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Tag: Sweet Treats

Flourless Chocolate ‘Cloud’ Cake, and Fair Trade Month

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

~ Nelson Mandela

It’s very hard to “walk in another man’s shoes”, to truly understand what it feels to grow up in poverty, without access to many things people in other countries take for granted, such as having food on the table for every meal, having shoes to wear or having more than one pair, having access to healthcare, modern infrastructure, the opportunity to go to school, the possibility to have real chances to change your life for the better…

I remember growing up in Spain during a time when ETA, the Basque terrorist group, was in its full apogee and bomb scares were happening almost every week at our school. Every time we were told that classes were postponed for later in the day or cancelled, I always felt a pang in my heart and remember thinking that I much preferred to have to go to school every single day of the year than getting time off because of bomb threats. I also remember many kids being ecstatic about not having to go to classes; in fact, some of these kids who are obviously now adults, have admitted to calling in many of the threats that resulted to be fake.

[Read more…] »

Coconut Milk or Basic Flan Recipe

There are times that one forgets how the simple things in life are the best. Flan is one of the easiest desserts to make and always tastes good and looks impressive on a plate.

We were invited to lunch by my parent’s friends the other day and my father accustomed to my mother’s cooking and social habits, suggested that I make a flan. A custard as our English friend told us. In the US, whenever we had parties or social gatherings, my mother was known for her delicious flan, paella and other traditional Spanish dishes. My sister-in-law’s is also renown for her culinary talents amongst our friends. And oftentimes, flan is her star dish.

[Read more…] »

San Nicolas and Chestnut & Drunken Raisins Muffins

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

…are synonymous with wintery days and nights and the Yuletide season that’s upon us. For me, roasting chestnuts also brings back memories of growing up in Chipiona and my Spanish grandmother, whom we all called Tita Paca. She was one of the biggest influences in my life and someone that continues to be very important.

Today, which is the holiday of San Nicolás (Saint Nicholas), I remember her even more than other days. For Tita Paca, San Nicolás was very special. We used to do the traditional 3-Monday journey many times during the year, and on December 6th especially, we’d always try to go to church to visit him.

I’m not a very religious person, and in many ways, neither was my grandmother. Yet, she truly believed in Saint Nicholas and how he had helped many people during his lifetime, and as a saint, also helped our family steer away from harm…

[Read more…] »

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

I woke up this morning with a mission in mind: to finally recreate the pumpkin fudge brownie recipe I have promised my readers. So, the first thing I did was cut up one of my gorgeous and rather large butternut squash and bake it, while I organised things a bit. I used to be one of those people who had to immediately eat breakfast after getting up, especially when I was working in NYC. But since going Paleo, I actually prefer to wait about an hour or more before eating anything. Most days, I first prepare and drink my warm water with freshly squeesed lemon juice, and then after that’s settled, I start thinking about what to make for breakfast.

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As I’m working from home now (I am a freelance graphic designer), I tend to catch up on news during this time and settle in to tackle work after I’ve eaten.

Today, since I knew I would have too much pumpkin meat leftover after making the fudge brownies, a thought came to mind: why not have pumpkin pancakes or waffles for breakfast too?! I’m not really crazy about sweet things for breakfast, much preferring savoury dishes with lots of healthy fats to keep me going for hours on end.

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But as it’s Sunday, I made an exception. I was planning to use one of my own recipes as guidance, but my computer decided it needed a software update today and I couldn’t access the internet until that update was installed. Frustration was about to set in, when I decided to simply invent a new recipe…

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I’m embarrassed to “toot my own horn”, but these are quite good, fluffly, light and delicious. Plus the flavours make it a perfect treat for an Autumn morning. And if you eat them as I did, with some melt-in-your-mouth Kerrygold butter and maple syrup, all the better. 😉

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes
Author: The Saffron Girl
Serves: 10
Makes about 10 pancakes, 2 1/2-in diameter
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cooked pumpkin meat
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, blend until smooth the egg, pumpkin meat, spices, sea salt and baking soda.
  2. Add the almond flour and pulse to mix well.
  3. Add the coconut flour and pulse again to mix well.
  4. Add the maple syrup, if desired and blend well.
  5. Heat a frying pan over low heat and grease with some coconut oil.
  6. Pour the pancake batter by spoonfuls onto the pan. I poured 2 spoonfuls per pancake.
  7. Allow to cook through until the batter starts to bubble. Immediately turn over and cook on other side.
  8. Serve with butter and maple syrup, if desired.

