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Desserts

Nut Butter Coconut Chocolate Tart

Desserts, Healthy

This week wasn’t supposed to be vegan week it just so happened to turn out like that.

This tart is SO SO good. Admittedly, I usually give a side-eye at a dessert if it’s prefaced with “it’s vegan!” or “it’s gluten-free!” I definitely judge a book by its cover a bit. But this filling is something I could’ve eaten by the spoonful.

This nutty, coconut, chocolate-y tart comes from Jessica Murnane’s new book, One Part Plant! Her philosophy is awesome because it’s simple: eat one plant-based meal a day. Start there! I happen to love vegetables and healthy-ish stuff so I feel like I do this anyway but it’s nice to read a book that isn’t based on all of the stuff you need to give up. There aren’t any stringent rules or regulations.

It’s simply a book that at its core is trying to inspire you to make a healthy, delicious meal a day.

I started with dessert because this is who I am! And the photo of the nut tart in the book looked and sounded SO good.

I haven’t made a ton of vegan desserts in my lifetime. Things like coconut cream and dates and nut butters don’t often collide in my kitchen. But I have a feeling that after this experience, I’m going to have to think about making more of them.

And I think we all love a (nearly) no-bake dessert, amiright?!

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Mini Yellow Cakes with Malt Chocolate Frosting

Cakes, Chocolate, Desserts

I have finished The Crown (I am a professional binge-watcher) and I LOVED IT. I love history and fell right into the series because of Wallis Simpson. I watched a documentary on her a few years ago so I felt like I already knew a small piece of the puzzle. I will admit that it was rather slow in the beginning but if you stick with it, it’s fascinating.

Now I’ve moved onto ABSTRACT. It’s like chef’s table but for artists and I’m so very into it because I find the process of any and all artists so interesting. I even love finding out how my food blog friends work. Like, oh you use fake light?! COOL! You get your surfaces and props from where? Interesting. I love the behind-the-scenes; I find it so very interesting.

I’m gonna be honest: these lil’ cakes look so neat and tidy but decorating them blew up my kitchen. I had five piping bags and somehow forgot to put twisty-ties on the end and frosting was gushing out the other end. I had like a pile of towels all filled with chocolate frosting and my hair was a hot mess. VERY grateful I was home alone because Amelia passes no judgement!

But when I finally came up for air and dug myself out of the mess, I loved how these little cakes turned out.

The yellow cake is delicious and rich. And the frosting is my absolute new-favorite.

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Matcha Tiramisus (for Two)

Desserts

I know I’m a million years late but I’m currently VERY hooked on The Crown on Netflix.

I’m really into the fact that her husband had to take her name and I also love the corgis that show up from time to time. I do, however, wish there was a full-time corgi in the show. They need to work on that for season 2.

It’s Valentine’s Day next week and it lands on a Tuesday (very unromantic day of the week). Josh and I have zero plans as of now. I’m guessing we’ll go out to a restaurant this weekend. We’re not big on going out on Valentine’s Day itself because prix-fixe menus and all that drama is too much.

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Rough Puff, Step-by-Step

Breakfast, Desserts, DIY

I’m so excited about rough puff. Ideally 2017 would include a whole lot of laminated dough.

A few years ago I put making puff pastry at home in the silly category. Why would we make it when we can just buy it?!?!?

I’m still an advocate for store-bought pastry, especially when you’re in a bit of a jam. It’s so nice to have in the fridge/freezer when you want to serve up a tart or something last minute.

But lately, I’ve been experimenting with rough puff (isn’t the name fun?), which is basically EASY AF puff pastry.

It is puff pastry that is made a lot like pie dough with some additional “turns” (more on that later).

I figured I’d give you a step-by-step of this process since once you see it all broken out into steps it seems SO MUCH easier.

The whole process begins by combining your flour and salt. Just like how I make pie crust, I find it easiest to use a cheese grater to get the butter the perfect-sized bits.

