Flourless Vegan Chocolate Cookies

A couple days ago I attempted to make a vegan ‘brain’ lemon jelly for Halloween. It was an epic fail. L I’m not sure if it was the mould I was using, or the ingredients themselves. I used lots and lots of lemon juice, which may have interfered with the gelling nature of agar-agar. It just didn’t set! So I made these instead – charcoal, heart-shaped flourless vegan chocolate cookies. In hindsight I’m glad I failed the brain jelly experiment because this is, frankly, much better.

The cookie texture was almost wafer-like, with crunchy bits from the seeds and the gooey chocolate surprise here and there. They’re flourless, gluten-free, refined-sugar free (if you’re using sugar-free chocolate), and the best thing about them is they do taste like cookies!

These are not your typical Halloween treats but they look the part and, hey, you don’t come to my blog and expect the usual cookie recipes, do you?

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The secret ingredients + tips to making the perfect cookies

Instead of using flour we’ll be using our secret ingredient – black beans. You will need a whole can of black beans for this recipe but you can also use dried beans. If you’re using dried beans, you’ll need to make sure you cook them until they’re soft enough that you can squish a bean with your fingers without much effort.

Note that because I wanted to make my cookies as dark as possible for Halloween, I used Dutch pressed cocoa, black tahini and black sesame seeds. You can use normal cocoa powder, white tahini and sesame seeds if you wish. Or you could replace the tahini with peanut butter and use nuts or dried fruit instead of the sesame seeds. Get creative. You won’t break the recipe, I promise.

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I used a five-centimetre heart shaped cake cutter with a pressed lid, but you can also use the back of the spoon to flatten the dough. The thinner the cookies (less than 5mm), the crispier they will be. I recommend baking a test batch before committing to a particular thickness. I like mine a little bit soft so I made my cookies slightly thicker.

Another thing to consider is that these cookies won’t spread during baking so you can place them fairly close to each other and fit more on the one pan.

So are you ready to make healthy, protein-rich, flourless vegan chocolate cookies that are cool enough for Halloween, and taste great too?

You know you are!

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Flourless Vegan Chocolate Cookies

Course Breakfast
Author Keren

Ingredients

  • 1 can 400g of blackbean (or 1 ½ cup cooked beans), drain and rinse
  • 1/3 cup Dutch pressed cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate finely chopped (I use Chocolate Counter)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut butter or coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. black sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. black tahini
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt plus extra for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Mix chia seeds and 3 Tbsp water in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. Place beans, coconut butter, cocoa powder, sugar and salt in a food processor and blend until well combined. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. Add chopped chocolate and mix to combine.
  5. Spoon cookie batter onto the lined baking sheet (or cake presser). Flatten top of cookies slightly using the back of the spoon (aim for less than 5mm thickness). Note that they will not spread when baking.
  6. Sprinkle with extra sea salt. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool on cooling rack and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and tag me so I can see your creation.

Keren x

Maker Sydney – Behind The Kitchen

Two of my favourite vegans: Annabelle of My Little Panda Kitchen and Kate of The Vegan Teahouse have paired up to create a sweet spot called MAKER. They offer a 100% vegan shared commercial kitchen space with a take-away coffee and treat bar, plus a soon-to be launched cafe serving up seasonal vegan gourmet comfort food.

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I went and visited their kitchen a couple of weeks ago and had the pleasure of speaking to Kate about their new cafe venture as well as seeing the making of The Vegan Teahouse popular Grace Chocolate brownies and Britney banana bread.

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They just launched their take-away coffee and treat bar last Saturday and judging by the huge line at the door, I have a feeling that Maker is going to be hit amongst plantbased foodies in Sydney.

Here’s a sneak peek.

Big love,

Keren x

(Vegan) Blueberry Donuts – Halloween Edition

These (Vegan) Blueberry Donuts were actually a two-fold experiment: the first stage was to test if I could make blueberry donuts with fresh blueberries, and the second was to experiment with stop-motion technique to give the resulting video a bit of ‘magic’. Stop-motion is a technique which uses a lot of still frames with the object moving in small increments, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence, like an animation.

