Life is just peachy

fullsizeoutput_19f4

Hello friends!

IMG_0062

It’s been a few weeks; life has been busy with little time for baking, ugh! Thankfully, I caught a break and a chance to bake this…

fullsizeoutput_19fe

I love making tarts; they’re so effortlessly pretty! This one is almost a quiche – C and I were laughing about that over brunch (of eggs, kale and tart, obviously). I mean, it’s eggs and cheese in a crust, couldn’t we arguably call that a quiche?! Ha. Never mind that it’s studded with chunks of dark chocolate… no matter. Dark chocolate has antioxidants, which are definitely part of a healthy breakfast.

fullsizeoutput_1a02

fullsizeoutput_19ff

We both LOVED this one – lightly sweet, sturdy wedges that you can pick up and fly around like a Star Destroyer (what?? I’m a nerd) and which make a great breakfast.

fullsizeoutput_19f2

I believe the ricotta tart idea might be Tuscan in origin, which makes quite a bit of sense… no matter its provenance, it’s delicious! I fed some leftovers to the fam and they loved it too, so rave reviews all around.

fullsizeoutput_1a05

Not only that, but it comes together in no time! Which is doubly excellent when your life has gotten inexplicably crazy busy and the only time to bake is early in the morning. Added bonus of early morning baking is that my apartment is still cool, so running the oven doesn’t seem like quite such an offense.

fullsizeoutput_1a04

Happy August! Stone fruit season is in full swing, I highly recommend a market trip with a dessert in mind :)

fullsizeoutput_19fb

fullsizeoutput_19fc

Ricotta Peach Tart on an Almond Coconut Crust

Gluten free, grain free, and refined sugar free. Delicious all around! Very lightly sweet, perfect for breakfast (and also dessert, of course, but I really love it for breakfast & snacks!). Yield: 1 9″ tart. A Wait are Those Cookies Original

For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut,, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil, and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.
Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease your tart pan or pie dish of choice with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

For the ricotta filling:

1 2/3 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
Scant 1/4 cup maple
2 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
4 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped
zest of 2 lemons
2 peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into thin slices

Preheat oven to 400°F

Make the filling:

Combine the ricotta with the eggs and maple. Add the zest and chocolate. Pour the filling into the slightly cooled tart shell. Top with sliced peaches. Bake for about 50-55 minutes or until the ricotta filling is set; the top will be firm and golden brown.

Allow the tart to cool in the pan, then remove the ring and cool completely before refrigerating. Serve cool or at room temperature; store leftovers covered in the fridge.

fullsizeoutput_19f0

fullsizeoutput_19f3

Camp and cherry cobbler

IMG_3816

Hello friends!

fullsizeoutput_199a

Usually I do a camp post when I get back with a bunch of photos – this post will have to do double duty for that and this cherry chocolate cobbler situation! I came back from camp a week ago and face planted into a squillion work projects, so I am just getting caught up on life.

Camp was so, so amazing as always. It never ceases to amaze me how much impact it’s had on my life over the years (this was year 15! omg) – both in regards to my huge camp family, but also how much it’s helped me grow as a person. I LOVE Two Sentinels: it is truly is my home away from home. I had a great session, with 14 great girls and two amazing co-staff.

fullsizeoutput_18d8

fullsizeoutput_18d7

IMG_3815

fullsizeoutput_18de

It was a time of some serious belly laughs, friendship, relaxation, grounding, stargazing, singing, rafter climbing, mental resets and a reaffirmation of what is most important in life: love, friends, time in nature, and a break from technology. I’m having wilderness withdrawals!

fullsizeoutput_1915

fullsizeoutput_18bf

fullsizeoutput_1952

37312689_1463579113788826_1302618664108818432_o

fullsizeoutput_1923

Definitely wishing I was still up among the pines in the high sierra, rather than behind a computer, but I know I’ll be back so I guess I can deal for now ;)

fullsizeoutput_19a1

At the very least, it’s nice to not wear shoes 24/7 – I always bake barefoot, and it felt great to get back into the kitchen for some summer baking.

fullsizeoutput_199f

This cobbler is legit amazing for a summer breakfast – one guess who I ate it with! C and I stepped out for some cool foggy hiking up to Twin Peaks and Glen Canyon (this photo looks like something out of Middle Earth!) and ate it afterwards as part of delicious breakfast spread – usual eggs & kale not pictured but rest assured we ate them anyway.

fullsizeoutput_19aa

fullsizeoutput_19a5

fullsizeoutput_19a8

C and I have a serious obsession with cream biscuits – you’ve seen them featured in a many of my other desserts, but this time I figured I’d go the chocolate route. Despite looking like they’d be deadly chocolate death, they’re actually very lightly chocolate-y, which sets off the natural cherry sweetness perfectly. The cobbler itself is refined sugar free and whole grain! There is very little added sweetener, which we both love. I suggest making it for breakfast on a lazy summer morning!

