Yuzu da bomb (see what I did there?!)

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Hi friends!

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Hey, we made it through Monday! Not sure about you, but I’ve been counting the hours till I could get back in bed, starting when I got out of bed this morning. Lucky for me, that time is nearly upon me.

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At least I got to wake up to some rain this morning! SF got a bit of heavy drizzle / real rain, and it smelled soooo good. More of that please! I might be in the minority there but I love the rain, unashamedly.

I had a really delightful day yesterday being super productive with all my usual weekly cleaning / laundry / market shopping / exercise / etc but also made some nice me-time for myself: brunch (pictured below), a long walk, my book, and a sun puddle. Fave human dropped by in the evening to share yuzu tart with me, so all in all a really solid day.

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I have yuzu tart for you today! Yuzu is a citrus fruit commonly found in Japanese and Korean cooking – I happen to live right across from Japantown, which makes sourcing yuzu juice exceptionally easy. Happy days! I love yuzu. Well actually, it would be factually more accurate to say that I love all things citrus, but yuzu is fun because it reminds me quite a bit of key lime. I hardly ever (maybe never?!) do anything with key limes since it seems like they’re hard to find out here, but yuzu makes an arguably better substitute.

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The cream-based filling of this tart is silky smooth – it’s light, but satisfying. The citrus keeps it from feeling overwhelming or heavy, and it plays extraordinarily well with the salty almond crust.

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I had some leftover filling that I tossed into tiny ramekins, and then couldn’t resist decorating. Of course. You’re shocked, I know.

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I’ve never made a tart with a boiled cream filling – the texture is much softer than a panna cotta, and so easy! ALSO, there aren’t any eggs in it, so if you’re baking for any allergies, it’s ideal. I am definitely adding this to the rotation. Simply boil cream, let cool, and pour into the crust: it sets in about 2 hours in the fridge (though I’d say chill it at least 4 before serving). I will say that because it’s a softer tart, it doesn’t slice as cleanly, so if presentation is your ultimate endgame, you might want to go the panna cotta route.

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Either way, it’s delicious and I’m so glad that a) I made it and b) that I have leftover yuzu juice. Stay tuned! More yuzu shenanigans are coming your way.

Have a great week!

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Yuzu Cream Tart on a Salted Almond Crust

Creamy, citrusy & fresh – the best of all worlds. Yuzu reminds me of key lime, so the creamy filling of the tart plays really well against the salty-ish almond crust. Gluten, grain and refined sugar free. Could be dairy free – just use coconut cream (minus the water) instead of heavy cream. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several. Tart filling & method inspired by / modified from Half Baked Harvest, here! Crust is a Wait are Those Cookies original.

For the crust

1.75c almond flour
1/2 c shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 tsp baking powder
Scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp 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. You’ll be able to press the dough together with your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a 9″ tart pan (w/ removable bottom) 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 15 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

For the filling

3.5 c heavy cream
1/4 c raw honey
Zest of 2 limes (or fresh yuzu, if you can find it)
1/3 c yuzu juice
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Combine heavy cream, honey, and lime zest in a large pot (cream tends to boil over, so use something bigger than you high is necessary!) Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then remove from the heat. Whisk in the yuzu juice, vanilla, and salt. Let cool for at least 10 minutes (mine probably cooled for more like 20 min), then carefully pour the cream into the baked tart shell. Let set in the refrigerator at least 4 hours before serving.

Keep leftovers covered in the fridge!

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I love you so matcha

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Hi friends! I hope everyone enjoyed their three day weekend – I know I did… Tuesday back at work was especially painful.

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Much fun was had over the weekend: sun, fave human, good friends, good food, cold pool, big hats, lots of laughter. Pics included, just because I’m so inordinately pleased with the absolute extra-ness of this hat & how it’s essentially attacking fave human in that first picture. Sorry C, gotta make room for the hat.

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There was also tart! Not in the same setting, as there’s no way this tart was going to survive an un-air conditioned car & a picnic. Nope. So, I brought cookies (I had a very nice request from a certain someone who loooves them ;) and we ate the tart the night before and the morning of.

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It’s green! Haven’t done matcha in awhile and I was definitely missing it. We both loooove matcha, especially with black sesame. It’s one of my new favorite combinations – very earthy of course, since we’re talking tea here, but in the best way. Grassy and fresh are the words that come to mind – perfect for a Labor Day weekend dessert.

