Apple tarts & north coast fun

Hi friends!

It’s been a little while – C and I took a great trip up to the north coast for my birthday – we stayed in the cutest airbnb and explored the area. Lots of coast hikes, fresh produce and relaxation time. Here are a few favorite photos!

rail bikes on the Noyo Skunk train line!
monster zucchini from the airbnb garden (yes, we ate it)
look at the bee photobomb!

Turns out you can actually make a galette in a cast iron on the stove, in a pinch!

I’d make this again actually, even though it was initially just a punt because of an oven issue. I made my normal galette dough, piled the fruit in there (I’d saute it first next time), let the sides crisp up a little before folding them over the fruit and putting a lid on it. It cooked in about 15 minutes on a high burner – and it was amazingly delicious. Ha! Success.

Since I’m working today for a deadline early next week (taking a minute while I wait on content to write this…), I got up early to make time for this guy… I had some ricotta in my fridge that I really wanted to us, and it’s officially apple season! This looks fancy and intimidating but it isn’t, at all – basically just whisk everything together and call it good. Perfect for a lazy weekend baking project.

It’s gluten / grain free, lightly sweet and light on the stomach – it’s really just all ricotta, but it doesn’t feel like a heavy dessert. Pears would probably be good here too, if you didn’t have apples (I’ve made a variation of it before, with peaches – also excellent. Find it here)

Otherwise, busy as usual. I hope your weekends are going well! Happy October :)

Ricotta, Apple & Rosemary Tart

Gluten and grain free, refined sugar free. Lightly sweet and light on the palette – this is a fairly delicate dessert! Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several. Leftovers will keep overnight in the fridge, but it’s best the day it’s made. 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
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1.5 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, sea salt, baking soda and rosemary. Add in vanilla and 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 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 ricotta cheese
Scant 1/4 cup maple
2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
zest of 2 lemons
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled 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 prepared tart shell. Top with sliced peaches. Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until the ricotta filling is set and caramelized.

Allow the tart to cool in the pan for about 30 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely before refrigerating. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Store any leftovers covered with foil in the fridge overnight.

Stone Fruit Season

I’ve decided that it’s very hard to not enjoy peak stone fruit season.

It’s literally all we want to eat (okay not true, I’m never NOT in the mood for thai food, ha) but for everything else right now… bring on the stone fruit!

This weekend was full of pluots, courtesy of my imperfect produce box – these were slightly scarred but so perfect, taste-wise. I wanted a crumble since I hadn’t done one in awhile; I love that they keep the focus on the fruit. It’s basically fruit and nuts, at least the way I make them! They end up making great breakfast the next day – not shocking to anyone who’s read this blog for awhile :)

The color of these lil beauties is amazing! Just look at it:

This is riff number approximately 10000 of fruit crumbles… I’ve probably made this exact version at some point in the past and just didn’t write it down. Regardless, it’s a much-loved favorite with the two of us! Super simple, very adaptable and quickly made.

Let’s see, what else! Had a little al fresco drawing adventure with a friend today, super fun as I haven’t drawn from life in a loooong time. I was still drawing buildings but hey, usually it’s from a photo! The wind proved challenging but it wouldn’t be the SF that I love without excessive wind, so we just made it work.

Lots of swimming for me lately of course – without a wetsuit! It’s the “warm” bay water season so I’ve been taking advantage of it. It’s maybe a strange choice of things to get you out of bed in the morning but I love my 6am swims, wetsuited or not! I find them extremely satisfying.

I suggest seizing the stone fruit moment while it’s still peak season! The closer we get to autumn, the less perfect they are. Get on it!

Pluot, Blueberry & Ginger Crumble

A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ crumble, serves 4-6. Refined sugar free, dairy free, gluten free and vegan with a grain free option. Lightly sweet, nutty and fruit-forward.

