Super Rich Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Vegan, Wholemeal, Low Sugar 

Remember when I made those chocolate orange cupcakes and told everyone they were the best healthy chocolate cupcakes ever? Well that proved that none of you can trust me ever again, because it was a lie. These here today are the best. cupcakes. EVER.

They defy science. When I was making them, I felt very apprehensive about the large blobs of chia gel floating on a sea of cold coffee and mashed banana. I had a sinking feeling I would have to throw it all in the bin, and waste my precious stash of frozen bananas. But then, somehow in the oven a miracle occurred. Maybe someone came into my house and replaced them, I don’t really know. But they came out as literally the richest, *moistest* cupcakes of all time.


We first tried them warm from the oven, when the chocolate chunks were still melted and squishy. They were so amazing I almost decided not to ice them. But they looked so ugly! Literally like little cooked pots of dirt. Also is it a cupcake without icing? Somebody tell me because I really don’t know.

So, I made this avocado mousse and covered them all in that. Holy crap! They became even better. They tasted like little chocolate fondant mousse explosions. I thought I was up to the challenge of eating two, and it was so rich I almost had a hard attack right there. HOW!

I actually don’t understand. The ingredients list reads more like a healthy breakfast than a cake. And somehow it’s richer than the Sarah Lee pudding I may or may not have sampled in the darkest moments of the holidays. What is life.


Being away so long I’ve gotten quite rusty with the whole photography process, so apologies for the very moody Dracula lighting. I was feeling very dark and existential today. Not really, I just couldn’t find my white backboard and the sunlight disappeared behind a cloud for a good four hours.

Also, when I finally did manage to take a good shot, I excitedly slapped the backboard down onto the table and crushed three of the cupcakes. (Don’t worry, my sister ate them). You don’t have to ice these if you don’t want to. If you don’t, you can warm them up and make the chocolate melt. If you do though, you won’t regret it. They are literally so rich. Have a great week errybody 🙂


Rich chocolate cupcakes:
3 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 7 tbsp water
3 bananas, mashed
1/3 cup (80ml) brewed coffee or espresso
110ml (1/2 cup) olive or sunflower oil

100g (1/2 cup) raw sugar
120g (1 cup) plain or wholemeal flour
120g (1 cup) raw cacao powder
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
60g chopped dark chocolate
opt: 1 tsp cinnamon

1 large ripe avocado
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
4 tbsp raw cacao
1-2 tbsp soy or almond milk


Preheat the oven to 180C (360F) and line 10 cupcake holes with papers. Mash the bananas well, then blend with the chia gel, coffee and oil. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients well. Use a spoon to gently fold in the blended wet ingredients until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks Spoon into the muffin tins until 3/4 full and bake for 13-15 minutes, until risen and springy when you touch them. Allow to cool completely.

Blend together the avocado, cacao and honey and add the soy milk until you have a mousse-like consistency. Either use a piping bag, or just a knife to ice each cupcake. Once iced, store the cupcakes in the fridge and eat on the day you make them.


Vegan Chocolate Cream Tarts (gluten and sugar free)

Vegan, Raw, Gluten free and Sugar free


 So, apparently all the photo files on my blog are enormous. Enormous as in instead of being around 500k to 1 megabite at the absolute largest! They are like, 6 or 7 megabites each. That’s proobably why they took ages to load on most people’s computers and proobably the reason for lots of people, no photos would ever come up at all…

I’m sorry! I never promised to be a computer genius! In fact I’ve often lamented my complete lack of technical skills in many a post. Don’t worry, I’ve started the arduous and horrific process of going back through each post that I deem important and re-uploading smaller sized photos. So hopefully things will start to come up a little faster around here. I was wondering why I’d already used up 10% of my available space in 6 months! 


 I’m super scared of technological challenges, which is kind of annoying seeing as this blog here is one large technological…thing. For example, coding. What is it? I don’t know. How do you use it? I don’t know. All I know is that </p<p> means paragraph. People always talk about the CSS coding of their blog and how they’ve re-coded stuff to personalise it to their personal style…I’m just  like wuuuut. 

I never realised how much cray cray effort went in to even the simplest food blogs. Seriously, even for someone like me who loves to take the easy root, I spend a minimum of an hour cooking the thing, another hour styling/serving/arranging it and then, to be honest, only about twenty minutes to half an hour photographing it.

