Easter baking with Livia’s Kitchen

I had a rather fun day in London on Monday. In the afternoon I was driven around London while I got a sneaky look at the first episode of Big Little Lies, (read about it here), and in the morning I whipped up some Easter treats with the very lovely Olivia Wollenberg, founder of Livia’s Kitchen.

If there was ever a day when I felt incredibly lucky to make my living from blogging, then Monday was that day. (Also, having a whole box full of treats to share made me very popular with the film crew in the afternoon.)

Olivia has recently moved Livia’s Kitchen into a new kitchen office space near Camden. It’s Instagram heaven – lots of light streaming through big windows, white walls and cute kitchen gadgets. I was slightly nervous when I turned up, as Olivia is pretty successful, and I thought she might be scary, but she was anything but. As she told me the story of how she went from being a neuroscientist at Great Ormond Street to cooking up crumble in her parents’ kitchen, I think I may have fallen a little bit in love with her. She was just so genuine and warm and lovely – I want to buy all of her stuff now, just to make sure her business thrives.

Livia's Kitchen

Olivia’s approach to her business really resonated with me, as it felt so similar to my own. When I started my blog back in 2009, as a marketing tool to help establish myself as a journalist, I had no idea what I was doing. Literally no idea. I went into WHSmiths, wrote down loads of email addresses from magazines, and just emailed editors.

‘Hello!’ I said. ‘I’m a writer! What can I write for you?’

It makes me cringe a little bit thinking about it – I didn’t have any feature ideas or anything, I just assumed they would think something up for me! Sometimes though, I think this innocent but genuine approach can work. I emailed about 100 people and most of them ignored me, but bizarrely a few did reply and offer me work. It just goes to show that sometimes you just have to go for it – be yourself, be enthusiastic, and that can win people round.

That’s exactly what Olivia did with Livia’s Kitchen. She knew she wanted and needed a change, and basically just started creating recipes and knocking on doors, offering people treats, until they agreed to see her, if only to shut her up.

It worked. Her Livia’s Kitchen raw millionaire bites are now in Selfridges, Waitrose, Ocado, Whole Foods, Harvey Nicholls and more, and she has a best-selling cookbook – Livia’s Kitchen: Naturally Sweet and Indulgent TreatsOlivia is testament to the fact that if you are passionate about something, you can make it happen.

So anyway, we got together to make some treats, to show how easy it is to switch out stuff like butter and refined sugar for natural alternatives and still create something yummy. We made two recipes that would be perfect for Easter – brown rice krispy cakes with salted caramel eggs and lemon scones with lemon cashew butter and raspberry chia jam.

Livia's Kitchen

Belle especially loved the krispy cakes and we’ve bought ingredients to recreate them at home already. My favourites were the scones as I LOVE stuff made with ground almonds. I don’t know what it is exactly, but there is something about cakes and biscuits made with ground almonds that just does it for me.

I’ve included the recipes below – do have a go at them and let me know what you think!

Brown Rice Krispy Cakes with Salted Caramel Eggs

diary free raw chocolate krispy cakes Livia's kitchen

Ingredients:

Cakes

  • ½ cup (60g) cacao butter
  • 2 tablespoons (60g) nut butter – Olivia likes cashew but you can use any or swap for coconut butter to make the recipe nut free
  • 4 tablespoons (45g) cacao powder
  • ¼ cup (40g) coconut sugar
  • 50g brown rice puffs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla powder
  • ¼ cup (40ml) maple syrup
  • Optional: 1/3 cup (30g) flaked almonds or 2 tablespoons cacao nibs for crunch

Eggs

  • 7 dates
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ tablespoon coconut oil
  • generous pinch salt
  • ½ cup (50g) ground almonds or more for a firmer egg

diary free raw chocolate krispy cakes Livia's kitchen

Method:

  1. Start by lining a cupcake tray with cases. Next, add the dates, salt and coconut oil for the eggs to a food processor and blending until you have a smooth caramel.
  2. Next, add the ground almonds and blend until combined.
  3. Remove the mix from the food processor and roll into small egg shapes, repeating until you have used up all of the eggs. (I was ace at this bit.)
  4. Set the finished eggs aside and add the cacao butter to a bain marie or pan over a low heat. (Note – the cacao butter looks and smells amazing, but don’t be tempted to eat it. It’s gross.)
  5. Once the cacao butter has melted, add the nut butter, coconut sugar, vanilla and maple. Stir until you have a thick glossy mix.
  6. Add in the rice puffs and almonds if using and mix until all the puffs are coated.
  7. Spoon into your tray, top with eggs and place into the freezer for an hour to set.

Lemon Scones with Lemon Cashew Butter & Raspberry Chia Jam 

Livia's Kitchen dairy free lemon scones

Ingredients:

Scones

  • 340g ground almonds (4 cups)
  • 140g buckwheat flour (1 cup)
  • zest 3 lemons and juice 1
  • 6 flax eggs (6 tablespoons flax + 18 tablespoons water)
  • 16 tablespoons (170ml) maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • ½ cup (65g) raisins

Cashew butter

  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter
  • zest 1 ½ lemons
  • juice 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • ½ tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

Jam

  • 200g raspberries
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • zest 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds

Livia's Kitchen dairy free lemon scones

Method:

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 180 degrees celsius and lining a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Next, make the flax eggs and set aside to firm up.
  3. Add all of the other scone ingredients to a bowl and mix well.
  4. Add in the flax eggs and mix until well combined.
  5. Roll into scone shaped balls (they don’t rise so don’t flatten them) and place onto the lined tray.
  6. Place these into the oven to bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Whilst they bake, add the jam ingredients to a pan on a medium heat.
  8. Leave the jam to bubble away, stirring occasionally – you want a thick chia jam with the raspberries broken down.
  9. Whilst that cooks, add all of the cashew butter ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Don’t worry if it starts to look like it’s curdling, just keep mixing!
  10. Once the scones are done, leave to cool slightly and then cut in half, topping with jam and nut butter!

Thank you so much to Olivia for inviting me into her kitchen! If you want to find out more about Livia’s Kitchen and Olivia’s journey, it’s worth watching this video from the end of last year.

(Plus near the end there is an adorable baby in a hair net.)

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2 Comments

  1. 11 March, 2017 / 10:50 pm

    I LOVE Livia’s kitchen recipes! How lovely to read about both your early writing story and Olivia’s early days starting out. I know she has been a big hit in the instagramming and health blogger world (I used to follow her blog and social media closely in my previous job) so it is great to see more awareness of eating in a healthier way across parenting blogs too. Sounds like you had an amazing day! xxx
    Rebecca Beesley recently posted…A mother’s uniformMy Profile

  2. Bee
    Twitter:
    12 March, 2017 / 6:06 pm

    Cute! Those scones look incredible. Nom nom nom.

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