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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Herbed Goat Cheese Tart with Spring Peas

English peas in the spring are one of those magical things.

Herbed Goat Cheese & Spring Pea Tart

There’s this super narrow window when they’re in season (usually a few weeks in April), and if you can catch them fresh-off-the-vine they’re this crunchy, sweet treat bursting with flavor.

Herbed Goat Cheese & Spring Pea Tart2

My CSA box back in April came with three whole bags of English peas, still in their pods. Shelling them can take quite a bit of work—though if I’d been smart, I would have soaked them in a water or blanched them for a minute to make them softer. I just sat in front of the TV and shelled the peas while vegging out. As soon as I got the peas, I knew exactly what recipe I wanted to make.

Herbed Goat Cheese & Spring Pea Tart assembled

I pinned this tart recipe probably a few years ago, but haven’t had the chance to make it. It just sounded awesome across the board. My family teases me about how much I love goat cheese, but it’s seriously awesome! The combination of tangy goat cheese, creamy greek yogurt, fresh herbs, a little salt, and then those sweet peas is truly unique. I wasn’t able to find micro greens, but I do think they’d make this recipe even better.

It’s also important to note that this is NOT great as leftovers…the tart solidifies in the fridge and becomes quite hard and a little flavorless, losing the awesome texture and tang it had when it was fresh. This recipe is perfect for something like a Mother’s Day brunch or Sunday morning bridal shower—something a little fancy, but where it will get consumed right away. [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.

AND I HAVE FOUND IT.

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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Healthy Deep-Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

I can tell what you’re thinking. That “healthy” and “deep-dish chocolate chip cookie pie” don’t belong together. It’s an oxymoron. I must be off my meds.

Healthy Deep-Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

And to be fair, this should really be called “healthier”, not “healthy”. Because dessert will never be carrot sticks—it’s just a fact of life. Dessert CAN be made healthier, though, without giving up taste or awesomeness. And that’s what we’re doing here today.

Healthy Deep-Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie

This dish is pretty intense. Despite some major ingredient substitutions, it’s rich and sweet and soft and gooey. Plus lower in sugar and full of fiber and protein. And gluten-free. I might go so far as to say I like it better than I’d like a regular deep-dish cookie pie.

healthy deep-dish chocolate chip cookie pie finished

As you may have guessed, this healthy delight has a secret ingredient. No, it’s not the tears of a baby duck, or the hoof of a firstborn unicorn. What is it, then? [Read more…]

Grilled Eggplant with Goat Cheese, Balsamic, & Pine Nuts

I have a confession. I’ve never really loved eggplant. I don’t hate it, but I never choose it. I find it kind of squishy and a little bitter and mostly underwhelming. I will never order eggplant parmesan, and I find baba ganoush just plain weird.

I feel like they’re going to take away my Italo-phile card…

grilled balsamic eggplant finished

The great thing about this dish is that it’s super simple, but seems fancy, like you took a lot of time with it. And anything that has goat cheese, balsamic, and pine nuts is okay by me!

grilled balsamic eggplant finished2

I won’t say that this dish totally changed my mind on eggplant or anything, but I really enjoyed it and it was cool to try preparing a new vegetable (which has been a theme lately, stay tuned for my kohlrabi efforts). [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…]

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