Chocolate, Cinnamon, & Almond Loaf Cake (gluten-free)

My dessert tastes don’t always quite jive with other people’s.  I don’t like things super sweet, I tend more toward fruity desserts rather than super chocolate, I will always choose dark chocolate over milk (and don’t even talk to me about white chocolate and its lies…).

Chocolate, Cinnamon, & Almond Loaf Cake | Finding Time for Cooking

I was blown away by the complexity of the flavors in this cake, yet how subtle they were.  I cut back on the sugar quite a bit from what the recipe called for, and for me that made it perfect—letting the chocolate have more of a bittersweet quality and the cinnamon shine through.  Also, whoever thought to put cinnamon in whipped cream is a genius and I can’t believe I haven’t done that before.  But I assure you I will forever moving forward…
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Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache

A month ago I was crowing about the glorious chocolate stout cake with chocolate ganache I made for my birthday. It was fudgy and rich but not too sweet, with a depth from the stout. Basically perfect. Then, a couple days later, my friends asked if I could bring a dessert to their dinner party. They’re both gluten-free, and I have a number of go-to recipes. But I couldn’t get that chocolate cake out of my mind.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Quinoa Cake with Chocolate Ganache

I knew I’d pinned a gluten-free quinoa cake months ago, but didn’t quite love the exact ingredient proportions. I found another, tweaked it a little, and used the same chocolate ganache as the other cake. I took the remaining three-fourths of my birthday cake and the quinoa cake to the party. I had to label them because they were identical, and honestly, I think people liked them equally. The only real difference you could tell was that the quinoa cake didn’t have the stout (on account of the gluten), but I plan to adapt it for a bourbon or similar at some point—just have to do my research on gluten and alcohol. And there was still some of the whole quinoa in it since my blender isn’t great, but if you use a food processor it will puree it and you’d never even know. [Read more…]

Chocolate Stout Cake with Ganache…Birthday Celebration Part 2!

Let me start by saying that this cake is way easier than it sounds. There’s something about “ganache” that sounds so fancy and unattainable.

Chocolate Stout Cake with Chocolate Ganache

This was the birthday cake I picked out this year, something kind of fancy but also quite simple—just good chocolate and good beer. (Although I’m sensing a theme of chocolate + alcohol birthday cakes…). This is a Smitten Kitchen recipe and it’s basically perfect. The cake itself has a dense richness, a little bittersweet from the combination of the stout and the darker Dutch-process cocoa. I also went a little scant on the sugar so the sweetness wasn’t overwhelming. I went ahead and frosted mine right away, which made the inside moist and fudgy, which is how I prefer my cake.

Chocolate Stout Cake finished

I’d never made a ganache before and thought it was going to be complicated and temperamental, but it was really quite simple and very fast. You want to use good quality chocolate to get the smoothest, creamiest texture and rich flavor. Overall, I would make this cake again in a heartbeat!

chocolate stout cake jamie bottle

And then there was this gloriousness. That’s right, my co-worker wrapped my birthday wine bottles with the one and only James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser. They get me. They really get me.


Chocolate Stout Cake w Chocolate Ganache

Okay, back to the cake… [Read more…]

Black Bean Brownies with Honey – The Runner-Up

Last week, I shared my perfected black bean brownies recipe. They’ve got amazing texture, taste great, have more protein and fiber than regular brownies, and aren’t packed with sugar (like most black bean brownie recipes are). You’d never even know they have beans in them and are gluten-free.

Black Bean Brownies made with honey

But I wanted to share the runner-up in my weeks-long search as well. These brownies are great in their own right, though they’ve got a different texture than the others. They’re very moist and light, very fudge-y. The big difference? These are made with honey instead of sugar.

Black Bean Brownies with honey

The reason these couldn’t win the top spot is that the honey does change the texture a little. Specifically, it’s white sugar that gives the tops of the brownies that crisp, slightly crackly look, and you just can’t replicate that with honey.

