When thinking about Seb’s 2nd birthday party this weekend you can’t help but think back to birthday parties you celebrated when you were younger. As my birthday falls at the beginning of July it often meant that my birthday party coincided with the end of term and of course the start of the much anticipated summer holidays.
I was lucky enough to grow up in a beautiful house in Northaw that had the most awesome garden. Loads of space to run around and more importantly, space to play a proper game of rounders – my favourite sport at school. Most of my birthdays revolved around games of rounders in the garden, parties in the sunshine and amazing birthday cakes courtesy of my Mum.
A very early memory I have is of dressing up as Rainbow Bright, my obsession as a young girl and my Nanny had made me THE most amazing rainbow bright outfit to wear and Mum had surpassed herself with a fabulous Rainbow Bright birthday cake. Now I’m absolutely positive there is photo evidence of this Rainbow Bright outfit which unfortunately didn’t survive very long as our dog Barnaby also took a shining to it and decided to have it for afternoon tea.
Staples of birthday parties in those days were party ring biscuits, finger sandwiches, iced gems, cupcakes and rice crispy cakes. I remember making rice crispy cakes with plenty of melted dairy milk, lashings of rice crispies dolloped into cup cake cases and left to set in the fridge whilst I licked the chocolate off the spoon.
I wanted to take a stab at making those rice crispy cakes but using slightly less sugar fuelled ingredients.
Quinoa puffs have been popping up on my feed on instagram more and more frequently either used as part of a smoothie bowl for breakfast or as an ingredient in ‘raw’ chocolate bars. Flicking through ‘Deliciously Ella’s’ cookbook I spotted she had made quinoa and cocoa crispy treats and they looked super simple to conjure up on a Sunday afternoon.
I used her recipe as the basis of my mini quinoa chocolate puffs but used a lot less raw cocoa as I think it is so rich anyway you can get away with using less, plus I wanted Seb to enjoy them and I thought it might be a bit too bitter for him. I also made the addition of adding a few different toppings, which you can sub for other nuts or just leave them plain.
These are great bite size snacks that can be eaten straight from the freezer as a little treat after dinner, but without the sugar rush of rice crispy cakes. I don’t think you get quite the same ‘crunch’ of a rice crispy cake but actually that made them easier for Seb to munch through and it’s not something I missed. The pure chocolate taste of raw cocoa is so delicious and I liked the element of the different nut toppings to add another flavor.
Seb unsurprisingly always went for the ones topped with the rainbow of sprinkles… I think Rainbow Bright would have approved.
Mini quinoa chocolate puffs
Makes approx 24 (mini cupcake size)
70g quinoa puffs
5 tbsp raw cocoa powder
5 tbsp coconut oil
4 tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar if you prefer
2 tbsp smooth peanut butter (or sub for another nut butter)
Toppings of your choice, I used chopped pistachios, chopped hazelnuts and rainbow sprinkles.
Place your coconut oil in a bowl over a saucepan filled with water that is simmering.
Once melted add your cocoa powder, maple syrup and peanut butter and mix well to combine.
Once it’s combined, take off the heat and add your quinoa puffs and mix thoroughly so that your quinoa puffs are covered thoroughly with the chocolate mixture.
Spoon the quinoa puffs into your cup cases and sprinkle on your toppings before placing in the freezer to harden.
These will last in the freezer in an airtight container for about a month.