Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Rendered Beef Tallow. Oh dear, Im turning into Martha Stewart!


I've just rendered my very own, highest grade, beef tallow...  and made my Victorian Great Grandmother, Grace, very proud.
In case you didn’t know, Tallow is beef FAT, in the same way that Lard is pig fat and Duck Fat is, well um... duck fat.
I’m lucky enough to be friends with an awesome woman who just happens to supply local Cape Town restaurants with the most amazing Wagyu beef (gold mine as friends go, right?)
 
For those of you who are not yet familiar with this wonder-of- nature,  it is a breed of cattle that originates in Japan where it is  known as ‘Kobe beef’. Kobe Beef is Wagyu [pronounced ‘wag-you’] that comes from the Kobe region in Japan. Here they are regarded as a national treasure (it’s that good) and for many years only the Emporor, his family and his Samurai could eat Wagyu beef. It is rumoured that they fed these treasured beasts a strict diet, including beer, and washed them with the Japanese rice wine, Sake, spat by monks (yes, spat on, with sake, by monks – how delightful). That’s how much they love their cows.
Well, not sure if they do that here in the Free State, but these beauties, now farmed locally, are (more importantly) fed a wholesome diet that does not contain any animal by-products or growth stimulants, and they are not given routine antibiotics. All the beef is certified and can be traced back to the original farm. It’s important to know where your produce comes from and how they treat their animals. We want foods that are healthy and produced responsibly and humanely, right?

But why is it so tasty, and nutritious? Why is it the ‘bees knees’?
These Wagyu cattle produce world classs tender, flavoursome and succulent beef due to its unique marbling which dissolves and melts during cooking giving the beef its tenderness and flavour.
Marbling refers to the little specks of fat dispersed in the lean tissue that results in the tastiest stuff around. The Japanese Wagyu is the highest marbling breed in the world.
Whats so great about marbling?
The marbling is the fabulously high fat content that is made up of mono-unsaturated fats and possesses a uniquely high concentration of omega 3 fatty acids. We need omega 3’s in food to assist in immune resistance, vision, building cell membranes, blood clotting and blood pressure as well as protection against heart disease, arthritis, depression, Alzheimer, high blood pressure as well as having anti-carcinogenic properties.
And this beef contains a much higher proportion of these desirable mono-unsaturated fats than any other beef. That’s why it’s so good for you (and tastes so damn divine).
So, if it’s the fat in the steak that is actually what makes it so tender, and so tastey, and so healthy, how can I get more of it without having to increase my protein quota per serving? Well, you get your hands on some of that delish fat and you render it (which is a posh way of saying you melt it into a jar) into a spreadable, scoopable, and yes, lickable beef tallow used for healthy frying and cooking.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

(Pssssst... I have found a super deli based in Newlands, Cape Town,  where you can, in fact, buy beautiful grass fed beef fat just for this purpose. Check out Gogo's Deli, I spoke to Dedire, and she confirmed that if you ask for it, she can get it for you! This is the real deal people!

And, although I pondered whether to keep my friend and her Wagyu all to myself, I realised it would be jolly nice of me to share and spread the fat, um, I mean, the lurve... and because she is just so darn lovely, she's happy for you to buy directly from her offices. Oh, and tell her Nourishing Nibbles sent you... 
You can reach Blake's Fine Foods HERE. You're welcome.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~


**Vegans, Vegetarians and the Squeamish, look away now... this is not for nancy's...
I know this is not attractive, but just think of the possibilities...
A 1kg chunk of this amazing fat rendered almost two litres of the liquid stuff. I poured some into a little jar for use this week, and the rest into ice cube trays and froze it into single serving chunks for future.
So when I need to fry up some onions or cauli-rice, or chops, or a fried egg, I just pop one of these bad-boy-blocks out the freezer and into my pan... voila! Healthy, delicious and bursting with incredible flavour.
Here’s how:

Tip: Once you have managed to buy some of the good stuff from your local butcher, store it in the fridge until you are ready to get at it, otherwise it can go rancid.
Start by chopping up the fat into blocks roughly the size of ice blocks. This will make the melting go quicker.