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Excellent with ice cream as always (I mean, what isn’t) but totally shines on its own. We had it two ways as usual – with ice cream and a board game in the evening, and keeping the eggs and kale company in the morning.

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I picked up a new tiki friend over the weekend as well! Taking name suggestions… drop me a line if you have a particularly good one in mind ;)

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Keeping it short today because I’m really ready to curl up with my book for a bit before bed, and I’m happy tomorrow is already Wednesday. Thank goodness for a four day workweek.

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Happy not-Monday first day back at work! Let’s make this week fly by, what do you say? I’m already ready for another weekend, that is for SURE.

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Matcha and Coconut Panna Cotta on a Black Sesame Crust

A Wait are those Cookies original! Refined sugar free, gluten free and dairy free. Lightly sweet, grassy and fresh – full of tea and sesame flavors. If you’re a matcha fan, this is for you! Excellent with ice cream for dessert or on its own to let the tea flavors shine. Yield: 1 9″ tart.

For the crust:

1/4 c black sesame seeds
1.5 c almond flour
1/3c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3c cornmeal
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a small sauté pan over medium-low heat, toast black sesame seeds, shaking the pan occasionally, until you hear the first one pop. Remove from heat. Using a mortar & pestle, grind up the seeds until they’re a gritty, flour-like consistency. You’ll probably have a few larger pieces in there, which is totally fine.

In a large bowl, stir together sesame seeds, almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, 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 a 9″ tart pan (w/ removable bottom) 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 15 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

Panna Cotta:
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.75 cup full-fat coconut milk, divided
1.5 tbsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup maple
Scant 1/4 tsp sea salt
1.5 tbsp matcha powder
melted coconut butter (just a few tbsp needed – use more for serving if desired)

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of the coconut milk. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the remaining 1.5 cups of coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add vanilla, mint extract, maple, salt, and matcha powder into it. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from the heat (blend if necessary with an immersion blender if you have a few matcha blobs). Add the gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Drop melted coconut butter onto the surface of the tart and swirl with a knife or a toothpick. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours.

Store in the fridge – keeps well overnight for breakfast the next morning :)

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Late summer desserts should by all means be messy & delicious

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Hello friends!

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It feels like it’s been ages – such a busy summer. Tomorrow is September already!! I can hardly believe it.

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I took advantage of a crop of slightly below-par blueberries (as in, I was finding they were a bit too squishy to want to eat out of hand but were perfect for jammy goodness) to make these super simple blueberry crumb bars. Essentially they’re made of two very basic essentials: blueberry chia jam and almond flour dough. They take only about 30 min to throw together and bake, and they are GREAT with ice cream, just saying. The general consensus was that they were like pie, only not pie, and very easy pie at that.

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Also, they can feed all your friends! Free of the glutens, the grains, the lactoses, and the refined sugars – everyone will love you. Just don’t feed them to your friends who are allergic to nuts, that would be no bueno.

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Perfect late summer eats, when it’s hot and you want something to use up the absurd amount of fruit you’ve just bought at the market. No? Just me? I know you do it too…. summer fruit is too good to resist.

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(those are spoon marks, btw, not bite marks.. just in case you were wondering, we ate it straight out of the pan with spoons because, why not?)

I’ve been enjoying a ton of nice walks – mostly home from work – but I still get some great views and it’s great to move around after sitting all day. There have been some beautiful sunsets visible from my apartment too!

A few photos of life lately…

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I hope you’re kicking back and relaxing this holiday weekend! I may have more baking on tap, we’ll see we’ll see ;)

Happy Saturday!

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Blueberry Hazelnut Crumb Bars

Gluten & grain free, refined sugar free, and lactose free! Paleo, basically. Perfect use of a crop of late summer bloobs… yield: 1 8″ pan, serves several. A Wait are Those Cookies original.

For the blueberry filling

2 c blueberries (I used a combo of fresh & frozen)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp tapioca flour
1/4 c chia seeds

In a small saucepan, heat blueberries, cinnamon, sea salt, and tapioca until just barely boiling, 5-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chia seeds; let cool.

