Chocolate pancakes and the best homemade nutella ever

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Woop Woop! Happy new year people!

The end of the year’s been really busy. But the more the end is approaching, crazier it gets. And December has been mad. Studying, visiting Astoria vineyards and Italy (more on that soon with some great local recipes!!), sparkling festival in PortoroĆŸ, Christmas with my family and NY’s with best people ever!
This year started crazy good 🙂

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And this year also started with snow… So my promise of making a december giveaway winner’s favourite chocolate recipe came in handy. Chocolate pancakes, coffee and white snowy mornings. Perfect.

 

chocolate pancakes

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Chocolate pancakes

Homemade nutella + hazelnut butter

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Heat the oven at 180°C vent. Put the hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast for couple of minutes, until the skins are cracked and darken.
  2. Take out of the oven. Rub the hazelnuts in between two kitchen cloths. The skins should get off easily. Transfer to a blender and pulse until smooth and liquid.
  3. Divide the hazelnut butter in two jars. Here you are: you’ve just made a jar of hazelnut butter. Proceed with the other jar to make nutella.
  4. Melt both chocolates, mix with cocoa powder and add to hazelnut butter. Mix well to combine all ingredients.

Pancakes (makes aprox. 5 – 6 pancakes)

Ingredients:

  • 15 g buckwheat flour
  • 30 g brown wholegrain rice
  • 20 g coconut flakes
  • 25 – 35 g of any milk
  • 9 g butter or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp sweetener of your choice (I used Perfect Fit)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Preparation:

  1. Using a coffee grinder, grind wholegrain rice and coconut flakes. Mix all the dry ingredients. Whisk egg and milk, than mix in. Melt butter and add to the pancake mixture. Let rest in the fridge for 15 mins.
  2. Meanwhile,  take chocolate nutella. Place a sheetof baking paper on a cutting board. Make six nutella discs (1 tsp each) and put into the freezer.
  3. Take the pancake mixture out of the fridge. If it’s too thick, add some milk. Take the frozen nutella discs out of the freezer.
  4. Heat the pan to medium, grease with oil and add a tablespoon of pancake mixture. Immediately add a chocolate disc and cover with some more pancake mixture. Repeat with the others.
  5. Eat right away and if desired, add some hazelnut butter.

 

G I V E A W A Y

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Pipl! Pipl!

G I V E A W A Y

This time I got lucky once again to be able to give you some delicious belgian chocolates from Klingele chocolates and some nice bubbles from Astoria Wines!

Wishing you all happy holidays!!

Now go play the game 😉

xoxo / sara

What’s there to be done?

Very easy! Everyone who wants to take part in this giveaway has to do BOTH:

  • like the giveaway post on my FB page lolita bopa 

AND

  • comment the post by answering: Which is your favourite chocolate dessert?

so what’s on the stake?

I will randomly pick 3 winners that will receive each:

  • one of the bottles of wine listed above
  • some sweets listed above

AND THERE’S MORE…

I will make the winner’s favourite chocolate dessert in an healthier version! How great is that! 🙂

the giveaway starts NOW!!! and it will end on 24.12.2015 at 17:00 (GMT+1) The winners will be anounced on 25.12.2015. 

All the gifts must go! So, go go, go Johnny go!

RULES and CONDITIONS of this G I V E A W A Y

  1. Everyone can enter the giveaway by liking the Giveaway post on my Facebook page lolita bopa AND commenting the post by answering: Which is your favourite chocolate dessert? 
  2. The gifts will be sent by post. Therefore the posting address MUST BE IN SLOVENIA. Sorry you guys from elsewhere, but wine is involved. However, if you know anyone here, you can use their address and enter the game.
  3. From all of the qualified contestants I will randomly choose 3 winners who will receive a bottle of wine plus some sweets.
  4. Facebook nor WordPress have nothing to do with this giveaway. The giveaway is organised by me!
  5. The giveaway starts 13.12.2015 and ends on 24.12.2015 at 17:00 (GMT+1). The winners will be announced the next day.
  6. I do not take any legal responsibility whatsoever.
  7. The personal information collected will be used for this giveaway only.

