Weekend Baking: Swedish Chocolate Cake

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there! If you're not a father, I hope you're spending it with the father in your life. 

Today's Weekend Baking post is all about the Swedish Chocolate Cake. This is not my own recipe, but out of Izy Hozzack's Top With Cinnamon Cookbook. (which is a great book by the way) This cake is gooey, and chocolatey, and all sorts of wonderful. Plus, it's just so easy! If you have all the ingredients on hand, which you probably do, you need to make this straight away. Please make it, you will not regret it. 

For this cake,  you will need: (makes a 7" cake)

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp of unsalted butter

1 3/4 cup of sugar (I used 1 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup of cocoa powder

2 tsp of vanilla extract

3 eggs

1 cup of flour

A pinch of salt 

To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a medium pot, melt the butter. In another bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients. And in a separate small bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla extract.

Once the butter has melted, take the pot off the heat and add in the dry ingredients. Add in the eggs afterwards, and mix thoroughly. The batter should look like chocolate fudge. 

Transfer the batter into the greased 7" cake pan, and bake for about 30-35 minutes. Once out of the oven, leave the cake to cool for 20 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a plate. Serve the cake warm with powdered sugar on top, and enjoy! (This cake will be demolished by anyone who tries it. It. is. so. good.) 

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Weekend Baking: Raw & Vegan Chocolate Caramel Squares

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Good morning! I realize when I say good morning it may not apply to everyone as the internet is not limited to time zone so if it is not morning for you, I'm still sending you good vibes! For today's weekend sweets, we have the raw, vegan, and gluten free chocolate caramel squares! These are delicious, pretty nutritious, and super easy! All you need is a food processor, and the sky is the limit! My inspiration for this recipe is from Emily von Euw's Rawesome Vegan Life blog. rawchocolatebar3

*This recipe is based on a square pan.

For the crust, you will need:

1 cup of raw almonds

1 cup of pitted dates

For the caramel layer, you will need:

1 cup of pitted dates

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

1/4 - 1/2 cup of water

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

For the chocolate layer, you will need:

2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil

1/4 cup of cacao powder

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

small pinch of salt

To start, line a square baking pan with parchment paper. Mix together the crust ingredients in a food processor until the mixture resembles a ball. Press the mixture into the base of the pan, and chill in the fridge.

While the crust is chilling, make the caramel mixture. To do so, add all of the ingredients into a food processor and mix until there is gooey caramel! The caramel should be sticky and not too thick. Add on top of the crust, and chill back in the fridge.

For the chocolate layer, mix everything together in a bowl, and you have your very own chocolate! Add the chocolate evenly over the caramel layer.

Chill everything for at least 12 hours, and once ready to serve cut into squares. I think this is a great dessert, but also a wonderful snack, protein bar, breakfast - really it could be anything. These squares are delicious and really do fool you into thinking there's refined sugar and other bad things.

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Weekend Baking: Raw Peanut Butter Banana Pies

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Good morning! I have such a sweet tooth, and everyone knows it. But I do love some healthier alternatives to refined sugars and this treat is just that. Here is the raw, vegan, and gluten free peanut butter banana pies. IMG_6046 You will need: (makes 8 mini pies)

Cream filling:

3 bananas

4 tablespoons of natural peanut butter (or almond butter)

1 1/2 cup of almond milk

Crust:

1 1/2 cup of pitted dates

1/2 cup of almonds

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

To start, line a muffin tin with cling wrap or parchment paper. Blend the cream filling in a blender until smooth & set aside. Place all of the crust ingredients into a food processor and whaz everything up until a ball forms. Separate the crust into each muffin cup and pat down well. Separate the banana mixture on top of date crust. Put in freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight. To serve, I added coconut whip cream, shredded coconut, and dark chocolate shavings.

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This is a super easy dessert to make, and it tastes amazing! You can make it ahead of time, and it will hold for a 2-3 days in the freezer. Let me know what you think about this dessert in the comments below.