 

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Fig & Olive Oil Tart

I was really debating whether to make this or simply eat the fresh figs. We bought some beautifully ripe figs the other day and I have been eating them for breakfast and as dessert; and I also used them in this delightfully autumnal recipe: Butternut Squash, Fig & Serrano Hash. 

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The problem is that I’m home alone for a couple of weeks, and I can’t possibly eat everything by myself… maybe I should be having dinner parties, while my husband is travelling for business. How does that sound? 😉

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Anyway, I was searching for a savoury fig recipe ideas to inspire me to make my own, but only found one that caught my eye. I will have to leave it for another fig occasion as I didn’t have two of the main ingredients nor anything substitutable. So, I decided that this tart sounded really good and perfect to keep around for breakfast, as well. I had to Paleolise it of course, and am very happy with the results.

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Mikel López Iturriaga is a reporter and blogger, who loves food and shares recipes on El Pais newspaper. I’ve been inspired before by a number of his ideas.

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Figs are very traditional in the Mediterranean cuisine, both in savoury and sweet dishes, and what better to pair it with than our very healthy olive oil and native rosemary!

A disfrutar!

Fig & Olive Oil Tart
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 9-10 figs, rinsed, dried and quartered
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground rosemary
  • zest of one lemon, about 1 teaspoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/3 cups ground almonds/almond flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • butter, for greasing
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
  2. Grease a tart tin with butter. The tin should be about 20cm (about 8in) in diameter.
  3. In a food processor, beat the eggs and honey for about 1 1/2 minutes, until light yellow.
  4. Add the olive oil, coconut milk, vanilla, rosemary, and lemon zest. Pulse about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the almond flour, arrowroot powder and coconut flour. Pulse until all is well mixed, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Let stand about 5 minutes to thicken up a bit.
  6. Pour into a mixing bowl.
  7. Give it a stir and add about 3/4 of the cut figs to the dough. Give it another stir to mix well.
  8. Pour into the tart tin, scrapping the bowl with a spatula to get all of the dough.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes.
  10. Then add the remaining fig pieces on top, placing them in a pretty design, if desired.
  11. Bake an additional 10 minutes, then drizzle with some olive oil and bake 5 minutes longer.

 

Orange-Fennel Almond Cake with Orange Glaze

When I saw this recipe from Adobo Down Under, I was intrigued by the history behind it and how simple it is to create. I discovered Anna, from Adobo Down Under, through the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop, in which we both engage. Since then, I’ve been following her on Instagram and on Facebook.

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Adobo has interesting recipes, many of which are traditional Filipino, from where Anna originates. (She has another recipe for an insanely gorgeous purple cake made with ube – or purple yam – that I so want to make since she shared it… now, I must find the yams!)

My husband’s birthday was this week and he asked me to make a cake for his office. So I obediently did. 😉 I made him my Paleo Banana Bundt Cake, which is very tasty, and sent him off with a box of homemade macarons as well. (Yes, I know… the macarons are not Paleo, but are quite a lot of fun to make, and I am obsessed with them. I don’t make them that often anymore because they are loaded with refined sugars.)

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Anyway, I also wanted to have a cake at home, with which my husband could blow out his birthday candles… so Adobo’s cake looked perfect, as I had quite a few oranges laying around.

You only need two large oranges for the cake actually; however, I used one more for the topping, as you will see in the recipe. Additionally, I added a couple ingredients of my own, such as fennel seeds, and made it Paleo by swapping out the sugar for honey. The day before making the cake, I made Ras-el-Hanout spice blend and the scent of the fennel came to mind as a nice combination for the oranges. Fennel is a bit like anis, but not quite as powerful.

Note: My husband works in the chemical industry, and when I was explaining how the cake was made, he proceeded to tell me that the skin of the oranges is where most of the impurities and pesticides can be found. I’m guessing, as with other fruits and vegetables when cooked, the effect on our bodies of the impurities and pesticides are diminished.  However, if you’re very worried about this, then maybe peeling them prior to cooking would be an option. Of course the cooking time would need to be reduced. I haven’t tried it this way, and you would miss out on the texture of the skins, but it’s just a piece of information I thought I should through out there.

