Valentine’s Day has always been about chocolate.
As we age Valentine’s Day progresses from an array of homemade cards in paper bag mailboxes, conversation and cinnamon hearts, hallmark cards and a single red rose with an off the shelf heart shaped box of chocolates. We were young and didn’t know the finer things in life such as Thomas Haas, Valrhona or Scharffen Berger.
As we grew up we realized the importance of the Valentine’s Day dinner date, and the dessert course. I remember the first time I was ‘single’ for Valentine’s day – I’m certain the amount of chocolate consumed doubled that year.
As I said before Adam and I have opted to dine in on Valentine’s Day, so the dessert has to be over the top decadent.
A year ago for our anniversary I wasn’t feeling great (somehow I am always sick for these things) at least I think it was last year? and I think it was for our anniversary? Anyway, Adam and I went to Milestones. I can’t remember if we actually ordered food or not, or just stuck to cocktails and dessert. I think the latter sounds more accurate. (I’m a fan of desserts).
They had these dessert shots on the menu so you could indulge with just a little teaser shot to curb your craving. We shared 3 different shots, all equally delicious. When I wanted to create Valentine’s Day recipes I thought about food couples (PB&J, graham crackers and marshmallows) and of course I couldn’t neglect my beloved peanut butter and chocolate.
After some inspiration for how best to marry the two flavours together I conjured up a Chocolate and Peanut Butter Torte shot. In fact, you can make it two ways.
The mini torte can be easily shared between two people, and the dessert torte shot is another fun way to indulge together.
Word to the wise, it is definitely rich, but not in a tooth-sickenly sweet way. Because there is no added sugar, it’s a more bittersweet chocolate and the combination is just thick, definitely the ganache aspect. My favourite part about any square (like Nanaimo bars) is the base layer. The chocolate crumb is my most favourite to eat. The ganache is a slightly thicker version of my raw chocolate mousse recipe.
I suggest sharing it bite-for-bite with someone this Valentine’s Day.
Give love a shot – and this torte.
Even better – it’s Raw, Vegan, Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free for all your Valentine’s happy stomach needs. Because, who wants to have an upset stomach on Valentine’s day?
Vegan Chocolate Ganache & PB Torte
An amazing, raw & vegan chocolate peanut butter torte done two ways. Easy to prepare, no sugar added, decadent and still borderline healthy ;) Share with someone you love this Valentine's Day.
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- 1 c. Raw Walnuts
- 2 Tbsp. Dutch Processed Cocoa powder
- 1/2 Tbsp. Agave Syrup
- 1/2 cup Cashews, soaked overnight
- 2 Tbsp. Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
- 1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
- 2-3 Tbs. Water
- 3 Tbs. Smooth or Chunky natural peanut butter, warmed
- 1. In a food processor add the cocoa and walnuts. Pulse until well combined. Add the agave and pulse again until dough forms.
- 2. In small glass, or ramekin lined with parchment, or mini quick-release pan, add chocolate base layer, smooth down with the backside of a small spoon. Drizzle peanut butter over top of the base evenly. Place in Fridge while preparing next layer.
- If making the dessert shots, press base layer in bottom and spoon in peanut butter - it doesn't have to be pretty. In fact a delicious mess is even better.
- 3. Clean food processor to get rid of any excess crumbs from the dough. Add the soaked cashews, cocoa powder and coconut oil. Process for 2 minutes, then scrape down the sides. Continue to process and add in the 2-3. Tbs of water until it forms a ganache/mousse. Add more/less water if needed until thick mousse-like ganache consistency.
- 4. Remove base from fridge and spoon chocolate mousse layer over top. Return to fridge to chill 2-3 hours before eating. Can prepare the night before.
- You can make this either in small glasses (I used water glasses) or in ramekin lined with parchment paper. If you have a small quick-release pan you can use that as well. The ingredients will make enough for a large tart, or 2-3 small individual cups/shots.
- You can make this a day or two in advance, just cover with plastic wrap until ready to eat.
Adapted from the fitchen
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
It feels good to get back into a gym routine this past month. After falling behind during the crazy holiday season we’ve gotten back into the rhythm of after work work-outs.
It’s also noticeably lighter out at 5 pm, which makes it nicer to walk to the gym. We also have the luxury of going to our brand new club house gym or the Steve Nash across the street. However, we should be taking advantage of them both a whole lot more. I’m lucky that another bride to be, our neighbour, and I have been able to work out together too (gotta fit into those wedding gowns!)
Before I really worked out consistently I had no idea about protein bars or any kind of ‘bar’ for that matter. I always avoided them thinking it was only for those big muscly guys at the gym. I first discovered Lara Bars after seeing so many bloggers promote them/eat them as a regular snack. In Canada however, they are more than double the price (anywhere from 2.00-2.50$) Then I discovered them when I was across the border shopping at Fred Meyer where they are only $1.00 each!! I was so excited, I think I bought one of every flavour.