 

Sometimes all you need is a piece of pie. And not the best photo.

chestnut pie

There are days when you’re just an emotional wreck and the only thing you wish is to stay in bed for the whole weekend. Well, this is what my weekend looked like. It was slept over. And in those rare moments of awakeness, all I was longing for was a good piece of pie. Chocolate pie. So I made the pie. And I didn’t care a bit about taking any proper photos. Sorry. Sometimes it’s just more important to get your hands on that pie.

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As I’m about to publish this, all my worries away, I’m guessing this chocolate therapy has really helped. I’m celebrating. Sipping a glass of chilled bubbles. Enjoying the last piece of pie. Smiling. I’m not done with my studies yet, but I just made a huge step forward. Cheers to that!

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CHOCOLATE CHESTNUT PIE WITH PEANUT BUTTER AND SPECULOOS CRUST

Ingredients*

for the crust:

for the filling

  • 4 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 300 g chestnut puree
  • almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp raw cocoa powder
  • 5 Tbsp cognac
  • 1 Tbsp sweetener (I used sucralose)
  • 100 g dark chocolate (60 % min)

for ganache

  • 65 g dark chocolate (60% min)
  • 50 g liquid cream or coconut milk
  • 1 big Tbsp raw cocoa powder

* By using any vegan cookies and replacing butter for coconut oil, and liquid cream for coconut milk you will get yourself a VEGAN version! 🙂
** You can also use speculoos cookies instead. I used Balance cookies because they are sugar free. And if you replace them with any gluten free cookies, you will have a GLUTEN FREE pie.

Preparation:

  1. Crumble the cookies in the food processor. Add butter or coconut oil for vegan version. Pulse until well combined then gradually add some almond milk (just to get the dough sticky enough to combine all the ingredients). Place in a pie mold and spread evenly. The best would be using a mold with removable bottom.
  2. Chestnut chocolate cream: mix chestnut puree or peeled cooked chestnuts, 1tablespoon of cocoa powder, 5 tablespoons of Cognac (at least!), sweetener of your choice and some almond milk into a smooth puree using a food processor. Add as much almond milk as needed to obtain a smooth and solid (not liquid!) cream.
  3. Melt chocolate over a double boiler and add to chestnut cream. Mix well using a food processor.
  4. Spread peanut butter over the pie crust. Add chestnut chocolate cream and spread evenly.
  5. Melt some chocolate and liquid cream or coconut milk plus one big tablespoon of cocoa powder over a double boiler. Add on top of the pie.
  6. Let cool and place the pie in a fridge overnight.

Chocolate, dried fruits and nuts. And it’s vegan.

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Panforte di Siena: the italian medieval energy bars. That’s what I read somewhere. It really made me laugh and I said let’s give it a try.

Its origins date back to 12th century. It’s a really sweet dessert made with candied fruits, almonds and spices with couple of variations. Traditionnaly, it’s serverd at christmas time. You can read more about it here, but the site’s in italian.

Christmas or not, my recipe’s an all timer. No sugar, dates and honey instead. Dried fruits and nuts. Some spices and that’s it. Bake it, let it sit 2 or 3 days and you’ve got yourself some yummy energy bars or a great cake to serve along coffee.

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Ingredients:

  • 120 g almonds
  • 75 g unsalted peeled pistachios
  • 75 g roasted hazelnuts
  • 75 g candied orange peel
  • 75 g dried apricots
  • 120 g dates
  • 45 g agave syrup or honey
  • 25 ml vode
  • 230 g chocolate (vegan)
  • 75 g spelt flour
  • 35 g corn starch
  • 30 g coconut oil
  • peel of one orange
  • 1,5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1,5 tsp ground coriander
  • 3/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground red pepper

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven at 180Âșc. Oven roast the hazelnuts for about 10 mins or until golden brown (hazelnut peels should be cracked). Let cool and remove the peels.
  2. In a bowl mix all the nuts, candied orange peels and roughly chopped apricots. Add flour, corn starch and all the spices.
  3. Make date paste by using hand mixer or a mortar: roughly chop dates, than add water and honey. Mix into a smooth paste.
  4. Melt chocolate and coconut oil over a double boiler. When melted, add date paste and orange peel.
  5. Add chocolate mixture to the nuts mixture and combine.
  6. Lin cake tin with baking paper and bake at 180Âșc for 20 – 25 mins. Cool down and let sit for 2 – 3 days.
  7. Garnish with dried fruits, nuts, chocolate or cocoa.

