Archive of ‘chocolate’ category

Apple Cinnamon Chocolate Grain Free Cookies

Reuben loves baking. He has perfected the art of scooping and leveling, weighing and his favourite part mixing – or turning on the ‘pink mixer’. If we are enjoying some downtime at home and I ask him what he would like to do his response is always  “bake something Mummy?” and the next response “cookies?” the boy loves cookies and how can I blame him. I’m always trying to come up with some protein cookie creation to subside a bit of the sugar hit – some are fails and some are successes – these are SPECTACULAR. My past attempts at grain free cookies have always been disappointing, too much coconut flour makes things chalky and too much almond flour makes them dense but these are perfect.

I can’t wait to make them again – and in the grand scheme of ‘health’ foods they aren’t too bad. Relatively low carbohydrate, completely grain free and packed with protein and good fats. Perfect for growing toddlers and mummies too! Almond flour, coconut, grated apple and egg come together with some butter and a touch of brown sugar. These could be easily adapted to dairy free by replacing the butter with coconut oil and the chocolate with dairy free chocolate.




  • 1 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 50g chopped dark chocolate (I used lindt 85%)
  • 1/2 cup dessicated coconut (shredded coconut)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • scant 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 apple – grated
  • 1 egg
  • 40g butter (3 Tbsp) melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Stir together almond, chocolate, coconut, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and sugar.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together egg, grated apple, butter and vanilla, then add to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  3. Preheat oven to 180C (375F) degrees.
  4. Scoop dough onto tray (I used a medium ice cream scoop) and flatten slightly.
  5. Bake until edges begin to brown, 5-9 minutes.






Paleo* Pumpkin Choc Chip Brownies

Cut into squares

1 Cup Almond Butter
3/4 Cup Pumpkin Puree (homemade or canned)
2 eggs
1/3 Cup Honey
1 tsp baking soda
50g of 90% cocoa dark chocolate

Beat Almond butter and eggs together. Add remaining ingredients and beat until everything is mixed in.
Bake in a 180 degree celcius oven for 10-15 minutes until puffed and a knife comes out clean.

Lick the bowl.

*Yeah, honey is disputably not paleo. And these certainly wont be paleo if you add cream cheese, more like delicious.

Paleo/Low Carb/Gluten Free Banana Cake





I try and eat paleo all the time (that’s another post in itself), and it makes me so sad because I love cake. So much. Until now everything I’ve tried to bake that loosely conforms to the “rules” of paleo has tasted either like a bit of a brick or a combination of wallpaper and baking soda. So pretty much I used to just give up and make evil refined sugar cake.

This cake is AMAZING. So satisfying thanks to the dense almond flour, the coconut gives it a real good crumb, the perfect amount of sweetness (once you eat low carb for a while then you will start to find regular baked goods way too sweet) and best of all made with completely natural ingredients with no refined carbohydrates or nasty vegetable fats. And so easy! One bowl – well two really because you have to melt the butter in something but just whack everything in and mix. You don’t even have to worry about over or under mixing. I actually prefer this to my all time favourite, white sugar and white flour packed banana cake recipe. CRA-ZY.

I’ve adapted this recipe from Paleo Gourmet

3 cups almond flour
1/2 cup desicatted coconut
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 tsp raw honey *this amount is up to you. 2 tsp won’t  be enough for some but I recommend starting with it and seeing how you go.
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
80g very dark chocolate chopped or chips (we use lindt 85% or 90%)
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/4c raisins or sultanas (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees/180 celcius.  Line a 8″ square tin with baking paper.

In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Mix in the eggs, melted butter, honey, chocolate bits, raisins and vanilla. Add the almond flour, coconut, salt, and baking soda. Mix everything really well.

Bake for 20 to 35 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and springs back to the touch.


I’ve calculated the nutritional info as one cake makes 12 servings which are really very generous servings.

Each piece has 9g of protein, 25g of fat and only 7.5g of sugars. If you’re into calorie counting (you shouldn’t be) – 322 calories per serve. And those sugars are coming from fruit and a touch of natural honey, nothing else.

*Disclaimer – I know a lot of people will consider bananas to be not paleo and yes they are high on sugar/starch, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend eating a ton of them but they are a far better alternative than sugar or any sweetener ever in my books.


Banana Cake

A lot has changed since I last posted my banana cake recipe, oh my gosh, that was almost FOUR years ago… I had a full time job as a programmer, I was going to the gym heaps, living in an apartment in Auckland with my husband of one year. I baked those banana cupcakes late at night and took them to work the next morning, I can remember that time so well… but it feels like an absolute lifetime ago.

This time I made this cake with the help of my son, standing on his little step beside me he is the best kitchen assistant anyone could ask for. Sure I have to double check what’s in the bowl every time I look away for rouge cars or spoons but he measures ingredients for me, cracks eggs, mixes and is a great taste tester.

I’ve made this many times over the years (oh god this makes me sound really old) and each time we change it up a bit, chocolate chips, spices, wholemeal flour… it’s a fab recipe.

Banana Cake

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (350 farenheit) and prepare your cake tin or muffin pan.

125g butter
1 cup sugar <- we use brown but you can use whatever is in the cupboard
2 large free range eggs
3 medium bananas <- use some nice ripe ones from the fruit bowl
2 cups flour <- try replacing up to half of this with wholemeal
1/2 cup chocolate chips <- totally optional
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time beating well after each one.
Throw the bananas into your mixer and beat well. Or mash them and mix them in.
Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until all the flour is just incorporated.

