Less guilt more chocolate

Dark delights reinvented without the sin, from brownies with benefits to truly indulgent ice cream. That’s a yes! By I Quit Sugar guru Sarah Wilson.

 

Molten peanut butter & jam brownies

 

Mocha & hazelnut layer cake

 


 

SERVES 14

GLUTEN FREE

 

CAKE

coconut oil, butter or ghee, for greasing

60g coconut flour (or flour of your choice)

50g raw cacao powder or good-quality cocoa

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

8 eggs

60ml rice malt syrup

100g coconut oil, melted

1 tsp vanilla powder or extract, optional

dark chocolate (85 per cent cocoa), flaked, to decorate

roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped, to decorate

 

FROSTING

3 x quantities of Whipped Coconut Cream (see method)

1 tbsp brewed espresso, cold

25g raw cacao powder or good-quality cocoa

2 tbsp coconut oil, softened

1 tbsp rice malt syrup

 

– Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Grease two round 20cm cake tins and line the bases with baking paper. Set aside.

 

– For the cake, sift the flour, cacao or cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Add the eggs, rice malt syrup, melted coconut oil and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Divide the batter between the prepared tins and rest for 5 minutes.

 

– Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely.

 

– For the frosting, whisk together the Whipped Coconut Cream, espresso, cacao or cocoa, coconut oil and rice malt syrup until combined.

 

– Place one cake round on a cake board or plate. Spread half the frosting on to the cake, smoothing out but leaving a 2cm gap around the edge.

 

– Sprinkle with the flaked chocolate and hazelnuts. Place the second cake on top. Spread on the remaining frosting and sprinkle with the remaining chocolate and hazelnuts.

 

– Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

 

FOR WHIPPED COCONUT CREAM Place 1 x 400ml can full-fat coconut cream upside down in the fridge overnight (be sure not to shake the can beforehand). The next day, turn it the right way up and open without shaking it. Spoon out the top layer of liquid (and keep for smoothies or other recipes requiring coconut milk or coconut water). Leave the rest of the harder cream in the can, add 1 tablespoon granulated stevia and then blend with a stick blender until creamy. (If you don’t have a stick blender, remove the cream from the can and blend with beaters or in a blender.) Use this as a frosting on its own or with other flavourings, as here. Or try it with a brownie or cupcake (in lieu of ice cream or cream). Makes 250ml.

 

Raw chocolate sneaky berry ‘cheesecake’

 

 

SERVES 14

GLUTEN FREE + VEGAN, CAN BE FROZEN

 

CRUST

225g pecans

25g raw cacao powder or good-quality cocoa

60ml rice malt syrup

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

pinch of sea salt

 

FILLING

375g pre-soaked cashews, see right

50g raw cacao powder or good-quality cocoa

60ml rice malt syrup

50g coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla powder

pinch of sea salt

1-2 tbsp coconut milk (or milk of your choice)

60g frozen raspberries

hazelnuts, to serve

 

– To make the crust: line the base of a 20cm round springform cake tin with baking paper. Process the pecans in a food processor until chunky crumbs form. Add the remaining ingredients and process until just combined.

 

– Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Press into the base to cover evenly and form a crust. Place in the freezer to set.

 

– To make the filling: process the pre-soaked cashews until fine crumbs form. Add the remaining ingredients except the milk and raspberries. Process until the mixture turns into a smooth and creamy batter. Add milk as necessary to smooth out the mixture. Once smooth, fold through the raspberries and pour the mixture over the base in the tin.

 

– Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Sprinkle with hazelnuts before serving.

 

TO PRE-SOAK CASHEWS Add 375g cashews to a bowl with water to just cover by 1cm. Set aside to soak for 2-4 hours. Drain the excess water and store in the fridge for up to 3 days until needed.

 

TRICKY TIP The key with serving this tasty vegan cake is to return it to room temperature. It will taste like creamy mousse. The cake can also be stored in the freezer. Always allow it to thaw before serving. If it’s too frozen it won’t have the luscious, cheesecake-like texture you’re after.

 

Basic raw chocolate, three ways

 


 

At I Quit Sugar we offer three different ways to make a basic raw chocolate and suggest experimenting to see which version you like (playing with the different sweeteners, too). But first, a few things to note…

 

Working with cacao butter takes a little more effort (shaving and melting) and it’s more expensive. But it does produce a creamier result and doesn’t melt as easily as the coconut oil versions. Working with coconut oil is simple and you don’t need as much sweetener (take out a little from the recipes if you like), but it doesn’t seem to ‘grab’ the cacao powder quite as well as the cacao butter does.

 

Plus it must be eaten quickly from the fridge/freezer (it melts if the temperature is anything over about 24C). You can keep a batch of your basic chocolate in the fridge or freezer for several weeks and remelt as required.

