Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Chocolate Avocado Smoothies (raw & dairy free)

Avocados
Peruvian Hass Avocadoes

I have to come clean here: making avocados into a smoothie seems a bit of a waste of a good avocado to me. I love the texture and flavour of this princely fruit but actually like them best just as they are, on toast or with slices tossed into a salad or mashed up in guacamole or this avocado and egg dip. But when an octet of Peruvian avocados winged their way to me it seemed like an ideal time to experiment.

Intuitively a dairy-free option seemed like the way to go. Ideally I would have used coconut water as the liquid, but I didn’t have any to hand. I had a look at coconut and almond milk options, but they were all full of sugar, vegetable fats and other additives. If only I’d read Janie’s post on making your own almond milk before going ahead, but I didn’t. In the end I resorted to a tin of coconut milk. To keep things as Peruvian as possible I used maca and raw cacao powder both grown in Peru. The maple syrup, oats and banana may have come from a different continent, but honour, I felt, had been served.

Talking of serving, how did the smoothies turn out? Really rather well. Thick and creamy,  rich and chocolatey, healthy too; we had them for breakfast and they kept us going for several hours. Result.

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Raw Chocolate Smoothie

Raw Chocolate Avocado Smoothie

by Choclette August-26-2014
A vegan friendly breakfast smoothie which is not only deliciously thick and chocolatey, but has plenty of nutritious ingredients.
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large Peruvian Hass avocado
  • 1 large banana – peeled
  • 2 tbsp rolled oats
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 tbsp raw Peruvian cacao powder from Indigo Herbs.
  • ½ tin coconut milk (fresh would be best)
  • 2 tsp (or to taste) maple syrup
  • water
 
Instructions
1. Cut the avocado in half, remove the stone and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Place in a liquidiser together with the banana.2. Add the oats, maca, cacao, maple syrup and coconut milk.3. Add enough water to make the volume up to 1 litre and whizz for a few minutes until smooth.4. Pour into glasses and drink with gusto.
 
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 large or 4 small glasses

Spelt Cocoa Breads with Avocado Egg Filling

Avocado Egg Dip

Bread & Buns, Dip, Lunch, Snacks | 28th August 2014 | By

 
Avocado Stuffed Pitta Breads

If there was one crop other than lemons I wish we could grow easily in the UK, it would be avocados. I would have an orchard full of them. Not only are they buttery and delicious, but they are also quite good for you. High in potassium, the unsaturated fats are said to be healthy ones and they are relatively low in calories.

When I was sent a basket of ripe Peruvian Hass avocados, to say I was pleased was an understatement. I hadn’t known such bounty since CT and I worked on an avocado farm during our antipodean travels many years ago. We ate the fruit for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So in remembrance of times past, we cut into one almost immediately and had it spread on toast, just as we used to back on the farm when we used it as a butter substitute. Oh, how delicous. These avocados were particularly tasty with a gimme more creamy texture.

Guacamole has long been a favourite of mine and makes for a very tasty vegan dip and accompaniment to all sorts of dishes. But I also find avocados have an affinity to eggs – maybe it’s the shape. One of my favourite party dips is an egg and avocado one and as I hadn’t made this for ages, I thought it was about time it was resurrected. What better accompaniment than some homemade bread, juicy sweet homegrown tomatoes and some crisp lettuce.

Avocado Egg DipThe Great British Bake Off seems to have taken the world by storm this year and pretty much everyone seems to be talking about it. Last week was all about bread, so I thought I should join in the fun and get a little creative with flour, yeast and of course chocolate. Having a pretty good idea by now about pairing chocolate with savoury foods, I decided that adding some cocoa to my bread would marry well with the creamy eggy dip. I wasn’t wrong. My pitta pockets, stuffed with the avocado egg filling along with some lettuce and tomatoes was pure heaven.

The pitta pockets exhaled a chocolate fragrance on opening and were resileint enough to hold the contents. They had a soft and inviting texture and although thick were not in the least bit leathery – way better than any shop bought pitta breads I’ve had. The chocolate pitta also did a grand job of mopping up the juices of a vegetable stew. The avocado and egg dip was as delicious as I remember it. We both felt we could eat this again and again.

Cooking with Herbs over at Lavender and Lovage is all about chives this month, so although I’ve already sent one entry, I couldn’t resist sending this one too.

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Cocoa Pitta Breads

Spelt Cocoa Pitta Breads

by Choclette August-25-2014
Soft and delicious pitta breads with just a hint of cocoa to give added depth and flavour.
 
Ingredients
  • 250g strong white flour
  • 250g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 scant tsp Himalayan pink rock salt
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 330ml warm water
 
Instructions
1. Stir the yeast and sugar into the warm water, then combine this in a bowl with the other ingredients.2. Turn out onto an oiled work surface and knead for a few minutes – the dough will be sticky, but be wary of adding any additional flour.3. Place back into the bowl, cover with a cloth and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.4. Turn out onto an oiled work surface and knead again for a few minutes. The dough should have absorbed all of the water my now and not be so sticky.5. Cut into 8 pieces and kneading each one briefly shape into flat ovals, either with hands or a rolling pin.6. Place the ovals onto a lined baking tray (or two, depending on size). Place inside a plastic bag and leave to rise for about 15 minutes.7. Bake at the top of a hot oven (225C) for about 5 minutes when the breads should be lightly browned but still soft. Cover with a tea towel until all the bread has been baked. This will not only keep them warm, but keep them soft too.
 
