Here’s hoping you all get LOTS of GREAT quality chocolate eggs this Easter…
Paris is always a good idea. (Audrey Hepburn)
Bonjour TSL readers! A wee post from not-so-sunny Paris where LM and I are enjoying our last couple of days before crossing the channel…
1. Raspberries are so much better here than at home. I have been scoffing them at a rate of knots. I can’t express how much I love them. Seriously yummy!
2. Despite not speaking any French (beyond the extreme basics), LM has mastered the art of Gallic posturing and shoulder shrugs. He’s a natural. Who would’ve thunk it? Quite endearing, really.
3. Sydney would be a better city with a Metro like the one in Paris. No question.
4. Sometimes, (like today) I wish you could pick a new pair of feet when it feels like you have worn your old ones out. All this walking wears a girl out!
…and, some happy snaps as promised. I am not known for my photography skills, and more often than not forget to take pictures (its hereditary) so, apologies in advance!:
Do hope you are all well at your end. I shall try and pop in again from London.
Compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming substance
If you haven’t heard, there’s a bit of food realignment going on in TSL-world. I won’t bore you with the details but the upshot is dairy is gone (with the exception of a little butter), processed foods are pretty much all gone, our vegetable and leafy greens intake is h u m o n g o u s, and we’re eating as organically as possible*.
What hasn’t changed is LM’s sweet tooth nor his love of chocolate. Given the dairy embargo, I reckon a little chocolate treat is almost a requirement here at Casa TSL. I have posted already about the wonder that is Conscious Chocolate - the best-est, healthiest chocolate out there (IMHO). And now I bring you Addiction Food and their Coconut & Orange Dark Truffle – a decadent ‘special occasion’ truffle made with Callebaut Chocolate, toasted coconut with a hint of orange that is also dairy free, egg free and gluten-free… (sigh).
It is seriously yummy AND David Jones food hall now conveniently stocks them – which means that when I ask LM to pop into DJs for some salmon, he has to walk right past all the Addiction Food Bliss Balls, Choca Goji Rocks My Worlds, Superfood Powerballs AND Coconut & Orange Dark Chocolate Truffles. I believe we have already established LM’s purchasing prowess. Needless to say, I think it’s time I look for a Coconut & Orange Dark Chocolate Truffle alternative…
And, before a girl can gobble down another Coconut & Orange Dark Chocolate Truffle, up pops option #1. Discovered on terawarner.com, I think I shall have to give these yummy looking morsels by Joanne Newell a wee try. I shall let LM judge their success.
Orange-Chocolate Bliss Balls
Makes 20 balls
1 cup almonds
½ cup cashews
4 Medjool dates
1 cup raisins (sultanas)
1 orange, rinsed & dried
¼ cup cacao powder (or carob powder)
¼ cup desiccated coconut, for the mixture
½ cup desiccated coconut, for rolling
1. Place all nuts into a food processor. Process until they look like a fine powder (a bit like breadcrumbs – this will take at least 20 seconds).
2. Chop the dates in half and remove the pit.
3. Add the raisins (sultanas) and chopped dates to the food processor.
4. Finely grate the orange’s zest. Put the zest into the food processor.
5. Juice the orange and add the juice to the food processor.
5. Add the cacao powder and coconut to the food processor, and process the mixture until it is like a thick, sticky dough. If the mix is a bit stiff, add a few drops of water.
6. Wet your hands, and pull off a small chunk of the mixture (about a tablespoon). Roll it into a ball. Then roll the ball in coconut. Continue until all the mixture is gone. Chill the balls for at least 1 hour.
7. Eat ‘em up!
If you’d like to learn more about the yummy goodies offered by Addiction Food, you can check out their website here.
*By we, I mean LM and me – the teenager’s diet isn’t as restricted although I am forcing the veggies on him, poor poppet.
I don’t believe in low-fat cooking. (Nigella Lawson
So, for those of you who didn’t know, last week I was up at the Gwynganna Health Retreat on a gluten-free, dairy-free, red meat-free, sugar-free, caffeine-free, alcohol-free 7-day detox programme. Sound a little grim? It wasn’t. It was fantastic and I loved almost all of it**. Truly.