 
Place fat chunks  into your large stock-pot and turn heat onto a gentle medium-to-low heat and allow the melting to begin, lid off [This could also be done in a slow cooker or even in the oven].
That’s it. Nothing else added. It might need a stir in the beginning after 10 minutes or so, in case it wants to stick to the bottom.  You can see the ‘oil’ start releasing very soon and the pieces of fat getting smaller and crispier.

After 30 minutes
Once the pieces are small and crunchy looking and the oil is starting to get darker turn off the heat and allow to cool.

Almost done
*This oil will be insanely hot so please be careful around pets and children.
Now we want to strain out the crunchy bits and decant into jars or ice trays and eventually refridgerate and/or freeze. A leeeeeetle patience is required, you cannot pour hot oil into cold jars, plastic colanders or anything else that doesn’t like quick heat. [It will, however, solidify at room temperature, so don’t leave to cool for too long, it should still be a pouring consistency].
Place your colander/pasta strainer over a large bowl and a clean tea towel or muslin cloth in your colander.  Pour the cooled, liquid gold oil through the cloth and colander to strain. I let it cool for a little longer until I was able to squeeze the cloth and get every last drop. But this is messy on your hands so use gloves, or skip this step, I just wanted every... last... drop.
Now you can pour into a jug and decant elegantly into (clean and dry) glass jars, or silicone ice trays for convenient single size servings.


If you are using a large jar, the fat does solidify in the fridge and can be slightly hard to scoop out. It should be fine to keep it on your counter at room temperature for a few days, or in the fridge overnight and on counter to soften during the day. Otherwise, I suggest decanting into smaller jars, keeping one on your counter to last the week and the rest in the fridge. If your jar was clean and dry (not too much to ask?) your tallow could last a year in the fridge...bonus.

 
The crunchy crumbly bits left in your muslin cloth can be snacked on like crackling, if you are wicked like me, otherwise discard them.

 
This is a really cost effective excercise as it is so much cheeper than frying everything in butter or coconut oil, which I now only use for 'pimping' my Butter & Egg CoffeeChai Tea and similarly, hot chocolate. And my other expensive Olive Oil is now only for drizzling over my salad and veges, oh and making my 30-Second Mayonnaise. Now there is absolutely no reason to use toxic seed oils like canola or sunflower anymore.
Now go, my little Martha Stewarts, go and make your Great Granny’s proud and render your own healthy tallow!
Let me know how it goes...
Much Love, Gratitude and Happy Nibbling

xox

Friday, 20 June 2014

Beautiful Birthday Cupcakes in Vanilla and Chocolate (Gluten+Grain+Sugar Free)


Grain + Gluten + Sugar Free with Dairy Free cake option.

You’ve pestered and pestered (and yes, I reveled in the suspense) but now, my eager friends, it’s time... Time to put you out of your misery, and introduce pure delight. Delightful deliciousness and delectable decadence in every bite.



I bring you my Best in Show: My Two’s Birthday Cupcakes with creamy butter cream frosting (in Vanilla and, of course, a chocolate version when you absolutely just have to).

I have made these now on three separate occasions, all within this month (yes, I really liked these and found any excuse to retest the recipe) and each time Ive tried something different - actually the last time I accidentally doubled the liquid quantity, then had to throw in some more ‘flour’ and held thumbs - and guess what? They came out great! - A very forgiving recipe - just how I like it!


My inspiration came from THIS recipe, although I have used a different (favourite) icing. I wanted a batch of cupcakes that didn’t require buckets of almond flour. This one uses coconut flour alone. It’s more cost effective as a little goes a very long way, and coconut flour is lighter and softer, perfect for cakes and other soft baked nibbles.

About the Recipe:

Moist, slightly dense, insanely fulfilling and not too sweet. The frosting is by nature sweet (Xylitol) so you get to control how much frosting you want on your cake. I use a generous amount when serving non-lowcarbers as they generally have a sweeter tooth. Taste as you go, you decide.



