Chocolate Chilli Mango http://chocolatechillimango.com Thu, 18 Dec 2014 09:59:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The one about my fantastic voyage http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/09/30/the-one-about-my-fantastic-voyage/ http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/09/30/the-one-about-my-fantastic-voyage/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:09:53 +0000 http://chocolatechillimango.com/?p=7793 Well, when I say “fantastic voyage” … […]

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Raspberry Vanilla White Choc Muffins_6890_wm_1x1

Well, when I say “fantastic voyage” … I mean I went into hospital last week for a bit of surgery.

A hip arthroscopy, in fact.  Keyhole surgery to put matters right after a running injury from almost two years ago that just wouldn’t lay down and die already.

They go in with their little instruments, and a tiny camera, via two tiny cuts.  But in my head, I imagined the entire medical team being shrunk down to size and being injected into my hip for a dangerous adventure, racing against the clock to save my hip-joint.  Just like in Fantastic Voyage.  Much more exciting than reality, right?

In the end, I probably spent more time waiting in prep before surgery than actually in surgery ;)

Time well spent, mind you, because I taught the anaesthetist how to pre-crystallise chocolate.  He was so chuffed!

I also got to speak with the surgeon.

Surgeon:  Any last questions before we go in?

Me: Nope.  Ah, just one thing.

Surgeon: What’s that?

Me:  Don’t stuff it up, OK?

Surgeon: I’ll try not to (Cheshire grin).  You’ll get before and after photos of your hip.  I’ll give them to you when we have our follow up in about ten days.

Me: Wait. What?  We take hip selfies now?

Apparently so.  Surgery selfies.  I’m all for surgical honesty and transparency in the medical field but …

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Anyhoo, all this means that I have been somewhat distracted before now leading to this little patch of interweb real estate looking for all the world like a ghost town, replete with tumbleweeds.

It also means I’m not allowed to be doing very much for a couple of weeks.

It’s only been four days and I think I’m on the verge of being certifiable.

The only baking I’m allowed to do has to be super fast and not too involved so there are no pastries, no delicate desserts, no kitchen shenanigans.  But I can bake muffins :D

There are few things easier, faster and low involvement than muffins.

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So I made these muffins.  Moist, tender, fruity with raspberries, sweetened with a little Cacao Barry Zephyr white couverture callets and some whole vanilla bean.  Possibly the perfect recovery food.

If you substitute dark chocolate for the white chocolate, these muffins will be totally low FODMAP (and dairy free).  They are fructose-friendly, gluten-free and low in sugars so can be suitable for those with special diets.   Because I’m still thinking of you guys and dolls, even while I figure out how to maximise my speed in racing with crutches :D

 

Raspberry Vanilla & White Chocolate Muffins

Makes: 12 standard muffins

Serving Size: 1 muffin

The tartness of raspberries with the silky sweetness of white chocolate, and the warmth of vanilla. Hard to beat. There are little bits of caramelised white chocolate on top, a little oozing of raspberry juices. A perfect breakfast or snack.

This recipe is low in FODMAPS, except for lactose. You can make it lactose free by omitting the white chocolate and substituting it with a good dark chocolate. Also brilliant.

The recipe is also wheat and gluten free although you can substitute plain wheat flour for the oat flour, if you prefer. The results will be fantastic.

I have also included a slight variation that I like to make often, which boosts the protein count a little bit, in the notes below.

Make sure to only mix the batter until it comes together and DO NOT OVERBEAT the muffin mix. We want tender muffin crumbs!

Ingredients

    Dry Ingredients
  • 125 grams almond flour
  • 125 grams oat flour (gluten-free if required)
  • 100 grams Natvia Baking (or preferred granulated sweetener or sugar)
  • 10 grams baking powder (gluten-free if required)
  • 2 grams whole vanilla bean powder (OR seeds scraped from one vanilla bean)
  • 100 grams fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 50 grams white chocolate callets or chips
  • Wet Ingredients
  • 50 grams whole egg
  • 50 grams egg white
  • 150 grams unsweetened almond milk (OR unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • To Finish
  • 50 grams fresh or frozen raspberries (about 24)
  • 10 grams white chocolate callets or chips (about 12)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 190℃. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan with a little oil (or butter or cooking spray, as you prefer). Alternatively, line the pan with paper liners. Set aside.

Prepare your mise en place.

Dry Ingredients

Add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and toss with a fork until evenly mixed, and the raspberries are coated. Set aside.

Wet Ingredients

In a small to medium bowl, whisk together the egg, egg whites, and almond milk, using a fork.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture. Mix with a fork until the muffin batter just comes together.

Divide the mixture amongst the prepared muffin cups.

To Finish

Top each muffin with extra raspberries and white chocolate callets (or chips). Honestly, you can use as much as you like :)

Bake the muffins for about 20 minutes or until risen, golden and they spring back when pressed lightly.

Cool the muffins on a wire rack and serve warm.

Store leftover muffins, in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Simply reheat briefly in a microwave before serving warm.

They can also be frozen but seriously, they won't last that long.

Notes

Protein Variation:

Instead of 125 grams oat flour, substitute the following:

100 grams oat flour + 30 grams WPI (unflavoured or vanilla)

The results are great. The amount of protein added is not a lot as it would otherwise dry out the muffins as they bake and completely alter the texture.

If you need to keep it dairy free, you can substitute a vegan protein powder (also unflavoured or vanilla).

http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/09/30/the-one-about-my-fantastic-voyage/

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Oranges and Cream http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/08/24/oranges-and-cream/ http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/08/24/oranges-and-cream/#comments Sun, 24 Aug 2014 09:51:06 +0000 http://chocolatechillimango.com/?p=7763 I know.  I know.  Sometimes you just don’t have e […]

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Orange Cream Cupcakes_6849_wm_1x1

I know.  I know.  Sometimes you just don’t have either the time or the energy to make buttercream.

Maybe you find the thought of making buttercream just a little too daunting.

Maybe you just found out you are about to have guests coming over and are paralysed by the idea that you only have 30 minutes in which to make cake appear out of nowhere.

Sometimes you also want to wow them just a little too.

Keep It Simple & Sassy, people.

These are not the times to start testing your culinary skills.  Fatigue and stress will seriously compromise your dexterity and ability to manage complex techniques.

These are the times when simple classics, done well, will keep you calm and your guests happy (or the kids if they’ve been harrassing you for cake).    Well executed, a moist, flavourful cupcake with a delicate cream frosting can wow even the most fastidious of sweet tooths.

This is what saved me this weekend when this transpired …

Mum: Oh hey, we’ve got some of the family coming over for coffee.  Can you bake something? 

