Category: chocolate

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

For many, Valentine’s Day equals chocolate, right? This year, I asked Nick what he would like his ultimate Valentine’s Day treat to be. If you remember from last year’s Pink Heart Cake, you know Valentine cakes are my thing! This year Nick wanted a chocolate cake, filled with delicious fresh raspberry. And here you have it! Our delicious and decadent Raspberry Truffle Cake! Completely grain-free, refined sugar-free and dairy-free! Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

DSC_7752

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

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Decadent Chocolate Layer Cake with Raspberry infused Ganache

A Valentine’s Day Cake


 

Ingredients:


 

For the cake

2 1/2 cups almond flour

1/4 cup cacao

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

2 eggs

3/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the ganache

8 ounces/266 grams Unsweetened 100% baking chocolate

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

3/4 cup coconut milk

1 cup raspberries, gently smashed, plus extra for garnish

Optional raspberry spread (for garnish)*

2 cups raspberries

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon lemon juice


 

Directions:


 

To make the cake

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease one 8-9 inch pan or two 6 inch pans with coconut oil.

Mix almond flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Add eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir until batter forms. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

To make ganache

In a double boiler or a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt baking chocolate and coconut oil. When completely smooth, remove from heat and pour in maple syrup, coconut milk, and raspberries. Gently stir and allow to sit a room temperature until you are ready to frost your cake.

To build the cake

When your cakes are completely cool, place on a layer on a cake plate and smooth about 3-4 tablespoons of ganache over the first layer. Repeat with the second layer. Add optional berries spread and garnish with fresh berries!

*To make optional raspberry spread

Place raspberries, maple syrup and lemon juice in saucepan, and then cook on low for about 10-20 minutes, gently smashing down berries as the mixture cooks. Allow mixture to simmer additional 10 -15 minutes, and then remove from heat. Garnish cake with complete cool raspberry mixture.

Enjoy!

Paleo Energy Bites \\ Sweet Laurel

Mom needs energy! That’s something I’ve learned these past 11 months with the Nico boy! It usually happens like this: Baby is hungry, and you are hungry… At the same time. The only problem is mom only has one hand, because she’s feeding baby with the other hand (breastfeeding, bottle, spoon, etc). I designed this recipes for all the mamas out there! You can pop these into your mouth with one hand! I like to make a batch and keep them in my fridge for snacking when necessary! Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Paleo Energy Bites \\ Sweet Laurel

Paleo Energy Bites \\ Sweet Laurel

Paleo Energy Bites \\ Sweet Laurel

Paleo Energy Bites \\ Sweet Laurel

Paleo Energy Bites

Yields about 12 balls


Ingredients:

1/2 cup hemp seeds

1/2 cup collagen protein

1 cup almond butter

3/4 cup shredded coconut, plus extra for coating

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons chia seeds

2 tablespoons date paste or 3­-4 dates, pitted

Optional: 1 tablespoon cacao nibs


Directions:

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Use a tablespoon to scoop 1 tablespoon at a time from batter and form into balls. Coat with remaining coconut shreds.

Refrigerate or freeze for up to 3 months

Grain Free Overnight Oats \\ Sweet Laurel

This is a spin off the ever popular ‘overnight oat’ breakfast scenario, minus the oats! I feel best eating 100% grain free, and all our recipes and baked goods at Sweet Laurel are grain free in entirety. This recipe uses shredded coconut and chia, making a delicious and nutritious breakfast, even Nico loves it!

Overnight Oats \\ Sweet Laurel

Overnight Oats \\ Sweet Laurel

Overnight Oats \\ Sweet Laurel

Overnight Oats \\ Sweet Laurel

Paleo/Grain-Free Overnight Oats 


 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chia seeds

3/4 cup hemp hearts

1 cup shredded coconut

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon Sweet Laurel Vanilla Extract

1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (or other sweetener of choice)

1 cup organic coconut milk

1 cup hot water (at least 200 degrees)


 

Directions:

Mix chia seeds, hemp hearts and shredded coconut in a medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle in cinnamon, ginger, vanilla extract and sweetener of choice. Add hot water and stir. Add coconut milk and allow to sit in fridge overnight or for at least 8 hours.

