Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    This super pretty pink Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein will brighten up your table while bringing you a zesty and nutty tasting cake that is very easy to make. The sponge is full of pistachio-orange flavour, while still feeling light enough to have it any day with a nice cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon. What’s more: It comes with about 10g of protein per slice, meaning you get your nutrition from your dessert. The candied orange slices are optional, but highly recommended and once you made them, you’ll wonder why you ever bought them, it’s so simple.

     

    Why You Will Love This

    I mean look at it! Doesn’t it lift your mood simply because it’s there? It sure does for me. But if you need more reasons, here we go.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    Easy to Make

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein is essentially a very simple sponge cake you can whip up in a few minutes. The only special equipment you’ll need is a food processor, do grind the pistachios, as they can be hard to find pre-ground.

    The icing comes together in seconds and the candied oranges take just a few minutes on the hob and some drying time.

    This cake is just as good as impressive centre piece for afternoon tea with guests, as it is to have just by yourself during the week, because of how easy it is to make and how well it keeps due to the pistachio-rich batter.

    Pretty Pink and Entirely Natural Icing

    Blood Oranges give you an incredibly pretty icing without any food colouring. Even though not all of them have the dark red shades on the skin, the juice tends to be a really intense red, which will colour the simply icing sugar mix just on its own. No colour needed.

    Protein

    If you read some of my dessert recipes, you probably noticed I include protein powder in most of them. This is because I made dessert essentially a main meal. Due to my busy fulltime job, I rarely have time to eat breakfast, so usually I meal prep lunch and something sweet for the evening on my weekends, to have it ready during the week.

    Now, would I eat “normal” desserts, which usually have very little nutrition, that would probably not be a good idea. But I try to incorporate fruits, nuts, protein, and nutritionally dense carbs in everything I make, meaning I fuel my body with them and there is no reason to feel bad about eating them.

    Dessert for Breakfast. Or Dinner?

    The above distribution of my meals (including this Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein) is very intentionally structured around what I feel like eating at the time of day I have the food.
    Usually, having “lunch” as my first meal, I feel like something savoury, ideally with lots of veggies, that will fuel me until dinner.

    While in the evening, after the stresses of the day, I almost always crave something sweet. Do I use the food to reward myself? Absolutely. But by doing this in an intentional way and including all the nutrition my body needs in it, I feel pretty great about it too.

    Pistachios for Lovely Contrast and Flavour

    This recipe was inspired by one from “Nistisima” by Georgina Hayden for a vegan walnut-orange cake, that is often eaten during fasting.
    I wanted protein in my cake and pretty green pistachios instead of walnuts, to provide a contrast to the bright colours and flavour of the blood oranges. Also slightly lower calories. So I adapted the recipe accordingly.

    The Ingredients

    I’m giving just a few of the ingredients here and why I used them. For the full list, please see the recipe.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein_Ingredients

    Blood Oranges

    Blood oranges are in season, so I wanted to make a dessert that really showcases their pretty colour and bright, intense flavour. I feel this Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein does just that. Both their juice and zest are used in the sponge, more juice to make the pink icing and they get candied to create an amazing and very snackable topping.

    They also contain lots of fibre and vitamin C together with and whole range of other nutrients, meaning they are really good for you. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/blood-orange-benefits

    If Blood Oranges are not in season, you can of course use normal oranges. They just won’t add the pink colour to the icing. Or use blood orange juice from the fridge in your supermarket. I’ve seen one brand having it relatively regularly.

    Pistachios

    While it was near impossible to get shelled pistachios in Ireland for a while, they are slowly becoming more common. I found mine at Holland & Barrett, but also saw some at Dunnes.
    Depending on where you live, you might want to check health food shops for them, as they seem to be easier to find there.

    Pistachios are rich in nutrients, one of the lowest calorie nuts and high in protein.

    That being said, Pistachios are not a “nut” in the biological sense, but rather in the same family called “drupes” together with cashews and almonds. Which also explains their affinity with most foods that almonds go so well with.

    If pistachios are very expensive where you live, you could replace either half or all of them with almonds and the cake would still be delicious. Just not as pretty light green.

    Protein

    I’m using as usual my favourite (neither sponsored nor affiliated) MyProtein Whey. In this case their Buttered Popcorn flavour.
    Vanilla flavour would work great too.

    You could use vegan or casein protein powder, which I read are especially great for baking, but I absolutely despise the flavour of all vegan powders I have tried, and found MyProtein Whey to work rather fantastic in any dessert. So swap at your own risk.

    Apart from the beneficial added protein, the powder replaces part of the plain flour and sugar, which brings the nutrition up and the calories down. Win/win.

    Whole Wheat Flour

    To up the nutty flavour of this cake, I swapped part of the more typically used plain flour for whole wheat flour. Fine to be specific. This is particularly nice for cakes, as it’s finer ground than the typically coarse whole wheat flour you’d use for bread, but still has all of the nutrition of the whole grain.

    Icing

    Blood Orange Icing_Ingredients

    All you need for the pink icing is icing sugar and blood orange juice. Extremely simple and very delicious. It also “seals” the cake, keeping in the moisture, so it will last for a few days on your counter.

    Candied Oranges

    Candied Blood Oranges_Ingredients

    I know, everything candied sounds so very complicated, doesn’t it?
    I can assure you, it’s not. Orange slices, sugar and water is all you need. It’s entirely made on the hob. A sugar thermometer is needed.

     

    Making this Cake Vegan

    To transform this cake into a vegan one, simply replace the 2 eggs with another 1/2 cup of light olive oil and use a vegan protein powder.

    The Process

    The Candied Blood Oranges

    Start by making the candied oranges if you chose to include them. This will make a few more than you need, which is perfect, as they are great for nibbling.

    Prepare a sheet pan with a wire rack by placing some baking parchment under the wire, for less mess to clean up later.

    First bring a pot with water to the boil and prepare a bowl of iced water. Once boiling, gently lower your orange slices into the water and simmer for 2 minutes, taking them out with a slotted spoon when done and plunging them into the ice bath. This will remove some of the bitterness from the peel.

    Candied Blood Oranges_Process

    Next add your cup of sugar and ½ cup of water to a medium saucepan. The little red flecks you see in the pot above are orange juice from the cut off ends I squeezed into it.

    Stir while bringing it to the boil, so the sugar can dissolve. Once it boils, stop stirring and just swirl the pot occasionally, to prevent sugar crystals from forming. If any form on the sides of the pot, use a wet brush to push them down.

    Let the syrup come to 225°F/110°C, then gently and in layers, lower all the orange slices into it.
    Continue to simmer the mix until it reaches about 230°F/115°C (Keep an eye on it. You don’t want it to turn into dark caramel accidentally) while carefully turning the orange slices once with thongs or a spatula. Once the target temperature is reached, your syrup should be fairly thick.

    Pick out the now candied orange slices one by one with a fork or thongs and place on the wire rack. Be sure to keep a bit of space between them, so they don’t stick together.
    Leave to cool for at least 1h.

    Candied Blood Oranges

    If you are not using them immediately, they can be stored in a lidded container in the fridge for up to a week. So you can prepare them ahead of time. Ideally keep them in single layers on baking parchment, to keeping them for becoming one huge sticky orange piece.

    The Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    Start by greasing a springform and line the bottom with baking parchment. This is easiest if you lay the parchment over the loose bottom, then fasten the ring around it and cut off the overlap.

    Preheat your oven to 375°F/190°C

    In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or with your stand mixer, whisk together sugar and oil. Note the sugar won’t entirely dissolve, as it might in butter. That’s fine. Just whisk for a few minutes until it’s mostly there. Add the eggs one by one and mix until light and foamy and the sugar has dissolved. In doubt rub some of the mix between your fingertips. If it’s still slightly grainy, mix a bit longer until it feels smooth.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein_Process

    Now you can add all the remaining wet ingredients and the protein powder. Continue whisking until really smooth and foamy. This will add lift to the sponge.

