Friday 29 August 2014

Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel Cupcakes

I am not embarrassed to admit I am new to the whole 'salty and sweet' thang. I never understood those people. Salty is great and sweet is great...make up your mind!

But then I tried Chicago style popcorn which is both cheese AND caramel. WHOA. No idea why the combination works but it does...

This had me questioning my whole paradigm. What else was I wrong about? Is it possible? Salty and


It's great! And Salted Caramel is a NO BRAINER. I have been wanting to do something salted caramel for a long time. So for the cupcake we have a dark fudge cupcake with my Caramel Cream Frosting drizzled with caramel sauce and fleur de sel (French Sea Salt).  The frosting is the most smooth and creamy frosting I have ever made. It's such a lovely flavour to pair with the richness of the chocolate!

Et Voila.

Magnifique !

These could totally work as a Starbucks themed cupcake too. Just stick a little green straw in there and boom! Cupcake Frappucino!

I also made these for Eid -- yes, It was a treat filled weekend! And they are such a beautifully presented little treat. I decorated them with moons and stars made out of white chocolate. Those were admittedly  kind of ugly but that's okay because they were DELICIOUS!

Disclaimer: Do you see that weirdness underneath my beautiful frosting? The first batch I made....I used light cream cheese and too much caramel and it seeped EVERYWHERE. It made a huge mess and wrecked my cupcakes. But I didn't want to throw them out so I scraped it off and went to the grocery store to buy all new ingredients for another batch.

Huge pain? Yes. But worth it for this (And yes this one has the messy frosting underneath, too! Grrrrr) :

So grab a box of chocolate cake mix or your favourite chocolate cupcake recipe, cheat with store-bought caramel or a home made version and let's make frosting!

Monday 25 August 2014

Guilt-Free Crispy Chocolate Caramel Bars

Sometimes recipes don't work out as I had planned. Case and point: healthy chocolate caramel crispy bars.

They looked beautiful. In theory they would be great... and I suppose when I think about it they really were not bad at all. In fact, everyone loved them...

 See? They were really quite pretty.

But they just weren't what I was going for.. I used quinoa crispies instead of rice and they got soggy and the bar itself was not crispy but kind of dough-y.

I brought them to my grandmothers house and everyone loved them!

But I was not satisfied. I WANTED CRISPY BARS DANGIT.

I complained for hours and decided to try again.


Crispy chocolate bars with a layer of decadent RAW vegan caramel with my favourite topping in the world: chocolate. That raw vegan caramel is on POINT. I have seen it floating around different blogs and raw vegan recipes so it is by NO means my own idea. But as usual I tweaked it to suit my needs and I feel like using the nut butter and melted coconut oil helped it mix a little bit better!

Crispy. Crunchy. Sweet. Delicious. A perfect combination of rice crispy treats, granola bars and a chocolate caramel candy bar. Who would say no to that?!

If at first you don't succeed? Cry, complain and behave restlessly until you get the courage to try again! It will be okay, I promise.

Without further ado, I present to you my Guilt-Free Crispy Chocolate Caramel Bars.

Friday 22 August 2014

Chocolate Cookie Dough Cake with Vegan Sugar Free Marshmallow Frosting

It's my birthday and I can cry if I want to. Make a cake if I want to. Eat it if I want toooo!

Also it WAS birthday week -- so don't forget to check out my no-bake birthday cake bars and birthday cake donuts, too!

There was a crisis for many people in my life on my birthday this year. What do we make you?! What do we do?! We can make you something but will you like it!? Will you eat it?!

Rest assured family and loved ones, I got you.

I have been dreaming of the wildest protein cake this world has ever known for quite some time now. Drafting up ideas and really thinking about what it is that I would want in my birthday cake.

Chocolate. Cookie Dough...Marshmallow? Definitely marshmallow....oh and more chocolate.