For the crumble

1 c almond flour, packed
1/4 tsp sea salt, heaping
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c chopped walnuts
1/3 c oats* (Omit for grain free)
1/4 c unsweetened coconut
1/4 c crystalized ginger
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp maple
1/4 c melted coconut oil

~6-7 pluots (they’re usually on the small side)*, chopped into slices or chunks
~1.5 c wild blueberries (mine were frozen)
1 tbsp tapioca starch + 1/4 c water
1 tbsp maple
zest and juice of one lemon

*since pluots are usually on the small side, I recommend using 6-7 of them; the flavor balance is perfect when it’s about half pluot, half blueberry

Preheat the oven to 350 and grab some kind of 8″ or 9” baking dish – this is the least fussy recipe ever, so square, round, etc – whatever you have is fine! I used a deep 9″ pie plate. In your baking dish of choice, toss together pluots, blueberries, lemon juice and zest. In a smaller bowl, whisk together tapioca starch & water, add maple, then pour over the prepared fruit. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the fruit is baking, make the crumble. In a large bowl, stir everything together: almond flour, salt, cinnamon, oats (if using), chopped walnuts and coconut, maple, vanilla, and coconut oil together, then stir in crystallized ginger.

Remove the fruit from the oven, and toss a bit to redistribute. Drop the topping over the fruit, and bake for another 25 minutes until the top is lightly golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. Remove and let cool completely before serving. Excellent with ice cream! It’s also fabulous cold after being 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 ;)

Camp & Cake

HELLO!

I am back (briefly) from my home away from home in the mountains – as always, camp was a balm for the soul that I didn’t know how much I needed until I felt the afterglow.

There’s something intangible and so special about that place and those people – my camp family will always see me and love me for who I am.

Words aren’t even really sufficient – it’s more of a feeling and less of something that I can properly explain. Even as a director where I’m actually technically ‘working’ while I’m there for the session (albeit fun work), I still come home feeling deeply rested and generally better about the other aspects of my life. Camp magic is a real thing. Something to do with laughing until I cry, sleeping under the stars, smelling campfire in my sweatshirts, and jumping in the lake with a cadre of women who have either watched me grow up or grown up alongside me.

This was year 18 at this magical place – almost at the two decade mark and going strong. I already can’t wait until next year! Even better, we passed our ACA reaccreditation with flying colors, which just clinches an all-around great camp year. Since words don’t really do it justice, I’m leaving a bunch of photos here instead.

the view from my bed…. tents are overrated

I am only back for about a week and a half before C and I leave again – this time to the east coast for some family reunion beach time, hooray! The beach is calling my name. Time for a true vacation.

In the meantime, I baked a thing! Had to squeeze something in so you didn’t wonder what happened to me – this one was thrown together from what I had on hand, since I’m avoiding buying anything else before I leave again.

Enter: the black sesame blueberry cake! Amazingly grey colored and fantastic tasting. It’s super simple to throw together – if you don’t have black sesame, no worries; I’m including a sub in the recipe notes. Great with coffee (what isn’t) or for dessert. It’s lightly sweet and nutty; highly adaptable for any summer fruit you have around. I grabbed a bag of blueberries I’d frozen before I left for camp, which worked perfectly – but anything that resembles a stone fruit or berry will do nicely.

Happy baking! Get after that summer fruit while it’s freshest. Have a great weekend!

Black Sesame and Blueberry Cake

Adapted from Food52, here! I tweaked it a bit for personal preferences and am very happy with the result. I may try it in a slightly smaller pan for a thicker cake, next time I make it. Gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. Yield: 1 8 or 9″ cake.

1 c black sesame seeds*
1 1/2 c almond flour
1/4 c oat flour
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 c pure maple syrup
1/4 c unrefined coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 c blueberries, fresh or frozen

*if you don’t have black sesame or don’t want to use them, omit them and increase the almond flour by 1c

Preheat the oven to 350, and line a cake pan (8 or 9″) with parchment paper. A springform would also work well for this I think, though I haven’t tried it.

In a food processor, grind the sesame seeds until fine (just don’t let them go until they start turning into tahini). Once ground, add them to a large bowl. Add in almond and oat flour, coconut, baking powder, and salt and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, maple, coconut oil, and vanilla. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients, until the batter is just combined. Scrape it into the prepared pan, smooth out and top with blueberries. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a tester comes out clean (if your fruit is super juicy, it might go for a few more minutes). Remove and let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Slice and serve warm or cool. Keeps for several days in the fridge.

Birthday!

Okay so I’m a little off my normal posting schedule (Wednesday?! weird) but I have camp imminently approaching (yay!!) and then some vacation (MORE YAY!), which is going to throw off my normal schedule anyway, so why not.

Hello!

Happy midweek, if there is such a thing. At least there is a three day weekend coming up!

