Thick and Rich Hot Chocolate

July 7 is International Chocolate Day but that doesn’t mean that those of us who have given up the sugary treats have to miss out. This indulgent hot chocolate is thick, rich and incredibly satisfying.

Hot chocolate

I whipped up a serve of this delicious hot chocolate on a rainy Sunday afternoon and curled up to watch True Blood. The simple things really are the best, sometimes.

This drink combines coconut cream, milk, peanut butter, cacao powder, cinnamon and rice malt syrup into a comforting blend. You can play around, substituting normal cream for the coconut cream, or for a vegan version use almond milk in place of the regular milk.

All you need to do is whack everything into a pan and whisk. Chocolate indulgence in 5 minutes? Done.

Click through the jump for the full recipe

Sugar Free Caramel Popcorn

There’s nothingĀ  more comforting than curling up on the couch on a wet Sunday afternoon to watch a movie and munch on delicious popcorn. Now I love regular buttered popcorn, but sometimes you want to try something a little sweeter. And just because you are avoiding sugar doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a little sweetness.

Enter this amazing caramel popcorn. I adapted this from a regular caramel popcorn recipe. It uses both dextrose powder and rice malt syrup. I find that the dextrose on its own doesn’t get that nice deep caramel flavor – the addition of the rice malt syrup seems to get it pretty close to normal caramel.

The quantities below provide a light coating on the popcorn – a hint of sweetness, if you will. For a thicker coating, just double the recipe.

Caramel Popcorn

This is best eaten right away. The dextrose tends to soften the popcorn after a while and so it won’t stay very crunchy after a day or two.

I ate a whole bowl while watching season 5 of True Blood. A perfect Sunday!

Click through for the full recipe. And tell us, what is your favorite Sunday afternoon show?

Sugarfree Choc-hazelnut Spread

Choc hazelnut spread

We were never allowed to have Nutella at home when I was a kid, so the first time I tried it was at school. You could sometimes buy those tiny packets of Nutella spread for 20 cents from the tuckshop (it was only available on rare occasions). I loved the smooth chocolately taste and eating it straight from the packet seemed so decadent.

When I grew up, I pretty much always had Nutella in the cupboard at home and would sneak a spoonful or two when I had a chocolate craving.

This delicious choc-hazelnut spread is a great alternative to the sugar-laden, processed version. Not only sugarfree, this version is also vegan friendly. You may want to spread it on toast, but I like to eat it straight from the jar.

This recipe is adapted from the I Quit Sugar book by Sarah Wilson. I have made mine using coconut cream for a creamier texture. I have made this using both glucose syrup and rice syrup – I think the rice malt syrup gives a more grown up taste, but the glucose syrup is sweeter and probably better if you are making this for kids.

Gently rub off the bitter skins from the hazelnuts

Click through for the full recipe