easy Spring no bake tangerine cake

Although the weather outside right now doesn’t look like Springtime at all, let’s try to summon it with a light Spring-Summer dessert. Easter is coming soon and I think this kind of light, slightly exotic, no bake dessert will be perfect for this occasion.

Today I would like to introduce you to one of my old recipes for for a small sweet, simple dessert with tangerines. Although from the instructions it may seem complicated it’s very easy to prepare. And if I was able to make it, you will be able too 🙂

Tangerines I had was quite sour – but actually in that cake it was a plus, because they worked great with sweet layer of whipped cream. This made the dessert very refreshing. You can also adjust the ingredients to your needs and liking, swap tangerines with oranges, add icing sugar or sugar replacement, also I used basic tea biscuits, but feel free to use different biscuits that are available to you. Sponge biscuits would work well if you have quite high baking tray. If you don’t have loaf shaped baking tray you can use a high glass container or bowl. Get creative – even if it’s not going to look like from Instagram I can assure you it will be tasty. And that’s the most important. Isn’t it? 🙂


I used my silicone cake loaf shaped baking tray, but in the end, it wasn’t the best way to make it. Jelly stick to the silicone surface and wasn’t easy to remove it from the tray. Perhaps placing the cling film inside would be much better. Also my baking tray has 21cm at its widest point – it did not fit the whole amount of ingredients I had, just a little jelly and some whipped cream was left, but it’s not a problem – they can be alternately arranged in a small bowl and also cooled. Oh, and the top layer of jelly does not really want to stick to biscuits, as you can see in the picture. I guess if I would place biscuits before jelly sets completely they would stick better. But heigh-ho, the final thing was delicious and quite good looking for my cake-making abilities at that time. Not that I would say that right now I’m a great baker 😉


easy Spring no bake tangerine cake


INGREDIENTS for a loaf shaped baking tray:

  • 2 large tangerines
  • orange jelly powder (pack to be dissolved in 500ml of water)
  • 500 ml whipping cream
  • icing sugar or sugar replacement to taste
  • 4 tsp of gelatin
  • classic tea biscuits

DIRECTIONS

Dissolve the jelly in 400 ml of hot water – adding slightly less water than it says on the packaging will make the jelly more stiff and easier to slice. Leave it to cool down. Prepare small loaf shape baking tray, you can cover inside of it with cling film – it will be easier to remove the cake when it’s ready. I used silicon baking tray thinking it should be easy to remove it – placing a layer of cling film would make the process much easier.

Peel tangerines and also peel of the membrane from each segment. It’s more time consuming, but worth making – tangerines will be easier to bite and lot more attractive looking.

Pour a little cooled jelly into a loaf shape baking tray and place the nicest tangerine segments on the bottom. The jelly level should cover tangerines. Place baking tray into the fridge. When it’s almost set place a layer of biscuits.

In the meantime prepare second layer. Dissolve gelatin in approx. 2 tablespoons of hot water and let it cool down slightly. Whip the cream using handheld mixer, add some icing sugar or sugar replacement while whipping. When the whipped cream is ready, add gelatine and mix well. Place the cream layer on top of the biscuits and cover with another layer of biscuits. Then again place it in the fridge. Whipped cream with the addition of gelatin will set very quickly, faster than jelly.

Now again place a layer of jelly and the rest of tangerines. I arranged the mandarin pieces and just poured a little bit of jelly, because I was running out of space in the baking tray, but you can make this layer higher. Put the tray back in the fridge. After the jelly is set, go with another layer of cream and biscuits on to of it. Wrap the tray tightly in cling film (cream likes to catch other flavours from the fridge) and place it in the fridge for a few hours, or for the whole night.

Long story short:

jelly + tangerine segments

biscuits

whipped cream

biscuits

jelly with tangerine pieces

whipped cream

biscuits

Before serving, of course, turn upside down. With cling film it should go quite easy. Store in the fridge, consume within two days.

pleasure, but not guilty – raspberry pavlova

I remember making my first Pavlova – the one you can see on the photos. I was excited and terrified in the same time. I’m a master of making baking mistakes, just because I never stick to the recipe and tend to “simplify” the methods if I feel like something can be done easier or quicker. And most of the times in baking recipes all the methods are not used without a reason. That’s why I always thought I’m just not good with baking. And it’s not truth, I’m just not bothered to stick to the recipe (if you’re curious what baking mistakes I always make, and maybe you make them as well, have a look here).

