Niki’s Dark Chocolate and Sticky Date Tarts

2016, Autumn, nikibakes.co.uk, Sweet

datetarts

Hey guys,

I have been waiting a while to share this indulgent yet nutritious (yes, that’s right!) treat with you all. To mark national chocolate week, I am so excited to now share my dark chocolate and sticky date tarts with you all. I’m not really sure where I should begin with such a sweet treat as there’s so much going on in terms of flavour…you have the buttery like and nutty base layer…the smooth and sticky date filling and then the rich and silky raw cacao topping. The raw cacao nibs also add that extra bit of crunch which contrasts beautifully with the fudgy texture of the chopped dates on top. It’s packed full of vitamin e from the almonds, crammed full of antioxidants from the raw cacao powder and good fats from the coconut oil to name but a few goodies. These tarts are best enjoyed on workout days and preferably and the evening.

All you need is:

Ingredients:

(Makes 8 mini tarts) 

(Use organic/natural real food ingredients where possible)

 

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes (including assembly of the tarts)

For the ‘pastry’ case:

200g of almond flour (Sukrin is a great choice)

½ cup of raw coconut oil, melted

2 tablespoons of coconut sugar or ¼ cup of maple syrup

¼ teaspoon of pink Himalayan Salt

1 level teaspoon of ground Ceylon cinnamon

 

For the sticky date filling:

1 cup of organic medjool dates, pitted and at room temperature

¼ cup of filtered water

2 tablespoons of raw almond butter

 

For the raw chocolate topping:

¼ cup raw cacao powder

½ cup coconut oil

¼ cup of maple syrup (meridian is a great choice)

 

For decoration:

2 tablespoons of raw cacao nibs

3 medjool dates, pitted and chopped

From your kitchen:

 

A mixing bowl

A wooden spoon

A sharp knife

8 mini tart shells

A silicone spatula

A couple of tablespoons for measuring

A couple of small saucepans

A baking sheet

A silicone whisk

Method:

 

Step 1: 

 

Preheat your oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. To create the pastry layer all you have to do is combine the ground almonds, coconut oil, ground cinnamon and Himalayan salt in your mixing bowl using a wooden spoon. Once it comes together, take your wooden spoon and use your hands to form the dough.

 

Step 2: 

 

Next, use a rounded tablespoon of your pastry mixture for each tart case and flatten out your pastry evenly using the palm of your hand and your fingertips. This process can take up to 10 minutes but I promise you, the effort will be worth it as this will make sure that your tarts are strong enough to hold your filling along with baking evenly. Place your tarts on your baking tray and bake for around 12-15 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Leave to cool.

 

Step 3: 

 

To prepare your sticky date filling, heat your dates gently on a low heat with your water in a small saucepan. Alter 5 minutes the dates should be warmed through and soft so using your wooden spoon simply break down the dates until a thick texture is formed from the dates. Don’t worry if there are still some small chunks of dates in your date filling, this will add more texture. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before using your spatula to spread your sticky date filling evenly over your nutty base layer. Using a teaspoon, spread over your almond butter evenly across the 8 tarts and leave to one side.

 

Step 4: 

 

Lastly, for your raw chocolate topping gently heat your coconut oil and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Using your silicone whisk, gently add your raw cocoa powder and whisk thoroughly until a delicious liquid is formed and there are no lumps remaining from the raw cacao powder. Carefully cover your tarts (my favourite part!) evenly and decorate with your cacao nibs and chopped dates. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

I hope you enjoy making these tarts as much as I did and hopefully see how delicious sweet treats can be with the added nutrition from real and natural ingredients. These tarts are great for special occasions and even Christmas, just increase the cinnamon to two tablespoons and you can top the tarts with dried cranberries.

 

Happy Baking!

