Nom Nom Paleo

Nom Nom Chocolate Truffles

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Every Christmas, I get my truffles on. This is the same recipe (and post) that I’ve whipped out every holiday season—for good reason.

If you’re panicking because you need a last-minute, homemade gift to bring to a holiday party, make some of these chocolatey balls. These deliciously dairy-free treats will make you the superstar of the soirée.

Nom Nom Chocolate Truffles by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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Kelly Brozyna’s Chocolate Pie + Raw Graham Cracker Crust

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Kelly Brozyna's Chocolate Pie + Raw Graham Cracker Crust by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

You know that I’m a chocoholic, right? I don’t care if the Paleo Police kick down my door—I love dark chocolate. Just a tiny square of my favorite dark chocolate bar can usually satisfy my cravings for something sweet, which in turn keeps me from compulsively making “Paleofied” desserts on a regular basis. But on those occasions when I want a grain-free treat, it has to be ridiculously great. And made of chocolate, too. (Is that redundant?)

Kelly Brozyna's Chocolate Pie + Raw Graham Cracker Crust by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

That’s why I thank my lucky stars for Kelly Brozyna. Super-mom, blogger, and author of numerous cookbooks, Kelly adopted a gluten-, dairy-, and refined-sugar-free diet almost a decade ago to deal with a multitude of serious health issues in her family. Later, when she took her family one step further—from gluten-free to grain-free—their health went from pretty good to awesome.

I’ve long been a fan of Kelly’s blog, The Spunky Coconut. Her recipes—and especially her dairy-free frozen treats—are incredible. But what I admire most about Kelly is that she puts family and fun first. I loved tagging along on social media as her family drove from Denver to their new home in Southern California. And I’m excited to “meat up” with Kelly and her clan when she’s in the San Francisco Bay Area next month.

Kelly Brozyna's Chocolate Pie + Raw Graham Cracker Crust by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

She’ll be in town to promote her beautiful new tome, The Paleo Chocolate Lovers’ Cookbook. Filled with page after page of inventive and gorgeously photographed chocolate recipes, this is the definitive guide for real food enthusiasts with a cacao fixation. In other words: me.

Concocting Paleo desserts isn’t my strength, but clearly, Kelly’s been perfecting her craft for many years. Her Paleo dessert pantry includes a few new-to-me ingredients like liquid stevia, hemp milk, walnut flour, and chia meal—all of which I’m eager to play with as this holiday baking season approaches.

Kelly Brozyna's Chocolate Pie + Raw Graham Cracker Crust by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

But I wanted to make something from Kelly’s book now, and because I didn’t have all of these ingredients on hand, I chose a eye-popping recipe that I could whip up with items already in my pantry: Chocolate Pie with Raw Graham Cracker Crust.

Kelly Brozyna's Chocolate Pie + Raw Graham Cracker Crust by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I loved that it was so simple to make—just a little chopping, melting, and blitzing—but admittedly, I was a bit skeptical about how this dessert would turn out. After all, the only ingredients are walnuts, Medjool dates, cinnamon, coconut cream, coconut oil, dark chocolate, vanilla, and salt. Hmm…no honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar?

But my fears evaporated as soon as I dipped my finger in the pie filling and gave it a taste. Wowza.

I quickly hollered for the boys (and a pal who was over for a playdate) to sample it. They all went nuts, even though Big-O isn’t normally a fan of coconut or dates. (I conveniently failed to disclose the ingredients to them, but I have a feeling all three would have raved just as excitedly after tasting the filling.)

Kelly Brozyna's Chocolate Pie + Raw Graham Cracker Crust by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

In fact, I was able to crank out two mini pies in no time at all, and the results were deliciously decadent. It was like eating a chocolate truffle in a nutty graham cracker crust. If you’re cool with using a microwave (which I am), this recipe is even simpler ’cause it means the chocolate, coconut oil, and coconut cream can be melted/heated in a jiffy.

After I posted a picture of my finished Chocolate Pie on Facebook and Instagram, I was deluged with requests for the recipe. But because it’s not mine to share, I wanted to first ask for Kelly’s permission. Lucky for you, she said yes. You’re welcome!

Ready for the recipe?

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Mexican Chocolate Pots de Crème (Dairy-Free!)

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When it comes to chocolate pots de crème, there’s no messing around. These dense little cups of smooth, dark chocolate don’t pretend to be delicate or airy, and you’ll never mistake them for bland-tasting instant pudding or low-fat chocolate mousse. With just one bite, you’ll taste the message loud and clear: These bittersweet pots de crème are intensely chocolatey, decadently full-fat, and proud of it.

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I rarely indulge in sweets these days, but dark chocolate is my kryptonite — so when occasion calls for it, I’ll happily whip up a batch of dairy-free chocolate pots de crème. And my favorite ways to amp up the intensity of this special treat is with a touch of cinnamon, vanilla, and ancho chile powder — a flavor combination inspired by the rich, spicy kick of traditional Mexican hot chocolate.

This recipe is foolproof, provided you don’t rush things. Yes, I know it’s virtually impossible to exercise self-restraint when it comes to chocolate, but to ensure a silky-smooth ganache, staple these three tips to your forehead:

  • Be patient when forming the base custard,
  • Step away from the chocolate for a full five minutes while it’s melting, and
  • Stir slooowly and deliberately when combining the melted chocolate and custard.

Trust me: you’ll be rewarded for your stoic Jedi ways.

Ready to learn how to make these little pots o’ joy?

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PSA: I Love L’Amourette 91% Cacao Extra Smooth Chocolat Noir

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It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of dark, dark, dark chocolate. (Back off, Paleo Police. Chocolate’s one of my only indulgences; it puts some spring in this old zombie’s step.) There are a couple of unsweetened 100% cacao bars I enjoy (like the Domori Il 100%), but my favorite bars have just a smidge of sugar to balance out the bitterness. Sadly, I’ve been disappointed by most of the 90+% cacao bars on the market. Most bars contain soy lecithin or taste too harsh or have an unpleasantly chalky texture. Or they’re too dang pricey. 

But then kismet struck.

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