Moroccan Cashews

Moroccan Cashews

• Cashews
• Sugar
• Honey
• Salt
• Cumin
• Tumeric
• Coriander
• Vegetable Powder

I kinda stole this from the ingredient list of store-bought nuts, so I don’t have a proper recipe. I used a teaspoon of sugar and honey with maybe half a teaspoon of each other ingredient, for about two cups of cashews.

I tossed the cashews in a frying pan on medium heat with the sugar and honey until the sugar dissolved. I then combined the other ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkled them over the nuts. I kept frying for another couple of minutes on medium heat, then let the cashews cool on baking paper.

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Date and Cashew Caramel Slice

Date and Cashew Caramel Slice

My mum sent me this recipe from Nadia Lim’s blog, and I absolutely love it. It’s gluten-free, vegan, and sugar free, and yet it tastes absolutely amazing – I brought some into work recently for a morning tea, and everyone loved it. I’m usually reluctant to promote that a recipe is sugar-free or gluten-free vegan until people have tried it, since “sugar-free”, “gluten-free” and “vegan” can often be equated in the mind with “tastes like splenda-flavoured cardboard”. Please take my word for it that this recipe is delicious – it gets plenty of caramel flavour from the dates and maple syrup – and since you know it’s healthy you can feel free to go for seconds 😀

Base:

• 1 ½ cup fine rolled oats or ground almonds
• 1 ½ cups shredded coconut
• 2 tablespoons cocoa
• 6 dates, pitted
• 1 cup raw almonds
• Pinch of salt
• 200g melted coconut oil (or butter)

Date and cashew caramel filling:

• 400g dried pitted dates
• ¾ cup boiling water
• 2 cups softened cashews (see note)
• ¼ cup maple syrup
• ½ cup melted coconut oil (or butter)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Chocolate and walnut topping:

• 150-200g good quality dark chocolate
• 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
• 1-2 tablespoons shredded coconut
• Optional: 1 teaspoon neutral flavoured oil, e.g. grape seed, walnut, hazelnut, canola, soy (this softens the chocolate so it doesn’t set too hard – do NOT use coconut oil or butter as this will make the chocolate set harder).

 

Method:

• Preheat oven to 180°C/360°F. Lightly grease and line the bottom and sides of a square baking tin (20cm x 20cm) with baking paper.
• Place oats/ground almonds, coconut, cocoa, dates, almonds and salt in a food processor and blitz to a fine, crumbly texture. Drizzle in melted coconut oil/butter and pulse until well combined.
• Press mixture into the prepared baking tin, pressing down firmly with the back of a spoon of spatula. Bake for 15 minutes.
• Make the caramel while the base cooks. Place dates and water in a medium-size pot and boil, stirring frequently, until the dates are very soft and mushed up, and all the water has evaporated. Place dates in the food processor along with the softened cashew nuts, maple syrup, coconut oil/butter and vanilla. Blitz until smooth (this will take a few minutes).
• Spread caramel over the base in the baking tin. Return to oven to bake for 10 minutes.
• Melt chocolate and mix in the oil if using. Pour melted chocolate over the filling and sprinkle walnuts and coconut over the top. Leave to cool overnight or for 3-4 hours in the fridge.
• Cut into about 25 pieces (I find it easier to cut upside down since the chocolate is the hardest layer to cut).

> To make softened cashews, either soak in water overnight, or boil in a pot of water for about 15 minutes. Drain well.
make softened cashews, either soak in water overnight, or boil in a pot of water for about 15 minutes. Drain well.

Allergy-friendly Chocolate Cheesecake

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Free of gluten, casein, corn, diary, eggs, peanuts, yeast (the list goes on!). It’s also easily made vegan (substitute appropriate sugar in place of honey) or soy-free (if you know of a good dairy- and soy-free yoghurt).

The best part? It’s still edible! (Actually really decent, if I do say so myself). The recipe was sourced from the blog Lexie’s Kitchen.

Base:

• 3 tablespoons flax seed meal (can substitute chia seed meal or ground phyllium husk)
• ¼ cup plus two tablespoons applesauce
• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon honey
• ¼ cup coconut oil, liquified

• 1 cup walnut meal flour or almond meal flour
• ½ cup coconut flour (or processed coconut)
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 ½ tablespoons cocoa

Filling:

• 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for four hours and rinsed well
• 1 cup non-dairy vanilla yoghurt (see note)
• 1/3 cup coconut oil, liquefied
• Juice of one lime
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 3 tablespoons cocoa
• Scant ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Ganache:

• 1/3 cup coconut cream
• 1/3 cup “safe” chocolate chips
• 2 tablespoons kahlua liqueur (optional)

Method:

• Mix the first six ingredients for the base in a food processor until combined, then add the remaining ingredients and process until well blended.
• Pour into a greased springform cake tin and press it into shape with your hands.
• Bake at 175°C/350°F for 12-15 minutes. Remove and let it cool for 10 minutes.
• Blend all cheesecake filling ingredients in a food processor until super smooth, scraping sides.
• Top the base with the cheesecake mixture, and transfer to freezer.
• To make the ganache, heat coconut cream over medium heat in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips and liqueur. Continue stirring until smooth.
• Remove the cheesecake from the freezer 15 minutes before serving. Top with ganache to serve.

> NB: I couldn’t find vanilla-flavoured yoghurt, so used a berry yoghurt instead. It tasted fine (berries and chocolate have always been a happy union, after all!)