So when I was making my first pavlova I kept telling myself: for God’s sake stick with the recipe! Came out not perfect, but it was perfect for me as I was making it for the first time. I love pavlova. I love meringue that’s crispy on the outside and fluffy and creamy on the inside. And that’s how this one came out. I could say that the shape is not the best, and slightly beige in colour. But thanks God it’s not Hell’s Kitchen and Gordon Ramsay won’t come to smash my freshly baked piece of art.

I don’t know if anyone else has such a deep affection to pavlova as I have, cause it’s just egg whites whipped with sugar, some whipped cream and fruits, and it’s simply sweet as hell. But for me mix of textures and sweetness braked slightly with sour fruits, makes the best dessert I could think of. And unfortunately I can’t see keto replacement for this. And I think I mentioned about this before, but as you can try to replace some of the foods with their keto substitutes, but in most cases you won’t get the same results. Keto pizza won’t taste like real pizza, cauliflower rice won’t taste like real rice (if you like the taste of rice) and so on. So for me it makes no sense to try to make keto food that will pretend to be not keto. At least it doesn’t work for me. So my special occasion sugar bomb dessert – will be pavlova. No regrets, no guilt 🙂

But remember – stick to the recipe, do not make short-cuts and don’t rush her, pavlova is a quite sensitive girl and if you don’t treat her right she might show you the middle finger. So read the recipe couple times, prepare all the ingredients in advance and keep your fingers crossed when it will be in the oven.

And if somehow something goes wrong, always have a plan B. Eaton mess for example 🙂

raspberry pavlova

NOTE: my measuring cup is 250ml regular glass

INGREDIENTS for quite large meringue:

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1½ cup fine sugar
  • 1 tsp potato starch
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of salt

INGREDIENTS for toppings:

  • 250ml whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 200g fresh raspberries
  • about 2 tsp potato starch
  • wee bit of water

DIRECTIONS

Separate egg whites from the egg yolks, be very careful with that, as if accidentally some egg yolk stay in egg whites, you might not be able to whip it properly.

Set the oven to 180°C so that the the egg whites won’t need to wait too long. Prepare baking tray and a piece of baking paper. You can use a bowl or a plate to draw a round shape, so it will be easier to form the egg whites.

In a large bowl or pot beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt using a handheld mixer, starting with low speed, and then increasing until egg whites become stiff. Be careful not to over-beat the egg whites. Then start adding sugar, little by little, and mix until all sugar is dissolved. Egg whites should become more white, shiny and creamy, and you should get stiff peaks. At the end add a teaspoon of vinegar and a teaspoon of potato flour.

Using a spatula transfer the egg whites to a baking tray and try to make a nice round mountain with a slightly flat top.

Place baking tray in the oven and set the timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, lower the temperature to 140°C and set the timer for 90 minutes. I have to say that’s for me the most difficult part, as the rest depends of the oven. And depending of how it distributes the heat, if you have top and bottom heater or only top, if you have a fan or not – everything can happen. If you know your oven well, it will be easier to control the heat. So depending of your oven you might need to adjust the starting and drying temperature and drying time. If you see that meringue starts getting gold quickly it meand your temperature is to high. During baking it will also start breaking – that means that the outer surface is ready. If you’re not sure if 90 minutes was enough, in my opinion it’s alway better to wait a little bit longer, rather than switch off the oven too early. If meringue is not baked enough inside egg white might become liquid when it cools down. So it’s better to keep it another 15-30 minutes drying, than switch it off too early.

Another thing – do not open the oven straight away. Wait couple minutes so the temperature will start dropping slowly. Slightly open the oven and let it cool down completely.

If you’re lucky enough you’ll get crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, nicely white or creamy in colour decent piece of meringue.

Now only the simple things left. Whip the cream with two tablespoons of powdered sugar. Choose couple prettiest raspberries and set them aside. Put the rest in a saucepan adding two tablespoons of water. Dissolve potato starch in a little bit of water and pour it over the simmering raspberries stir it quickly. If you find it too thick or too thin, you can either add a little water or tiny bit more potato starch mixed with water. Let cool down completely.

