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chocolate_mud_cake7

Along my journey to find better health I am always looking out for sweet treat recipes to try out.

I am acutely aware that I have this tiny person who is soon to embark on her own eating adventure and whilst I’m hopeful she won’t grow up on tons of processed crap I do want her to feel vaguely normal when it comes to things like having a cake for her birthday.

chocolate_mud_cake2

So I am doing my homework now trying to find recipes that taste as good as cakes made with standard ingredients such as white flour and white sugar, but contain more wholesome less bad ingredients such as coconut flour and honey or maple syrup for sweetness.

chocolate_mud_cake

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Hot chocolate ice cream sauce

Today I’m sharing this recipe for homemade hot chocolate ice cream sauce because my sister Izzy tweeted how much she wanted a bowl of ice cream with chocolate sauce (and we’ve been eating it this week), and because it’s rather scrummy.

We’ve tried a number of different ways of making chocolate sauce for ice cream, so this is probably a combination of a number of those, but for now in our house it will be known at Mr Rigg’s chocolate sauce, because he makes it. The other night I was tasked with making it whilst Mr Rigg washed up, so I got a lesson on how it’s made and decided to document it to share with you all too.

Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Sauce

First, take 50g of milk chocolate and break it into a saucepan.

Milk chocolate

Next, add 50g of dark chocolate (at least 70%) and add it to the milk chocolate.  We used Green & Black’s organic chocolate.

Dark chocolate

Add a knob of butter to the pan (there is no specific weight measurement for this, sorry, we just to it by eye – it’s probably golf ball sized) and put it over a gentle heat.

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Homemade maple syrup hot chocolate

For the past couple of months I have been avoiding sugar for health reasons, even natural sugars (honey, fruit juices, maple syrup) as best as possible.  I am now able to eat smaller amount and I’m enjoying the adventure of trying out alternatives to previously enjoyed sweet treats.

One of my absolute favourite things is hot chocolate – I have long enjoyed a mug of Green’s & Black hot chocolate, and at the start of the year the luxurious treat of Montezuma’s hot chocolate, which is made with real shavings of chocolate.  But both of these, despite being great options to conventional hot chocolate mixtures, still contain sugar.

Homemade sugar free hot chocolate

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Lemon cake with yoghurt drizzle

I have pretty much given up sugar in the past couple of months, I’d like to share more of my experience of cutting it out, but for now I wanted to share my first attempt at a sugar free sweet treat.

I found this nice sounding recipe for lemon bars and liked that it was simple and didn’t use a list of weird and wonderful ingredients.  Mr Rigg loves lemon drizzle cake and this sounded like it might make something pretty similar.  I’ve make cakes before with ground almonds and they usually come out moist – this lemon cake was no exception.

Moist lemon cake

Because there’s no raising ingredients, it’s pretty much the thickness of the batter you pour into your tin, but what it might not give in depth it provides in flavour and texture.

It’s sticky and moist and sweet, but with a lovely tangy lemon taste.  I even made a ‘drizzle’ to go over it, using raw yoghurt and maple syrup (as suggested in the original recipe) – however, the original looks more like whipped cream (I think this is because Greek yoghurt is very thick), whereas the raw yoghurt I used is much runnier.

If you’ve never experimented with natural sweeteners (like me!) then I would really recommend giving this recipe a try – you might be surprised how delicious it is.  It would make an excellent pudding served warm.

Lemon cake with no sugar

Lemon Cake

To begin with I preheated my oven to 180°C.

Firstly I placed my butter (1/2 cup) into a little saucepan on a low heat to melt it.  Once it was melted, I mixed in 1/4 cup of local honey and 1/4 cup of organic maple syrup, and a 1/4 tsp salt.

In a separate mixing bowl I beat together 2 eggs, 2 additional egg yolks, and the juice and zest from 1 lemon (our lemon was a jumbo one which made for a very lemony cake).

Then I added the melted butter and syrup into the egg mixture and gave it a good whisk.  Finally, I added 1/2 cup of organic whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup of ground almonds.  Mix that together and pour it into a baking tin I’d lined with greaseproof paper.  Bake it for about 30 minutes.

Finally, I made a yoghurt drizzle by mixing in a bit of maple syrup.  I found that you don’t want this yoghurt to be really sweet as the tartness of the yoghurt is perfect against the lemony cake.  We ate ours warm with a tiny bit of lemon zest to make it look pretty.

I wanted to add that just because I’ve given up sugar (as in the white stuff, and its counterparts) I’ve not gone made on the natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, fruit juices etc.  I have been cutting it all out as far as possible, just having a tiny amount in dark chocolate, honey, and watered down apple juice.  This lemon cake was primarily to satiate Mr Rigg’s love of sweet treats and I have only eaten the tiniest of pieces.

I thought I should just explain the lack of posting…my camera is broken.  I feel lost without it – I don’t quite know how I can blog, food just doesn’t seem as interesting when only written about.  So I shall have to post lots of other people’s lovely images.

So, at a time when money is tight and I can’t go out and just buy a new one I am having to think creatively about how to raise the funds for a new camera.  Until that time, you and I are going to have to be content with camera phone pictures – great from a distance, not so good on close-ups of scrumptious food.

Oh well.

Recently we have eaten lots more corn on the cob cooked simply with butter, salt and pepper; sweetcorn fritters – this time with slithers of crispy bacon and tomato salsa; homemade rice paper rolls filled with loads of raw veggies and a soy and ginger dipping sauce – Tes at Home has a great recipe for her spring rolls with creamy peanut sauce.

And I have finally accepted autumn is upon us by starting my day with a bowl of porridge drizzled with maple syrup.  I am quite excited about autumn…Halloween…Bonfire Night…and then Christmas.

Images: {1 and 2} Martha Stewart; {3} Country Living

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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All pictures are my own unless stated. I would kindly ask that you don't use them elsewhere unless you ask permission first. Many thanks x

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