WOW! What a week, firstly I’m so excited to let you all know that your votes counted and I won UK Paleo Blogger of the Year 2017 and was runner up for Recipe of the Year for my carrot cake – HAPPY DANCE, HAPPY DANCE!!
Going through the judges comments regarding my website (for which I had a chest puffing out with pride moment) the feedback were just amazing to read, but me being me I obviously home in on the one negative comment, human nature I guess?!.
It has really hit me hard because never in my wildest dreams did I ever think to worry about this particular issue – the comment was ” The food pics looked v slick and professional but a bit TOO professional to make me want to attempt the recipes. And the initial ones I scrolled through were ALL sweet”.
Firstly, is this true? Do readers look at my pictures and feel they can’t make the recipe because it looks too difficult?? I really hope this not the case because I work so hard to ensure that my recipes are easy and very doable for the home cook who is both rushed for time or lacking in kitchen confidence. I really do hope that readers take time to look at the actual recipe and read through it and maybe they will see that although the photos are styled and look professional the recipes themselves are just so easy.
Take these mini tarts for instance, the base is not baked or a complicated pastry, it is simply a date and nut mixture that most people would roll up into ball and call an amazeball or energy ball. I have taken it a step further and squashed them into a mould. The filling is melted chocolate and coconut cream, blended together in the nutribullet then left to set in the fridge, nothing else to it. This is a recipe anyone could make at home with little hands as helpers and zero skill level required.
Secondly, I make sweet recipes and yes I totally agree they are gray area Paleo, but this is what readers look for when starting out and certainly when trying to keep a family on the straight and narrow. These are not every day treats and should never in any way replace good wholesome snacks and meals, but rather to offer an alternative to take to friends when asked to bring a pudding (a great way to show friends that you can eat healthy and enjoy a delicious pudding), or to send to school when the rest of the class is having cake.
Constructive criticism is really important, I so appreciated seeing all the comments both good and bad, and through this I have learned so much and I hope to bring you even better recipes in the years to follow. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever dream that I would be the first UK Paleo Blogger of the Year. Six odd years ago when I was a housewife trawling through websites looking for alternatives to bake so I could send Kyra to school with a healthy alternative, did I EVER think I would run a blog let alone win any awards!! I was always and still am in awe of the amazing creations Paleo bloggers produce and I just love that there is a paleo-fied version of any favourite food available online if you just look for it.
Thank you to everyone for supporting all of us bloggers both in the UK and abroad, you keep us passionate and keen to come back to add another post or feel the need to up our photography game or recipe development or make general improvements to our blogs. Each post gets better as we go because we want to keep you and more importantly your families happy and healthy!!
I prefer to make these tarts over two days (as you can tell from the pictures) because I like the mousse to set overnight in the fridge so it will become really firm and easy to slice. It does take time to set so please do allow for it in your preparation calculations.
- 9 organic medjool dates
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup raw cashew nuts
- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark chocolate drops
- 2 tins coconut cream
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp rose extract (because I'm a rose freak, peppermint will also work beautifully)
- Combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small microwave bowl and on a medium setting micro for 30 sec, stir, micro 30 sec, then stir again, keep stirring and it will continue to melt, if there are a few unmelted pieces then just micro for about 10 seconds - not too long or it can burn easily.
- Blend the cream, melted chocolate and extract together in a nutribullet or blender then pop into the fridge to set, ideally overnight but at least for a few hours.
- Using a food processor, blend together the ingredients for the base. It will initially appear crumbly but give it time and it will become sticky and will end being one big ball. Stop the processor.
- Remove and roll into six even sized balls.
- Press each ball evenly into the tart pans making sure to push the mixture into the side grooves and the corners.
- Leave in the fridge for an hour or two to become firm.
- Gently remove the now firm chocolate crust from the tins (I leave the metal pan base on as it easier and then recover them once the tart has been eaten - just warn your guest).
- Spoon the mouse mixture into the cases and use a knife to spread it around evenly.
- Serve as is, or top with shredded coconut, dried rose petals or crushed nuts (or all if you are me!)
- Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
Don't rush out and buy mini pans simply use silicon muffin cases or a small loose based baking tin and cut slices.