But then I edit the photos for at least half an hour, and write the post. That takes another half an hour, usually an hour. Then I check the whole draft and the coding and everything else that I could have stuffed up. Then I spend twenty minutes uploading the photos to pinterest and other foodie photo sites. That’s a minimum of three hours a post, and I usually do one or two posts a week. And that’s a lazy food blog! My lightroom editing program isn’t even working at the moment! I can’t even imagine what a professional website must be like to maintain. 


I’ve never thought of giving it up though. I know as soon as I did, I’d make something like these vegan chocolate cream tarts and kick myself for not being able to share them! They’re absolutely delicious, and they’re gluten and sugar free as well. And completely raw! Talk about impressive. It took me quite a long time to perfect this recipe, and a lot of inspiration from some of my favourite blogs. But in the end, this here is what I consider the perfect chocolate tart. 

The crust is the same recipe as these coconut chocolate truffles minus the coconut. The filling is this chocolate mousse minus the chia seeds. I was completely inspired by this delicious chocolate tart from GI 365 and couldn’t stop thinking about it. The first time I tried the mousse the avocado I used wasn’t perfectly ripe, and it came out all stringy and disgusting. A little bit of tweaking later, and I had the smoothest and creamiest chocolate cream I could have wanted. I wrote the recipe in cups even though I’m a grams girl at heart, because with walnuts and dates and bananas etc I find it a bit too fiddly to get out the scales and a bit unnecessary when it’s raw. 

I used the same cute little tart cases that I did for my lavender and lemon tarts, lining the shells with plastic wrap so I could pull them out easily. I was really worried they would stick! These tarts last really well in the fridge and make a great dessert for a BBQ or picnic. You can adapt the recipe to make one big tart if you like as well. The benefits from the avocado, cocoa powder and walnuts are great for your body and there is nothing processed or derived from animals to be seen. The perfect chocolate dessert!


 Chocolate Cream Tarts: Adapted from GI 365

Makes 6 small tarts, can easily be doubled

For the Crust:

1 cup walnuts

1 packed cup medjool dates (if dry and hard, soaked in water for 20 minutes)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

Splash of soy or almond milk

Combine all crust ingredients in a powerful blender and whizz into a smooth paste. If your blender isn’t that strong, grind your nuts in a mortar and pestle first and cut up your dates into small pieces. Take your tart moulds and grease with a little oil or water so that the plastic wrap will stick. Line with plastic wrap. Use your fingers to press in the crust evenly, filling in all the cracks. Store in the freezer until ready to make the crust. This freezing makes them easier to remove and helps them keep their shape. Don’t worry, they won’t freeze completely solid. 


For the filling:

1 medium avocado (it’s ok if the measurements aren’t exact)

1 medium banana

2 heaped tablespoons of raw honey, or more if you want it sweeter

3 tablespoons soy or almond milk

4 tablespoons cocoa powder

Whizz all your mousse ingredients in a blender until completely smooth and combined. Remove your tart moulds from the freezer and carefully pull out from the tins using the plastic as handles. Fill the crust with the chocolate cream and keep stored in the fridge. Not the freezer. Lasts well for 2-4 days. 


Tea Infused Raw Chocolate Brownies (vegan, gluten free and sugar free)

Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free and Raw
Do you know what I find really unnerving? When someone tells me they don’t like chocolate. I’m serious. It’s not just a little bit strange. It’s not like I don’t like picky eaters. Or people that don’t like some delicious things, there’s lots of those people in the world. I have a friend that doesn’t like cheese. (I know…) And I can accept that. But telling me you don’t like chocolate, it’s like saying you don’t like joy. Or you don’t like friendship. It’s like saying you don’t like life! It makes me wonder what kind of person they really are…

Maybe that’s extreme, but you have to admit it’s weird. Chocolate is just so necessary in life. I eat something in chocolate form Every. Day. Not always rich and decadent, usually plain or in the form of cocoa powder transformed into something amazing but still healthy. Brownies are a life-long obsession that will never quit, so this week when the chocolate craving called that’s what it had to be. I’ve made black bean and avocado brownies before that did not taste like burritos! But were instead dark and fudgy. But I wanted to try something that was easy to make as well as completely raw, and I wanted to try a new flavour as well! 