I used the ratios from Gordon Ramsey and I found them perfect every single time. (The first time I made it, I cut the butter because I found the measurement sort of annoying (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) but that extra tablespoon is important so we’re going to use it!)

I also used Ashley Rodriguez‘s technique and found it to be seamless and easy and yet the marbling was perfect.

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Cornbread Ebelskivers

Appetizers, Breakfast, Desserts, Holiday

Cornbread Ebelskivers with Salted Honey Butter

I’m currently sitting in the passenger seat with my laptop in my lap, while Josh drives. Amelia is in the backseat with her raincoat on, fully equipped for inclement weather, sleeping. We’ll be in The Bay soon.

It’s almost Christmas/Hannakuh and I have one last recipe to share with you before I peace out for the rest of the year!

One of my big highlights of 2016 for sure was going to Copenhagen. I still think about it often—everything from the politics to the food to Trivoli to the pretty and old cobblestone streets. The food was oh so good but I remember one thing that I totally didn’t find or stumble upon were ebelskivers. I looked! But it’s ok because I’ve had plenty at Broder Nord in Portland. I’ve been there a handful of times and the thing that is an absolute must to order are the ebelskivers with meyer lemon curd and lingonberry jam. They are SO good.

Cornbread Ebelskivers with Salted Honey Butter

If you’re unfamiliar with these puffy balls of amazingness, they’re essentially Denmark’s version of a pancake. The batter is somewhat similar, except for the last step, which involves whipping egg whites until stiff and folding them into the batter. They’re light and fluffy and so delicious after having been cooked in butter for a few minutes.

I made regular ebelskivers for an Anthropologie post I did back in November but I didn’t post the recipe because they weren’t 100, as the kids say. They still needed a bit of work.

I didn’t love that they weren’t like perfect circles. They still tasted great and were fluffy and warm and delicious but it was just an aesthetic thingy for me.

Well, Josh sent me a post that Bo Bech posted, sharing how to get perfect circles! You basically add the batter to the ebelskiver cavity, cook it for a few minutes, turn it 90 degrees and add more batter. Cook it on a few more sides and that’s it. PERFECTION.

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Cranberry Chestnut Cake

Cakes, Desserts, Holiday

Cranberry Chestnut Cake

I am currently prepping so hard to chill TF out for the break. I’m gonna be honest, this fall put in borderline burn out mode so I’m hoping that a bit of rest and chillaxation will give me some much needed energy.

This is also my favorite time to take a break because EVERYONE is taking a break. Usually if I go on a vacation in the month of May or April, I still end up working because I’m addicted to checking my email BUT NOT NEXT WEEK!

I’m also spending a bit of time doing some last bits of work, cleaning and organizing my apartment before we all head up to The Bay for the holidays.

We’ve also been binge-watching The OA and I am not mad at it. It’s SO good and weird and addictive and weird.

CranberryChestnutCake copy

Cranberry Chestnut Cake

If you have a bunch of time over the next week, definitely watch it. It’s also family-friendly (no weird sex scenes) so you will be a-ok to watch it with your father-in-law/grandfather, etc.

This cranberry chestnut cake is a lil’ thing I made last week when I had some cranberries in the fridge and remembered this beautiful cranberry frosting I saw on Food52 a month ago or so.

Cranberry Chestnut Cake

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Hot Chocolate Crema Catalana

Chocolate, Desserts, Holiday

Hot Chocolate Crema de Catalan

Every family has Christmas traditions. I love hearing about other families’ traditions because they vary so much.

The one tradition my mom always kept alive and well was Peruvian-style homemade hot chocolate on Christmas Eve. In Peru, homemade hot chocolate is cooked over the stove, with Peruvian chocolate chopped into tiny bits and then mixed into milk with cinnamon and cloves; it’s rich and delicious.

