Tag: cacao

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.

Almond Mylk 12 Ways \\ Sweet Laurel

At Sweet Laurel, almond mylk is one of our favorite pantry staples. We use it in baking, in pasta sauce, in our morning coffee, it’s a flavor panacea for anything in need of a bit of richness and roundness. We even like drinking it straight, too. Almonds contain delicious, filling fats, and are a good source of protein, making a glass of almond mylk a lovely afternoon pick-me-up. This simple drink is the perfect canvas to let your palette run wild, so we compiled our favorite flavor combinations for this cool, refreshing drink. But have fun with it and get creative!

Almond Mylk 12 Ways \\ Sweet Laurel

Almond Mylk 12 Ways \\ Sweet Laurel

*Note: For the longest lasting nut mylks and juices, work with cold ingredients and refrigerate immediately.


 

Sweet Almond Mylk Base Recipe:

Makes 5 cups of Milk


 

Ingredients:

2 cups raw almonds, preferably organic

4 cups cold filtered water, plus more for soaking

2-3 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped

1 vanilla bean, cut in half

1 pinch of Himalayan pink salt


 

Directions:

Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with about an inch of water. They will plump as they absorb water. Let stand, uncovered, overnight (or 8 hours) in the refrigerator. The longer the almonds soak, the creamier the almond milk.

Drain the almonds from their soaking water and rinse them thoroughly under cool running water.

Combine the almonds, half of the vanilla bean, dates, a pinch of salt, and water in a blender. Blend at the highest speed for 2 minutes until the almonds are a very fine meal and the liquid is opaque.

Line a strainer with cheese cloth, or use a nut milk bag, and place over a bowl. Pour the almond mixture into the strainer.  Press all the almond milk from the almond meal. Gather the nut bag or cheese cloth around the almond meal and twist close. Squeeze and press with clean hands to extract as much almond milk as possible. If you want a thicker almond milk, you can add some of the almond meal back into the liquid.

Refrigerate almond milk immediately. Store the almond milk in sealed containers in the fridge for up to two days.  It will separate, so shake before drinking.  Enjoy!


 

Here are our fun variations!


 

Chocolate Banana

Sweet Almond Mylk Base

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 banana, peeled and chopped

Prepare almond mylk as you normally would, but add the above ingredients just before blending everything together. Strain and store as directed above.


 

Tumeric black pepper

Sweet Almond Mylk Base

1 two inch nub of turmeric, or 2 tablespoons powdered turmeric

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Prepare almond mylk as you normally would, but add the above ingredients just before blending everything together. Strain and store as directed above.


 

Cinnamon Date

Sweet Almond Mylk Base

1 tablespoon cinnamon, ground

Extra two dates, pitted

Prepare almond mylk as you normally would, but add the above ingredients just before blending everything together. Strain and store as directed above.


 

Matcha Mint Chocolate

Sweet Almond Mylk Base

1/2 cup mint

1/2 cup grated cacao, stir in at the end

2 tablespoons matcha

Prepare almond mylk as you normally would, but add the above ingredients just before blending everything together. Strain and store as directed above.

 


 

Chai

Sweet Almond Mylk Base

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground

Prepare almond mylk as you normally would, but add the above ingredients just before blending everything together. Strain and store as directed above.


 

Blackberry Honey Vanilla

Sweet Almond Mylk Base

1 1/2 cup blackberries

Replace dates with 1/4 cup honey

Prepare almond mylk as you normally would, but add the above ingredients just before blending everything together. Strain and store as directed above.


 

Cold Press Coffee

Sweet Almond Mylk Base

1 cup cold pressed coffee

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Prepare almond mylk as you normally would, but add the above ingredients just before blending everything together. Strain and store as directed above.


 

Strawberry Rose

Sweet Almond Mylk Base

1 teaspoon rosewater

1 1/2 cup strawberries

Prepare almond mylk as you normally would, but add the above ingredients just before blending everything together. Strain and store as directed above.


