Homemade Healthy Caramel Magnum Ice Cream?

Full disclosure: I did not set out to make magnum ice creams.

Instead, I set out to make a simple caramel slice, which was delicious by the way, but on this particularly warm day I decided to pop the remaining slices into the freezer.

The result was simply accidental genius. And best yet – it was ridiculously simple to make.

The moment I realised I had created homemade magnums out of just 7 ingredients (cashew, dates, water, coconut milk, vanilla extract, salt and chocolate), I was literally at a lost for words. So naturally, I substituted words for a little dance around my hall…oh, and there may have been several “WHOOP WHOOP” sounds that escaped my lips… but hey – don’t judge! A lady has to celebrate somehow! Anyhow, let’s get to making these yummy Magnums!

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The above shot is a picture of the frozen caramel ice cream before it was coated with dark chocolate. It’s the result of blitzing soaked cashews, softened dates, vanilla extract, coconut milk and a little salt, until smooth! And then I froze it in a loaf tin lined with cling wrap, and cut portions out of it with a cookie cutter. Mmm, caramelly deliciousness!

P.s. I used dried dates in this recipe and added water to them for the sake of cost and convenience! I’m sure you could use fresh medjool dates in place of these but you’re going to have to reduce the amount of (or even maybe omit) the water used in this recipe.

I’m currently working on a different recipe where I can separate out the caramel and vanilla portions so I can get that swirly duality of colours (gotta love that contrast between that butterscotch brown and creamy white!) but I’m almost glad I did them together at first because it’s just, well, a little less work – Haha! Just chuck everything into a food processor and you’re essentially good to go.

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Here are the completed magnums, each roughly the size of my palm. I got creative and attempted to recreate the ripple effect on the chocolate by allowing the initial chocolate coating to set, and then running a hair dryer over it… and voila! Ripple effect achieved! (Talk about multiple uses for household gadgets! Love!)

Anyhow, I do hope you try this recipe. It is simple to make, definitely delicious, and also much healthier* than a store-bought Magnum – SCORE! :)

*Dates do contain natural sugars but are also high in fibre and other goodies!

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Decadent Chocolate Soufflé (No butter needed)

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Can chocolate soufflé really be decadent sans butter?

For whatever reason you find yourself not eating butter – maybe you’ve run out or maybe you’re just trying to cut back on the stuff. I’m here to say yes, you still can make a damn good soufflé without butter!

Bless.

When making this recipe, I really did expect it to fail. I had gotten sick of looking for a recipe without butter, cream or milk in it and decided to wing it, making one up completely from scratch (which I wouldn’t recommend doing for a soufflé recipe by the way). Anyhow, I totally expected this one to be a deflated mess, a total flop…but for whatever reason, the soufflé gods were on my side this one time because this beauty came into existence. Call it luck, but here it is: a decadent butter-less soufflé!

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You guys – the end product was kissed with an ever so slight crispness on the edges and so incredibly moist and fluffy in the centre. It rose well and was immensely chocolatey though not too sweet, letting the quality chocolate shine for what it is – rich, silky and dark!

P.s. If you plan on making a soufflé  – any soufflé –  do make sure you can get the completed dish to your table as soon as you possibly can after you take it out of the oven. Why? Well, I learnt this one the hard way but essentially, the thing starts to deflate as soon as you take it out of the oven. You have a few short minutes to enjoy the height and thereafter, it gets shorter with every blink of the eye. So, if you’re anything like me and need to take pictures of everything you eat – you’ll have to get those pretty food pictures pretty darn quickly and get eating! Not that you’ll complain of course – warm chocolate soufflé is a heavenly experience in itself.  ;)

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Almond ricotta & kale pasta bake

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Being somewhat lactose intolerant does not suck. Here’s why.

I mean, sure – I can’t have milk or cream…but luckily for me, I amongst those who can still have firm cheese. Goodness knows, I’ve probably consumed my weight in freshly grated parmesan over the years (definitely no regrets there).

Other times, I venture into the contentious world of vegan cheese. No, not yuck; creative and delicious in its own way – if only you just gave it an honest go. Is it seriously not impressive that someone had the brilliant idea of making cheese from nuts and paved the way to happiness for many a vegan or lactose intolerant? I for one, would give that person a giant smackeroo.

Anyhow, in cases like this basil ricotta and kale pasta bake, I opted for just that. Yup – I made ricotta out of almonds… Oh, and it was hella delicious.

No, I’m not just saying that because I’m a fan of vegan cheeses. It was truly was phenomenal, creamy beyond words, and perfect with the hearty pasta, sautéed kale and sweet onions. But just in case, I tested it on my unsuspecting, meat-and-dairy-loving brother.

The verdict?

Let’s just say his reaction was to shut his eyes in what looked like to be a little moment of euphoria. So yes, I am confident in saying that this dish is the bomb diggity and I just had to share it with you!

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First things, first: Blanching and peeling the almonds. This is a step that takes about 5 minutes and is necessary if you can’t find or be bothered buying pre-packaged blanched almonds cause they’re priced ridiculously. All you do is pour some boiling water over your almonds, let it sit for about a minute to a minute and a half. Drain carefully, and then rub vigorously between your fingers and watch as those pale insides pop out of their skin.

