Individual Flourless Chocolate Cakes with Cherry Sauce

Individual Flourless Chocolate Cakes with Cherry Sauce

I’ve never been very good at sharing. I am the oldest of 4 children, so I had my fair share (ha! see what I did there?) of practice. Nonetheless when I started dating my husband and he often recommended we share our dishes at restaurants, I experienced an inner battlefield of indignation. I agreed because I was on my best behavior in this new incredible relationship but inside I was a petulant child; No, it’s MINE!!! It didn’t take too long for him to discover my true selfish colors. When he asked to share my Icecream one day, my pretenses crumbled. I can put on a happy face and share my salad but Icecream is where I draw the line my friends. I do not share things that I lick. Will.not.do.it. No Icecream, no Popsicles, no lollipops and no cereal for that matter. Something about the milk dropping out of your mouth back into the bowl gives me the heeby jeebys. We all have our idiosyncrasies. Thankfully, he loves me anyway and we get along just fine. He stays away from my Icecream and I share nearly every other acceptable meal with him. Relationships are all about compromise people.

Now, on to cake. Thankfully you don’t have to share this cake. You are not going to want to. You can have your very own ramekin and slurp it down greedily in the corner if you wish. I tried to do that but Marvel’s sweet little face made it impossible. My sharing muscles have been getting a major workout since getting married and having our girl. I just can’t escape the inevitable big blinky eyes coaxing me to give them a bite.

Individual Flourless Chocolate Cake with Cherry Sauce 

Chocolate Cake – Serves 4 

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Ingredients 

  • 4 oz cacao butter
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder, more for dusting ramekins
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, more for greasing
  • 4 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 3 farm fresh eggs
  • 1 tsp freshly scraped vanilla bean, approximately 2 vanilla beans

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Grease and lightly dust 4 6-8 oz ramekins
  3. Place cacao butter, cacao powder, honey, vanilla and coconut oil in a double boiler or in a glass bowl atop a boiling kettle.
  4. Once cacao butter is completely melted, stir and take off heat
  5. Using a beater by hand, beat sugar and egg until just combined.
  6. Add in chocolate sauce and combine
  7. Pour batter evenly into 4 ramekins
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes
  9. While cake is baking, make cherry sauce

Cherry Sauce

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Ingredients 

  • 2 cups halved and pitted cherries
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp arrowroot starch

Process

  1. In a saucepan, bring all ingredients except arrowroot starch to a boil over medium heat 
  2. Stir a few times 
  3. After about 3 minutes add arrowroot 
  4. When sauce starts to thicken, 2-3 minutes later, take off heat
  5. Let cool slightly, pour onto cooled cake and enjoy – by yourself or with others if you’re feeling generous ๐Ÿ˜‰

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My little Marvel is 2, let’s eat cake!

My little Marvel is 2, let’s eat cake!

Tuesday was my little love’s 2nd birthday. Yes, I had a precious little Cinco de mayo baby. Poor thing will always have large groups of adults getting wasted on her birthday, a burden she shares with my hubby, born on the 4th of July. Partiers aside, it was a beautiful day full of smiles, sweets and celebrations. ๐Ÿ™‚ Marvel has been spoiled silly this year; the celebrations began a few weeks ago at my mother’s house in LA and continued on until last night when we sat down with my in laws for dinner and more cake. I’ve eaten more birthday cake in the last three weeks than I have this entire year. I can’t complain though, I mean really, who complains about cake? The grinch maybe, or fascists? Perhaps nazis would complain about cake. Thankfully I’m none of those things. I absolutely love me some cake.

This delectable cake is a welcome reprieve from the traditional slathered in frosting, chocolate layer cake, that most birthday parties are sporting; which I totally made this last weekend for yet another of Marvel’s birthday parties. This cake is an orange and lemon bundt cake. My mother in law made this in a big flower cake pan so technically the cake you see in the pictures is not a bundt cake but it’s meant to be one. The edges are slightly crusty and taste of caramelized sugar. The inside is moist and spongy with bursts of citrus in every bite. It is an AWESOME birthday cake. Frankly, it is an awesome anytime cake. I ate a small slice after my breakfast this morning. If you haven’t had breakfast dessert yet, let me say, you are sorely missing out. It went absolutely perfectly with my green tea. I made some coconut whipped cream to serve on top and couldn’t have been happier with the pairing. I strongly suggest you serve this cake with some sort of whipped cream. The two go together like peanut butter and jelly. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Triple Citrus ‘Bundt’ Cake