Me:  When are they coming over?

Mum:  Now.

Me:

beaker

Cue mad rush to see what I had in the pantry and fridge.

Thank the gods for oranges, I say.  And cream.   I always have them to hand.

You can certainly substitute mandarins or tangelos for the orange.  I used a combination of navels and blood orange because I could not make up my mind which to use.  They were perfect.

One happy family gathering and one very relieved yours truly :)

Cupcakes to the rescue!   What are you baking this weekend?

Orange Cream Cupcakes_6851_wm_4x5

Orange Cream Cupcakes

Makes: 16 standard cupcakes or 12 large cupcakes

Serving Size: 1 cupcake

These cupcakes are simple and fast to whip up and bake. Perfect for an afternoon tea, or to keep the family happy :)

Use whatever oranges are in season. I could not make up my mind between blood oranges and navels so I used a 50/50 combination of both. The total amount of juice for the cupcakes and cream came from two oranges, of medium size. They were ripe and full of sweet, fragrant juice.

The cupcake recipe is an excellent and reliable one. Replace the orange juice with whole milk or buttermilk, add a dash of vanilla, and you have a basic cupcake recipe that you can adapt any which way you choose.

Ingredients

    Orange Cupcakes
  • 125 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 125 grams sugar
  • 2 grams orange zest, grated (from 1 orange)
  • 106 grams eggs, whole
  • 125 grams plain flour
  • 10 grams baking powder
  • 125 grams orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • Orange Cream
  • 200 grams pure cream (min 45% fat), chilled
  • 100 grams pure icing sugar
  • 55 grams orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 5 - 10 grams Triple Sec liqueur (optional)

Directions

Orange Cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 180℃ (or 160℃ if using fan-forced).

Prepare 16 cupcake liners on a baking tray. Alternatively, set the liners inside muffin tins. This will ensure the cupcakes hold their shape as they expand during baking.

Add the butter, sugar, and orange zest to the bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment to beat the butter and sugar together until light, fluffy, and the sugar is completely dissolved. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula, as required during the mixing process.

Add the eggs and mix on low speed until combined.

Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add half the flour mixture to the batter. Beat until smooth.

Add the orange juice and beat on low speed until combined. Finally, add the remaining flour and beat on medium speed until the batter is light, creamy and smooth.

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners.

Bake for 15 - 18 minutes until risen, golden and the tops spring back when touched.

Remove from the oven and cool the cupcakes on a wire rack.

While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the Orange Cream.

Orange Cream

Place the cream in a mixing bowl.

Sift the icing sugar to remove any lumps. Add the sugar to the cream and mix on low speed until fully incorporated and the cream thickens slightly.

Add the orange juice, and the Triple Sec, if using.

Mix on low speed until the cream is light and thickened.

Take care not to overbeat as you don't want the cream to be too stiff and on the verge of separating. It should hold its shape when piped.

Fill a piping bag, fitted with a plain or decorative tip, halfway with the cream.

Pipe the cream onto the cupcakes and had some cream leftover.

I only pipe a small amount but be as generous or restrained as you please.

If you have any leftover cream, it will make a wonderful topping for pancakes, oats, fruit, gelato, desserts, or just grab a spoon.

The cupcakes will keep, without the cream frosting, for several days, stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Once frosted, store the cupcakes in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for several days.

Let the cupcakes come to room temperature before serving, for the best flavour.

http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/08/24/oranges-and-cream/

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Chilli Protein Pancakes (Flourless) http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/07/30/chilli-protein-pancakes-flourless/ http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/07/30/chilli-protein-pancakes-flourless/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:43:10 +0000 http://chocolatechillimango.com/?p=7728 It’s winter and I am still harvesting chillies in […]

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It’s winter and I am still harvesting chillies in my backyard.

It makes perfect sense for my rocotos as they fruit several times per year and a winter fruiting is not unusual.   The temperatures this winter have not been as harsh as recent years in Melbourne.

But to find my Habanero plants still bearing fruit in July is highly irregular.   It is just not logical.   Especially as I grow them as organically as possible.  So I’ve been slicing them up, curing them under salt then vinegar, and bottling under extra virgin olive oil.  I get lovely fresh, summery tasting chillies as well as the best chilli oil on the planet!

Win!

Spock wins

Damn straight, Spock baby.  While you’re here: I miss you, Spock.  Just sayin’.

I have been adding chilli to practically everything for months now.  Well, I usually do anyway, but the abundance of them this year has made me a poster child for Chilliheads Anonymous.

If I’m adding them to chocolates, gelato, desserts, cakes, and most savoury dishes, there is no reason to stop doing so when it comes to pancakes, is there?

No.  No reason at all.

So I made chilli pancakes for dinner.  With some sliced Habanero thrown in.  And some extra hot Habanero sauce.  Just in case the fresh ones were not on their game, having grown in the cold.

They were sensational!   So I made them a few more times.  Just to be sure … and because I used sweet potato the first time and I wondered how they’d go with pumpkin.  As you do.

Also because I’ve been road testing a new whey powder and I wanted to try it in these pancakes.  Being flourless, they only have the pumpkin (or sweet potato) and the psyllium to provide the structure and necessary bulk to form a pancake.

With all the moisture from the vegetable and egg whites, whey is perfect for these pancakes.    I’d recommend a whey protein concentrate for the best results, but honestly, the amount used means you could use an isolate instead.  I recommend unflavoured whey or, if you must use a flavoured whey, try vanilla.  This is a savoury pancake dish and works best with the unsweetened, unflavoured variety.

I’ve road tested lots of protein powders and I rarely recommend them because they so often fail the flavour, texture, and usability tests.  For me, at least.  I like my protein powders to be largely unadulterated as that means I can be more creative with them in the kitchen.

This whey is brilliant.  It was launched fairly recently by The Organic Protein Company in the UK, but they ship internationally too.  More WIN.

The texture is silky, it mixes really well, it’s light, and the flavour is completely neutral, with no strong milky aroma or flavour.  It is also very low in lactose, making it suitable for many people with lactose intolerance (highly sensitive individuals may still react, of course, so you are the best judge of your own situation).

If choosing organic is important to you, this could be your whey nirvana :)  I’ve used it to mix in with my crazy flex bowls of yoghurt (I post those to Instagram)  as well as in other protein desserts and recipes in which I’d use whey.  I highly recommend it.

So, in keeping with the organic nature of both the whey and my chillies, I made these pancakes with organic pumpkin (I recommend Jap pumpkin for these) and I’ve made them with organic sweet potato.  The quark I use is also organic as is the maple syrup I poured over the top.