Also, Fave BoyHuman had a birthday yesterday! So of COURSE there was a baked thing.

and a tiny Yoda of course

He requested chocolate and blueberries, so I ended up making a dark chocolate torte with mascarpone cream and blueberry chia jam. Soooo yum. It’s been a minute since I’ve made a cake, and this one did NOT disappoint. Adapted it from a friend/the local baker behind Bojon Gourmet – her stuff is seriously amazing.

Plus, I only dropped one version of this cake. HA. I was overdue for a kitchen mishap I think… much cursing ensued, but I think it actually did me a favor, since I was able to tweak the flavors and the baking time a slight bit on the second go round, and eat some cake scraps (obviously. I not above eating them off my floor, or the bottom of my oven).

This cake sounds intimidating maybe but I promise it’s really not! Most labor intensive thing in here is beating the egg whites, which in my mind is just fun – I love watching egg white alchemy take place. It’s also gluten and grain free, plus refined sugar free depending on the chocolate you use.

There’s been other baking happening too that hasn’t really made it on here – last weekend I made what is approximately my 1,000,000th galette (I love them, what can I say) – it was delicious and so simple. This one was cherries and apricots – they are very much in season right now so I’m taking full advantage. Probably should invest in a cherry pitter though…

You can use any of the galette recipes on here (like this one) – just swap in enough cherries and sliced apricots until you have a large enough pile to fill your dough.

Let’s see, what else.

In other news, working too much. Can’t wait for camp, and then also vacation. Wheee!

I think that’s pretty much it…. tired after what has been a crazy start to the week. Time for the cake recipe! I hope the rest of your week goes by quickly and that it’s a smooth slide into the holiday weekend.

Dark Chocolate Torte with Mascarpone Cream and Blueberry Chia Jam

Gluten and grain free; refined sugar free depending on the type of chocolate you use. I suggest Hu or Raaka if you need or want it to be strictly refined sugar free. I used a blend of what I had on hand, which wasn’t STRICTLY refined sugar free, but close enough :) Yield: 1 6″ cake, serves several with small slices or two with a lot of leftovers for breakfast!

for the cake:

Cake recipe gratefully adapted from The Bojon Gourmet, here! Her recipes are so well written, I’m not going to mess with rewriting! Her blog is beautiful, just go take a look. My notes are below for my adaptation.

  • I used a blend of 67 and 85% dark chocolate plus a chunk of unsweetened (100% cacao) to get to 6oz and it was delicious
  • Used 2tbsp cassava flour to keep it grain free
  • Replaced the sugar with 1/4 maple into the chocolate batter and 3 tbsp coconut sugar in the egg whites
  • Added 1 tbsp vanilla
  • Used a 6″ springform for 3/4 of the batter, 3″ springform for the rest (optional, of course – the batter fits into an 8 or 9″ pan perfectly) – the 6″ went for 20 min

for the cream:

1/2 c mascarpone
1 c heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp maple syrup

Whip everything together until it holds its shape with soft peaks (for softer cream) or stiffer peaks if you want more body. Chill until needed.

for the blueberry chia jam:

2 c blueberries (I used 1 c fresh, 1 c frozen wild)
juice of one lemon
2 tbsp maple
1 tbsp chia seeds

Bring berries, lemon juice and maple to a simmer over medium high, then lower heat. Cook until the juices are bubbling and juice is reduced, 10-15 min. Stir in 1 tbsp chia seeds; mash slightly to squash berries, remove and let cool; chill in the fridge overnight if you make it in advance (keeps for at least a week in the fridge).

Serve this however you like! I chose to frost mine but that’s totally optional – it would also be excellent served in wedges with cream and blueberry jam dolloped over the top. It keeps very well in the fridge – I frosted it a few hours before serving, and served it cold. You can also let it warm up slightly on the counter a bit before serving. Store it covered in the fridge for a day or two after if you have leftovers.

Fog & Fennel

It’s a foggy, mellow weekend in the city today – I LOVE days like this, where I wake up to the fog curling up against my windows, and then by noon it starts to clear but only kind of, so if you look up, you see it moving fast overhead, and obscuring bits and pieces of the city.

Then by midafternoon it starts coming in again, and by evening things are covered again. Arguably, I think one of my favorite things about living in the city is the fog – I find it magical and beautiful.