 

Lavender Rosemary Honey

Sweet Almond Mylk Base

1 tablespoon lavender, ground

2 teaspoons rosemary, chopped

Prepare almond mylk as you normally would, but add the above ingredients just before blending everything together. Strain and store as directed above.


 

Orange Creamsicle

Sweet Almond Mylk Base

1 orange, peeled with a vegetable peeler

1/4 cup orange juice

Prepare almond mylk as you normally would, but add the above ingredients just before blending everything together. Strain and store as directed above.


 

Power Mylk

Sweet Almond Mylk Base

2 teaspoons roasted dandelion

2 teaspoons reishi powder

2 teaspoons maca

2 tablespoons Chia seeds

Prepare almond mylk as you normally would, but add the above ingredients, except the chia seeds, just before blending everything together. Strain, add the chia seeds, and store as directed above.


 

Greens

Sweet Almond Mylk Base

2 cups spinach

3 kale leaves, stalk removed

2 romaine leaves

2 sprigs mint

Prepare almond mylk as you normally would, but add the above ingredients just before blending everything together. Strain and store as directed above.

Festive Snowball Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

This cake is a festive and delicious holiday beauty. We start with our grain-free and refined sugar-free chocolate cake and then top the cake with a super simple, dairy-free cashew based frosting. The whole cake is topped with shredded unsweetened coconut to make it look fun and festive, and giving it the name Snowball Cake. We hope you can include this your holiday baking this season!

Festive Snowball Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

Festive Snowball Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

Festive Snowball Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

Festive Snowball Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

Festive Snowball Cake

Yields one two layer 6-inch cake or one 8-inch cake


 

For the cake:


 

2 cups almond flour

1/4 cup cacao

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

2 eggs

1 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


 

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease one 8-9 inch pan or two 6 inch pans with coconut oil.

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

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


 

For the frosting:


 

4 cups cashews (soaked for at least 1 hour)

1 cup water

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon sea salt


 

Blend all ingredients in Vitamix or high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until use.


 

To Finish:


 

Place one cake round on a cake plate. Cover with frosting. Repeat with next layer (if you chose to make a two layer cake). Smooth frosting all over cake, covering tops and sides.

Top cake with coconut flakes and sprinkle with gogi berries. Enjoy!

Chocolate Caramel Turtles \\ Sweet Laurel

After four years of marriage, my husband and I continue to indulge in this richly sweet treat. The combination of the melted chocolate, creamy caramel, and crispy pecans complement each other divinely, while it’s also a healthier vegan alternative to your favorite chocolate candy. I love that these turtles are so easy to make and they’re also completely paleo, grain-free, refined-sugar free, and dairy-free!

Turtles \\ Sweet Laurel

Turtles \\ Sweet Laurel

Turtles \\ Sweet Laurel

Turtles \\ Sweet Laurel

Yields for 10-12 Turtles


 

For the vegan caramel:


 

1/4 cup dates, pitted and packed or date paste

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1 Tbsp almond butter

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

A pinch of salt


 

Combine everything in a blender and mix until smooth. Pop in the refrigerator to chill.

We also have our very own Sweet Laurel Raw Vegan Caramel all ready to go!


 

For the turtles:


 

6 oz unsweetened cacao, melted

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegan caramel, cold (recipe above)

1 cup pecan halves, toasted


 

Combine the melted cacao and maple syrup, and vanilla. Set aside.

On a parchment or a silcone mat, create little mounds of pecans (3 or 4 is perfect). Top with a tablespoon or so of cold vegan caramel (it can get a bit gooey if warm). Pour melted cacao over each turtle, letting the pecans stick out a bit. Let the turtles set for at least 30 minutes, until the chocolate is fully hardened.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Ganache Tart \\ Sweet Laurel

Chocolate chocolate and more chocolate please! We absolutely love chocolate at Sweet Laurel. Here’s a fun alternative to brownies and chocolate cake (our go- to). This Chocolate Ganache Tart will blow your mind. Enjoy!

