind of.  Allow me to explain.

I was at home and knew that Nick would be getting home late and tired, so I wanted to surprise him with something nice.  I remembered that pumpkin pie is one of his favourites, and thought to myself, “Well, I know I have a premade pie crust in the freezer, and a can of pumpkin.  Somehow with those and a few other things I’ve got laying around, I should be able to throw together a pie.”  Also, this was the day of American Thanksgiving so pumpkin was understandably at top of mind.

With that I took to the internet in search of recipes that I had everything for, since I had no evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk.  So I found a recipe for a Paleo Pumpkin Pie using coconut milk, and made a few tweaks based on what I had available.  Here we go, Delia’s first ever pumpkin pie!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups canned pure pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup sugar, plus a bit more if needed, to taste
  • 1 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 frozen 9-inch pie shell, unbaked.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven at 350.
  2. Using a hand mixer, mix well the pumpkin and eggs.
  3. Mix in the coconut milk, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Pour filling into the crust.
  5. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool completely, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

There you have it!  A pumpkin pie that is a little bit traditional, a little bit paleo, a little bit fast, and a whole lot of tasty!  I only say the last one because it was husband-approved, and by a husband that is quite the pie connaisseur from what I gather.

Do you have a favourite pumpkin pie recipe?  Ever tried making it with coconut milk?  

HCG P3 Cheesecake

This spring, Nick and I both went on the HCG diet to cleanse and reset our metabolisms.  While on maintenance, we were allowed to eat whatever we liked except sugar and starch.  This time around, we were on maintenance when his birthday rolled around, so I set about finding a birthday cake that we could eat then.  Lucky for me, he likes cheesecake far more than regular cake, and I was able to find a perfect recipe!  Full disclosure – yes, it’s “diet” in that the recipe was perfect for maintenance phase of HCG, but this cake is very rich, and still pretty hefty on the calorie counts, but sooo worth it.

HCG P3 Cheesecake (Adapted from My HCG Cooking)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ground pecans or almonds (I used almond meal)
  • 2 tbsp sweetener
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 4 8-oz packages of cream cheese (I used light)
  • 1 cup sweetener
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp no sugar added jam (I used raspberry)

Directions

For the crust:

  1. Mix together ground pecans or almonds, 2 tbsp sweetener, and melted butter.
  2. Press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch cake pan (I lined mine with parchment paper before), and bake at 325 for 10 minutes.  Then turn oven up to 450.

For the filling:

  1. Beat together cream cheese, and 1 cup sweetener until well mixed.
  2. Add in 4 eggs, one at a time, and mixing well in between.
  3. Add in yogurt and 1 tbsp vanilla.
  4. Once well mixed and uniform, pour over crust.
  5. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, lower heat to 250 and continue to bake for one more hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool completely.

For the topping:

Warm no sugar added jam of your choice for about 20-25 seconds in the microwave, until thinner and glaze-like in consistency.  Spoon over cheesecake, and spread carefully to cover the cake.  Chill in the refrigerator for at least a few hours before serving.

Of course, I also added candles and sang Happy Birthday to my sweet husband, but that part’s not really in the recipe 😉

This cheesecake was so delicious and easy that I would happily make it again, but one slice was more than enough to fill us up!  We even had it for breakfast later on.  I know lots of people who are wary of artificial sweeteners, so you could use stevia or xylitol, or even plain old sugar if you’re not on HCG Phase 3.  I used a sweetener that measured out the same as sugar (like Splenda), so it you’re using something different, you may need to change up the measurements for sweetener.  For us, this turned out with that perfect balance of sweet and creamy, so it was a hit!

Anyone else doing sugar-free baking?

Also, what’s better – cake or cheesecake?  Chime in, I’d love to get your thoughts!

 

Pumpkin Scones

The joys of pumpkin goodness continue!  In this post I tackled a low-fat and lower calorie version of Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, one of the seasonal goodies that often draws me in at Starbucks.  Today, I continued with a lower calorie version of their pumpkin scones.  This recipe is delicious for breakfast or a treat, and amazing with a coffee (or pumpkin spice latte)!  The original recipe is here, but below I put my own twist on it with a few modifications, and it clocks in under 200 calories per scone.  Dig in!

Pumpkin Scones (makes 6 scones)

Ingredients

  • Scones
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • ⅓ cup old-fashioned oats
  • ⅓ cup Splenda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ⅔ cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 3 tbsp low-fat buttermilk (I used a milk and lemon juice substitute)
  • Icing
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 tsp Splenda
  • 2 tsp powdered sugar
  • 1 dash of cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. First, make the scones.  In a large bowl, mix flour, oats, Splenda, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Mix well.
  3. Cut butter into small cubes.  With two forms, mash butter into flour mixture until well mixed.  It will resemble bread crumbs.
  4. Add pumpkin and buttermilk, stir until uniform.
  5. Shape dough into a circle on the baking sheet, ideally 6 inches across and 1 ½ inches thick.  Slice into six wedges, but do not separate.
  6. Bake for 12-14 minutes, and let cool completely.
  7. For icing, use a small microwave-safe bowl.  Mix cornstarch with 3 tsp cold water, and stir to dissolve.
  8. Add Splenda, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix well.
  9. Add marshmallow creme and microwave for about 7 seconds.  Stir until smooth. Set aside
  10. Once scones have fully cooled, spread icing on top, serve, and enjoy!