    In a separate bowl, mix the remaining dry ingredients, keeping ¼ cup of chopped pistachios back for garnish later.

    Add the dry to the wet and gently fold in with a spoon or silicone spatula until no dry flour remains. Don’t overmix, or you will develop the gluten and your sponge will become tough.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein_Process

    Pour the batter into your prepared springform. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes, rotating once if your oven bakes unevenly, until it’s nicely browned and a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein_Process

    Leave the cake to cool in the form for about 10minutes, then take it out of the springform and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Don’t add the icing while still warm, or it will just soak into the cake. Which is still delicious, but not as pretty.

     

    The Blood Orange Icing

    Juice your last blood orange and add the icing sugar to a bowl or small jug. Start by adding 2-3 tbsp of the juice to the sugar and, using a small whisk, incorporating it until there is no liquid left. Judge the consistency. It should be thick, but still drizzleable (is that a word? If not, it should be!). Add more juice or sugar if it’s not quite right.

    Blood Orange Icing_Process

    Pour the icing over your cake, first one half, spread with a spatula or back of a large spoon, then add more where you feel it’s a bit thin. You could also do this in two layers, letting the first one dry completely before you add the second. Use a spatula to spread some of the icing that has run off onto the sides to complete the look.

    Blood Orange Icing_Process
    Let the icing dry completely before you decorate the cake.

     

    Decorate and Serve

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    Just before serving your Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein, decorate it with the candied oranges and remaining chopped pistachios. Slice and enjoy with a lovely cup of hot tea or coffee. Earl Grey would be particularly fitting here.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    Getting Ahead

     

    Both the sponge and candied oranges can be made the day before. The orange slices keep well in a lidded container in the fridge. Ideally each layer separated by baking parchment, to prevent them from sticking to each other.

    The cake will be fine for up to 5 days covered with kitchen foil or clingfilm. I used kitchen foil and domed it, so it wouldn’t touch the oranges and stick to them.

    The cake also freezes well. Even with the icing, though it will soak into the cake a bit when thawing and not be as pretty anymore. So ideally ice later. Or just enjoy the extra flavour that soaked into the cake.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    If you liked this recipe, you might also like:

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein 

    Lemon Poppy Sourdough Zucchini Bread with Protein 

    Banoffee Protein Mousse Pie

    Please Comment

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    This super pretty pink Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein will brighten up your table while bringing you a zesty and nutty tasting cake that is very easy to make. The sponge is full of pistachio-orange flavour, while still feeling light enough to have it any day with a nice cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon. What’s more: It comes with about 10g of protein per slice, meaning you get your nutrition from your dessert. The candied orange slices are optional, but highly recommended and once you made them, you’ll wonder why you ever bought them, it’s so simple.
    Prep Time 40 minutes
    Cook Time 1 hour
    Cooling and drying time 2 hours
    Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
    Course Cake, Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Servings 12
    Calories 468 kcal

    Equipment

    • Food Processor, sugar thermometer, springform

    Ingredients
      

    Sponge:

    • ½ cup olive oil light
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 ¼ cups pistachios finely chop 1 cup, keep 1/4 for decorating, grind rest
    • 4 blood oranges zest 1 + juice until you have 1 cup.
    • ¾ cup plain flour
    • ½ cup +2 tbsp whole wheat flour fine
    • 2/3 cup protein powder I used MyProtein buttered popcorn flavour. Vanilla works too
    • ¾ cup brown sugar
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp baking soda
    • ½ tsp kosher salt
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

    Icing:

    • 1 blood orange
    • 1.5 cups icing sugar

    Candied Blood Orange Slices:

    • 3 Blood Oranges cut into 0.2in slices
    • 1 cup sugar
    • ½ cup water

    Instructions
     

    Candied Blood Orange Slices:

    • Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare a bowl of iced water.
    • Blanch the orange slices in boiling water for 2 minutes, then transfer them to the ice bath.
    • In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil, swirling the pan occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
    • Once the syrup reaches 225°F/110°C, gently add the orange slices in layers.
    • Simmer until the syrup thickens and reaches about 230°F/115°C, ensuring the orange slices are evenly coated.
    • Using tongs or a fork, transfer the candied orange slices to a wire rack placed over a baking sheet. Allow them to cool for at least 1 hour.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein:

    • Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Grease a springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
    • In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil and brown sugar until mostly dissolved. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until light and foamy.
    • Stir in the blood orange zest, juice, and protein powder until smooth and foamy.
    • In a separate bowl, combine the flours, ground pistachios (reserving 1/4 cup for garnish), baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
    • Gradually fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
    • Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
    • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Blood Orange Icing:

    • In a bowl or small jug, combine the blood orange juice with icing sugar. Start with 2-3 tablespoons of juice and adjust to reach a thick but pourable consistency.
    • Drizzle the icing over the cooled cake, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
    • Allow the icing to set completely before decorating.

    Decorate and Serve:

    • Arrange the candied blood orange slices on top of the cake and sprinkle with the reserved chopped pistachios.
    • Slice and serve the cake with a nice cup of tea or coffee.

    Notes

    Getting Ahead
    Both the sponge and candied oranges can be made the day before. The orange slices keep well in a lidded container in the fridge. Ideally each layer separated by baking parchment, to prevent them from sticking to each other.
    The cake will be fine for up to 5 days covered with kitchen foil or clingfilm. I used kitchen foil and domed it, so it wouldn’t touch the oranges and stick to them.
    The cake also freezes well. Even with the icing, though it will soak into the cake a bit when thawing and not be as pretty anymore. So ideally ice later. Or just enjoy the extra flavour that soaked into the cake.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 468kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 12gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.003gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 238mgPotassium: 326mgFiber: 3gSugar: 48gVitamin A: 172IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 107mgIron: 2mg
    Nutrition Facts
    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    468
    % Daily Value*
    Fat
     
    21
    g
    32
    %
    Saturated Fat
     
    3
    g
    19
    %
    Trans Fat
     
    0.003
    g
    Polyunsaturated Fat
     
    4
    g
    Monounsaturated Fat
     
    12
    g
    Cholesterol
     
    37
    mg
    12
    %
    Sodium
     
    238
    mg
    10
    %
    Potassium
     
    326
    mg
    9
    %
    Carbohydrates
     
    63
    g
    21
    %
    Fiber
     
    3
    g
    13
    %
    Sugar
     
    48
    g
    53
    %
    Protein
     
    12
    g
    24
    %
    Vitamin A
     
    172
    IU
    3
    %
    Vitamin C
     
    6
    mg
    7
    %
    Calcium
     
    107
    mg
    11
    %
    Iron
     
    2
    mg
    11
    %
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Keyword Easy, For Guests, fruit, Protein, Vegetarian
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

     

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

    All the flavour of a delicious and refreshing Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake on a coconut crust, but without the cheese. Instead 15g protein per slice, about one third less sugar and fat and easier to digest for those of us with lactose intolerance. Giving you the tropical island feeling in the middle of winter. This is what I call a dessert worth eating!

     

    It’s winter here in Ireland. And that means…well…we have weather. As all year round essentially. Just a lot wetter and a bit colder. My garden is one big mudslide, all green removed by huge dog paws racing happily around in the mud. Wookie, with his giant fluffy paws, absolutely loves splashing the mud by jumping up and down with his front. Or simply splashing the water from his bowl, causing a huge muddy mess.

    Until recently I just wiped his and Lilly’s paws dry when they came in, but the amount of mud in my living room (which goes out to the garden) has become plain unmanageable. So I started washing their paws with the shower head of my garden hose.

    Now you’d think they’d hate that, but Lilly grew up going to the beach every day and happily jumping into the little river flowing into the sea, swimming upstream, mouth open, to drink.
    She discovered very quickly that the shower head can be used in the same way and Wookie learns fast. He often sticks his whole head under the water, lapping it while he is getting dripping wet.