Orange Fennel Almond Cake with Orange Glaze
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • For the cake:
  • 2 whole oranges
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/3 cup raw honey (more or less to taste)
  • 1 1/4 cup almond flour (ground almonds)
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • zest of 1 orange
  • additional fennel seeds for garnishing
Instructions
  1. Place the whole oranges in a deep pot and fill with enough water to cover them completely.
  2. Over low to medium heat, cook for about 1 hour. Set aside to cool.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
  4. Grease a cake tin with some coconut oil. Set aside.
  5. When the oranges are cool, cut into quarters, remove any seeds and any inside white parts. Place into the food processor bowl. Pulse until smooth.
  6. Add the eggs, raw honey, vanilla, ground fennel and sea salt. Pulse until smooth.
  7. Add the almond flour, arrowroot powder and baking soda and pulse again until well blended.
  8. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 45-50 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and allow to cool before glazing.
  10. For the glaze:
  11. Grate the orange and reserve the zest.
  12. Peel off what is left of the skin of the orange, and cut the flesh into small chunks.
  13. Place the orange pieces and the rest of the ingredients in a small pot, over low heat, and cook about 20-25 minutes until the orange pieces are caramelised. Allow to cool at room temperature.
  14. With an immersion blender, slightly puree. (Alternatively, you can leave with the chunks for a more rustic look.)
  15. Pour over the top of the cake and drizzle with some additional fennel seeds.
  16. Serve and enjoy!

 

Avocado Mint Chocolate Ice Cream (Dairy Free)

We have a love for avocados, as I’m sure most of you do too. They are just delicious almost any way and any time. I particularly love making ice cream with avocados, as it creates a very rich and smooth cream, almost like eating the dairy version.

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I thought of making my Avocado-Lime Ice Cream, since my father absolutely adores this recipe. But I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to grate all the limes and lemons for that, so I opted for something different this time and gave mint and chocolate a try in this super easy to make ice cream.

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OMG! This is really delicious, rich and smooth! I had to use regular chocolate chips, as my parents didn’t have any Paleo options in stock. Next time I make this, I’ll drizzle homemade chocolate overtop, as I did with the Cardamom-Infused Strawberry Ice Cream.

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Also, as my parents do not have an ice cream machine, we made it directly in the freezer. They also make the other ice cream recipes the same way. So don’t fret if you don’t have a maker… simply put the blended mix in sealable freezer container and freeze for at least 4 hours and voila!

Avocado Mint Chocolate Ice Cream (Dairy Free)
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 2 medium, ripe Hass avocados
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut/almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons mint extract
  • 1/2 cup Paleo chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, blend all of the ingredients except the chocolate pieces, until smooth.
  2. Add the chocolate pieces and pulse a few times to cut the chocolate up, if desired.
  3. Pour into the ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions or place in a sealable freezer container and freeze at least for 4 hours, stirring every hour or so.

 

Paleo Banana Bundt Cake

I feel very fortunate to be visiting with my parents for a few weeks. Living the expat life is fabulous in many ways, but being away from family is always hard. We have the opportunity to visit at least once, sometimes twice a year; and of course Skype helps with the distance to see each other often.

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But nothing beats in person, of course! While visiting, we are not only enjoying each other’s company and conversation, but we are also able to share experiences in the kitchen, which always brings us together. My mother has been making some delectable typical Spanish and Portuguese dishes, that I had been longing to eat again with her special touch. And I’ve been baking quite a lot more than I generally do.

I baked a Paleo carrot cake for my mother’s birthday per special request from my father. Okay.. it was her birthday and he chose the flavour. 😉 But we all enjoyed it.

I’ve also been making a lot of things to “teach” her how to bake Paleo style. The following cake is an example.

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Since going Paleo, reading about and experiencing the nutritional benefits of this lifestyle, I’ve been trying to share my new-found knowledge with my family. Every day cooking is very easy to adapt to Paleo. However, baking is a more complicated venture.

Nut flours, and coconut flour especially, react differently to heat and liquid content. And although in Spanish pastry making the almond is used quite frequently, my mother has never really baked with nut flours alone. Therefore sharing my recipes and techniques with her is helping her learn how to use them.

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(This is the batter with the swirl dropped into it. I apologise for the poor picture quality, which was taken late at night.)

Baking with bananas is a good starting point in Paleo/Primal baking. Bananas act as a binding agent and a liquid component at the same time. So it’s an easier ingredient to experiment with and add nut flours, coconut flour and/or starches, such as tapioca and arrowroot.

