5 Ingredient Chocolate Bliss Balls

5 Ingredient Chocolate Bliss Balls

5 Ingredient Chocolate Bliss Balls

GUEST POSTER – Recipe courtesy and by approval of Masala Vegan
Guest Blogger: Masala Vegan Link: Original Post

Vegan, Nut & Gluten Free

These allergy free morsels of goodness were developed as a lunch box snack. My little ones school is designated nut free and most of the bliss balls/ bars out there had nuts in some form or, the other. What’s an innovative mother to do but, to develop her own 5 ingredient and 2 step recipe?!

5 Ingredient Chocolate Bliss Balls

gueset post    BLOG thank you

Es’s Almond Milk Arabic dough with Bacon Bits and Cheese

Es’s Almond Milk Arabic dough with Bacon Bits and Cheese

TRH Es's Almond Milk Arabic dough with Bacon Bits and Cheese

True to my nature, that is 99.9% of the time, I will use a recipe as a starting point and modify as I go along.
As I wanted to see if this famous Arabic dough will work and can be modified to “Vegan” I decided to use Almond Milk and omit the milk powder.
As my vegan family members, will unfortunately not be able to share in this batch, I then decided to add some bacon and cheese to the mix as another part of my experiment. You can keep it vegan by omitting the bacon and using vegan cheese if you like.

500ml (2 cups) warm Almond milk
60ml (4 tbsp) sugar
30ml (2 tbsp) yeast (2 x 8g packets)
500ml (2 cups) cake flour
1.25ml (1/4 tsp) salt
Mix together and set aside for 15 minutes to form a nice foam head.

Then add:
125ml (½ cup) oil
750ml (3 cups) flour
5ml (1 tsp) baking powder (optional, I did add it)

Mix well and knead with dough attachment in stand mixer for 7 minutes. Yeah, for a stand mixer!!! <3

After 6 minutes kneading, add the following without stopping your mixer:
40g bacon bits (you can add more if you prefer, unfortunately that’s all I had available)
60g grated cheddar cheese – or any sharp yellow cheese
100g grated mozzarella cheese
Continue to knead for the last 1 minute till well mixed.

Oil your hands and prepare shapes as you like.
Let proof/rise for 30 minutes.
Before baking, egg wash dough and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, or dust with flour.
Bake at 180C / 350F for about 20-25 minutes or baked through and have a nice brown colored head.

Recipe credit: Gail Haselsteiner
Modified, prepared, tried and tested by: Es Slabs

Es’s Acorn Squash with Orzo, Kale and Tofu

Es’s Acorn Squash with Orzo, Kale and Tofu

Es’s Acorn Squash with Orzo and Kale
2 Acorn Squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
Ground Black Pepper
2 cups raw orzo
10ml VOO (Virgin Olive Oil)
1 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
1 Tablespoons minced garlic
200g thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 bunch = ±4 cups cleaned and rough chopped kale
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1 yellow or red pepper, chopped – I used yellow as I did not have any red available
Soy sauce
½ packet firm Tofu, cut into cubes

Pre heat the oven to 475F
Cook Orzo as per instructions on packet.  Strain and keep aside.
On baking sheet, place squash flesh side up (seed removed) and divide oil between the squash and paint the oil over the exposed flesh and sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper.
Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Use a fork to test for tenderness.
In a separate pan heat oil and sauté shiitake mushrooms.  Add garlic and salt and saute until mushrooms are cooked but not browned.
Add shredded kale and chopped peppers and cook till wilted. Sprinkle with sesame seed, you can toast this if you prefer, although I did not do it.
Add cooked orzo and mix together.  Season to taste.
Fill the cooked squash halves with the orzo mixture.
Sprinkle with soy sauce for extra flavor and set aside.
When nearly ready to dish up. place in oven and heat through.
Before serving, fry the cubed tofu in VOO till brown and toasted.  You can also add some soy sauce for extra flavor.
Serve with tofu scattered over the squash.

