Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
On the weekend I did the hardest, most physically enduring event I have completed so far (well, aside from child birth that is!). It was 21kms and 35 obstacles and it took us 4 hours and 16 minutes. There were hill climbs that seemed to never end, sandbags that got heavier with each step and more barbed wire to crawl under than your average farm fence. It was hard, I’m bruised and my shoulders ache but I made it!
One of the most awesome things about these events are the people you meet whilst covered in mud, falling off monkey bars and sliding on your butt down an embankment.
We ran past 1 guy who had his arm in a peculiar position. Turns out he’d shattered his elbow (not just broken) and had to have it anchored in an out and bent position. He wasn’t able to do all the obstacles (one-armed monkey bars would be impossible!) but he was giving it his best. And just to show how tough this guy was… he was running the 42km event!!
There was a scrawny looking 15 year old boy who has running with his Uncle (we knew this as they had their names on their shirts) in a beautiful display of inter generational camaraderie.
We saw 2 strangers helping each other with leg cramps, using a twig as a massage device (I hope it didn’t leave any splinters!) and many others assisting fellow races with sandbags, pulling each other out of the mud, over the walls and through the nets.
People often comment that we are “crazy” for doing these events that push your body in so many ways (cardio, strength, mental and endurance). For me it’s not about winning; I do them because I can. I can because I am fit, strong and healthy. I can because I am healthy, happy and just a little bit stubborn. I can because, in truth, I am probably just a little bit crazy. All this does not come easily; it takes early morning training sessions in the frost, lots of food preparation time to ensure fresh, healthy food for my family and saying no to temptation. I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination (our after race treat is a bucket of freshly fried hot chips!) but I do try to make the best of what I have, of who I am and what I can offer.
You may not crawl under electric wires or wear Lycra in freezing temperatures, but there are amazing things that’s each of you do… just because you can! It doesn’t matter that other people ‘don’t get it’ or that you can’t put into words why you do it. What matters is that you are doing it and you should be so proud of yourself!!
After reaching the finish line I always reward myself. Sometimes it’s not a finish line, but a due date, a project or a goal but each accomplishment is worth celebrating… and 9 out of 10 times it involves Whipped Coconut Cream.
I have banged on a lot about how much I love Whipped Coconut Cream. I’ve called it my BBF, I’ve cheated on it with Chocolate Cream and probably boosted the Coconut Cream economy 1000%. I have created so many different flavours (I think there might be another ebook in that!) that it’s like rainbow in our fridge at times. This Black Forest Ripple Cake features Cherry Whipped Cream, the prettiest of all the creams. Cherries are stewed then added to the Coconut Cream making a brightly coloured cream that will thicken when placed in the fridge.
This Black Forest Ripple Cake features all the classic flavours you would expect; Chocolate, Cherries and Cream, just not how you would normally find them. Chocolate donuts are glued together with Chocolate Mousse (wouldn’t it be awesome if all glue tasted that great) then covered with Cherry Whipped Cream. To make the Black Forest Ripple Cake even more impressive (not that you really need to try) save some Chocolate Mousse and pipe it along the bottom of the cake, this also covers up any ugly edges.
- 12 Chocolate Donuts (see recipe below)
- Chocolate Mousse (see recipe below)
- Cherry Whipped Cream (see recipe below) (make ahead so it can thicken in the fridge before using)
- 2/3 Cup Almond Meal
- 1/3 Cup Arrowroot
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup/Honey
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons mashed Sweet Potato or Pumpkin or softened Coconut Oil
- 1/2 Cup Milk (of Choice)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Egg
- 1 large ripe Avocados (or 2 small ones)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1/4 cup Maple Syrup (you could also use honey, etc.)
- 1/2 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tablespoon Coconut Cream/Milk
- 200 grams pitted Cherries (I used frozen)
- 1 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 1 Tablespoons Water
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Gelatine
- 1 can Coconut Cream (400ml), can left in fridge overnight and the thick cream used; discarding the watery remains (this will be approx. 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
- Arrange the donuts into 3 piles of 4 donuts each.
- Spread the chocolate mousse onto 1 donut and top with another donut. Spread the chocolate mousse onto that donut and place another on top. Repeat until the 4 donuts are joined together.
- Repeat the process for the other 2 piles.
- Pipe/spoon more Chocolate Mousse into the centre of the donut piles, filing the donut tunnel.
- Smear a spoonful of mousse on the serving tray to act as the glue for the donut piles.
- Place the donut 'piles' on a serving plate (refer to the step by step photos).
- Completely cover the donuts with the cherry whipped cream, making sure no donut is visible.
- If needed, make extra whipped cream to ensure that all the donuts are fully covered.
- Use a piping bag to decorate the base of the cherry ripple cake with chocolate mousse (it also helps to hide any cream smears on the serving plate).
- Place in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours before serving.
- Slice from the narrow end. Each slice will have a cross section of a '4 donut sandwhich'.
- Preheat oven to 200C/400F and grease a 12 donut pan (a mini-muffin pan can also be used but cooking times will vary).
- Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk all wet ingredients together.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients, stirring gently until just combined.
- Pour the mixture into a piping bag and fill up the 12 donut pan rings. (don’t fill batter higher than 3/4 of the way up). This is easier than than spooning the mixture in.
- Bake for 10 minutes (possibly a bit longer if you are not using a regular sized doughnut pan).
- Be careful not to over-bake, especially if you’re making mini’s. They cook quickly.
- Allow to cool in the tin before removing.
- Remove the pips from the avocados and scoop the pulp into the food processor/blender.
- Add the cocoa, maple syrup, vanilla and cream/milk.
- Blend and blend until all the lumps and bumps are gone... then blend some more.
- Taste the mousse at this stage. If the taste of avocado is too strong add 1 Tablespoon extra each of cocoa and maple syrup. Blend and retaste. Repeat again if necessary (remembering the taste of the mousse will mellow and improve upon resting)
- If the mousse is too thick add an extra tablespoon of cream.
- Place the cherries, maple syrup, vanilla and water in a small saucepan and bring to a slow, rolling boil.
- Place 2 Tablespoons of water into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatine over. Allow to thicken.
- Decrease the heat to medium/low and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until thick. Ensure that the pot is stirred regularly to prevent sticking or burning.
- Add the gelatine mixture to the pot after 5 minutes, stirring to ensure it is fully combined.
- Use a masher or blender to break down the cherries slightly if still chunky.Allow the mixture to cool.
- In a bowl of a kitchen stand with a whisk attachment, add the thickened coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla extract and whisk on high until thick.
- Turn the whisk off and add the cooled cherry mixture.
- Whisk on medium until combined. Place the cream in the fridge and allow to thicken slightly before using. This will not take too long as the gelatine will help to stabilise the cream.