For this cake, I kept it simple. And it’s quite delicious and very easy to make; in fact, it’s a great recipe to share with children.

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(The swirl incorporated into the batter.)

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By making it in a bundt tin and adding the banana-cinnamon swirl, this cake is also a delicate and elegant dessert, which can be served at a party, yet works great for “every day” use.

We are enjoying it “bare”; but I do see it as a beautiful event cake with some icing….

By the way, I was inspired to make the banana-cinnamon swirls by this recipe from Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations.

Paleo Banana Bundt Cake
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • For cake:
  • 4 ripe bananas, thoroughly mashed (1 1/2 cups or 400ml)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup almond flour (ground almonds)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • coconut oil, for greasing
  • For swirl:
  • 1 ripe banana, thoroughly mashed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease a cake tin with some coconut oil (I made a bundt cake). Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, blender, or by hand, blend until smooth the bananas, eggs, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. (I did this by hand in a bowl, as I was being lazy and didn’t want to wash more dishes.)
  3. If using a food processor, pour the batter into a mixing bowl for the next steps.
  4. Add the almond flour and baking soda and mix well with a hand whisk.
  5. Add the coconut flour and mix well with a hand whisk.
  6. Pour the batter into the cake tin.
  7. For the swirl:
  8. Mash the banana and mix well with the cinnamon.
  9. Place spoonfuls of the swirl over top the cake batter and with a fork, cut the swirl into the batter.
  10. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

 

Banana Chestnut Crunch Ice Cream (No Sugar, No Dairy)

You all know the “one ingredient” ice cream going from blog to blog and spreading through Facebook like wild fire, right? Well, I’ve never tried it. I love bananas, and banana ice cream, but banana alone as an ice cream intrigues me less…and although I love simple cooking and simple dishes, I also like to add something different to my culinary repertoire.  For me, it keeps things more exciting in the kitchen, where I spend a lot of my time.

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This ice cream came about for two reasons. Firstly, I love this fruit juice I used to get in a juice bar in Vistahermosa, en El Puerto de Santa Maria, in Spain. It was made with bananas, orange juice and strawberries. Every once in a while, I also have it at home, although I don’t tend to drink fruit juices too often. The combined flavours are really delicious, and as I was thinking with what to blend the banana, I immediately thought of this drink.

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Secondly, I wanted a “crunch” factor. I have found that chestnut flour is so versatile and fun, and it can be eaten “raw” when mixed with coconut oil and/or honey. (Chestnut flour is made from already roasted chestnuts.) So, the “crunch” in this is made with a chestnut-flour dough, sort of like “chocolate chip dough” ice cream, which my nieces and I used to adore getting at Dairy Queen. (Now, there’s another recipe to be made soon… )

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And one of the best things is that it has no sweetener at all. I’ve kept the natural flavours and sweetness of the fruit and the chestnuts.

So, we can all indulge a little without much guilt! 😉

Banana Chestnut Crunch Ice Cream (No Sugar, No Dairy)
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
No Sweetener added at all.
Ingredients
  • For the banana ice cream:
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • zest of one orange
  • For the “peanut butter” crunch:
  • 1/2 cup chestnut flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Blend all of the ice cream ingredients in a blender or food processor until a puree is formed.
  2. Pour into the ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. In the meantime, in a small bowl, mix with your hands the chestnut flour and coconut oil until a dough is formed.
  4. As the ice cream is churning, break off small chunks of the chestnut dough and drop them into the ice cream maker.
  5. Allow the ice cream maker to finish churning and then serve ice cream.
  6. Or store in freezer for later use.

 

Paleo Shortbread & Tomato-Honey Jam Cookies – SABH

“Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?” …

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It’s that time of month again…to join in on the fun of recipe exchanges with the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop! I love the creativity and enthusiasm I find in all the participants; and very much enjoy being part of this special group.

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If you’re a blogger, you too can join! Just check out the instructions at the bottom of this page for all of the information.

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I’ve missed a few SABH lately and I really didn’t want to miss August’s “Cookie Monster” hop. So, I created this cookie especially for this event.

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Why tomatoes?

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Well, we bought a box of  5kg the other day and I need to use them up! In fact, I’m making a Dutch tomato soup, by special request from my husband, tonight, and I’m blanching and freezing up the rest for later use.

