Tag Archives: dessert

Cha cha cha Chia! Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding with Sea Salt

27 Feb

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When you’re not consuming any sugar (and I mean any- including fruit, honey and agave), things can get intense. I’m talking cravings. I generally don’t have a strong sweet-tooth, however at times I do intensely desire chocolate. How cliche!

This recipe was the result of such urges.

It is perhaps the most wholesome dessert in existence, or at least that I can think of right now…chia, peanut butter ( no additives) raw cocoa, stevia, vanilla, avocado, coconut milk, sea salt. Simple.

If you are unfamiliar with chia, it is known as a “superfood” (ugh. For lack of a better term) These versatile little suckers are rich in Omega 3 fatty acid (apparently 8x more than salmon!) and are a complete protein, containing all 8 essential amino acids. Chia seeds are additionally a very high source of antioxidants, Vitamin C, potassium, iron, fibre and calcium. They conveniently lack any discernible flavour, so can easily be added to almost anything.

When soaked, chia seeds form a gelatine, making ground chia useful as a thickening agent. Or a cute green pet. Your choice.

Ingredients

Makes 4

1/2 cup chia seeds
3/4 cup unsweetened peanut butter
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon raw cocoa
1 cup coconut milk (full fat is best)
1/2 small avocado (or 1 banana)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon stevia (or 1 tablespoon raw honey, melted)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Coarsely ground sea salt to garnish

Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste for sweetness/saltiness/chocolatey-ness and adjust according to preferences.

Divide into four small bowls and chill for one hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so.

Garnish with fresh mint (pictured), shredded coconut, salted peanuts or sliced bananas and serve immediately.

I think if I was not on this cleanse, I would make the recipe with banana and honey over avocado and stevia. (I warned you that things were going to get creative around here!) These puddings are pretty filling and packed with protein.

Confession : I may have eaten this and only this for dinner one time. And then again for breakfast. Don’t judge.

Amsterdam Part Two, oh, and the World’s Best Birthday Cake

17 Jun

This is my favourite  image of what can only be described as “the best night of my life”. Yesterday, back in Toronto, Christina and I were reminiscing and agreed that if we suddenly died that night, we would have died  feeling happy and complete (I’m glad we survived, though).

After dawdling away the afternoon, we left Rotterdam in quite a rush to catch the 5 pm train to Amsterdam. We were meeting Christina’s friends Clare and Wayne at the station, and together we were going to see a show. Woodkid was playing at the gorgeous Paradiso, a converted old church that is now a spectacular music venue with amazing acoustics and mezzanines abound. Riding the train while blatantly drinking beer was a fun novelty, but probably only because we are from Ontario, the land of puritans.  Case in point: would you ever see a public work of art like this in Canada? 

Gnome with a Butt-plug (srsly).

As soon as we got to the central station, we rented these bikes for the night. It was a swift process, and the bikes were smooth and sturdy. Very easy to ride, but  a dead-giveaway that we were tourists, and thus are  probably the un-coolest bicycles ever.   But whatevs. I felt very comfortable riding side saddle with Christina. We had been practicing all week on her (less sturdy)bike in Rotterdam, which at times was not quite so graceful.

Immediately, we were tearing down the canals. It was a bit difficult to stay together, because of all of the bike traffic. Despite some scares and close calls (“oh god, where did they go?”) we somehow managed to stay as a pack. Scott snapped the top photo at a stoplight. So fun!

We had some drinks in another ancient looking pub that had the steepest, windiest staircase down to the washrooms that I had ever seen. Holland is the land of steep, narrow and twisty staircases apparently.

He looks serious here, but I promise we were actually having tonnes of fun. I really like this photo, though.

We made it to the venue just in time, Woodkid was just starting. We found a great spot near the back that was a bit raised for a better view. A bottle of wine and some plastic cups seamlessly accompanied us into the show somehow . The sound, lights, vibe and energy were incredible. Woodkid is originally a French music video director  that has just recently begun a solo career as a musician.  He has an EP out now, and an album expected to be released in the fall.  His music is extremely epic, dramatic and a bit dark, and included an amazing band with a horn section and huge, thundering drums.  You should check it out! We danced a lot.