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If you like savoury-sweet pancakes, this could be the protein pancake recipe for you.  And look, no kale or broccoli were harmed.  Kidding.  Sort of ;)

The macros are stupendous and included below the recipe.  High in protein and fibre and low in both sugars and fats.  A great post workout meal and leaves you leeway to serve with whatever you like or whatever fits :)

I’m off to cure more chillies and inspect them for alien DNA.  Because they seriously should have stopped producing by now.

Chilli Protein Pancakes (Flourless)

Makes: 4 - 6 pancakes

Serving Size: Serves 1 as a stack or 2 - 3 as an accompaniment

These pancakes are a savoury option and completely flourless. This makes them lighter and more delicate than traditional pancakes BUT they are still very filling due to their high protein and fibre content.

In keeping with the beautiful organic whey used in this recipe, I have also used organic Jap pumpkin (or organic sweet potato) and my favourite organic quark.

I have made this recipe with both pumpkin and sweet potato and they are different but both delicious.

I like these served with a little maple on top but they are also fantastic served with some rashers of bacon, avocado, eggs, or whatever else you feel like when hungry.

A great breakfast or post workout meal!

Ingredients

  • 100 grams cooked sweet potato or pumpkin (steamed or baked, drained and peeled)
  • 120 grams egg whites
  • 25 grams skim quark (or low fat smooth cottage cheese)
  • 20 grams natural whey protein concentrate (I used The Organic Protein Company Whey)
  • 2.5 grams (1/2 teaspoon) gluten-free baking powder
  • 5 grams psyllium husk
  • 1 small habanero, sliced thinly (or your favourite chilli)
  • An optional dash of habanero sauce (I used a few drops of Venom)
  • To Serve:
  • Maple syrup
  • Avocado, bacon, eggs, guacamole, or anything else that you fancy

Directions

Combine all the ingredients for the pancake batter into a bowl.

Use a stick blender to whizz the batter until smooth.

Stir in the sliced habanero (or other chilli) and sauce, if using.

Let the batter sit for a few minutes as you heat your pancake pan.

It is quite thin for a pancake batter but the psyllium will start to absorb some of the moisture to bind it. This will help provide some structure for the pancakes, as they are completely flourless.

Use whatever fat you prefer (if any) to cook the pancakes. I just used olive oil spray but butter, coconut oil, anything you like will do.

Ladle 1/4 or 1/6 of the batter at a time to make your pancakes, depending on the size you prefer.

Cook a few minutes before flipping to cook the other side.

Serve pancakes warm as an accompaniment to a savoury breakfast or on their own topped with whatever you like.

Even a simple drizzle of maple syrup goes brilliantly with the zing of chilli. Hot and sweet. :)

http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/07/30/chilli-protein-pancakes-flourless/

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Macronutrient Profile

I have included the macros for the recipe as stated.  The macros relate to the pancakes, without added toppings such as maple syrup or savoury items.

The macros also do not include any additional added fat for cooking as this can vary depending on what you use and how much.  Please be aware of that and account for any extras you use.

The amount of habanero used in the recipe is about 3-5 grams.  It really does not contribute much to the overall macros.  Neither does the Venom sauce that I used.  A few drops are essentially energy free.

Chilli Protein Pancakes_macros

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Chocolate Strawberry Protein Loaf http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/07/03/chocolate-strawberry-protein-loaf/ http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/07/03/chocolate-strawberry-protein-loaf/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 02:16:03 +0000 http://chocolatechillimango.com/?p=7690 I rather like the idea of chocifying the world.  Heck, […]

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Chocolate Strawberry Loaf_6801_wm_4x5

I rather like the idea of chocifying the world.  Heck, the whole universe is better with a little chocolate shared around.

If someone tells me they don’t like brussel sprouts, my response is usually … Well, you can’t be expected to love all the foods.

But, if someone tells me they don’t like chocolate, it’s usually followed by an awkward silence.  I may even raise an eyebrow, before I reply … I can fix that for you.

A dislike of chocolate is something that I can’t comprehend on any level (I’ve checked down to the subatomic, elementary particle level.  Nope, does not compute).   My hypothesis is that everyone can love chocolate, if it’s prepared in a way that will appeal to them, and I’m happy to keep testing that theory :D

It makes me sad when I hear someone say I don’t (can’t) eat chocolate.  I am dieting.

Chocolate does not make you fat.  Eating too much overall will make us fat.

If chocolate intrinsically made us fat, I’d be the size of a large office complex by now.  I am not, for the record.  I’m rather petite actually ;)

So here is a light chocolatey and fruity loaf that is awesomely macro friendly, easy to throw together in a single bowl, and bakes in 20 minutes.

It’s also full of good things, low FODMAP, and can be adapted easily.

I added strawberries and pushed some of them into the batter and left others close to the top.  The Queensland strawberry season has just got underway and I’ve been lucky enough to score some beautifully sweet and plump fruits.

If you prefer another berry or fruit, add that instead or maybe some nut butter dolloped or swirled in for effect.

Chocolate for breakfast, yes.  Why not?

Breakfast, snack, or dessert … it hits the spot.

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I’ve mentioned before that my mother loathes chocolate.  A perfect testing subject for my experiments in proving anyone can love chocolate.

Guess who has been eating this loaf for breakfast this week?  Yes, exactly.

Seems she loves chocolate best when it’s added as cacao or when mixed with hazelnuts in a gianduja.  You see?  There is always a way ;)

Enjoy!

Chocolate Strawberry Protein Loaf

5 minutes

25 minutes

30 minutes

Makes: 1 x 500g loaf (21cm x 10cm loaf tin, weight is approximate)

Serving Size: 50g (1/10 of recipe)

This loaf is soft and light with a lovely cacao flavour punctured by large pieces of fresh strawberry.

It makes a beautiful breakfast or daytime snack as well as a lovely dessert. Top with Greek yoghurt, and more berries or a dollop of gelato or cream and some grated dark chocolate.

It will keep for a week, but it will not last a whole week, I promise.

If you are not a fan of strawberries, omit them altogether for a simple chocolate loaf OR add in your favourite fruit instead OR if you just happen to have ALL the fat macros to spare, why not add some dollops of nut butter or chocolate pieces?

Ingredients

  • 225 grams liquid egg whites
  • 25 grams unsweetened cacao powder
  • 30 grams whey protein isolate
  • 50 grams whole oat flour
  • 10 grams psyllium husk (optional)
  • 50 grams granulated coconut sugar
  • 2 grams vanilla powder (or seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean)
  • 10 grams baking powder
  • 50 grams smooth almond butter (100% almonds)
  • 5 large strawberries (about 90 - 100 grams), sliced in half

Directions

Weigh and measure out all ingredients before starting.

