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  • Writer's pictureAli


I’ve always loved indulging.

You know, scoffing gooey chocolate brownies or a bag of old fashioned seaside chips.

Ella and me!

So when I got coeliac disease, I had a bit of a change of heart. I didn’t altogether stop eating what my grandmother would have called ‘the good stuff’, but I did radically alter my diet (and no, I don’t just mean to gluten-free).

Having been so ill and now wonderfully better, I felt I’d been given a peek into what it would be like to be much older and suffering with a problem I could have avoided (like heart disease or obesity). So I instinctively chose a much healthier diet.

I was therefore intrigued when I heard about Deliciously Ella. She’d got horribly ill and one of her ways of getting better was to make a huge change in her diet, too.

So when she came to Bristol earlier this month, I seized the opportunity to buy her latest book and get it signed. And I was determined it wouldn’t be one of those recipe books that just sits on the shelf gathering dust so I went straight out and bought the ingredients for her Chocolate Orange Tart.

It’s at this point most people would probably jack it all in. Why? Well, the ingredients aren’t exactly cheap and it was only thanks to a gift voucher I’d been given for Christmas that I managed to purchase a few items (like cacao powder) without having to remortgage my house.

The ingredients you’ll need

Mercifully, there were some things I could readily find in my local supermarket (like honey & oranges). I substituted date syrup for agave syrup (which I already had in the cupboard) but stayed true to everything else.

There was only one other thing I found an absolute must: a blender that can crush ice. I didn’t actually have to crush ice for the recipe, but I got the feeling if I hadn’t had a killer Magimix then I’d never have got past the first stage (grinding almonds to a powder).

I was a bit sceptical about the base of the tart (basically, dates & nuts). I know Coeliacs can’t have traditional digestive biscuits but I’ve been using gluten-free versions until now and the results have been pretty good.

But this was all about health. So in went the coconut oil.

The topping looked more promising. Lots of gooey chocolateyness (if that’s not a word then it should be) made from the aforementioned cacao powder, avocados (go with it) and fresh oranges.

The avocados I’d heard about long ago in a documentary with Sadie Frost where she reckoned they made a really creamy chocolate dessert. (Not by themselves, of course, but they had a major part.) I’d been meaning to try them ever since (it just took me around fifteen years, that’s all).

The mixture smelled sooooo good when I poured it on top of the base. You know, the sort of smell where you immediately want to lick the bowl, and in this recipe even Edwina Currie couldn’t complain (no trace of raw egg and all that).

Even better than most puddings, this one took only half an hour to chill and then it was all ready for eating.

The finished pudding – yum!

The Verdict

The taste was very, very good. Could I have got away with pretending it wasn’t plant-based? I don’t think so. The base was a bit of a giveaway (even I can spot a medjool date smothered in cacao powder) but the middle by itself was truly impressive. If I made it again in little pots (rather than one big cake) and only used the topping, I think it would prove a strong contender for a dark chocolate mousse. You know, the ones with eggs in and masses of cream.

So my first go at a Deliciously Ella recipe went very well and I’m sure it won’t be long before I’ve worked my way through many more.

Have you tried any recipes by Deliciously Ella? What did you think? Do share your thoughts below!

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