Prepared, tried and tested by: Esme Slabbert

Es’s Paintball Birthday cake

Es’s Paintball Birthday cake

TRH N Birthday1 Vegan  Vegan
TRH N Birthday2 Red Velvet  Red Velvet

TRH N Birthday3 Vanilla  Vanilla – White and Blue
TRH N Birthday4 all layers  Four layers covered with icing
TRH N Birthday6 Decorated Figurines and splats
TRH N Birthday7 Cut Cut at party
trh N Birthday8 Vegan decorated Vegan singles with strawberries
I used 3 different recipes, so I am listing all three recipes in this one post.
You can use these recipes on its own as well.

8 oz butter (4 sticks)
2 cup sugar
4 eggs
4 Tbsp vanilla
4 cup flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk

Preheat your oven to 350F (180C).
Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy.
Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating each before adding the next. Add the vanilla.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add to the wet ingredients along with the milk.
Beat everything for a few moments until smooth once again.
I used half of the batter as a white layer and the second half, mixed in 0.64 fluid ounces – 1 bottle of blue coloring.
Prepare two 9-inch round baking pan by lightly greasing them, and then cutting a circle of parchment paper to fit into the bottom.
Divide the batter evenly between two 9-inch cake pans (once you mixed in the blue coloring if you use it).
Bake for 50 minutes. Cool for a few moments than carefully invert the pans removing the cake and let cool.

Dry Ingredients:
2½ Cups All Purpose Flour
2½ Cups Sugar
1 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt

Wet Ingredients:
2⅔ Cups Non-Dairy Milk of Choice (I used Almond)
⅔ Cups Light Oil (I used canola)
2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

Preheat your oven to 350F (180C).
Prepare one 9-inch round baking pan by lightly greasing them, and then cutting a circle of parchment paper to fit into the bottom.
I also made 5 x 3-inch width x 2-inch depth baby vegan cakes – prepare pans the same as the large baking pan.
In a large bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients, then set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together all of the wet ingredients.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix.
Prepare baking pans by lightly greasing them, and then cutting a circle of parchment paper to fit into the bottom.
Divide the batter into the prepared pans then pop them in the oven.
Bake for about 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

This recipe made one 9-inch cake and 5 single high cakes (see dimensions above) as I needed this for my vegan family members.
I decorated this with vegan chocolate icing (Betty Crocker) and only added sliced organic strawberries as decoration – see picture.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 Tablespoons unsweetened, cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil or canola
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1-2 oz. red food coloring – 0.64 fluid ounces = 1 bottle
1 teaspoon white vinegar
½ cup of prepared plain hot coffee

Preheat oven to 325F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar and vegetable oil.
Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and red food coloring until combined.
Stir in the coffee and white vinegar.
Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients a little at time, mixing after each addition, just until combined.
Prepare one 9-inch round baking pan by lightly greasing them, and then cutting a circle of parchment paper to fit into the bottom.
I also made 1 x 6-inch pan with the extra batter and gave it to a friend as a gift.
Pour the batter evenly into pans.
Bake in the middle rack for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not over bake as cake will continue to cook as it cools.
Let pan cool completely and remove the cake from the pans.

Be sure to not overbake! Cakes are really moist and you may need to refrigerate them to firm them up before stacking and frosting.  I left mine overnight as I only did decorations the next day.
To bake cupcakes, bake for 18-20 minutes, checking at around the 18-minute mark.

I baked the above four cakes in two batches, over 2 evenings and kept them covered in sealed plastic bags and did the assembling and decoration the 3rd day.

After all the baking, I cheated and used a box of store bought marshmallow fondant. I took the block and knead it slightly to be more pliable.
Sprinkle the table top with icing sugar, and roll the fondant to desired thickness.