It’s also insanely windy today – I took a long, rambly walk down to Fort Mason & along the water, and the bay is verrrryyy whitecappy today.

fog!
for reference, this is where I swim! it’s protected by a pier but even so, there were some major swells in there today

In other news, made a crumble! I had some fresh fennel in my produce drawer that I’d been ignoring, and I really couldn’t figure out how I was going to get around to slotting it into meals. Instead, I used it here!

Fennel + apple + walnut is a match made in heaven, and I love the addition of ginger to anything. This crumble is also very dietary-choice friendly; it’s gluten, dairy & refined sugar free with an easy grain-free alternative. Yay! It also comes together in a snap and requires minimal effort, a yay for those lazy weekends.

I felt like I spent most of today doing house tasks… I kind of love days like this though, since they make me feel accomplished. Spent a ton of time troubleshooting & descaling my moka pot today too… I love good coffee and it’s so sad that my bialetti has suddenly decided to not work properly. I THINK it needed a good descaling, so ran it through two cycles of that… let’s see how this goes. Fingers crossed it starts behaving. It’s been giving me trouble for at least a week, and I’m over it.

Happy weekend! I hope yours is equal parts fun and relaxing.

Fennel, Apple & Blueberry Crumble

Gluten, dairy & refined sugar free + vegan. Easily grain free if needed/wanted – just omit the oats (it’s just as good that way, promise!). Earthy fennel, fresh apples + blueberries & a nutty crumble topping. Yield: 1 8 or 9″ crumble, serves several. A Wait are those Cookies original.

For the crumble

1 c almond flour, packed
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt, heaping
1 tbsp maple
1/4 c melted coconut oil
1/2 c chopped walnuts
1/3 c oats* (Omit for grain free)
1/4 c unsweetened coconut
1/4 c crystalized ginger
2 tsp fennel seeds, very finely chopped (or ground in a mortar)

1 bulb of fresh fennel, finely diced
2 granny smith apples, peeled & chopped into small cubes
~1 c wild blueberries (mine were frozen)
1 tbsp tapioca starch + 1/4 c water
1 tbsp maple
zest and juice of two lemons

Preheat the oven to 350 and grab some kind of 8″ or 9” baking dish – this is the least fussy recipe ever, so square, round, etc – whatever you have is fine! I used a deep 9″ pie dish. In your baking dish of choice, toss together fennel, apples, blueberries, lemon juice and zest. In a smaller bowl, whisk together tapioca starch & water, add maple, then pour over the prepared fruit. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the fruit is baking, make the crumble. In a large bowl, stir everything together: almond flour, vanilla, salt, oats (if using), maple, chopped walnuts and coconut, fennel seeds, and coconut oil together, then stir in crystallized ginger.

Remove the fruit from the oven, and toss a bit to redistribute. Drop the topping over the fruit, and bake for another 25 minutes until the top is lightly golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. Remove and let cool completely before serving. Excellent with ice cream! It’s also fabulous cold after being 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 ;)

Pink panna cottas

Hi friends!

Took a week off last week but I’m back with this tart that is big on the visual impact, light on the actual work you have to do. I definitely love involved baking projects, but there is a time and a place for them – sometimes you just want something that is very pretty and very simple to put together.

I think panna cottas can sound intimidating, but they’re really not! Basically, you’re just heating coconut milk and a few flavoring things until they simmer, stirring in gelatin, and then waiting for it to set. Added bonus is that this guy can be (and arguably should be) made the night before, which frees up the next morning for things like swimming in the bay at 8a when it’s still below 50 degrees out, like the crazy that you are.

I didn’t even have coffee before I swam this morning – who am I?! It was cloudy but the water was perfectly still (or as still as the bay ever really gets) which is my favorite combination of swimming conditions. No sea lion friends in the cove today though.

I created some inadvertent latte art with my residually cold hand after I got home – or maybe it’s a coffee Rorschach?

Anyway, back to the tart: this one was the result of me really not wanting to go to the market for more food. I do enjoy grocery shopping but I was NOT in the mood this week, so just wanted to keep it simple with what I had. I’m low on fruit but I did have half a bag of raspberries in the freezer, which work perfectly for this since you end up straining out the solids anyway (so the berries don’t have to be pretty!)

I love poppy seed-anything, so of course the crust is a major win. Plus add something fruity and dark chocolately but still on the lighter side (yay panna cotta) and you have a perfect spring dessert with a maximum visual impact but minimal work.