So this recipe’s video incorporates a bit of wizardry (like summoning ingredients and baking with a blink of an eye), and I loved it, because, after all, who doesn’t love a touch of magic in the kitchen?

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Tips on making these vegan blueberry donuts

These donuts are based on my Lifechanging Donuts recipe. To make this version you just need to add 1/2 cup of blueberries to the batter.

Important note: to make sure the blueberries don’t stick to the bottom of the mould (I recommend using a silicon mould), be sure to cover the base of the silicon pan with the batter first (without blueberries) and then follow with some more batter with two or three blueberries. This will prevent the berries from sticking to the bottom of the mould which makes the donuts impossible to remove without breaking.

Alternatively, you can add the blueberries right at the end, when the mould has been filled with the batter (see picture below), so the blueberries are on surface, however, I personally like to top the mould with just a bit extra batter to cover the blueberries and create a smoother surface.

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Anyway, I had so much fun making these blueberry donuts and the associated video. The video production was a bit more technical than I expected: you have to think ten steps ahead, and make sure everything is just perfect, because you don’t want to start all over again. The editing process was quite lengthy (about three hours), but I really enjoyed it, and I can’t wait to explore the stop-motion video making realm. If you like the video, don’t forget to subscribe to my new YouTube channel. I’d really appreaciate it.

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Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and tag me so I can see your creation.

Keren x

World’s Best Vegan Burger – Part 1

 

I’m on a special quest. I’m trying to make World’s Best Vegan Burger. I think I’m pretty close. This Vegan Bean Burger is the best I have ever had or made. And the fact it came from my kitchen just makes it taste even better. I knew the moment this burger materialised that I had a decision to make: keep this a trade secret, or share it with you all, my lovely friends and readers.

You’re welcome.

Best Vegan Burger

This vegan bean burger has so much protein you could slap it across peopless’ faces the next time they ask you that question about getting enough protein again. Okay, maybe not. That sounds too violent and we’re all about compassion here. Maybe, instead, you could make this for them so they can slap themselves in bewilderment as to how good it tastes. Seriously though, this is it! It’s the bomb.

Best Vegan Burger

The key to making the world’s best bean burger is to get the perfect texture and consistency for the bean mixture. Too dry and it won’t bind. Too wet and you’ll have sludgy bean patties that are un-flippable and will just break when on the frying pan. The trick is to slightly undercook some of the beans. This is where you’ll get the nice slightly chewy texture that we all love in a good burger. It’s genius, I know. I was proud of myself too.

The beans

Because we need such a specific level of done-ness (or cook-ness, if that’s a word), we can’t just use canned beans. Therefore you’ll need to use dried beans (both soaked and un-soaked to get the maximum flavour and texture) so it does take a while to make. So what? You don’t get to create the world’s best bean burger in less than 30 minutes. Rome wasn’t built in a day. I recommend you make this ahead of time because you can freeze the patties (this recipe makes you 16-20 patties) and defrost them whenever you feel like a burger. Cool? Let’s built Rome.

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World’s Best Bean Burger (makes 16-20 patties) 

Ingredients

Bean Patties:

  • 1 cup of dried blackbeans – unsoaked
  • 1 cup of dried chickpeas – soaked overnight
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 medium size onion, diced
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. cumin powder
  • ½- 1 tsp. salt (start with ½ a tsp and add as required)
  • 1 tsp. pepper

The Burger:

  • Burger bun or bread roll
  • Large swissbrown mushroom, grilled
  • Tomato, thinly sliced
  • Cos Lettuce, leaves shredded
  • Cucumber, thinly sliced
  • Vegan mayonnaise