Cue the Chocolate Cookie Dough Cake with Healthy Vegan Marshmallow Frosting:

Yep. That's the one! Admittedly it did not come together as well as I had hoped.. It's been a not so fun few weeks over here at the Protein Kitchen. Very tired baker means batches of cookies in the garbage, lopsided cakes and many, many MANY tears.

I always cry on my birthday. Every year! Never fails. But it's okay because this year, for the first time in a loooooong time...I will have my cake and eat it, too.

And can you blame me? A dark chocolate cake (that almost looks red from the red cocoa I used!) layered with three beautifully thick layers of whipped PROTEIN cookie dough frosting topped with a PROTEIN VEGAN MARSHMALLOW FROSTING. And my healthy ganache, naturally.

Do you see the little cake batter pieces? Those are my healthy Birthday Cake Protein Bars!

So even though I cried...this cake is kind of awesome. And the vegan marshmallow cream was pretty cool! It's not bright white like the normal stuff but it is really sweet and is very natural! I was shocked! I also used vegan marshmallows on the top! I found both these items at my local health food store and I cannot wait to buy them again! The only thing I will say about the ricemellow creme is that it is not as stable as normal marshmallow fluff -- but that didn't really bother me and was more of a problem because I was beating them at high speeds. So otherwise it should not be a problem! Be nice to your fluff!

This is a protein dream come true. So much fluffy, dense amazing beautiful things going on! If you really want to avoid all the sugar then you can get rid of the candies on top. But like I said....It was my birthday cake so I had to pull out all of the stops!

You want to know how it's made right? Well grab a cup of joe and have a seat because this is protein MADNESS!

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Guilt Free Birthday Cake Bars


Which means every day this week is my birthday, right? Correct. Especially now that I am old and nobody really remembers my birthday sometimes including but not limited to...myself.

I remember being young and HATING having a late-August birthday. Everyone was always away and people could never make it to my birthdays.

But now that I have all these fun baking ideas....people will want to celebrate with me -- can buy friends! With these:

Soft, pillowy cakey bars that are magically no-bake and super easy to make. Oh and good for you. Except the sprinkles...BUT IT'S MY BIRTHDAY AND I WILL CRY AND EAT SPRINKLES IF I WANT TO.

Speaking of crying do you cry on your birthday? I always do. Sometimes for the silliest reasons like someone forgetting or having to work or remembering I am now at that age where no one really buys you presents anymore so I buy myself presents and bake myself things and eat them in the fetal position an--- don't do that?...


Did that distract you? I sure hope so!

If there was ever a time to give yourself a little leeway then I would say your birthday is such an occasion! I am not super strict on myself (uh hello -- have you seen my blog?) but of course if you want to omit any ingredients you can!

I won't. I will put the sprinkles on all the things.

Because life is too short to fuss about the little things. And look how small sprinkles are. They are the littlest of things, aren't they?

So don't be a Debbie Downer (which Debbie do you think inspired this phrase? All the Debbies I know are happy and have snack cakes) and enjoy a little birthday fun with ME. Because I sure could use the company and you guys are the best company a gal could ask for!

Plus it's no-bake. Come on. No reasons not to make these!

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Baked Birthday Cake Donuts

Happy birthday to meeee. Happy birthday to meeee
Today is not my birthdayyyy.....
But it is my birthday WEEK!

So it's my birthday this week. And that means BIRTHDAY STUFF! Such as, including...but not limited to....

Birthday. Cake. Donuts.

Uhhhh....These are a little bit ridiculous. These do not even have to be for a birthday because, pfft, who needs birthdays to justify birthday cake flavoured things?

It's such a beloved flavour! Tim Hortons gave away Birthday Cake flavoured donuts on their birthday this year. My mom's favourite ice cream flavour is birthday cake ice cream (however we soon realized she does not like every brand and actually only one brand that we can never find....) and all of these things are reason enough for these donuts.

Oh and like an actual birthday...or whatever.

I also made these for a friend who was drooling over these donuts since I posted them a while back.  Before making them I texted him to see if I could make them BIRTHDAY CAKE flavoured. He agreed, naturally.