Black Bean Brownies with honey baked

But if you’re trying not to use white sugar, this recipe is a great alternative. 

Black Bean Brownies with honey done

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease an 8×8 pan. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Pour into the pan, sprinkle with the chocolate and peanut butter chips, and bake for 43-47 minutes.

Black Bean Brownies made with honey bite

The brownies should be solid, shouldn’t really wiggle at all when shaken. Let come to room temperature before cutting and serving.

Black Bean Brownies (made with honey)

Makes 8×8 pan; for 9×13, double everything

  • 1 can of black beans (drained, well-rinsed)
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of instant espresso or coffee powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • Optional:  dark chocolate chips & peanut butter chips for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, pour all ingredients. Process until smooth. Pour the mixture into the pan and sprinkle wiht the chocolate and peanut butter chips.

Bake for 43-47 minutes. Cooked brownies will be solid, fragrant, and dark, and will not jiggle when the pan is shaken. Allow brownies to cool to room temperature before cutting.

Original recipe here

Perfect Black Bean Brownies

So, I have been on the hunt for the perfect black bean brownie recipe. Why, you ask? Honestly, I’m not sure. I got it into my head a couple months ago after I tried out my healthy deep-dish chocolate chip cookie pie, which is also chock-full of fiber and gluten-free. Having friends who are gluten-sensitive, I’m always on the lookout for dessert recipes for dinner parties.

Perfect Black Bean Brownies

I’d seen people pin different black bean brownie recipes, but every time I checked out the ingredients I was shocked at how much sugar they called for—I guess to compensate for the lack of other unhealthy things. So I started browsing through all sorts of recipes and trying several of them find one that was still fairly healthy without compromising on taste or texture.


Perfect Black Bean Brownies baked

These brownies are perfect. They’re fudge-y and rich but light and not too sweet, and just as good days later as they were fresh out of the oven. My co-workers were shocked when I told them that they were gluten-free and made of beans. You also blend all the ingredients in a food processor, so there are no bowls to clean, no stirring—just blend, pour, and bake.

FAQs (because I can hear you asking):  Do these brownies taste like beans? No. Do they have a weird texture? No. Will anyone be able to tell they have beans in them? No. Will they make me toot? Possibly…that’s really between you and your intestines.

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Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake

Oh boy, I’ve been wanting to try this one for a while but the universe kept conspiring against me. Mostly by making me too full after my traditional Saturday night thai food to even think about dessert. But after our eventful snow day in Atlanta yesterday, I decided it was time for a treat.

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake

Yet again, I didn’t prepare for the snowpocalypse. And by “snowpocalypse”, I mean 1-2 inches of snow that literally ruined Atlanta. People stranded in their cars for 20+ hours, having to abandon them on the highway and walk to safety and warmth. Parts of it enforced my lack of faith in humanity (yes, I’m looking at you, asshat who knowingly ran the red light and blocked a major intersection for 20 minutes), while others were pretty amazing (thousands of people offering up spare rooms, couches, bringing food to stranded drivers). My hour-and-a-half commute home looked like a walk in the park by comparison, and while I don’t have much food at home, I do have wine.

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake bite

Mug cake recipes are hit-and-miss, but this one was a winner for me. First, you can never miss with peanut butter and chocolate, and the texture was fudgy and creamy and awesome. The fact that it doesn’t use eggs is handy as well.

double chocolate peanut butter mug cake mug

It helps to start with a super cute mug. This is one of my favorites, it actually was the first mug in my somewhat-eclectic collection. Got it in Seattle at Pike’s Place Market back in college. [Read more…]

Birthday Red Wine Chocolate Cake!

I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.
~W.C. Fields

Sometimes I have incredibly coherent, well-phrased, occasionally-beautiful thoughts. And then sometimes, like when I saw this recipe for the first time, I just blurt things out.


Red Wine Chocolate Cake slice

That’s pretty much how that conversation went in my head.

