How convenient that on day 29 of my Whole30, the new book Clean Eating With a Dirty Mind by Vanessa Barajas, shows up on my doorstep.
Even before Whole30 I was never a dessert girl… You’re more likely to tempt me with a pint of Guinness and really great poutine than a cupcake any day of the week. But there’s something about Vanessa’s approach to desserts that I just love.
First off, she’s got a knack for it. They always work, they’re always good. And can I keep it real for a minute? The internet is great and all, but if you’re like me, you’ve attempted a recipe that appeared decent only to have it be a complete fail. A waste of time, a waste of ingredients. If you’ve ever wished to find a blog or book that’s vouched for by someone you trust, believe me, Vanessa’s your new go-to.
Secondly, they’re wicked creative. Maybe it’s just that my mind doesn’t speak marshmallow, but I just dig what this girl does with treats. I can feed a family of four with $15 and 30-minutes like nobody’s business, but ask me to whip up a Paleo cookie and I’m in trouble. Vanessa is the yin to my yang. And Clean Eating With a Dirty Mind is an awesome book.
Third, I don’t want to pull my hair out when I make them! Since I’m not a baker at all, Paleo dessert recipes don’t usually get my attention. I’d much rather eat a bowl of berries with dark chocolate pieces and some coconut milk and call it a day… But any time I’m in the mood for an actual dessert, she’s the one I turn to.
I’m a bit of a fan…
I hope you put a copy of Clean Eating With a Dirty Mind in your cart today or pick up a copy the next time you’re in a bookstore. You’ll love it, I’m sure!
Want to know the best thing Vanessa ever ate? She was interviewed on my series a couple years ago! Click here to see the recipes that won her over.
You’re gonna need a couple things to make this recipe: a food processor, a bread loaf pan, the right chocolate chips, and some parchment paper. The rest of it I think you’ll probably either have on hand or will be able to find.
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces/115 g) salted butter
- 3 cups (465 g) raw cashew pieces
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- ¼ cup (40 g) coconut flour
- ¼ cup (60 ml) raw honey, melted
- ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon or ground nutmeg
- 1 cup (3½ ounces/200 g) chocolate chips
- Line a 5 by 9-inch (12.75 by 23-cm), or 1½-quart (1.4-liter), loaf pan with parchment paper; set aside.
- Brown the butter by melting a stick of butter over medium heat until the butter turns a golden color and the active foaming subsides. It only takes a couple minutes.
- Put the cashews into the bowl of a high-powered food processor and process until the cashews turn to meal. Scrape down the bowl and continue to process for another 5 minutes or so, stopping to scrape down as needed, until the nut oils start to release. With the processor on, slowly drizzle the melted coconut oil into the cashew meal and continue to process until it turns into a thick dough ball or attains a doughlike consistency (it will be much thicker and drier looking than peanut butter).
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cashew butter, browned butter, and coconut flour and stir together using an electric mixer or whisk. Next add the honey, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon and stir until combined and smooth. Press plastic wrap across the surface of the dough and freeze for 20 minutes. Then fold in chocolate chips. If the chocolate chips are added before, they will melt and sink to the bottom.
- Transfer the dough to the parchment-lined pan and press it down evenly into the bottom. Place back in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up and set. Cut into 16 pieces before serving. Store any remaining fudge in the freezer; remove from the freezer a few minutes before serving to thaw slightly.
Get a great deal on raw cashews by hitting up the bulk section at Whole Foods or your local health food store. I’ve found good prices at both places in my neck of the woods. And when it comes to raw honey, by far the best deal I’ve seen is at Costco, but if you’ve got a local beekeeper you can support, do give that some thought too.