 

This recipe was created as a part of a project for Spar Slovenija and their magazine Dobro zame.

Chocolate coconut wreath

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Here in Slovenia, or at least in my family, we have an Easter tradition. There’s alway potica on the table. I think there’s no accurate translation for it but it’s something like north Italian gubana or like poppy seed stollen. It’s a rolled cake, usually filled with walnuts, hazelnuts, tarragon or poppy seeds. I would dare to say that almost every family has its own recipe. So, meaningless to argue the grand masterpiece.

There was a time when I was really into babkas. I especially like how you cut and bride the dough. I made couple of them, but the best was the one with coconut butter, chopped chocolate and pistachios. Coconut butter can always be replaced with some other nut butter, like walnut or hazelnut. More on coconut butter, how to make it and other, here.

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Ingredients:

dough

  • 100 g wholegrain spelt flour
  • 200 g wheat flour T400
  • 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk
  • 10 g fresh yeast
  • 15 ml milk
  • 50 g softened butter
  • 45 g agave syrup or honey
  • ⅓ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp rum
  • Âœ tsp vanilla extract
  • peel of 1 organic orange

filling

  • 130 g coconut butter or any other nut butter
  • 120 g chopped chocolate
  • handfull of chopped unsalted pisachios (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Prepare coconut butter: mix coconut flakes at high speed using a blender. It takes about 3-5 mins to make it. You will need at least 300 g of coconut, but definitely more info in the link! You can use hazelnut or walnut butter instead.
  2. Prepare yeast: mix 15 ml warm milk, tablespoon of agave or honey and fresh yeast. Let double in size.
  3. In a big bowl mix both flours and salt.
  4. In a seperate bowl mix softened butter using a hand mixer. Gradually add eggs, agave syrup, vanilla, orange peel and rum.
  5. Add the yeast and the egg mixture to flours and mix with wooden spatula. When the ingredients start to combine, transfer to work surface and start kneading. Knead for 10 – 15 mins. Starch needs some time to soak up. You should form a compact silky dough ball.
  6. Cover and let rise until doubled in volume.
  7. Knead once again than roll to 0.5 – 1 com thick.
  8. Spread coconut butter and sprinkle with chopped chocolate and pistachios.
  9. Roll and cut lenghtwise. Bride the two ends and form a wreath. Let rise.
  10. Bake in preheated oven at 170 to 180 °C for 30 minutes. After first 15 mins cover with damped baking paper and bake for another 15 mins.

This recipe was created as a part of a project for Spar Slovenija and their magazine Dobro zame.

– G I V E A W A Y –

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It’s been almost a year since my first blog post!

Even if I did not intend to tell anyone about my blog at first I got a pretty amazing feedback from you guys. I am really amazed and grateful for that.

What many of you don’t know is I actually set it off as a wine diary. But my love for food and photography, plus the fact I got diabetes type 1, turned it into what it is today.

To thank all of you who have been supporting me on my journey, I will be giving away some of my favourites.

WINE and SWEETS /without sugar/

What’s there to be done?

I tried to make it as simple as possible, but after three days of unsuccessful studying of Rafflecopter and similar stuff, I decided to go my way and not the digital way (and yes, I do seriously question myself how did I learn to use a digital camera and WordPress…)

… two options:

  • like my Facebook page lolita bopa AND share the Facebook post about this giveaway on your timeline

or

  • subscribe to my blog/follow my blog AND comment this blog post by answering which is your favourite wine-chocolate combination

so what’s on the stake?

  • a bottle of prosecco Astoria GaliĂ©
  • a bottle of prosecco Antonini Ceresa
  • a bottle of red Primitivo
  • a box of Balance pralinees (no added sugar)
  • Balance chocolates with no added sugar: bluberry and hazelnut
  • Balance chocolate without gluten-lactose
  • Balance almond cookies
  • Balance vanilla waffles

I will randomly pick 3 winners that will receive each:

  • one of the bottles of wine listed above
  • some sweets listed above

the giveaway starts NOW!!! and it will end on 4.4.2015 at 12:00 (GMT+1) The winners will be anounced on 5.4.2015.  All the gifts must go! So, go go, go Johnny go!

