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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cake

Undoubtedly, you know what Saturday is. I mean, how could you not? If one more person asks me what I'm doing for The-Holiday-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named, I might have to end it all.

Now I'm not one of those girls you'll find with mascara-stained cheeks sobbing over a bottle of red wine and a pint of ice cream, but I still find the whole thing kind of tedious. Restaurants are overpriced, the food usually falls flat, and it's nearly impossible to navigate the streets without bumping into some starry-eyed, star-crossed lover on a mad dash to buy roses (hey, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, am I right?).

Instead, I want to have a day filled with delicious things. Things I make myself. Though if I'm being honest here, there might be an extra-large Domino's pizza heading to my door, if I play my cards right. This chocolate yogurt snack cake is the perfect thing to make. You can have a slice for breakfast, another for lunch, and then polish of the rest of the cake for dinner. And no one can stop you.

Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 1 loaf

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
200 grams semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt (ideally Greek or Icelandic, for a thick texture)
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons Brandy

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9-inch loaf tin, line with parchment paper, and grease parchment. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and sea salt. In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate with 1/4 cup coconut oil. Once melted and smooth, remove from heat. In a large bowl, whisk together remaining 1/4 cup coconut oil, yogurt, brown sugar, eggs, and almond extract. Whisk in chocolate mixture. Gently fold in dry ingredients. Pour into prepared baking tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until smooth and light. Add coconut milk and almond extract and beat to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture and beat to incorporate.

In a large bowl, whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add sugar and Brandy and whisk to incorporate.

Once cake is cooled, ice and serve with brandied whipped cream.

More Snack Cakes
Mango Bread
Blueberry Cardamom Crumb Cake
Strawberry Almond Crumb Cake

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Coconut Pistachio Crumble Ice Cream

I'm going to keep this short and sweet because it's unlikely anyone is really going to take the time to read this today. But, in keeping with Christmas tradition, I couldn't leave you without any gifts. I'm very generous, I know.

Since the likelihood of a white Christmas here in Charleston is worse than, well, a snowball's chance in hell, I thought I would make my own snowballs. My dad used to bring us back those pink Hostess Snoballs every time he came back from a trip. I could barely stomach the things, so I would dutifully swallow them whole, trying to taste as little of those super sweet pink puffs as I could.

Instead, I offer you this ice cream. It's sweet, but not too sweet. It's smooth and creamy and will help you wash down that extra slice of pie (or would be excellent topped with the Bailey's that's been knocking around in your liquor cabinet for years).

Coconut Pistachio Crumble Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart

For the ice cream:
2 14-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk
8 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

For the pistachio crumble:
1 1/3 cups pistachios, finely ground
1 cup coconut flour
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
4 tablespoons maple syrup

To make the ice cream: In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Once hardened, transfer to a loaf pan or tupperware container and freeze until ready to eat.

To make pistachio crumble: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together pistachios and coconut flour. In a small bowl, whisk together coconut oil and maple syrup. Pour over dry ingredients. Using your fingers, mix together until crumble comes together in pea-sized balls. Pour onto baking pan and bake for 7-10 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Let cool completely. Scatter over ice cream.

More Coconut Recipes
Coconut Angel Food Cake
Creamy Coconut Porridge
Coconut Bread

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pumpkin Manchego Beer Bread

I am in the midst of a very important project. Forget school, forget work. I'm currently fortifying myself for winter.

I, like my furrier friends, am filling my freezer and filling out my waistline in the hopes that I will survive the colder months. Just last night, in fact, my flatmates and I burrowed into the icy depths of our freezer to retrieve a few slices of Pumpkin Manchego Beer Bread I made last week.

The colder it gets, the lazier I get, so having food on hand saves me from ordering takeout every night. It might surprise you, but I don't cook nearly as often as I should. Most of my time in the kitchen is dedicated to boiling the kettle.

While it is probably more prudent to make a big batch of stew or soup that you can pull out in a dire dinnertime situation, might I suggest this quickbread instead? It's great with a pat of salted butter alongside a bowl of chilli or crumbled into a savory bread pudding. Or simply eaten straight out of the pan.

Pumpkin Manchego Beer Bread
Makes one loaf
Adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon

2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup salted butter, melted
1 large egg, slightly beaten
8 ounces beer
1 1/2 cups grated Manchego cheese
Pumpkin seeds, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and spices. In a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin, butter, and egg. Make a well in dry ingredients and pour in pumpkin mixture and beer. Stir to combine. Fold in grated Manchego, careful not to over-mix. Spread batter into prepared baking pan. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds over top. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve with salted butter.

More Beer Bread
Fruity Walnut Beer Bread
Caramel Apple Beer Bread
Spiced Octoberfest Beer Bread