Posts Tagged ‘dairy free desserts’

Yes, it’s been ages since I posted any recipes here, but you know, sometimes life gets a little sticky and finding time to post gets tricky. That said, I haven’t stopped cooking (as you know if you follow me on Instagram!), and I now have dozens of recipes I hope to share with you here!

This Apricot Almond Cake fits where I am in my life so perfectly that it provides the perfect re-entry into blogging for me. It is crazy simple to make–both in terms of time and effort, and it’s really delicious, especially if you’re an apricot lover like me. When I say “simple,” I mean you can prepare it in less than 15 minutes (excluding cooking time, of course). It is moist, flavorful and perfect for any occasion.

Like most of my recipes, this cake is also low-sugar, dairy-free and gluten-free. I first made it with canned peaches, because fresh apricots weren’t available at the time, but this cake wants to be made with apricots–trust me!


1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour*

1/2 cup almond flour

1/3 cup evaporated cane juice

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 pasture, free-range eggs

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

4-5 small, ripe apricots, cut in half and pitted

1 Tbsp apricot jam


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan with olive oil and line the bottom with a disk of parchment paper. Set aside.

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a small bowl until well-blended.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until pale yellow in color. Whisk in the oil, milk and extracts. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until thoroughly blended. Pour into the prepared cake pan. Arrange the apricot halves, cut side up, in the pan. Place in the center of the oven and cook for 30 minutes.

While the cake is cooking, mix about 1 teaspoon hot water with the apricot jam in a small bowl. After the cake has baked in the oven for 30 minutes, remove it and spread the jam carefully over the top. Return cake to the oven and bake another 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool completely before serving, about 30 minutes.



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Call me weird, but I have always preferred blondies over brownies. Don’t get me wrong… I love chocolate, but I like it in small doses, like one or two squares of a high-quality, dark chocolate bar. But something about blondies makes my mouth literally water, and traditional blondies share a lot in common (i.e., butter and sugar) with my favorite sweet flavor–butterscotch.

The blondies of my childhood were essentially white flour, butter and brown sugar (think obesity, type II diabetes, high triglycerides, etc.). So how can I indulge in eating my beloved blondies without putting on 10 pounds, causing my insulin levels to go haywire or just feeling badly for overindulging?

Enter almond-butter blondies. I make mine with very little sugar–which offsets a lot of guilt, and with almond butter and almond flour, so I feel I’m getting something good (i.e., a hefty serving of protein) out of my indulgence. In fact, I generally feel so justified in eating these, that I almost never stop at just one!

These are gluten-free, get a nice “crust” to them, yet retain plenty of gooey, chewy goodness on the inside. My kids are always trying to get me to add in extra chocolate chips or chunks, but it’s actually the non-chocolate part I’m really after. I hope you will give them a try, and tweak the recipe as you wish to fit your sweet and texture preferences.



1/2 cup almond butter

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/3 cup coconut sugar (to make Paleo) or 1/3 cup brown sugar

1 egg

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 scant cup almond flour

2 Tbsp tapioca starch

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 generous tsp sea salt

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, chunks or chopped pecans or walnuts



Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper (so there’s no pan to clean up!).

In a small bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (except the chocolate chips, chunks or nuts) and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the almond butter and sugar until well blended and no lumps are left. Whisk in the vanilla and coconut oil, followed by the egg. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until blended, then fold in the chocolate chips, chunks or nuts.

Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and carefully smooth the surface using the spatula. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges are just slightly brown. (It’s better to underbake slightly instead of overbake so the cookies retain some gooey/chewy quality!)

Allow to cool completely before cutting into 9 or 16 squares depending on whether you want to feel guilty for having more than one at a time.




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truffles closetrufflles aboveI think Valentine’s Day is a bit overdone here in the U.S. If you pay attention to the ads, they suggest every man should buy his wife or girlfriend a relatively pricey piece of jewelry to celebrate the day. Not only do I fear the idea of my husband having to personally select that much jewelry for me, (because if I’m going to own that much jewelry, I’d rather select my own pieces), but it also puts a ridiculous amount of unreasonable pressure on our nation’s menfolk!

As an American, I’ve accepted that every possible holiday or occasion is commercialized to the full extent possible, and then some. And although my husband and I try to make holidays fun and magical for our children, we try to reject a lot of the commercialization and focus on the true intent of the holiday.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t require a fancy gift or expensive dinner. It’s a day to recognize and celebrate love. Giving a card (especially a handmade or carefully selected card!) to a loved one is always special. After all, who doesn’t like to be reminded they’re being thought of? It can also be nice to share a sweet or special indulgence. Forget all the commercial candy currently stocked in stores. Nearly all is chock full of chemicals, the dreaded high-fructose corn syrup and artificial coloring. And if you can carve out an hour between now and next Friday, consider making or baking a little treat for your loved one(s). Your efforts will be greatly appreciated!

Dark chocolate truffles are super easy to make, present nicely, and feel very indulgent. I like to make my own, because on the rare occasion I buy them, I’m always rejecting a fair percentage of what’s in the box because I don’t like the sickeningly sweet fruit center they added or the unnecessary or excess milk or white chocolate they used (viewing anything but dark chocolate as a cheap, watered-down version of the real stuff). Truffles are also nice to have on hand at dinner parties when you’re serving a main dessert, such as a tart or cheesecake, that you’re not sure everyone will want due to dietary restrictions. These dark chocolate truffles are dairy-free and extremely low in sugar. In fact, one could easily argue that they have more upside (nutritionally) than downside–a very rare thing for “candy.”


8 oz dark chocolate* (at least 70 percent cocoa), chopped

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

1/4 cup cocoa powder, for rolling

Other toppings: finely chopped pistachios, hazelnuts or pecans, toasted unsweetened shredded coconut, etc.

* My favorite is Green & Blacks Organic Chocolate bars. They’re available in the U.S. and U.K. and probably a few other places by now. They are remarkably smooth with excellent flavor and no bitterness, even at the 85% cocoa level.

truffle blendPreparation

Heat chocolate, oil and 3 tbsp water in a double boiler, stirring until just melted. Remove from heat, add in vanilla and sea salt, and mix well.

Transfer mixture to an 8-inch baking dish or glass loaf pan, and refrigerate until the mixture is firm but still pliable, about 2 hours.

truffle pistachioUsing a 1-inch melon baller or very round spoon, scoop out the chocolate mixture and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Coat your hands with cocoa powder and roll the chocolate scoops into balls. For the other coatings, roll the balls in the finely-chopped nuts or coconut until evenly coated. Refrigerate 10 minutes to set. Place the truffles in small gift boxes or tins lined with parchment paper or colored tissue paper.

Serve with love!

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