Hot Chocolate Crema de Catalan

Traditionally it’s had right before everyone heads to midnight mass. When we were teeny-tiny, the hot chocolate would come right before bed since at that time we believed that Santa would come down our non-existent chimney and bring us gifts. My dad would tell us he’d sneak in through a window which sort of scared me but whatever.

It was the one time a year when we had dairy because my parents jumped on the non-dairy train so early. We were one of those houses with rice and almond milk only.

This is a mash-up of another dessert my mom LOVED to make; it’s not Peruvian, though they do make it all over South America. Crema catalana is a Spanish dessert that is SO good. It’s a lot like creme brûlée with the big difference being that it’s not baked—it’s simply cooked over the stove-top then chilled in the fridge.

Hot Chocolate Crema de Catalan

For this post, I teamed up with McCormick spices to add all the goodness to this dessert. It uses McCormick ground cinnamon, whole cloves and vanilla extract.

Hot Chocolate Crema de Catalan

Hot Chocolate Crema de Catalan

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Miso Brownies

Chocolate, Desserts, Holiday

Miso Brownies

Apparently, I have fancy Christmas tree taste because my favorite tree at the tree market was called a silver tip and it went for like 75% higher than all the other trees. It’s actually quite tall and sparse looking so when I went to ask for the price, I expected a discount but nope. Expensive tree taste—didn’t even know it was a thing!

I went home with it and had the guy kindly tie it to the top of my tiny car because it’s like when you get something in your brain and you just can’t forget about it. Like shoe-shopping. It’s like that.

I came home and Amelia immediately thought the water in the tree basin was for her so I’ve been constantly catching her drinking it. I yell at her but at the same time it’s so funny and cute that I just fill it up and let her do whatever she wants.

Miso Brownies

Another thing that has been on my brain for so very long are miso brownies! I saw them in the bakery case of a bakery I can’t actually remember but thought they sounded so good! Sweet and savory and chocolate-y…sign me up.

For this post, I teamed up with Scharffen Berger so the brownies could be so deliciously chocolate-y. I used their 70% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chunks and melted it with a bit of butter. It was silky smooth and so delicious and rich.

I wanted brownies that had a super crackly top and after I did some Googling and testing, I figured out that the thing that ensures a super crackly crust is beating the eggs and sugar together for a full 10 minutes (thanks, Martha!). Also, the sugar amount has to be up there for this to really work.

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Horchata Cake

Cakes, Desserts, Holiday

Horchata Cake

These past few days have been quite leisure. The emails have slowed. The deadlines have been met and everyone seems to be winding down for the holiday season. I am completely ready.

I have been chilling in sweats and watching episodes of The View and The Great Holiday Baking Show while I bake the day away.

Horchata Cake

I’ve already kinda made enough content for the month of December so these past few days have just been things I’ve wanted to bake. And this horchata cake was on that list!

I thought about it long and hard because the big question has always been: How do I get it taste like horchata…?

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Tiramisu Pie

Chocolate, Desserts, Holiday, Pie

Tiramisu Pie

Los Angeles! Just a heads up, tomorrow I’ll be in Echo Park at Shout & About signing books and handing out holiday cookies from 11am to 1pm. Stop by!

Now, for this tiramisu pie! I made this pie a few times to recipe test it, pretty normal stuff, but after I finally nailed it, I loved it SO much that I decided it was going to be my Thanksgiving pie.

It was really easy to make, which is why I made it, and right before I started to make it, I remembered that a friend of mine is gluten-free. Luckily I found out that you can totally make this pie with gluten-free ginger snaps and it’ll be just great.

I needed a tablespoon less butter but it worked! I was pumped to find that out.

The pie goes like this: chocolate cookie crust on the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. Then it’s filled with an espresso cream custard that is SO good. At the end of making the espresso cream, I mixed in a few tablespoons of rum and it is BOMB. It tastes just like tiramisu. Then, the pie is filled and chilled. Right before serving, you pipe on some mascarpone cream and top it with a bunch of cocoa powder.

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