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Weekend Baking: Vegan & Gluten Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Morning! What's better than an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie? Maybe a vegan and gluten free one that everyone you know can enjoy! Although this recipe is vegan and gluten free, it couldn't be more simple. These cookies are absolutely delicious, and got the non-Vegan-Gluten-Free person approval. So you know they're good. chocoat2

You will need:

1 cup of oats 1 cup of gluten free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill all-purpose flour) 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum 1/2 cup of sugar 1/4 cup of chia seeds (If you don't have chia seeds, you can use flax) 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon 1 tsp of sea salt 3/4 cup of apple sauce or canola oil 1/3 cup of almond milk 1 tsp of vanilla extract 1/2 - 1 cup of chocolate chips

To start, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in one bowl, and mix the wet in another. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix well. Add in the chocolate chips.

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Using an ice cream scoop or a rough estimate of 1/4 cup, make balls of dough. Flatten each ball to about 1/4 inch thick and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.

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Once out of the oven, let the cookies cool for at least 20 minutes so they can settle and stick together well. Enjoy!

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Weekend Baking: Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Chocolate chip cookies are everyone's favourite so they're the perfect treat to make on the weekend. They're comforting, warm and gooey, but these ones have a bit of a twist! They have sea salt on the tops. I'm a big fan of salty and sweet together in a dessert. These cookies will settle your cravings, and will leave you happy. You will need:

1 cup of softened butter

1 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp of vanilla extract

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 tsp of baking soda

1/2 tsp of salt (plus more sea salt for topping)

2 cups of chocolate chips

To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until it becomes fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until it becomes creamy. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix in into the wet ingredients gradually. Stir in the chocolate chips. (Its important to stir the chocolate chips in and now beat them because you want the chips to stay whole) I like to use a mini ice cream scooper to portion out the dough and then I roll them into balls. Top each ball with sea salt, and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. Let them cool, and enjoy! chocolate chip dough ball2 chocolate chip dough ball1 salt chocolate chip cookies salt chocolate chip cookie

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Weekend Baking: Vegan & Gluten Free Raw Brownies

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This is the second instalment of Weekend Baking! For today's recipe we're making vegan and gluten free raw brownies! These are healthy, delicious and super quick to make since there's no baking involved! They're like a version of protein bars so you know they're good for you. These are perfect to make on the weekend because you can enjoy them all Saturday and Sunday, and throughout the week too! You will need:

1 cup of dates, pitted

1 cup of raw almonds

1/2 cup of shredded coconut

2 teaspoons of raw cocoa powder

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of coconut oil

1/2 cup of natural peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)

2 teaspoons of maple syrup

1 teaspoon of water (if need for binding)

A food processor

To start, put all of your ingredients into your food processor. Whaz it up! If it's not coming together naturally or is too dry, add in a little water.

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Once it mixed well and combined, line a square pan with cling wrap, and dump it out. Flatten out the mix with a spatula or your hands, then cover and pop in the fridge for 1 hour at least.

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After it's settled and hardened, you can cut into it and make squares. raw brownie 3

Enjoy!

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These are full of goodness, are healthy, and barely take anything to do. If you keep them wrapped or put them into a container, they will stay fresh for a good week or so. You can add in flax seeds, other nuts, dried fruit, or anything else that meets your fancy! They're as flexible as you are.

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Twelve Days of Baking: Caramel Chocolate Brownies

Merry Christmas Eve! Today is a special day because there will be TWO baking posts! One is this post, and another will be coming this evening. The last day of baking will be tomorrow, Christmas Day! (And that's a good one!) Today's post is all about caramel chocolate brownies! They're easy, delicious, and oh so addictive!