Happy Summer!

fullsizeoutput_199e

Cherry Cobbler with Chocolate Cream Biscuits

Whole wheat and refined sugar free! The natural sweetness of the cherries is complemented nicely by the chocolate biscuits, which despite their appearance are not overly chocolatey. Great for dessert or breakfast! A Wait are Those Cookies original. Serves 2-6, ish. I used my 2 qt dish that is 8 x 8, but you could also do this in a deep 9″ pie dish, or a larger, shallower pan (ie 9×11 or somesuch – it’s very adaptable).

For the filling:

enough cherries to fill your dish of choice! I used about 1.5 lbs, pitted (I used a combo of Bing & Ranier)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp port (optional)
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
2 tbsp tapioca starch

For the cobbler:

1 cup whole wheat flour minus 2 tbsp
1/2 c cornmeal
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 c chopped dark chocolate chunks

Heat the oven to 375°F. In your dish of choice, toss pitted cherries with maple, lemon zest and juice, port, and tapioca starch.

Mix the dry ingredients for the cobbler topping. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and chopped chocolate together in a large bowl. Add vanilla and pour in the 1 1/2 cups cream. Stir until just combined.

Scoop 2-tablespoon blobs of the cobbler dough onto the fruit. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes. Brush the cobbler dough with the 1 tablespoon cream and sprinkle with coconut sugar. Place the cobbler on a rimmed baking sheet to catch drips, or place aluminum foil beneath it in the oven. Bake until the topping is turning golden brown around the edges (difficult to tell with the chocolate – make sure the centers of the biscuits are firm) and the fruit filling is bubbling, 45 to 55 minutes.

Bellissimo Blood Oranges

fullsizeoutput_144d

What to do when your blood orange bars crack something fierce and turn out a weird, strange color but somehow are still so delicious?

fullsizeoutput_1453

Cover them with more blood oranges and chocolate drizzle!

fullsizeoutput_1443

Shhh. You know nothing.

fullsizeoutput_1449

Seriously though… these bars were delicious but omg the filling turned out the most bizarre color. I can’t explain it…. I am mystified. They also cracked like crazy (are they trying to emulate the fault lines on top of which I very nearly live? I would hope not) – I might have cooled them too fast – outside, at 6am – but… I had to go to work. Desperate times.

fullsizeoutput_1450

BUT, all’s well that ends well, since they’re delicious and I somehow juiced all the blood oranges without getting blood orange splatter all over my kitchen walls. I did get some on myself that I didn’t discover until I got to work, but that’s neither here nor there and no one noticed…

fullsizeoutput_144a

Thank heavens it’s the weekend! This has been a long couple of weeks (month? ugh).

fullsizeoutput_1454

This weekend though – no complaints! It’s been lovely so far, and it’s only Saturday. I took a long, coffee-fueled hike/walk in Golden Gate Park today, which was just perfect as it’s been a long time since I doodled around over there.

fullsizeoutput_145d

fullsizeoutput_145c

fullsizeoutput_146e

fullsizeoutput_1474

Here again we have a dessert-breakfast-breakfast-dessert situation that does duty for whatever time of day in which it finds itself.

fullsizeoutput_1455

We ate it with ice cream for dessert (it was bomb) and then again alongside eggs & caponata for breakfast (yes, it’s blurry – it’s not you!)

fullsizeoutput_1456

However you slice it, these bars are delicious, odd color notwithstanding. Blood orange season is short, so grab them while you can! Thinly sliced, I think they look like stained glass – they are one of my favorites.

fullsizeoutput_1449

Happy Saturday!

fullsizeoutput_1453

Blood Orange Bars on a Chocolate Coconut Crust

Gluten & grain free, refined sugar free, dairy free, pretty much paleo. Tart but sweet – it’s hard to argue with the iconic combination of orange and chocolate. Blood oranges take it up a notch, and are so beautiful! A Wait are Those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ pie dish; serves 2-8.

fullsizeoutput_1437

For the crust:

1.75 c almond flour
1/3 c unsweetened cacao powder
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
3.5 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a 9″, deep pie plate with coconut oil. Alternatively, you could use a tart ring with a removable bottom – I needed to transport mine so opted for just keeping it in a less fussy dish.