I found these delicious, and Nick loved them too!  They were moist, textured, not too sweet, and just a little bit spicy.  The icing provided a really nice touch and looked like a glaze almost, so that was yummy.

These scones are really versatile, they are perfect for a grab and go breakfast idea, which I’ve been really having a lot of fun with lately.  The aforementioned muffins are also great with this.  They’re also delicious as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon pick-me-up, and amazing for a coffee break!

Anyone else doing pumpkin goodies?  Please let me know, and happy pumpkin season, guys, eat up!

Super Simple Strawberry Crisp

Do you have a favourite fruit?  For many people, it’s strawberries.  Delicious, ripe red berries, bursting with sweetness and just the right hint of tartness, memories of berry picking and eating your fill as you find the sweet red treasures among the leaves, the luscious and distinct taste of summer.

This summer we’ve been enjoying simpler pleasures, easy recipes, homemade wine, and eating out on the balcony, soaking up sun and warmth while basking in the romance of the season.

With that in mind, I found and tried a delicious recipe for the simplest strawberry crisp I’ve ever had or made.  The original recipe is found here  at Playing House Full Time, one of my all-time favourite blogs.  I did a tiny bit of modifications, since I think my version has more berries in it.  I think it’s the perfect way to make the most of the last lingering days of summer, since it’s not fall until the 21st!

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs whole fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 1.5 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1.5 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • extra drizzle of honey

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Toss berries with corn starch in an ungreased 8 x 8 baking dish.
  • Mix together oats, honey, and butter until uniform.
  • Spread oat mixture evenly over berries, and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Drizzle with honey once out of the oven.

I would have used coconut oil instead of the butter, but Nick doesn’t quite share my love for it.  We’ve also enjoyed it with some Greek yogurt on top, or I like to add a little bit of coconut oil for flavouring.

Have you tried this awesome(ly simple) recipe?  Or do you have any other favourite strawberry recipes?  Please do share, they’re in season for a bit longer so we might as well really enjoy them!

Delicious Greek Yogurt Key Lime Pie!

Have you ever stumbled upon a recipe that seems to slap you silly, because it’s so awesome?  No, I’m the only dorky one?  Okay.  Because that is pretty much what happened to me recently.

On a whim, along with the normal plain nonfat Greek yogurt I like, I picked up some Oikos Key Lime Greek Yogurt.  Yes, I know, it’s 2% and it does have some sugar in it.  However, not a lot of sugar, and still has all the joyous benefits of Greek yogurt, namely protein and good bacterial cultures and sunshine!  So as I’m enjoying a few spoonfuls in the morning right from the tub, I am struck by the sheer deliciousness – it seriously tasted like Key Lime Pie filling!  And then as I’m flipping the tub around to see the nutritional info, ingredients, whatnot… what do I see but a recipe for Key Lime Pie using the yogurt???    So my (severely caffeine-deficient) thought was “Healthy AND easy Key Lime Pie?  Oh, it is ON like Donkey Kong!”  Yes, I say ridiculous things to myself in my head, especially before coffee.  Sooo…. long story short, and with a few modifications, Greek Yogurt Key Lime Pie!  Here it is folks 🙂

Preheat oven to 375.

Whisk together:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 375g Oikos Key Lime yogurt (about 13 oz)
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 62 mL (1/4 cup) honey
  • 3 tbsp corn starch

Pour mixture into prepared 9” diameter graham cracker pie shell, bake for 30-35 minutes until set.

Chill for at least 1 hour in the fridge.

Top with whipped cream, and serve!

A few notes:

I didn’t have zest of lime, so I used a splash of lime juice.

Taste the filling as you go to make sure you have the right sweet to sour ratio for you – I ended up sprinkling in a bit of Splenda to sweeten it up a bit.

I baked mine for 28 minutes – the pie crust itself was pretty much ready so I didn’t want it to burn or anything.

Next time, I’m thinking of adding a drop or two of green food colouring, maybe to make the lime colour more vibrant.

This recipe makes 8 servings of yum!  And with only about 140 calories per slice, plus a decent source of protein.  A healthy, fruity, decadent dessert that won’t sabotage your smart eating – that is my kind of recipe!  Nick is usually pretty neutral about Key Lime Pie (whereas I loooove it), but one bite in and he said it was amazing, and that he was very impressed with my baking skillz.  So there you have it – a hubby approved recipe, which is a very important point for me.

What are some of your favourite summer recipes?