Sprinkle with gogi berries, mulberries, shredded coconut flakes, bee pollen or even extra hemp hearts! Serve with superfood toppings and enjoy.

Maple Candy \\ Sweet Laurel

This recipe was inspired by English Toffee. Here’s a paleo, refined sugar-free version of the delicious treat, It doesn’t have the firm ‘bark’ texture of English Toffee, but definitely has ALL the flavor. Once cut, keep refrigerated until serving for best results. Enjoy!

Maple Candy \\ Sweet Laurel

Maple Candy \\ Sweet Laurel

Maple Candy \\ Sweet Laurel

Maple Candy


 

Ingredients:

16 tablespoons grass-fed butter *

1 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups coarsely chopped almonds (divided)

1/2 cup chocolate chips (recipe below)


 

Directions:

Melt butter and maple syrup in saucepan over medium to high heat. Allow to come to a soft boil. Bubbles will deep brown.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, then 1/2 the almonds. Pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Top with chocolate chips. After two minutes, spread chocolate chips evenly over toffee. The chips will be melting.

Top with remaining almonds and put in refrigerator until nice and firm. Break into small pieces and enjoy!


 

Homemade chocolate chips


 

Ingredients:

4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate (100% cacao)

1 tablespoon maple syrup (or more depending on how dark you like it)

Directions:

Break baking chocolate into one-inch piece and place in a thick saucepan or double boiler. Melt baking chocolate over a very low heat.  When melted, add agave and stir.  Pour chocolate onto parchment paper and spread into a rectangle, about 8×12 inches.  Place parchment in freezer. Once hardened (will take a few minutes), break off pieces and use as needed.  Store in freezer.

*Unfortunately, coconut oil or ghee will not work as a substitute for this recipe

Festive Cacao + Coconut Butter Bark \\ Sweet Laurel

I just love coconut butter (sometimes called coconut manna) and use it as a frosting most of the time. Today, we’re using coconut butter to make this delicious Festive Cacao + Coconut Butter Bark! The fun thing about this recipe you can add peppermint essential oil to make it taste festive, or add dehydrated raspberries to make it look festive! If you aren’t a coconut butter person,  sub in white chocolate. Enjoy!

Raspberry Coconut Butter Bark \\ Sweet Laurel

Raspberry Coconut Butter Bark \\ Sweet Laurel

Raspberry Coconut Butter Bark \\ Sweet Laurel

Raspberry Coconut Butter

Yields one 8 x 8 sheet of chocolate


Ingredients:

1 cup coconut butter

1/2 cup coconut or almond milk

4 oz 100 % cacao baking chocolate

1/4 cup maple syrup (divided)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional:

1 cup freeze dried raspberries, finely chopped

1 small drop peppermint essential oil

 


 

Directions: 

In a saucepan, place coconut butter over very low heat, or over a double boiler. As the coconut butter melts into a liquid, slowly stir almond or coconut milk. If the coconut butter turns brown, it has overheated, so try and keep your stove at its lowest setting.  Off heat, add the 3 tablespoons of maple syrup. If you don’t want your bark too sweet, feel free to leave the maple syrup out. (I prefer it sans maple syrup). Once the mixture reaches a pourable consistency, spread mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread evenly over the parchment.

Working quickly, melt the 100% cacao baking chocolate over low heat. Slowly add 3-4 tablespoon maple syrup. This is where you can optionally add the peppermint oil to make a peppermint flavored bark. Take care not to add too much peppermint however.

Dollop one tablespoon of chocolate over coconut butter mixture. I like to do three rows of four round dollops. Using the back of a spoon, spread the chocolate into the coconut butter mixture, making a fun, swirly design. Top the bark with finely chopped freeze dried raspberries. Place in fridge until completely firm, then cut into squares. Keep in fridge or freezer until serving.

What’s In My Fridge \\ Sweet Laurel

I love this interview I did with The Chalkboard Mag! They took a look in my fridge and I got to share a little about my love of all things Sweet Laurel! One thing that’s apparent here, is that I’m a veggie lover! Yes, I know Sweet Laurel is all about sweets, but let me introduce you to savory Laurel! I sure eat my fair share of veggies. If you have any questions about some of my go – to’s, leave them in the comments! xo, Laurel

What's In My Fridge \\ Sweet Laurel

What's In My Fridge \\ Sweet Laurel

What's In My Fridge \\ Sweet Laurel

What's In My Fridge \\ Sweet Laurel

FOOD PHILOSOPHY IN ONE SENTENCE:

Eat wholesome yet delicious food every day.