Preheat the oven to 170℃.

Line a 21cm x 10cm loaf tin with baking paper and set aside.

Place all ingredients into the bowl of stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the ingredients come together.

Increase to medium speed briefly until the batter is smooth.

Transfer the batter to the prepared tin and smooth the top.

Arrange the sliced strawberries on top and gently push them down into the batter. I like to see the tops of the strawberries so I don't push them all the way in. That is just my personal preference.

Alternatively, you can chop the strawberries and fold them through the batter before placing it in the tin.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until risen and a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean but is still moist.

Do not overbake this loaf.

Cool in the tin. Turn it out and serve.

It keeps well for up to 1 week, stored well wrapped, in the refrigerator.

Warm briefly before serving, if you like it warm (I do!).

http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/07/03/chocolate-strawberry-protein-loaf/

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Macronutrient Profile

I have included the macronutrient breakdown for the loaf with and without strawberries.  This makes it easier for those of you who wish to add more strawberries or replace them with another fruit of your choosing.  Simply add in the extra macros for whatever you add!

Chocolate Strawberry Loaf_macros_withstrawberry

Chocolate Strawberry Loaf with strawberries as per recipe

Chocolate Strawberry Loaf_macros_withoutstrawberry

Chocolate Protein Loaf without strawberries added

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Lemon Financiers http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/06/07/lemon-financiers/ http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/06/07/lemon-financiers/#comments Sat, 07 Jun 2014 06:16:10 +0000 http://chocolatechillimango.com/?p=7669 “Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is s […]

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“Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat”

So sang Peter, Paul, and Mary way back in the early 60s.  I think they were being a bit harsh, don’t you?  Poor lemonImpossible to eat?

Sure, there are not too many people happy to munch into the sour and juicy flesh of a fresh lemon, in its raw state.  I am one of those people who quite like it though.  There are so many varieties of lemon grown today and their flavour profiles are just as diverse.  Some are almost sweet to taste with a less pronounced sour note.   I love lemons that have a hint of sweetness but are full of sour tang.  I really love my aunt’s lemons, fresh off the tree.

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They are magnificent.   I have no idea to which variety they belong.  It’s hard to tell.  My uncle is quite the deft hand with grafting.  He has a number of varieties all growing on the same tree.  He even has mandarins and oranges growing on the same tree as the lemons.

Mutant lemons.  That’s the variety.  They probably have super powers.  In fact, I am certain they have super powers.  Like X-Men.  But with lemons.

They definitely take my lemon desserts and sweet treats to the next level.  So here is my next instalment of lemon recipes.

You know I love my financiers.  If you don’t know, head over here, here, and here to find more financier recipes.  I’d post a million varieties if I could!

A great financier needs no embellishment.  These are light, delicate, fresh and citrusy.  A burst of sunshine in winter.

Although, maybe they’re mutant financiers.  With superpowers.  Whatever.   You will love them.  You will.  I promise :)

Lemon Financiers_6791_wm_5x7Lemon Financiers_6785_wm_1x1

Perhaps a few of these would have influenced those lovely folk singers, way back when …

“Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
give me tea served with honey, and lemon financiers to eat”

That’s better.  Now, go bake some financiers!

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Lemon Financiers

30 minutes

Makes: 30 small or 15 large

These financiers are very light and fresh with a lovely citrus flavour. They are perfect served just as they are.

They would also be wonderful served as a component in a plated dessert featuring fruit or coconut sorbets or gelato or a light mousse and fresh fruits.

Ingredients

  • 150 grams unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 125 grams almond flour
  • 85 grams plain flour
  • 200 grams icing sugar
  • 10 grams lemon zest, freshly grated
  • 200 grams egg whites (6 large)
  • 30 grams freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • extra icing sugar, for dusting
  • extra grated lemon zest, for decoration

Directions

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

I used flexipan (silicone) moulds so had no need to grease and line them. If you are using standard financier, muffin, or cupcake tins, brush them with some extra melted or softened butter and dust with flour. Tap out any excess flour, and set aside.

Place the butter into a stainless steel saucepan and melt over a low heat. Cook until the butter starts to brown and gives off a lovely nutty aroma. When browned, remove the butter from the heat and pour in to a dish to cool.

Sift together the almond flour, plain flour, and icing sugar. Add the lemon zest to the flour and sugar mixture and toss to mix through.

Whisk the egg whites until light and foamy. Do not whisk until soft or stiff peaks, as you do not want to create a meringue.

Fold the dry ingredients gently in to the whisked egg whites.

Add the lemon juice to the cooled butter. Drizzle the browned butter over the batter and fold gently into the mixture until incorporated.

Divide the batter between the moulds. Bake the financiers for about 25 to 30 minutes at 170°C, until risen and slightly golden on top. Remove from the oven and allow the financiers to cool, in their moulds.

When cooled, gently remove from the moulds, and place on a serving platter. If not using silicone moulds, gently run a flat knife around the inside edge before easing out the financiers.

Dust liberally with icing sugar and sprinkle with some extra grated lemon zest, to serve.

The financiers will keep for up to a week, stored in an airtight container, at room temperature.

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Guest Post: Tiramisù a là Gourmantine http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/06/01/guest-post-tiramisu-a-la-gourmantine/ http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/06/01/guest-post-tiramisu-a-la-gourmantine/#comments Sun, 01 Jun 2014 11:30:17 +0000 http://chocolatechillimango.com/?p=7654 I wish I had the time to follow and read more food blog […]

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I wish I had the time to follow and read more food blogs, but the reality is that I don’t.   So I only consistently stalk follow a select few that I absolutely could not live without.  For their recipes, witty repartee, or a shared aesthetic sensibility, and because I love what they do and how they do it.  One of the very first blogs I followed and one of my very first blogger friends when I started this little number, is the brilliant Gourmantine, and its gorgeous, talented, and creative star, Gintare.   She had not been blogging for very long either but I was so struck by her delightful posts, enticing recipes, and her photos that so beautifully capture moments in time and can transport you to another world.

Yes, I am a fan, and we have become blogger pals, for which I am so very grateful.   We may have very different styles, but we have some common sensibilities.  In fact, I think the tray in these photos is very similar to one that i have too, but Gintare’s styling is just so beautiful, isn’t it?  She continues to inspire me and I never miss a post :)

If you are not already familiar with Gintare’s blog, please head over there and check it out.  She has a wonderful cookbook also available and will be releasing another.  Follow her on Facebook and Instagram to get a glimpse of what will be featured in her upcoming book.