 There’s been so many iconic moments in my life defined by chocolate I can’t even imagine living without it. All my teenage sleepovers were defined by cheap cadbury milk bars, horror movies and packets of kit kats and chocolate mint slices. I remember once watching all three Lord of the Rings movies in a row in a marathon and eating eight, EIGHT pieces of dark chocolate caramel slice in the process. (I don’t even want to know what that says about me). So many special occasions have ended with big slices of celebratory cake covered in chocolate icing. Me and one friend once pulled a half-cooked tray of brownies out of the oven while they were still raw and ate the whole thing with a spoon. That last one was actually kind of a regretful memory…but still, so many sweet childhood moments. 

Cocoa powder has so many health benefits and natural antioxidants I don’t understand the negative hype around chocolate! No I’m only joking. But it is really good for you. In its raw form, the nutrients and benefits are still preserved. You don’t get that most intense of chocolate flavours that comes from Dutch processing, but good quality cocoa is so deep and dark naturally it doesn’t need to be missed. Also you can use a blend to have the best of both worlds! That’s what I like to do for cakes and special occasions where chocolate intensity is imperative. 


 These brownies have the most amazing flavour from being infused with black tea before being blended. I used organic apricots as half of the fruit, because soaking medjool dates would make them too soft I think. Non-organic apricots (the bright orange ones) are not as sweet as their natural brothers and cannot really be substituted. Try sultanas, raisins or figs. My little piddly blender is not really up to making vegan desserts on a daily basis. They always seem to require such intense blending! If you’re in the same spot as me, simple solution. Just lovingly share the load of your blender. I pound the walnuts myself in a mortar and pestle, because once they go in the blender that’s the smallest they’re going to get. Soak your fruit for extra long, cut it up in to tiny pieces. Do it in small batches and let the motor cool down in-between ingredients. Love your blender and it will love you ❤

There are lots of great things in these brownies and they have a perfect truffle-like texture when cold from the fridge. Don’t be fooled, they don’t taste like a classic fudgy chocolate brownie. Of course they don’t! But they taste like something else that is just as good, if not the same. It’s strange how processed flavours have evolved from natural flavours found in plants and whole ingredients. Like caramel for example. You taste caramel tones in things like honey, dates and maple syrup. Things that all occur naturally but are often discarded as not being as good as the “real” thing. Or coca cola! Apparently according to Jamie Oliver  it’s meant to taste like poached fruit in cinnamon and spices. Hmm…They kind of missed with that one. I think someone accidentally added tar to the original recipe and they tried to adjust it with mountains of sugar. 

I’ve been experimenting with lots of new recipes this week and I’m really excited to share them. There’s a very summery frozen yogurt in my freezer that I am ready to destroy! Yuuum. I’m sorry for all my Northern Hemisphere friends because I know your summer is coming to a close, but the weather is beautiful here! It feels like the middle of November and it’s only September! Plus! Exciting news, I’ve paid for all my flights for the end of the year! Hoollllla. If you haven’t read already, I’m going to Europe and Thailand for two months and am so excited! 

If you’re feeling under-brownied and want to try some healthy brownies I’ve seen around and been inspired by recently, check out these bad boys:

The classic raw brownie from My New Roots

Salted raw brownie! Yuum from The Vedge

Coffee and Chocolate match made in heaven from Gluten Free Vegan Girl


 Tea Infused Raw Chocolate Brownies:

350g (1.5 cups) medjool dates

300g (1.5 cups) organic apricots or sultanas

2 cups fresh shelled walnuts
1 cup strong brewed black tea

80g (5 tbsp) cocoa powder

 Soak the apricots in tea until soft (at least 20 minutes). Blend all the ingredients together. Press into a plastic-lined 20 x 20 (8 x 8) pan and chill for at least 4 hours. Remove with the plastic and cut in to slices. Keep in the fridge and dust with icing sugar. Yum!