One of my favourite flavours was Key Lime Pie. Simply made with coconut, dates, nuts and lime. I’ve made Protein Pods before, but always used some sort of nut butter as the binding ingredient, never lime or lemon juice. I thought it was about time I tried to make a key lime pie replica.
The only problem with Lara Bars is they don’t contain protein (although I think they’re newest ones might) and really the ingredients are so simple you can definitely make your own at home for a lot less.
The base is the same as my regular protein pods, only I’ve added some cashew meal as I discovered it at Trader Joe’s one shopping trip over the border as well.
They form up easily and store in the fridge – they’re a great bite thats slightly tart and slightly sweet.
Coconut Lime Protein Pods
Nutty Lime Coconut Protein Pods. Tart & Sweet.
- 1 Cup Rolled Oats
- 1/4 Cup Almond Meal
- 1/4 Cup Cashew Meal
- 1 Scoop Vegan Protein Powder (dairy-free)
- 1 Whole Lime, squeezed
- 1/4 Cup Coconut
- 7 Medjool Dates
- Pulse oats, almond meal and cashew meal in a food processor until they form fine crumbs.
- Add protein powder, pulse again.
- Add the dates, coconut and finally lime until well combined in the processor. Dough should come together.
- Scoop into pods/balls using small ice cream scoop.
- Store in refrigerator for up to a week.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
I’ve been working for three weeks now as a teacher on call – It’s been really fun and interesting so far. I’ve taught every grade in elementary school from K-7 including a French prep. All I can say is thank you to my high school French teacher for getting me through a day of teaching French. It’s surprising how much you can remember, and how much I have forgot. Luckily for grade 5 and 7s they don’t know how to pronounce the words properly either ;)
Now that I’m working again after being a student for so long, and not having a ‘regular job’ I appreciate weekends more. Hence the excitement that it is Friday today. I’m also super excited that I get to work three days at my old school where I did my student teaching and see / teach some of my students again. Adam and I are going to the IDS West (Interior Design Show) this weekend. We went last year and the home decor/furnishings and exhibits are awesome. So many amazing items to lust over. Last year there were amazing natural wood tables and headboards to die for. If only I had the $$, and the room. For now it’s fun to walk through each exhibit and dream about them. I love a good design show, especially home design.
I also appreciate more sleep. Not that I wasn’t sleeping enough before, but as a student I could stay up til 11:30 at night and wake up at 8 am, whereas now when I know I have a call out the next day / anticipate a 7 or 8 am on call I head to bed around 10:00.
However, on weekends I find myself waking up before 8 am.
Another thing I’m looking forward to this weekend is dinner with our neighbours. I found this recipe online after I began a search for dairy-free chocolate mousse. Adam and I had watched an episode of Master Chef where the contestants had to make three difficult dessert dishes. A chocolate molten lava cake, a chocolate soufflé and of course a chocolate mousse. I’m usually not a fan of chocolate mousse cakes, but that’s because they’re those super gelatine-y chocolate mousse cakes.
When I saw Master Chef, the chocolate mousse was thick, but light and airy. When Chef Ramsey took a bite he dug the spoon into the mousse, gave it a swirl and popped it out with a spoonful of delicious whipped mousse that left a perfect whole in the dessert. I knew I wanted to try and make something similar, but due to my dairy allergy I didn’t want to endure the stomach pain afterwards – or eat all that heavy dairy really.
This Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse is light, airy, and incredibly delicious. It would be a great weekend dessert. If you’re planning on making it I suggest placing the cashews in water the night before, and then allowing the mousse to sit a few hours before serving as well. I would definitely make this again – it is so simple and really hits the spot if you’re craving a light chocolate dessert.
This dessert will satisfy not only your Vegan friends, but your dairy-loving chocolate friends as well. I found the recipe here, and made some adaptions. This serves maybe 2 people with generous portions, but it is quite rich. I would say double it for a party of 4, making smaller portions and serve with fresh berries.
I made a similar chocolate mousse before with avocado here – it was more of a smooth and creamy mousse, whereas this one is more airy like the real thing.
Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse
Deliciously light and airy chocolate mousse
- 1 cup Raw Cashews, Soaked 6 Hours or overnight
- 1 Tablespoon Agave Syrup
- 4 teaspoons Coconut Oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup Water
- 3 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
- Drain Cashews.
- Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and puree for 5-6 minutes, periodically scraping the bowl, until the mixture is creamy and fluffy.
- Chill 1 hour or overnight. (if chilling overnight take out of fridge 20 minutes prior to serving)
- Garnish with shaved chocolate or fruit.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/