    Recently he found out, that me turning on the flat stream with more pressure means, he can simply open his mouth and get all the water he wants directly delivered into it. And now he constantly demands to be let out to drink, waiting until I get them in, to drink from the hose. I have created a monster!

    Where was I before digressing? Ah yes, wet, cold winter. And that means I need either a nice bowl of hot soup (Like my Vegan Tom Kha Soup https://forthepleasureofeating.com/vegan-tom-kha-soup/ ) or something sweet, tasting like summer. Which is how this Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein was created.

     

    Why You Will Love This

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

    Being uhm…selectively lactose intolerant (is that a thing?) means I feel queasy after eating cheesecake made with cream cheese but can happily eat yoghurt. Now I’m not a scientist, but I suspect the yoghurt cultures help with the digestion. Oddly enough I can also eat other cheeses, but apparently the sheer amount of the fresh stuff in one slice is more than my tummy tolerates.
    On top of that it tends to be pretty high in fat and calories and I have yet to find a “light” one that I enjoy. Meaning, once more, I had to create my own.

    Lower fat and sugar, higher protein

    This recipe, while tasting utterly indulgent and like proper creamy cheesecake, has only about 310cal per slice (assuming 12 slices) just 18g fat and sugar, but about 10g protein. Compared to the about 550cal, 40g fat and sugar and only 6g protein of an average Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake.
    The tropical tasting coconut crust instead of the more typical crushed biscuits with butter doubles the amount of fibre and replaces the butter with the slightly healthier coconut oil.

    Easier to digest for people with lactose intolerance

    By using yoghurt and coconut milk instead of cream cheese for the filling, you can probably eat this even if you are lactose intolerant as me.

    Mango and White Chocolate for a taste of Summer

    Mangos are readily available in winter, but really taste like summer, don’t they? This cake (or rather pie I suppose) transports you right onto a tropical island with its flavours of mango, coconut, and lime, so you can forget the cold and grey outside for a while.
    Of course it’s equally enjoyable in summer, but that seems just so far away right now!

     

    The Ingredients

     

    I’m listing just a few key ingredients here and why I’m using them, to not bore you to death with the whole list.

    Crust

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Crust ingredients

    The crust was adapted from one of my favourite cookbooks “At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well “ by Amy Chaplin.

    I’m using shredded, toasted coconut and coconut oil together with maple syrup, to get a crunchy crust that compliments the White Chocolate Mango filling.

     

    White Chocolate Mango Filling

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Ingredients

    For the filling, try to get really ripe mango, as they will cook down into a coulis much easier. I had rather unripe mangoes, which was all I could find, and not the patience to let them ripen. Also, is it just me or are mangoes very much like Avocados, with their about 5 minutes of perfect ripeness?

    Anyway, if you, like me, can only find relatively hard mangoes, you can still puree them reasonably fine in a food processor, then cook, to soften as much as possible and throw into a blender. Ideally high speed like a Nutribullet. The result won’t be perfect, but still delicious.

    The creamy cheesecake-ness comes from 0% fat Greek yoghurt combined with a can of full fat coconut milk and protein powder. The whole mix will be fairly liquid, so we firm it up with gelatine.

    When I was making it the first time, I honestly thought it would just remain liquid and I had completely miscalculated. But it simply needs a few hours in the fridge, ideally overnight, so you aren’t getting impatient (like me) and checking every 20 minutes.

    For the protein powder, use one you really enjoy. I’ve tried several vegan ones in the past and absolutely could not stand the flavour, and after trying then multiple whey based ones, I landed on MyProtein and absolutely love it! For this recipe I used their Buttered Popcorn flavour, but any nice vanilla flavoured one will do fine.

    This is neither affiliated nor sponsored. Just what I enjoy in my food.
    The fact that the protein powder provides a lot of sweetness and the mango and white chocolate add to that means, I got away with adding just one tablespoon of honey.

    White chocolate wise, I used Lindt. A good alternative would be Green&Blacks or any reasonably good quality white chocolate.

    The Process

     

    The Mango Coulis

    Start by making the Mango Coulis. This can be done up to 2 days before making the cake, as it keeps well in the fridge.

    Simply peel the mango, cut it off the stone by slicing down on both sides of it, then cube the flesh.

    Add it to a cooking pot with the sugar and lime juice and cook until very soft and starting to fall apart, stirring occasionally. The time this takes depends on how ripe your mangoes were to begin with.

    Once the fruit is soft, either tip into a blender (if you are using a Nutribullet or similar closed blender, please let it cool first, or the heat from blending could lead to it exploding) and blend until smooth. You could also use an immersion hand blender for this.

    Pass through a sieve for smoother consistency.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process_Filling

    Leave to cool either in the fridge, if making the day before, or room temperature, if you plan to use it on the same day.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process_Filling

    Divide your Mango Coulis into 2 portions. Keep half in the fridge for topping the cake once firmed up later or the next day. It will thicken a bit, which is what we want.

     

    The Crust

    Now prepare the coconut crust. You can do this up to 2 days in advance as well. If you do, wrap it well into clingfilm, ideally still in the springform, until ready to use.

    Start by pre-heating your oven to 300°F/150°C.

    Spread the shredded coconut on a parchment lined baking tray and toast for about 4 minutes, stir and toast for another 2-3 minutes, until golden and fragrant.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process

    Take out of the oven and divide into 2 portions.

    Line a springform bottom with parchment paper and lightly grease the sides.

    Raise the oven temperature to 350°F/175°C.

    Add one portion of the toasted shredded coconut to a food processor together with the oats, salt and flour. Process until finely ground.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process_Crust
    Add remaining coconut, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup and pulse until combined. Don’t overprocess, to keep some structure to the mix.

    Tip into a bowl and mix with a spoon or your hands until it comes together. Add a little more oil or maple syrup if it feels too dry. You should be able to form clumps, but also crumble them apart easily.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process_Crust

    Transfer the mix into your prepared springform and push flat using your hands, all the way to the sides, but not up. It should form one even layer.
    Prick with a fork a few times all over.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process_Crust

    Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, turning around once, if your oven bakes unevenly, until golden brown and smelling delicious.

    Leave to cool, but still in the springform, while you prepare the filling.

    The Filling

    Gently melt your white chocolate either over a water bath or in the microwave. If using a microwave, set it to 600 watt and melt in 30 second bursts, stirring in between, until nearly melted, then stir a bit longer and see if it comes together. If not continue in 10 second bursts until you can stir it creamy.

    Tip: White chocolate melts much faster than dark, due to the high cocoa butter content. Unfortunately it also seizes up much faster, so proceed with care, to avoid it getting crumbly due to overheating. I’m afraid if it does, there is no coming back from it. You might still be able to use it, but it will likely impact the texture of your filling.
    White chocolate won’t get as liquid as dark either. It rather remains at the creamy stage and goes straight to crumbly after.

    In a large bowl (I used the Tupperware mixing bowl with a lid that has an opening in the middle here, to avoid splattering) and a hand mixer or in a blender blend together half the Mango Coulis, melted white chocolate, yoghurt, coconut milk, lime juice, honey, vanilla and protein powder.
    Have a taste and add more honey or lime juice if you think it needs it.

    In a small microwave proof bowl or cup mix your gelatine powder with 2 tbsp of water. Microwave for 10 seconds until liquid. Add to the rest of the filling and mix again until slightly foamy.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process

    Pour your filling onto the crust in the springform and transfer to the fridge carefully, to firm up. At this stage I would not cover it, as any clingfilm has the tendency to attach to the filling and leave marks we don’t want. Once it is firm to the touch you can cover the form with clingfilm.

    I usually leave my cake overnight, so I’m not entirely sure how many hours it will take to firm up exactly. It’s definitely more than one though. My estimation would be 3-4.

    Once your Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein is firm to the touch and set, spread the remaining Mango Coulis evenly over the top.
    Chill while you prepare your optional toppings.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process

    Slice your last Mango and lime thinly. Whip your Oatly cream (chilled ideally, or it won’t be firm enough. Have a wild guess how I know…) and toast some coconut flakes if you like.

