Cocoa, fig and pistachio date balls
Serves: Makes about 16 balls
Time: 20 mins + 1 hr, to firm up
Place 12 dried dates (soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes and drained), 110g ground almonds, 70g coconut oil, 35g cocoa powder, 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence and a pinch salt in a blender and blitz until almost smooth. Stir in 50g toasted and chopped pistachio nuts, a small handful each of toasted desiccated coconut and chopped dried figs. Roll the mixture into 2cm balls and coat in finely chopped toasted pistachio nuts. Place in the fridge to firm up, 1 hour. These will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Microwave chocolate mug cake
Time: 5 mins
In a small bowl, combine 40g cake flour, 30ml (2 tbsp) cocoa powder, 30ml (2 tbsp) castor sugar, 1,25ml (¼ tsp) baking powder and small pinch salt. Whisk in 75ml milk, 30ml (2 tbsp) canola oil, and seeds of 1 vanilla pod and gently combine until no lumps are left. Pour the batter into 2 microwave-proof mugs and drop 15ml (1 tbsp) Nutella into each of the batter-filled mugs – simply drop it in; no need to push it into the batter. Microwave each cup for 30 seconds on high and eat immediately, topped with a dollop of double-thick cream, if desired.
Cocoa, paprika, and coconut-rubbed steak
Serves: 4 – 6
Time: 20 mins
In a bowl, combine 60ml (¼ cup) each of cocoa powder and desiccated coconut. Add 10ml (2 tsp) smoked paprika and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle 6 steaks (your choice of cut) or a medium-sized fillet with olive oil, rub with the cocoa mixture and sprinkle with a handful fresh thyme leaves. Heat a large pan over very high heat and, once hot, brown the steaks in the pan, 3 minutes on each side. Check the temperature of your steak and, if you prefer, turn the heat down and allow the steak to cook a little longer to your liking. Allow the steak to rest for 10 minutes, before slicing to serve.