Spread the whipped cream on the meringue, then add raspberry “jelly” and fresh fruits on top. Now it’s ready to be served.

Store it in the fridge for about 2-3 days maximum. It’s the best when fresh as it becomes soft in the fridge and easily catches other smells.

simple and easy strawberry trifle

This dessert reminds me the ones that all the mums were making for kids birthday parities when I was a child. Simple, easy to make with basic ingredients (apart from mascarpone that didn’t exist in my childhood), looking kind of fancy and extra in the same time. Any of the kids party couldn’t have been done without jelly (inevitably in at least two different colours), whipped cream and fruits dessert, served in separate glasses one for each guest. And I think it’s still great idea for kids parties (and obviously adults too).

So I decided to make this kind of jelly and whipped cream based dessert with strawberries, adding pack of mascarpone for a nice twist (I love mascarpone). You can serve it in separate glasses or in one big glass dish, as I did. I have to admit I didn’t think this through, I thought I will be able to place more than one layer of jelly. But when I placed strawberries on the bottom and covered it with mix of whipped cream and mascarpone, I’ve noticed that I don’t have that much space left. While I still had quite a lot of jelly. So I decided to make this elegant jelly blob on top. In this case maybe don’t follow my layering process in exact same way, or do it if you don’t mind this cute lump of jelly on top. And also because my glass dish isn’t that big, I’ve been left with some leftovers of jelly and whipped cream mix, but thnat’s not a problem. I’ve used another fancy small glass dish and made a small portion with jelly on the bottom then, couple spoons of cream and chopped strawberries on top.

For this recipe I’ve used no sugar jelly and some xylitol, so I could keep it keto appropriate, but obviously you can use regular jelly and sugar if you don’t mind your sugar intake. Although no sugar version won’t make your insulin levels jump up to the sky. After eating sweets, the level of sugar in our body increases rapidly. The level of insulin, which ‘digests’ sugars, also increases rapidly, and just as they have risen, they drop so quickly and when sugar suddenly drops we feel hunger for sweets. This creates a vicious circle and each piece of something sweet drives another. The effect of “energy injection” appears but is very short-lived. If you eat a lot of sweets and you think you might be addicted to them (which you might not know until you actually stop eating them) it’s a great idea to challenge yourself and give yourself a month of being sugar free. You will be surprised when you see, that when you will dishabituate from eating sweets, that they actually may not exist after some time. Also you might notice after some time that that if you’re fancy of something sweet, not every sweet thing you’ll like. After longer period of time your taste might change and not only some of the sweets will be too sweet for you, but also they might not taste good at all.

If you’d like to challenge yourself with cutting the sweets, I recommend not replacing them immediately with sugar free sweets. Having a break from sweet taste for some time can actually change your taste and attitude to sweeties. Also very important – if you have any kind of health issues, especially diabetes or other health problem consult with your doctor first if you want to stop eating sweets. I don’t recommend any extreme changes in your diet if you have any health issues without consultations with a doctor of dietician. If you have sugar addiction you might notice some unpleasant symptoms being on sugar detox like:

  • lower mood and low mood or a lack of enjoyment in things you once found pleasurable
  • feelings of anxiousness may also be accompanied by nervousness, restlessness, and irritability
  • you might find it hard to fall asleep
  • you may find it difficult to concentrate
  • you might have a headache
  • you might feel dizzy
  • you might feel tired

All or some of these symptoms may or may not occur. Withdrawal symptoms can last from a few days to two weeks. The longer your body goes without sugar, the less intense your symptoms and cravings for sugar will be. I know it sound unpleasant, but in my opinion is worth trying to give yourself freedom from sugar that’s appropriating not only your body, but also your wallet. but However I have to say it again: if you have any health issues, consult with your doctor first, to get the confirmation that it’s safe for you.