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, cacao powder, coconut, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.

Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 17 minutes.

For the filling:

4 eggs
1/4 c pure maple syrup
zest of 3 blood oranges, roughly chopped
1/2 c fresh blood orange juice
pinch of sea salt
4 tbsp coconut flour
2 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping:
1 blood orange, thinly sliced
3 tbsp extra dark chocolate, chopped
1 tsp coconut oil

While the crust is baking, make the filling! In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, maple, orange zest and juice, sea salt, coconut flour (sifted if lumpy) and vanilla until smooth. Pour the filling into the par-baked crust.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. The top should be mostly firm and the filling set, with just a small amount of wiggle (it’ll firm up as it cools). Let cool completely and eat immediately or chill in the fridge for later (I like them cold!). Once cool, top with a thinly sliced blood orange. Combine the dark chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl and microwave on 30 second intervals until melted, stirring between intervals. Drizzle over finished tart.

Serve with vanilla ice cream :) Store any leftovers in the fridge.

fullsizeoutput_1434

An entirely a-peel-ing banana cake

fullsizeoutput_12cd

Hello hello!

I have cake for you today.

fullsizeoutput_12d7

Actually, this is well timed since that holiday of all Hallmark holidays is coming up next Wednesday; since it’s inexplicably tied to chocolate – here you go! This one is dense, dark and exceptionally chocolatey without being overbearing, and the banana flavor comes through nicely so it ends up being a hybrid somewhere between chocolate cake and banana bread. Nothing wrong with that in my book.

fullsizeoutput_12d0

fullsizeoutput_12de

Besides that, somehow I’d forgotten how much I love walnuts and dark chocolate together – and I’m of the opinion that ginger should almost always hang out with chocolate, so that’s a no brainer.

Also – rioting, demanding bananas:

IMG_2367

fullsizeoutput_12cf

This cake was loved by both of us – it’s excellent with ice cream for desserty shenanigans and while a little heavy for a big breakfast slice alongside eggs and kale, little wedges are definitely doable ;) a little chocolate in the morning alongside coffee never comes amiss.

fullsizeoutput_12df

fullsizeoutput_12dc

In other news, my plants are happy to be getting more sunshine these days, though I have to say I’d prefer a bit more winter before we do spring, please.

IMG_2368

IMG_2404

So! Make cake, eat with loved ones, be happy. Especially because it’s gluten free, refined sugar free and high in protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants. It’s really a health food in disguise…

fullsizeoutput_12d1

Dark Chocolate Banana Cake with Olive Oil, Ginger & Walnuts

Gluten free, refined sugar free – dark chocolatey banana cake with hits of ginger and chunky walnuts. Not too sweet but a hefty chocolate dose – the olive oil and sea salt temper the natural banana sweetness for a step up from your typical banana bread. Besides, I forgot how much I loved walnuts and chocolate together! Yield: 1 9″ or 10″ cake depending on pan of choice (see below). Heavily adapted from Food52, here.

1c almond flour
1/2 brown rice flour
1/2 c cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 c olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c maple syrup
1.5 c ripe bananas (from about 3 large bananas), mashed with a fork until smooth
1/4 c plain whole milk Greek yogurt
1.5 tps vanilla extract
1/3 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate
1/2 cup (65g) chopped walnuts
1/4 c chopped crystallized ginger

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Generously butter or grease a 9″ cake pan (or a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, or a 9×5-inch loaf pan) – I used a 9″ metal cake pan and it worked just fine.

In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, brown rice flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil, eggs, maple, mashed banana, yogurt, and vanilla. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Stir in the chocolate, walnuts and ginger again just until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan or skillet.