Strawberry Chia Pudding Cups (gluten free and vegan)

Gluten free, sugar free and vegan


 Whenever I think of chia seeds I think of my last year of high school, when they had just become all the rage. Going to an all-girls school it was almost normal to see girls walking around with water bottles full of ridiculous things like cucumber slices and lemon rind. But when chia seeds started being added as well? I honestly thought they were fish eggs for about six months. I thought they were the grossest thing ever. Like umami plums or quinoa, I associated them with superfood fads and mud face masks and beautiful people like Miranda Kerr. I never wanted to try them in any shape or form if I could avoid it. 


 But these pesky little seeds are everywhere! Blended into smoothies, sprinkled on porridge, used as vegan eggs, added to bread, muffins, cakes, they are literally taking over the world. I kept reading about chia pudding in places like here and here, and it actually sounded kind of cool. More than just that, I couldn’t believe anything would be that easy to make and not taste like…well fish eggs mixed into milk. I couldn’t find the source of the chia pudding idea, but I first read about it on Pastry Affair and used that as an idea starter. The first pudding I made I got a bit obsessed with the chia seeds. I stirred in one tablespoon to half a cup of milk and waited. Then I poured in another one, waited about 30 minutes, poured in another one, poured in a teaspoon more, and then left it overnight. People, I overdid the chia seeds. It still tasted ok, if a little thick, but about half an hour after I ate it, the seeds expanded in my stomach and I literally couldn’t get off the floor. I was rolling around, moaning, for about an hour. Don’t eat too many chia seeds! They can absorb 9 times their weight in liquid and lemmee tell you that’s like your whole stomach. 


 Chia seeds have some pretty impressive credentials if you haven’t ever heard of them before. They are super high in dietary fibre and things like Vitamin C and Iron. They turn into a gel when mixed with liquid which makes them ideal for making pudding, because you don’t need any heat or gelatine or eggs to thicken it. They are naturally gluten free, and they can be used to make recipes vegan and dairy free. They have literally no taste at all which is kind of unnerving…but good as well. When dry they’re kind of gross to eat, even though they are a popular sprinkle for cereal and porridge, because they get stuck in your teeth and start absorbing your saliva! But soaked they become most similar to something like tapioca pudding.

I watched a really disturbing American show on chia seeds, where fat women drank three heaped tablespoons mixed with water to “curb their outrageous appetites”. Sorry if you also drink chia with water, I’m sure a little bit is good for you here or there, but the thought of chia slime clogging up your stomach to stop you eating is so gross to me. Eeeew. 


 This pudding today is a really simple strawberry chia pudding. It’s more of a starting point for what ever direction you want to take it. Lots of people seem to like this for breakfast so there isn’t any sugar in the beginning recipe, but depending on how sweet your fruit is you might want to blend in some honey or maple syrup (or sugar, of course). As well as that, you could get creative with the milk as well. Coconut milk would go well with blended banana or berries, or almond milk could make a lighter alternative. Some people stir in melted chocolate, or cocoa powder and honey, or cinnamon, vanilla, fruit compote, as you can see there are many different ways to take this pudding. Just remember to be patient, and not stir in three more tablespoons than directed. 


Strawberry Chia Pudding: Adapted from this recipe:

1 cup soy milk (or almond, coconut, or actual milk)

450g (1 pound, 2 punnets) washed and hulled strawberries

1 tsp vanilla extract (good quality, you’ll be able to taste it clearly)

3 tablespoons chia seeds

Blend strawberries, vanilla and milk until completely smooth and chunk free. Stir in the chia seeds well. Pour into 2-4 cups depending on serving portion and chill overnight. Stir after about an hour well to break up clumps, and again before serving. Serve with a drizzle of honey or more cut up fruit. 


Healthy Chocolate Fudge Brownies (gluten, dairy, sugar free)

Gluten Free, Sugar Free and optional Vegan

 The first thing I ever baked by myself was a pan of chocolate brownies. I was nine. I dusted them with icing sugar and ate them with my friends. They were very complimentary and wowed by my baking attempts. We were at that age where it was normal to sit with three friends and each eat five or six brownies in a row, so we had time to really think about them. In the end we decided they were too flat, so I said next time I’d try another recipe until I got it right. And did I ever! At least twice a month since then I have made a pan of brownies, experimenting, tweaking, trying to find the best brownie recipe in the world . My quest to find the perfect brownie continued for many years. 


