Recently, under the influence of our fabulous local superfood and juice bar Rawr, I have been really enjoying trying lots of new recipes and ingredients, and for the first time in my life, I can see eating a vegan diet might be very enjoyable indeed. So I was so pleased to get this fab little book – Divine Desserts (All Vegan and Gluten Free) by Juliette Bryant – to review.
Look at all the gorgeous-looking puddings and cakes, and you’ll see what I mean about finding vegan and gluten-free sweets very enticing:
The book is laid out in my absolute favourite way… one recipe per double page spread and spiral-bound too. Doesn’t look all fancy on my bookshelves, but is brilliant on the kitchen work surface! I wish there were more cookbooks like this..
As a total beginner to this way of eating, I was relieved to find that the recipes are mostly pleasingly simple, with no huge lists of ingredients, and no madly unusual ingredients either (well, there are a few, but mostly optional ones). There’s lots of nuts, seeds, coconut oil, coconut sugar, cacao, nut butter, dried dates and fruit – all very yummy and so nourishing too. And, speaking personally, it is brilliant to be able to reach for a sweet treat and know it is not going to make me feel bloated or have a hot flush.. (the joys of menopause…).
Of course, I had to try a recipe, so I had a go at Raw Fudge. It was super-simple to make, and is an incredibly rich, creamy and delicious dessert or sweet treat, depending on the size of portion. If freezer fudge is new to you, as it was to me, you need to know that it is ‘cooked’ in the freezer, and needs to be stored there too. Once I had done the initial 20 minute freeze (and did quality control on a few pieces of course), I cut the rest into bite-sized chunks and popped them into a freezer box, in layers, interleaved with some baking parchment. Because it is ready to eat, straight from the freezer, it makes brilliant alternative when I am having one of those ‘I need a choc-ice’ moments, and it absolutely does not feel like the lesser option. It looks irresistible doesn’t it…
Raw Freezer Fudge
The recipe quantities are given in cups, which I know lots of people love, but I really don’t enjoy using, so I am including my own conversions, mostly for my own reference and for anyone else who is addicted to grams..!
- 1/2 cup (120g) nut butter (I used cashew nut butter)
- 1/2 cup (100g) coconut oil (melted)
- 1/4 cup (60g) maple syrup
- 1/4 cup (20g) cacao powder
- 1/4 cup (40g) dried cherries (this is my own addition to the recipe)
- 1 tsp medicinal mushroom powder (optional)
- 1 tsp green superfood mix (optional)
You will need a cake tin around 8-9 inches across/diameter – obviously the fudge will be thicker or thinner depending on the size you use. I used a square cake tin, 8in across, with a removable base, which I also base-lined with a piece of baking parchment. I am not sure how necessary this was, but I didn’t want to lose any delicious fudge stuck to the tin.
Stir the nut butter and melted coconut oil together in a bowl, and mix until they are smooth. Add the syrup and mix until combined, and finally add the cacao powder and stir (pretty vigorously!) until the mixture is smooth. Then stir in the optional ingredients if you are using. I wanted to add a little bit of sharp contrast to the fudge, so added my favourite dried cherries, chopped into small pieces.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin and freeze for about 20 minutes. Remove from the freezer and slice, and enjoy straight away, or pop back into the freezer for storage. It will keep for one month.
I chose to make this recipe because it’s one of the few in the book that doesn’t require a blender or food processor (I don’t have either, being a stick blender/food mixer person), so keep that in mind if you’re thinking of ordering your own copy. But, to be honest, the book is so inspiring, I feel the purchase of a proper blender coming on… pretty high praise considering I am so short of counter space!
Here’s where you can order your copy: