Butternut Cheesecake

Butternut cheesecake

This recipe was born from one for pumpkin cheesecake given to me a while ago. I’d been wanting to try it for ages and decided that dessert for a Sunday lunch with friends and family was the perfect opportunity.

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Date, Fig and Nut Bites

Date, fig and nut bites

These bites are both delicious and good for you – always a winning combo!

Although I’ve seen many variations of this recipe, after much playing with different combinations and quantities of the ingredients, this one is my favourite. Feel free to change up whatever you like though to suit your own tastes.

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Créme Caramel

Demolished creme caramel

This recipe is great to make ahead for a party, and the mixture of creamy custard and caramel sauce is a winner every time – and I’ve made it many, many times. People love the taste and texture (as you can see from how it’s been demolished in the picture) and are always impressed by it, although it’s really not that difficult to make.

By the way, this is not the same thing as crème brûlée, which is far richer as it’s made with cream instead of milk, and which requires very careful handling to create the sugar crust on top. Crème caramel is the easier and, in my opinion, equally delicious version.

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Healthy Chocolate Mousse

Healthy chocolate mousse

This is a really easy and healthy recipe that tastes very decadent, and if nobody told you, you would never guess the ingredients!

I first had a version of it on a raw food course I did several years ago, and it’s something I make often when avocados are in season (they’re just coming back here in South Africa now).

It only takes about 15 minutes to prepare but some pre-planning is needed as it’s best to use ripe bananas and avocados. It also takes a couple of hours to set so you need to allow for that too, although you can try to speed the process by putting it in the freezer for a while.

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Lemon, Almond and Ricotta Tartlets

Lemon, almond and ricotta tartlets

I’ve been looking for a recipe like this for a long time, after first tasting an Italian Ricotta cake made by Hmmm a few years ago. I found a few recipes which helped, especially this one by Cakelets and Doilies, which it seems she adapted from a Donna Hay recipe.

So basically this concept has been around the block a few times, and when you taste it, you’ll know why it’s so popular. It’s light and almondy, moist and crumbly, with a lemon flavour that can be subtle or quite strong, depending on how you like it. As a bonus, it’s gluten-free and if you wanted to make it sugar-free/paleo too, I imagine it would work very well if you used honey or something like xylitol instead.

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Banana Ice-cream (The Simplest Ever)

Banana ice-cream

I first came across this idea when I did a raw food course with Earthshine several years ago, and then was recently reminded of it by my friend Dawn (thanks, Dawn!). At the time, I just couldn’t believe that ice-cream could taste so good when it was made with just one ingredient. That’s right – just one ingredient! What is that ingredient? Frozen banana!

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Ginger and Rosemary Biscotti

Ginger and rosemary biscotti

In case you think that biscotti are just too complicated and rather uppity for their own good, I can assure you that they’re not – they’re really just fancy rusks that have been cut into thin slices (with apologies to any Italians out there). Biscotti are actually quite easy to make and once you have a good basic recipe, you can vary the flavourings to your heart’s content.

This recipe actually came about rather organically. First my friend Alice gave me some crystallised ginger for Christmas, which got me thinking about how to use it. I’d been craving biscotti so I decided it would be a good opportunity to try making some ginger-flavoured biscotti – but it felt like something was missing…

Then I was browsing Pinterest for a completely different recipe for a main meal and suddenly rosemary, which was one of the ingredients, caught my eye, somehow I made a connection (clearly the biscotti conundrum was sitting somewhere at the back of my mind) and I began to wonder what ginger and rosemary would taste like together. I decided it was worth a try – then I simply added the nuts I had on hand, which happened to be walnuts, and some coarse Himalayan salt for extra taste and crunch. And lo and behold, it worked! 🙂

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