The show was over pretty early, but we were pumped up and had a whole night in Amsterdam stretched out ahead of us. Euphoric.

Woodkid at the Paradiso.

All I can say about the rest of the night is that we biked around, barhopped, chilled out by the canals, and indulged in what Amsterdam had to offer. It was an amazing time.

Scott was flying to Singapore on his birthday, and I was sad that we could not spend it together. I made him a special birthday dinner a little early. His favourite dish of mine, salmon en croute, with new potatoes and garlic asparagus.  It turned out fabulously, and thanks to the help of Christina, baking wonder, the pastry was just right.

For the birthday cake, I made this incredible, rich and decadent peanut butter cheesecake. This is way outside my usual realm of healthy cooking, but holy *^&#! It was so worth it. And it didn’t even require baking!  (Recipe at the bottom of this post).

Bottom crust = cookie crumbs with butter, melted dark chocolate, and salty crushed peanuts.  They must be salty. If not, you are cheating yourself out of something really special.

Filling = cream cheese, peanut butter, whipped cream, vanilla, condensed milk, lemon juice, sugar.

Makeshift birthday candle.

So creamy, sooo delicious! We could not stop eating it over the next two days, sneaking cheeky bites here and there when no one was looking.  Later, eating a casual dinner and then this leftover dessert together on the kitchen floor will always remain such a fond memory of Holland.  Happy times.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake  Inspired by this recipe from In Jennie’s Kitchen.

  • 12 ounces cookies (crushed) ( I used something similar to Graham Crackers)
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 6 ounces melted dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 8 ounces of plain cream cheese
  • 1 up salted peanut butter (creamy)
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. Blend cookies until they turn to fine crumbs. Add melted butter and mix well with fork. Press mixture into the bottom of a spring form pan, about 1 inch thick. 
  2. Melt chocolate and pour over cookie crumb base. Spread evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle crushed peanuts over top and refrigerate while preparing the filling. 
  3. Pour whipping cream into a bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Return to fridge until ready to use. 
  4. Beat cream cheese and peanut butter together until smooth. Reduce speed and slowly incorporate icing sugar. Add the lemon, vanilla and condensed milk and blend well. 
  5. Slowly fold in the whipped cream, and then pour the filling into the pan. Sprinkle with cocoa or desired garnish. 
  6. Refrigerate overnight, or at least three hours before serving. 
Nothing is better than peanut butter and chocolate, salty and sweet. Try this out, you will not be disappointed! Also good for those who are gluten-free. 
Word of warning: this is NOT a good cake to make if you have to transfer it for a length of time without a fridge. It gets quite “melt-y” when it is warm! Not so pretty, but delicious nonetheless!
Gallery

A Rare Sweet-Something

4 Jan

Avocado and Chocolate Pudding

I’m not huge into baking or sweet things, nor do I make desserts very often, however, this was one of my recent favourites! I kind of made it up with the inspiration of something I saw online. The original intent was to top it with whipped cream and more berries, but they looked so nice at this stage that I decided to quit while I was ahead (truthfully it tasted better with the additional cream, so next time I will work it into the final “design”, instead of serving it on the side). Luckily, my best friend who lives in Holland brought back some of those awesome caramel-wafer-waffle cookies which were amazing dipped into the fresh whipped cream.

If I knew last night I’d be starting this blog the very next day, I would have at least taken some better photos!

Due to popular demand (or at least said  best friend):

( makes 6 servings)

  • 4 small avocados
  • 2 bananas
  • 3/4 cup raw cocoa
  • 2-3 tablespoons agave syrup
  • some whipping cream
  • some sour cream (more sour cream than whipping cream- did not measure, sorry! Just enough to achieve a nice consistency in the food processor)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 small cap-fulls of vanilla extract (the real stuff)
Garnish with fresh berries and pear.
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