Details

Total time: Yield: 8

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Avocado & Egg Dip

Avocado and Egg Dip

by Choclette August-25-2014
A versatile and tasty dip that can also be used as a sandwich filling.
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large boiled eggs
  • 2 large avocados – stoned and peeled
  • half a small onion – finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • a good grinding black pepper
  • 4 stalks chives – snipped
 
Instructions
1. Roughly mash the avocados with the lime juice.2. Stir in the onions and pepper.3. Add the eggs and roughly mash into the avocado.4. Stir in the mayonnaise and pile into a serving dish. Top with the snipped chives.
 
Details

Yield: 8 servings

Cocofina Organic Coconut and Cocoa Bars – Giveaway #51

Giveaway | 27th August 2014 | By

Organic Snack Bar

Some of you may remember the splendid coconut products I reviewed a few weeks ago from Cocofina. One of the products was a 40g coconut and cocoa snack bar which is organic, nutritious and very very tasty.

Cocofina have kindly offered up a box of these bars to one lucky Chocolate Log Blog reader – I am trying not to be too envious and I’ve sworn I won’t enter the competition incognito. The box contains 24 bars and is worth £35.76.

To be in with a chance of winning, please fill in the Gleam widget below. You will need to leave a comment on this post, answering the question, which then gives you additional chances to enter if you so wish. Gleam will pick a winner at random from the entries received. If you are commenting anonymously, please give me some way of identifying you as I will be verifying the validity of all entries. Any automated entries will be disqualified as well as any that fail to follow instructions correctly. This giveaway is only open to those with a UK postal address. Winners will need to respond within 7 days of being contacted. Failure to do this may result in another winner being picked.

Coconut & Cocoa Bars

Prizes are offered and provided by Cocofina and Chocolate Log Blog accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of said third party.

Closing date is Wednesday 24 September 2014

Do take a look at the Chocolate Log Blog giveaway page to see if there is anything else you would like to enter.

Cocofina Bars

Chocolate Lavender Parfait – Random Recipes

5 Star, Ice Cream | 25th August 2014 | By

This month Dashing Dom has joined forces with Krazy Kavey in a chilling combination of Random Recipes and Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream. Now that Autumn has descended on us rather earlier than expected, ice-cream is no longer top of my list of desired desserts. However, ice-cream and frozen desserts are what we’ve been tasked to make, so I gritted my teeth and went to interrogate Eat Your Books. This is my preferred method of selecting my books for these Random Recipe occasions.

This time I limited the search to my chocolate books, which I was somewhat surprised to see has reached the grand total of seventeen. Ultimate: the Green and Black’s New Collection was the book randomly selected. I haven’t looked at this tome in such a long time that I was pleased to renew my acquaintance. It turns out it contains quite a few ice-cream recipes as well as a recipe for chocolate parfait – a frozen dessert which I’ve never made before. I decided to make half the quantity as I didn’t have much space in the freezer; this meant I needed about 60g of dark chocolate. Now it just so happens that I had 70g of dark lavender chocolate lying about; I’d found this too strong and soapy to eat on its own, so it was awaiting just such an occasion as this. Lavender chocolate works wonderfully well when incorporated into other recipes, I reckon. The parfait recipe included coffee, but as I was adding lavender, I omitted this.

This is how I made:

Chocolate Lavender Parfait

  • Whipped 150g double cream to soft peaks using hand beaters.
  • Separated two large eggs, putting the yolks into a bowl and the whites into the fridge for some future use.
  • Warmed 75 ml water in a small pan and dissolved 60g golden caster sugar in it.
  • Notched up the heat and boiled the syrup for 2 minutes, then turned the heat off.
  • Added 70g chopped dark lavender chocolate (72%) and left to melt.
  • Beat the egg yolks with the hand held beaters, then slowly poured in the chocolate syrup beating all the while. Carried on beating until the mixture was almost cool.
  • Beat in 1 dessertspoon of cognac, then folded in the whipped cream.
  • Divided the mixture between four ramekin dishes and placed in the freezer.

To be honest I’m not terribly sure what the difference between a parfait and ice-cream is technically, but it’s a very good way of making a no-churn frozen dessert. It was velvety smooth and not a shard of ice crystal could be detected. It’s very rich and truly decadent, but the soupçon of lavender keeps it tasting fresh and prevents it from cloying on the palate as some creamy confections can do. The cognac gave a welcome hint of sophistication and brought out the other flavours. This is a perfect use for lavender chocolate and a brilliant make ahead dessert I can now knock up for future dinner parties.

