Dark Chocolate Sandwich Cake

This recipe is the love child of elements of the Spongy Chocolate Cake and the cream filling of the Double Chocolate Cream Tarts. The pairing is glorious enough to deserve its own post and provide inspiration for a fabulously fudgy, chocolatey and creamy celebration cake.

A chocolate sandwich cake to me is one of the best indulgences. Perfect for a birthday, any other special occasion or just because you feel like it 😉 The dark chocolate and the natural sweeteners (date paste and some maple syrup) result in a “mature” semisweet richness, while providing more fiber and nutrition than a standard chocolate cake. The fact that it got the stamp of approval from my Dad (a sceptic of vegan desserts, after experiencing some epic fails from my early plant-based days) was a reason for celebration on its own!

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Cinnamon Raisin Instant Oats

Some decisions are so automatic that they don’t require any thought – like, for me, that breakfast means a berry smoothie bowl with peanut butter. Last weekend, though, I was uncharacteristicaly in the mood for something different. I started running through the options in my head. Pancakes? Crepes? Peanut butter and jam on toast? Dates dipped in almond butter? Nothing felt quite right. Until, that is, I had a vision of a bowl of smooth, cold oats, topped with banana and nut butter.

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Jammy Fudge Bars

Indulgent fudge without cream and lots of refined sugar? Definitely possible and highly advisable.

Cacao butter is one of the key ingredients of this recipe, providing a creamy and subtly fragrant base, which is enriched by the peanut butter and naturally sweetened with dates and some maple syrup. The salt and vanilla enhance the flavor, while a bit of maca or lucuma (both naturally sweet with a slightly fruity-yet-caramel-like aroma) rounds it all off. You can feel free to add in extra elements like raisins nor chopped nuts.

The fudge can be enjoyed on its own or combined with an oaty base and some jam sandwiched in between for a more substantial treat. I love the different textures and tastes in the various layers and find it an all-round satisfying sweet treat 🙂

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Miso Chili Tempeh

Are you team tofu or team tempeh? There’s no need to choose if you ask me. Both soy-based staples of many plant-based diets have a time and a place in my life and on my plate. While tofu, originating from China, is basically bean curd, tempeh is a slightly less processed product made from binding fermented soybeans into a cake. It has a rougher, heartier texture than tofu, an impressive nutritional profile and provides probiotics, which feed the good bacteria in our gut.

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Double Chocolate Cream Tarts

It’s time for another seriously chocolatey recipe. I present to you a ridiculously easy and wonderfully satisfying vegan chocolate cream (it’s almost mousse-like), perfectly paired with a raw, oat-based cacao crust. Both elements require minimal ingredients and are so easy to whip up. This may well be one of my favourite recipes I’ve made (of course it had to be a chocolate one).

Double Chocolate Cream Tarts

Makes: 3 small tarts (each serving 1-2 people)

Ingredients: Tart base

  • 75g oats, ground into a flour
  • 15g cacao powder (ca. 2 tbsp)
  • 10g ground flaxseeds (ca. 1 tbsp)
  • 2.5 tbsp soft coconut oil (I use a neutral one; melted cacao butter should also work)
  • 2 tbsp maple syup
  • pinch of salt

Ingredients: Chocolate cream

  • 115g silken tofu (drain the water from the package; further pat dry with a kitchen towel if necessary);
  • 2.5 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2.5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter (ideally a thick, spreadable texture – the less runny it is the more firm the cream will be)
  • pinch of salt
  • optional: fresh or frozen raspberries and hemp seeds to decorate; you could also use edible flower petals or toasted nuts.

Method

  1. For the base combine all ingredients (ground oats, cacao powder, ground flaxseeds, coconut oil, maple syrup and salt) in a bowl until there are no dry bits.
  2. Divide the mixture into three mini pie dishes and, starting from the base and working your way up to the sides, press it down to form an equal layer covering the inside of the dishes. If your dishes do not allow for an easy removal you may want to line them with cling film to avoid a crumbly crisis later. Once done place the dishes in the fridge. If you do not have pie dishes you could try using a muffin tray.
  3. For the chocolate cream simply blend together all ingredients (silken tofu, cacao powder, maple syrup, peanut butter and salt).
  4. Remove the tart dishes from the fridge and evenly distribute the chocolate mousse among them. Optional: Feel free to add a jam or peanut butter layer first, if desired. I found them perfectly indulgent just as they are, but depending on my mood I may try variations in the future. Top with any desired toppings. I simply crumbled some frozen raspberries on top and added some hemp seeds.
  5. Place back in the fridge until ready to eat.

Note: You can also use the cream as a frosting for muffins or (cup-)cakes. I recently made my chocolate sponge cake into muffins and sliced them in half after they had cooled. I spread chocolate cream onto the bottom part and iced the muffin top with it, adding some fresh raspberries for the final touch – definitely another combo I can highly recommend!

Enjoy! 

Feel free to tag @blueberrysmiles22 if you share your creations on Instagram, so I can share in the joy 🙂

Cauliflower Butterbean Kimchi Pizza

Ok, this one sounds a bit random, I will admit…But bear with me and picture a home-made pizza dough, fresh out of the oven, topped with a garlicky cauliflower butterbean spread, creamy melted cheeze – more mellow than the acidity of tomato sauce – combined with a spicy, tangy kick of kimchi and some cooling fresh greens. Have I sold you on this yet?

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Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are one of my all-time favorite childhood bakes. I have fond memories of my childhood best friend and I baking tray-loads of them and gleefully devouring some while watching romcoms. Years later I wondered what that magic recipe had been that we’d always used. I scavenged old scribbled notes, crumpled, grease-stained recipe printouts in mounting desperation, as if my future happiness depended on it. Lovers of the show Friends may be amused to know that my quest ended similarly as that of Monica in the episode “The One with Phoebe’s Cookies” (season 7, episode 3): It was the recipe on the back of the packet of Nestlé Toll House chocolate chips, which my friend used to bring back from Canada.

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Super Simple Vegan French Toast

French toast is one of those dishes that may seem as if it must be inherently illusive for plant-based eaters. A truly saddening thought for any lover of this sweet breakfast treat that potentially dates back to Roman times. Thankfully, vegan French toast is not only feasible but just as tasty, as I realized on the rare occasions I stumbled upon the dish at vegan eateries (the best French toast I ever had was at Veggie Galaxy in Cambridge Massachusetts, near Boston – not to be missed if you’re in the area!). I’ve seen various versions of vegan recipes out there, some including chickpea flour, banana or tofu. When the irresistible French toast craving struck I finally ended up mixing together quite a basic concoction, which I later simplified even further.

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Creamy Cashew Tomato Pasta

Easy pasta dishes are my go-to when I’m feeling slightly lazy or am out of fresh produce. They’re super easy to throw together and there are endless options for keeping things new and exciting. I love experimenting with different pasta types, from wholewheat and spelt to red and yellow lentil, brown rice and even oat (the only one I haven’t warmed to is pea-based pasta – just too dominant of a flavour in my opinion). And, of course, there is so much you can do with sauces, spices, herbs, etc.

This recipe is perfect for when you don’t feel like spending too much time in the kitchen, yet still want a flavourful, comforting meal. The sun-dried tomatoes add a depth of flavour and the cashew butter a satisfying richness that make this sauce much more exciting than what you’d find in a regular tin of tomato sauce. It only takes a few minutes to make – you can prepare the sauce while your pasta is cooking and have time to spare – making it a great weeknight option.

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