Monday, 12 May 2014

Caramel Slice

It's no secret I'm a sweets kinda gal, so when I got a request for a caramel slice, I jumped at the chance.
With Mother's Day on my mind, I set out to make a sweet little treat my mami would love and one that I would also be happy eating. 

Whilst these are a healthier version than your average caramel slice, they should still be seen as a treat and enjoyed as such.
I find them really rich, so I suggest cutting them up into small squares and keeping them in the freezer, ready to be eaten whenever the urge attacks!

And don't fear, they are gluten free, refined sugar free and raw vegan.  Hooray!

Caramel Slice
Makes 12 3x3cm squares


1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup activated buckinis
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
10 pitted medjool dates
1 tsp of vanilla extract
2 TBS of coconut oil

1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup coconut nectar (or rice bran syrup/maple syrup)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp of vanilla extract
pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1 TBS of raw mesquite powder*

1/3 cup coconut oil
4 TBS raw cacao powder
4 TBS coconut nectar (or rica bran syrup/maple syrup)
1 TBS of coconut cream


Place all ingredients in the food processor and pulse until everything resembles fine crumbs and sticks together.  Add more dates if needed.
Press mixture into the bottom of a square cake tin that you have lined with baking paper.
Press down on mixture, spreading it evenly.  I use the bottom of a glass to smooth it out.
Place in freezer whilst you make the rest of the components.

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend it until it's all super smooth and delicious.
Pour this over your prepared base, and smooth it out with a spatula so that you get even cover.  Place in the freezer whilst you make the chocolate.

*Mesquite powder is a high protein meal that contains good quantities of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc, and is rich in the amino acid lysine as well. Its low GI of 25 helps maintain stable blood sugar levels.
It has a lovely flavour that tastes a bit like caramel which is why I used it here.

Mix all of the ingredients together really well, making sure there are no bubbles.  The coconut oil needs to be liquid for this so if it's hard, just place the coconut oil jar in some boiling water to melt before you add it to the rest of the ingredients.
Once it's all mixed, you need to work quickly as it will start to harden, making it difficult to get an even spread.
Pour the chocolate over the caramel and spread evenly with a spatula.
Place in the freezer to set for about 30 mins or better yet, a couple of hours.
When ready, use a hot knife to slice it into pieces for you to enjoy.

Now was that one of the easiest things you ever made or what?!  
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Peas, love and mungbeans


Friday, 2 May 2014

Baking wunderkind

From the first time that I stumbled across Zainab and her creations, I was instantly in foodie love.  Apart from her photography skills, this girl can bake!  
Her creations are as delicious as they are beautiful and they inspire me to get my oven mitts out and get to it!

But baked treats aside, I was also intrigued. 
Who is the girl who makes all these elaborate and delightful goodies?
There's was only one way to find out and that was to ask her.
In today's blog post, I interview Zainab, the brains behind the recipes, the eye behind the lens, a true baking wonderkind!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I'm a 16 year old vegan girl from Sydney, Australia who's in love with baking and photography. I started baking when I was 7-ish and discovered photography soon after I started my food blog (la gallette). I come from a Persian-Iraqi background I can can speak both Persian and Arabic (but not fluently)! I'm your total nerd! Maths is my drug of choice and I'm obsessed with it (weird I know!). I'm quite a shy person but once you get to know me, I'm all sorts of crazy!

What is your eating philosophy?

I believe in eating enjoyable healthy, nutritious foods, feeding your body what it needs but still maintaining a balance. Finding the balance is the key.

When and why did you decide to start eating this way? 

It's actually quite a long story, but I'll try to fast forward it up a bit...

I was never the healthy type. I was overweight when I was about 10 and I decided to go on a diet, the only thing is that I had no idea what I was doing. It was bad, I would eat half an apple a day for a period of 3 months. I was deteriorating, I became nauseous and tired. My body was giving up on me but I lost a total of 25kg. I went from overweight to underweight. I had a hard time with food, I viewed it as the enemy and shortly after I developed a bad relationship with food. I became bulimic and had body-image issues.  Eventually, I recovered and discovered the real meaning of health and healthy eating.

Have you noticed any difference since changing your eating philosophy (if any)?

I've become happier and healthier. Ever since I've opted for a vegan diet, I've noticed a jump in my step!

Have you met any barriers to eating this way, if so, how did you overcome them?

There aren't many barriers but the thing that slowed me down was definitely what others think. Being a vegan, of course caused some negative attention from friends and family but I overcame that.

What is your favourite dish to make?

Ooh, that's hard! But I'm going to have to go with a classic chocolate cake. I can't help myself when it comes to these babes!

What ingredients are a must-have for your fridge/pantry?

I have to have the vegan-baking essentials, like: 
Dates, coconut oil, brown sugar, oats, quinoa, almonds, green tea, bananas, chia seeds, natural peanut butter and a whole lot of fresh fruit and vegetables!

Juices or smoothies? What do you prefer and what combination?

Smoothies, for sure! Banana, pineapple, coconut with a bit of lime zest is my all time favourite. 

Sweet or savoury?

SWEET! Gimme all the sweet stuff in the world!

Can you share a fave recipe with us?

I have way too much favourite recipes, but I’m currently loving these triple coconut drizzle slices, they're really easy to make as well:


Coconut cake:
5 tbsp coconut oil, melted 
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar (or any other natural sugar)
400ml coconut milk
1 cup white spelt flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup desiccated coconut
2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp almond milk
1/2 cup icing sugar
chopped hazelnuts, pistachios and almond


Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a square baking tin with grease proof paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until combined and pour into the prepared tin, smoothing the batter all the way out to the sides. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden. Cook before icing and sprinkling with chopped nuts of your choice.

If you could give someone new to this lifestyle a piece of advice, what would it be?

Treat your body with love, don't neglect it, feed it with nutritious fuel and most of all, don't give up! You deserve the best.

So there you have it, the gorgeous girl behind the lens and the oven mitts!
Please head over to Zainab's blog, La Gallette, apart from being a feast for the eyes, there's also a ton of delicious recipes that'll keep you busy.  
You can also find Zainab on Instagram: @lagalette 

Thanks Zainab for being so lovely in sharing your time and your recipes, you are a beautiful soul & I can't wait to try more of your yummies!

Peas, love and mungbeans


*All images provided by Zainab Alasadi and used with her permission