Adapted from a Martha Stewart Recipe

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Ingredients

Cake

  • Coconut oil for greasing
  • 2 3/4 cups flour (I used a gluten free blend of sorghum, teff and white rice flour)
  • 3 lemons
  • 2 large oranges
  • 1 cup coconut sugar, processed super fine in a spice grinder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup coconut cream
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut oil

Syrup

  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup coconut sugar, processed super fine in a spice grinder

Process

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease a bundt pan with coconut oil
  3. With a sharp knife, cut away the peel and the white pith of a lemon. Holding the lemon over a bowl, cut between membranes to release segments in the bowl. Here is a handy video on how to do this.ย Squeeze juice from remaining membranes into another bowl. Repeat with remaining 2 lemons and 2 oranges
  4. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl
  5. Add coconut cream and using an electric beater, beat until combined
  6. Add eggs one at a time beating to combine
  7. Beat in coconut oil and citrus juices
  8. Add citrus segments and beat on low just to combine
  9. Transfer batter to pan and bake rotating pan once until a toothpick comes out clean, about 45 minutes. (If you are using a flatter, larger pan like I did, it will take about 15 minutes less.)
  10. When cake is done, set on a wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes
  11. Transfer cake to a shallow dish
  12. Brush top and sides of cake with syrup below
  13. Add some sort ofย whipped cream and make your mouth happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Syrup

  1. Bring citrus juices and processed coconut sugar to a boil in a saucepan stirring until sugar is dissolved, boil for 30 seconds more

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Raw Energy Balls

Raw Energy Balls

The clan and I have been doing quite a lot of traveling around these last few weeks. Moving, visiting friends, flying to LA to spend a few days with my family, driving to the beach an hour away for some fun in the sun… all of our little excursions require that we have handy sustenance for the road. Fruit and nuts are our go to car snacks but sometimes it’s nice to have a special treat to nosh on to make that hour fly by more quickly. 

These bite sized date balls are that perfect special treat. They are sweet enough to feel like an indulgence yet healthy enough to gobble up 6 of them without feeling those all too familiar pangs of regret. I whipped these up in just under 5 minutes. How groovy is that? Groovier than bell bottoms that hug John Travolta’s perfectly sculpted butt in Saturday Night Fever, I reckon. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

You can dress these up with any of your favorite extras. I rolled a few of them in raw cacao powder for an elegant antioxidant boost. You could dip them in melted chocolate if you wanted a more decadent dessert ball. I found that these satisfied my ever present sweet tooth just fine as is.

Raw Energy Balls

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup Dates
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Process

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor 
  2. Process until ingredients are finely chopped and starting to stick together
  3. Roll into bite sized balls and decorate however tickles your proverbial pickle. DSC_1033

XO ~ Sam

Orange and Lemon Coconut Cookies

Orange and Lemon Coconut Cookies

My daughter has been talking up a storm these days. Her favorite words seem to be Mama, Cookie, Please and Thank you; she prefers to use them in this order. Since I am such a dutiful servant mama I made her some cookies today when she asked for them. If you read my last post you will remember that I have just moved in with my parents in law. I now have many old and beautiful cookbooks at my disposal. One is titled simply, ‘Cookies’. I opened it up this morning and skimmed through while nearly drooling all over the pages. I found a recipe I liked and substituted a few things, honey for white granulated sugar, coconut flour for all purpose. The result is a very crumbly, very delicious, very toddler friendly cookie… My husband came home and ate 3 of them himself. I guess they are pretty husband friendly too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Orange and Lemon Coconut Cookies

~Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free!~

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • zest of one orange
  • 1/2 cup honey, sub maple syrup if strictly vegan
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, plus more for greasing

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper
  3. Grease parchment paper with coconut oil
  4. In a small bowl mix together all dry ingredients, set aside
  5. In a small saucepan, heat orange, lemon juice, honey and coconut on low heat until it becomes slightly syrupy
  6. Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients
  7. Scoop out little balls onto cookie sheet and slightly flatten with a spatula
  8. Bake for 10 minutes
  9. Nom nom nom!

These sweet little cookies are best with a cold, creamy glass of milk. I enjoy almond milk, my little one prefers goat milk. Any kind of milk will complement this cookie perfectly.

XO ~ Sam

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Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Vegan Chocolate Frosting ย 

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Vegan Chocolate Frosting ย 

Today, I had a flash back of a really sweet moment in my childhood. I was 8 maybe 9, sitting at our dinner table with my brother, 6 and sister, still in diapers; chocolate smeared our faces as we chugged down ice cold milk. The milk was always ice cold in our house. My mother insisted it be so. Although I don’t drink cows milk anymore, I’d still have to agree with her; milk tastes best just before it freezes and accompanied by chocolate. Always. 