INGREDIENTS
  • ½ Cup Cream, or Coconut Cream
  • ½ Cup Warm Water
  • ½ Cup Butter, or Coconut Oil
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract, or seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
  • ½ tsp Stevia Liquid

  • 7 Eggs, Large

  • 1 Cup Coconut Flour
  • ¾ Cup Xylitol (or bulk sugar according to your tolerance)
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • For Chocolate Cupcake: 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Cocoa Powder PLUS 1 tsp instant coffee granules

EQUIPMENT

I Stick/Immersion Blender, or egg beaters, or even a whisk will work

METHOD


  • Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius
  • Line your muffin tray with 12 pretty cupcake paper cases

(You can stretch this recipe to about 16 cakes by making them slightly smaller and baking them for about 5 minutes less)

  • Pour all the liquid ingredients into a large jug.

  • Mix lightly with a whisk until butter or oil is melted.
  • Add your eggs to your large jug and mix (I use my stick blender and pulse once or twice)
  • In a large bowl sift all the dry ingredients together to ensure no lumps.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients bowl and using your stick blender, or whisk, mix until batter is completely incorporated and lump free.


If you find your batter it too dry, you can add some more warm water to loosen slightly (scant ¼ cup or so).

Scoop 1½ to 2 ice-cream scoops of batter into each paper casing (depending on how many you want - my kids cant finish a whole one when using a double scoop so I now make smaller ones for them, and beeeg ones for me! - just remember to adjust the cooking times accordingly). Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon.


Double Scoop
Flattened with the back of a spoon

Bang into the oven for approx 25 minutes. Test with a skewer (or tooth pick), if it comes out clean and the tops are nicely done, you’re ready to go.







I leave them to cool in the pan; they are too soft to handle hot.



ICING ON THE CAKE



  • 60ml Butter, softened to room temp (but not melted)
  • 227g Cream Cheese, full fat, softened to room temp
  • ¾ C Xylitol, whizzed finely in your coffee grinder (like castor sugar)
  • ¼ tsp Stevia liquid
  • Dash of your best vanilla



Chocolate frosting option, add the following:


  • 1 Tbsp heaped Cocoa Powder (or more according to taste)
  • 50g Dark Chocolate 85% cocoa solids
  • 2 Tbsp Peanut Butter (optional - but delicious, adds a salted caramel flavour)




For a Dairy Free Icing: Pipe some of my delicious Coconut Cream Mousse as an amazing alternative (in fact, next time I'm doing that - its easier and quicker!)
  • Whip or beat your softened butter and cream cheese, vanilla and Stevia together until light and fluffy.
  • Add fine sugar in two or three batches, whipping each time, until incorporated.
  • Taste - try not to eat the whole bowl with a spoon.



For chocolate version: 


  • Melt chocolate and peanut butter gently in bowl in microwave in 20 second increments, stirring after each increment.
  • Add cocoa to melted chocolate and stir gently.
  • Add the chocolate mixture to the cream cheese and mix until incorporated.
  • Taste again… it’s divine, I know!




  • Place whipped mixture into a piping bag with a large star nozzle and pipe your lovely mixture onto your cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with sprinkles to match your colour theme.

You can now feel very accomplished and proud of yourself…and your kids will love you forever (or, at least until the cupcakes run out!)


Thursday, 29 May 2014

I Pimped my CHAI - Nourishingly Warm and Creamy Chai Tea



Sugar Free + LCHF (With a Dairy Free Option)

It’s cold outside… nay… Its freakin’ freezing outside (well by Cape Town standards anyway) and I want warm stuff - on me, around me and definitely IN me!

Enter: my warming and very creamy, dreamy Chai Tea.



I’ve never really been one for flavoured or herbal teas. I like Rooibos tea, served black, and that’s it. And I drink loads of hot water with fresh lemon, and sometimes a sliver of ginger in, too. Oh, and of course, the best coffee I can afford made ‘My Way’: creamed with an egg and butter. You remember? It’s the ONLY way I make it now, no milk needed.

But then last week, I was out with a friend, and I smelt it… the aroma wafted alluringly my way, and I almost dunked my entire nose in my dear friend’s steaming mug of milky spice. It was love at first waft. She let me have a sip… well, the flavours and scents of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and cardamom made me feel positively drunk. Masala Intoxication! How divine. I wanna BATH in this stuff!


