Find comfort in the cold months ahead with Italian chocolate sweets.
Photos by G. Giustolisi
Chocolate is one of those essential ingredients in the colder months. It comforts, feeds (especially, if it’s raw dark chocolate), gives the right energy and puts in a good mood.
These two simple, scrumptious sustainable ideas made with unrefined ‘Free from’ healthy ingredients are a further confirmation that eat healthy, with a reduced sugar content but without sacrificing taste, is possible and recommended for all.
GLUTEN AND EGGS FREE OLIVE OIL COCOA-ORANGE COOKIES
In Italy, especially in the South, the extra virgin olive oil is the key ingredient for most recipes, both sweet and savory.
The choice of a light and high quality EVO is essential to prepare these very easy and quick delicious gluten and eggs free cocoa cookies, naturally sweetened with date syrup and enriched by the scent of Sicilian orange juice.
- 175 g 6 oz brown rice flour
- Juice of 1 blood orange 2 if small
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 125 g 4½ oz date syrup
- 75 ml 3 fl oz mild extra virgin olive
- chopped pistachios to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).
- Mix the flour with the orange juice. Add the rest of the ingredients and knead until the dough is compact.
- Roll out the dough, create the desired shapes and garnish with chopped pistachios. Bake for 15 minutes.
These moist, gooey small eggs and dairy free cakes are perfect for a children snack. Bananas are an excellent thickener to replace the traditional eggs.
- 75 g 3 oz raw dark chocolate 70%
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or 7 tbsp organic cold-pressed sunflower oil
- 125 g 4½ oz date syrup
- 2 bananas mashed (better if Fair trade)
- 50 g 2 oz rice white yogurt
- 50 ml 2 fl oz brown rice milk at room temperature
- 250 g 9 oz brown rice flour, sifted
- 15 g ½oz organic baking powder
- 1 tsp raw cocoa powder
- Pinch of sea salt
- 3 tbsp Amaretti Italian biscuits crumbled
- Preheat oven to 180° C (350°F/Gas 4).
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and let cool. Mix the oil with date syrup. Add the bananas, melted chocolate, rice yogurt and milk. Add the flour with baking powder, cocoa powder and pinch of sea salt.
- Pour the dough into cups. Sprinkle each small cakes with crumbled Amaretti.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
Veronica is a born and raised Italian. She inherited her love for travel, passion for cooking and natural, sustainable, healthy slow food from her parents. Her works have appeared in 'Vegetarian Living', 'Veggie Magazine', 'Lifestyle food', 'Australian Good Food & Travel Guide', 'Chickpea' and 'Free from Heaven', among others. She is the author of "Panini: the simple tastes of Italian style bread"; 'The Rustic Italian bakery", "The Vegetarian Italian Kitchen" and "A Modern Italian table", published by New Holland Publishers Australia.