Paleo Shortbread & Tomato-Honey Jam Cookies
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: The Saffron Girl
Serves: 10
Makes 10 cookies/biscuits.
Ingredients
  • For the shortbread:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 1/4 cups ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • For the tomato jam:
  • 6 medium tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeesed orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • freshly ground rosemary (optional)
Instructions
  1. For the shortbread:
  2. Place the butter and honey in the food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until a dough is formed.
  4. Create a ball or sausage with the dough and cover with a piece of parchment paper.
  5. Freeze for about 30 minutes.
  6. Bring out of the freezer and let stand 10 minutes before using the dough.
  7. On a sheet of parchment (or the same one used to freeze), roll out the dough with a rolling pin.
  8. Cut out desired shapes and transfer the cookies with a spatula to a a cookie sheet covered with a sheet of parchment paper.
  9. Bake at 180C (350F) for 6-8 minutes on the bottom rack. Remove from oven and let cool before touching, so they can harden.
  10. For the tomato jam:
  11. Peel the tomatoes with a sharp knife. (You can also scald them in water; but I personally find it easy to simply peel this small amount.)
  12. Cut the tomatoes into small chunks and place them in a medium sized pot.
  13. Add the honey and orange juice.
  14. Over low heat, cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  15. Add the ground cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well.
  16. Cook 5 minutes longer.
  17. Remove from heat and allow to completely cool.
  18. You can either keep the jam with chunks or puree it with an immersion blender for a smoother spread. Strain if desired. (I kept mine with chunks, as it gives it a more rustic feel.)
  19. Pour into a jar and refrigerate.
  20. For using the jam with the cookies, make sure you refrigerate at least an hour before applying to the cookies. Overnight is better.
  21. To assemble:
  22. Place about 2 teaspoons of the jam on a “whole” cookie.
  23. And place the cookie with a “hole” on top.
  24. Sprinkle with some ground rosemary, if desired.
  25. Repeat until you have completed with all the cookies.
  26. NOTE: You can add more flavour to these cookies for other recipes by adding in the dough one of the following, for example: rosemary, edible lavender, sesame seeds, or even chopped up nuts.

 

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The Sweet Adventures Blog Hop, or SABH, is brought to you by 84th & 3rd and monthly Guest Hostesses.

The August 2013 ‘Cookie Monster’ hop is open for linkup until 11:59 pm, Friday 23 August [AEST Sydney time].

IMPORTANT – The instructions below cover how to link up but if you aren’t sure of something don’t hesitate to ask! Detailed instructions can be seen here. Remember, SABH is open to all food bloggers but only new posts published after the hop goes live can be linked up.

  1. Add a link to this post somewhere in your post. You won’t be able to link up in the hop without a ‘backlink’ to this hostess post included in your post.
  2. Click here for the Thumbnail List code – Copy the code and add it to the bottom of your post in HTML view.
  3. Click here to Enter the Hop – Make sure to do this step so you appear in the list too! Add the link to your SABH post (NOT your homepage). Your entry will be submitted when you click ‘crop’ on your photo.

Use the #SABH hashtag to tell the world about your post! You can follow us on Twitter: @SweetAdvBlogHop and on Facebook /SweetAdventuresBlogHop for new hop announcements and general deliciousness. Thanks for joining!

This is a Blog Hop!

Roasted Strawberry Custard Popsicles

I follow Cannelle et Vanille on Instagram, since I love Aran’s food photography and interesting ideas. I was ecstatic when her book came out last year and promptly purchased it. I have made a few recipes from it; and it has inspired me to create some of my own.

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Today is one of those days where I drew inspiration from one of her photographs. Aran posted some gorgeous    strawberries with thyme (much prettier than mine, as she’s a professional food photographer!), that she was preparing to roast. And since I had two packages of strawberries that were threatening to go bad on me, I thought what a perfect idea…for some ice cream!

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I wanted something super creamy, like a custard… so I used egg yolks in this recipe. If you’re worried about raw eggs.. don’t be. They are cooked.

None of my other ice cream recipes are made with eggs, except the rhubard semifreddo; and I must say the custard makes this ice cream spectacular! In fact, it’s so creamy that after putting it through the ice cream maker, I had to freeze it a bit longer to make it hard enough to scoop.

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However, after being in the freezer overnight, it was hard as a rock. So, I put it out to defrost a bit and forgot all about it… so instead of putting it through the ice cream maker again, I decided to make popsicles.