I went straight out and bought a box of Chai Tea flavoured with vanilla (I’m going to try the Rooibos one next). This was going to be my new comforting, bed time, winter tea… and guess what? I can make it EVEN BETTER, and more NOURISHING!

Yep, here’s how I pimped my Chai…


INGREDIENTS
  • 1 Chai Teabag (I chose Vanilla flavour)
  • Sweetener of your choice, to taste (I use Stevia drops, about 20)
  • 1 Egg (Organic is preferable)
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp Butter (Grass fed is preferable), or Coconut Oil - for Dairy Free Option
  • Sprinkle of Cayenne (or your favourite spice) for garnish
  • Freshly boiled water
EQUIPMENT
  • Kettle and mini teapot, or little milk jug
  • Handheld Immersion Blender or, free standing blender
  • Mug, cup or jug wide enough for Immersion blender to fit


METHOD
  • Fill your kettle with fresh water and bring to the boil
  • Pop a teabag in your mini teapot or pouring milk jug
  • Once kettle has boiled pour over teabag and allow to steep for a few minutes

  • Meanwhile, in your large drinking mug, crack the egg, add dollop of butter and sweetener, if using.
  • Stick your immersion blender into the drinking mug and start whizzing.
  • Pour a little of the boiling water in to help melt butter and start emulsifying the mixture.
  • Remove blender.
  • Now top up your 'creamy' blend with the brewed Chai.
  

  • Or, simply throw the brewed tea, egg, butter and sweetener in a blender and whizz till frothy.
  • Sprinkle with spice.


  • Inhale (this is important), savour the aroma slowly… Love. is. in. the. air!
  • Now drink! 

Ouch! I feel a song coming on...
"My Chai... is superfly... in the sky... like apple pie… da da da dum dum dum deee daaa..."


Much Love and Gratitude and Happy Nibbling

xox

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Gentle NUTTY ‘BRAN’ MUFFINS with COURGETTE & CINNAMON

Grain + Gluten + Sugar + Dairy Free... and Gentle, too

When baking, I often think of my ‘old ways’ of eating. How much it’s changed and evolved. I started about 10 years ago playing with the idea of going wheat free. I went to an iridologist and he said I was too acidic and should look at eating differently. Fast forward to a year ago, a well-meaning surgeon telling me he thinks it could be Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and here’s your doggy-bag of medication to take…indefinitely! The rebel in me said (hands firmly on hips and one eyebrow lifted) “I don’t think so, bye bye now!”

I now eat beautiful God-made food that is Grain, Gluten, and Sugar Free, and sometimes Dairy Free too.

I still bake up a storm and mess up my kitchen on almost a daily basis, only difference is now my ingredients have changed. I’ve realized on this journey to cleaner eating how important one’s state-of-mind is. It is better to let go of the old.  You know this? Yes, I know this. But we need to put it into practice. Learning new things, adapting and growing into the new is what life is about. It can be difficult and painful, sometimes, to accept that you might never sink your teeth into a slow-baked rice pudding ever again. The cinnamon aroma reminds you of your childhood or, maybe that was your go-to food at the end of a long and emotional day. It was mine.

For some, cold turkey is the only way to go. Cutting out all ‘banned’ foods and starting fresh. For others, like me, we go a little more gently, looking for ways to adapt old recipes and morph them into ‘The New’. Now, another year down the line, I find my tastes have changed; my cravings have all but dissipated. I don’t feel so desperate anymore. This WOE is very fulfilling and sustainable. I haven’t tried to replace my emotionally charged rice pudding with something ‘allowed’, because I realized…I witnessed... I was hungry for something else that wasn’t food at all.


I still enjoy sweet things (just have a look at my list of recipes as proof of that)… isn’t that why we have taste buds especially designed to taste sweetness? So, now I choose a sweetener that tickles those little buds without wrecking havoc with my insulin levels and brain chemistry.

