Saturday, 25 January 2014

Carrot cake slice - Nut free, egg free and gluten free

Filling the lunchbox every day is a constant challenge, so I've been told!  I'll find that out first hand this year.  And so given I use nuts in most things I make, it has been a challenge for me to ditch the nuts (during the week anyway!) and to come up with some lunchbox friendly snacks that will still nourish and energize my little man as he takes on each of the days events.

This recipe has no highly processed ingredients, with the bulk of the mix coming from carrots, sunflower seeds and brown rice!  It is also low in added sugar, using dates to sweeten, with just a little help from one of the least processed sugars, rapadura.  Taste the mix before pouring into the tray and if your tastes say 'sweeter please', blend through another couple of dates, some grated apple or sultanas.
I experimented and made a coconut 'icing' to put on top of each slice however you could go more traditional with a cream cheese frosting or even a lemony type icing which would be yummy too!

Of course this isn't just for kids!  Given the ingredients, it would make an energising snack for busy days on the go, between meals, or even with a cuppa and a chat! (or breakfast!).

Carrot Cake Slice - Nut, egg and gluten free


150g brown rice (or brown rice flour if not using a TMX)
30g chia seeds
300g carrots
120g sunflower seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
40g rapadura sugar
6 medjool dates (or 1/2 cup sultanas)
70g butter

Method - Conventional

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Line a slice tray with baking paper.
  2. Place carrots, sunflower seeds and dates in a food processor and blend until almost smooth.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour into prepared slice tray and place in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. Cool in tray for 5 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack.
  6. When cool top with coconut icing (recipe below) or desired topping.

Method - Thermomix

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Line a slice tray with baking paper.
  2. Place rice and chia seeds in TM bowl and mill on speed 10 for 1 minute, scraping down once or twice if needed.  Set aside but no need to wash the bowl.
  3. Add carrots, sunflower seeds and dates to TM bowl.  Blend on speed 6-7 for 30 seconds.  Scrape down and repeat.
  4. Add remaining ingredients, including rice/chia flour and blend on speed 6 until completely combined (approx 20 seconds).
  5. Follow steps 4-6 above.


Place a 270g tin of coconut milk in the fridge for a couple of hours (I use Ayam brand).  Once it's cooled through, place 50g organic shredded coconut and 40g rapadura sugar in TM bowl.  Blend until a rough paste forms.  Open the coconut milk can without shaking and carefully spoon off just the solid part (the liquid will be down the bottom) and add to the coconut/sugar mix.  Add the finely grated rind of 1 lime and 1 tbs coconut oil and blend on speed 7 until creamy (there will still be some texture from the coconut), scraping a couple of times.Place in a piping bag and decorate individual cake squares as in the picture above or spread over the whole slice and cut into pieces.  

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Nut and gluten free fudgy dark chocolate brownie slice

Hehehe I love you guys!!  A bit of chocolate splashed across my Facebook page and before I could blink again it had become one of the most popular posts since, well, the last chocolate recipe!!!  You and I have something in common that is for sure!  A LOVE of all things chocolate! And why not?!  A good quality chocolate recipe can fit perfectly well into a balanced diet.

Chocolate is mood food, comfort food, soul food, endorphin releasing smile food!  Chocolate lovers live it and breathe it.  And when the 'chips are down', chocolate has this uncanny knack of being able to give us a hug, turn up the corners of our mouth, pick us up, brush us off and keep us going.  Any wonder many health professionals out there are calling it a super food!  Damn right it is ( ;

And the closer you get to the natural cacao bean itself, the more you benefit from antioxidants, magnesium, flavenoids, iron, zinc, potassium, copper.....

As Mellymaks regulars know, these days I only use raw cacao powder (instead of the over heated and processed cocoa powder) and minimum 70% dark chocolate.  For Christmas a dear friend of mine gave me a sachet of Loving Earth Drinking Chocolate which is so amazing as it contain cacao nibs in it which gives these beautiful little crunchy pieces while drinking the chocolate milk!  YUM!  When I served this recipe up with homemade vanilla ice cream and strawberries, I sprinkled some of the drinking chocolate over the top which finished it off beautifully!

So given I am officially a new school mum this year, my mind is on nut free recipes at the moment!  This recipe therefore uses sunflower kernels and pepita seeds instead of the traditional walnuts or almonds.  Of course it is also gluten free.  I've also made it more bitter than sweet, but adding just a little more rapadura, or preferably some raspberries to the mix, will increase the sweetness!

If you like a really fudgy slice, reduce the cooking time by a few minutes.  I layered my slice up with ice cream, but a coconut cream, ganache or even a butterscotch sauce would be just as delicious.

I challenge you not to lick the bowl from this one! ( ;

Nut and gluten free Fudgy Dark Chocolate Brownie Slice


85g sunflower kernels
85g pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
140g butter
40g rapadura sugar
150g dark chocolate
35g raw cacao powder
3 eggs

Method - Conventional

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.  Line a slice tin with baking paper.      
  2. Grind sunflower kernels and pepitas in a food processor until fine.  Set aside.
  3. Melt butter, sugar and dark chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat until just melted.  Take off heat.
  4. Add cacao powder and stir through. 
  5. Add eggs and beat with electric beaters for approx 1 minute or until thickened.
  6. Fold through ground seeds.  
  7. Pour into prepared slice tray and smooth surface.  Bake for 25 minutes or until just cooked through.  Be sure not to over cook or you will lose the fudgy centre!
  8. Serve in any of the ways suggested above.

Method - Thermomix

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.  Line a slice tin with baking paper.
  2. Place sunflower kernels and pepitas in TM bowl and grind on speed 9 for 20 seconds.  Dont let it turn into a paste though.  Set aside.  No need to wash the bowl.
  3. Place butter, sugar and dark chocolate into TM bowl and combine on speed 7-8 for approx 10 seconds - enough to break it all up. 
  4. Scrape down sides of bowl and heat at 90 degrees, speed 2 for 2 minutes, ensuring all mixture has melted.
  5. Add cacao and eggs and whip on speed 5 for 30 seconds.
  6. Add ground seeds back into the mix and blend through on speed 4 for 15 seconds.
  7. Follow steps 7-8 as above.