In the mood for Dessert...

I was recently at my friends Natalie and Josh's home and they shared with me an amazing cook book called, Green Kitchen Stories, that was gifted to them as a wedding gift. The creator David and Luise are a married couple with a two year old daughter named Elsa.  Their whole mission when creating this book was to make "simple vegetarian food with natural ingredients, whole grains, good fats, fruit and vegetables." And what I love most about their cookbook is that it's really easy for all types of cooks and kitchens. Be sure to follow them on instagram (@gkstories) it's beautifully curated and inspiring. What a lovely family with a great message.

Here are some of my favorite dessert dishes that I can't wait to try out in my own kitchen!

Frozen Pink Cheesecake

300 g (2 cups) almonds
10-12 fresh dates, pitted
2 tbsp coconut oil
a pinch of salt

2 cups fresh (or frozen) raspberries & strawberries
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup honey
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1 cup
quark or curd (you could probably also replace it with a fat Greek or Turkish yogurt)

1 cup fresh summer fruit and a couple of edible flowers

Grind almonds in a blender or a food processor for about a minute. Add dates, coconut oil and salt and run the processor until it all comes together. Flatten it out on the bottom of an 8-inch non-stick spring form. Store in the fridge while you make the filling.

Blend berries, lemon juice and honey. Stir together mascarpone, curd and the blended berries in a large bowl. Pour it on top of the crust in the spring pan and put it in the freezer for 1-2 hours (you can keep it in the freezer for days but then you have to let it soften a bit before you serve it) .

Top the cake with fresh fruit and a couple of flowers. Serve immediately.

Banana, Almond & Chocolate Cake
10 servings

This recipe calls for a lot of cacao, so make sure to choose a good tasting one. It’s a quite small cake but very rich, so 10 servings should still be enough.

200 g / 2 cups / 500 ml almond flour
25 g / 1/3 cup / 6 tbsp unsweetened cacao powder 
1 tsp baking powder
sea salt
2 eggs
2 bananas
1/3 cup / 80 ml cold pressed rapeseed oil or olive oil
1/2 cup / 120 ml maple syrup or honey

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 356°F.
Add almond flour, cacao powder, baking powder and sea salt to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Crack the eggs into a medium size mixing bowl and beat for about a minute. Mash the bananas with a fork and add to the eggs together with oil and syrup. Beat until all is well combined. Add the wet ingrediens to the dry ingrediens and use a whisk to stir until everything is mixed. Grease a small/medium size baking pan with oil. Mix a little almond flour with cacao powder and coat the sides with the mixture to prevent the cake from sticking to the pan. Pour the batter into the greased form and bake for about 45 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely before carefully tilting it out of the pan and adding the ganache. Serve with fresh berries and a dollop of turkish yogurt.

Cappuccino Ganache
80 g / 3 oz dark chocolate (70%)
1 single shot (4 cl) hot espresso or strong brewed coffee
4 tbsp heated milk of choice (plant based or regular)

Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. Pour the hot espresso and heated milk over the chocolate and leave for a minute to melt. Use a spoon to stir until completely smooth. Pour the ganache over the cake and watch as is firms up. If the ganache thickens before you have poured it over the cake, you can melt it again over a water bath.

Hazelnut cake with Frozen Saffron Yogurt and Honey Drizzled Figs

2 1/2 cups (350 g) raw hazelnuts (save a handful for the topping)
1/2 tsp sea salt
15 fresh medjool-like dates, pitted
2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp water

3 cups (720 ml) fat whole-milk turkish/greek yogurt, unsweetened
1 cup (240 ml) coconut milk
4 tbsp runny honey + some extra for topping
1 gram (0.035 oz) powdered saffron (2 envelopes)
8 small fresh figs, halved

Preparing the crust: Toast the hazelnuts on a baking tray on 180°C (350°F) in the oven, for 10 – 15 minutes or until skin cracks. Let cool for a few minutes, then remove skin by rubbing the nuts between a rough kitchen towel. Add hazelnuts (save a handful for the topping) and salt to a food processor or blender and pulse for about 10 seconds. The nuts should be chopped but not powdered. Pour the nuts into a separate bowl and set aside. Add the pitted dates, coconut oil and water to the food processor and run it on high speed until the mixture comes together to a sticky paste. Add the chopped hazelnuts and run until everything is combined into a sticky pebbled mixture. Place in a 20 cm (8-inch) spring-form cake tin and flatten it out with your fingers. Put in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.

Making the filling: Place turkish yoghurt, coconut milk and honey in a medium size mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Stir in the powdered saffron very gently with a spoon. Remove the spring-form cake tin from the fridge and pour the saffron filling on top of the crust. Then place the spring-form in the freezer for about 1 1/2 hour (you can keep it in the freezer for days but then you have to let it thaw for about 15-20 minutes before serving it). Top the cake with fresh figs and drizzle with honey. Serve immediately.