Gluten-free salted chocolate peanut butter cups

So, time for something simple and quick. With 5 ingredients and a little bit of melting and a little bit of freezing, you easily end up with gluten-free salted chocolate peanut butter cups. I saw this recipe and thought “yes, I have black salt, I must make this!”. I actually have Hawaiian black salt and it was exciting to think that there is a purpose for this being in my cupboard. If you like peanut butter cups and the combo of sweet and salty (wait who doesn’t?) then these are for you.



½ cup smooth peanut butter
½ cup malted coconut oil
100g dark chocolate, melted
2 teaspoons melted coconut oil, extra
Black sea salt flakes, to serve


Line a 12×1 tablespoon capacity mini muffin tin with paper cases.
Place the peanut butter and coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth. Divide between the tins and freeze for 15-20 minutes until firm.
While the peanut butter cups are freezing, place the chocolate in a small bowl, add the extra coconut oil and mix until smooth.
Spoon the chocolate mixture into the cups, sprinkle with salt and return to the freezer for 10-15 minutes or until firm.
Remove from the tin to serve. Makes 12. Best stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

I did find that letting the chocolate cool down before spooning into the cups was a big help. I also put them back into the freezer for 5 minutes before sprinkling on the salt (I tried one and I was not sure if the salt was sinking so I waited a little, patience counted here).

To prevent mass consumption in one sitting, I did freeze some of these and I just take them out of the freezer for a few minutes for them to soften. And then we eat them!

Recipe from Donna Hay’s “Modern Baking”.


Gluten-free brown rice crispy treats

Slight deviation this week from Donna Hay’s “Modern Baking” with these gluten-free brown rice crispy treats, but this is a recipe by Donna Hay so technically it still counts. I am, it seems, transfixed by any recipe that comes my way that uses puffed rice. Maybe it’s because I can now find gluten-free puffed rice that I feel I need to make every conceivable recipe to make up for lost time.  Maybe I am just a child at heart. Maybe I just like melting things. Either we, we all win here!

Gluten free brown rice crispy treats.jpg


3 cups (45 grams) gluten-free puffed brown rice
1 cup (80 grams) flaked almonds
½ cup (70 grams) pistachios, chopped
¼ cup (50 grams) white chia seeds
½ cup (175 grams) honey
½ cup (140 grams) smooth peanut butter
80 grams 70% chocolate, melted

Place the puffed brown rice, almonds, pistachios and chia seeds in a large bowl. Place the honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir for 3 minutes or until warmed through. Add the honey mixture to the brown rice mixture and stir well to combine.

Firmly press the mixture into a lightly greased 20cm square cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.

Cut into 5cm x 10cm pieces, dip one end into the chocolate and place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until set. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Makes 8. 

If you manage to find white chia seeds, then good for you. I failed on that mission, not that I scoured the streets with fierce determination or anything like that, but they just weren’t around. And since the difference between white and black chia seeds seems to be for aesthetics, which are important yes, but not so important that I would spend my weekend searching for them, I think black chia seeds worked just fine.

I am wondering if I need to go on a course on “how to dip into chocolate” since I didn’t get this fabulous smooth dipped end to the treats. I do think that if the chocolate had been less thick it would have been easier, so I will ponder that dilemma. Or maybe it’s just called patience!

You can see the original recipe here 


Gluten-free crispy chocolate coconut bars

The next recipe from Donna Hay’s “Modern Baking” is gluten-free crispy chocolate coconut bars. I have skipped to page 61, probably more because I fancied making these as opposed to there being no relevant recipe between pages 12 and 60. Maybe it’s the legacy of a childhood with no Rice-Krispies that draws me to any recipe like this (the curse of a coeliac diagnosis at age 1). And the combination of coconut and chocolate is always a good idea!

gluten free crispy chocolate coconut bars

150g milk chocolate, chopped
75g unsalted butter
¼ cup golden syrup
3 cups (90g) puffed brown rice
1 cup (75g) shredded coconut
200 g dark chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Line a 20cm square slice tin with non-stick baking paper. Place the milk chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth. Add the puffed rice and coconut and mix to combine. At this point, I would like to mention that this is hot and let’s just take a moment before we lick the spoon! Press into the base of the tin, using the back of a spoon.

Place the chocolate and oil in a small bowl and mix to combine. Pour the chocolate mixture over the base and smooth the top (getting a smooth top is I believe an art form, I need to make these again and get it right!).
Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Remove from the tin and slice into bars to serve.

EAT! These are delicious 🙂

Visit for more information about the book.

Adventures in gluten-free brunch – the Australian edition

brunch: noun a late morning meal eaten instead of breakfast and lunch.
It’s time for another gluten-free brunch round-up, this time the Australian edition!

For a recent post of mine on Instagram for Australia Day, I said that Australia to me is beach + brunch (GF of course). My family live in Western Australia so I have been travelling there for many years! These are my fave brunches from my recent holiday; brunch is a serious business there!

