No Bake Cookies/Candy For One

Coconut PoodlesFor when you have a hankering for just a little bit of sweet! The recipe makes 6 coconutty chocolate balls; you can share up to three with a friend if you’re feeling very generous. These contain no oats (most recipes like this seem to) and they take about two minutes to make – but you do need to wait for a while for them to set. You can do it!!


As a side note: I can never wrap my brain around the fact that these are considered “cookies” in English, as to me they should clearly be filed under “candy”. :-)


Coconut Poodles (makes 6)


50 ml sugar

20 g butter

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 tablespoon milk

1-2 tablespoons peanut butter

50 ml desiccated coconut


Combine sugar, butter, cocoa powder and milk in a saucepan.

Bring gently to boil and simmer for 1 minute.

Add peanut butter and coconut; stir until well combined.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper and allow to set for about an hour.


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Chocolate Cake, Paleo Style

Paleo Chocolate CakeThis month’s We Should Cocoa challenge (Hi there, Chocolate Teapot and Chocolate Log Blog!) is sugar free. At first I thought I’d skip it – the only recipe that came to my mind was one for berry & date chocolate truffles, and I’m a bit truffled out from the Christmas season (even though I only made three kinds of truffles and only ate about 80% of them myself). Also, TLSO is on a diet and asked me if I could maybe, perhaps, bake a little less so that there aren’t constant temptations around – I complied. However, two weeks into my baking strike I was developing severe withdrawal symptoms and started coming up with various cunning plans. Upon googling sugar free, low fat, low calorie etc. healthful-stuff recipes online, I came across the Paleo Diet, as well as a bunch of resourceful people who have come up with Paleo baking recipes! So, I asked TLSO: was it ok to bake a cake that had no sugar, no dairy and no flour in it, but plenty of good for you fruit? It was. Ta-da, I had both a diet-friendly and a cocoa challenge applicable chocolate cake recipe in my hands.

The recipe comes from the Paleo Spirit blog, which has plenty of information on the Paleo diet and a lot of damn fine looking recipes. The cake is free of a whole bunch of things, like dairy, gluten, sugar, nut, and soy, but it is chock full of complex flavours that combine in your mouth to give you the sweet satisfaction of chocolate cake. The texture is dense and moist (because of the fruit), yet fragile (because of the heavy and sturdy coconut flour). Absolutely worth trying!

Paleo Diet Chocolate Cake (10-12 pieces)

225 g dates, pitted
1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
3 eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Preheat oven to 175 C. Line the bottom of a 9” round cake pan with parchment paper and grease pan with coconut oil.
Place the dates in a food processor and pulse until completely pureed (scrape the sides a few times to make sure there are no bits hiding from the blade!).
Add applesauce and continue to pulse until combined with the dates.
Transfer the fruit purée to a bowl, add the eggs, vanilla, coconut oil and coffee, and mix with an electric mixer until well combined.
Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix on low-speed, scraping down the sides, until you have a smooth batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it with the back of a spatula (the batter does not settle like regular cake batters, so the pattern you make now is more or less the pattern that comes out of the oven).
Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.

Serve with whipped (coconut) cream or frosting of your choice. We had this with last summer’s strawberries (thawed from the freezer), which complemented the cake beautifully.

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The Wallpaper Overlords

(Energy provided by mere natural bile. Having a dry January following a very wet Christmas holiday in Cuba, plus suffering from the mother of all flus so don’t feel like having wine anyway(!).)


TLSO and I are redecorating the upstairs half bath (=TLSO does all the work and I look at pictures of pretty half baths online for inspiration). We have one guiding principle: all rooms upstairs shall be warmly coloured. This, naturally, includes the half bath that is currently stripped to the bone. Off we went, hopeful, to hardware stores in our area to look for a lovely sturdy wallpaper for the half bath. In warm colours. Warm red, gold and bronze tones, warm browns and beiges, all possible.


We could not find a single one. Not one warm-toned wallpaper. The dozens upon dozens of wallpapers we saw in several shops were all cool: minty greens, pale blues, rose-coloured reds, pinks, bluish purples, purply browns and cool beiges. All cold colours. Every last one. Which begs the question: who makes the decisions regarding wallpaper fashion? Why is it that we simply cannot buy warm-coloured wallpaper at this time (we certainly could a year and a half ago when we were redecorating the upstairs bedroom)? I doubt it’s the chain store buyers as coldness abounded regardless of the store or the chain that the store belonged to. Surely buyers do not hold bi-annual meetings where they all decide, en mass, what will be made available? One would think that not having the same exact stuff as all your competitors would be a good thing.


I rather suspect there is some sort of wallpaper designers’ guild – much like designers in the fashion industry, you know – who have wallpaper shows somewhere nice, like Nice, for each season and who make random decisions along the lines of ”No one shall have warmly coloured rooms in the Spring of ’13! No one! Bwahahaha!”. I can see them now, showcasing their cold designs on the walls surrounding the runway, sipping champagne, laughing demonically and loving the power they have over regular folks’ half baths.


The bastards.

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