    Decorate your pie with the whipped cream, mango, lime, and coconut. I pulled the cream out into the mango coulis for a star-like pattern, using a toothpick.

    Then run a sharp knife briefly under hot water and dry. Slide around the insides of the springform, to loosen the pie. Remove the ring by opening the clasp and pulling it off carefully.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

    You can now either leave the pie on the springform bottom or carefully slide onto a plate. The transfer can be a bit nerve wracking but should work out fine if you are gentle.

    Serve your Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein with a nice cup of tea or coffee and feel like you have gone on vacation on a tropical island, even on the coldest winter day.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

    Storing

    This Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days. Though the crust might soften a bit. Personally I quite like it that way.

     

    If you liked this recipe, you might also enjoy:

    Protein Chocolate Mousse Pie

    Banoffee Protein Mousse Pie

    Protein Banoffee Pie Yoghurt

    Buttermilk Sourdough Waffles with Protein

    Please Comment

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

    All the flavour of a delicious and refreshing Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake on a coconut crust, but without the cheese. Instead 13g protein per slice, about one third less sugar and fat and easier to digest for those of us with lactose intolerance. Giving you the tropical island feeling in the middle of winter. This is what I call a dessert worth eating!
    Prep Time 40 minutes
    Cook Time 25 minutes
    Cooling time 4 hours
    Total Time 5 hours 5 minutes
    Course Cake, Dessert, Snack
    Cuisine American
    Servings 12
    Calories 364 kcal

    Equipment

    • Food Processor, Blender or Immersion blender, springform

    Ingredients
      

    Crust

    • 1.5 cups shredded coconut toasted, divided
    • 1/3 cup oats
    • 1 cup wholegrain spelt flour
    • 3 tbsp coconut flour or more spelt
    • ¼ cup coconut oil
    • ¼ cup + 2tbsp maple syrup
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
    • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

    Mango Coulis

    • 2 mangos ripe, chopped
    • 1 tbsp lime juice
    • 1.5 tbsp sugar

    “Cream Cheese” filling

    • 2 cups 0% fat Greek yoghurt
    • 1 can coconut milk full fat
    • 1 tbsp lime juice
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 3.5 oz/100g white chocolate melted
    • 2 scoops protein powder I used MyProtein “Buttered Popcorn”, but vanilla works well.
    • 2 tbsp 1 pack powdered gelatine

    To Garnish (Optional)

    • 1 Mango sliced
    • 1 lime sliced
    • 1 pack Oatly whipping cream
    • A few coconut flakes or shaved white chocolate

    Instructions
     

    Mango Coulis:

    • Peel and cube the mango flesh.
    • In a pot, combine mango cubes, sugar, and lime juice.
    • Cook until very soft and starting to fall apart, stirring occasionally.
    • Blend until smooth using a blender or immersion hand blender.
    • Pass through a sieve to get a smoother consistency
    • Allow cooling to room temperature or refrigerate if making in advance.

    Crust:

    • Preheat oven to 300°F/150°C.
    • Toast shredded coconut on a parchment-lined baking tray for 4-6 minutes until golden and fragrant.
    • Divide toasted coconut into two portions.
    • Raise your oven temperature to 350°F/175°C
    • In a food processor, combine one portion of toasted coconut with oats, salt, and flour. Process until finely ground.
    • Add remaining coconut, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. Pulse until just combined.
    • Transfer mixture into a bowl and mix until it comes together, adding a little more maple syrup or coconut oil if it feels too dry.
    • Press mixture into the bottom of a parchment-lined springform pan to form an even layer.
    • Bake for 16-18 minutes until golden brown.
    • Allow to cool while preparing the filling.

    Filling:

    • Gently melt white chocolate using a double boiler or microwave on low in short bursts, stirring frequently.
    • In a large bowl or blender, mix half of the Mango Coulis, melted white chocolate, Greek yogurt, coconut milk, lime juice, honey, vanilla extract, and protein powder until smooth.
    • Taste and adjust sweetness or acidity if necessary.
    • In a small microwave-proof bowl, mix gelatin powder with 2 tbsp water and microwave for 10 seconds until liquid.
    • Add the gelatin mixture to the filling and mix until slightly foamy.
    • Pour the filling over the cooled crust in the springform pan.
    • Refrigerate until firm, preferably overnight.

    Assembly:

    • Spread the remaining Mango Coulis evenly over the top of the set cheesecake.
    • Optional: Whip the Oatly cream until soft peaks form.
    • Decorate the cheesecake with whipped cream, sliced mango, lime, and coconut flakes or shaved white chocolate.
    • Run a sharp knife briefly under hot water, dry, and then slide around the edges of the springform pan to loosen the cheesecake.
    • Carefully remove the springform ring.
    • Transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate if desired.
    • Slice and serve chilled.
    • Enjoy your Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein!

    Notes

    Storing
    This Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days. Though the crust might soften a bit. Personally I quite like it that way.
     

    Nutrition

    Calories: 364kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 13gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 85mgPotassium: 251mgFiber: 5gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 393IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 3mg
    Nutrition Facts
    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    364
    % Daily Value*
    Fat
     
    17
    g
    26
    %
    Saturated Fat
     
    14
    g
    88
    %
    Polyunsaturated Fat
     
    0.3
    g
    Monounsaturated Fat
     
    1
    g
    Cholesterol
     
    10
    mg
    3
    %
    Sodium
     
    85
    mg
    4
    %
    Potassium
     
    251
    mg
    7
    %
    Carbohydrates
     
    42
    g
    14
    %
    Fiber
     
    5
    g
    21
    %
    Sugar
     
    22
    g
    24
    %
    Protein
     
    13
    g
    26
    %
    Vitamin A
     
    393
    IU
    8
    %
    Vitamin C
     
    15
    mg
    18
    %
    Calcium
     
    40
    mg
    4
    %
    Iron
     
    3
    mg
    17
    %
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Keyword Easy, For Guests, fruit, Healthy, High Protein, Low Calorie
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

     

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein have everything you could possibly want in a muffin: Crunchy, nutty pistachios, a soft and fluffy inside, studded with sweet-tart dried apricots and a crunchy brown sugar sprinkled top. All that with 7g protein per muffin and just 280cal. So you can have a yummy snack with your coffee and feel good about it!

    Why You Want to Make Them

     

    Are you going nuts for Pistachios too?

    I’m honestly hooked recently. I got a big jar of pistachio butter from Bulk and it’s utterly delicious on pretty much everything. I spread it on some rice cakes, topped with blueberries as my evening sweet snack, stirred it in oatmeal with cherries, made Pistachio-Protein Crème Brulee and now these Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein.

    Of course Pistachios aren’t technically nuts, but rather the stone of a fruit, very similar to almonds, which explains their affinity for very similar foods almonds go with. I added some almond essence to these muffins, which underlines the Pistachio flavour rather perfectly.

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

    Speaking of Protein

    If you read a few of the sweet recipes on my blog, you probably noticed that I’m adding protein to many of them. Considering I’m not eating much meat and am not the biggest fan of legumes, so I don’t want to include them into every single meal. Yet, have an acute need to add more protein to my diet, to meet the target for muscle building and/or maintenance, which is at least around 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, I keep looking for ways to increase my intake, without drinking shakes. Why not shakes you ask? They simply bore me.

    I feel if I’m not eating or drinking something that is worth the calories, I’m wasting my time.
    Is it a weird way to see food? Maybe.
    But having lost 70lb taught me, that I’m working on an energy budget per day. Loving food and eating means, I want to spend it well. This does not include the same boring protein shake every day, but rather finding recipes to excite me and have me look forward to eating them.
    That’s where Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein come in: Something I really enjoy eating and am looking forward to, which also adds a nice portion of protein to my day.