I’ve reached a place where I don’t feel deprived because I ‘cant’ have dessert at the restaurant, or ‘cant’ have my eggs on a croissant anymore. My choices come from a completely different place. It’s more like, “Jeez I don’t want to put that crap in my body anymore. It is not even an option”. And somehow it never tastes as good as you remembered, anyway. This is me making an empowered choice, not a begrudging one. Zero deprivation... because, lets be honest, I also have fatbombes and Lindt Chocolate at home in the fridge if I really feel like a little something sweet. Problem SOLVED. If I want it, I can have it, I'm now just choosier about what I put in my mouth.


Sometimes we crave a little bit of the old stuff (muffin, cake, pastry…fill in your 'Achilles Heal' here) in our ‘new-adventurous-world-of-sugar-grain-gluten-everything-free’, and that’s OK. In fact, THAT’S the point. You Are OK! What’s not OK is beating yourself up for eating ‘2g carbs over your limit’, or because you ‘shouldn’t’ crave something, or because you don’t like the way your body looks in the mirror. It’s NEVER OK to scold or use condescending and humiliating words with yourself, whether it’s consciously or unconsciously. Be gentle with yourself. You wouldn’t say those things to your best friend, or your daughter for that matter, the way you speak to yourself, would you? 

“Less criticism and more gentleness, and learning to love our selves wholly and completely - warts [especially the warts, and cellulite, and stretch marks, they need it the most] and all!” That’s the legacy I want to leave behind.

Be fully present to your thoughts as often as you can. Be the witness to your inner voice and worst critic. If you can ‘hear’ that voice quietly scolding the wobbly bits on your inner thighs, then BINGO, you can stop it! Say out loud, “oh, stop it! You’re lovely and wonderful! You Are OK! Now find something nice to say!” …it’s not being vain to complement yourself, its being loving. It’s being gentle. And slow, deep breathing will always bring you back to the present. You can change your perspective, your thoughts. It’s a powerful tool.



My favourite muffin in 'my old life' used to be Date and Nut. And for some reason I always thought this was the healthy option… Whaaaait? I know, I was uninformed back then. Today, the only part of that muffin I would eat is the butter I slather on, and the nuts I pull out. I choose to not use dates anymore either, they are still "Way Too High on the GI" (sounds like a song:) for me, but if you are not counting your carbs too hectically, or for your littlies, raisins here would rock, giving it a true ‘bran’ muffin vibe.

Try these gentle-on-my-mind muffins. They may remind you of your ‘old life’, and put a smile on your face. Or, they may represent how lovely your new way of eating / life now is? Either way, you’re looking for (and will find) The Happy in it, every time.

...Great for lunch boxes, breakfast or afternoon snack time with some warm Chai Tea. Hmmmmm... 

INGREDIENTS
Muffin Batter: 

½ Cup Almond flour
½ Cup Flax flour
3 Tbsp Coconut flour
1 medium size Courgette grated finely (about ¾ Cup worth)  
3 Eggs, beaten
3 Tbsp Xylitol
1 tsp Stevia drops
2 Tbsp Cinnamon
¼ Cup Coconut oil or butter
½ tsp Baking soda

Caramelised nutty topping:

¼ Cup whole almonds (or nut of your choice) chopped into smaller nibs
1 Tbsp Xylitol sugar granules
1 Tbsp Butter
If you are strapped for time, you could chop some roasted, salty nuts, and incorporate them into the muffin mix - which is nice too - the crunch is great.

METHOD

Heat oven to 175 degrees C
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. And wet ingredients in a smaller jug.


Now grate your courgette on the very fine setting. 

Hint: If this is for a fussy little one, 
then peel it first so there will be no visible green flecks in the batter.

Throw everything together, displaying reckless abandon and furious passion, in the big bowl and mix till incorporated.


Prepare muffin tin with liners and using a medium ice-cream scooper, spoon mixture in even mounds into paper cases. You should get about 12 muffins. The batter is quite stiff.


Now add your chopped nuts, butter and sugar to a small pan to caramelize - don’t take your pretty little eyes off them. They go from raw to burnt way too quickly.


Spoon little mounds of caramelized nuts on to each muffin before placing into the oven.

Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until done


Allow to cool a little, cut open and slather with butter.  

Divine! Delicious! Devour! (currently my three favourite words)

Much love and gratitude to you...