Chocolate Truffle Tart \\ Sweet Laurel

Chocolate Truffle Tart \\ Sweet Laurel

Chocolate Truffle Tart \\ Sweet Laurel

Chocolate Truffle Tart \\ Sweet Laurel

Chocolate Truffle Tart \\ Sweet Laurel

Chocolate Truffle Tart \\ Sweet Laurel

Chocolate Truffle Tart \\ Sweet Laurel

Yields one 8-9 inch tart


 

Chocolate Ganache Tart


 

To Prepare Crust:


 

2 1/4 cups brazil nuts

1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)

3 tablespoons date paste

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt


 

Preheat oven to 350.

Blend all ingredients in food processor and press into 8-9 inch circular tart pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Allow to cool while preparing filling.


 

To Prepare Filling:


 

2 cans coconut milk, I like Nature Value, or make your own!

2 teaspoons grass fed gelatin

4 egg yolks

1/4 cup 100% maple syrup

1 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 ounces unsweetened 100% baking chocolate

2 tablespoons cacao

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

Optional Topping: Maldon Salt


 

Pour coconut milk into saucepan and sprinkle gelatin on top. Allow to soften in the pot for about 5 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together egg yolk, maple syrup and vanilla. Set aside.

Whisk the coconut milk and gelatin mixture over low heat until smooth and warm. Add a cup of the warm coconut milk mixture to the yolk mixture and stir. Pour the entire yolk mixture in to the saucepan and mix well. Add baking chocolate, cocoa and salt. Allow mixture to simmer and whisk constantly, 2-3 minutes. Poor mixture into cooled tart crust.

Place in refrigerator over night or 8-12 hours. Top with Maldon Salt and serve!

Decadent Fudgy Brownies \\ Sweet Laurel

Fudgy, decadent, delicious…the description goes on. These grain free, refined sugar free and dairy free brownies are the real deal. I’m 100% ok with my husband eating these for breakfast most mornings, however they are a treat all hours of the day! Enjoy!

Decadent Fudgy Brownies \\ Sweet Laurel

Decadent Fudgy Brownies \\ Sweet Laurel

DSC_8019

Decadent Fudgy Brownies \\ Sweet Laurel

Yields about 24 brownies


 

Decadent Fudgy Brownies


 

2 cups almond, cashew or sunbutter

2 eggs

1 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup date paste or 4 dates (pitted)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup chocolate chips (recipe below)


 

Preheat oven to 350.

In large bowl, beat the maple syrup and dates or date paste until creamy. Blend nut butter, then slowly add eggs and vanilla extract.

Add cacao, baking soda and salt. Mix until well incorporated. Add chocolate chips, reserving some for the top.

Pour batter into 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 320 for 30-35 minutes.


 

Homemade Chocolate Chips


 

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

1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey


 

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.

 

If you’d like a fun video tutorial of my girl Claire Thomas and I making these fudgy brownies, check our her YouTube channel here!

Date Walnut Brownies \\ Sweet Laurel

Date Walnut Brownies // Sweet Laurel

Our Date Walnut Brownies are oh so good!  Not only are they sweetened with nature’s candy (dates), they are Vegan, grain free and dairy free.  These minimalistic bites of chocolate bliss are so simple, and that’s why I love them.  With 7 everyday pantry items and a food processor or blender, you’re minutes away from a truly healthy indulgence!

Date Walnut Brownies // Sweet Laurel

Date Walnut Brownies // Sweet Laurel


Date Walnut Brownies


Ingredients:

1 ½ cup walnuts

10-12  dates (depending on how sweet you like it), pits removed

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

2 tablespoons cacao

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

Preheat your oven 350.

Assemble the flax egg: In a small bowl place the tablespoon of ground flaxseed.  Pour three tablespoons of water over the ground flax and allow to sit about 5 minutes.

Mix walnuts and dates in a food processor.  Once blended, add remaining ingredients.  Pulse until ingredients are mixed well.  Pour batter into a standard size loaf pan (8.5 x 4.5 inches) lined with parchment paper.  Bake about 8-10 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Once cooled cut into little squares.  Enjoy!