For the crust & crumble

2 c almond flour
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp maple
3 tbsp melted ghee
1/3 c chopped hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 and line some kind of 8” pan with parchment – this is the least fussy recipe ever, so square, round, tart pan, etc – whatever you have is fine! I used an 8” round cake pan. In a large bowl, stir almond flour, vanilla, salt, maple and ghee together. Reserve half a cup and stir in the hazelnuts (this will be the top bit) – set aside. Press the rest of the dough into the base of the pan, and bake for 12-15 minutes until set. Remove from the oven and top evenly with blueberry mixture. Crumble the rest of the reserved hazelnut crumble on the top of the blueberries, and bake for another 23-25 minutes, until the top is lightly golden brown and the blueberries are bubbly. Remove and let cool completely before serving. It’s also fabulous cold – I made mine the night before serving, refrigerated overnight and served straight out of the fridge – highly recommended. Leftovers keep well covered in the fridge for a day or two but I dare you to have any ;)

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Foods for Fogust

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Hi blog friends! (autcorrect somehow tried to change that to bog friends – no, not quite what I was going for…)

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I have another panna cotta for you today – I know, I know, you’re shocked.

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But this one has black sesame in it! Otherwise known as my new favorite ingredient. It’s a fascinating flavor; I actually like it so much more than tahini, which is rather odd given that they’re essentially the same thing. Anyway, I bought this giant thing of black sesame a while back and then my summer exploded with moving, job change, etc, and I just never got around to using them till now. C and I both loved this – I brought this (and the fave cookies, ofc) to a family event of his, and it was a big hit.

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The nuttiness of the toasted sesame plays really well against vanilla and coconut (okay, what DOESN’T play well with vanilla and coconut?!). You can bet you’ll be seeing at least one other black sesame thing on here in a few weeks – I have an idea that I’m dying to try; I wonder if I can make it come out like it currently looks in my head? We shall see.

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I can’t believe it’s getting close to the end of August. My summer FLEW by… between getting a new job, moving and camp, it’s hard to believe it’s nearly Labor Day. I love fall though, so I’m not upset about it. Despite a heat wave last week, we’ve also been graced with some typical Fogust weather, which I adore – I love how ephemeral and Tolkienesque the fog looks, especially on the beach. This was taken down at Fort Funston on a foggy Saturday morning, probably around 10:30a or so. Foggy beach walks are one of my absolute favorite things.

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I keep buying myself these absurdly large gladiolus bouquets at the market because they’re only $5 and they last for a week… and bring me such joy! I am a huge advocate of buying flowers for yourself. I’m sure it’s quite comical watching me walk home with these bobbing way over my head, while I shlep a giant bag of groceries… but you know what? I’m worth it :)

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Happy Sunday! I hope your week ahead is smooth sailing.

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Vanilla Bean & Coconut Panna Cotta Tart on a Black Sesame Crust

Gluten free, refined sugar free, and dairy free! A Wait are those Cookies original. Black sesame and vanilla pair very well together. This tart is lightly sweet, just like everything I make. I fed it to a crowd tonight & everyone went back for more, so it seems to be a hit across varied palettes! Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several.

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For the crust:

1/4 c black sesame seeds
1.5 c almond flour
1/3c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3c cornmeal
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a small sauté pan over medium-low heat, toast black sesame seeds, shaking the pan occasionally, until you hear the first one pop. Remove from heat. Using a mortar & pestle, grind up the seeds until they’re a gritty, flour-like consistency. You’ll probably have a few larger pieces in there, which is totally fine.

In a large bowl, stir together sesame seeds, almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, 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 a 9″ tart pan (w/ removable bottom) 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 15 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

Panna Cotta:
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.75 cup full-fat coconut milk
2 tbsp vanilla bean paste
Scant 1/4 cup maple
Scant 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 c water, cold

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of the cold water. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add maple, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from heat, and whisk in the gelatin mixture. Stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours or preferably overnight.

Top with strawberries, etc.

Store in the fridge – keeps well overnight for breakfast the next morning :)

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15 mi, 4000′ & 680 stairs: I’ve earned some tart

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Hi friends!

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Holy cow, C and I hiked 15 miles yesterday with over 4000′ of elevation gain! We did out and back on the Dipsea trail in less than 3 hours both ways (this may or may not have been dubbed the ‘Hayley Scott Beast Mode” speed, NOT by me hahaha sorry not sorry) – had lunch in Stinson & then dinner in Mill Valley when we got back. Never have nachos tasted so good!

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You can see the teeny tiny skyline in this one, and Sutro tower!

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Gettin’ after some lunch:

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It goes without saying that I feel quite accomplished and also tired. I did arms at the gym today and left squats out of it, haha! According to a quick google, the Dipsea has 680 stairs. My quads and glutes believe it!