OK, now let’s go to the recipe.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is keto-strawberry-trifle.jpg

simple and easy strawberry trifle

INGREDIENTS:

  • 250 g mascarpone
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 1 sachet sugar free strawberry jelly (to make about 500ml of jelly)
  • couple handfuls of strawberries
  • 3-4 tsp xylitol or other sugar replacement (you might need to adjust the amount to your taste)

DIRECTIONS

Prepare jelly according to instructions on the packaging. Leave it to completely cool down and place in the fridge.

When you jelly starts to set, but you are still able to kind of pour it, start whipping the cream. Add xylitor or other sweetener of your choice and when it’s whipped add mascarpone and again mix to combine.

I’ve thinly sliced couple of strawberries and attached them to the sides of glass dish, added some more chopped strawberries on the bottom and a layer of cream. Then very gently started adding jelly layer. I’ve used a spoon to place the jelly, because whipped cream and mascarpone mix is quite fluffy and delicate, so if you pour it straight you’ll make a hole in it. You can see that my jelly layer is “contaminated” with cream.

After placing the layer of jelly put the dish to the fridge so it sets. Then add some more chopped strawberries and attach some strawberry slices on the sides, place the cream and finally strawberries on top. And if you want to make a “cute” blob with already set jelly on top, as I did – go for it. Or make your own layering process, because I didn’t think it through to be honest 🙂

You can also instead of placing all ingredients in one big dish, use glasses or other small fancy glass dishes to layer the ingredients.

Enjoy!

keto chocolate mousse with raspberries

Continuation of fatty keto desserts to comfort yourself during lockdown. We have ups and downs, more often we need something comforting. Something soothing, we can enjoy in our ups and help us to survive all the downs.

This keto chocolate mousse is great for any occasion. Low in carbs, with no sugar and with high fat content. I’ve paired 90% cocoa chocolate with one of my favorite fruits – raspberries. I think raspberries and chocolate goes great together.

I also want to share with you very interesting article about chocolate – it’s a great example of how are we manipulated and fooled by media, manufacturers and “science” – by providing mutually exclusive information, depending on current market demands.

Maybe we should stop listening to all these messengers, stop this encompassing confusion and start looking for the truth in ourselves. Listen more to our body, how it response, how we feel, what our intuition tells us. Start putting your faith in ourselves, not in others. Especially in these weird days.

With this peculiar intro I would like to share with you this recipe for velvety, creamy chocolate dessert.

 

chocolate mousse with raspberries

keto chocolate mousse with raspberries

INGREDIENTS:

  • 250g mascarpone
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 100g 90% cocoa chocolate (we like Lindt one)
  • sweetener of your choice (I used stevia powder)
  • couple handfuls of raspberries
  • handful raw cacao nibs
  • handful almond flakes

DIRECTIONS

Pour a few inches of water into the pot. Fit the bowl over the pot, so it touches the surface of water. Heat the water to a simmer. Turn off the heat and add slowly chopped chocolate. Stir gently to melt. When the chocolate is melt, take out the bowl and let it cool down.

Heat a small pan and toast handful of almond flakes for 2-3 minutes..

In the meantime whip the cream using handheld mixer, adding sweetener of your choice, the best would be to use powdered sweetener, so it combines with no problems. Add as much as you need to get the level of sweetness you like.

When whipped cream is ready add mascarpone, mix again. Then add melted chocolate and mix one more time to combine the ingredients. If you need more sweetener, add a bit more.

Prepare nice glass bowls or glasses. Place one layer of mousse, then layer of raspberries, and again layer of mousse. Arrange raspberries on top, sprinkle with cacao nibs and almond flakes.

It’s best to eat it straightaway. After couple hours in the fridge mousse is getting harder because of the chocolate. Although still wonderfully creamy.
Enjoy!

keto chocolat mousse

 

keto chocolate mousse with raspberries

flummery (jelly whip) with blueberries and chia #ketofriendly

Today’s dessert is kind of similar to this one I’ve made couple of days ago. As I said, my partner loves it so much, that he keep on asking to make more and more. So instead of doing the same dessert on and on, I decided to try something else.