    Easy to Make

    If you ever made muffins, you probably loved how easy they are. I know I do. The batter comes together in 10-15 minutes and that includes getting the ingredients out.
    Well…unless your store cupboards are way too full, like mine, and you have to rummage around in them to find stuff. I knew I had dried apricots somewhere! *Empties half her pantry before finding the bag*

    Lower calories than your average Muffin

    Eating an average muffin, according to Google, you are looking at 340-424 calories. That is a fairly big chunk out of your daily budget, if you are watching your weight like I do.
    Having gained a few pounds over Christmas (because I can’t be trusted around sweets), I’m currently trying to get rid of them again. But I really don’t want to go without a sweet treat per day! That would just leave me grumpy and missing something, which in turn means, once I lost the weight I’d go even more for sweets again. Not a good cycle.

    So my solution is, to develop recipes that are sweet, not compromising in flavour, yet lower in calories than the standard versions. This is one of them.
    Oh and I want them to have nutritional value too. High standards for sure.
    These Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein have only 280 calories per muffin, which is a nice bit of saving for one satisfying snack. Or even breakfast if you like.

     

    The Ingredients

    Looking at the typical Pistachio Muffin recipe, I noticed that most are using rather artificial pudding mix to accomplish taste and texture of them. I wanted natural taste though and not use some mix with barely any real pistachio in it.
    That means my muffins aren’t bright green, since they have no colouring either, but instead mostly natural and nutritious ingredients.
    Except the protein powder. Let’s be honest, it isn’t natural, but I feel the benefits outweigh that downside.

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein_Ingredients

    Note, these are just some of the ingredients and why I use them, not all, as most are still those of a classic muffin.

    Let’s start with the obvious bit: Pistachio butter. I only replaced half of the butter with it, as nut butter has less fat than butter, which would have meant I needed to add more other fat back in, which wasn’t the idea.

    Keeping half and adding a mix of sour cream and 0% fat Greek yoghurt gave me the moisture content I lost, by swapping part of the butter into Pistachio butter.

    I also reduced both the flour and sugar by adding protein powder. Buttered Popcorn flavoured in this case, though you can easily use vanilla.
    I particularly love MyProtein (not sponsored or affiliated, though I wish it would be, I use it so much!), which adds lovely flavour and sweetness to my recipes, without any weird aftertaste.
    You can safely replace about ¼ of the flour in a recipe with it, without any negative impact. Use more, and the results might be drier than intended.

    I’m still using a mix of white and brown sugar, but less than usual, to keep the structure needed. The sugar mixed with the sweetener from the protein powder also means it still tastes just naturally sweet.

    While looking into the secrets of Pistachio muffins, I found the pudding powder not only adds flavour and sweetness, but also a bit of cornflour, which will thicken the pudding, but add a lovely softness to muffin batter. So I replaced some of the flour with cornflour to achieve the same effect.

    Nutrition and flavour wise, I prefer a mix of white flour for lightness and the typical muffin feel and whole wheat flour for some nutty flavour. If you can find it, use fine whole wheat flour, which is great for lighter pastry.

    For even more flavour, I’m using a bit of almond extract, which is in the same flavour family as pistachio, making it a natural choice. Unless you have natural pistachio extract, which would be a fantastic replacement. But I couldn’t find any in my local supermarkets and wasn’t keen on ordering just for this recipe. Though…it’s in my head now, I still might. Has anyone tried it? What were your thoughts?

    To reduce the sugar and up the fruit content, I swapped out 2 eggs for 2 bananas. You can choose to use just eggs for more protein but add a little more sugar.

    For the add-ins I’m using dried apricots, as they are not adding a lot of additional water, which I’d have to account for if I’d be using fresh ones. But, since I found some fresh apricots at Tesco, I decided to add half a fruit on top of each muffin, which gave them an amazing fruity-fresh kick I loved.
    They are purely optional though.

    Also some chopped pistachios for extra crunch and more pistachio flavour.

    Each muffin got a little sprinkling of demerara sugar on top, adding some sparkle, crunch, and sweetness, making the muffins extra special.

     

    The Process

    The one thing that makes all baking easier is, to have all the ingredients at room temperature. If you have fridge cold butter, it’s much harder to mix it with the sugar. Just melted however, will give you a greasy result.
    Similar for the eggs, which, when cold, can lead to a curdled result while mixing into the soft butter.
    So plan a little bit ahead by taking everything out of the fridge an hour or so before you plan to make your muffins.

    Preheat your oven to 425°F/220°C and line a muffin tin with muffin cases. Or grease it thoroughly if you prefer. Personally I find muffin cases much easier to remove and they leave less to clean, which is always a plus in my book.

    If you have 2 muffin tins, you’ll need both. Otherwise you might bake in 2 batches, as this recipe makes about 16 large muffins.

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein_Process

    From there on it’s as easy as mixing the butter with the sugar until fluffy and white. Then, one by one, whisk the eggs and mashed bananas in until well incorporated.
    Add the protein powder with the remaining wet ingredients, to make sure you have no protein lumps in your Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein.

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein_Process

    Now mix your dry ingredients, keeping back about 1-2 tbsp of the chopped pistachios for sprinkling on top, and add most of them to your batter. But not all. Keep a few tablespoons of the flour mix back, to coat the chopped apricots in. This is to prevent them from sinking to the bottom.

    Gently fold your dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. A few lumps are fine. Don’t overmix, or your muffins will be tough from the gluten you developed.
    Then add the flour coated apricots and fold them in too.

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein_Process

    Divide the batter between the muffin molds, filling them all the way, so you get nice and high tops. I use an ice cream scoop for this, to make it very easy. Two tablespoons work too.

    Sprinkle with the remaining chopped pistachios, lay a sliced fresh apricot half on top, if using, then sprinkle lightly with demerara sugar.

    Now you might have looked at the high oven temperature and thought it might be a typo. It’s not. The high initial temperature is what gives you the beautiful high muffin tops, but it will be lowered after 5-7 minutes of baking, to the classic 350°F/175°C, to bake for another 15-17 minutes, depending on your oven.
    Just don’t open the oven door, except once, around half of the baking time, to turn your muffin tin, should your oven bake unevenly.

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

    Your Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein are ready when the top is golden brown and toothpick comes out mostly clean, a few crumbs are ok.

    Let them cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then take them out onto a wire rack.

    Enjoy your fluffy, tangy, and crunchy Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein with a nice cup of coffee or tea. They are also really good for breakfast.

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

    Storing your Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

    The muffins keep well in a tin or box for about 3 days.
    They also freeze very well. I usually place most in freezer proof containers or small freezer bags and just air fry them for about 7 minutes when I want one. They taste like fresh!

    If you liked this recipe, try my Sourdough Pumpkin Apple Muffins with Protein

    These delicious Sourdough Brownies with Protein

    Or a super easy Cherry Peach Clafoutis with Protein

     

    Please Comment

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein have everything could possibly want in a muffin: Crunchy, nutty pistachios, a soft and fluffy inside, studded with sweet-tart dried apricots and a crunchy brown sugar sprinkled top. All that with 7g protein per muffin and just 280cal. So you can have a yummy snack with your coffee and feel good about it!
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 35 minutes
    Course Breakfast, Cake, Dessert, Snack
    Cuisine American
    Servings 16
    Calories 299 kcal

    Equipment

    • Muffin Tin

    Ingredients
      

    • ½ cup butter + 2 tbsp
    • ½ cup pistachio butter
    • 1/3 cup white sugar
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • ½ cup 0% fat Greek yoghurt
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • 1 tbsp almond extract
    • ¾ cup protein powder
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 ripe bananas mashed
    • 1 cup white flour
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • 4 tbsp cornflour
    • 4 tsp baking powder
    • 2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1 cup dried apricots chopped roughly
    • ½ cup chopped pistachios 1-2 tbsp kept for sprinkling on top
    • 1 tbsp demerara sugar for sprinkling
    • 8 fresh apricots for topping optional but delicious