The Pix Plate

Brunch Pix Plate

This is my favourite brunch in the world, and every time I go to Perth, my first stop is to go to Pixel Coffee and eat this! Naturally gluten-free, this is a potato and herb smash with poached eggs, prosciutto, parmesan, pea salad and lemon oil. There is also very good coffee!
Pixel Coffee: 2/226 Oxford St, Leederville WA 6007

La Veen Rosti

Brunch Laveen

I tried this for the first time in December and it is a close second to the Pix Plate. Usually I spend my time eating something on toast since it is such a novelty for me to have that, but these dishes are taking the rosti to a new brunch height! The La Veen Rosti  is house made potato rosti with poached eggs, avocado crème, beetroot remoulade, truffle oil and beetroot reduction, with a choice of bacon, salmon or mushrooms. Also, very good coffee.
La Veen Coffee: 90 King street, Cnr Wellington Street, Perth WA 6000

The Avenue Smash

Brunch Paper Avenue

I found this restaurant on Instagram and had to visit (very close to my brother’s house) and it was finally time for the avo smash on toast. Whole crushed avocado with two poached eggs, parmesan shards, confit tomato with house made relish and organic spicy dukkah on gluten-free toast. Yeah, not your average avocado on toast!  

Paper Avenue Café: 52A Davidson Terrace, Joondalup WA 6027



Gluten-free dark chocolate pretzel cake

As per my Christmas list, one of my gifts was the new cookbook by Donna Hay “Modern Baking” and although this is not a gluten-free cookbook, a large percent of the recipes is gluten-free. Win win. So, I have decided for 2019 that I will work through this book and bake what I can. I trust Donna Hay, and so I have the utmost confidence that this will be a good year!

We begin with chapter one – chocolate (how convenient). The first recipe that can be used is on the 2nd page so not too far to go before we find a winner and the dark chocolate pretzel cake. I have made many a gluten-free chocolate cake in my time and I think this recipe is at the top of the list (with or without pretzels) and is my new “go to” gluten-free chocolate cake. This is delicious!         

115g unsalted butter, chopped
450g dark chocolate (45-55 per cent), chopped
4 medium eggs, separated
55g caster sugar
2 tsp sea salt flakes
50g store-bought mini-pretzels

Preheat the oven to 160C. Line a 22cm round spring form tin with non-stick baking paper. Place the butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and whisk until thick. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and whisk for a further 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is thick and glossy.

Add the egg yolks and salt to the chocolate mixture and gently fold to combine. In 3 batches, add the egg white mixture to the chocolate mixture and gently fold to combine. Pour into the tin and arrange the pretzels on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are cooked when tested with a skewer and the centre is just set. Allow to cool to room temperature in the tin. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until chilled.

NOTE If you’re going to be refrigerating this cake for longer than the specified 3 hours, remove it from the fridge 1 hour before serving to allow it to come to room temperature.

Visit for more information about the book.

Gluten-free choc banana brownies

Whilst multi-tasking over the weekend (in de-clutter mode with the dulcet tones of the food channel in the background), I spotted out of the corner of a my eye a gluten-free choc banana brownie recipe on Donna Hay Basic to Brilliance Kids. For the record, I love Donna Hay,I want to be on her team #lifegoal! I love her recipes, her style, her photography…everything. And for the record I have no issues using kids’ recipes as often they are gluten-free and are something new to try. Obviously, these brownies are never going to beat a Leon Better Brownie, they do not come close. This is more of a healthier nod to the brownie with less chocolate chopping and more date and banana blending. So, you can bake and feel virtuous at the same time.

10 soft fresh dates (200g), pitted
2 bananas (4-00g), peeled and chopped
2/3 cup raw cacao or cocoa powder
1½ cups almond meal/ground almonds
¼ cup light extra virgin oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 160°C. Line a 20cm square cake tin with non-stick baking paper.
Place the dates, banana, cacao, almond meal, oil, vanilla and maple syrup in a food processor and process until smooth. 
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, scraping the sides of the processor with a spatula if you need to (the mix is pretty sticky at this point).
Smooth the top and bake for 20 minutes or until just firm around the edges. 
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes. Then place in the fridge until chilled. Turn out onto a large board and, using a sharp knife, cut it into squares to serve. Makes 16.
You can keep the brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

You can find the original recipe here

Adventures in gluten-free brunch #2

brunch: noun a late morning meal eaten instead of breakfast and lunch.
It’s time for another gluten-free brunch round-up. Egg-spiration is on the way!

Best egg ever
I must say the egg in this brunch was a source of pure joy. Perfection sitting atop black rice, cauliflower, kale, radish, red onion, coriander, avocado and bacon.  This is the brunch winner in this round for sure! And you can only feel virtuous eating black rice and cauliflower for your first meal of the day.

cauliflower black rice

Let bacon be thy toast
Avocado, poached egg, fennel, labneh, chives, parsley and cucumber with crispy bacon as the base. Since the option of gluten-free toast in Johannesburg is not overly bountiful, sometimes one must adapt to get what one wants. I love fennel, I wanted this meal and I was not disappointed!


Quinoa and carrot toast
This was at Hemsley and Hemsley at Selfridges in London. And even though the rand pound exchange rate made my eyes water (I had possibly the most expensive juice in the world) I still like to return when I am in the UK and see what is happening. As well as the most expensive juice, I had the brightest egg so all balances out.


Avocado filled with cream cheese and pesto.
At the Power and the Glory in Cape Town. What a fabulous name for a café and a great idea for brunch. New inspiration for the humble avocado is always welcome.

power and the glory F

Schar gluten-free waffles
And for something a little different. I was in the UK in September and bought back with me various gluten-free goodies, among them gluten-free waffles from Schar. I saved them for my birthday brunch, served with yogurt, strawberries, blueberries and some honey. Pity I only bought one packet back with me!

waffle scharuk