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain black beans. Place beans in a pot, add 1 tsp of salt and fill up with water until beans are submerged by about 2-3 cm of water. Cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  2. Rinse and drain chickpeas. Place chickpeas in another pot, add 1 tsp of salt and fill up with water until beans are submerged by about 2-3 cm. Cook for 1 hour (notice the chickpeas’ cooking time is shorter than the black beans). It will look a tad undercooked but this is what we want.
  3. Meanwhile heat olive oil in a pan, add garlic and onion and sautéed until fragrant. Set aside.
  4. Place 1 cup of oats and 1 cup of water in small pot. Bring to boil, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Rinse cooked black beans and chickpeas with cold water and transfer them into the food processor. Add the sautéed onion and garlic, cumin, ground coriander, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper. Pulse beans until resembles coarse crumb. Be Ccareful not to over-process the beans. I used my Cuisine Companion (with the chopping blade) and only pulsed 5 times. You want the mixture to still have chunks of beans or peas in there, not turn the whole thing into mush.
  6. Add more salt or pepper if required. Take a small handful of the mixture and shape into patties. Place on a tray and chill for about an hour.
  7. To cook the patties – lightly fry in olive oil for 2-3 minutes each side, turning once, or spray with cooking spray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, turning halfway.
  8. Assemble the burger. Layer the base with lettuce leaves and add grilled mushroom, slices of tomato, cucumber, salad a drizzle of your favourite vegan mayonnaise and top with the bean burger patties.

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and tag me so I can see your creation.

Keren x

 

One Pot Spaghetti Bean Bolognese

One Pot Spaghetti Bean Bolognaise

Lately, I’m all about one pot everything. But let me tell you the backstory of this one pot spaghetti bean bolognaise recipe.

A few weeks ago I was working on a video assignment for Everyday Vegan. If you’re not aware of Everyday Vegan, it’s a really cool project founded by Maz (Sadhana Kitchen) and Dan (Grow Space) which seeks to show people how easy it is to live a plantbased lifestyle. Anyway, they were working on a 7-Day Dinner online course and wanted me to direct and produce the videos for them.

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I said yes (more like hell, yeah!) and a few days later we shot seven recipes over a couple of days at the Whitehouse Institute of Design. It was pretty intense! We tackled all sorts of problems, from missing ingredients, to animal control. I’m serious. At one point we actually had to tell the cleaner, who was cleaning the rooftop (the building acoustics were pretty bad), to stop singing because the boom mike was picking it up. Elli (our in house, very talented photographer) had to run to the shops a number of times to pick up some missing ingredients, and that animal control issue – well, let’s just say that the dog we had in the promo video was not part of the storyboard. It just so happened that there was a dog (owned by one of the Institute’s teachers, in a meeting room at the time) walking around and barking in the studio and we had to do something about it. It was so cute and adorable and seemed to love being cuddled so we decided to include it in the video. The canine actually made everything better.

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What has this to do with the recipe? Well, the recipes we shot during those two hectic days were all one-pot recipes. They were so simple, and delicious, that I was inspired to do more one-pot dinner meals at home. In fact, after completing the video project I ended up doing one-pot meals every second day. It’s the best thing ever.

Anyway, this one pot bean bolognaise is really good if you want a hearty and satisfying meal that is rich in both protein and fibre. And to give some variety of texture and taste, I recommend having more than one type of bean. You can use whatever combination of beans you like – I just happened to have adzuki, soy and black beans in my pantry so I used those.

One Pot Spaghetti Bean Bolognaise

Ingredients

For the bean bolognaise

  • 2 cups of mixed beans (I use 1 cup of adzuki beans, ½ cup soy beans and ½ black beans), soak overnight in 4 cups of water, then drain and rinse
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 bunch Kale – leaves shredded, roughly chopped
  • 2 cans tomato (400g)
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • 4 sprigs of parsley, roughly chopped
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

For the spaghetti

  • 500 gram spaghetti
  • 3 cups of water
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup of vegan parmesan (optional but recommended)

Method:

  1. Heat oil in cast iron pan. Add onion, stir, then garlic, stir.
  2. Add thyme and rosemary leaves. Add stock cubes, stir.
  3. Add beans, stir for 2 minutes. Then add water.
  4. Bring to simmer, turn down heat, cover and let cook for 1 hour.
  5. Add spaghetti (or fettuccini), add 3 cups of water. Cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. Add shredded kale and parsley. Cover, turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

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Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you. Leave a comment below or share a picture and tag me on Instagram!