In this instance the chocolate that lined our smiling mouths was frosting from a chocolate cake. This seemingly insignificant memory danced around my head all morning. I could smell the frosting, I could feel the crumble of the cake in my mouth. It was slowly driving me mad! I knew I had to make one. 

The cake of my memories was a boxed Betty Crocker creation, no doubt. My mama was never much of a baker. I was inspired to create my own take on the delicious yet overly processed box version. It had been awhile since I used butter and sugar to create anything. In the interest of health, I’ve been going for coconut oil in lieu of butter and honey or maple syrup to substitute granulated sugar when baking. Although I believe the flavor rarely suffers with these substitutions, the texture inevitably does. Sugar and butter can create a more tender, moist baked good. For this cake, I wanted to create something as close to the original as I could get while using organic whole foods to make it happen. I think I succeeded. Here’s what I did,  

(Recipe adapted from Tasting Table)

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Vegan Chocolate Frosting 

Ingredients:         

Chocolate Cake:

  • 1 cup cacao powder
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate 
  • 2 cups gluten free all propose flour (I made my own using 1/2 cup potato starch, 3/4 cup white rice flour, 1/2 cup sorghum flour and 1/4 cup teff flour)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 1/2 sticks grass fed butter, kerrygold is my all time favorite. 
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar 
  • 5 eggs
  • 3/4 cup goat milk

Vegan Chocolate Frosting

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  • 8 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped 
  • The cream from one can of coconut milk, refrigerated overnight or frozen for a few hours
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 8 tbsp coconut oil 
  • 2 tsp vanilla 

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
  2. Grease two 9-inch cake pans with oil or butter of choice and dust with cocoa powder, tapping out the excess.
  3. In a small bowl, stir the cocoa powder with the water until you form a paste.
  4. Using a double boiler or a small glass bowl atop a tea kettle, melt your 12 oz total of baking chocolate 
  5. Mix flour, baking soda and salt together well in a large bowl
  6. Using a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, beat the sugar and butter together until smooth. 
  7. While still beating, add one egg at a time to butter and sugar mixture. 
  8. Lower beater speed and add cacao powder paste and melted chocolate
  9. Add flour and milk a bit a time to ensure mixture doesn’t get too chunky and combines well 
  10. Place batter evenly into greased cake pans 
  11. Place in middle of oven for 30 minutes
  12. Meanwhile make frosting – Take can of coconut milk out of fridge/freezer and scoop out the separated coconut cream from the top.
  13. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the coconut cream and sugar, stirring often until the sugar dissolves, about 2 to 3 minutes
  14. Place the remaining 8 oz of chopped chocolate in a medium-large bowl.
  15. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes or until the chocolate begins to soften. Whisk until smooth and allow to sit for another 5 to 7 minutes to cool slightly.
  16. Whisk the coconut oil into the chocolate, adding 1 tbsp at a time and whisking until it’s blended in before adding the next.
  17. Let frosting set in the refrigerator for an hour or so before taking out and adding cacao powder, milk and vanilla. 
  18. Using an electric beater, mix cacao powder and milk into frosting until it becomes thick and creamy 
  19. To assemble the cake, place one of the cake layers bottom-side up on a cake plate or platter. Using an offset metal spatula, ice with about 1 cup of the frosting. Place the second layer, also bottom-side up, on top of the frosting. Spread the remaining frosting over the sides and top of the entire cake. 
  20. Dig in! Preferably with a cold glass of milk, I prefer the almond variety. ๐Ÿ˜‰ DSC_0052๏ปฟ
Vegan Butter Pecan Ice Cream with Raw Caramel Sauce

Vegan Butter Pecan Ice Cream with Raw Caramel Sauce

Are you salivating yet? Just typing out the title got my mouth watering. Butter pecan is my all time favorite ice cream. Wait, that’s not totally true, coffee is pretty damn high on my favorite list too. Okay, butter pecan and coffee are my two favorites. Hmmm…. but what about salted caramel? I looooooove salted caramel. Then of course there’s trusty vanilla, with it’s simple unpretentious flavor that transports you right back to the good old days of Chinese jump rope, cassette tapes and chasing ice cream trucks in the summer. Ok scratch that. Butter pecan is ONE of my favorites but honestly if it’s cold, creamy, sweet and fits nicely stop a crusty cone, I’m scarfing happily, enjoying my good fortune.