Don’t panic – I’m not planning on boring you with all the details. The thing is though – when you do a detox like that, you come back energised and determined to be healthy and stay in this semi zen-like state you worked so hard to achieve. For me, that’s just a little harder than it sounds.
Case in point – Wednesday was LM’s birthday. Tomorrow we have a few of our nearest and dearest coming over for a celebratory spot of afternoon tea. Being the wannabe domestic goddess that I am, I can’t let the occasion pass without creating a wee tasty something for my chocoholic birthday boy, can I?
So, I went a-googling. I wanted a gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate cake. Guess what I found? Trusty Nigella, the queen of over-indulgence, almost the last person I would have expected to help me, has the most positively commented upon version of the cake I sought. As it so happens, despite having three of Nigella’s cookbooks gracing my cookbook shelf, I do not own the one from whence the recipe came…
Now, I know Nigella has her detractors. My Mum is not a fan. But – damn-it, Janet! – her recipes work. I’ve never had a dud. She’s up there with Nigel (Nigel Slater) and Delia (Delia Smith) for me as never-fail recipe providers. I just never expected her to give me a gluten AND dairy free cake recipe.
I eat healthily. It`s just that I eat enough for five healthy people. (Nigella Lawson)
So as I write this, I’m boiling oranges in preparation for making Nigella Lawson’s Flourless Chocolate Orange Cake tomorrow. Here’s the recipe, if you’d like it:
2 navel oranges (approx 375g in total)
200g almond meal
250g caster sugar
1/2 tsp bicarb
1 tsp fleur d’oranger (orange flower water), optional
1 tsp baking powder
Orange peel for decoration
1. Put the whole orange or oranges in a pan with some cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 2 hours or until soft.
2. Drain, and when cool, cut the oranges in half and remove any big pips.
3. Pulp everything – pith, peel and all – in a food processor.
4. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C Butter and line a 20cm springform tin.
5. Add the eggs, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, almonds, sugar and cocoa to the orange in the food processor. Run the motor until you have a cohesive cake mixture, but slightly knobbly with the flecks of puréed orange.
6. Pour and scrape into the cake tin and bake for an hour, by which time a cake tester should come out pretty well clean. Check after 45 minutes because you may have to cover with foil to prevent the cake burning before it is cooked through, or indeed it may need a little less than an hour; it all depends on your oven.
7. Leave the cake to get cool in the tin, on a cooling rack. When the cake is cold you can take it out of the tin. Decorate with strips of orange peel or coarsely grated zest if you so wish, but it is darkly beautiful in its plain, unadorned state.
*Can anyone tell me how Nigella gets her coloured cardigans to nip in at the waist like that? It may just keep me awake wondering! Hollywood tape?
I live with a chocoholic. Dinner is not complete without some form of sweet-something after the evening main course.
And by sweet, I mean chocolate. In a pinch, ice cream. Fruit won’t cut it (unless it’s in the form of a trifle or cheesecake or the like).
I have learned that resistance is futile. If I don’t bring home the chocolate, he will. In his defence, he never scrimps. It is always good chocolate. I have no doubt he has a mental catalogue of all the quality chocolatiers between his office and our home.
And, did I mention that I am weak? If there is chocolate in front of me, of course, I will want to eat it, too. Who doesn’t like chocolate?
So, I have made it my mission to find the best-est, healthiest chocolate out there AND I THINK I HAVE DONE IT!
Let me introduce you to Conscious Chocolate.
Conscious Chocolate’s promise is that their chocolate is:
And I can promise you, it is SERIOUSLY GOOD CHOCOLATE. In fact, it’s so good the Chocoholic reckons’ he doesn’t need to try any other chocolate. He’s found his chocolate.
You want to know something else? They deliver! For a flat fee of $5.50, the team at Conscious Chocolate will deliver anywhere in Australia. You can check it out here.
This is beginning to sound a wee bit like an ad’ (and the team at Conscious Chocolate has yet to give me any payment in the form of their yummy chocolate), so let me give you the bad news.
I’m off to walk off last nights seriously good chocolate…