    Instructions
     

    • Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature for easier mixing. Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Line a muffin tin with cases or grease it.
    • In a large bowl, cream together ½ cup + 2tbsp softened butter, pistachio butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy and white.
    • Whisk in the eggs and mashed bananas, one at a time, until well incorporated. Add sour cream, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Mix until smooth.
    • Combine the protein powder with the remaining wet ingredients to avoid lumps. Mix until well incorporated.
    • In a separate bowl, mix the white flour, whole wheat flour, cornflour, baking powder, and kosher salt. Reserve 1-2 tbsp of the flour mix to coat the chopped dried apricots and 1-2 tbsp chopped pistachios for topping the muffins.
    • Add most of the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and gently fold until just combined.
    • Toss the chopped dried apricots in the reserved flour mixture to prevent sinking. Fold them into the batter.
    • Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cases, filling them to the top. Use an ice cream scoop or two tablespoons for ease. Sprinkle the remaining chopped pistachios on top. Optionally, place a fresh apricot half, cut in slices on each muffin and sprinkle with demerara sugar.
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes at 425°F/220°C, then reduce the temperature to 350°F/175°C and bake for an additional 15-17 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out mostly clean.
    • Allow the muffins to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
    • Serve and enjoy your fluffy, tangy, and crunchy Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein with a cup of coffee or tea. They make a lovely breakfast treat too.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 299kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 10gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 467mgPotassium: 369mgFiber: 3gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 982IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 121mgIron: 2mg
    Nutrition Facts
    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    299
    % Daily Value*
    Fat
     
    13
    g
    20
    %
    Saturated Fat
     
    6
    g
    38
    %
    Trans Fat
     
    0.2
    g
    Polyunsaturated Fat
     
    2
    g
    Monounsaturated Fat
     
    4
    g
    Cholesterol
     
    53
    mg
    18
    %
    Sodium
     
    467
    mg
    20
    %
    Potassium
     
    369
    mg
    11
    %
    Carbohydrates
     
    37
    g
    12
    %
    Fiber
     
    3
    g
    13
    %
    Sugar
     
    20
    g
    22
    %
    Protein
     
    10
    g
    20
    %
    Vitamin A
     
    982
    IU
    20
    %
    Vitamin C
     
    4
    mg
    5
    %
    Calcium
     
    121
    mg
    12
    %
    Iron
     
    2
    mg
    11
    %
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Keyword Easy, For Guests, Healthy, Protein, Vegetarian
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    Caramelized Spiced Almonds

    Caramelized Spiced Almonds

    Caramelized Spiced Almonds taste like German Christmas Market, but have a smooth instead of bumpy caramel, with deep and rich caramel flavour. They form beautiful, shiny clusters of cinnamon-spice crunchiness, that are great for snacking, gifting or even topping your morning oatmeal with.

    Don’t be scared of making caramel! It just takes a few minutes of patience.

     

    Why You Want to Make Them

    Caramelized Spiced Almonds

    Reminds you of German Christmas Markets

    If you ever visited a German Christmas market and loved the smell of it, these are a big part of what wafted through the air. Often just made with cinnamon and sugar, caramelised, and formed into nubbly crusted almonds by stirring constantly and stopping at the just right point, they are at the heart of every visit.

    But that bumpy crust is also the tricky part, as you need to catch the exact moment between sugar crystals and caramel, to achieve it. Also, I tend to find it not particularly kind to my teeth, as it’s a rather thick and hard layer. And more sugar than caramel flavour.
    So I changed my technique a little, to still give you the spicy, Christmassy flavour and scent, but a shiny and dark caramel with a bit more flavour to it.

    Great Gift

    The smoother caramel has another advantage over the classic Christmas Market almonds: It keeps longer. Usually the Candied almonds you’d buy on the market are a sticky mess the day after. These Caramelized Spiced Almonds can be kept in an airtight container for over a week. Which makes them a great gift to make ahead. And aren’t homemade, edible gifts the best ones anyway?

    Doesn’t take long

    These Caramelized Spiced Almonds take just about 10-15 minutes to make and aren’t hard by any means. 4 ingredients (I count the spice mix as one. Plus you could, if you wanted, just use cinnamon) and a few minutes of melting sugar are all they take.

     

    The Ingredients

    Caramelized Spiced Almonds_Ingredients

    Almonds – For the most traditional treat you’ll need almonds. Ideally with their skin, as the caramel will adhere better than to skinned ones. Plus they keep more of their nutritional value.
    I know…it’s a treat, but still, we can mix the delicious with the good for us!

    You could use all sorts of other nuts and seeds you enjoy here too. I love cashews or macadamias, but even sunflower or pumpkin seeds work amazingly well.

    Sugar – I’ve used soft brown sugar here, for it’s higher molasses content, resulting in an even deeper caramel flavour. Caster sugar would be more traditional, as it melts faster due to the size of the grains.

    Spices – I’m using a mix of cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ground ginger and nutmeg here. Balanced with a pinch of salt. And some vanilla extract. You could use just cinnamon, and they will still be utterly delicious.

    And that’s already it.

     

    The Process

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    Essentially you add the sugar and spices with a bit of water to a pan, let them come to a boil, then add the almonds.

    Caramelized Spiced Almonds_Process

    Let it bubble away for a while, stirring now and then, until the water has evaporated, and the sugar crystallizes again. This is working as intended.

    Caramelized Spiced Almonds_Process

    Now leave it on slightly lower heat, until the sugar begins to melt again. Gently fold over the almonds. Then leave to melt further. Be patient and wait until all the sugar is liquidized and transforming into a dark and shiny caramel. Stir again, so all almonds are coated evenly.

    Caramelized Spiced Almonds_Process

    Once it has reached the desired darkness without burning, carefully pour the mass onto your parchment lined baking sheet and spread it out with a spatula. My ideal shape is mostly one layer of almonds with the occasional overlap. But arrange them however you enjoy them.

    Caramelized Spiced Almonds_Process
    Be quick and careful though, the caramel is very hot and firms up quickly.

    Let them cool entirely until crunchy and hard. Then break into smaller pieces and store in an airtight container for up to a week. The almonds will still be delicious after, but the caramel might start to soften a little and not look as shiny anymore.

    Caramelized Spiced Almonds

    Looking for more Christmas recipes?

    Try my Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken for a delicious and easy dinner. Or Sourdough Brioche Feuilltee, for an impressive breakfast that you can prepare ahead.

    Please Comment

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

    Caramelized Spiced Almonds

    Caramelized Spiced Almonds

    Caramelized Spiced Almonds taste like German Christmas Market, but have a smooth instead of bumpy caramel, with deep and rich caramel flavour. They form beautiful, shiny clusters of cinnamon-spice crunchiness, that are great for snacking, gifting or even topping your morning oatmeal with. Don’t be scared of making caramel! It just takes a few minutes of patience.
    Prep Time 2 minutes
    Cook Time 15 minutes
    Total Time 17 minutes
    Course Dessert, Ingredient, Snack
    Cuisine German
    Servings 10
    Calories 160 kcal

    Ingredients
      

    • 1 cup soft brown sugar
    • ½ cup water
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • ¼ tsp each ground allspice nutmeg, ginger
    • 1/8 tsp ground clove
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 1 ¼ cup raw almonds

    Instructions
     

    Prepare Baking Sheet:

    • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

    Create Caramel Mixture:

    • In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, combine the soft brown sugar, water, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, ground allspice, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, ground clove, and a pinch of salt.

    Bring to a Boil:

    • Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Allow it to bubble for a few minutes until the water has mostly evaporated, and the sugar starts to crystallize.

    Add Almonds:

    • Gently stir in the raw almonds, ensuring they are well-coated with the crystallized sugar mixture.

    Continue Cooking:

    • Let the almonds and sugar mixture cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. The sugar will re-melt and caramelize, creating a dark and shiny coating on the almonds. Be patient during this process.