Happy weekending!

Raspberry, Poppy Seed & Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta

Gluten free, dairy free & refined sugar free. Perfect for that random half bag of raspberries lurking in your freezer – maximum visual impact, minimal work. Yield: 1 9″ tart; serves several. A Wait are those Cookies original.

For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/3 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 c cornmeal
2 tbsp poppy seeds
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
1/3 c dark chocolate chips

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, poppy seeds, 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.

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler. Spread the melted chocolate over the interior of the crust, and let cool until set. You can also pop the whole thing in the fridge to help it set faster, if needed.

For the panna cotta:

1 c frozen raspberries
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 tbsp maple
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c cold water
1 packet of powdered gelatin

Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan and add the raspberries. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring & mashing the berries occasionally. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 10 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 berry solids out of the coconut milk. Whisk in maple and vanilla, and bring the milk back up to a simmer. Remove from heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture. Whisk 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 whatever pretty things your heart desires! I used shredded coconut and strawberries. Store in the fridge until serving. Leftovers keep well up to two days in the fridge, covered.

I just want all the rhubarb

I found more rhubarb! Muahaa.

It’s been surprisingly difficult for me to source this year but maybe that’s just my local market. Either way, I absolutely love rhubarb so I’m happy to find it. It pairs so well with apples and raspberries… and obviously I use any excuse to put ginger in things.

This is also one of those that I love cold – refrigerating it makes the crisp topping chewy and SO good. Also highly recommend is a large scoop of vanilla over everything.

The poppies are so pretty right now! They’re all over the city.

Actually, ALL the flowers are so pretty right now:

Low key weekend over here for me, just mostly chilling and being mellow.

Happy weekending!

Rhubarb, Apple and Raspberry Crisp with Ginger

Gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free and vegan. Springy and fresh! A Wait are Those Cookies original. Yield: 1 8 or 9″ crisp; serves several.

1 granny smith apples, chopped into cubes
3 stalks of fresh rhubarb
2 c frozen/fresh raspberries
juice of two limes
1 tbsp tapioca starch
1 tbsp maple
1/4 c water

1 cup old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free crisp)
½ cup firmly packed almond flour
½ cup chopped walnuts
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tbsp maple syrup
heaping ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c coconut oil, melted
1/3 c dried ginger, chopped (mine isn’t crystalized; if yours is, thats fine!)

Preheat the oven to 350.
Toss apple, rhubarb and raspberries into your baking dish of choice (my dish is 8×8, 2 qt capacity; 9″ square or 9″ deep pie dish would also be fine). In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the lime juice, tapioca starch, maple, water until combined. Pour the mixture over the fruit and toss to combine. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the filling is baking, make the crisp. In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almond flour, chopped walnuts, shredded coconut, and salt. Mix in the maple, vanilla, and coconut oil, followed by the chopped ginger. Stir until everything is mixed thoroughly.

Once the filling has baked for 20 minutes, stir it and and redistribute evenly in the dish. Plop spoonfuls of the crisp topping evenly over the filling – no need to pack it down. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 more minutes, until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden.

Let the crisp rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, obviously! Keep leftovers, covered, in the fridge for 2-3 days (yeah right – would take some major feat to make it last more than overnight..)

Spring = Rhubarb

The first of the rhubarb!

I had to work a little to track some down – my usual market didn’t have any, but luckily I found some when I was out and about in a different neighborhood. Which also meant that I was that person walking down the street with a bunch of rhubarb clutched in my fist – but I am definitely okay being that person.

This cake is another variation on the grapefruit one I posted a few weeks ago – it’s a perfect snack or breakfast cake, as it isn’t all that sweet. It’s lightly spicy from the five spice, and the top gets jammy from the softened rhubarb + the actual jam involved. I use a jam that is fruit-sweetened only, which keeps this guy refined sugar free, but use whatever you have!

Almost wishing this had come out with the rhubarb slightly less soft – I may play around with it a little and see if I can make that happen.

Another insanely busy week here – I would like to stop working on the weekends please (insert eyeroll)…. this week should be less crazy though so I’m hoping for some downtime. At least I was able to swim most days this week; it is definitely preserving my sanity. Took today off since I know the humidity is supposed to drop next week which will trigger some autoimmune stuff – which means I’ll also be spending most days in the water, if at all possible.