 I have learnt a very profound thing from my brownie journey, and I’m going to share it with you now: There is no single perfect recipe. Rather there are many, and it is based on individual preferences. I did ultimately write my own recipe that created what I deem brownie perfection, but it is not this one today. Those are the fudgiest, chewiest, richest, gooiest brownies ever. I honestly believe everything I know about baking came from the years of perfecting that recipe. It was there I learnt about flour and thickening gluten, about chocolate percentages, butter vs oil, brown vs white sugar, chips vs nuts vs raspberries and the list goes on. 


The problem with those brownies though is that my mum can’t eat them (being gluten, dairy, and sugar free) and seeing as I was making these brownies for her, it wouldn’t be ideal to make something she couldn’t eat. My perfect recipe (I will put it up here one day, maybe for my 100th post) contains almost a pound of chocolate and sugar not to mention half a pound of butter. It is the polar opposite of what we have here today: Black bean, avocado and date brownies! Completely butter, sugar and flour free! And guess what, they taste amazing! Like a deep, dark chocolate fudge.


Black bean brownies are in no way a new concept, but I’d never tried them before this week. I first saw a recipe on the blog Ambitious Kitchen. I just couldn’t believe they wouldn’t taste like…a burrito! Especially with the avocado instead of butter? Is anybody else thinking guacamole? I decided to give them a go just as a starting point for something less, um…gross sounding? And when I ate one straight of the pan I thought, hmm. These don’t taste like great brownies, they taste like good brownies. But then I chilled them, and ate another one. It was a very big transformation! The beans really are tasteless. So is the avocado.

The texture is thick and fudgy, and because there is no flour they don’t dry out like a normal brownie can. These are healthy brownies, there’s no getting around it, but for people who can never touch real brownies they are really really good. You don’t need a huge blender either to make them. Mine is tiny so I just blend up one wet component with one dry and add it to mixing bowl, then another, etc until every thing is the same consistency, then stir it all together. So I blended the cocoa with the avocados and the almond meal with the eggs, for example. Also I tried these with kidney beans to see if this would work too, and it did, but the black beans seemed to create a slightly better texture. 


Black Bean Avocado Brownies:Barely adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

1 tin (425 grams, 1 pound, 15 ounces) black beans, washed and cooked if raw

50 grams (half a cup) each cocoa powder and almond meal

1 tsp baking powder

120 grams (4 ounces) dark chocolate (sugar free optional), melted or cut into chunks (for non-melt)

3 tablespoons ripe, green avocado (about half 1 large)

2 tablespoons olive oil

300 grams (1 cup) medjool dates, cut up

3 eggs (for vegan, replace each egg with one tablespoon chia seeds stirred with two tablespoons of water and left to thicken. So 3 tablespoons chia mixed into 6 of water, stirred)

Handful of chopped nuts or cocoa nibs

Preheat oven to 170C (375F). Grease and line a 20cm tin with baking paper. Melt over a low heat in a bowl over simmering water your chocolate until smooth. If it is sugar free don’t try to melt it, just cut it into chunks. Blend all your ingredients together well and mix into a paste. Mix in chocolate chunks and extras, if you are using them. Spoon into your prepared tin and smooth down with a large spoon or knife. Bake for 15-25 minutes, until the top is no longer wet and there is no jiggle (don’t overbake!) Chill until cold before cutting and eating, dusting with cocoa powder. IMG_5220

Rich Chocolate and Caramel Brownies


I find it really hard to resist buying cake and muffin pans that come in funny shapes. When I bought the heart shaped pan I used to make these brownies, I justified it by wrapping it in Christmas paper, putting it under the tree and addressing it to me. 


I can now justify the purchase with these brownies. No other pan would do something so chocolatey and gooey and rich justice! 