    Spread on Baking Sheet:

    • Once the caramel has reached the desired darkness without burning, quickly and carefully pour the almond mixture onto the prepared parchment-lined baking sheet. Use a spatula to spread it out, arranging the almonds into a mostly single layer with occasional overlaps.

    Cool Completely:

    • Allow the caramelized almonds to cool completely on the baking sheet. The caramel will harden, resulting in a crunchy texture.

    Break into Pieces:

    • Once fully cooled and hardened, break the caramelized almond mass into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Be cautious, as the caramel will be very hot.

    Notes

    Store:
    Store the caramelized spiced almonds in an airtight container for up to a week. While the almonds will remain delicious, note that the caramel may soften slightly and lose its shine over time. Enjoy your homemade treat!
    10 portions
    Calories: Approximately 160 calories
    Protein: Approximately 4 grams
    Carbohydrates: Approximately 18 grams
    Fat: Approximately 9 grams
    Fiber: Approximately 2 grams
    Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on specific brands and variations in ingredient measurements.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 160kcal
    Nutrition Facts
    Caramelized Spiced Almonds
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    160
    % Daily Value*
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Keyword Easy, High Fibre, Protein, vegan
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    Protein Chocolate Mousse Pie

    Protein Chocolate Mousse Pie

    This Protein Chocolate Mousse Pie is for the days when only rich, indulgent chocolate will do. Dark, silky mousse on a crispy almond crust, which is topped with salted date caramel. You will get basically your cookie, caramel, and chocolate hit all in one. And the best thing? Apart from the incredible flavour of course! You also get 13.5g of protein from each slice and 320cal.

    Protein Chocolate Mousse Pie

    Why You Want to Make This

     

    Chocolate is Good For You!

    You think I’m kidding, right? But it’s true. Dark chocolate has a range of health benefits not to be ignored. Starting with antioxidants over a good amount of magnesium and iron, all the way to positive effects on risk factors for heart disease. It may even help maintain cognitive function. So dark chocolate in particular can absolutely be part of a healthy diet. Within reason that is, as it can also contain a lot of sugar and fats.

    Indulgence with Sneaky Benefits

    During my weight loss journey, I did a lot or reading about a balanced diet and nutrition. With that it became glaringly obvious to me, that I was not eating enough protein, since I don’t eat much meat or legumes, which are the best sources of protein.

    I needed to supplement but wasn’t the biggest fan of drinking protein shakes either. Most just tasted just chalky and like sweeteners, and I plain could not face drinking them every day. So I started including them into all sorts of recipes, starting with Nice-cream made from frozen bananas and chocolate protein powder, which was good, but got boring fairly quickly. Different recipes had to be found, but none of the online ones I tried were particularly tempting. Obviously I had to come up with my own.

    Loving pie, my Banoffee Protein Mousse Pie is the first of its kind and I was so happy with the results, I started using a similar formula for other pies too, like the Strawberry Protein Mousse Pie and now this Protein Chocolate Mousse Pie.

    You can vary this endlessly to get different flavours, your protein hit, healthy fats and fibre from the Almond Crust and a reasonably low calorie content too! Considering it’s yoghurt, nuts, oats, protein powder and whole wheat spelt flour, I wouldn’t hesitate having this for breakfast!

    Can Be Made Ahead

    The fact that you can make the whole pie the day before, as it needs to chill in the fridge to set for at least 2h is a benefit. It means, if you are expecting guests (who will never suspect this is healthy!), you can do all the prep the day before and relax when they arrive.

    The Ingredients

     

    Date Caramel

    This is a short one. All you need is:

    Date Caramel

    Dates – I’m using Medjool dates most of the time, but any date will do. If using Medjool dates, you’ll need about 10 that you remove the stone from. Simply break them open lengthwise and pick it out. If using other types of dates, weigh about 160g/ 5.6oz after removing the stones, which gives you the same amount.

    Salt – I’m using Malton salt for this recipe instead of my usual kosher salt, as I love the flavour it gives. And you can sprinkle the pretty little crystals on top later if you like. Just adjust the taste to your liking.

    Water – You’ll need about 1/4 cup of drinking water to add to the food processor when processing the dates. If you want a creamier, milder caramel, you could also use plant milk or regular milk. Just be aware that regular milk will spoil faster, as it’s not cooked for this recipe.

    Almond Crust

    For the base, same as in my Banoffee Protein Mousse Pie, I’m using an Almond Crust, to replace the cookies and butter with a more wholesome option. The inspiration came from one of my favourite cookbooks “At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well” by Amy Chaplin and her fabulous Toasted Almond Base recipe.

    Almonds – The almonds are half finely processed and half chopped, which gives this crust a lovely crunch.

    Olive Oil – This binds the crust and will make it bake very crisp in the oven.

    Maple Syrup – The sweetener. Not much, but enough to have the Almond crust taste like very delicious biscuits.

    Whole Spelt Flour – Adds nutty taste and binds the ingredients into a proper crust.

    Almond extract – This is optional, but adds even more delicious almond flavour.

    The Chocolate Protein Mousse

    Protein Chocolate Mousse Pie_Ingredients

    Apologies for the dates in this picture, they belong to the date caramel. I was clearly scatterbrained when taking it.

    Protein Powder – My all-time favourite is from MyProtein and comes in lots of flavours. For this pie I used their Dark chocolate flavour, to add even more chocolatey taste to the pie.
    This is neither affiliated nor sponsored. Just the powder I found to taste best after trying a fair few. If you never found one you actually enjoy, give this one a try.

    Due to the protein powder, I only needed to add 1 tsp Honey, to get the sweetness I wanted. I know this sounds incredibly low but trust me on this. Or don’t trust me, but instead try the mousse when you mixed all the ingredients. If you aren’t purring with pleasure, add more of whatever you feel it needs.

    0% fat Greek Yoghurt – This makes the bulk of the filling, and you might think it adds too much acidity, but the protein powder mixed with soy milk add enough creaminess to balance it nicely.

    Soy Milk – Any full fat milk will do, but soy has the highest protein content and is really creamy, so that’s what I’m using as I can’t have cows’ milk. Yoghurt works fine for me, but if you can’t have that either, use any lactose free option.

    Dark chocolate – This is a Chocolate Mousse Pie after all, so I’m using good quality dark chocolate here.

    Cacao Powder – I’m using Valrhona here, unsweetened, and dark, as I had it at home and absolutely love the flavour. You can use any unsweetened dark cacao powder. Just stay away from the overly sweet drinking chocolate powders, as we are aiming for a really rich chocolate taste.

    I’m also including instant espresso powder, which deepens the chocolate flavour even more and is a favourite addition in my recipes with chocolate.

    I’m using gelatine to set this, though if you are braver than I am, you could try it without, as the chocolate, which gets melted and cools while whipping into yoghurt and soy milk might just be able to hold the structure. But honestly, I felt due to the soy milk added it would need a bit of help.

    Don’t be afraid of using gelatine. It’s as simple as mixing a few tablespoons of water with the powder, heating it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and stirring again. There are vegan options available in some supermarkets, I just couldn’t find any at the point I was planning this.
    If you make it with one of them, I’d love to hear about it.

    Caramelised Coconut Chips – Optional

    Coconut Chips_Process

    These Coconut chips don’t just look pretty, they are also really delicious and super easy to make. A quick mix with a spoonful of maple syrup and a few minutes in the oven turn them into caramelised crunch you’ll just want to eat by the handful. Plan ahead and make double, if you love snacking.

     

    The Process

     

    Date Caramel

    To soften them, soak your dates for 10 minutes by covering them with hot water. If you have very fresh Medjool dates, you can skip this step. But for any other type or slightly older dates, I would pre-soak to make them easier to process.

    Add the dates, water, and a pinch of salt to your food processor or high speed blender. Blend until you have a really creamy caramel like mass. Taste, add water or salt, depending on your taste and how soft you want this to be.