From here, you blend it with a little water, a little nutritional yeast, a little salt. Oh, and stir in a bit of fresh basil. Voila, it’s ready for use!

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P.s. quick tip, if you want to make it in advance, just wrap it up in some cheese cloth, suspend it in a bowl (or a mug, like I have) and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.

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After a quick sauté of the veg and my pasta was cooked, I was ready to roll. I rolled each curly lasagna sheet as below, until I realise they were too high for my baking dish.

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So, I cut each sheet length ways to make shorter rolls. BEST DECISION EVER. It not only fit my baking dish better but it also filled it completely. Yay!

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Topped with a little tomato-based sauce and some pine nuts (not pictured below)…

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…then baked it in the oven for about 20 minutes!

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When it was ready, I just topped it with a few extra basil leaves and just like that, excellent noms! Some coils were even a little crispy on the edges – yum!

Guys, this is definitely my latest favourite pasta dish so do it, go on…make this dish! It’s so good – I promise you won’t regret it! :) P.s. Let me know what your favourite pasta is in the comment box below (and a link to your recipe, if you have it). I’d love to try it out! Hope everyone is having a fabulous day.

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Sweet Black Sesame Scrolls

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Oh, eventful times!

Where have I been in the last month, you may ask? Or rather, what have I been doing?

In the last month I’ve:

  1. Applied for and got a graduate job. Woohoo! 
  2. Completed a thoroughly enjoyable work placement at the Jenny Craig head office.
  3. Been busy finishing my second degree (this one’s still in progress).
  4. Upped my “Insta” game. Click here for proof.
  5. Joined a new gym after a very, very, very long time of being a potato. Yup, that just about describes my fitness level at the moment…

Hmm, now – that was much less satisfying to list out than I thought – but rest assured, it was a whirlwind of a month!

In that time, I have amassed quite a number of new recipes which I’m glad to be able to share with you soon, starting first with my very latest recipe – SWEET BLACK SESAME SCROLLS.

In fact, I’m writing this post just an hour after tearing off my first piece (okay fine, I had two – maybe three- pieces). And if only you could’ve witnessed how soft and fluffy the scrolls were as I tore each of them off – Oh my, bread is a truly wonderful thing… but of course, you already knew that.

Onwards! Here’s a step-by-step picture story of how I made said scrolls.

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Pea & Zucchini Tart with a Cauliflower & Parmesan Crust.

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Remember this one time that I made a cauliflower and parmesan tart crust and filled it with smashed peas, a grilled zucchini lattice and topped it with marinated goats cheese, a fennel, lemon and dill salad, and toasted pine nuts?

It may sound complex just from the name alone – but I promise you, this recipe just consists of a few small (and very quick and simple) recipes. The hardest part would probably just be squeezing the excess liquid out of the cooked cauliflower to make the crust!

Plus, you could easily use leftover smashed peas or grilled zucchini in another recipe – perhaps on slices of sourdough toast for breakfast or lunch? Or you eat the fennel, lemon and dill salad as is (p.s. the fennel salad goes smashingly with salmon – it’s all in the deliciously herbaceous dill)! So you see, it’s a very versatile dish in its entirety.

Anyhow, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make this tart or its capacity to make your friends go “oooh” and “ahhh”.


The attention of many a curious person this dish will catch!

On this occasion, I made this in large tart dish. Firstly, because my individual, small tart tins were ancient and so rusty that they had to be put out of their misery. Secondly, because there is some theatric effect in a large, singular piece of work – or so I’d like to believe! Anyway, my point is that you could also be cute and make it in four to six individual-sized tarts instead of just one large tart.

It also keeps well in the fridge for about 4-5 days. From there, you can either reheat it in the oven or if you’re only after a slice or two, you could just place it on a pan or a sandwich press to heat up. No microwaves though, it will make the crust all soggy and fall apart!

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Cauliflower & Parmesan Crust (For Pizzas & Tarts)

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“Why are you making a cauliflower crust?.. Do you, like, not eat carbs or something?”

Oh, honey…No, that is most definitely not why I make cauliflower crusts. I am -how do I put it this lightly- one of the biggest fans of noodles and bread you will ever meet (oh, good god, I do love my bread). However, I admire the intrinsic creativity of using ingredients in non-traditional ways, and cauliflower and parmesan crusts just so happens to fit the bill!

Look, it’s never going to take the place of a traditional crust made out of pastry but it isn’t trying to. It is something entirely different, yet entirely wonderful, on its own.

Plus, I get to sneak in another serve or two of vegetables into my day, in the form of a delicious, slightly salty, full-bodied crust. Can we say “#winning“?

Oh, yes – definitely winning.

This time, I made my crust in a ceramic tart dish and filled it with smashed peas, a grilled zucchini lattice and topped it with marinated goats cheese, a fennel, lemon and dill salad, and toasted pine nuts.

Ground breaking.

Layer after layer of wonderful flavours that just mesh on a level that only soulmates do. And yes, I just said that.

However, I have it in my mind to make a deep dish pizza using this crust soon. This is all happening very fast and no doubt I will post about this experiment on the blog soon so that you guys can get to either marvel at its genius or laugh at how big a failure it is! You guys, this is happening.

Here is the recipe for the Cauliflower & Parmesan crust!

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