Bay swims and blood oranges

First swim of 2022 accomplished! Took me awhile to get back down there but I’m very glad I did. This marks one year of extremely regular bay swimming! My average is probably twice a week – there were a bunch in there where I was very regular with a MWF schedule but lately not so much. It felt COLD to me today but that’s probably because oh right it’s January and also because it’s been a bit since I’ve been in… still in my sleeveless wetsuit though, so that’s something. I think the water temp today was 50? Not sure. Definitely one of my fave ways to start a weekend :)

I have a cake for you today! I think I say this every time but I really don’t make cakes that frequently. Probably because I can cram more fruit into something like a crisp or a galette and that’s always a priority, but I like a good cake now and again for a change.

This one fits the bill perfectly – it’s poppy seedy and almondy, with a moist crumb and a bit of pleasantly dense texture. As it is grain/gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free, it relies primarily on eggs for its loft and is made only with almond flour. I consider this to be a super simple cake – it doesn’t require a bunch of different flours or a mixer. In fact, it could easily be put together for a brunch the morning of; the blood orange curd (gf but not dairy free) can be made in advance up to a week, so that’s an easy one to knock out a few days ahead.

I love this for dessert with ice cream but it most definitely holds its own in a brunch/breakfast situation, and it’s perfect alongside coffee. The blood orange curd is of course optional but highly recommended (and not intimidating! don’t let it scare you off). Plus, blood orange season isn’t super long – I try to take advantage while I can. They are so beautiful!

In other news, we’ve been having some beautiful sunrises and sunsets in the city of late – here’s a sunrise from earlier this week and a cactus happily doing its cactus thing.

I hope your weekend is full of good things! Maybe cake? I definitely recommend cake :)

Almond Poppy Seed Cake with Blood Orange Curd

Grain and gluten free, refined sugar free and dairy free. Kind of paleo, I guess? A riff on this almond cake I made years ago. Lightly sweet and perfectly moist, especially good for midwinter citrus season! The blood orange curd is gluten free and refined sugar free but made with butter; I think a dairy free butter would work here. Yield: one 6-9″ cake (depending on cake pan of choice), serves several.

2 c (packed) almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 c poppy seeds
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 c maple syrup
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c coconut oil, melted
zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
blood orange curd, for serving (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 325. Grease an 8″ springform (or cake pan, or cast iron! I’ve used a deep 7″ cast iron to great effect here; I’ve also used a 6″ springform very successfully for a taller cake) with coconut oil and dust with a bit of almond flour. If I use a springform, I typically set it on a baking sheet lined with parchment to catch any drips.

In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, baking powder, soda and salt, and poppy seeds. In a smaller bowl, whisk together beaten eggs (just beat these in the same bowl before adding everything else) maple, almond and vanilla extracts, and melted coconut oil. Whisk in lemon zest and juice. Stir wet ingredients into dry, until combined. Pour batter into your prepared pan, and bake for 35-40 minutes (9″ will probably be more like 35; my 6″ springform went for 40) – the top should be golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack! Ideally give it at least 10 minutes before releasing the springform; if you used a cake pan, I’d suggest letting it cool completely before removing. Serve warm, room temp or chilled (for a nicely solid cake; I love the texture of chilled coconut oil cakes) with a dollop of blood orange curd and a few citrus slices.

Keeps well overnight in the fridge.

Blood Orange Curd

3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 c blood orange + meyer lemon juice (I used 4 small blood oranges + 1 lemon)
blood orange zest (I just zest as many as I will use for juice)
zest of 1 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 strain through a metal strainer to remove zest and any bits of cooked egg. Store in a glass container in the fridge until ready for use – can be made up to a week ahead.

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.

Beautiful Blood Oranges

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Ew gross, I hate losing an hour! I end up feeling so… cheated.

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Plus, it’s Sunday so I’m trying not to have the Sunday yucks. C and I had a great morning – slept in a little, spent some quality time at the climbing gym, ate delicious bfast and drank coffee. All the appropriate Sunday happenings.

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My apartment is clean and I have food to prep for the week (ground chicken stirfry with fennel and radish and cauliflower rice I think). It’s cloudy, I’ve moved on to tea and am feeling at least peaceful, if not totally at ease with the fact that it’s Sunday afternoon. I’m rationing my news consumption lately because of just… everything… so I am planning to finish at least one book this evening, maybe two. We’ll see.

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In other news, this galette got a rave review the instant C took a bite this morning – pretty sure the bite wasn’t even all the way eaten before he says, “omg this is INCREDIBLE!” so… I’ll just leave it at that.

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Almond poppy seed galette with blood oranges: there is almond in here three ways, between the almond flour and extract in the crust, and the almond butter in the filling. Blood oranges have a shortish season so I always try to get on them asap – they are just so incredibly beautiful.

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I mean, look at these things! Mother Nature is a boss lady.

Happy International Women’s Day to Mother Nature and all the other bossbitch ladies in my life out there, you inspire me every day <3

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Almond Poppy Seed and Blood Orange Galette

Gluten, grain and refined sugar free. Lightly sweet – perfect for those who like a little citrus-forward dessert. Easy to throw together, and the blood oranges are naturally beautiful. Poppy seeds are just a win all around, obviously. A Wait are Those Cookies original. Yield: 1 galette, serves several.

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
3 tbsp poppy seeds
6 tbsp salted butter, chopped (or ghee)
1 egg*
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

For the filling:

1/3 c almond butter
1 tbsp maple
pinch of sea salt

4-5 blood oranges, peeled and sliced

*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, poppy seeds, salt, and butter to combine until it looks like coarse meal. Add in egg, vanilla and almond 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.

In a smallish bowl, stir together almond butter, maple and sea salt. It should be on the runnier and spreadable side – if not, warm it up briefly on the stove top or in the microwave.

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 the almond butter filling, spreading it gently in a circle across the center of the dough. On top of that, add sliced blood oranges and dust them with coconut sugar. 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 blood oranges with butter. 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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