Last year my birthday fell on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) which was very sad from a food and wine standpoint. This year, it fell on the 8th day, the day after the Feast of Tabernacles, and unfortunately I spent the majority of it in airports and airplanes trying to get home from Steamboat Springs. I did get to have a lovely dinner with my parents the night before, however, and brunch with my mom that morning before I left. And I happened upon a lovely wine bar (Cru) during my 3-hour layover in Denver and celebrated in my own way—with flights of Cabernet and some creamy tiramisu. So not all was lost.

Red Wine Chocolate Cake

I started a little ritual last year for my birthday, where I’d pick a dessert recipe that had really captured my imagination for some reason—maybe it felt a little fancy, needed a special occasion, was a little more work—and make it for my birthday. Except, scheduling being what it is in my life, it basically ends up being somewhere within a month window of my birthday. Which is kind of the same thing. I just wanted something that felt a little special, and an excuse to make something fun. Last year it was my vanilla almond cupcakes with homemade peach jam filling. And this year it’s this awesomeness.

Growing up, birthdays weren’t really a big thing. But to me, I like to make a tiny bit of fuss for it. Not go overboard, but just a little something special.

Red Wine Chocolate Cake Baked

This cake really is special. First, there’s the Dutch cocoa (vs. regular), which has so much more depth than regular cocoa powder. Then you add the red wine and a hint of cinnamon, and this cake just perfectly encapsulates indulgence. It’s everything that’s great about being a grown-up. It’s rich but not sweet, super moist but dense, just amazing.

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Super Healthy Chocolate Avocado Pudding

I think it’s safe to say that I LOVE avocado. I stockpile avocado recipes. I add them to recipes that don’t even call for them. Mostly I just eat them straight out of their shells with salt and pepper (I mean, it’s a food that already comes in a bowl!).

But I had never thought of using them to make dessert.

chocolate avocado pudding finished2

Never, that is, until sammysamgurl at Mouthwatering Motivation commented on my chicken & avocado enchiladas post and asked if I’d ever tried chocolate avocado pudding. It sounded weird and awesome, and I knew I had to give it a try. Even better? It’s gluten-free, paleo, low carb, and full of protein, fiber, and good fat. It basically should have its dessert card revoked. Except it’s also totally unique and delicious. [Read more…]

No-Bake Cookies…a.k.a. Haystacks

Sometimes I forget how much I love these cookies. When I mentally flip through desserts I want to make, somehow I never think of these. Maybe it’s because the first couple times I made them, they never set up. I had this delicious, totally liquid, gooey mess, but no actual cookies. I finally figured out that I wasn’t boiling the mixture for long enough, which meant it would never set up.

ANYHOO…gooey cookie mess is all in the past, and these cookies are glorious and delicious and chocolatey and peanut buttery and awesome.

haystacks finished

I made them last weekend because some friends had just bought a house and were moving, so I wanted to contribute to the “moving day lunch” but couldn’t actually help them move due to my bum hip. It was gross and humid this weekend, so turning the oven on didn’t sound fun, and a few of the people were gluten-intolerant, so I needed something gluten-free. After thumbing through and discarding a bunch of recipes, I all of the sudden thought of these. They were perfect for the occasion, and a great blast from the past as well. [Read more…]

Black Magic Chocolate Cake

You just can’t go wrong with chocolate cake. When I’m asked to bring a dessert to a dinner and I don’t know everyone’s preferences, I usually default to chocolate cake because WHO DOESN’T LIKE CHOCOLATE CAKE???

black magic cake finished

I’ve been trying to find the perfect chocolate cake recipe (and have been fairly successful). First I tried this one, which was awesome. I wanted to try this one since it had coffee in it (the other had vinegar which helped make it fluffy). I loved both, but I think this one was better. Practically foolproof.

black magic cake finished un-iced

black magic cake coffee

The secret ingredient in this cake is coffee, which brings out layers of flavor in chocolate without actually adding a coffee flavor to the cake.  [Read more…]

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