    Date Caramel

    The Almond Crust

    Preheat your oven to 350°F/175°C and line a springform with parchment paper.

    Toast your almonds in the oven for 8 minutes, stir them, toast for another 5-8 minutes or until they smell fantastic and are slightly browned in the middle.

    Leave the oven on, while you mix the crust.

    Add half of your almonds to the food processor together with the oats and process until you have the consistency of breadcrumbs. Don’t overprocess or you get accidental almond butter.
    Chop the remaining almonds roughly, to keep some crunch in the base.

    Almond Crust Process

    Add the almond-oat mix and all remaining ingredients to a bowl and stir until everything is well incorporated.

    Almond Crust Process

    Spread the almond base into your springform and bake for about 14-18 minutes or until golden brown and your kitchen is filled with heavenly almond aroma.

    Almond Crust Process

    Let the base cool while you mix the filling. You can prepare it the day before if you want to get ahead.

    The Protein Chocolate Mousse

    Slowly melt your chopped dark chocolate in the microwave. I usually do 1min first, stir and then continue in 30 second bursts, stirring in between, until liquid.

    In a high mixing container or your stand mixer, add the yoghurt, honey, vanilla, cacao powder, soy milk, protein powder, espresso powder and cacao powder. Start mixing until well combined and no lumps remain.

    In a small bowl, add 2-3 tbsp of cold water to your gelatine powder and stir until no dry spots remain. This will form a very thick gel-like mass. In your microwave, heat it for 10-15 seconds, no more. You don’t want it to boil, just melt.

    While constantly whisking, add first the melted dark chocolate in a stream, then the melted gelatine to your yoghurt-protein mix. Keep whisking until you have a mousse like consistency. This should only take a minute or two. It won’t get super light and frothy. More a silky type of mousse. Similar to ganache, but a bit lighter.

    Assembly

    With your almond crust still in the spring form for support, start by spreading the date caramel over the base. This adds delicious salted caramel flavour and keeps the crust from getting soggy.

    Protein Chocolate Mousse Pie_Process

    Pour over your Protein Chocolate Mousse and spread it out evenly.

    Store in the fridge uncovered, for about 1h or until the filling has set a bit. At that point you can cover the springform with clingfilm and leave it for either 1h longer until fully set or overnight.

    Protein Chocolate Mousse Pie_Process

    The optional but delicious Caramelized Coconut Chips

    Preheat your oven to 165°C (325°F).
    In a bowl, combine the coconut chips, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
    Spread the coated coconut chips on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Stir the chips and then bake for an additional 5 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them cool; they will crisp up as they cool.

    Coconut Chips

    To Serve

    Dust with more dark cacao powder if you like and garnish with optional coconut chips or almond flakes.

    Protein Chocolate Mousse Pie
    Gently slide a sharp knife along the edges of your pie, to loosen it from the springform. Remove the ring and carefully slide the whole pie including the baking parchment onto a cake platter.

    Enjoy as it is or with additional whipped cream if you like.

    Protein Chocolate Mousse Pie

     

    Meal Prep

    Just as the Banoffee Mousse Pie, this can be made ahead. The almond crust keeps baked and wrapped in clingfilm for up to 4 days. After that it might lose its crispness.

    Since the Protein Chocolate Mousse Pie has to set in the fridge for about 2h, it’s ideal to make the day before.

    The one thing you’ll want to add just before serving are the Coconut chips if using, as they can get soft and soggy in the fridge. So keep them outside of the fridge in an airtight container once baked.

    The whole pie will keep in the fridge for about 4 days. But I highly doubt it’ll last that long!

    Protein Chocolate Mousse Pie

     

    Please Comment

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

    Protein Chocolate Mousse Pie

    Protein Chocolate Mousse Pie

    This Protein Chocolate Mousse Pie is for the days when only rich, indulgent chocolate will do. Dark, silky mousse on a crispy almond crust, which is topped with salted date caramel. You will get basically your cookie, caramel, and chocolate hit all in one. And the best thing? Apart from the incredible flavour of course! You also get 13.5g of protein from each slice and 320cal.
    Prep Time 40 minutes
    Cook Time 40 minutes
    Cooling time 2 hours
    Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
    Course Cake, Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Servings 10
    Calories 321 kcal

    Equipment

    • Food Processor, Spingform

    Ingredients
      

    Almond Crust

    • 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
    • 2/3 cup almonds divided.
    • ¼ cup Oats
    • 2/3 cup wholegrain spelt flour
    • 3 tbsp maple sirup or honey
    • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/4 tsp almond extract

    Date Caramel

    • 10 Medjool dates For the data caramel. Check notes for details.
    • ¼ cup water
    • ¼ tsp kosher salt

    Chocolate Protein Mousse

    • 1 cup 0% fat Greek yoghurt
    • 1 tsp honey
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 3 tbsp cacao powder dark, plus extra for dusting if desired
    • 2/3 cup soy milk
    • 4 oz /100g dark chocolate chopped
    • 1 tsp instant espresso optional
    • 2 scoops protein powder I used “MyProtein – Dark Chocolate” for added chocolate flavor.
    • 2 tbsp powdered gelatine 1 pack

    Optional Caramelised Coconut Chips

    • 1 cup coconut chips
    • 1 tbsp maple syrup
    • ¼ tsp kosher salt

    Instructions
     

    Date Caramel:

    • Soak dates in hot water for 10 minutes to soften.
    • Drain dates and add them to a food processor with water and a pinch of salt.
    • Blend until a creamy caramel-like consistency is achieved. Adjust water or salt to taste.

    Almond Crust:

    • Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C and line a springform with parchment paper.
    • Toast the almonds in the oven for 13-16 minutes, stirring once after 8min, until fragrant and slightly browned.
    • In a food processor, combine half of the toasted almonds, oats and spelt flour. Process until you have a fine, breadcrumb like texture. Tip into a bowl and add olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and almond extract.
    • Chop the remaining almonds and add to the mix.
    • Spread the almond mixture into the springform and bake for 14-18 minutes until golden brown.
    • Let the crust cool

    Protein Chocolate Mousse:

    • Melt dark chocolate in the microwave, stirring in 30-second intervals.
    • In a mixing container, combine yoghurt, honey, vanilla, cacao powder, soy milk, protein powder, and espresso (if using).
    • In a small bowl, add cold water to gelatine, stir, and microwave for 10-15 seconds until melted.
    • While whisking your yoghurt-protein mix, stream in melted chocolate, then melted gelatine. Whisk until a silky mousse consistency is achieved.

    Assembly:

    • Spread date caramel over the crust.
    • Pour the Protein Chocolate Mousse over the date caramel and spread it evenly.
    • Refrigerate uncovered for 1 hour, then cover with cling film and refrigerate for an additional hour or overnight.

    Optional Caramelized Coconut Chips:

    • Preheat oven to 165°C (325°F).
    • In a bowl, mix coconut chips with maple syrup and salt.
    • Spread the coated chips on a baking sheet and bake for 13 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool.

    To Serve:

    • Dust with cacao powder and garnish with optional coconut chips or almond flakes.
    • Gently loosen the pie from the springform and transfer it to a cake platter.
    • Enjoy as is or with additional whipped cream if desired.

    Notes

    The one thing you’ll want to add just before serving are the Coconut chips if using, as they can get soft and soggy in the fridge. So keep them outside of the fridge in an airtight container once baked.
    The whole pie will keep in the fridge for about 4 days. But I highly doubt it’ll last that long!
    10 portions:
    Calories: Approximately 321 calories
    Protein: Approximately 13.5 grams
    Carbohydrates: Approximately 40 grams
    Fat: Approximately 14 grams
    Fiber: Approximately 6.5 grams
    These values are approximate and can vary based on specific brands and variations in ingredient measurements.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 321kcal
    Nutrition Facts
    Protein Chocolate Mousse Pie
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    321
    % Daily Value*
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Keyword For Guests, Healthy, High Protein, Vegetarian
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