Keren x

One Pot Spaghetti Bean Bolognaise

An easy and delicious hearty meal for any day of the week.
Course Main
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 4 -6
Author Keren

Ingredients

For the bean bolognaise

  • 2 cups of mixed beans I use 1 cup of adzuki beans, ½ cup soy beans and ½ black beans, soak overnight in 4 cups of water, then drain and rinse
  • 1 brown onion diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic diced
  • 1 bunch Kale – leaves shredded roughly chopped
  • 2 cans tomato 400g
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • 4 sprigs of parsley roughly chopped
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 Medjool dates pitted
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

For the spaghetti

  • 500 gram spaghetti
  • 3 cups of water
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup of vegan parmesan optional but recommended

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in cast iron pan. Add onion, stir, then garlic, stir.
  2. Add thyme and rosemary leaves. Add stock cubes, stir.
  3. Add beans, stir for 2 minutes. Then add water.
  4. Bring to simmer, turn down heat, cover and let cook for 1 hour.
  5. Add spaghetti (or fettuccini), add 3 cups of water. Cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. Add shredded kale and parsley. Cover, turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls with Tofu

I love Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls. Not only because they’re light, healthy and delicious, but also I can eat them with my hands and still be lady (not that I am one, but it’s nice to pretend). I love the sensation of the rice roll sticking to the skin of my fingers as I hold the roll, and the balancing act of trying to get enough sauce, but not so much that it would drip every which way, and the explosion of taste in my mouth right after taking the first bite. They’re very sexy.

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I remember when I was little and growing up in Jakarta, my mum would feed me with her hands. And so did my grandma, my auntie, my housekeeper, or whoever was like feeding me at the time. Sometimes they use spoon, but most times hands. Never forks. And it was always the right hands. And no, you were not allowed to be left-handed back then.

For me, there’s something primal and nostalgic about eating with your bare hands. Once you get over the fright of getting your hands dirty (what’s with that, anyway, after all, we touch everything else with our hands) and embrace your inner child, it’s quite exciting and liberating. I always feel more connected with my food when I eat with my hands as I can feel it before I taste it.

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Tips For Making Rice Paper Roll

Making good, tight rice paper rolls can be daunting if you’re new at it but it doesn’t have to be an ordeal. You just need a bit of practice.

  1. Don’t soak the paper for too long. You want the wrapper to be still slightly firm. If it’s soft when you take it out, it will be too soft.
  2. Don’t over fill. The key is to making a nice, tight roll, is to avoid overfilling your wrapper. Use half the quantity of fillings you think you’ll need and start from there.

These Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls are very simple to make. There’s a lot of preparation involved, but minimal cooking. It also makes a great meal prep for lunches. It’s delicious, light, satisfying and perfect for the warmer months such as now (at least in Australia). You can also experiment with other noodles such as soba noodles, use tempe instead of tofu, coriander instead of mint, whatever your creativity takes you. You can even make a sweet version with fruits and yogurt. Check out this tutorial video I made which will hopefully inspire you to start rolling.