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They are a bit tangy, as I didn’t add much sweetener on purpose, since my intention was to pair the ice cream with a balsamic reduction. So, if you like things sweeter, just add more honey.

For a slight variation (last photograph): make an extra batch of roasted strawberries with the coconut sugar and blend with the immersion blender. Place this puree into the popsicle molds first. Freeze until it solidifies. Then place the strawberry custard mixture on top of that. Add some more of the roasted strawberry puree and insert a popsicle stick. Freeze again until solid. You will get a more colourful popsicle and also one with more intense flavours!

 

Roasted Strawberry Custard Popsicles
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Makes 6 popsicles.
Ingredients
  • For the ice cream:
  • 300g strawberries (about 2 cups cut)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups coconut milk (if using canned, make sure it’s full fat)
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (more for a sweeter version)
  • 1/2 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 3 egg yolks
  • pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. For the ice cream:
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
  3. Clean the strawberries and take the stems off. Cut in halves.
  4. Place them on a double sheet of parchment paper on a cookie tray or in an ovenproof dish.
  5. Drizzle with the lemon juice, zest and coconut sugar.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  7. In the meantime, in a pot over very low heat, mix the coconut milk and honey and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  8. Beat the egg yolks in a glass bowl and stir in a few tablespoons of the hot milk into the yolks, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  9. Add the arrowroot into the egg yolk mixture and mix well. Add a bit more hot coconut milk if necessary.
  10. Pour into the hot milk and continue cooking over very low heat until the sauce thickens and becomes a custard, stirring constantly.
  11. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Should you need to strain it, do so, while it’s warm, but not hot (you could burn yourself).
  12. Place the caramelised strawberries (with all the liquid, but remember to discard any lemon seeds) in the immersion blender or electric blender bowl. Pulse to liquify.
  13. Add the cooled custard and pulse to mix well.
  14. Add a pinch of sea salt and mix well.
  15. For popsicles:
  16. Pour the mixture in the popsicle molds and freeze.
  17. For ice cream:
  18. Place the entire mixture in your ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to churn.
  19. If you do not have an ice cream machine, don’t fret. Simply place the mixture into a sealable freezer container and freeze for about 4 hours, stirring every once in a while to avoid crystallization.
  20. For a slight variation (last photograph): make an extra batch of the roasted strawberries and blend with the immersion blender. Place this puree into the popsicle molds first. Freeze until it solidifies. Then place the strawberry custard mixture on top of that. Add some more of the roasted strawberry puree and insert a popsicle stick. Freeze again until solid. You will get a more colourful popsicle and also one with more intense flavours!

 

Paleo Churros, the Real Deal

As I was frying these churros, my house was engulfed by the smells of the oil and the dough that transported me to the traditional churrerias in Spain. Eating churros in Spain equates to eating pancakes in certain countries… it’s not just about the  food, but the rituals that accompany it.

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For me, it reminds me of the many times my mother, my aunt and I would meet up in Sevilla to go shopping, first stopping to have a “churro con chocolate” breakfast around the corner from my great-aunt’s apartment in San Gonzalo. We still indulge in some churros with our afternoon coffee when we go shopping; but as we all see less of each other, it only happens when we are together in Sevilla.

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However, and this is a big one for me, I always have gotten an upset stomach after eating them. I don’t know if it’s the dough (made with wheat flour) or possibly the oils in which they are fried. But it hardly ever fails. So when I eat them out now, I usually have only one (and yes, I admit dipped in white, refined sugar, or dipped in chocolate as pictured below).

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But as I’m on a quest to Paleolise many of my favourite Spanish indulgences, I finally tackled the churro.

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My first attempt was based on the recipe for buñuelos (a fried-dough pastry, similar to choux) that I found in a book I bought on our last visit, called “Come Sin Gluten y Disfruta” by Begoñia Naveira. Yet, the dough was raw and still quite sticky inside after frying and baking. And honestly, it was a slippery glob when handling.

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As the process is slightly labour-intensive, I thought of giving up and trying it another day. But then my ambition and determination got the better of me, and I tried again. The secret to my success is the addition of coconut flour and altering the amounts of the ingredients a bit.

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These truly taste and feel like the real churros from Spain. I tried two ways: frying and baking. And while frying is the authentic way to make them, especially in olive oil, using a different oil (with a healthier smoke point, such as lard or coconut oil) will make them a healthier treat. If you want the real taste, though, frying them in olive oil is the way to go. And after all, this is a treat, so just don’t over-indulge!