Now the assembly started:
Bottom layer – Vegan chocolate cake
Second layer – Red velvet
Third layer – Vanilla (white) cake
Fourth layer – Blue (vanilla) cake

Use a serving tray/plate/board big and sturdy enough as it’s a very high (4 layers) and heavy cake once done. Spread some icing on the plate and place the first layer on the plate. This will help  and make sure it does not move around and go slip slide around.
Take the second and third layer, place them on top of each other, and use a round ‘template’ to cut out a circle in the middle. I used an approximately 3-inch template to cut the opening in the middle of the cakes.  You can ‘trace’ it on the top layer and then cut with a knife through both layers and remove the inside circle.
Liberally spread icing (I used white vanilla icing on all the layers) the bottom of the second layer (ring) and place on the bottom full layer.
Once done, spread icing on the top of the second layer (first ring) and place the third layer (second ring) on top of the second layer.
Fill the cavity with any candy you prefer. I used multicolored jelly beans and skittles.
I ended up using 2 bags of skittles and 1 bag of jelly beans, but that will depend on the height of the cake and the diameter of the cavity you made.
Once filled, spread the bottom of the fourth/top layer and place on top.

Now that you have all four layers assembled, spread a thin layer of icing all around all four layers.  Try to make it as smooth as possible.
Take the rolled out marshmallow fondant and carefully place it over the entire cake and work it as best you can to get a very smooth surface.

Decorate to your hearts content and as per your theme.
As I had a paintball theme, I printed a paintball figurine and then traced it on the top of the cake and used black icing to ‘paint’ it.
For the paintball splats I did the same and used red and blue coloring to ‘paint’ it.
At the very bottom of the cake, I added some candy to round off the seam at the bottom.
I also piped our grandson’s name and age on opposite sides of the cake.
I thoroughly enjoyed this project, although I do require a lot of extra experience to work with fondant, as it’s my first try and must admit it’s not as smooth as I have seen many others.

NOTE: Make sure that when served at the birthday party and before they cut this monster of a cake, it should be placed on a HUGE tray in order to catch all the candy that will spill out of the cake.

Prepared, tried and tested by: Esme Slabbert‎ – The Recipe Hunter (Cook & Enjoy)

Apple & Pear Crisp

Apple & Pear Crisp

This one is now tried & tested and definitely APPROVED!
See Corlea Smit‎’s adjustments below the original recipe:

mix of 10-12 medium apples and pears, peeled, cored and chopped (a variety of both sweet and tart tastes – about 8 cups worth)
lemon juice (about 2 tsp)
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp of nutmeg
1/4 tsp of allspice
1/2 tsp of salt
heaping 1/2 cup vegan sugar
1 Tbsp of molasses
1/3 cup gluten free flour blend
3/4 cup gluten free old fashioned oats
1/2 cup ground raw pecans
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
7/8 Tbsp (little less than one stick) non-dairy butter melted, such as Earth Balance

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a 13×9 baking dish.
2. Add apples and pears to a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Toss to coat with turbinado sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt.
Add lemon juice while preparing the fruit to prevent browning
Stir and coat the fruit
3. Transfer to baking dish and set aside.
The base of the crisp is ready
4. In a clean bowl, add vegan sugar, molasses, flour, pecans, oats, and cinnamon and stir. Add melted butter and mix until it resembles wet sand.
Add the melted vegan butter/margarine
Ready to bake!
5. Sprinkle topping over the fruit and bake until apples and pears are soft and topping is golden brown (between 45 minutes to 1 hour).
6. Let rest 10-15 minutes before serving.

Source: Archive

Prepared, tried and tested
Corlea Smit‎’s adjustments:

Used normal flour since none of us are gluten-free, and white sugar for the filling, regular brown sugar for the topping. I used plain vegetable shortening for the topping, which worked wonderfully.
But my best suggestion is to leave the pecans in pieces, not ground up.
I used almost a full cup, and it really made the topping special.
Oh, and don’t skip the molasses in the topping either – it’s worth it to get that extra depth of flavor.

This one is now tried & tested and definitely APPROVED!

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