Bake until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 28 to 35 minutes (start checking at about 22 minutes for doneness – thinner pans will be done faster. If you used a loaf pan, baking time will be more like 60 minutes). Let cool in the pan for about 10 to 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert it onto a cooling rack to cool completely before serving. I like it cold too, straight out of the fridge, but you do you. Also excellent with ice cream, obviously. Keeps well covered in the fridge if you can make it last longer than a day ;)

fullsizeoutput_12d3

Walking in a mint-ery wonderland

IMG_2111

Happy holidays!

fullsizeoutput_10e5

As much as certain elements of this time of year drive me bananas (having to throw elbows in the grocery store to retrieve the last piece of whatever, extra lines everywhere, no parking, where do all these extra people come from?!), I do undeniably love the run-up to the holidays.

Everything looks festive, even traffic light reflections in wet pavement. And of course I love the excuse to have a tiny conifer in my living room.

fullsizeoutput_10d5

Let’s not overlook holiday baking! Heaven forbid.

fullsizeoutput_10ae

Fun fact! This is actually a giant panna cotta tart. It didn’t really occur to me while I was making it – I was just thinking, la la la cream tart la la but then I got curious and did some googling. I had forgotten that cream stabilized with gelatin is technically panna cotta… so, there ya go! Panna cotta tart, if that’s even a thing.

This one is even grain and gluten free! I suppose you could make this with coconut milk to make it dairy free, but I haven’t tried that yet (next time!) – partially because I have a massive weakness for cream.

fullsizeoutput_10e6

Heavy cream reminds me of being a kid and pouring a bit over my cereal – my grandmother used to do this, and after my dad told me that, I always lurked around waiting for leftover cream to appear the fridge. As I recall, my favorite combination was a giant bowl of honey nut cheerios with about 3/4 milk and 1/4 cream.

fullsizeoutput_10e3

Now I’ve leveled up and adult-ed my cream: it gets baked into cream biscuits, set into a panna cotta tart, or poured into my coffee (omg heaven).

fullsizeoutput_10c5

I love this dessert though: it looks like a mini winter wonderland! Walking in a mint-er wonderland? Ha. And it’s delicious. It actually took a minute to grow on me, but then I couldn’t get enough. Minty, chocolatey & slightly tart from the yogurt-cream panna cotta, it’s a perfect holiday dessert when something light is called for. I couldn’t resist the pomegranate, both for flavor and texture, but also for color. They are always so pretty!

fullsizeoutput_10dd

fullsizeoutput_10d9

Happy holidays! Share this with loved ones, since it’s so much better enjoyed in good company :)

fullsizeoutput_10e9

fullsizeoutput_10b2

Mint Cream Tart on a Dark Chocolate Coconut Crust

Grain free, gluten free, refined sugar free! A perfect wintery dessert, especially since it even *looks* festive. You can even make the whole thing the night before, since gelatin-based things like to hang out in the fridge for awhile. Lightly minty, slightly tart from the yogurt, balanced nicely by dark chocolate. Who doesn’t love mint and chocolate?! This is really a giant panna cotta in a crust, if we want to get technical. Mint cream adapted from Martha Stewart, here; the rest is my brainchild. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves… two ;) Kidding! 2-8, realistically.

For the crust:

1.75 c almond flour
1/3 c unsweetened cacao powder
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
3.5 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a 9″, deep pie plate with coconut oil. Alternatively, you could use a tart ring with a removable bottom – I needed to transport mine so opted for just keeping it in a less fussy dish.

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, cacao powder, coconut, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.

Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 17 minutes.

For the filling:

2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup maple sugar*
6 stems peppermint or spearmint, plus more for garnish
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/3 c dark chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin (one envelope)
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup whole milk greek yogurt, plain
pomegranate arils

*I use maple sugar here because it’s lighter in color than coconut or maple syrup, and I wanted to preserve the lightness of the cream filling. But any granulated sweetener would be fine, just keep in mind the filling color may darken.

Make the filling: Bring cream, sugar, mint, and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat, and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

In a double boiler or in the microwave, heat the 1/3c dark chocolate until completely melted. I am lazy and use the microwave method: 30 second intervals, and stir in between until everything is melty. If you’re using a double boiler, stir continuously until the chocolate is melted.

With a pastry brush (or a spoon, totally fine – this is what I used), coat the bottom the crust with an even layer of melted chocolate. Refrigerate (or leave on the counter in your freezing apartment) until chocolate sets, about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small bowl. Let stand until softened. Remove mint from cream mixture, and bring cream mixture to a simmer. Whisk in softened gelatin until it dissolves. Remove from heat, and stir in the yogurt. Pour filling into the prepared crust (if there’s leftover, pour it into a ramekin or two & save for later!) Carefully transfer to the refrigerator. Chill, uncovered, until set, at least 4 hours (or overnight). Garnish with mint stems, pomegranates, and sliced almonds if you’re feeling fancy. Slice and serve!