Today was also a day of a food-photography mishap… I definitely broke the cake when I moved it from cooling rack to plate. Whatever, nothing some well-placed coconut won’t hide, and we’re going to eat it anyway so who cares. Not everything needs to be perfect.

I hope it is springy and nice where you are! I’m still hoping for some spring rains (CA needs it, but also I just love it.) Happy weekend :)

Rhubarb & Five Spice Upside Down Cake

Gluten free, dairy free & refined sugar free. Lightly sweet, slightly spicy, and perfect for spring. A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 8″ cake, serves several.

1.5 c almond flour
1/3 c cornmeal
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp five spice
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 c maple syrup
1/3 c coconut oil, melted
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
2 stalks of rhubarb, thinly sliced
2 tbsp apricot jam (mine is fruit sweetened only)
2 tsp coconut sugar

Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease an 8″ cake pan with coconut oil and line the bottom with parchment paper – I flip it over, trace the outline & then cut, to get a perfectly sized circle. Spread the apricot jam evenly over the parchment, then drop the rhubarb slices into the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle with coconut sugar.

In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt & five spice. Add in eggs, honey, coconut oil, vanilla & almond extract, and stir until all ingredients are just incorporated. Drop the batter into the prepared pan – it’s thick! That’s normal – just even out the top with a spatula. Bake for 35-38 minutes, until the top of the cake is lightly browned, firm, and a tester in the center comes out clean. You can cover the cake with foil during the last 10 minutes of baking if the cake is browning too fast – though mine was done at 35 minutes, and I didn’t need the foil trick. Remove and let cool for a few minutes in the pan before flipping it out onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing and serving. Stores well overnight in the fridge, and is arguably even better for breakfast.

Grapefruit, black sesame & paints

Hiya everybody – full disclosure but I am TIRED today, mentally and physically. Too much work, too much body stuff, some degree of burnout will do that. Doing my best to just be nice to myself.

I did get to bake though, of course, which always makes me happy. It’s fun to create something pretty that’s also delicious.

Back on the panna cotta train after a bit of a hiatus. I really do enjoy them – they set up easily the night before in the fridge, making them a great make-ahead dessert idea. Not that I necessarily NEED anything make ahead these days, but I did have to work this weekend so this lets me free up my Saturday morning to go for a swim – which I did. Felt extra cold this morning but maybe that was just me? There was quite a tidal/wave swell happening today so maybe I was just working extra hard.

I really love sesame anything – especially black sesame. It’s nutty and savory and delicious and I love putting it in desserts, but I don’t think I’d ever paired it with grapefruit before. I definitely consider this a win, if a bit of an unexpected dark-horse combination. The dark chocolate is just a thin layer between the panna cotta and the crust – it adds both a nice textural and flavor contrast. Citrus and chocolate are always a win.

I’m going to keep this short today – I wanted to share this but I’m also in need of some downtime with my novel, and/or maybe my paints. I finally picked up my brushes again after YEARS of neglect, and I didn’t realize how much I missed it till I was painting again. Am definitely adding it back into my regular rotation. I took some inspiration from my last pie for this one, as I’m sure most of you will recognize:

Have a good weekend, everybody – be nice to yourselves and take a break if it’s called for. I’m trying to be better about that too, so I’m right there with you :)

Grapefruit, Dark Chocolate & Black Sesame Panna Cotta Tart

Gluten & grain free, refined sugar free, dairy free, arguably paleo. A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ tart; serves several.

For the crust:

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

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, sea salt, black sesame, 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. Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. Once the shell has cooled for a few minutes, brush the melted chocolate over the bottom evenly with a spatula. Let cool completely and then set for at least 10 minutes in the fridge before pouring in the panna cotta.

For the panna cotta:

1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.25 c full-fat coconut milk
1/3c + 1/4 c grapefruit juice, divided & cold
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract

For garnish: sliced meyer lemons & grapefruit + strawberries

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

Pour the 1.25 cups of coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add 1/3 c grapefruit juice, maple, vanilla into it. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from the heat. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm, about
20 minutes. Remove the tart shell from the fridge. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the chilled tart shell, and place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours (though I typically set mine overnight). Top with sliced citrus, strawberries, etc.

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

Citrus Saturday

More citrus!