And Happy nibbling

xox

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

‘No-Pea’ Green Soup with Spicy Chorizo and Feta! Mmmmmmh...



So its getting colder here… and in my household that means two things: 

  • Mommy wants her electric blanket, and... 
  • Mommy’s Cooking Soup for Supper! Yay! (I can actually hear my Six groan as I type this). I think, with my kids, it’s a texture thing? They don’t like anything soupy, mashed or too saucy (yes, I feel sorry for me too...) But that’s okay because, if its for-my-mouth-only, it allows me to be a bit more daring with my flavours and spices. Oooh, how exciting, I get to be daring with my broccoli soup? (I really need to work on my salcasm, I know).


But, seriously, this soup is actually quite mild in flavour so don’t ‘chicken-out’ when it comes to adding the cayenne pepper or the spicy sausage. It needs the saltiness and different layers of heat to pack a punch. If, by some lucky chance, your kiddies like eating soup, but don’t want it too spicy, then keep the cayenne pepper for soft warmth, and replace the sausage with smoked bacon, or ham, or even diced, left over chicken pieces, instead.

And you wont even miss the croutons of your old, wheat-eating life, because the different textures of the sausage and feta add a lovely crunch and ‘chew’ all on their own. Trust me.

Serves 2 large or 4 small bowls

INGREDIENTS

  • A knob of Butter and a splosh of Olive Oil, for frying
  • 1 Chorizo sausage (or six strips of streaky bacon for a milder, kiddy version - or cooked chicken breast or ham) chopped into small pieces
  • 2 Leeks, wash thoroughly and chopped
  • 1 head of Broccoli, broken up into florets
  • 750ml - 1 litre of good Chicken Stock
  • Himalayan Salt and White Pepper to taste
  • ¼ - ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ Cup grated Parmesan (or strong, mature Cheddar)
  • A bunch of fresh Parsley, roughly chopped
  • Big handful of washed, Baby Spinach, roughly chopped

 TO SERVE

  •  A dollop of Cream or Cream Cheese or Milk or Coconut Milk to thin
  • A crumbling of Feta

 EQUIPMENT

  •  Medium sized heavy saucepan
  • Immersion blender OR blender

 METHOD
  • Place your knob of butter and splosh of oil in your heavy saucepan, over medium heat. Note: if using Chorizo, you will need much less butter/oil than if frying bacon as the sausage has loads of delicious flavourful fat.
  • Gently fry your spicy sausage pieces, or bacon, till crisp, remove and set aside.



  • In same pan, with remaining sausage/bacon fat, fry onion till translucent and softened.
  • Add broccoli, stock and seasoning and simmer, covered, for about 5 - 10 minutes until broccoli is soft and tender.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add egg, cheeses, cream, parsley and baby spinach and blitz in your blender (you might need to do this in stages) or straight in the pot with your clever little immersion stick blender, until smooth and creamy.


  • You may wish to loosen it with a little more cream or stock, depending on how thick/creamy you like it.
  • Taste test. Check seasoning.
  • Plate up your soup into warmed bowls and garnish with sausage meat and crumbled feta.





Voila. Spicy soup to warm you up, for when your electric blanket is just not enough!

Much love, gratitude and happy nibbling

xox

Monday, 19 May 2014

Thick Chocolate Cloud Mousse (Immediately!)


Gluten + Grain+ Dairy + Sugar + Egg Free

Its eight o’clock at night. The kids are snoring. You’re getting ready to settle down for your highly anticipated grown-up hour of … (fill in the blank), but something is missing... Could it be Chocolate Mousse? If you are me, the answer is a resounding “Hell Yes Please Now!”

This recipe takes exactly five minutes from conception of said idea, to first-spoon-in-the-mouth. Yes, you heard me right - FIVE MINUTES people! No, heating, melting, folding or setting time needed. Just a bowl and a whisk!

This marvelous dessert is whipped coconut cream. Yep. It's that simple. Go buy a couple of tins (read the labels, as some add sugars and other nasties - in fact I'm going to be making my own from now own…watch this space for the how-to soon) and store them in the fridge. This allows the cream to separate from the ‘water’ and thicken up, ready for use at a (desperate) moments notice. Just make sure you are not buying “Lite”, it wont work, and anyway, its horrid. Also note that different brands yield different thickness, and quantities of cream. 


