¡viva genevieve!

Embracing change through travel and culinary discovery

Archive for the tag “Dessert”

Little Seeds of Goodness

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine came to me with a small and humble packet of little helpers bursting with trendy super food goodness and asked me “what the hell do I do with these?”. Her sister had apparently told her that she should start eating chia seeds because they are good for her and she needs to take better care of herself. I myself have used chia seeds in the past mainly for desserts and to add to smoothies and I am vaguely aware of their rising super star status in the world of healthy super foods. I like the idea of trying to incorporate some health foods here and there in to my normally balanced diet and I like the idea of antioxidants and omega 3s of which chia seeds harbor many in their tiny little bodies. And I actually enjoy the gelatinous texture they take on when they expand their chia colonies when submerged in liquid. So I really do enjoy the unassuming little chia seed, I don’t however enjoy the price tag, but a small packet does actually go quite a long way when used as a health boost to another recipe or a super sprinkle on a smoothie. So what to do with my friend’s chia seeds……

At this point in time I was going through a biscuit phase, or a cookie phase if I was living in America. So I put the chia to use in an oaty biscuit recipe where it actually works really well to bind all of the ingredients together. Of course I was also going through a chocolatey dessert phase, a phase I seem to have been stuck in for the last 20 years, so I made us some chia dessert cups which I love because the texture is so unique, almost like chocolate mousse but not. And the best thing about this dessert is it also seems like a viable breakfast option which is always a plus! So with chia as my kitchen sidekick I put together Spiced Chia Oaty Biscuits and Chia Choc Banana pudding cups and we were chia cheerful!

SPICED CHIA OATY BISCUITS

2 Mature mashed bananas
3/4 C Oats
1-2 T Chia seeds
1/4 C Milk
1/4 C Desiccated coconut
1/4 C raisins
1 T Butter (melted) or Coconut oil
1 T honey
1 heaped teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 C crushed nuts (optional)

1. Mix the chia seeds with the milk in a cup and let sit for 5-10 minutes until the chia have
worked their magic and created a gel consistency.

2. Mash the bananas and add all ingredients in to a bowl and mix together, add the chia seeds
once they have expanded. the mixture should be quite wet but it should roll in to a ball.

3. Roll about balls of the mixture in to biscuit size and put on a lined baking tray and flatten
the tops slightly to better resemble a biscuit.

4. Bake for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees until slightly golden. They won’t brown up like
normal biscuits but a sprinkling of gold is a good indication. Let sit to cool and enjoy a
healthy bikkie with your cup of tea!

* Makes about 12 biscuits*

CHIA CHOC BANANA PUDDING CUPS

1 Mature Banana
1/2 C Milk
1/4 C Chia seeds
1 T Cocoa
1 T Honey
Desiccated coconut to sprinkle

1. Mash the banana and mix in the cocoa and honey until the cocoa is completely combined and the
mixture is smooth.

2. In a bowl mix the chia seeds and the milk with the banana mixture until the chia seeds are
distributed evenly through the mixture. Pour in to small glasses and top with coconut.

3. Refrigerate until set. I like to make this in the morning so I have dessert waiting for me
that evening, this is so easy. Dessert in less than 5 minutes? Can’t complain with that!

* Makes 2 serves*

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Back Where I Belong

As I watch my deliciously golden mixture bubble away on the stove stop I hum to myself that tune by some rapper whose name I cant remember but whose song contains the words that express how I’m feeling at this moment, “ back where I belong, something about being strong, there’s nothing that I cant tryyyy, so put your hands in the skkkkyyy” (along those lines anyway) After being on the road for a good 3-4 months I have finally been able to get back in the kitchen. Where I belong (and no I’m not saying that just because I am a woman). One of the things that makes me happiest in this world apart from travelling, apart from working out to tunes by Beyonce and apart from eating (just eating in general) is cooking.

Since I have been staying in Sevilla in a real house I have been able to get a little creative again in the kitchen. There’s just one problem. This real house, it has no oven. What??! I know who doesn’t have an oven?! I was so shocked to discover this fact that I almost just turned right around, walked out the door and hopped on the next bus out of there. But what I realised is that it just means I have to be more creative. A challenge. So when I attended my first couch surfing cooking meeting I was racking my brains with what to make, I wanted to make the obvious and always moreish NZ (not Australian ☺) dessert, Pavlova, but I didn’t have an oven! So with a little help from my Grandad’s recipe and a little kiwi influence I came up with this velvety hokey pokey chocolate slice.

My Grandad uses ginger and apricots in his version and I always remember loving devouring this sweet delight whenever we visited him. His recipe uses sweetened condensed milk, something else I have fond memories about. I remember loving when my Mum would make her caramel slice because I would get to lick the spoon after she had used the sweetened condensed milk. I had a really bad realisaton making this slice as it dawned on me that I am in fact an adult now and if I want to eat sweetened condensed milk straight from the can then I can sure as hell do it and no one can stop me! Unfortunately I have now had to ban myself from buying sweetened condensed milk, add to that list Nutella as I had the same realisation the week before about this, my all time favourite flavor combination, and needless to stay the jar didn’t last long!

So with my slice I decided that I needed to incorporate a little kiwi in to it as it would be my dessert for the International couch surfing dinner, I thought hokey pokey would make a great addition to this slice because I’ve never met a person who doesn’t love hokey pokey! This recipe is great as you can add almost anything you like and it’s so simple. And the best thing, I didn’t need to use an oven! So the recipe…….

Velvety Chocolate and Almond Hokey Pokey Slice

Start with the Hokey Pokey

IMG_4041

50gms Sugar
2 Tablespoons Golden Syrup or Honey (I used honey as Golden Syrup doesn’t exist in Spain, it has a slightly different flavor but is still just as tasty)
1 Teaspoon Baking soda

1. Lightly mix the sugar and the honey together in a pot and boil over a medium heat on the stove. DO NOT stir once the mixture is on the stove top.
2. Let the mixture boil for about 5 minutes or so, the important thing is to watch it carefully and watch for a change in colour. You want the whole mixture to darken in colour to a nice golden brown.
3. When the mixture has darkened, the bubbles are bubbling and it looks as though it’s close to burning, remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the baking soda.
4. The mixture will foam and double in size and you can then pour the mixture quickly on to a piece of baking paper. Let sit until it has cooled.

*If the Hokey Pokey is chewy and sticky then it wasn’t hot enough when you added the baking soda, next time it needs to be left longer to bubble.
** This makes a small batch, double the quantities if you would like to have some left overs!

Chocolate Slice

200gms Best quality dark chocolate (This is important, I have tried it with cheap milk chocolate and the flavor just isn’t as good)
½ C sweetened condensed milk
50 gms Butter
1 portion of crushed Hokey Pokey
¾ C Chopped almonds
¾ C Dried cranberries

1. Melt the chocolate, sweetened condensed milk and butter over a low heat and let your mouth drool at the sight of this delightful mixture!
2. Crush your pre-prepared hokey pokey (which should have beautiful fluffy air bubbles throughout it) into small pieces with your hands or a blunt kitchen object.
3. Add hokey pokey, almonds and cranberries to the chocolate mixture and pour in to a small tin lined with baking paper. I used a loaf tin but you can use a cake tin if you prefer. Cover and put in the fridge to set. And there you have chocolate hokey pokey perfection!
4. Cut in to slices and enjoy straight from the fridge.

I love how simple this recipe is, it’s rich so you don’t need a lot. This recipe makes a small batch to enjoy as dessert or with coffee.

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