These are the softest most airy and wonderful donuts in the world! You will need a donut pan for this (including a cute heart shaped one I bought at Marshall's!) so that you can bake them -- but you can find them for a reasonable price and I definitely got my monies worth!

If you want to check out my other donut recipes (even protein donuts!) then please check out my recipe index to the right! They are all in there!

I really love these little beauties and I promise, you will too!

Let's get the recipe!

Friday 15 August 2014

Cookie Dough Cheesecake Protein Bars

I have been wanting to do something cookie dough and healthy for a long time. As I am sure you can imagine the two words are not often put together unless to say 'cookie dough is NOT healthy'.

But those people have not met me and I am a force to be reckoned with. I will play and tamper and cry and eat and repeat until I am happy.

Suffice it to say, I am wearing a big goofy grin. Cookie dough...cheesecake...protein...bars? Uhhhh WHAT.

These bars are the perfect balance of textures and flavours: a soft cookie dough bar with chocolate chips topped with a creamy layer of cream cheese perfection. And of course...chocolate. DUH.

These were a huge HIT. Understandably so. They hold up perfectly in your hands so you can walk around and talk to people. For example you could say "Hey, guess what I got?" then they would say "You are eating an unhealthy decadent and delicious bar of heavenly goodness" and you would say "HA, FOOLED YA" and run away.

Or you could sit and hold it in your hands and tell it you love it.

I love you cookie dough bar. I really, really dough! *cookie dough joke-- ba dum CHA*

In all seriousness this is every bit as amazing as you'd imagine only better because it's good for you and your soul and thus your life goals.

Chewy cookie dough with cheesecake and chocolate -- here we come!

Monday 11 August 2014

Gluten Free Lemon & Blueberry Protein Scones (With a Protein-Less Version!)

I have a friend from work who jokes that my elaborate baking experiments make me something akin to a mad scientist.

Usually, I disagree with him. Today, however. Is just not one of those days.

Every scone recipe you find will include three crucial ingredients: butter, sugar and heavy cream. This is the backbone of the baked good, after all. The cold butter worked into the dough gives the pockets of air, crumbly texture and all around amazingness that is a scone.

Until now, that is.

Over dinner I told my mom I had a day dream about a scone that was healthy and ah, to heck with it, I think I will give it a try....


This scone is really changing my whole perspective on life. It is sweet, hearty, crumbly with a warmth from the cinnamon that warms my soul. But then the lemon and blueberry and honey is so freshing and lively. Can you see that beautiful crumbly baked goodness?!

I have not had scones in a while since, well you know, gluten. But these? These scones??? They make the years of denial and torture worth it. I love you protein scone, I LOVE YOU SO FREAKING MUCH I COULD CRY AND MAYBE I WILL AND PRETEND I HAD SOMETHING IN MY EYE.

My brothers darling darling GF, 'M' we shall call her shared some of her fresh picked blueberries with us and that is really what allowed all this to happen. And the blueberries were AMAZING. Thank you M! We are so grateful and so is my belly. Check out how beautiful these bloobs are!

 Hey...don't look at my bloobs!

Scones are a delicate process. And for this version there is an element of patience needed unless you have made scones before...If you have then don't even worry sister friend just keep on keeping on! I took pictures along the way so you won't be lost!

Thursday 7 August 2014

Rainbow Magic Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

I come from a really tight-knit family. Being from the Middle East and a family person is more or less synonymous though. Having been an introvert for most of my life (three year old me was a blasty-blast, I hear!) I rely a lot on my family. And I have had a lot to ask them, believe you me. A lot.

Speaking of family -- I wanted to call these Unicorn Poop Cupcakes....but, I digress. Mother said it was a bad idea and she is probably right!

OH and before I go on, did you know I was a featured blogger over at ? Stay tuned for more fun stuff but for now you can go on over and be a part of the foodie community and find out about my top picks for restaurants and other foodie things!