But for now, a special treat.  Say hello to my beautiful friend and her lovely rendition of a classic Tiramisù.   Because you can never have too much Tiramisù.  This one gets the Chocolate Chilli Mango stamp of approval for authenticity.

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I am so thrilled to be writing here. I have been a fan of Viviane’s marvellous work ever since our paths crossed in the first years of dabbling in the blogging sphere. It has been an immense pleasure of finding a kindred spirit across the globe and following her work as it blossomed and continues to grow. Thank you so much Viviane for inviting me, you’re an inspiration and I am happy to be calling you a friend.

As I was pondering of a particular recipe to suit such occasion, my mind went directly to chocolate. It’s a weakness, a crowd pleaser, and probably one of the greatest things ever invented, and I know Viviane has a soft spot for chocolate too.

I know there are as many recipes for tiramisù as leaves on the ground in autumn, but for a dessert consisting of boozy soaked biscuits, layered with pillowy cream and a little chocolate, there is always a place in my heart. The cream for this particular one comes from Italian friends of mine, and it is so light and addictive that it earned a place in the pages of my cookbook.

I prefer serving tiramisù in individual glasses, which makes it easier to handle and looks elegant on the table, but it can also be made in one dish and served as a centrepiece.

The key to a good tiramisù is time of course. Once made it should be given at least 12 hours of fridge time to set and for flavours to develop. If you are in a hurry, it will be great even right after assembly, but wait overnight and it will be simply divine.   Best of all, it takes but a few minutes to prepare.  Easy.

I hope you will give the chocolate tiramisù a go to sweeten your weekend and thank you again Viviane so much for inviting me to your lovely place!

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Guest Post: Tiramisù a là Gourmantine

15 minutes

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1-2 cups espresso, chilled
  • 1 box of ladyfingers
  • few dashes of Baileys (optional)
  • 3 oz/100 g dark chocolate shaved
  • Mascarpone Cream
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 9 oz/ 250g mascarpone
  • pinch of salt

Directions

Cream egg yolks and sugar together, till pale and doubled in size. Stir in mascarpone cream.

Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt till stiff peaks, and gently fold in the mascarpone cream.

If using liqueur, add it to the coffee.

Dip ladyfingers for about 4 seconds in coffee then layer on the bottom of the dish, spoon over some cream, sprinkle with chocolate, and repeat with the remaining, finishing with chocolate shavings.

Leave to set in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or overnight would be best.

http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/06/01/guest-post-tiramisu-a-la-gourmantine/

20140301-DSC_0082

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Lemon Ricotta Protein Hotcakes http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/05/27/lemon-ricotta-protein-hotcakes/ http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/05/27/lemon-ricotta-protein-hotcakes/#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 04:29:59 +0000 http://chocolatechillimango.com/?p=7633 Life has recently dumped a few bagfuls of lemons on my […]

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Lemon Protein Pancakes_6775_wm_1x1

Life has recently dumped a few bagfuls of lemons on my lap.

Well, two of my aunts gave me bags of lemons from their trees, which is close enough, right?

Big, juicy, fragrant lemons.

I’m using them in literally everything at the moment, getting the best of them while they are still fresh.

So be prepared for a fair swag of lemony recipes on this site, OK?    I’ll try to intersperse them with other stuff, I promise :)

But I am planning on making some lemon chocolates and maybe a lemon infused Proton Bar as well … I am feeling quite inspired.

In the meantime, I’ve been relishing ricotta hotcakes for breakfast.  I traditionally flavour the hotcakes and ricotta cream with orange or vanilla (or both).  This windfall of lemons has made me think of lemon sugar pancakes so … combine the two … awesomeness.

When life gives you lemons, you can go ahead and make lemonade, if you like … but lemon ricotta hotcakes are so much more delicious!

Why waste all those lovely macros on lemonade????? ;)

They are suitable for coeliacs and those with diabetes as they are both gluten and sugar free.

Macros are included, below the recipe.

Enjoy!

Lemon Protein Pancakes_6776_wm_1x1

Lemon Ricotta Protein Hotcakes

Makes: 6 small hotcakes, serves 1

These hotcakes are made lighter and fluffier by whipping the egg whites into a meringue and folding them through the batter. It does make them more delicate but it is well worth the effort.

You can play with this recipe to make it sweeter by adding more sweetener or lower the fat content by using a reduced fat ricotta. I dislike low fat ricotta as it lacks flavour and the amount used here is not significant. If you want to use more and keep the fat content low, feel free to use the low fat variety!

These hotcakes would be amazing with some chopped pistachio nuts scattered on top and pretty much anything else you want to add ... berries, other fruit, whatever.

Ingredients

  • 15 grams unflavoured WPI (or pea protein isolate)
  • 7 grams coconut flour
  • 70 grams whole milk ricotta (traditional firm type)
  • zest of 1/2 medium lemon
  • 15 grams (3 metric teaspoons) fresh lemon juice
  • 2.5 grams bicarbonate of soda
  • 100 grams egg whites (about 3 large)
  • pinch sea salt (or cream of tartar)
  • 10 grams granulated sweetener (or sugar)
  • To Serve
  • Whole milk ricotta
  • Natvia Icing Mix* (or icing sugar)
  • zest of 1/2 medium lemon
  • fresh lemon juice

Directions

Combine the WPI, coconut flour, ricotta, lemon zest and juice in a bowl. Whisk until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine the egg whites and sweetener. Whisk together until you achieve a thick glossy meringue.

If using sugar, whisk the egg whites to soft peak stage before adding the sugar and whisking until thick and glossy.

Add the bicarbonate of soda to the WPI mixture and whisk until combined.

Add one tablespoon of the meringue to the mixture and fold through to lighten it.

Fold the rest of the meringue into the mixture, lightly.

Heat up your pancake pan and use whatever you prefer to cook your pancakes with (butter, ghee, coconut oil, or spray).

Use one-sixth of the mixture at a time and cook a few minutes on each side. These hotcakes are delicate and light and best made in a smaller size. Take care when flipping them over.

Stack the hotcakes on a serving plate and keep warm.

To Serve

Whisk together the ricotta with the icing mix (or sugar) to taste, and a pinch of the lemon zest.

Top the pancakes with the mixture. Sprinkle the remaining zest over the hotcakes and finish with some lemon juice.

Dust with more icing mix (or sugar) and serve.

These are best served warm.