This chocolate parfait is being entered into random ice cream – the joint Random Recipes and Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream event hosted over at Belleau Kitchen and Kavey Eats.

A healthy dose of cognac makes this dessert crazy enough for me, so I am entering it into Baking with Spirit over at Cake of the Week where Janine has asked us to all go crazy.

I’m also sending this off to Lucy’s #CookBlogShare over at Supergolden Bakes.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispies

No Bake, Speedy | 22nd August 2014 | By

My mother-in-law has a penchant for Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups – well who doesn’t? So along with the chocolate marshmallow crispies I made for our trip up to the New Forest a couple of weeks ago, I also made some chocolate peanut butter crispies. The recipe for these comes from the same book, Mast Brothers Chocolate: a family cookbook and go by the name of chocolate crunch. The combination of chocolate peanut butter and crisped rice sounded too good to miss.

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Spiced Roasted Summer Vegetable Salad with Millet, Peas and Lentils

Roasted Picnic Vegetables

We’ve been blessed with a good summer this year and my how we needed it after seven months of solid rain. Along with the good weather comes the picnic season. Eating outside with simple food that hasn’t meant hours spent in the kitchen is what many of us are after – I know I am.

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Rich Chocolate Scones

5 Star, Scones | 16th August 2014 | By

It’s International Scone Week over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. Now in it’s fifth year, I’m quite shocked to find that I haven’t participated since 2012. If you ever need a scone recipe, Celia’s annual round-ups of all sorts of scones from bloggers around the world is a must.

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Raspberry and White Chocolate Blondies

Brownies & Blondies | 14th August 2014 | By

Tart juicy raspberries work exceedingly well when combined with sweet vanillary white chocolate I’ve found and this combination has become a particular favourite. When I was tasked recently with finding a recipe to make from Baking Mad, I was looking for a picnic recipe for a little jaunt to the beach. As soon as I saw the recipe for white chocolate and raspberry brownies, I had to look no further.

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Plum and Walnut Pizza

Pudding | 11th August 2014 | By

Ages ago, I saw a fabulous post for a fruit dessert pizza over at Peaches Please and was immediately struck by the idea. I had been sent some plums from South Africa so the time was right to try a plum pizza. Some of you may recall the plum and amaretto ice-cream I made with these very same plums way back when, so I had high hopes. I was also keen to try making pizza dough with white chocolate which I thought would suit this fruity delight very well.

This is how I made:

Plum and Walnut Pizza

  • Mixed 250g flour (half wholemeal, half white) in a bowl with 1 tsp instant yeast, ½ tsp salt and 1 tsp maca powder (not necessary, but makes me think I’m being healthy).
  • Stirred in 150ml warm water and 1 tbsp olive oil until the mixture came together in a ball.
  • Kneaded for about 10 minutes on an oiled surface, adding 30g of finely chopped vanillary white chocolate towards the end (I used G&B).
  • Placed into an oiled bowl and left to rise for an hour or so.
  • Divided the mixture into 4 balls and rolled as thinly as possible into rounds.
  • Placed on lined baking sheets.
  • Warmed 3 tbsp of plum jam (homemade) and 1 tbsp marsala in a small pan.
  • Sliced 4 large purple plums into thin slices.
  • Roughly chopped a handful of walnut halves.
  • Spread a tbsp of the jam mixture over the base of each pizza.
  • Laid the plum slices over the jam then scattered some walnuts over the top.
  • Dusted a little vanilla sugar over the top.
  • Baked in the middle of the oven at 200°C for 12 minutes.
  • Served immediately (apart from the odd photo or two).

Gosh these were good. The dough was soft and sweet and combined beautifully with the tart juicy plums and the fragrant vanilla. The walnuts gave a delightful crunch and added bitter notes which contrasted nicely with the caramel undertones from the bits of white chocolate that had caramelised in the dough. These were also a visual feast with the strikingly coloured purple plums. This is a dessert I can see us having again and again – maybe with peaches or nectarines by way of a change.

Alpha Bakes is P this month and I have three of them. P is for Purple Plum and Walnut Pizza. It is hosted this time around over at Caroline Makes and is alternately hosted by Ros of The More Than Occasional Baker.

As plums are in season, I am sending this off to Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary where Simple and in Season is being hosted this month on behalf of Ren Behan.

And this is my second entry to Bookmarked Recipes this month with Jac over at Tinned Tomatoes.

Being rather pleased with this fabulous bake, I am submitting it to Emily’s #recipeoftheweek over at A Mummy Too.

Plum is the chosen ingredient for the monthly Rix Aga Inspired Recipes, so I am sending this over to them as well in the vague hope I might win £100 Waitrose voucher.

Chocolate Marshmallow Crispies – We Should Cocoa #48

No Bake, We Should Cocoa | 8th August 2014 | By

 

Rebecca over at Bake n Quilt is hosting We Should Cocoa this month and has chosen the ingredient marshmallow to get us all thinking. With the hot and steamy weather continuing here in the UK, this is a good choice; there is no baking required in making marshmallows and plenty of simple no bake recipes to use them in too.

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