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You will need:

12 ounces of chocolate (chips, squares, or anything you have)

1/4 cup of butter, softened

3/4 cup of sugar

2 eggs

1 cup of flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Caramel (homemade, store-bought or even a can of dulce de leche)

To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Melt your chocolate on a double boiler. Mix your butter with the sugar, and add the rest of the ingredients aside from the chocolate and caramel together. Mix thoroughly. Add the chocolate in slowly, and once again, mix thoroughly.

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Pour your brownie batter into a square pan. IMG_4553

Add the caramel (I used homemade) and make swirls through the batter with it. IMG_4556IMG_4558

Pop them in the oven for about 20-30 minutes or until the centre is dry. Let them cool, cut into squares, and serve!

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These are highly addictive. I am eating one as typing up this post. Uber delicious, uber easy, and uber special with the caramel!

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Twelve Days of Christmas: Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies

Just like the chocolate bark, this recipe is a little bit of a cheat during this time of year. I love baking so I'll always make time for it, but other people have much busier schedules than I do, which means less time for baking. This recipe uses Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie dough, but feel free to adapt your own chocolate chip cookie recipe to it! (I've tried this recipe both ways and it works perfectly with both!) IMG_4474

You will need:

1 roll of Pillsbury cookie dough (or your own recipe)

1 cup of nutella

3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

48 mini marshmallows or 12 large marshmallows

A handful of crushed candy canes

To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Add the cookie dough, nutella, cocoa powder, and cinnamon into a bowl and mix very well.

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From here, you could easily make little balls and pop them in the oven for double chocolate chip cookies.

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For the peppermint hot chocolate cookies, you'll need to roll them out into little balls first. Once you've done this, squish the balls into flat rounds, and add 2 mini marshmallows or 1/2 of a large marshmallow to each cookie round.

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Enclose the marshmallows inside the dough and make a round ball. Add your crushed candy canes to the top, and pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes.

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These cookies can really impress people because they're stuffed. They're really delicious once out of the oven because the marshmallow is very gooey. Enjoy these cookies with a warm drink or send them as a yummy gift to someone. They're easy, quick, and impressive!IMG_4408

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Check out tomorrow at 7 pm for a new recipe!

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Twelve Days of Baking: Cherry & Pistachio Chocolate Bark

I love baking, but sometimes you're in a little bit of a hurry or you're feeling a little tired and taking the time to bake isn't really appealing. A solution: chocolate bark! Bark is delicious, easy to make, and can be gifted to those special friends and family of yours during the holiday season. IMG_4230

You will need:

1 cup of chocolate (whatever you have on hand)

1/2 cup of shelled pistachios

1/2 cup of dried cherries

To start, either melt your chocolate in a double boiler or place in the microwave to heat for 30 seconds intervals. Between each interval, stir the chocolate. After about a minute or so, it should be melted to perfection. Add the pistachios and dried cherries and mix very well. Lay out the chocolate mixture onto a board or pan that is lined with parchment paper. Now you have two choices: 1. leave your bark to harden and cool by itself or 2. place in the freezer or fridge. The fridge option will have your bark done within half an hour. Once it has cooled, just break up the bark! You don't need to get fancy as it looks better rustically broken. You can either serve the bark at a party or wrap them up in little baggies with ribbon for your friends and family. It will become a hit! Trust me!

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There are five other days of the twelve days of baking that I suggest you check out!

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Twelve Days of Baking: Mini S'mores Pies

Today's delicious dessert is miniature s'mores pies! They're super easy, and definitely cute! You'll probably have everything on hand already which makes these little pies very inexpensive. IMG_3970

You will need:

3 tablespoons of melted butter

3/4 cup of crushed graham crackers

4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate

1 tablespoon of sugar

1/3 cup of cream

Mini marshmallows (the more the better!)

To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine the melted butter with the graham crackers thoroughly. The graham cracker crumbs must be fully coated.

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Separate the graham cracker mixture into muffin tins. Press them into each tin so you can form the crusts of the pies. Bake for about 5-6 minutes.

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On a double boiler, melt the chocolate.IMG_3944IMG_3947

Once the chocolate is melted, add the cream and sugar.