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As for the baking: I like the results, but it’s more of a choux pastry then, instead of a churro. So… this recipe lends itself to more experimentation and to making some “Neapolitans” filled with cream and some delightful choux!

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I also froze some of the fried churros to see how they would “work” the next day. I took them out of the freezer, and stuck a few directly into the oven at 180C (350F) and heated them up for about 5 minutes (probably effectively 3 once the oven reached the temperature). They were delicious! I would say they were even better the next day!

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I left the choux-like mounds (pictured above) at room temperature overnight and they were also very nice the next day. They held their shape and texture, and the inside was still perfect.

And one last word of praise to this recipe: they do not seep in the oil when frying. The inside stays nice and dry, which is a really good thing since the real churros actually sometimes get oily inside.

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So go ahead and give this a try! I can’t wait to hear your feedback. Personally, I’m ecstatic that this worked and I know I can create more things with this basic recipe. 😉

¡que aproveches!

Paleo Churros, the Real Deal
Recipe Type: Dessert, Breakfast
Cuisine: Spanish
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 100g (7 tablespoons) butter, measured when slightly softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea/himalayan salt
  • 33g (1/4 cup) coconut flour (scoop and scrape method)
  • 66g (1/2 cup) arrowroot powder (scoop and scrape method)
  • 3 eggs
Instructions
  1. Be prepared for some intense stirring and a bit of a workout. But these churros are worth it.
  2. NOTE: You will notice that the amounts are given in both metric and U.S. And although the amounts are not an exact conversion, they both work. I’ve tried it both ways to ensure both are foolproof. Don’t “mix and match”; either stick to metric or U.S. when making this recipe.
  3. I recommend preparing and measuring everything out before starting, as you will have to move rapidly and will not have time to measure once you’ve commenced the process.
  4. Also, crack the eggs in individual bowls before hand. (I always crack eggs separately when cooking/baking to ensure I don’t throw away a batch because of one bad egg.)
  5. Prepare your piping bag and tip as well. I used the Wilton 1M.
  6. Combine the coconut flour, arrowroot powder and salt together in one small bowl.
  7. Over low heat, in a medium pot, melt the butter in the water and when it starts to bubble, immediately, still over low heat, dump in the flours all at once.
  8. With a wooden spoon, stir vigorously until a ball is formed, which will be in about 30 seconds or less. (The dough will become a ball as you stir and will be sticky in itself but not stick to the pot. See photos attached.)
  9. Keep stirring for about 1 minute in total.
  10. Remove from heat and let cool about 5 minutes. (I actually timed this.)
  11. Add one egg at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition.
  12. The dough will slightly come apart when you first add each egg, but once you stir long enough, it comes back together, although never as dry as like in the beginning. (The dough starts to get noticeably stickier after egg number two.)
  13. Once all the eggs have been incorporated and the dough is well blended, spoon the dough into a piping bag.
  14. For Spanish looking churros, you’ll want to use a star or round tip. (Churros in Spain are typically either star shaped – pictured- or long round pieces.)
  15. Heat your oil of preference in a deep pot or a deep fryer (for an authentic Spanish taste, use olive oil).
  16. Once the oil is hot enough, carefully pipe the dough into the hot oil. You can use a pair of scissors to help you cut off the dough. (Be careful not to burn yourself or cause splatter.)
  17. Make either long or curled shapes.
  18. Fry turning over with a tong until golden brown on each side.
  19. Note: as the oil gets warmer, the dough will turn darker quicker, but still needs to be cooked through.
  20. Remove the churros from the oil with the tong and place on a plate prepared with paper towel (to absorb the extra oil).
  21. Serve immediately with thick, sweetened hot chocolate or dip in some coconut sugar.
  22. This dough also worked well in the oven, for a “healthier” version:
  23. Preheat oven to 200C (400F).
  24. Place a sheet of parchment on a cookie sheet.
  25. Pipe out desired shapes. Depending on what shape you choose, the baking time will have to be adjusted.
  26. For churro shaped rounds or “sticks”, bake about 8-10 minutes, turning over half way.
  27. For choux shaped mounds, bake 15 minutes. (These are also good the next day, stored at room temperature.)
  28. You can also freeze the fried/baked dough and reheat in the oven at 180C (350F) for about 5 minutes.

 

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