As I mentioned in a post a few weeks back, my darling bought me an ice cream maker for Christmas. Since then I’ve pulled it out twice and attempted to create a vegan chocolate ice cream. Both times the flavor was spot on, and both times the texture was a disaster… well, as much as chocolate soup can be a disaster. It was still sweet, it was still rich, it was still chocolate and we still slurped it right up. Still, a tasty chocolate soup was not what I was after. So after realizing that my instructions were missing (damn trolls!) I looked them up online and got to work a third time on making some killer vegan ice cream. This time…. Success!! Turns out my freezer wasn’t cold enough. Easily remedied and now that it has been, check out this rich, decadent dairy free ice cream right here. You want, right? Of course you do. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Here’s the recipe, lovelies.

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Vegan Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for 4 hours
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp psyllium husk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup pecans

Process

  1. Soak cashews for 4 hours. If you don’t have that long, you can heat the water before you soak the nuts, that will soften them quicker.
  2. Place all ingredients, except the pecans, in a high speed blender and blend until thick and creamy
  3. Transfer to a mixing bowl, cover and refrigerate until chilled – 3-4 hours.
  4. Once chilled, pour into pre-chilled ice cream maker bowl and make according to directions.
  5. While ice cream mixture is chilling, toast your pecans.
  6. Roughly chop pecans and place in skillet.
  7. Heat until pecans just become fragrant

I think we can all agree, ice cream is plenty good enough on it’s own but I think it’s exponentially better with the right topping. It just so happened that I had a jar of caramel sauce sitting in the fridge waiting for the perfect vehicle to showcase it’s brilliance. What better vehicle is there for caramel than ice cream? None other than my mouth maybe and my mouth got plenty of it during the creating process. My mouth really has the best job! This caramel sauce is pretty epic. I’ve been dipping into the jar more often than I’d like to admit. I just can’t help myself! It’s rich and creamy and the flavor while touting the obvious caramel notes, also reminds me of a gourmet nougat. I die! So good. I hope you will all enjoy this as much as I do. I have other delicacies in mind to create with this caramel in the future. There are no limits to what it can do. ๐Ÿ™‚

Raw Caramel Sauce

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 almond milk
  • 4 dates soaked in 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 3 tbsp mesquite powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt

Process

  1. Soak dates for 30 minutes to an hour
  2. Place all ingredients including date water in high speed blender
  3. Pour on ice cream, use as a dip for fruit or just use a spoon and dig in!
  4. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container
  5. The coconut oil will solidify in the cold so let it sit out in a warm area to get all melty again, or use a double boiler to gently warm

 

Get to work on making your tastebuds happy.
XO
Sam

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Sweet Potato Quinoa Power Cookies

Sweet Potato Quinoa Power Cookies

Hello all! I hope your holiday was merry and bright. Mine was lovely. Lots of friends, lots of family, lots of sweet holiday spirit. I’ve had a wonderful few days but I’m thrilled to be home again without anything pressing on the calendar for a while. What do I do with a little down time? Organize! I spent all of yesterday and part of today cleaning out our home, giving away the old to make room for the new. My entire house is clean, I’ve even organized the closets. It was such an incredible cleansing of the physical realm that I feel cleansed mentally and spiritually as well. Now I’m all ready to blaze into 2015, a few pounds lighter. ๐Ÿ™‚

In the midst of all of this cleaning, I got hungry. Off to the kitchen I went. After giving it a good scrubbing, I scoured the fridge for goodies. I abhor letting food go to waste so I was thrilled to throw together this tasty little power ‘cookie’ with the random leftovers I discovered. My daughter and husband gobbled it up happily and asked for more… this makes it a win in my book. Although it’s packed with wholesome ingredients like sweet potato, quinoa, buckwheat and garbanzo flour, it’s also filled to the brim with yummy flavor. It’s a little dense, not quite as chewy and moist as a classic dessert cookie but the sheer volume of nutritious ingredients and tastiness makes up for that in my opinion. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sweet Potato Quinoa Power Cookie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked sweet potato
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free AP flour (mainly garbanzo flour)
  • 2 tbsp mesquite flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place cooked sweet potato, cooked quinoa, melted coconut oil, eggs, almond milk and vanilla extract in a medium bowl and mix until well combined.
  3. Place flours, mesquite powder, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix together.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix together until well combined.
  5. Add chocolate chips to batter and fold in gently with a spatula
  6. Grease cookie sheet with preferred oil and using a cookie scoop, place scoops of batter on cookie sheet leaving a few inches between each cookie.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes
  8. Allow to cool before diving in. I seem to make this mistake every time. A big shout out to the roof of my mouth for taking the abuse like a champ. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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