Couldn’t resist; I haven’t made a citrus curd in a bit, and I love using blood oranges while I can get them in season. Plus, C’s meyer lemon tree has been producing again so I figured I’d take advantage.

This is one of those desserts that looks and sounds fancy and intimidating, but it’s not! Break it down into its component parts and it’s pretty straightforward. It’s also grain & gluten free, plus of course refined sugar free – and actually, there is only 1/4c of maple in the whole thing! It’s perfect for those of us who like our desserts on the tart side of sweet, ha. The crust is actually naturally sweet from the almond flour though anyway, so it really balances out the citrus curd.

I took a field trip out to visit Goldie today – Karl wouldn’t come out to play but Goldie and I played hide and seek for awhile while I hiked the bluffs to batteries trail. All told, it was 7mi from the Lincoln steps > coastal trail > Baker Beach > bluffs to batteries > bay area ridge trail (presidio) > home, about two hours and a beautiful day.

hi Goldie!

Swam most days than not this week (see photo evidence), found some really pretty blooming things & watched a few gorgeous sunsets (yay western exposure from my apartment! amazing at all times except when it’s hot)

YES I wear a wetsuit, the water is currently 52 degrees so, yes.

Also, of course – I made a tart! Citrusy and nutty and delicious. Highly recommend, while we’re still in blood orange season (at least out here on the West coast/best coast.)

Happy weekending! Go get outside :)

Blood Orange & Meyer Lemon Tart on a Hazelnut Almond Crust

Gluten & grain free; refined sugar free. I included a couple of options for the order of making this, so read through the whole thing before you get started :) A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ tart; serves several.

I stabilized the curd for this tart with gelatin, as I was after the texture of a panna cotta more than a softer curd tart for slicing and serving. I’m including an option for a baked tart, if you’d prefer to avoid gelatin or are out.

For tart assembly:

~1c of blood orange & meyer lemon curd, recipe below (I use all of what the recipe makes for a 9″ tart)
1 tart shell, recipe below
1/4 c cold meyer lemon juice (I used two lemons)
1 packet powdered gelatin
1 blood orange, sliced

I suggest making the crust first and letting it cool. Once it’s cooling, start the curd – then just adding the softened gelatin into the already warm curd once the curd is finished cooking.

In a small bowl, sprinkle 1 packet of gelatin over 1/4c cold meyer lemon juice. Stir until incorporated and let sit for a minute. Once softened, stir into the warm curd, whisking until the gelatin is dissolved completely (give it 1-2 minutes of continuous whisking). Strain the curd through a fine metal strainer into a bowl to cool a bit, before pouring the curd into the baked crust shell and transferring to the fridge to cool completely – preferably overnight but at least 4 hours. Top with sliced blood oranges, etc. Store the tart in the fridge until serving. Leftovers keep well overnight, refrigerated.

If you prefer not to use gelatin, you can also set the curd by pouring it into the pre-baked tart shell, and baking the whole thing at 350 for 8-10 minutes, then letting cool completely and refrigerating for at least 4 hours before serving. I prefer the gelatin method with this curd since it will set completely – the baked version might have more wobble / lose some structural integrity when sliced, but it’s a pretty solid second option & is definitely still delicious.

Blood Orange & Meyer Lemon Curd:

3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 c blood orange + meyer lemon juice (I used 2 blood oranges + 1 large lemon)
zest of 2 blood oranges
zest of 1 meyer lemon
pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp butter, unsalted
1 tsp vanilla

I use a double boiler for this lemon curd, which I highly recommend! You don’t have to, but in my experience it makes for a better cooking process. Heat water in the bottom of the double boiler until it’s at a high simmer. In the top of the double boiler, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, citrus zest and juice, sea salt, and maple syrup. Add in the butter one tbsp at a time, whisking continuously, not adding the next tbsp until the first is completely melted. Whisk in vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly, until the curd thickens and will coat the back of a spoon (or your whisk leaves tracks) – usually around 5 to 8 minutes. It’s a noticeable change when it happens, so just watch the cooking magic! Remove from heat, and whisk in gelatin (see notes above); strain through a metal strainer to remove zest and any bits of cooked egg and let cool until room temp before pouring into the tart shell.

For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/2 c hazelnut flour/meal
1/3 c unsweetened shredded coconut
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 & hazelnut flours, shredded coconut, 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.