RULES and CONDITIONS of this G I V E A W A Y

  1. Everyone can enter the giveaway by liking my Facebook page lolita bopa AND sharing the Facebook post about this giveaway on its timeline. The other option is to subscribe to my blog’s mailing list/or follow my blog AND comment this blog post by answering which is your favourite wine-chocolate combination.
  2. The gifts will be sent by post. Therefore the posting address must be in Slovenia. Sorry you guys from elsewhere, but wine is involved. But if you know anyone here, you can count on their address and enter the game.
  3. From all of the qualified contestants I will randomly choose 3 winners who will receive a bottle of wine plus some sweets.
  4. Facebook nor WordPress have nothing to do with this giveaway. The giveaway is organised by me!
  5. The giveaway starts 26.3.2015 and ends on 4.4.2015 at 12:00 (GMT+1). The winners will be announced the next day.
  6. I do not take any legal responsibility whatsoever.
  7. The personal information collected will be used for this giveaway only.

Oven baked orange pistachio donuts

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Since I remember, working with materials, transforming the mass and creating new shapes was my thing. Probably that’s why I was so hooked by ceramics. I was doing it for quite some time and enjoyed it a lot. I always liked that magic feeling when you get to transform your idea into something concrete, real, into a form that has a new meaning
 But at a certain moment I actually stopped doing that. That was a mistake, but I haven’t yet said the final word! That’s for sure.

Maybe that is why I like working with dough so much. I actually didn’t realize this until I got myself a new oven. Yes, I’ve had it for two weeks or so now 🙂 Dough is an absolutely amazing thing! It all begins with a messy sticky shapeless something, but then you fight it, you stretch it, you knead and eventually you get a nice and soft shiny ball. Not to mention the final result… 🙂

Mardi gras and carnival time in Slovenia are somehow special. Actually, the only time I did not celebrate it was when I was in France. We always do masks and there is a huge party. Oh yes, and donuts.

So this is how I got myself into this business. I haven’t really eaten donuts for quite some time now. My gran, who makes like the best ones ever (!!!), lives a bit too far away to have them fresh, and a day old, well, they’re not quite the same anymore.

I wanted to make a healthier version of her recipe which goes like this:

500 g flour
5 egg yolks
50 g sugar
50 g butter
40 g fresh yeast
1,5 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp spiced rum
peel of 1 organic lemon
1 vanilla sugar
250 – 300 ml milk
oil for frying
apricot jam for filling
icing sugar for garnish

After preparing the dough, which is pretty much the same as described in my recipe, make 60 g balls and let rise. Heat the oil at 60Âșc – 70Âșc. Fry 3 mins on one side with the lid on, than turn the donuts and fry another 3 mins with the lid off. Warm up the apricot jam and fill the donuts using a confectionery bag or a syringe with a long nozzle.

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I did not want to fry them, so I tried the oven option. The donuts turned out just great, but had more of a brioche texture. But as far as the taste goes, I got it right. And filling them with clementine jam was like heaven!

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Ingredients:

dough

  • 200 g white flour T400
  • 125 g wholegrain spelt flour
  • 110 g pumpkin puree (from hokkaido)
  • 20 g fresh yeast
  • 25 g agave syrup
  • 50 g soft butter
  • 30 – 50 ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1,5 Tbsp spiced rum
  • 3 egg yolks
  • peel of œ organic lemon
  • 1/3 tsp salt

garnish

  • 100 g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 1 tsp butter
  • unsalted pistachios
  • peel of 2 organic oranges
  • clementine or orange jam

Preparation:

