Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
After the gift giving saga that was my birthday this year (remember when I made my husband take the wallet back to the shop even before I’d opened it?!) I’ve decided not to leave anything to chance this Christmas. To
further stab the knife in refresh your memory, I had mentioned earlier in my Birthday week that I needed a new wallet. So, with his Man Brain on, my husband figured that ‘want’ + ‘need’= ‘a birthday present’ and in theory he was right… but the practical application was square, multi-coloured and had too many plastic inserts (who carries that many cards?!)
The moral of that story; make sure your significant other, who with lovely intentions may be desperately trying to find you the perfect gift, understands that some things are best chosen by ones self (another one for me is lingerie… sexy isn’t always comfortable and I’m all about the relax, stretchy factor these days!).
I started to do some research to find myself a great present and found lots of ways to waste my money but this Christmas I’m also aiming for a non-commercial gift giving (I’ll share my FB market place Kmart hacks another day) so I started to narrow my search and came across Uncommon Goods. Uncommon Goods</a is a sustainably run company that sells beautiful and often quirky work by real people such as artists, jewellery makers and small manufacturers. They aim to be both environmentally friendly and socially responsible, and this fitted in nicely with my non-commercial Christmas theme.
So this year I have sent my Husband a link to some potential Christmas gift ideas, which includes everything from ‘Porn for Women’ (it’s not what you think…visualise Vacuum cleaners and housework!!) to a gold plated Kale necklace. Just in case that doesn’t work there’s always Sunny, the gift finding expert. You just plug in some of your interests and Sunny the Elephant chooses the perfect gift for you. Maybe this should be compulsory for all husbands! (please pick the Unicorn mug, please pick the Unicorn mug)
To help celebrate Christmas, and to help you choose your own awesome present this year, I have teamed up with Uncommon Goods to hold a special give away. One lucky reader will win a $75 store voucher to Uncommon Goods and a copy of my ‘Healthy Christmas Recipe eBook’, valued at $12.99. That means that you can have a healthy, tasty Christmas with a special new present just for you… because you deserve it! To find out how head to the end of this blog post and find the entry details.
Another way I like to celebrate Christmas is with Cake. Christmas Cake would be the obvious choice but this Black Forest Poke Cake may become your new favourite Christmas dessert (or any time of year!).
It’s Cherry season in my area so last weekend we ventured out to go Cherry Picking at one of the local farms. The kids left covered in purple juice (it’s very hard to claim that we haven’t eaten any and don’t need an ‘eating pass’ when they are covered head to toe in cherry juice) and we came home with 4kg’s of freshly picked, tiny but very juicy cherries. The great thing about super fresh cherries is that are so juicy and full of the most intense flavour. These cherries were a little bit on the smaller side which just made you think you could eat more of them (If you’ve ever over indulged in cherries I don’t need to finish that story for you!).
This recipe for Black Forest Poke Cake calls for the cherry stones to be removed, so I spent a good while with a cherry de-stoner spreading juice all over the white kitchen benches (it did look a bit like a murder scene by the time I’d done the 500 grams I needed) but finally I had enough to make the Cherry Pie Filling. When I was researching this Black Forest Poke Cake I found most recipes called for canned Cherry Pie Filling. Now, being an Aussie I had no idea what this was but after some more googling it turns out that it’s just thickened and stewed Cherries so I made it myself. It’s like a thick Cherry sauce, so be sure to keep that recipe as it would go awesome over Vanilla Ice Cream.
At the base of this Black Forest Poke Cake is my favourite Chocolate Cake, made with my BFF Sweet Potato. If you, like my friend Kat, have an aversion to Sweet Potato (it’s all in your head Kat!) you can substitute it with mashed, ripe Banana. The rest is really simple. Try to make the Whipped Cream early as, depending on the quality of your Coconut Cream and the temperature, the cream may need a few hours in the fridge to thicken. The Cherry Pie Filling can be made whilst the cake is cooking and then placed in the fridge/freezer to cool whilst the cake rests before spreading it on top. It looks pretty awesome doesn’t it?!
So, back to the awesome giveaway. There are a few ways to enter, but the way to get the most chances is by asking Sunny what gift she would suggest for you and letting me know in the comments below. Mine was a MacGuyer-esque Chef’s multi tool; you’ll never know when you need to zest a lemon! One winner be chosen at random at end of the giveaway (9/12/2017).
- 2/3 Cup Coconut Flour
- 1/2 Cup Cocoa, unsweetened
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 6 Eggs
- 1/2 Cup pureed/mashed cooked Sweet Potato (to cook Sweet Potato; place whole in a moderate oven and bake for 60 minutes, or until soft and squishy. Wait til cooled then remove the peel and use the mushy sweet potato)- This can be swapped for 1/2 Cup ripe mashed Banana.
- 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup (rice malt syrup can be substituted)
- 3/4 Cup Milk (of choice)
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 packed Cups of stoned Cherries (fresh or frozen)- approx. 400 grams
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup/Rice Malt Syrup/Honey
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Arrowroot
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- 2 Cups Coconut Cream/Milk (2 or 3 400ml cans, lid removed and placed in the fridge over night. Use the thickened cream and discard the watery remains)
- 3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 4 teaspoons Maple Syrup
- 50 grams Chocolate for grating and decorating
- Cherries for decorating
- Make the Whipped Cream first as it will need time in the fridge to thicken. Make the Cherry Pie Filing whilst the cake is in the oven (or earlier) and place it in the fridge so it is cooled when it is time to spread over the cake.
- Preheat oven to 180C/360F. Take an 8 inch (20cm) Square cake tin and line it with baking paper. Make sure the paper is long on 2 of the sides to help remove the cake once the sauce has been added. This cake can also be made in a 20cm round cake tin.
- Sift the coconut flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl. Add the salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, whisk the eggs for 5 minutes, or until fluffy.
- Add the purred sweet potato, maple syrup, milk and vanilla extract and continue to mix until combined. If you are worried about the Sweet Potato being too obvious, first blend it with the milk before adding,
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are incorporated – about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl (you may need to do this a couple of times) and beat cake batter on medium/high speed for about 1 minute so that the batter is fluffy.
- Pour the batter into the tin and smooth out the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes take the end of a wooden spoon and 'poke' holes in the cake at regular intervals (I did 4 or 5 rows of 5 holes; so 16-20 'pokes'). Do not make the holes too close together and do not push too far down; about 1/2 way is right.
- Spread the Cherry Pie Filling over the Cake, making sure to spread it over the top and into the holes. Place the cake in the fridge to help set the filling on the cake for at least 1 hour (longer or overnight is fine)
- Remove the cake from the tin using the longer edges of baking paper and place on a serving tray.
- Spread the Whipped Cream over the top of the cake. Top with Cherries, grated Chocolate and any left over Cherry Pie Filling.
- Serve and devour!
- The cake does need to be kept in the fridge.
- Place the cherries, sweetner and lemon juice in a saucepan. In a small bowl blend the water and the arrowroot into a smooth paste. Add to the saucepan.
- Bring the cherry mixture to the boil over a medium/high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Stir regulary to prevent sticking or burning.
- Place the Cherry Pie Filling in a bowl and place in the frdige to cool until needed.
- Spoon the thickened cream out of the cans, discarding the watery remains. The cream should measure 2 cups.
- Place the coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and whisk on high until thickened. Place the whipped cream back in the fridge to thicken before using.