That’s how this Flummery (or Jelly Whip) appeared. I had fancy glasses, so I had to find a fancy name for this dessert. According to Wikipedia “flummery” is “a starch-based, sweet, soft dessert pudding known to have been popular in Britain and Ireland from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries (…) derived from the Welsh word for a similar dish made from sour oatmeal and husks, llymru, which is of unknown origin. It is also attested in variant forms such as thlummery or flamery in 17th and 18th century English. The word “flummery” later came to have generally pejorative connotations of a bland, empty, and unsatisfying food. From this use, “flummery” developed the meaning of empty compliments, unsubstantial talk or writing, and nonsense“.

I can assure you, that this dessert is definitely not bland and unsatisfying.

Again after Wikipedia: “In Australia, post World War II, flummery was the name given to a different foodstuff, a mousse dessert made with beaten evaporated milk, sugar, and gelatine. Also made using jelly crystals, mousse flummery became established as an inexpensive alternative to traditional cream-based mousse in Australia.” – and that’s where I have found the name “jelly whip” – on the Australian food blog.

Whatever you call it, it’s good. Keto friendly, low in sugar, so it can replace other less healthy guilty pleasures. You can also use other fruits to make it, I used blueberries because they are low carb fruits. Tropical fruits would work great with this kind of dessert, like mango or pineapple.

Also this time instead of adding already set jelly to whipped cream, I added cold liquid jelly. This way jelly whip is more smooth, with more even consistency, because it’s not so packed with air, like in strawberry dessert.

So if you’re looking for more healthy dessert option, but not boring, bland and unsatisfying – that’s a good choice.

flummery (jelly whip) with blueberry and chia

 

flummery (jelly whip) with blueberries and chia

NOTE: I have only two of these fancy glasses, but with these ingredients you’ll get bigger amount of jelly whip. I used some to fill up the glasses, and the rest to make a dessert like this strawberry one. It was enough to fill up the small loaf pan. The amount of chia was enough for these two glasses. So if you would like to prepare more of half chia, half jelly whip desserts, you need to triple the amount of chia seeds and blueberries. Or if you would like to make only two portions in glasses, use one pack of whipping cream and 1 sachet of jelly. It also depends of the size of your glasses. The one I used are about 500ml each. I hope it’s not too confusing.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 sachets sugar free blackcurrant jelly (23g each sachet)
  • 600 ml whipping cream (I used two 300ml packs)
  • 3 tsp stevia powder
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 handfuls blueberries (I used frozen)

DIRECTIONS

First prepare jelly. Boil 285ml (1/2 pint) of water and pour to a bowl or jug (I’ve used my blender jug because it has measure). Always add jelly powder to boiling water, not opposite. Stir both jelly packs until dissolved and then make up to 570ml (1pint) with cold water. So it’s like two jellies in one. Cool down and put to fridge. This time we’re not going to wait until the jelly sets, like with strawberry dessert, adding liquid jelly to whipped cream we will get more smooth and creamy consistency.

In a small pot heat 3-4 tbsp of water and add blueberries and chia seeds. Bring to boil and simmer on a very low heat for 3-4 minutes. I used a fork to mash some of the blueberries. Switch off the heat and add about 4 tbsp of your jelly (if you are making bigger amount of chia add more jelly). Set aside to cool down.

Next whip the cream using handheld mixer, add 3 tsp of stevia powder. You can add more, but remember that jelly is very sweet already. Set aside some of the whipped cream for decoration. Add cold liquid jelly to the remaining cream and stir with a spoon, to get kind of marble effect, just don’t stir very neatly.

If you want you can place a layer on the bottom of the glass. To make this tilted kind of effect I used my muffin baking tray. I flipped it over, placed the leg of the glass in between the moulds of baking tray and stick with tape couple of times. So the glass was tilted with its leg taped to the baking tray.

OK, so now it’s time to fill up the glasses. I’ve started with jelly whip. Used a spoon to put it in, it’s quite fluffy, I tried to make as even surface as I could. When you fill up the glasses place them in the fridge for about an hour or so. Then fill up the rest of the glass with chia (if your chia became to thick, you can add a spoon of warm water). Again place in the fridge until it sets.

Take the remaining whipped cream and place on the top of each glass. If you have decorating set for cakes, it’s a good time to use it. If not just take a scoop and place the whipped cream on top. Arrange couple of blueberries and it’s ready.

Enjoy!

blueberry and chia flummery

flummery

bluberry and chia dessert

jelly whip