Heavenly Hazelnut Cake

The very first flourless cake that I ever made was a hazelnut cake.  It may have been flourless but it was still full of fat and sugar.  While it was good it wasn’t great, there seemed to be something off and I just couldn’t figure out what it was.  Over the years I made the cake a few more times using the same recipe, always producing the same results – good but not great.

So in November, while searching thru my recipe books looking for dessert ideas I came across the recipe for hazelnut cake.  I decided to make a few modifications in the hope of lightening it up and producing the great cake I was dreaming of.  Thankfully the changes worked and I now have a recipe for hazelnut cake that I absolutely love.  Light, moist and delicious this cake can be enjoyed anytime of day.  Paired with a mug of lemon green tea, it is the perfect snack for when you want to take a moment for yourself and breathe.

Hazelnuts and chocolate together is an incredible food pairing, and I was hardly not willing to miss an opportunity to enjoy the two together, so I added dark chocolate chunks to the mix.  This is purely optional and this hazelnut cake is delicious either way.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups of hazelnuts

6 large eggs (yolks and whites separated)

1 cup (250ml) of maple syrup

2 tsp of baking soda

1 cup of dark chocolate chunks (optional)

pinch of sea salt or pink Himalayan salt

1 tsp cinnamon

What To Do:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees (F)

Line the bottom only of a 9inch spring form pan with parchment paper

In a food processor or blender chop the hazelnuts until 95% finely chopped

Add the maple syrup to the egg yolks and beat until they are a pale yellow

Gently fold in the hazelnuts, chocolate, cinnamon and salt into the yolk mixture

In a separate large mixing bowel beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form

Gently fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture

Pour the batter into the spring form pan

Bake for aprox 50 – 55 minutes (until a cake tester comes out clean)

Cool completely before removing the sides of the pan

Enjoy!

XXS

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Dark Chocolate Chunk Almond Butter Brownies

Happy December Everyone!

I associate the holiday season with rich chocolate desserts more then anything else.  So while others have visions of sugar plums dancing I tend to dream of chocolate waltzing.  Bad joke?  Alright, I’ll stop before I hurt myself.

At the beginning of November I decided to challenge myself and create a few delicious dessert recipes that were decadent yet still moderately healthy treats. Eating well is a lifestyle not a diet which includes clean high quality foods that support your body without leaving you feeling deprived or overwhelmed.  To me, this includes desserts.  You don’t need to have an all or nothing approach when it comes to eating.  Simple swaps and little adjustments can make a big difference in your health and how you look and feel overall.  I created these recipes for my clients and for you, to give you options during the holiday season and beyond. For those of you who are intimidated by baking please note that I am not a baker by any means, I just really like to eat.  It’s also important to me to know what is in my food. These recipes are simple, easy and require minimal skill, ingredients or effort.  My kitchen is literally in a closet and I have zero counter space, yet these recipes still came together beautifully – if I can do it, I have faith that you can too.

First up: Dark Chocolate Chunk Almond Butter Brownies

These dark chocolate chunk brownies are the most perfect dessert that I have ever baked.  Rich, dense, moist and oh so good.  Did I mention that they are gluten free and refined sugar free?!?!

Cue happy dance

This amazing recipe has officially become my go to dessert recipe when I need a sweet treat.

Please note: All of the ingredients that I used when making these little bites of heaven were organic, but I understand that buying organic that can be a little pricey, so just try to keep your ingredients as clean and as high quality as your budget will allow.

Ingredients:

4 madjool dates (pitted and mashed)

1 cup of pure dark maple syrup

1 365g jar of creamy almond butter

2 medium organic eggs

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

1 heaping tablespoon of chunky almond butter

pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt (or regular sea salt)

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup of organic dark chocolate chunks (minimum 70%) plus some more for the top

What to do:

Pre-heat oven to 320

Line 8 X 8 pan with parchment paper

Beat the maple syrup and dates until creamy (I used a blender for this part to ensure that the dates were completely integrated)

Mix in the creamy almond butter, this will make the mixture extremely thick so slowly add in the almond milk to loosen up the batter and make it easier to mix

Slowly add the eggs

Add raw cacao, baking soda and salt and mix well until fully incorporated

Stir in the chunky almond butter and the chocolate chunks

Pour the batter into pan and top with extra chocolate chunks

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes

If you can resist eating some straight out of the pan before the brownies have cooled you are officially my new hero.  I on the other hand burned the inside of my mouth – it was totally worth it.

Enjoy! XXS

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