food

5 winter baking ideas with no-sugar-added chocolate.

Well Naturally
Thanks to our brand partner, Well Naturally

Comfy, cozy, delicious.   

That’s my winter mantra. 

It’s getting pretty chilly and all I want to do is snuggle up on the couch in an oversized jumper, drink hot chocolate and eat cookies. 

I’ve been dipping my toe pretty enthusiastically into the world of baking recently and especially the world of baking with chocolate, and so I was very excited to get into the kitchen and bake up a storm with the new Well Naturally No Sugar Added Chocolate Baking Chips.

I found them in the health food aisle at Woolworths, in both dark and milk chocolate (YES), and when I checked the back of the pack, I saw that they’re naturally sweetened with Stevia. 

*Adds to cart*

Now when I bake, I demand simplicity. There will NOT be overly complicated ideas in the following list because that is just not my style and I promise I also won’t make you read my life story before you get to the good stuff (does anyone else hate this when reading recipes online? I don’t need to know about your holiday to Sorrento, I just want to make the butter cake Janet).

So put on your apron, we’re baking this winter.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

A CLASSIC. You literally cannot go wrong. I make these once a week because they’re so easy to make, they make my apartment smell heavenly and then I have snacks for work. 

I took my favourite gluten-free cookie recipe, because I have some dietary requirements I have to work with here, and subbed out the regular choc chips for the delicious dark choc chips from Well Naturally! They’re specially designed to keep their shape when you bake them, so I popped some on top to make my cookies extra fancy, as well as plenty throughout the dough so that every mouthful is chocolatey. Delish.

Cookie tip: take them out of the oven while they’re still soft to the touch, they will cool and harden on the tray so this way you’ll get a perfectly soft cookie with a crispy base.

Going in... Image: Supplied. 

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Literal perfection. Image: Supplied. 

Peanut Butter Filled, Chocolate Covered Dates

This is my favourite snack because they taste like a Snickers but with just three ingredients involved and minimal effort. 

Grab some Medjool Dates from the grocery store, cut them in half and take out the pit, fill them with about half a teaspoon of your favourite peanut butter, melt down some of the Well Naturally Baking Choc Chips (I go for the dark choc chips for this one) and then dunk the dates into the chocolate and set in the fridge. Perfect for on the go snacking. 

Tip: Sprinkle some sea salt on top before you pop in the fridge, this way you’ll get that salty-sweet combo. If you’re not a PB fan, you can also use any nut butter or spread filling you like.

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Chocolate Lava Cake

You know when you cut into a lava cake with your spoon and the middle perfectly oozes out onto the plate? 

That. Give me that right now. 

When I think of winter desserts, this one is pretty much top of mind. You want to bake them in individual ramekins until the sides of the cakes are firm, but the centre is soft, and then flip them out onto another plate immediately. 

You don’t want to miss out on that warm and gooey centre.  

Choc Berry Crumble

Crumble = warm and fuzzy. Simple as that. 

I love to make healthy crumbles as a simple post-dinner treat, and when I was thinking of what fruits pair best with chocolate I thought immediately about berries. 

Strawberries and chocolate are an iconic duo. Just toss some fresh (or frozen!) berries in some maple syrup and vanilla and pour them into the bottom of a tray. Next make a crumble topping using oats, some almond meal, shredded coconut, the choc chips, maple syrup and a touch of sea salt and some butter or nut butter, and you should find yourself with a crumbly topping to pop on top of the berries and into the oven. 

Cook until golden brown, and serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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Choc Chip Banana Bread

I've done it. This was my best work. 

I was absolutely thrilled with how this one turned out. I used a simple recipe of buckwheat flour, hazelnut meal, rice malt syrup, some very ripe bananas, eggs, vanilla extract and baking powder and then stirred through so many Well Naturally baking choc chips because you can never have too many. 

I poured the mix into the loaf tin and sprinkled even more chocolate chips on top. I baked my banana bread for about 45 minutes and it turned out to be the golden brown banana bread of my dreams. 

I sliced it up and put half in the freezer for later (just take it out and toast it... unreal) and half for my work snacks for the week. 

Muscles grew just by mixing this bad boy. Image: Supplied. 

LOOK AT THOSE CHOC CHIPS HOLDING THEIR SHAPE. Image: Supplied. 

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The best I've ever made, surely. Image: Supplied. 

BONUS: Hot Chocolate

Look, it’s not baking exactly, but when I was making the choc-covered dates I had some leftover melted chocolate from my Well Naturally stash that I put in the bottom of a mug, mixed in a tiny bit of boiling water and then topped it off with oat milk that I warmed on the stove... heaven. If only I had a marshmallow... it would not have been safe. 

So my little chocolate chip, you’re ready to bake up a storm now. Enjoy your sugar-free winter goodies. I’ll just be here, under a giant blanket, eating cookies. 

Well Naturally
Chocolate lovers rejoice! You can now enjoy great tasting chocolate with no sugar added. Well Naturally® No Sugar Added Chocolate is made with premium ingredients and sweetened naturally with stevia - it makes your healthier choices feel so natural, it’s hardly a choice at all. Available in the health food aisle of Coles, Woolworths and Independent Supermarkets.