  1. Cut pumpkin in half, drizzle with some neutral oil and bake at 200°C 30-40 min or until softened. Let cool and puree using a hand blender.
  2. Prepare the yeast: mix 20 ml warm milk, 1 tsp of agave syrup and yeast.
  3. In a large bowl mix the two flours and salt.
  4. Using a hand mixer, mix softened butter at the highest speed, than gradually add agave syrup and egg yolks. In the end, add lemon peel, vanilla extract and rum.
  5. Pour the egg mixture, pumpkin puree and yeast into the flours. Mix with a wooden spatula until combined. Add more milk if needed.
  6. When ingredients well combined, start kneading. The dough should be firm, but flexible. Add more flour or milk if needed. The starch needs some time to get activated, so in this first phase the dough will be pretty sticky. It should start getting the right texture after 8 mins of kneading. If it still is too sticky and too soft, add little flour. Flour your work surface and now knead as you would any other dough. In the end you should get a firm and silky ball of dough.
  7. Let rise and when it doubles in size knead once more. Form small balls of 40 g each and let rise. Turn once while rising.
  8. Preheat oven at 180°c (classic heating up+down) and bake 20 – 30 min.
  9. Using a confectionary bag or a syringe with a long nozzle fill the donuts with a warm jam as soon as you get them out of the oven.
  10. Melt the chocolate and the butter over a double boiler. Pour over the donuts and sprinkle with some crushed pistachios and orange peel.

Chocolate coconut nutella

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A healthier vegan nut free nutella. Coconut milk and chocolate. No added sugar. That’s about it! Love it 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 400 ml coconut milk (emulsified, I used Vegalife)
  • 4 tsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 80 g milk chocolate (I used Balance Stevia by Klingele)

Preparation:

  1. Melt chocolate over water bath. Gently whisk in cocoa.
  2. Heath up coconut milk. Do not overheat. It just needs to have the same temperature as chocolate. Mix in the chocolate.
  3. Pour into jars, let cool and store in a fridge overnight. It will harden get spreadable consistency. VoilĂ !

Kissingers: a healthier version

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Kissingers. My grandma has been making them since I remember. There isn’t Christmas without them. No one in our family actually knows where my grandma got the recipe or why they’re called that way. So as far as I managed to find out, they’re originally from Bavaria, Germany.

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Anyway, this is my healthier version, but for my grandmother’s sake I’m also adding an original recipe:

150 g wheat flour (white)
150 g ground hazelnuts
150 g sugar
100 g butter
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg

apricot jam
chocolate and hazelnuts to garnish

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Ingredients:

  • 185 g wholegrain spelt flour
  • 150 g ground hazelnuts
  • 60 g agave syrup
  • 100 g butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 100 g dried apricots
  • juice of 1 big orange
  • 60 g dark chocolate (70%)
  • ground hazelnuts to garnish

Preparation:

  1. Mix flour, hazelnuts, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add butter and combine evenly with your hands. Whisk egg and agave syrup. Add to flour mixture. The dough will be rather soft. Form a ball and let sit for 20-30 mins in a fridge.
  2. Roughly chop apricots, pour over orange juice and mix with hand blender to get a jam consistency.
  3. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it in-between two sheets of parchment paper to 4 mm thick. use a round cookie cutter or a jar to cut out circles.
  4. Bake at 180Âșc for 12 mins or until golden brown.
  5. Let cool. Make cookie sandwiches by spreading apricot jam in-between the two cookies.
  6. Melt chocolate and dip in the edges. Immediately roll in ground hazelnuts.
  7. Leave cookies in a tin box for at least two days before serving & eating.

 

Back to Last minute DIY Christmas gifts

Orange and chocolate avocado truffles

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This are my new favorite chocolates! Rich chocolate flavor and silky texture. And some oranges for nice Christmas flavor.

Pack them in a thin foil box covered with some nice paper and you will get a truly deluxe present!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 big avocado
  • 40 g pitted dates*
  • 80 g chocolate (at least 70%)
  • 4 tsp unsweetened cocoa
  • peel of two organic oranges
  • cocoa for dusting

Preparation:

  1. Using a blender or food processor mix avocado, orange peel and dates into a smooth cream.
  2. Mix in 4 tsp of cocoa using a spoon.
  3. Melt chocolate over water bath and mix it in the avocado cream.
  4. Put it in the fridge for 2-3 hours to get firm.
  5. When firm enough, form balls with your hands and dust it with cocoa.

* I find this sweet enough. However, my friend who tested it said it wasn’t sweet enough. I might have lost the perception for sweetness since I don’t eat sugar anymore. Add more if necessary 😉

 

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