Notes

*If you cannot source Natvia Icing Mix, simply process the equivalent amount of granulated sweetener in a food processor or nut grinder until it has the consistency of a fine powder.

http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/05/27/lemon-ricotta-protein-hotcakes/

Lemon Protein Pancakes_6779_wm_4x5

Nutrition Information

I have provided the macronutrient information for the hotcakes as per the stated recipe, and without the toppings.

You can add in the macros for the toppings, based on the quantities of each ingredient you use.  Some people love a huge dollop of ricotta cream, while others prefer less.

Whatever fits your macros :)

The sugars are the natural sugars occurring in the lemon, ricotta and flour.

Lemon Ricotta Protein Hotcakes_macros

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Creamy Vanilla Choc Chai Brûlée http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/05/11/creamy-vanilla-choc-chai-brulee/ http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/05/11/creamy-vanilla-choc-chai-brulee/#comments Sun, 11 May 2014 13:23:12 +0000 http://chocolatechillimango.com/?p=7604 I love the idea of chai tea.   What’s not to love […]

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Vanilla Choc Chai Brulee_6749_wm_1x1

I love the idea of chai tea.   What’s not to love?  That heady enticing aroma of spices.  Cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper swirling around in a hot tea drink just smells so divine.

Except it is a tea drink with milk.  I have never liked milk in tea.  Ever.  So I struggle with the reality of chai.  I’m not a huge fan of it as a standard black tea drink either.

I feel this way about a number of flavoured black teas.  They smell like strawberries and cream, fruits, desserts, flowers … I can’t drink them.   Fragrant teas do lend themselves rather well to desserts though so … :)

A great flavoured tea can make a simple dessert extra special.  They are amazing when used to infuse ganache for chocolates or to infuse fillings for macarons, cakes, pastries, gelato and other creamy desserts.

Today is Mother’s Day and for the past week my mother has been laid low with bronchitis and a sinus infection.  I haven’t seen her this unwell in years.  So, this year, instead of a gift and an outing … I did her washing, ironing, cleaning, cooking, and waited on her hand and foot.

I suffered through Pretty Woman and our bazillionth rerun of Pride & Prejudice (the BBC series, naturally).   Suffered?  Well, yes, I’m not a huge fan.  But then she’s suffered through Star Trek, Buffy, and Firefly for me, so it’s the least I can do, right?  ;)

Then I made her crème brûlée.   Because a great classic dessert can take your mind off the fact that you feel like rubbish and makes watching movies together a bit special.

That chai tea?  Well, hot damn if it doesn’t just make the most fragrant, spicy and delicious crème brûlée!

The whole house just smelled divine.

I like to think all those spices are working their magic on mum and she’ll be 100% again soon.

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You need a closer look, don’t you?  All that burnt sugar caramel on top.  It’s like a siren call ;)

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Then, you break through the caramelised sugar and dive into the creamy lusciousness underneath.

It’s just pure decadence … and so simple.

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Okay, okay … here’s the recipe.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Creamy Vanilla Chocolate Chai Brûlée

51

10 minutes

1 hour

1 hour, 10 minutes

Makes: Serves 4 to 6 depending on the size of ramekin you use

You don't need a stand mixer or any special equipment for this recipe. All you need is a hand held whisk. Revel in the whisk!

It's fast and simple but a truly decadent, lush and elegant dessert. It can be made a day or two in advance and caramelise just before serving. Store the brûlée in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Ingredients

  • 300 grams cream (35% fat)
  • 200 grams whole milk
  • 4 grams ground vanilla bean powder* OR 2 vanilla beans
  • 10 grams T2 Chocolate Chai Tea (or your favourite chai)
  • 100 grams egg yolks (about 5 if using 60g eggs)
  • 65 grams caster sugar
  • 40 grams demerera sugar
  • *I use Heilala Ground Vanilla Powder

Directions

Preheat the oven to 130℃. Place 4 large or 6 medium ramekins into a baking dish and set aside.

Weigh and measure all your ingredients before you start.

Place the cream, milk, vanilla powder, and tea into a saucepan. If you are using whole vanilla beans, split each bean lengthwise. Scrape out ALL the seeds. Add the seeds and the bean pods to the cream.

Place over a medium heat and bring to boiling point. Switch off the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl, until light and well combined.

Bring the tea infused cream mixture to the boil again. Remove from the heat and strain a little into the egg yolk mixture, whisking to combine. Pour the rest of the cream, through the strainer, over the egg yolk mixture. Press down on the tea leaves to extract every last bit of flavour!

Whisk the egg and cream mixture until combined.

Pour into the ramekins.

Pour some boiling water into the baking dish. A good rule of thumb is enough water to cover halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake at 130℃ for about 60 minutes, until the creme sets, but is still wobbly in the centre.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.

To serve, sprinkle the demerera sugar evenly over the tops of each ramekin.

Use a blowtorch to lightly caramelise the sugar.

If you don't have a blowtorch, you could place the brulees under a grill for a few minutes to caramelise the sugar.

Serve immediately!

http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/05/11/creamy-vanilla-choc-chai-brulee/

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The Pros of Carrot Cake http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/04/08/the-pros-of-carrot-cake/ http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/04/08/the-pros-of-carrot-cake/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 13:18:30 +0000 http://chocolatechillimango.com/?p=7558 The weather has started to turn lately and it is now ve […]

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Carrot Protein Cake_6736_wm_5x7 Carrot Protein Cake_6737_wm_5x7

The weather has started to turn lately and it is now very obviously Autumn here.  We have even reverted back to non-daylight-savings time.  It gets darker earlier and the nights are cooler (mostly).  Today it started to rain.  A grey, dismal afternoon, with the promise of a week of more rain to come.

Good weather for baking, my mother used to say.  Well, she used to say it was good weather for making crostoli, but the sentiment is the same :)

I never look forward to the prospect of the cooler months but this year I find myself not minding it at all.  Perfect weather for making chocolates and protein bars.  Those of you who follow CCM on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram will know by now that I have started producing a small range of protein bars (for sale in Australia only) called Proton Bars.

fbbannerchoc

If you are in Australia and you would like to try them, head over to FB and check out the range.  All the information about ingredients, flavours, macros, pricing, and shipping is on the page.  I am currently working on new flavours and hope to release some new ones soon.

Getting that little venture going, along with making chocolates, has been keeping me fairly busy of late.  Too busy to bake or make any of my usual protein treats for myself.   So it feels fantastic to be baking again!   I so desperately wanted cake.

Carrot cake is perfect to adapt to a protein cake recipe.  Again, I find myself torn between a desire to fit a particular macro profile and keeping to my principles of retaining the integrity of the original in adapting the concept to something that might more easily fit into a healthy diet.   Integrity has a lot going for it ;)

What is carrot cake without some yummy fats?  Well, it wouldn’t be carrot cake.

