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Rosemary Chocolate Chip Olive Oil Cake

So, I really am struggling with calling this cake.

Rosemary Chocolate Chip Olive Oil Cake

It’s honestly not that sweet at all. It’s got a light crumb, and feels a lot like a zucchini or banana bread (maybe a bit less moist than banana bread).

rosemary chocolate chip olive oil cake baked

I was really intrigued by the sweet and savory combination, with the rosemary. To be honest, the flavor didn’t bowl me over, mostly because I felt like the chocolate overwhelmed things a bit. It was simple and good, but not earth-shattering.

rosemary chocolate chip olive oil cake rosemary

I’m a sucker for rosemary, and fresh herbs in general, and love the idea of using them in baking sweets. As I was eating this, I kept re-imagining it as a slightly different flavor combo, particularly citrus and herb. Maybe lemon and rosemary, or grapefruit and thyme? Something a little punchy to contrast with the earthiness of the herbs. Let me know if you have ideas! But regardless, this really was a lovely breakfast treat, and got totally devoured at work in an hour or two. [Read more…]

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Almond Cake with Fruit Compote (gluten-free)

I’ve amassed a fairly impressive arsenal of gluten-free dessert recipes over the past few years, since my friends John & Bridgette went GF.  And one of the biggest things I usually look for in these recipes is that they’re naturally free of gluten, rather than using weird ingredients to try and approximate the texture and taste of wheat recipes.

Almond Cake with Fruit Compote done

That’s why I’ve developed quite an affinity for almond meal.  It’s super yummy, plus it has an awesome grainy texture—not perfect for every type of recipe, but helps provide a “crumb” to certain cakes and pastries.  It’s also pretty easy to work with and really forgiving.  I’ve kind of been on an almond cake kick lately for myself, because the flavor is perfect for this summer-to-fall transition time we’ve been in.

Almond Cake with Fruit Compote

Which brings us to the uber-moist flavor bomb we’re talking about today…

Almond Cake with Fruit Compote sliced

This recipe is from Cookie + Kate, and as soon as she posted it, I was dying to give it a try.  The almond cake is the star, and is taken up a level by the combination of orange zest and cinnamon in the batter, and the maple syrup makes it super moist.  It’s also literally the easiest batter to throw together.  Then the slightly-sticky cake is stopped with a roasted fruit compote, which provides additional juice dripping down into the cake.  I went with pears and raspberries, which in hindsight was way too much juice to deal with.  But you can use whatever strikes your fancy.  This is awesome as leftovers, particularly for breakfast.

Don’t judge. [Read more…]

Fresh Peach Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Peach season!!!!

Fresh Peach Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I feel like that should have been all-caps. Because, not only is it peach season, but my VERY. FIRST. PEACH. was perfectly ripe. That has never happened in the history of ever. Farmers market FTW!

fresh peach coconut milk ice cream peaches

When I snagged these beauties last weekend and they were perfectly ripe and criminally juicy, I knew I had to do something amazing with them immediately. And it was balls-hot (the hyphen is important for adhering to AP style…) so ice cream was the logical conclusion.

Fresh Peach Coconut Milk Ice Cream closeup

This is my no-fail coconut milk ice cream. I’ve made it in many different flavors, including my absolute favorite in the world, peanut butter and honey with sea salt, as well as a slight variation of peanut butter and strawberry jam. It’s easy, adaptable, healthy, only as sweet as you want it to be, and naturally dairy-free. And did I mention easy? As long as you have a little frozen yogurt maker you’re golden. Otherwise I’d try stirring it every so often in the freezer and you’ll probably still get good results. [Read more…]

Maple Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten-Free)

I’ve been super absent here lately.

It’s mostly because I’ve been working eleventy-billion hours, which means I’ve been exhausted and never home. And the tiny bit of free time that I’m able to grab has been devoted to trip planning for two big upcoming international trips. So suffice to say, I haven’t been cooking much lately, and haven’t had the energy to try new recipes. And the few new recipes I have tried have been kind of meh. And you deserve better than meh.

maple peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookie baked

These are definitely not meh. They’re not the most amazingly glorious things you’ve ever put in your mouth, but they are delicious and sweet and pretty darn healthy when it comes down to it. As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’m always on the lookout for good gluten-free recipes that use normal ingredients.

Maple Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

They have an interesting texture—the dough acts a lot like no-bake cookie dough, quite sticky. And the baked cookies are crumbly (not dry, just break apart easily), and super chocolate-y, and really quite sweet.

Maple Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with Milk

These are made with oat flour, peanut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup. You can use whatever kind of chocolate chips you want, but I tried these huge Ghiradelli dark chocolate discs. SO. MUCH. CHOCOLATE.

maple peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookie dough

Overall these were a great gluten-free addition to my repertoire. They were super easy to throw together, and healthy enough that I didn’t feel guilty sneaking one or two with my coffee the next morning! [Read more…]

Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting

“Life is too short for self-hatred and celery sticks.” ~ Marilyn Wann

That quote basically encapsulates my struggle right now. I love food. I don’t believe in diets, because I think that permanently denying yourself foods will just make you want them more. Plus, why take all the fun out of life?? But I am trying to be good most of the time right now. And looking at these pictures is pure torture, because I remember how GOOOOOOD these cinnamon rolls were.

Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting

But I have a secret. I’m not really into cinnamon rolls. Except these cinnamon rolls. These cinnamon rolls are like if you just took the gooey center of the roll (the only good part) and made it ALL of the roll.

THESE CINNAMON ROLLS ARE EVERYTHING.

Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting done

People had raved about The Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon roll recipe, so when I decided to try my hand at cinnamon rolls I knew I had to try these ones. I was scared, honestly. Cinnamon rolls look like so much work, and I’ve never thought they were worth the effort. Boy, was I wrong.

cinnamon rolls with maple frosting cut2

These are 5-star levels of gooey, they’re sweet, they’re maple-y, the bread is moist and soft. Perfect. They’re perfect. And they were actually not that hard to make. Yes, there were a few steps, but they weren’t hard or even super time consuming. I just had to plan ahead in terms of starting them the night before, but otherwise they came together pretty easily.

Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting 2

How decadent are these cinnamon rolls?? Well, I polished off the last four (DON’T JUDGE.) the morning that I gave blood (so I could start eating healthy the next day, natch), and when my cholesterol results came back they were like 50 points higher than normal. It was insane. Granted, I’d also had like seven of them the day before. Still. Crazy. [Read more…]

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.

*sigh*

Chocolate Stout Cake w Chocolate Ganache

Okay, back to the cake… [Read more…]

Smitten Kitchen’s Whole Lemon Tart…Birthday Celebration Part 1

A few years ago I decided that, for my birthday, I’d make myself a dessert that’s just a little fancier than normal. Something I’ve been lusting after but required more time or effort than I’m typically willing to put into things. Since I don’t tend to like store-bought desserts that much, it was a way of making sure I got something I’d really like. And, boy, has it produced good results so far?! Two years ago I made these amazing vanilla almond cupcakes with peach jam filling, and last year I tried out Smitten Kitchen’s red wine chocolate cake.

Whole Lemon Tart

This year, since it’s a “technicolor” birthday (as my co-worker says), I decided that I didn’t have to pick between the two desserts I was eyeing. So this is part one of 30th birthdaypalooza, and Smitten Kitchen has once again done me a solid.

Whole Lemon Tart done

This lemon tart is absolutely jam-packed with flavor. While I love lemon things, I am often turned off by lemon flavor that’s cloying or fake tasting, which is always a danger. But this tart is so bright and fresh and in-your-face with its real lemonness. Lemon-ity?

whole lemon tart lemon slices

What’s also fascinating is that you throw the entire lemon into the filling (not whole, that would be weird…). I don’t know why that makes a huge difference, but it does. And while it looks like there are a million steps in the recipe below, it’s really not that difficult or time consuming. As long as you have time during a couple parts of the day (so you can make the tart crust and let it chill, then freeze a little, then bake), you’re golden. And the butter—oh, the butter! This tart is lemon-y, creamy, tangy, rich, custardy goodness. [Read more…]

Roasted Apricot & Honey Ice Cream

I’m on an ice cream kick. I’ve tried like four different recipes in the past few weeks, all with this super easy coconut milk base. Because it’s been HAWT!

Roasted Apricot Ice Cream wiht Coconut Milk

I had seen several recipes for roasted plum ice cream, which I found super intriguing, but when I went to the store they were out of plums. And then these beautiful, firm apricots just jumped out at me.

Roasted Apricot Ice Cream

Apricot is such a strong flavor that I couldn’t think of a good spice complement (I’d planned to do cardamom with the plums), so I just kept it super simple—honey, vanilla, and a little bit of sea salt.

roasted apricot ice cream apricots

While it was a bit tart for my taste (I was trying to go easy on the honey but probably went a little TOO light), it was refreshing and delicious! [Read more…]

Pound Cake with Coffee, Chocolate and Hazelnuts

This is a winter kind of recipe. In fact, I made it this past winter, but I haven’t posted it yet because I was ashamed about how terrible the pictures are. I mean, seriously terrible.

chocolate hazelnut coffee poundcake hazelnuts roasted

But this pound cake is good. It transcends the awfulness of the pictures, and you deserve to know it.

Chocolate Hazelnut Coffee Poundcake

Not only is it cake (duh), but it’s got coffee, chocolate, AND hazelnuts. That’s like the Three Amigos of deliciousness. The Three Musketeers (and d’Artagnan) of deliciousness. The Buffy, Willow, and Xander of deliciousness.

This could go on…

Chocolate Hazelnut Coffee Poundcake finished

With the sifting, making the chocolate hazelnut paste, and then making the batter, it’s slightly more work than a regular pound cake, but not too much. And the rich combination of flavors is totally worth it. [Read more…]

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