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Vietnamese Summer Rice Paper Rolls With Tofu and veggies

Ingredients

Rice Paper Rolls

  • 100g vermicelli (or you could use soba noodles)
  • 1 large cucumber, julienned
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • Baby Cos lettuce, shredded
  • 250g extra firm tofu (I use Simply Better Foods Organic Tofu
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp refined coconut oil
  • Sea salt

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, or lime juice
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp warm water, or more as needed

Directions:

  1. Pat dry tofu block of any excess water with paper towel. Cut into 1 cm strips. Pat dry again. Rub each strips with a pinch of sea salt. Let sit while you prepare the noodles.
  2. Place rice noodles in boiling hot water and cover for about 10 minutes (read instructions on the package). Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan over medium-high heat and then add the marinated tofu. Cook for several minute each side or until tofu is cooked. Set aside.
  4. Prepare the dipping sauce. Mix everything together in a bowl until smooth. Add extra warm water or until you reach desired thinness.
  5. Prepare the rice paper wrappers. Pour hot water into a large bowl or a baking pan. Dip the rice paper wrapper into the water one at a time and immerse for about 15 seconds. You want the wrapper to be still slightly firm (if it’s soft when you take it out, it will be too soft).
  6. Add the fillings. Place a few sticks of veggies on top of the bottom end of the rice paper. Add a small amount of rice noodles, mint and then lay tofu on top. Remember not to overfill the wrapper. If it doesn’t look enough, then it is probably enough. Start with a small amount and increase it as needed, as you roll each one.
  7. Roll them: Pull up the bottom of the roll and roll over the filling. Fold the the sides of the rice paper roll and roll tightly. Place on a serving plate and serve with peanut sauce.

Storage tip: Wrap the rolls individually in plastic wrap and store up to 2-3 days in the fridge.

 

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Baked Beetroot Donuts

Baked Beetroot Donuts

Seriously, who would have thought that beetroot makes delicious donuts? But they do! I was inspired by my friend Jo to create something with beetroot in it and the first thought that leapt in my mind was – beetroot donuts! “Can you pull it off, Keren?” asked my inner voice. Hell, yeah! Challenge accepted.

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Too easy! I can’t believe how well these donuts turned out. Not only are these some of the easiest donuts to make, they’re also some of the quickest. All you need to do is blend the beet with the wet ingredients, and mix in with the dry ingredients, and voila – you have a delicious, incredibly cute pink-coloured batter.

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I wish they retained that pink hue a bit more but they turned a bit brown after baking. However, you can top them with some pink beetroot frosting, using only coconut butter, sugar and a little of beetroot juice. Don’t they look adorable? As you can see, I’m shocking at decorative frosting (as is evident from my squiggly, worm-y  stripes), but the good thing is that the donuts are delicious on their own!

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Honestly, I hope you try this Baked Beetroot Donut recipe!

  • It’s healthy
  • Delicious
  • Dairyfree
  • Eggfree
  • Baked, not fried

And it takes less than 10 minutes to put together, and around 10 more minutes in the oven.

So if you ever have some leftover beetroot and you’re craving some healthy sweets, make these Baked Beetroot Donuts. You won’t regret it.

Baked Beetroot Donuts (Vegan)

Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 12 mini donuts
Author Keren

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain flour or gluten free flour for 
gluten-free option
  • 3 tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 100 g baby beetroot peeled and cooked, I use vacuumed beets from LoveBeets but you could also use canned beets.
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup soy milk room temperature
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. chia seed mixed with 3 tbsp water let sit for 5 min
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  2. Add all wet ingredients into a blender and blend until well combined.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients with a whisk to mix thoroughly. Stir in the blended wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. Scoop 1 tbsp onto mini donut pan. Smooth the surface with the back of the spoon. Make sure to fill the pan 1/2 full or you will have mushroom-shaped donuts instead.
  5. Bake for 10-12 min until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then remove the donuts from the pan.

Recipe Notes

Variation : add 1/3 cup of desiccated coconut and 2 tablespoons of soymilk
These donuts freeze well so you can make a double batch and freeze them, if you can wait that long. They last about a month in the freezer.
Frost with pink beetroot frosting. Mix 2 tablespoons of coconut butter, 1 tablespoon of caster sugar or your favourite sweetener and a few drops of beetroot juice to get your desired pink hue

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Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and/or share a picture on Instagram and tag me in the picture.