These brownies are made with very dark chocolate as well as a generous amount of cocoa powder. They are dotted with large chunks of dark chocolate that melts from the heat of the oven. In the centre, there is a dollop of salted caramel that runs out once you break one open with your fork. I was faced with a terrible dilemma recently when someone gave me two jars of salted caramel. One side of me was like “noooo using pre-bought sauces is sin!” and the other was like “nooooo wasting is a sin!” and seeing as the ingredients were just sea salt, cane sugar and butter, I thought it would be ok to make an exception this once. To recreate this recipe you could use dulce de leche, good quality store bought caramel or make your own. (Or leave it out). I can’t actually link to any external recipe because I followed one on a recipe card my friend gave me for a birthday. It’s the best book of recipe cards ever, each one dedicated to chocolate. Every single recipe turns out AMAZING! Although saying that, I haven’t tried the beef stew with chocolate sauce yet…Here is the brownie recipe:IMG_4782

Chocolate Caramel-Filled Brownies:

300g (10.5 ounces) dark chocolate (at least 50% cocoa solids)

150g (5 ounces) dark chocolate cut into chunks

150g (1 + 1/3 sticks) butter, cubed

350g (1 + 3/4 cups) brown sugar

4 eggs, lightly beaten

60g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder

80g (3/4 cup) flour

200g (1/2 can, 7 ounces) dulce de leche or caramel of spoonable consistency



Preheat oven to 170C. Grease and line either a 20cm by 20cm square cake pan, 12 muffin cases or 10 friand holes with baking paper. Over a pot of simmering water melt the 300g chocolate with the butter until smooth. Stir in the brown sugar and leave to cool slightly. Mix in gently the eggs, and then the chocolate chips. Sift over the cocoa powder and flour and fold until just combined. Pour half of your brownie mix into your prepared pan or muffin holes. Using two teaspoons or a melon scooper, carefully spoon a small dollop of caramel into the middle of each one. If using a pan just do dollops every 2cm or so. Cover with the remaining brownie and bake for 15 minutes to 25 minutes, checking so that when the top is just set and the middle slightly wobbly you take them out. Once cool dust with cocoa powder and icing sugar.

Rich Dark Chocolate Fudge

Gluten Free


I have a really sad story to tell you. It’s about dumplings. 


 Last night I went to meet my boyfriend in the city for dinner. I was super excited because we were going to get dumplings, and even though I probably eat them at least twice a week I still feel daily withdrawal symptoms if I haven’t eaten them. 


 So in I went on the tram, in the rain. We ordered our dumplings, and then waited for a while. His came pretty quickly, but I didn’t mind because I was prepared to wait it out. After 45 minutes however I was thinking heeelloo! I’m pretty hungry! And then FINALLY they sent out the dumpling baskets, and I could see the steam rising off them and I had my vinegar and chilli ready, and they were the wrong ones! I knew straight away because they were lamb and carrot. Being a vegetarian I can pretty easily distinguish between greens and egg and lamb and carrot. 


But you know what? Mistakes are mistakes. They happen to all of us. So I graciously sent them back and requested my vegetable  dumplings. Another very long wait later, I re-ordered the dumplings. And then do you know what happened? When they finally arrived? I bit into one, expecting a crescendo of deliciousness, and it was solid frozen in the middle. I was devastated. Absolutely devastated. 


To console myself I made chocolate fudge. This is a really simple and basic fudge recipe. It uses condensed milk so there isn’t any need for a sugar thermometer, and there’s no added sugar which takes care of that tear-inducing sweetness that fudge can sometimes have. It’s still incredibly rich! Use 70% dark chocolate if you can find it, milk would just be sweet out of this world. 


Dark Chocolate Fudge: Adapted from a recipe card from the chocolate box

1 x 395 gram (14 ounces) can of sweetened condensed milk

50 grams (1/2 stick) salted butter in cubes, plus extra for greasing 

400 grams (1 pound, 14 ounces) of dark chocolate, broken in to pieces

Butter and line an 18cm (8 inch) square cake tin with baking paper, leaving it hanging over the edges. Over a pot of simmering water, put your chopped chocolate in a bowl and leave to melt. In another pot, stir your butter and condensed milk together over a low heat until the butter is melted. Increase the heat to medium and stir continually until the mixture reaches a simmer. Take off the heat for a moment. As soon as the butter and milk are done, take the bowl of chocolate (it doesn’t need to be completely melted) off the heat and place it on a board. Pour over the butter and milk and leave to sit for a minute, before stirring gently to melt the chocolate. Pour into your pan and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours. To cut, run a sharp blade under very hot water. Carefully remove the fudge from its container and place on a board. Run the knife at even intervals, running under hot water in between slices. Refrigerate once cut. Makes about 20-30 pieces. IMG_4424