 

ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE:

Kale, coconut, chocolate, and crudité.


 

7 RECIPE STAPLES ALWAYS ON HAND:

For my recipes, pretty much any of them can be made if you have almond flour, coconut oil, Himalayan pink salt, 100% maple syrup, organic eggs, coconut milk, and cacao.


 

MUST-HAVE MUNCHIES:

I am into accessible veggies: half an avocado, cut up celery, cucumber, carrots and cooked sweet potatoes. I am not a big snacker, but I am a big vegetable eater!


 

FAVE CONDIMENTS:

Our all-time favorite condiment is Sweet Laurel vegan caramel! Other condiments on the savory side I enjoy are Primal Kitchen Foods mayo and Kerrygold butter. Yes, butter. I developed a strong craving for it during my pregnancy, and I’ve been tolerating it well, so I enjoy it in moderation.


 

INGREDIENT THAT MAKES EVERYTHING TASTE BETTER:

When I cook, I love to use some delicious savory staples like garlic, Himalayan pink salt, apple cider vinegar and fun things like cayenne pepper. When I bake, a balance of moisture enriching, yet nutrient-dense ingredients make everything taste better. I work with five core ingredients at Sweet Laurel: almond flour, coconut oil, 100% maple syrup, organic eggs, and Himalayan pink salt. These are my star ingredients and the secret to a delicious grain-free, refined sugar-free and dairy-free treat that tastes delicious!


 

GO-TO PROTEINS:

Organic eggs, wild-caught fish, organic chicken, turkey, and beef.


 

BEST BARGAIN:

I buy in bulk whenever I can through health food stores and co-ops. This is great for spices, organic nuts and other frequently used items and pricier items.


 

BEST LABEL-READING TIP:

I always check for whole-food ingredients. If the foods originate from earth and are used in their natural form, I’m good with them.


 

FAVE VEGGIE + WHAT YOU MAKE WITH IT:

This changes, but currently I’m obsessed with making kale chips in the oven. It takes just a few minutes, and my salty, crunchy craving is usually taken care of shortly thereafter.


 

MUST-HAVE PANTRY STAPLES:

Sweet Laurel vanilla extract. We make our own, grain- and gluten-free, with tequila!


 

CRAZIEST THING I BUY:

The $30 coconut yogurt. Jam packed with probiotics, a little goes a long way. I’m definitely addicted.


 

SWEETS AND OTHER INDULGENCES:

I indulge in 100% cacao from Chocovivo every day. It is not a sweet per se, but an indulgence for sure. Made from cacao beans and stone ground into chocolate right here in Los Angeles.


 

DAIRY OR NON-DAIRY FAVES:

Like I said, hooked on coconut yogurt.


 

SKIP LABELS THAT READ:

‘High-fructose corn syrup,’ ‘cane sugar,’ etc.


 

FAVORITE SPLURGE:

I love supporting small food businesses. From time to time I will go to natural food stores and just pick up a few random food products, just to try them out!


 

FOR LAST MINUTE ENTERTAINING:

I whip up my snickerdoodles! Just five ingredients and delicious.


 

FAVORITE PLACES TO SHOP:

Erewhon Natural Foods, Rainbow Acres.


 

SIMPLE GO-TO RECIPE:

My brownies. Topped with our vegan caramel, you’re instantly in dessert heaven.


 

BEST FOOD MEMORY:

Making banana bread with my mom when I was five or six. I remember tasting the batter and being instantly hooked!

 

(Photo credit: Elsie Dardon)

Pistachio Rose White Chocolate \\ Sweet Laurel x Shiva Rose

Many of you know by now that I am slightly addicted to chocolate. I eat chocolate every day in one form or another, and it is usually 100% cacao from ChocoVivo, my favorite bean to bar chocolate shop in Los Angeles. We use their delicious chocolate in our cakes at the bakery as well.