So I have taken a different route.  I’ve boosted the protein (yay!) and I am giving you two options, both of which are low FODMAP (and therefore also gluten-free).

Version 1 is moist, and sweetened with coconut sugar to give that lovely caramelised flavour that pairs so well with carrot cake and spices.  You can always substitute your favourite granulated sweetener for the coconut sugar, if you prefer a lower carb option.

Version 2 is also moist, but with a slightly more tender crumb, and much lower in carbs as it is sweetened with Norbu (a granulated sweetener).  It lacks the caramel flavour of Version 1 but you can always substitute coconut or brown sugar for the sweetener in the recipe.

Both recipes are low FODMAP.  I have used 100% whey protein isolate for two reasons.  Many people only ever buy whey so it’s about time I baked a cake with it and carrot cake is perfect as the carrot provides the extra moisture in the batter to counteract the usual drying effects of the whey.  It is also over 99% lactose free and is therefore suitable for most people with a lactose intolerance.

For both versions, there are optional extras that are obviously fantastic for carrot cake – walnuts and sultanas (or raisins).  I added some walnuts to my rendition of Version 1.  I did not add any dried fruits to either as I cannot eat dried fruits, nor do I crave them.  But if you love them and they fit your macros, go for it.

There is also a recipe for a lighter cheese frosting with maple syrup.  The cakes are lovely on their own, or served with your favourite Greek yoghurt, ice cream (non-dairy if you are lactose intolerant) or other favourite topping.  If you love coconut with carrot cake, you could whip some coconut cream in place of the quark in the recipe below for a dairy free alternative.

I have provided macros for both cakes and the frosting, separately.  I have not included macros for optional walnuts or sultanas.  If you choose to add them, simply add the macros to the recipe total.

The photos are a little flat as it was quite grey and gloomy today but hey, you can still see the yumminess, yes?

Enjoy!

Carrot Protein Cake Version 1

PT15 M

PT30-35 M

Makes: 1 x 20cm round cake, serves 8

Serving Size: 1/8 cake

Ingredients

  • 104 grams whole egg (2 large)
  • 50 grams egg white
  • 125 grams coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 30 grams macadamia nut oil
  • 60 grams unflavoured whey protein isolate (or use vanilla flavoured WPI)
  • 30 grams coconut flour
  • 65 grams almond flour
  • 10 grams (2 metric teaspoons) gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 220 grams carrot, finely grated
  • Optional Extras
  • chopped walnuts
  • sultanas

Directions

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Line a 20cm cake tin with silicone baking paper and set aside.

Place the whole eggs, egg whites, coconut sugar, and macadamia nut oil in the bowl of a mixer. Mix or whisk together until the sugar dissolves. If using a stand mixer, the paddle attachment is fine.

Sift together the whey protein isolate, coconut and almond flours, baking powder, and spices.

Add to the egg mixture and mix until the batter is smooth.

Add the grated carrot and mix until incorporated.

If you like, at this point you can fold through some chopped raw walnuts or sultanas, as desired.

Transfer the batter to the prepared cake tin and bake at 180C (350F) for about 30 to 35 minutes. It is cooked when a skewer, inserted into the centre of the cake, comes out clean.

Leave to cool completely in the tin before turning out.

Serve plain, with a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt, or frost as desired!

This cake keeps for several days if stored in an airtight container, in a cool, dry spot.

http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/04/08/the-pros-of-carrot-cake/

Carrot Protein Cake_6739_wm_1x1

Carrot Cake Version 1 with coconut sugar and added walnuts

 

Carrot Protein Cake Version 2 (Sugar Free)

15 minutes

PT30-35M

Makes: 1 x 20cm round cake, serves 8

Serving Size: 1/8 cake

Ingredients

  • 104 grams whole egg (2 large)
  • 50 grams egg white
  • 115 grams Norbu (or preferred granulated sweetener)
  • 40 grams macadamia nut oil
  • 60 grams unflavoured whey protein isolate (or use vanilla flavoured WPI)
  • 75 grams almond flour
  • 10 grams (2 metric teaspoons) gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 220 grams carrot, finely grated
  • Optional Extras
  • chopped walnuts
  • sultanas

Directions

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Line a 20cm cake tin with silicone baking paper and set aside.

Place the whole eggs, egg whites, Norbu (or other sweetener), and macadamia nut oil in the bowl of a mixer. Mix or whisk together until the sweetener dissolves. If using a stand mixer, the paddle attachment is fine.

Sift together the whey protein isolate, almond flour, baking powder, and spices.

Add to the egg mixture and mix until the batter is smooth.

Add the grated carrot and mix until incorporated.

If you like, at this point you can fold through some chopped raw walnuts or sultanas, as desired.

Transfer the batter to the prepared cake tin and bake at 180C (350F) for about 30 to 35 minutes. It is cooked when a skewer, inserted into the centre of the cake, comes out clean.

Leave to cool completely in the tin before turning out.

Serve plain, with a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt, or frost as desired!

This cake keeps for several days if stored in an airtight container, in a cool, dry spot.

http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/04/08/the-pros-of-carrot-cake/

Carrot Protein Cake_6731_wm_5x7

This sugar free version (Version 2) is a much lighter cake. This is mostly due to the fact that there is no caramelisation of the sugar, as in Version 1.
The texture is also a little more sponge-like and soft.

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Carrot Cake Version 2 with Norbu sweetener

 

Maple Cheese Frosting

Makes: 400g

Serving Size: 50g (1/8 of recipe)

This frosting is quite versatile and can be used on muffins, cakes, and even with fruit. It is a lighter version of a cream cheese frosting and can be used in exactly the same way. I added a little 100% pure maple syrup to the frosting as I really like the maple flavour with carrot cake. It matches the carrot and spices really nicely. If you prefer, add a little grated lemon or orange zest and a teaspoon of juice instead. They are also really good with the frosting and cake.

Ingredients

  • 300 grams non-fat quark (or smooth cottage cheese)*
  • 25 grams pure maple syrup (or use sugar free, if preferred)
  • 75 grams Natvia Icing Mix (or preferred sweetener or icing sugar)

Directions

Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl.

Use to frost cakes, cupcakes, or serve with your favourite dessert.

Notes

*If you don't like quark, you can use low fat cottage cheese, ricotta, cream cheese or even mascarpone for this frosting. Whatever fits your macros and your preferences!

http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/04/08/the-pros-of-carrot-cake/

 Macronutrient Profile

The following provide the macronutrient profiles for both cakes (without optional ingredients) using either coconut sugar or Norbu granulated sweetener.