Pour into tin or pans and bake until the middle springs back when pressed, about 12 minutes for muffins and 25 for a cake.

Get cake all over your face and enjoy!

Chocolate Macarons with Espresso Buttercream

I think I kind of have cabin fever after spending 2 days at home with food poisoning. So now that I can stand for more than a few minutes without puking I made these babies.


Traditional French Macarons are not easy at all, and I spent a lot of time researching the technique and everyone’s tips on egullet. I was so stoked when I checked after 10 minutes and they had the little frilly feet!! I know they are far from perfect, but after my last attempt which was just an EPIC failure – these are like perfect to me.


I left mine to rest before baking for approximately 30 minutes which I like to think helped the shells, however the consistency was just a tad too thick which means the tops arent quite as glossy as I would like. They taste divine like an amazing brownie though.

Vanilla Chocolate Fudge cake with White Chocolate Buttercream

This is one of my first fondant attempts all by myself and I am super happy with how it turned out (except for the colors, more on that below). It is a four layer cake and has a white chocolate mouselline buttercream in between all layers and on the outside. The fondant is a mix of vanilla and almond. I was meant to stripe the layers but got distracted when I was assembling the cake, hahaha FAIL.


I didn’t have anywhere near enough time and as such my colors are not what I would like them to be but hey hey its here. I cut out the corner slice to take a photo and the cake is SO GOOD. So moist and rich and flavourful – and it has been in plastic for 3 days already because I knew I wouldn’t have time – how right I was!


Crap tons of photos to follow (more…)

World’s Best Brownies

Some things you just can’t improve on. Fudgy, Dense and rich brownies are one of them. These are not for the faint hearted or those on a diet. I have never worked out the calorie content nor do I want to!

These are MUCH better the second day, and are at their best when having been stored in the fridge overnight and then brought to room temperature.

For this recipe it is important to use a good quality rich cocoa powder and good quality eggs. Check often while baking to ensure you don’t overcook them or they will not be fudgy.


Adapted from Salt Lake City Examiner

1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons dark cocoa powder
320g/11 ounces quality dark chocolate (60-72%), chopped coarsely
225g/8 ounces butter/2 sticks, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Line a 9x13x2 pan with baking paper and grease the paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and cocoa powder.

Fill a large saucepan about 1/4 – of the way with water and bring to a simmer. Place a large heat proof bowl over the simmering water (the bottom should not be touching the water) to make a large double boiler. Place the chocolate and butter in the bowl of the double boiler and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are almost completely melted and combined. Once they are melting, the heat from the chocolate and butter that is already melting will help to melt the rest of the unmelted butter and chocolate in the bowl. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water of the double boiler and add both sugars. Whisk the sugars until completely combined and remove the bowl from the pan. Let it cool before adding the eggs so that you don’t scramble and cook them into your batter.

Add three eggs to the chocolate and butter mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining 2 eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not over beat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey instead of fudgy.

Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate. Use a rubber spatula (not a whisk!) to fold the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture. Fold the ingredients together until there is just some of the flour mixture visible so that you don’t overwork the batter.
Pour the mixture into the pan and smooth the top with your spatula. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes (rotating the pan half-way through baking)

Check to make sure the brownies are completely done by sticking a toothpick into the center of the pan. The brownies are done when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.

Cool the brownies completely before cutting and serving.

Makes 24 small brownies.

Chocolate Caramel Fingers

This was one of the most disappointing things I have ever baked. I don’t know what I did wrong but it was very time consuming and very ugly. My second (top) shortbread layer split and I had to patch it up a abit. But hey, it tasted delicious but I won’t be making this again any time soon.


Adapted from “Ladies, a Plate” by Alexa Johnston..


170g/6oz butter
115g/4oz sugar
1 egg
250g/2 cups flour
1 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp baking powder

caramel filling:

390g/1 tin condensed milk
100g/4 tbsp golden syrup
115g/4oz butter
1/2 cup sugar
vanilla to taste


120g/1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
1 tbsp butter

Preheat the oven to 400F/200C and line a 12×8 tin. Make the filling by combining filling ingredients in a saucepan over low heat until all mixed together.

Cream the butter and sugar together and beat in the egg. Add the sifted dry ingredients and vanilla and mix to a dough. Divide in half and chill for about 15 minutes.

Roll one half out and place in the prepared tin. Pour over the caramel filling. Roll out the second half and place on top.

Bake for 20 minutes of until firm on top. Ice while hot with the chocolate icing, made by combining the icing sugar and cocoa with the butter (melted) and enough hot water to make spreadable. I think a better option would be melted chocolate.


My rolling skills are poor!!

Best Chocolate Cupcakes


Frosted with mocha buttercream and garnished with a rose (ok, a crappy rose) from my course tonight. Perfect light moist rich chocolate cupcakes, you can’t go wrong with this recipe.


The original recipe calls them “Old Fashioned” and they are just that. Perfect base recipe.


They also bake lovely and flat so perfect for decorating! Because of this, you need to be careful to not overfill the cases or they will actually sink. 2/3’s full is the magic number.

113 grams / 1/2 cup  / 1 stick butter, room temp
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk or water
1 teaspoons vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit/190 degrees centigrade.
2. Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
4. Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a small sized bowl and whisk to combine.
5. Measure out the milk or water and vanilla and stir to combine
6. Add all the dry ingredients and mix till just combined.
7. Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 2/3’s full. Turn oven down to 350 degrees F/180 degrees centigrade and bake cupcakes for about 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.


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