Healthy dessert recipes: Chocolate tart, carrot cake, ricotta berry tart and more

Banoffee pie.
Banoffee pie. Photo: Paul Cutter

Raw banoffee pie

A spectacular raw dessert that's perfect for entertaining or just when you want something extra decadent and indulgent. With hints of caramel and toffee, this recipe is truly impressive.

Base

60g (½ cup) raw or activated almonds

Images and recipes from Healthy Baking by Teresa Cutter (Healthy Chef, RRP $69.95)
Images and recipes from Healthy Baking by Teresa Cutter (Healthy Chef, RRP $69.95) Photo: Healthy Chef

60g (½ cup) raw cashew nuts

50g (½ cup) desiccated coconut

2 tbsp organic maple syrup or raw honey

½ tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp cold-pressed coconut oil

Caramel coffee filling

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120g (1 cup) raw cashew nuts, soaked for three hours and drained

60ml (¼ cup) cold brewed coffee

125ml (½ cup) almond milk

1 banana

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

3 fresh dates, pitted or two tablespoons organic maple syrup

60ml (¼ cup) cold-pressed coconut oil

Method

1. Combine almonds, cashew nuts and coconut into a food processor.

2. Blend until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then add the honey, cinnamon and coconut oil and mix through.

3. Press into a tart shell or crumble into individual serving glasses.

4. Blend cashew nuts, coffee, almond milk, banana, vanilla and dates into a blender until creamy and smooth, then add in coconut oil until combined.

5. Spoon caramel over the top of the base and set in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

6. Decorate with whipped coconut cream or yoghurt, sliced banana and a generous dusting of cinnamon.

Note: Drizzle with salted caramel sauce by combining 90g (½ cup) of fresh pitted dates, one teaspoon vanilla extract, one quarter teaspoon sea salt, two tablespoons cold-pressed coconut oil or butter and 125ml (½ cup) hot filtered water.

Ricotta berry tart.

Ricotta berry tart. Photo: Paul Cutter

Ricotta berry tart

This strawberry tart is perfect for entertaining or summertime picnics. I love that it's not too sweet and it's also gluten-free.

Tart base

250g (1 cup) butter

90g (¼ cup) honey or 80g (¼ cup) organic maple syrup

4 organic eggs, room temperature

250g (2½ cups) almond meal

60g brown rice flour or gluten-free cornflour

Ricotta cream

500g ricotta, firm deli-style

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp raw honey or organic maple syrup

zest from 1 orange

125g mascarpone

500g strawberries, washed and stems removed

Method

1. Preheat oven to 160C fan-forced.

2. To make the base, beat butter and honey together in a stand mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add almond meal and rice flour and mix through until combined.

3. Spoon into a lined pie dish and then bake for 40 minutes until golden and firm.

4. To make the ricotta cream, beat the ricotta, vanilla, honey and orange zest until smooth. Fold in mascarpone.

5. Spread ricotta over the tart base and garnish with strawberries and enjoy.

Note: Warm a little extra honey with the juice of the orange, then brush strawberries with the orange glaze.

Healthy carrot cake.

Healthy carrot cake. Photo: Paul Cutter

Healthy carrot cake

Carrots are the richest source of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for thyroid function as well as tissue growth and repair.

500g raw carrots, grated

4 organic eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

350g (3½ cups) almond meal

60ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil or macadamia nut oil

160g (½ cup) organic maple syrup or raw honey

150g (1 cup) raisins, soaked in chai tea then drained

2 tsp gluten-free baking powder

Maple yoghurt frosting

500g yoghurt or cream cheese

60ml (¼ cup) maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 160C fan-forced.

2. Combine carrot, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond meal, oil, maple syrup, raisins and baking powder. Mix well until combined.

3. Pour into a lined 25cm baking tin.

4. Bake for one to 1½ hours or until cooked through. Cover with foil if needed. Remove from the oven and cool.

5. Combine yoghurt frosting ingredients and spoon over the cake.

Notes: For a larger cake, double this recipe and divide between 4 x 20cm cake tins – enough to get four even layers. Layer with maple frosting and enjoy.

Rhubarb raspberry crumble.

Rhubarb raspberry crumble. Photo: Paul Cutter

Rhubarb raspberry crumble

A truly heavenly crumble that's perfect on cold rainy nights. Any leftovers can be enjoyed for breakfast the next morning with a dollop of cultured Greek style yoghurt.

Crumble

100g (1 cup) almond meal

50g (½ cup) rolled oats

80g butter

2 tbsp unrefined raw sugar or coconut sugar

Rhubarb raspberry filling

1 bunch (400g) rhubarb, washed, trimmed and cut into chunks

1 orange, juiced

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

2 tbsp organic maple syrup or raw honey

½ cup raspberries, fresh or frozen

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 180C fan-forced.

2. Combine crumble ingredients into a mixing bowl until crumbly. Set aside and prepare your rhubarb.

3. Combine rhubarb, orange juice, vanilla and maple syrup into a bowl. You should have about ½ cup of orange juice. Spoon into a baking dish and roast rhubarb and aromatics in the oven for 15 minutes.

4. Remove rhubarb from the oven. Scatter the raspberries over the rhubarb mixture and gently fold through.

5. Top rhubarb generously with the crumble and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden.

Note: Leftovers can be eaten for breakfast with natural Greek style yoghurt.

Chocolate macadamia brownies.

Chocolate macadamia brownies. Photo: Paul Cutter

Chocolate macadamia brownies

This is my fudge style chocolate brownie that's just perfect for when you want something chocolatey and moreish. Serve in small portions with green tea for some heavenly indulgence. Makes 25 bite-sized serves.

250g (1 cup) butter

180g (½ cup) raw honey

2 tsp vanilla extract

100g (¾ cup) cocoa powder

4 organic eggs, room temperature

60g (½ cup) wholemeal spelt flour (see notes and inspiration)

½ tsp sea salt

65g (½ cup) salted roasted macadamia nuts

Dark chocolate ganache for topping (optional)

100ml (¾ cup) organic cream or coconut milk

100g good quality 70 per cent dark eating chocolate, chopped

Raw chocolate tahini for topping (optional)

75g (¼ cup) hulled tahini

1 tbsp cold-pressed coconut oil

1 tbsp organic maple syrup

2 tbsp raw cacao powder

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 160°C fan-forced.

2. Combine the butter, honey and vanilla in a small pot.

3. Heat the pot over a gentle heat until butter is melted.

4. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in cocoa powder. Add the eggs and whisk the mixture until combined. Add spelt flour and sea salt, then fold the nuts through the mixture.

5. Spoon the brownie mixture into a lined 18cm x 20cm baking tin.

6. Bake brownies for 25 to 30 minutes. Check after 25 minutes – your brownies should be soft in the centre.

7. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan. For best results, set the brownies in the fridge overnight.

8. Top with dark chocolate ganache (below) or raw chocolate tahini (below), if desired.

Notes: Use 30g (¼ cup) coconut flour in place of spelt flour for those who prefer a gluten-free brownie.

Dark chocolate ganache

1. Heat cream or coconut milk over low heat until it's almost to the boil.

2. Remove from the heat and add chocolate. Sit for three minutes. Stir well until combined and chocolate has melted through the cream.

Raw chocolate tahini

1. Combine tahini, coconut oil and maple syrup in a small bowl using a whisk until smooth and creamy.

Images and recipes from Healthy Baking by Teresa Cutter (Healthy Chef, RRP $69.95), available from thehealthychef.com and selected bookstores