I have also included the macro breakdown for the Quark Maple Frosting.

If you change the ingredients, I urge you to work out the macros as they may change significantly.

Carrot Protein Cake V1_cocosugar_macros

Carrot Cake Version 1 with coconut sugar

Carrot Protein Cake V1_norbu_macros.jpg

Carrot Cake Version 1 with Norbu sweetener

Carrot Protein Cake V2_norbu_macros

Carrot Cake Version 2 with Norbu sweetener

Carrot Protein Cake V2_cocosugar_macros

Carrot Cake Version 2 with coconut sugar

Quark Maple Frosting_macros

Quark Maple Frosting

 

 

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Humpy Creek is the Bee’s Knees (Guest Post) http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/03/07/humpy-creek-is-the-bees-knees-guest-post/ http://chocolatechillimango.com/2014/03/07/humpy-creek-is-the-bees-knees-guest-post/#comments Fri, 07 Mar 2014 11:16:36 +0000 http://chocolatechillimango.com/?p=7536 I have found that the people who truly inspire me are i […]

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I have found that the people who truly inspire me are invariably those who dream large and are willing to take risks in life to achieve their dreams.  I suppose this is true for most of us.

I first met Emily when she got dumped with me as her personal training client (some years ago now) ;)  I recall that she introduced me to these odd things she called kettlebells and made me swing them and do other funky moves (well, I thought they were funky moves).  She was studying at the time and eventually moved on from personal training to focus on her studies and pursue her own life goals.

I went on to develop an affection for Girevoy sport.   I cannot claim to have a great deal of prowess but I do love it.

Emily went on to become the top female kettlebell competitor in the country.

Which is how we reconnected years later …

“OMG, I know her!  She used to be my trainer!”   I was so impressed!

What I came to learn later was that she had run off to be married and they had left behind a cosy inner Melbourne lifestyle to start their own farming venture.  It may not be dreaming large on a global scale but it’s certainly dreaming large on a personal level … and it’s one hell of a risk to take.

I love following the progress of the Humpy Creek community and I urge you to check out Emily’s blog and the Humpy Creek Facebook page.  Lots of great stories, food and recipes, insights into farming, beekeeping, creatures great and small, and more … all there to inspire you.

This is their story … and a wonderful recipe.   Over to you, Emily!

Crumble 5

Two and a half years ago, shortly after a quickie wedding in a limo in Vegas, we moved into an old 16ft caravan (fondly dubbed “The Humpy”) on Emily’s father’s 130 acre property.  The goal was to lead a simpler life, reconnect with the land and become more self-reliant; to produce more and consume less.

Fifteen square metres of vegetable garden, a flock of chickens, an excess of working dogs and three bee hives later we’re still here, slowly chipping away at our original goal.  Of course, life out here has its ups and downs: moments of intense, shovel-throwing frustration are mixed with others of indescribable joy, tar-black sorrow and unblemished peace.  For the most part, though, there is a sense of contentment that washes over our days out here at Humpy Creek and we haven’t regretted our rather spur-of-the-moment decision to abandon city life.

As part of our mission to produce more of our own food we started keeping honeybees (living without a sweetener would be torturous for us).  It didn’t take long before we had fallen in love with our tiny livestock and realised that it was really them keeping us.  So began our plans to start-up a small, naturally managed, permanent site commercial apiary in Australia that complies with the International Demeter Standards for Beekeeping.  (Malfroy’s Gold is the first, and currently the only, apiary of this sort in Australia).

We also discovered we’ve got a bit of a thing for rhubarb.  Perhaps because it’s a tough plant that can handle just about any punishment the weather and pests can dish out, or maybe because of the childhood memories it evokes.  Either way, we really like it and it’s the perfect complement to a honey harvest.

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So it’s no surprise that the recipe featured here stars honey and rhubarb!  And we had to throw in something with eggs – there is nothing quite like the yolk of an egg from a spoilt backyard hen.

Here is our take on an old favourite (and possibly the best comfort food ever) … Rhubarb Crumble with Custard.
It is gluten and nut free and free of refined sugars.

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Humpy Creek Rhubarb Crumble with Custard

Makes: Serves 2

Good quality rhubarb makes all the difference in this recipe, try to get your hands on one of the sweeter, red varieties (like Rhubarb Victoria) and use young stems that are no more than 1.5cm in diameter. If you have older, thicker stems you may need to stew them for longer and perhaps add a bit more sweetener.

If you need to decrease the fructose content you can substitute rice malt syrup for honey in all parts of this recipe.

If you have raw, unheated honey, adding it to the rhubarb once it’s cooled means you preserve the natural goodness of the honey in the rhubarb syrup. If you’re working with honey that has already been heated about 40 degrees you can just add the honey in while you’re stewing the rhubarb.

Rich, orange egg yolks will make the most amazing custard – splash out on the best, most ethically produced eggs you can find, it’s really worth it!

All measurements are in metric cups and spoons.

Ingredients

    Part 1: STEWED RHUBARB & RHUBARB SYRUP
  • 3 cups of chopped rhubarb
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • Part 2: CRUMBLE
  • 2/3 cup of almond meal
  • 1/3 cup of desiccated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • Part 3: CUSTARD
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of cream
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tablespoon of corn flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of honey

Directions

Part 1: STEWED RHUBARB & RHUBARB SYRUP

1. Combine the rhubarb and water in a saucepan and simmer for approximately 20 minutes (or until the rhubarb is nice and soft).

2. Leave to cool.

3. Once cool mix in the honey.

4. Strain the stewed rhubarb in a fine strainer to collect the rhubarb syrup.

Part 2: CRUMBLE

Combine all of the above ingredients until crumbly (you can do this either by hand or in a food processor). If it isn’t crumbly enough for your liking, just add some extra desiccated coconut.

Part 3: CUSTARD

1. Whisk egg yolks, corn flour and honey in a heat proof bowl.

2. Combine milk, cream and split vanilla bean in a small saucepen.

3. Heat the above mixture (but don’t allow it to boil).

4. Remove the vanilla bean and slowly add the heated cream and milk mixture to the egg yolks, corn flour and honey, whisking continuously.

5. Once combined, pour everything back into the saucepan and heat gently (without boiling) while stirring.

6. Once the custard is the desired thickness, remove from heat.

Part 4: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

2. Spoon the stewed rhubarb (keeping the syrup separate) into two 200ml ramekins.

3. Top the stewed rhubarb with crumble.

4. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 15-20 minutes (or until the crumble is golden brown).

5. Serve with custard and rhubarb syrup!

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