Niki

Recipe Creator

 

http://www.doctoroz.com/article/super-powers-cocoa

https://draxe.com/almonds-nutrition/

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2016/02/01/this-is-what-happens-to-your-body-when-you-eat-pink-himalayan-salt/

https://draxe.com/medjool-dates/

Niki’s Dark Chocolate and Blueberry-Cream Squares

2016, Healthy, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Spring, Summer, Sweet

blueeee

Hey everyone!

Fancy an indulgent little sweet treat to usher in the summer?

Look no further than my Dark Chocolate and Blueberry-Cream Squares!

Blueberries are full of goodness guys; they help fight against cancer and contain an abundance of antioxidants, notably flavonoids.

The dark and rich raw cacao used in the chocolate layer is also a mood enhancer and helps maintain good heart health. Let me show you how easy and fun it is to make these dairy free squares guys, a great show stopper for a dinner party or to impress someone on a first date…read on…

All you need for about 16 squares is:

For the Blueberry Layer:

A punnet of organic blueberries

2 tablespoons of organic maple syrup (Meridian is a great choice: http://www.meridianfoods.co.uk/Products/Other-ranges/Natural-Sweeteners/Organic/Maple-Syrup)

1 tablespoon of coconut cream (Biona is always my go to for coconut based products: http://www.biona.co.uk/product-272-4.html)

For the Coconut-Cream layer:

200ml of coconut cream

1 tablespoon of organic maple syrup

2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut

For the dark chocolate layer:

2 tablespoons of organic cacao powder (the raw chocolate company is a good choice)

2 tablespoons if maple syrup

3 tablespoons of organic coconut oil (pukka or Lucy bee is a great choice here guys)

From your kitchen:

A standard silicone cube tray

A whisk

A few teaspoons

2 mixing bowls

A food processor (Optional)

A small saucepan

A silicone spatula

A fork

Start off by creating your quick and delicious dark chocolate layer. In a small saucepan melt the coconut oil over a very low heat. Once completely melted, add your maple syrup and raw cacao powder and whisk thoroughly for about a minute. Once fully incorporated, spoon your dark chocolate mixture into the base of your moulds with a teaspoon.

Let them cool for a couple of minutes and then pour in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Whilst this is happening you can get on with your coconut layer. This couldn’t be simpler guys, just whizz or hand whisk the ingredients needed for the coconut cream layer and gently add them as the next layer in your silicone moulds. Freeze for another 5 minutes whilst you whisk or whizz up your blueberry layer (my favourite part!).

Simply blitz up your blueberries, coconut cream and maple syrup in a food processor (or mashing up with a fork works just as well). Layer that on top and freeze for a final 30 minutes or so.

You are now ready to enjoy them with your loved ones! They keep for about a week in the freezer, just allow a couple of minutes to thaw before enjoying them.

Please check out my links below for all the products I have mentioned.

Happy Baking Guys!

Niki

Recipe Creator

https://www.lucybee.co/

http://www.biona.co.uk/product-272-4.html

http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com/shop/make-your-own/cacao-powder-180g

Some useful articles:

https://www.onnit.com/academy/health-benefits-of-cocoa-an-ingredient-of-hemp-force/

https://www.onnit.com/academy/mct-fats-found-in-coconut-oil-boost-brain-function/

Niki’s Chia Pudding

2016, Healthy, Spring, Sweet

chia

Hey guys,
My super easy chia puddings are packed full of goodness and protein from the chia seeds. The consistency is thick and cream yet there’s no dairy in sight. What’s more, there are only 4 ingredients in this pudding and it’s free from refined sugar, all you need is:

4 tablespoons of chia seeds
1 cup of almond/oat or rice milk
2 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey
A handful of mixed berries (be as adventurous as you wish here)