 

WITH CACAO BUTTER

Gently melt 225g raw cacao butter, buttons or shavings, stirring until dissolved. Blend/mix with 30g raw cacao powder, 1-2 teaspoons granulated stevia or 1-2 tablespoons rice malt syrup and 2 pinches of sea salt until smooth and combined. Makes about 320ml.

WITH A BLEND OF CACAO BUTTER AND COCONUT OIL

Gently melt 115g raw cacao butter, buttons or shavings, stirring until dissolved. Blend/mix with 115g softened coconut oil, 30g raw cacao powder, 1-2 teaspoons granulated stevia or 1-2 tablespoons rice malt syrup and 2 pinches of sea salt until smooth and combined. Makes about 320ml.

 

WITH COCONUT OIL

Blend 225g softened coconut oil, 30g raw cacao powder, 1-2 teaspoons granulated stevia or 1-2 tablespoons rice malt syrup and 2 pinches of sea salt until smooth and combined. Makes about 320ml.

 

Chocolatey pancake stack

 


 

MAKES 6

GLUTEN FREE

 

2 eggs

1 tbsp rice malt syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

175ml almond milk (or milk of your choice)

200g ground almonds

pinch of sea salt

2 tbsp raw cacao powder or good-quality cocoa

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

coconut oil, butter or ghee, for greasing

berries and Basic Raw Chocolate (see recipe page below), to serve

 

– Whisk together the eggs, rice malt syrup, vanilla and milk.

 

– Add the ground almonds, salt, cacao or cocoa, cinnamon and baking powder and mix until smooth.

 

– Melt some coconut oil, butter or ghee in a large pan on a medium heat. Add 4 tablespoons of the pancake mixture to the pan. Cook until the sides of the pancake are firm and a few bubbles escape from the top, about 3 minutes.

 

– Carefully flip the pancake and cook for another 45 seconds. Remove from the heat and repeat with the remaining mixture. Serve topped with berries and raw chocolate.

 

Favourite caramel drizzle cake

 


 

SERVES 14

GLUTEN FREE

 

200g ground almonds

100g desiccated coconut

50g raw cacao powder or good-quality cocoa

2 tsp baking powder

4 eggs, whisked

115g butter, melted

60ml rice malt syrup

½ x quantity of Gooey Caramel Sauce (see method)

 

– Preheat the oven to 180C/ gas 4 and line a 20cm springform cake tin.

 

– In a large bowl combine all the ingredients except for the caramel sauce. Mix well to form a smooth batter. Spoon the mixture into the pre-lined tin.

 

– Bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tin.

 

– Pour caramel sauce over the cake and serve immediately.

 

FOR GOOEY CARAMEL SAUCE Heat 75ml rice malt syrup in a pan until bubbling vigorously. If you have a sugar thermometer, heat until the caramel reaches 135C. If you don’t have a thermometer, cook the syrup for 13 minutes until it has reduced down. The mixture should be thick, drippy and lightly coat the back of a spoon. Add 100g butter and stir over a medium heat until combined. Remove from the heat and slowly add 120ml coconut cream, stirring until combined. Pour the caramel sauce straight on to a pudding or cake as above or alternatively (or for any leftovers) pour into a bowl and sit in the freezer for a few hours until thick. Makes 250ml.

 

Dark chocolate ice cream with white chocolate, pistachio & raspberry bark

 


 

SERVES 6-8

GLUTEN FREE + VEGAN

 

1 x 400ml can coconut cream, chilled

250ml Basic Raw Chocolate (see recipe page below)

pinch of sea salt

about ½ x quantity of White Chocolate Bark (see below)

 

– Place the coconut cream, Basic Raw Chocolate and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric blender, blend the mixture until light and fluffy. The more air you get in this step, the lighter your ice cream will be.

 

– Spoon the ice cream into a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 6 hours.

 

– Allow the ice cream to soften slightly before serving. Serve with broken-up pieces of White Chocolate Bark.

 

FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE BARK Line a tray or plate (with a lip, so the mixture doesn’t spill) with baking paper. Combine 115g raw cacao butter, buttons or shavings, 100g coconut oil and 60ml rice malt syrup in a small saucepan over a medium heat, stirring until melted. Pour the mixture on to the tray and scatter with 60g roughly chopped raspberries and 40g roughly chopped pistachios. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving. Serves 6-8 on its own or more if served as an accompaniment.

 

Chocolate courgette loaf

 


 

MAKES 1 LOAF

GLUTEN FREE + CAN BE FROZEN

 

coconut oil, butter or ghee, for greasing

450g courgettes, grated

175g unsalted butter, softened

75ml rice malt syrup

2 eggs

300g gluten-free flour

50g raw cacao powder or good-quality cocoa

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp vanilla powder

½ tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

cacao nibs and chia seeds, to serve

 

– Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Grease a 22cm x 13cm loaf tin. Place the grated courgette in a colander and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Allow to sit for 5 minutes to drain, then squeeze out the excess water so the courgette is as dry as possible.