This particular tin was very thick, and practically the entire can solidified - which is great because it meant that it made a whopping load of mousse - and that's good value for money.

Now you’re ready to go. Grab some good raw Cacao powder, Sweetener of your choice, add some good Vanilla Extract and/or organic Coffee* (I add both, it brings out the chocolate), whip it up and gobble it down!

*Minus the coffee - or use decaf - if you’re giving it to your kiddies. Both my Six and Two devoured it, and this is rare as they are annoyingly fussy. [... p.s. I was going to put a little smiley face here, but then I remembered, it really is just annoying having fussy eaters, isn't it?]

Aaaaaaanyway… lets get back to indulging ourselves, shall we? 

Here we go...

INGREDIENTS


  • 1 x Tin Coconut Cream (that has been stored in the fridge, at least for a few hours, and is very cold)
  • 2, 3 or 4 Tbsp Raw Cacao (I don’t measure, I just add until I'm happy with colour and flavour)
  • Sweeteners of your choice to taste (This is so subjective. I find my taste buds changing and I'm using less and less sweeteners to achieve what I call ‘sweet’. So if I put in a few drops of Stevia, this might not be enough for you, or my kiddies, so I add a teaspoon or two of powdered Xylitol as well, to taste, if I decide to share with them. Go ahead and taste as you go, I will not judge you as you lick, lick, lick your way through the bowl).
  • 1 tsp good Vanilla Extract or Coffee Extract or freeze dried instant Organic Coffee Granules (I usually add a dash of vanilla and a scoop of instant coffee. They both work beautifully to INTENSIFY the chocolaty flavour. If you want a more Mocha flavour, then by all means, add more coffee, you daredevil you.

TO SERVE

Some sprinkle nuts (flaked or nibbed almonds, or chopped hazelnuts are good too) lightly toasted (try not to burn them like I almost did)

[As you can see I did not wait for my nuts to cool... A lesson in patience? Nah!]

EQUIPMENT

A medium bowl (if you want a two tone mousse like mine then you need two bowls)
A whisk and a warmed-up bicep (don’t worry its really not that hard - I'm too lazy to pull out my mixer most times)

 METHOD


  • Firstly, open your can of coconut cream (don't shake the can) and scoop out only the thick, creamy stuff on top. Discard the watery stuff at the bottom UNLESS your cream is thick like mine was, then you could add a tablespoon of the water to loosen it slightly.
  • Start whisking for a minute or two to lighten the mousse and make it nice and silky. It will thicken up magically just like whipping cream 'from the cow'!
  • Add your Vanilla Extract and sweeteners to taste, and mix.
  • Scoop out about a 1/3 of the cream into a second small bowl and set aside. This is essentially your whipped cream topping.
  • Now add your cocoa and coffee to your first bowl. Whisk away till incorporated. 
  • Finger Taste Test. This is crucial. All good cooks do it. Does it need more sweetness? More Cacao? You decide, be bold, be brave.
  • Now serve a big dollop of chocolate mousse in a pretty bowl and top with a dollop of the whipped ‘cream’ and sprinkle with nuts, or shaved chocolate, or dusted cacao powder or nothing at all. It's lovely as is.


IF there is any left over, it can be stored in the fridge, waiting patiently, until the next emergency arises.



AND SOME MORE IDEAS  
(just because you can) 
  • This mousse also serves well as a topping or icing for my Nutty Choc-chip Cappuccino Cup Cake. Heavenly. It does melt though if heated, which is also a good thing, but if you want it to hold its shape then ice only once cakes have cooled to room temperature.
  • You could also stir through some thick and crunchy Almond Butter for a yummy, nutty twist.
  • Or layer it, in a pretty glass, atop some crumbled chocolate cake, and some fresh berries. A super decadent and snazzy dessert to serve to guests, and easily prepared in advance. 

Now you have the basics, go wild with it, and let me know how you like it.

Oh, and you’re Welcome.

Much Love and Gratitude and Happy Nibbling!

xox