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Anyway – it was extremely satisfying to come back home to this tart! We both loved it – arguably I think this is one of my favorite things that I’ve made in the last six months or so. Maybe even 9 months. I LOVE fennel. I’m currently sitting here munching on sliced raw fennel as I type… it makes a great snack with cheese (Humboldt fog, yesss)

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It’s lightly sweet, like everything I make – we had it with ice cream for dessert (delicious) and on its own for breakfast (also delicious). It’s also a great make-ahead, since it’s best when it sets up in the fridge overnight.

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Definitely fennelicious, as C put it! Not for the faint of fennel-loving heart, that is for sure. If you love munching on raw fennel, this is totally for you. Fennel and almond are a match made in heaven – the crust is nicely textured with cornmeal & very almondy.

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Happy trails! I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

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Fennel Panna Cotta on an Almond Cornmeal Crust

Gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. Fennelicious! This is a tart for those who LOOOOVE fennel & almond. Lightly sweet; perfect for dessert with ice cream or breakfast on its own. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several. A Wait are those Cookies original.

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For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/3c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3c cornmeal
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, almond extract, 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 a 9″ tart pan (w/ removable bottom) 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 15 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

Panna Cotta:
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.75 cup full-fat coconut milk
2 tbsp fennel seeds, toasted*
4ish 1” pieces of fresh fennel bulb
zest of one lemon
juice of half a lemon
1.5 tbsp vanilla bean paste
Scant 1/4 cup maple
Scant 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 c water, cold

*toast until fragrant – I did it in a small sauté pan

Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add fennel (seeds + fresh), maple, lemon zest, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from the heat and cover to steep for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of the cold water. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Strain the coconut milk mixture. Pour it back into the saucepan and add lemon juice. Bring it back to a simmer. Remove from heat, and whisk in the gelatin mixture. Stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours or preferably overnight.

Top with strawberries, etc.

Store in the fridge – keeps well overnight for breakfast the next morning :)

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New kitchen baking adventures

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HELLO!!

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It’s been awhile, huh. I think it’s been almost exactly a month since I posted anything, and jeez what a month! All good things – moved into my darling little apartment (gah I love it SO much), got a little more settled in at work and then promptly left for an amaaaaazing session at camp.

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Camp was spectacular as always! So much love and laughter, despite a water line that wouldn’t cooperate (our shit is OLD). Two Sentinels is such an incredible place. It’s hard to explain how special it is to someone who’s never been there, but the group of women that make up my camp fam are just some of the most inspiring, incredible and strong women I know.

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I am finally home and settled into my apartment – came back to no internet and no gas to my range but I have both things now, yay! It feels so great to be baking again – this new kitchen is hugely floating my boat. Tons of counter space, and the natural light is off the hook amazing.

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First thing out of the oven was a batch of my go-to cookies – I can’t think of anything else I’d rather make to break in the oven. C and I love them, and I wanted to test the heat of my oven with a tried and true.

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For date night though, I wanted to get back into my usual groove! Opted for a super easy-to-throw-together galette – I’d picked up a bunch of peaches at the market a few days earlier and they were absolutely perfect. Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs to put in desserts, so of course that made a showing. This is delicious with ice cream for dessert, but also great for breakfast – it’s really not very sweet except for the natural sweetness of the peaches, so go crazy! Snacks, breakfast, dessert? Sure, why not.

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C and I took a nice hike yday up our usual Twin Peaks route and back down again for a board game… Life is beautiful.

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Happy weekend! If you’re in SF, hit me up – let’s hang out & bake!

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Peach, Rosemary & Lime Galette

Gluten & grain free (paleo if you eat butter) + refined sugar free! Super easy summer dessert that doubles for breakfast & snacks. Barely needs any sweetener if you can get super sweet peaches! A Wait are those Cookies Original. Yield: 1 galette, serves several (or two very hungry post-hike people with a small amount of leftovers ;)

For the galette dough:

1.5 c almond flour (not meal; you want the finer flour variety)
1/2 c tapioca flour
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
6 tbsp salted butter, chopped (or ghee)
1 egg*
1 tbsp vanilla extract

*alternately you can use a flax egg with very similar results (3tbsp water + 1 tbsp ground flaxseed)

In a food processor or high-power blender (I used a food processor), pulse almond flour, tapioca starch, salt, and butter to combine until it looks like coarse meal. Add in egg and vanilla extract and pulse just until combined. Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disk and chill in the fridge for at least an hour, or up to overnight.

3 peaches, sliced
Zest + juice of two limes
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
1 tbsp tapioca flour

Toss everything together and let sit for about 15 minutes, then drain the juice off before using.

Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 375. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper, keeping the circle to about 1/4″ thickness. Peel off the top piece of parchment, and slide the rolled out dough on its parchment onto a baking sheet. Top with peaches in the center, leaving a border of dough around the edges. Begin folding up the sides, creasing them together as you go – if the dough rips, that’s okay (you can crimp the cracks back together; remember: galettes are forgiving and rustic!); you can use the bottom piece of parchment to help fold up the sides.

Dot the peaches with butter and sprinkle dough with a little coconut sugar. Press the sides with sliced almonds if you want! Bake for 35-40 minutes until edges are golden brown — mine came out just fine at 35 minutes, so check accordingly.

Let cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then carefully slide the whole galette onto a cooling rack to let it cool completely. Serve with your fave ice cream or whatever of choice! Keeps well covered in foil on the counter or in the fridge.

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All the change, all at once. Why not?!

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Internet friends!

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Hello! It feels like it’s been forever. I started my new job last week – though I had two first days, one in Dallas for the marketing group and then one in SF at my actual office – and I signed the lease on an adorable little apartment today! I can’t wait to live in the same city in which I work, AND the apartment building is a 1920s original. The architecture nerd in me is doing the biggest happy dance. Not to mention that it has an incredible renovated kitchen and I can’t wait to bake in it!

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My walk to work is also substantially awesome:

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Minus the fact that I move the day before camp starts (somewhere, the universe is laughing at me), I am SO excited for all of these changes. I already love my new job!

Dallas was a great trip too – I got to see some incredible sunrise skies and the Thanks-Giving chapel’s amazing ceiling – photos were too good not to share!

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C also has a birthday coming up! We celebrated early since he’ll be off on a cycling trip (wheee!) for his actual birthday but it’s me and of course I couldn’t let it go unmarked – had to provide baked goods! Obviously.

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I have to say, this cake makes an awesome breakfast. It’s kind of like cornbread? Only lightly sweet and super delicious. C and I are only mildly obsessed with fennel right now, so stay tuned for more fennel-y things, as soon as the utter insanity of my life calms down. There might be one or two things before I leave for camp, but no promises.

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I actually made two cakes from one batch – one in an 8″ pan, and the leftover batter in a 5″. It’s a really adaptable cake; you can use an 8″ springform, a 9″ cake pan, 8″ cake pan + a smaller one (cupcake tins would probably work also)… you do you!

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Happy Monday! I hope the rest of your week goes swimmingly :)

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Apple & Fennel Ricotta Polenta Cake

Gluten free and refined sugar free! The fennel and apple balance each other perfectly for a lightly sweet dessert that has a dense crumb. I love it with ice cream, but it’s great on its own as well. Yield: 1 8″ or 9″ cake, serves several. A Wait are those Cookies original!

6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 c maple syrup, divided
zest of 2 meyer lemons
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs, separated
1.25 c almond flour
3/4 c fine polenta
scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
1.25 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 granny smith apple, diced
1 bulb of fennel, grated
1/2 granny smith apple, thinly sliced, for garnish
1/3 cup slivered almonds, optional for garnish
a sprinkle of coconut sugar

Preheat the oven to 325, and either use an 8″ springform pan OR do like I did and use a 8″ cake pan, well greased and lined with two strips of parchment paper so that you can lift the cake out onto a cooling rack easily (the leftover batter went into a 5″ pan; two cakes for the price of one!)

Using a hand mixer (or a stand mixer) , beat butter, half the maple, lemon zest, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add in egg yolks and beat until combined, another minute-ish. In a smaller bowl, whisk together almond flour, polenta, and sea salt. Add the dry ingredients into the larger bowl, add ricotta, and stir to combine.

In a separate, non-reactive bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form (preferably with your hand mixer or stand mixer so that your arm doesn’t fall off) – drizzle in the rest of the maple while mixing.

Fold the egg whites into the batter in two batches, then fold in chopped apples and grated fennel. Pour the batter into the cake pan, and top with sliced apples and almonds, if using. Sprinkle with a bit of coconut sugar. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean (mine was done closer to 50 min). Let cool for at least 10 minutes, then lift out onto a cooling rack to cool completely, removing parchment from underneath if you used it. Let cool completely before serving; also delicious cold if you want to stick it in the fridge for an hour or two.

Excellent with a bit of vanilla ice cream (really, what isn’t) for dessert or eat it alongside eggs for breakfast. Keeps well for several days, covered in the fridge or stored in an airtight glass container.

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