Some days, I’m in more of a white chocolate mood. Enter cacao butter, chocolate’s better half. Cacao butter is the white fat from the cacao bean. It has that chocolatey flavor as well and when it is mixed with a bit of raw honey, it quickly turns into a super food and a super dessert. I originally made this Pistachio Rose White Chocolate with Shiva Rose, and I’m sharing it today on my blog with you. Enjoy this delectable version of white chocolate, mixed with fragrant dried roses and pistachios.

Photos by Kim Genevieve.

Pistachio Rose White Chocolate \\ Sweet Laurel x Shiva Rose

Pistachio Rose White Chocolate \\ Sweet Laurel x Shiva Rose

Pistachio Rose White Chocolate

Yields one 8 x 8 sheet of chocolate


 

Ingredients:

1 cup cacao butter, chopped

1 cup coconut milk powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons raw honey

Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

1/4 cup pistachios, shells removed

2 tablespoons dried rose petals


 

Directions:

Line an 8×8 plate or pan with a sheet of parchment paper.

In a double boiler, melt cacao butter over low heat. It will look like melted butter. Off heat, whisk in the coconut milk powder. Continue to stir until completely smooth.

Add vanilla extract and salt to pot and stir. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Slowly stir in raw honey.

Pour white chocolate mixture onto piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle with dried roses and pistachios. Place in refrigerator until solid. Break or cut into pieces. Keep refrigerated or frozen until serving. Enjoy!

New Mommy Faves \\ Sweet Laurel

I love being a mom! In honor of Mother’s Day and my first time celebrating as a mom, I’m sharing some of my most used, and favorite mom-friendly items. This week’s recipe features my Lactation Cookies, which accompanied me to the hospital when Nico was born, and have been made regularly since!

New Mommy Faves \\ Sweet Laurel

First off, Nucifera! I LOVE Nucifera, and the amazing entrepreneur who developed it. Nucifera is the ultimate pregnancy and breastfeeding safe, all in one, beauty product. I use it regularly before bed and on my face as part of my cleansing routine. By now you all know how in love I am with coconut, and this is a coconut based product, and the benefits are unending. It moisturizes, soothes, purifies, and combats various skin conditions. Nucifera can even be used as an all natural deodorant. I personally like using it under my eyes. And by the way, Nucifera is not just amazing for mothers, it is great for fathers and children alike!

New Mommy Faves \\ Sweet Laurel

Second, my Petal Soft Ballet Nursing Bra. Not only is it pretty to look at, it is oh so comfortable. I never thought nursing would change my whole outfit. For some reason, I never made the connection. Well, a good nursing outfit starts with a good bra, and this is my go-to! It is from Bravado Designs, who also makes two other nursing bras I’m digging– the Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra, also comfy, and the Clip and Pump, which gives me mobility with my hands while I pump!

New Mommy Faves \\ Sweet Laurel

Third, a good notebook. I want to cherish each day with sweet Nico, and this helps me do! I’m a very sentimental gal, so essentially, writing down thoughts, precious moments and words of gratitude have been very therapeutic for me. Nico has made me a more organized person, and this is one tool I’ve begun to use to help in that department.

New Mommy Faves \\ Sweet Laurel

Lastly, Lactation Cookies. Do you every need an excuse to eat cookies? Well, when you’re breastfeeding, you automatically have one! Lactation enriching foods have been used for centuries to help with breast milk production, and my cookies contain just a few of the many nutritious foods know to encourage milk supply nursing. I read a book entitled Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck, and learned about the foods I should focus on during pregnancy and nursing. I highly recommend this book. Per the words of Planck, two of the most popular lactation foods are oats and beer. I don’t include either of those in my cookies, as I don’t digest either well, but have included several of the other recommended foods. These cookies freeze super well, so I typically make a batch and store them in the freezer to snack on and give to people who come over. Having a baby really ups your weekly visitors!