Chocolate dipped mint leaves are easy too: wash and pat dry nice-looking mint leaves, and dip in melted chocolate. Lay on a parchment lined baking sheet, and freeze until needed.

Keep leftovers covered in the fridge for a day or two.

fullsizeoutput_10df

fullsizeoutput_10dc

Cake with breakfast? Sure, why not.

IMG_1980

Sometimes, you just need cake.

fullsizeoutput_104a

Might I recommend this one?

fullsizeoutput_104b

fullsizeoutput_1049

It’s seasonal without being overbearing (because sometimes you just need a little gastro-break from festive food), perfect for dessert with ice cream or breakfast with eggs, and structurally sound enough that you can pick up wedges and fly them around like a Star Destroyer with appropriate sound effects (not like I do that or anything, ahem. Moving on)

fullsizeoutput_1042

fullsizeoutput_1039

Anyway, I have cake for you today. Not so many words because sometimes life gets in the way, but pictures and cake that I promise is yummy.

fullsizeoutput_1026

fullsizeoutput_1043

I also have a tiny tree, since tis the season and I like to get in a festive mood (plus, who doesn’t like the excuse of having a tree in your living room?)

fullsizeoutput_1008

fullsizeoutput_fff

Make cake. Eat with loved ones! There is nothing better than cake with those who make you smile.

fullsizeoutput_104c

Pumpkin Hazelnut Cake with Dark Chocolate

Gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free. Not too sweet, so works for dessert with ice cream or breakfast alongside eggs. Nutty, chocolatey, and seasonal, without being overbearing. Recipe adapted from Food and Wine, here. Yield: 1 8″ cake, serves 2-6.

fullsizeoutput_1035

1/4 c brown rice flour
heaping 1/4 c oat flour
2 tbsp cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 c hazelnut meal*
1/3 c hazelnuts
3 large eggs
1/4 c maple syrup
1 tbsp maple (or coconut) sugar for sprinkling
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 c extra dark chocolate, chopped

*If you can’t find hazelnut meal, almond meal is an easy substitute. Or, if you have a food processor, you can grind fresh hazelnuts and make your own – use slightly more than 1 c of toasted hazelnuts for 1 c meal, but be careful you don’t let it process too long or you’ll end up with hazelnut butter! Delicious, but not practical in this case…

Preheat the oven to 325° and line the bottom of an 8″ cake pan with parchment paper (you could probably also use a 9″ round pan but keep in mind your cake will be thinner). In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and salt and set aside.

In a small frying pan over medium heat, toast the hazelnuts until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Roughly chop hazelnuts and chocolate into small pieces. Add both to the bowl of dry ingredients.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, maple, coconut oil, pumpkin puree, and vanilla until very smooth. Stir the dry ingredients until incorporated. Scrape the batter into the parchment lined pan, smooth out the surface of the cake batter with the spatula (or not!) and sprinkle the tablespoon of maple (or coconut) sugar over the top.

Bake for 45 minutes until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. The top of the cake should be crispy and cracked from the scattered sugar coating. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan. Gently peel off the parchment paper from the bottom and let stand.

The cake can be made in advance up to 24 hours, thought it’s probably best served the day it was made. Store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days; but good luck keeping it around that long! I like it cold, but feel free to bring it to room temp before eating leftovers.

fullsizeoutput_1025

fullsizeoutput_1044

Cake for a birthday!

IMG_0676

Birthdays call for cake and candles!! Besides, I haven’t made a layer cake in forever.

IMG_0669

IMG_0690

I’ve also discovered that you can make frosting out of sweet potatoes and dark chocolate – day MADE! It’s literally incredible. You’d never know there were sweet potatoes in there unless I told you – it has the same texture and satisfaction factor as its sugar-laden cousins! Win win win.

IMG_0680

As any of you know who interact with me regularly, sweet potatoes and dark chocolate make up their own food groups in my personal food pyramid, so this is a dream come true. Besides that, I’ve fallen out of love with buttercream – it’s just SO sweet. No can do.