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Mix thoroughly. Once the graham cracker crusts are out of the oven, divide the chocolate mixture into each crust evenly.

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Pop on as many mini marshmallows as you can on each pie, and put back into the oven. IMG_3952

Set your oven on broil to brown up the marshmallows. Keep an eye on them as this shouldn't take more than a minute! After you've taken them out of the oven, let them cool for a minimum of 30 minutes before you try to take them out; they need to harden up!

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They're crisp on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside, making them the perfect combination for a delightful dessert. You can serve these individually with whip cream or ice cream, which will make them extra special!

Check out day one, day two, and day three of my twelve days of baking!

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Vegan & Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Banana and chocolate chip is one of my favourite flavour combinations when baking. Last week I was craving some yummy and healthy muffins so I decided to make these quick muffins. I also had some bananas going a little mushy so this was the perfect way to use them up! IMG_3155

You will need:

1 3/4 cups of gluten free flour

3/4 cup of sugar

1 tablespoon of baking powder

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

1/2 cup of almond milk

1/2 cup of oil (I used canola)

2-3 ripe bananas

1 cup of vegan chocolate chips

To start, preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and get your muffin pan ready with either baking cups or a non-stick spray. Sift the flour with the sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and sea salt. Mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, mix the almond milk and oil together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and combine. Mash your bananas, and add them with the chocolate chips into the mixture. Fold them in gently to ensure the chocolate chips don't get mashed too! Scoop the batter into the muffin pan, and bake for 15-20 minutes. They should be golden and a toothpick should come out clean if inserted. Let them cool, and enjoy!

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These muffins are so moist, and delicious. Again, everything you should already have on hand which makes them budget conscious. You can easily make this recipe without the vegan or gluten free ingredients; you can sub them out at a 1:1 ratio and they'll turn out just fine. I popped my muffins in the freezer so I can have them on hand anytime. Also so I wouldn't eat them all in one day! To freeze, wrap up each muffin with plastic wrap and pop them into a freezer bag!

Give these muffins a try and they'll definitely be a go to for you!

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The Cannoli

The cannoli is a classic dessert, that really is so delicious and easy to make! They're also inexpensive, and most of the ingredients you'll already have in your kitchen. Everyone will be happy you made them! You will need:

Cannoli shells. Most grocery stores should carry them prepackaged. It will save you all the time and effort of making them yourself.

Ricotta. It is an Italian soft cheese, and can transform itself into something sweet!

Juice and Zest of an Orange.

The yolk of one egg.

A sweet liquor. 2 tablespoons or so of either cognac, whiskey, or Strega. (This bottle of Strega is from a trip to Italy my Nonna went on 28 years ago!)

Sugar. About 2 tablespoons give or take.

Chocolate chips.

Mix everything together well (it really is simple to make). With a teaspoon, fill up each side of the cannoli, and clean it off with the edge of the spoon. Put a chocolate chip on either side into the ricotta filling. You can dust them with icing sugar afterwards. Put them on a tray, and serve them!

They're cute, and delightful to see. They make a great dessert, and snack too! Enjoy :)

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Vegan & Gluten Free Banana Clusters

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What does lots of studying, ripe bananas, and a sunday afternoon equal? Procrastination. Well actually its a vegan, gluten free banana oat and chocolate bonanza type of procrastination. These banana cookies are more like clusters of crunchy oats on the outside and moist bananas and chocolate on the inside. They're just lovely, and rather easy to make. They also help to get rid of those extremely ripe bananas you would have thrown away (no waste here!).

All you need is 2 (or more) ripe bananas, chocolate chips (dark for a vegan recipe), and oats. Everything is roughly equal parts. First, mash up the bananas until they're smooth. Mix in the chocolate chips and oats, and make them into clusters. Pop them onto a baking sheet and throw them  into the oven at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.

You will be happy you made these Sunday procrastination cookies, trust me! Now back to studying for me.

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