New Mommy Faves \\ Sweet Laurel

Lactation Cookies

Yields about 30 cookies


 

Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup flax seeds

1/4 cup sesame seeds or shredded coconut

1/2 cup macadamia nuts or pecans

1/2 date paste or 7 dates, pitted

4 eggs

1/2 cup coconut oil (melted) or grass fed butter (solid)

1 cup chocolate chips (recipe below)

Maple syrup, as needed (these cookies are not very sweet, so add if need be)


 

*For Oatmeal Raisin variation

Exchange flax and sesame seeds for 1/2 cup of oats (if you tolerate). You can also add shredded coconut for texture!

Exchange and 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 cup raisins for the chocolate chips.


 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a blender, combine the flax seeds, sesame seeds, macadamia nuts, dates, eggs, coconut oil and maple syrup (optional). Turn on low speed, and blend until batter is incorporated. Remove mixture from blender and place into a bowl. Stir in almond flour and chocolate chips. Spoon one tablespoon sized cookies onto cookies sheet. Gently press dough down with a piece of parchment paper.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Lift parchment off pan, and allow cookies to cool all the way.

Enjoy!


 

Homemade Chocolate Chips 


 

Ingredients:

4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate (100% cacao, organic is preferable)

1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey


 

Directions:

Break baking chocolate into one-inch pieces and place in thick saucepan or double boiler. Over a very low heat, melt baking chocolate. Once melted, take off heat, and add maple syrup or raw honey and stir. Pour chocolate onto parchment paper and spread into a rectangle, about 8×12 inches. Place parchment in freezer. Once hardened (will take a few minutes), break into small pieces and use as chocolate chips.

 

Orange Chocolate Tea Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

 

I love this little tea cake so much! We don’t post many cakes using coconut flour on the blog, it’s usually always almond flour. Here is a beloved coconut flour recipe! It’s like a classic pound cake, but with less heft, and the orange and dark chocolate compliment each other perfectly.  Plus, the giant chunks of chocolate add such a rustic and dramatic look to the whole thing. So pretty!

Orange Chocolate Tea Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

Orange Chocolate Tea Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

Orange Chocolate Tea Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

Orange Chocolate Tea Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

Orange Chocolate Tea Cake (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Yields 3 mini loaves (or 8″x 8″ pans)


 

Ingredients:

3/4  cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

6 eggs

1/2 cup orange juice (about two oranges squeezed)

Zest of one orange

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup homemade chocolate chips (recipe below)


 

 Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Line three mini loaf pans or one standard loaf pan with parchment. You can also use an 8 x8 pan.

Stir together the coconut flour, baking soda, and Himalayan pink salt. Beat the eggs, adding in the dry ingredients followed by the wet ingredients and vanilla extract and zest.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Pour into prepared pans.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.


 

Homemade Chocolate Chips


 

Ingredients:

4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate (100% cacao), (organic is preferable)

1 tablespoon maple syrup (or more depending on how dark you like it)

Directions:

Break baking chocolate into one-inch pieces and place in thick saucepan or double boiler. Over a very low heat, melt baking chocolate. Once melted, take off heat and add maple syrup and stir. Pour chocolate onto parchment paper and spread into a rectangle, about 8×12 inches. Place parchment in freezer. Once hardened (will take a few minutes), break off pieces and use as needed.

Mint Chocolate Chip Shake \\ Sweet Laurel

Here’s a wholesome upgrade for a Shamrock Shake! Mint chocolate chip has always been my favorite flavor of ice cream. Whenever I’m craving my fave ice cream, and Kippy’s doesn’t have mint chip at their shop ;),  I whip up this simple shake. It is a delicious St. Patrick’s Day treat, and creamy, minty, chocolatey, and totally healthier than your average shake.

Mint Chocolate Chip Shake \\ Sweet Laurel

Mint Chocolate Chip Shake \\ Sweet Laurel

Mint Chocolate Chip Shake \\ Sweet Laurel

Mint Chocolate Chip Shake

Serves 2


 

Ingredients:

2 frozen bananas

2 cups coconut milk, I like Nature Value

1/2  cup fresh mint leaves

4 dates, pitted

2 handfuls fresh spinach

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1-2 scoops protein powder (optional)

2 tablespoons cacao nibs


 

Directions:

Put all the ingredients except for cacao nibs in the blender and mix on high until fully blended. You may want to add extra coconut milk depending on the texture you desire. Pour into two large glasses and stir in cacao nibs. Enjoy!