 

– Melt the butter and rice malt syrup on a medium heat. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Combine the eggs with the butter/syrup mixture. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the flour, cacao or cocoa, bicarbonate of soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon until combined.

 

– Combine the wet mixture with the grated courgette. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet. Pour the mixture into the greased loaf tin and smooth out the top. Sprinkle cacao nibs and chia seeds on top if desired.

 

– Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring from the tin to a wire rack.

 

Molten peanut butter & jam brownies

 


 

SERVES 24

GLUTEN FREE + CAN BE FROZEN

coconut oil, butter or ghee, for greasing

150g ground almonds

25g raw cacao powder or good-quality cocoa

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp sea salt

115g unsalted butter, melted

60ml rice malt syrup

3 eggs, lightly whisked

75g crunchy peanut butter

60g raspberries, mashed with a fork

 

– Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 3. Line a 22cm square brownie tin with baking paper.

 

– In a large bowl combine all the ingredients, except the peanut butter and raspberries, until smooth. Pour the batter into the lined cake tin. Dollop peanut butter into the mixture and use a skewer or knife to create a swirl pattern. Repeat the process with mashed raspberries.

 

– Cook for 20-25 minutes, checking at 15 minutes to ensure the mixture is not burning. The brownies are cooked when the top is slightly firm to the touch. You want them to be gooey so try not to overcook. Allow the brownies to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and slicing.

 

Leftovers chocolate-orange tiramisu with candied almonds

 

Leftovers chocolate-orange tiramisu with candied almonds
Leftovers chocolate-orange tiramisu with candied almonds

 

This luscious pud evolved from using up leftover Chocolate courgette loaf, Vegan chocolate orange mousse and Whipped coconut cream that happened to be to hand, hence the name.

 

SERVES 6-8

GLUTEN FREE

 

 ½ Chocolate courgette loaf (see here), cut into 3cm cubes

250ml (a cupful) of Vegan chocolate orange mousse (see below)

1 ½ quantities Whipped coconut cream (see below)

135g almonds, chopped

2½ tbsp rice malt syrup

2 tbsp instant coffee granules

2 tbsp boiling water

 

– Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Spread the almonds on a lined baking tray, drizzle with 2 teaspoons of the rice malt syrup and toast for about 6 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Set aside.

 

– Place the chocolate loaf cubes in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine instant coffee with hot water and remaining rice malt syrup until dissolved. Pour this mixture over the loaf cubes. Stir gently and set aside for 5 minutes. Alternatively allow the loaf cubes to sit in the coffee mixture overnight before assembling.

 

– To assemble, spoon a layer of Vegan chocolate orange mousse at the base of each serving glass or jar (or make a big tiramisu in a trifle bowl), then a layer of loaf cubes and then a layer of coconut cream. Repeat process, finishing with the cream on top. Sprinkle candied nuts over the top to serve.

 

TRICKY TIP For a burst of extra flavour, add slices of oranges that have been drizzled with rice malt syrup and quickly pan fried.

 

FOR VEGAN CHOCOLATE ORANGE MOUSSE Place 1 x 400 ml can coconut cream in a large mixing bowl with 50g raw cacao powder, 60ml rice malt syrup, 40g chia seeds, 1 tablespoon orange zest, and the juice of ½ an orange. Whisk together until well combined and smooth. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours, or until firm. Makes enough for 4-6 as a dessert on its own, in which case divide among individual serving glasses before chilling.

 

FOR WHIPPED COCONUT CREAM Place 1 x 400ml can full-fat coconut cream can upside down in the fridge overnight (be sure not to shake the can beforehand). The next day, turn the can right way up and open without shaking it. Spoon out the top layer of liquid (and keep for smoothies or other recipes requiring coconut milk or coconut water). Leave the rest of the harder cream in the can, add 1 tablespoon granulated stevia and then blend with a stick blender until creamy. (If you don’t have a stick blender, remove the cream from the can and blend with beaters or in a blender.)

 

– As well as for this dessert, you can use this cream as a cake frosting on its own or with other flavourings. Or try it with a brownie or cupcake (in lieu of ice cream or cream). Makes 250ml.

 



 

Buy Sarah’s book with 20% off

 

Sarah Wilson is director and founder of I Quit Sugar, an online wellness programme and series of bestselling books and ebooks. (You can follow Sarah @iquitsugar). Today’s recipes are from The Ultimate Chocolate Cookbook, which will be published by Bluebird on 19 October, price £14.99. 

 

As well as Sarah’s personal introduction and in-depth guide to enjoying chocolate sugar-free, chapters offer 100 guilt-free chocolate recipes, from special breakfasts and quick fixes for one to showstopping bakes and cakes.

 

To order a copy for £11.99 (a 20 per cent discount) until 22 October, visit you-bookshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.

 

Want to go sugar-free?

 

– Check out Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program at iquitsugar.com. To save 20 per cent, use the code IQSYOUSAVE20

– Follow Sarah @iquitsugar