Anyways, the summer holds lots of family birthdays and one of my biggest supporters will always be my grandma. She prays for me and holds my head up and always reminds me to look on the bright side of things. Why? Because she knows better than to dwell on what doesn't matter. So as a small thank you -- how could I not give to her a small gift from my kitchen? She spends hours and hours in hers to feed us all, it's the least I could do!

The flavours are simple. Vanilla cupcakes and vanilla buttercream frosting. I will share both the frosting recipe and the technique to get a rainbow!

Even though they all look different -- I kind of like it! And my grandma LOVED them. They are so bright and fun. Just what we all needed. 

You could do these for a unicorn or rainbow themed birthday party too! Use whatever colours and decorations you choose! I made the chocolate cupcake toppers last minute by piping chocolate designs onto parchment paper!

And they turned out...SO FUN! I couldn't stop looking at them! So let's discuss the recipe and technique!

Tuesday 5 August 2014

Protein Nanaimo Bars

I remember the first time I had a Nanaimo Bar. It was the mint know, with the green filling? It looked like a Reptar Bar in real life, what beats that when you are 9?

I don't think any other dessert even came close to mint Nanaimo bars. It was such a special treat that I only got during very rare occasions and I always dreamt of those bars in the long moments between their appearances.

If you have never had a Nanaimo bar (you are missing out...but it's okay because I got your back!) it's a layered bar dessert with a chocolate coconut fudgey brownie type base with a middle layer of a thick custard and topped with chocolate ganache. It's absolutely unreal and comes in many variations but I chose to stick to the traditional cream middle for my first attempt!

So, well these may not be mint -- but don't worry...I am working on it! And I must say...these are pretty unreal.

So... can you forgive me?

Not even if I give you...a NANAIMO {PROTEIN} BAR?!?!??!

All is forgiven? Oh thank goodness!

These are a healthy, protein-ified version of the holiday classic -- which did you know was named after the place it was founded in Nanaimo, British Columbia?

It's true.

All the best things are Canadian, aren't they? Nanaimo bars, poutine, maple syrup --the beaver? ALL THE BEST THINGS.

These bars are a sinfully moist bar topped with a vanilla cream in the middle and finally covered in a dark chocolate ganache. And they have lots of healthy delicious things in them! These. Are. AMAZING.

It's not rational or nice to keep these from you, it's just not. So please, read the recipe and get to making some CANADA, CANADA!

Friday 1 August 2014

Chocolate 'Peanut Butter Cup' Protein Cake

I think I have mentioned before that family is very important to me. And I show my love for others through food. It's what I do! Shortly after my grandmas birthday was my little brother's birthday. Well little to ME. The brosef. The bromigo. The brodacini alfredo. THE LIL BRO!

Out of all my siblings, the oldest of my younger brothers is the most like myself. We share a painfully dry and sarcastic sense of humour leading to very long, strange and funny (to us) conversations at the kitchen table long after everyone else has left or just randomly for no reason. He is part of a VERY cool band (check them out) and is overall one of the kindest most gentle souls I know.

SO I had to make him a peanut butter and chocolate treat -- there was no option. His favourite treat would become personified in a healthier giant baked good....I was determined. I already made the my grandmaa cupcakes which were AMAZING (post coming soon!)...but also not so healthy so I wanted to make something a littttleee bit lighter. It took all night but...I DID IT!

Out of all my protein cakes -- this one has taken the most thought and dedication. And oh sweet Lord does it show in the taste. The moistest protein cake I have ever ever EVER made. And that healthy peanut butter frosting? WOW. It needs to stop because I can't handle it.

It's the most beautiful protein cake, too. With beautiful dripping (healthified) ganache and little puffs of whipped cream. GORGEOUS.

Really gorgeous. The entire family LOVED LOVED LOVED this cake. It's so soft and velvety I could cry. I really could. The flavours all blend together so well. It's so heavenly.

Really health conscious? Leave off the candies. But your little brother only turns 21 once so -- there was no way I was not including some ACTUAL peanut butter cups on top. Girls gotta do what she gotta do.

The recipe you say? But, of course!