IMG_0687

But birthdays mean cake, and I happened to be baking this one for a nearest and dearest who (like me) thinks sugar is pretty much the devil… sooooo…. a healthified cake! Whole grains, healthier fats, greek yogurt (another food group), extra dark chocolate, and sweet potatoes.

IMG_0665

It’s basically a health food. Oh, and there’s coffee. So it’s not just a health food, but a balanced breakfast ;)

IMG_0692

In fact, we may or may not have eaten it as part of a balanced breakfast… eggs + kale + corn + chocolate cake with coffee: pretty much the most perfect breakfast I’ve ever eaten.

IMG_0675

Aaannndddd if you serve it with ice cream, you’ve got a calcium serving… hahah I kid, this isn’t health food, but it IS delicious cake that isn’t full of garbage!

IMG_0679

Let’s see, what else is new. OH! It’s not 100+ anymore so I was able to enjoy the baking of this at a normal hour (6 am is a normal hour for baking, right?! … Don’t look at me like that) – and not feel like I’ve been slapped in the face by the heat every time I go out. This is much better!

IMG_0672

IMG_0693

More progress on the SF series:

IMG_0662

And more cake. Because birthdays and loved ones need cake!

IMG_0677

Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Mocha Frosting, Toffee, Raspberries and Coconut Coffee Drizzle

Birthday cake! For those in your life who love the chocolate – coffee – toffee – caramel situation. Chocolate-y, coffee-y but not too sweet – a healthier indulgence! The cake itself is refined sugar free and whole grain, and the frosting is dairy free, vegan, refined sugar free, and made of sweet potatoes! But you’d never know ;) Yield: one 6″ cake, 2 layers (double the entire recipe to fit two 9″ cake pans); sorry for some of the awkward measurements. Cake adapted from Epicurious, here; the frosting was inspired by the many versions of sweet potato frosting floating around the interwebs.

For the cake:

  • 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 c whole grain spelt flour
  • 1/4 c + 1/8 c cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • heaping 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • heaping 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 c dark maple syrup (grade B is good)
  • 1/2 c full fat greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 c avocado oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c extra dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate

Lightly grease two 6″ cake pans, and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350.

In a large bowl, sift together whole wheat and spelt flour, cacao powder, baking soda and powder and sea salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk together maple, greek yogurt, egg, avo oil, and vanilla until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into dry, and use a whisk to beat until the batter is fully combined, smooth and thick, about 1 minute (your dominant bicep will thank you). Distribute batter evenly into both cake pans, and bake for 23-25 minutes (30-35 for 9″) – the tops should spring back when lightly touched and a tester should come out clean. Let cool in the pans for about 7-10 minutes, then turn out onto cooling racks (remove parchment paper) and cool completely before frosting.

IMG_0663

For the frosting:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 10 oz extra dark chocolate (I like 70% and above but you do you; chips are fine)
  • 1.5-2 tsp finely ground coffee
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt

Bake the sweet potato (either in the oven for 45 – 1 hour @425 or in the microwave for about 4-5 minutes), slice open and let cool for about ten minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skin (save for a snack later!!), drop the beautiful orange insides into the food processor, and pulse until smooth. Add in chopped dark chocolate and pulse until combined and smooth – the heat from the sweet potato should melt the chocolate (if it doesn’t, you can take the whole big mess out of the food processor, put it in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 15 seconds; then stick it back in the processor). Process until smooth, then add ground coffee, vanilla, and sea salt and pulse a few times to combine.

Store at room temp for an hour or so if you’re not using immediately, but refrigerate after that – microwave it for 10-20 seconds to get it back to spreadable consistency, as it’ll solidify in the fridge.

For the drizzle:

  • ~1/3 c full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 2 tsp finely ground coffee
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool completely and store in an airtight jar in the fridge until ready to use.

To assemble:

  • toffee shards
  • raspberries
  • unsweetened shredded coconut

I opted for a naked cake look this time – there is frosting between the layers, on top and just a bit on the sides, but you do you! The frosting recipe should make enough to cover a full 6″ cake. Decorate with toffee and raspberries to you heart’s content! The coconut coffee drizzle is separate – pour over each slice after serving.

Keeps well covered on the counter overnight; excellent for breakfast the next morning. It’s really whole wheat and sweet potatoes and coffee so that’s all part of a balanced breakfast…

If storing longer than overnight, I’d probably stick it in the fridge, but I like cold cake. The counter is probably fine too, provided it gets eaten within a couple of days!

IMG_0678