Those of you who’ve stayed recently will have noticed a much slimmer offering at The Ashton.
Yes the beds are still super kings, the buffet still groans under the weight of breakfast goodies & the cake still gets cut with a generous hand. However your landlady is a shadow of his former self. I’ve been on a Paleo Diet in an effort to shed a bit of wine belly.
For those who don’t know The Paleo Diet or Caveman’s diet basically means eating a diet similar to our non-farming Paleolithic ancestors. Lots of lean meat, vegetables, nuts and some fruit. All good, all the things I like, but something’s missing, those numbskulls seem to have forgotten to bake anything.
Unfortunately it seems that cake wasn’t a staple back in the Paleolithic day. So based on a loose interpretation of Paleo rules here’s a little slice of something to sweeten a grey winter afternoon.
Shopping list: I strongly recommend a visit to Aldi. You won’t find everything there but you’ll save a ton on cashews, almonds, coconut & dried fruit. Any large supermarket should have coconut oil. It’ll be in a jar (it’s actually solid & white not liquid) probably with olive & the more exotic oils.
300g nuts (I use a mixture of whole almonds, cashews & pistachios)
100g dried fruit (experiment but cherries, cranberries & flame raisins all work well)
1 large tbsp coconut oil
50g desiccated, unsweetened coconut
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Start by roughly chopping your nuts. Spread over a baking tray & toast in a low oven (120 degrees or gas mark 2.) 10 minutes should do but check after 5 & give the tray a shake so the edges don’t burn. Leave to cool.
While your nuts are chilling put the honey, butter, coconut oil & cocoa into a saucepan & heat gently to melt together. You mustn’t let this boil. Once combined leave to cool.
Take a shallow rectangular baking tray (approx 20 x 30cm) & line with greaseproof paper.
Add the nuts to your melted mixture, then fold in the dried fruit & coconut. Mix well to combine before spooning out into the baking tray. Press well down to flatten the mixture into a nice solid layer. Once done place the tray into the freezer & let it set for at least an hour.
Once chilled take the lovely, solid, chocolatey slab out of the tray. Using a sharp knife cut into pieces; squares, rectangles whatever you fancy. Just don’t make them too big as it’s incredibly rich. The bars should be kept chilled either in the fridge or freezer until needed. 10 minutes before you want a sweet treat take a bar out & allow it to warm slightly to get the full flavour hit of cocoa, nuts, fruit & honey.