 

Keren x

Smooth Chocolate Festival

Smooth Chocolate Festival – Sydney

What do you get when you have lots and lots of chocolate in the one place? Lots and lots of people. The Smooth Chocolate Festival saw foodies, families and chocoholics alike swarming the Rocks and Circular Quay areas for some chocolatey deliciousness. I couldn’t believe the amount of people at this festival – it seemed to be in the tens of thousands. It’s incredible how far the humble cacao bean has come since its discovery four thousand years ago (note: The True History of Chocolate is a great book if you want a detailed examination on the history of chocolate from it’s earliest pre-Columbian roots to modern times).
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We just love our chocolate.

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It was my first time at the Smooth Chocolate Festival. The festival was first hosted last year and according to a friend, this year’s edition was actually bigger and better – I don’t know how much better it was this time around, but it certainly was bigger than what I had in mind.

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To be honest, I didn’t have huge expectations of the event, or for any mainstream food event for that matter. For those living a plant-based lifestyle, it’s often hard to find vegan-friendly foods in these sorts of events. But, on this occasion, I was able to try quite a lot of foods and chocolate at this festival so I was fairly happy.

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It was a lovely day in Sydney, the weather was definitely on our side (I think God is partial to chocolate, too) and I thoroughly enjoyed the different arrays of food businesses at this event. The event was spread out over eight different locations: First Fleet Park, Circular Quay Way, Tallawolladah Lawn (the lawn in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art), Chocolatier’s Quarters in Cargo Hall of the Overseas Passenger Terminal, Campbell’s Cove, Atherden Street, Argyle Street, and Playfair Street.

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I started my festival escapade strolling along Argyle Street, sampling a number of 80 Raw 20 Paleo granolas, and treating myself to a huge smoothie, a.k.a. ‘The Hulk’ from The Smoothie Co  before venturing down to Circular Quay.

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There were over 90 individual stalls so there was no way you could physically check out all of them. There also was a queue at some of the stalls, especially the The Lindt Lounge and the Chocolatier’s Quarters. I didn’t go to the Lindt Lounge but I did go to the Chocolatier’s Quarters, and it was my favourite section of the whole event. I was mind-blown by how many delicious, high quality, vegan friendly chocolates there were.

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There were Little Zebra Chocolates offering sugar-free chocolate made with Xylitol (all their dark chocolates are vegan); Girl Made Chocolate which gives Pana Chocolate a run for their money in the raw, vegan, organic chocolate bar space (their chili chocolate is amazing); Cacaoette (simply amazing artisanal organic chocolates, also with plenty of vegan options); and Chocolate Tea (a revolutionary tea made of cacao bean shells which taste like you’re drinking chocolate), and many more noteworthy stalls.

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There also were some incredible chocolate arts on display: pastry chef Dean Gibson created a pumpkin head scare-crow and an echidna using chocolate, and artist James Patrick created a painting using Lindt chocolate balls and wrappers (check out James’ behind the scene clip in his YouTube channel).

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On the side, there also were plenty of what I would call ‘supporting’ stalls, because one cannot not live on chocolate alone (okay, perhaps one could, but why would one need to?) There were savoury food stalls such as Fratelli Fresh, Gourmet Gozleme and Thaiinabox, and beers and ciders galore (Bilpin Cider Co. Garden Bar deserves a special mention with the coolest garden bar setting).

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Overall it was a thoroughly mindblowing event, both in its very large scale and many different features and attractions. There was something for everyone, even for the most discerning chocolate connoisseur, a health conscious foodie, or in my case, a vegan with an alarmingly sweet tooth.

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”― Charles M. Schulz

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P.S. This is is my Day 1 and 2 of the #300wordsaday challenge which I’m doing throughout the month of October with Sydney Passion Bloggers. We’re essentially a community group for bloggers who resides in Sydney (though you don’t have to live in Sydney to join). Me and a few other bloggers re doing this challenge to cultivate daily writing habit. It’s challenging (especially in weekends), but I’m enjoying it so far. Check our our group Sydney Passion Bloggers on Facebook to find out more about what we do and this particular challenge.