Simply take 4 little pots or two small bowls and place them on a baking tray so it will be easier to pop into the fridge. In a bowl pour in your milk and add your chia seeds. Mix thoroughly until the chia seeds have been completely immersed in the milk. Then add in your maple syrup and spoon into your little bowls. Pop into the fridge for a couple of hours until set and then decorate with your fruit. For the one pictured above I simple mashed two blackberries together with a fork for the sauce and garnished with blueberries and a cheeky drizzle of maple syrup. I hope you enjoy it guys.
Happy Baking!
Niki

Niki’s Ginger Scones

2016, Healthy, Sweet

sconesg

Happy March my lovely readers!
Okay it may not feel like spring is coming anytime soon but my ginger scones is perfect to warm you right up along with giving you that zingy feeling too. It is simple, free from refined sugar and gluten free! Here’s how:
All you need for about 12 scones is:

¼ cup of unsalted butter
1.5 cups of rice flour
¼ cup of gluten free plain flour
Pinch of Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
½ cup of coconut sugar
5 pieces of crystallized ginger, chopped up finely
1 egg yolk
½ cup of almond milk

Preheat your oven to gas mark 3 or 130ºC and line your sheet pan with greaseproof paper, set aside. In a large mixing bowl simply combine the two types of flour, salt and baking powder with a fork so it is evenly distributed. Next, rub in the butter using your thumb and fingers and after about a couple of minutes it should resemble a sort wet sand like consistency. Sprinkle in your sugar and pour in your milk. Combine well until a nice dough forms. If it’s too wet in consistency just go ahead and add some more flour until it comes together or add more milk if it’s looking too dry. Dust your tabletop with some of the rice flour and roll out your scone mixture. Cut into desired shape and brush the top of your scones with the beaten egg yolk. Pop into the oven and watch them rise into these beautiful and light little treats. They will be ready after about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Happy Baking guys!

Niki

Niki’s Gooey Hazelnut Slabs

2016, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Sweet, Winter

gooeybars

Ciao mi amore,
With Valentine’s Day nearly upon us, I wanted to share my smooth, decadent and sweet hazelnut slabs. They are a triple layer slice so this is probably one of my most decadent sweet treats to date. The good news? These slabs are completely gluten free and contain no processed sugar so you can enjoy these with hardly any guilt and know that this treat is actually high in antioxidants from the raw cocoa powder and all that vitamin E from the nuts. Here’s how to make these beauties, enough for about 12 slabs:

For the crunchy nutty layer:

200g of pitted dates
150g of hazelnuts
100g of almonds
1 tsp of coconut oil

For the gooey caramel layer:

220g of pitted dates
3 tbsp of maple syrup or honey
1 tsp of coconut oil

For the smooth dark chocolate layer:

3 tbsp of maple syrup or honey
¼ cup of raw cocoa powder
¼ cup of coconut oil, melted
¼ cup of chopped hazelnuts

Of course, no baking is involved here so all make sure you have all the above ingredients to hand and also have a small brownie or deep square dish which has been lined with greaseproof paper. A food processor and plastic spatula is really your two main friends here so make sure you also have these to hand throughout the preparation as well. Firstly, for the crunchy base of your slabs simple whizz up your nuts first and then slowly add in your dates and coconut oil. Smooth out onto your baking dish and freeze for 20 minutes. The caramel layer is probably my favourite part as it’s so utterly gooey and soft, I love biting into this part of the slab especially. After the 20 minutes has finished, you simply need to blitz your dates until they are very smooth and gradually add in your coconut oil and maple syrup, this will literally take 20 seconds. Freeze again for another 10 minutes. Whilst you are waiting for this, you can make the topping by simply melting your coconut oil and gradually whisking in the raw cocoa powder to create the luxurious and smooth chocolate layer. Add in your maple syrup and then finally top off with your chopped hazelnuts, freeze for a final (I promise!) 15 minutes and they will be ready to eat! I hope you enjoy these slabs my lovely readers and remember…I love you all very much. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog. All feedback is welcome to feel free to comment on my website here or on my facebook page: www.facebook.com/nikibakes

Happy Baking!

Niki