As the year comes to an end, coincidently my note book does as well. This is where I write down all my recipes (good and bad – trust me many have flopped, dropped and crumbled), all my thoughts over the past year, and my to-do lists for parties, holidays and trips. Somehow each page has a little love scribble from Kyri – reminding me that she has been by my side throughout the whole past year.
2014 was a great year for our family. Our business keeps growing and growing and Tod is getting busier and busier. Our three kids are amazing us with every step they take. Seth’s school year has been MUCH better than last year and we are seeing positive results in his behavior. Chloe continues to keep up her grades, which is what we need to see if she is going to dance 5 days a week. She won a scholarship to a dance school in Victoria BC this past summer and spend 3 weeks there, learning new dances, meeting new people and experiencing new things. She has sprouted into a beautiful young woman over this year and I am so honoured to call her my daughter. Kyri is constantly changing, every week really, as babies do. She has brought us all so much joy and love. She really ties our family together. She’s been such a trooper on the potty. Sure, she has mishaps once in a while, but it’s usually when she is having so much fun so forgets to say PEE! If you haven’t heard of Communication Elimination I highly recommend looking it up. I’ve been doing it with Kyri since she was 3 months old and now potty training is a breeze! I got to help my favourite author edit his newest book ‘The Disease-Free Revolution’ this year. And in return he help me edit my health book and wrote me a forward for it as well. I am excited to send him a copy of my book in the mail in the New Year.
Three of my favourite memories over the last year are:
Seeing Kyri on the stairs saying, “Mommy!” with her pants on backwards. She had put them on by herself for the first time and was so proud of herself! Seeing Kyri accomplish new things have made me one proud mommy.
Getting Ron’s book in the mail was amazing. Opening it and seeing that he had signed it made me so happy. Then turning to the page with my name in bold and under was my story told.
Summer time – gardening, riding bikes, running through the sprinkler, and growing my own veggie garden! It was all so fun.
I hope 2015 will bring many more delicious desserts and treats, just like this one here. Mmm melt in your mouth, rich hazelnut goodness. This truffle cake is perfect for the holidays. We had it twice this December. Once for an early family Christmas dinner at my Aunt & Uncles house, then again for Christmas Eve. All of the guests asked what was in it and how it was made and of course I answered with pride. I love talking about desserts; any food really!
Thank goodness I added it to my cookbook (for future reference it is on page 100)! I’ve slightly modified it here today.
This Christmas was so beautiful. We had lots of family time, wonderful food, and tons of laughs. We played the board game Sequence a lot! And I also did tons of recycling!! Got to save the world during this busy time by keeping the garbage to a minimum.
Tod had the bright idea of wrapping all of our gifts in cloths, sheets, and in brown paper bags. It worked wonderfully and I just folded the linen after and recycled the paper bags! No garbage at all. :) And the kids still loved it. It's nice to see kid’s toys coming with plastic recyclable pieces and no Styrofoam (however no plastic would be best of course).
I got a sweet Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas!! I will be using it to make all my baking and desserts instead of my hand held one now! EXCITED!!!!
Please make sure you make this cake for your next dinner event! You will please everyone’s taste buds.
Prepare ahead - Soak 1 cup raw cashews, covered in filtered water, for 4 hours
- Remove pits and soak dates, covered in filtered water, for 20 minutes
- 8 medjool dates, pitted and soaked
- 1 1/2 cup raw walnuts (use any nuts you prefer)
- 5 graham crackers (optional)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 Tbsp. unpasteurized honey (I always use Big D's Bees local honey) or clear unpasteurized agave nectar
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked
- 1/2 cup cacao powder or 1/2 cup melted vegan dark chocolate chips
- 5 Tbsp. unpasteurized honey or clear unpasteurized agave nectar
- 1 cup coconut meat, if previously frozen – thawed and at room temp
- 1 cup hazelnut butter (I used Nuts-To-You Hazelnut Butter)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 3/4 - 1 cup homemade almond milk
- 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 400ml can of coconut milk, full fat – cream only
- ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. unpasteurized honey or clear unpasteurized agave nectar
- 1 tbsp. cacao powder
- 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts, chopped and toasted (optional)
1. Soak cashews for 4 hours. Rinse. Remove pits and soak dates for 20 minutes. Drain. Crust - Line an 8 or 9 " cheesecake pan base with parchment paper. Blend walnuts, melted coconut oil, dates, sweetener, graham cracker (if using) and shredded coconut in a food processor and add to the cheesecake pan. Use the back of a spoon and press down firmly.
2. Cake - In a high speed blender add all the cake ingredients and blend until smooth. Add more nut milk if it is too thick to blend. Pour chocolate mixture into the cheesecake pan and place into the freezer (add some of the garnished hazelnuts to the filling if you desire). Cover and freeze for 4 hours.
3. Chocolate whip – Open can of coconut milk and scoop out the cream into a mixing bowl. Whip the coconut cream until light and fluffy peaks form – usually around 4-5 minutes. Turn mixer off. Add vanilla, honey and cacao powder and beat again for 1 minute. Place in a container, cover and refrigerate if not using right away.
4. Garnish – Preheat oven to 350° (175° F) (Yes this part does involve using the oven). Add ½ cup raw hazelnuts to a cookie sheet and bake for 4 minutes, or until you can smell them. Shake the pan half way through the baking time. Make sure the skins of the hazelnuts are cracked. Let them cool on the pan. Roll the hazelnuts in the palms of your hands until the skins come off. Place the skinless hazelnuts on a cutting board and chop for garnish (add a handful to the cake filling if you desire).
5. Take the cake out of the fridge and take off the outside ring of the cheesecake dish. Cut the cake into 12 equal pieces. Serve cold with a dollop of chocolate whip and toasted hazelnuts.