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The Holidays

Cacio e Pepe Mashed Potatoes

Sides, Thanksgiving, The Holidays, Vegetarian, Winter

Cacio e Pepe Mashed Potatoes

Thanksgiving is merely a few weeks away and we gotta get ready! Today I couldn’t be more excited to share these Cacio e Pepe Mashed Potatoes with you all. They’re buttery, peppery, slightly tart and utterly perfect.

For this post, I teamed up with Le Creuset!! Woohoo! I have always loved my Le Creuset cookware and have used it all up on this blog over and over and over again. Le Creuset is truly my kitchen ally. I love it for numerous reasons but here are just a few:

– My Le Creuset cookware is incredibly multi-functional. I use the Dutch ovens to make everything from arroz con pollo to soups to—in this case—boiling potatoes.
– Since Le Creuset is so beautiful, it’s easy to take it from oven or stove directly to the table.
– The enamel coating on the inside of their cookware make them super easy to clean. A few light scrubs and BOOM…squeaky clean, looking like new!

In this post, I’m using their gorgeous Dutch oven in the color Truffle. And while I absolutely think it’s possible to put the Dutch oven on the table, it was a bit dark inside and wasn’t photographing the way I wanted so I transferred it to the 2 1/4-quart braiserin Persimmon.

These fall colors are a gorgeous addition to my Thanksgiving autumnal table.

I think it’s time to jump into the mood!

What is Cacio e Pepe?

Let’s tackle the basics: Cacio e Pepe which literally translates to “cheese and pepper.” It’s a dish that hails from Rome, italy and it’s typically super simple. It involves a bucatini pasta tossed in a simple sauce of Pecorino Romano, black pepper, salt and starch water from boiling the pasta. It’s ridiculously simple but like all simple dishes, the technique and precision is everything.

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Chocolate Cardamom Morning Rolls

Breakfast, Holiday, The Holidays, Winter

Chocolate Cardamom Morning Rolls

These Chocolate Cardamom Morning Rolls are it!

The autumn shift is happening all around us! Pumpkins and gourds are starting to show up at the markets, watermelon is now very bland and lacks any sort of sweetness, melons are slowly fading, and while LA has temperatures that are still kicking, there have been a few mornings that have felt brisk. Autumn is so close!

Chocolate Cardamom Morning Rolls

I wanted to kick this season off with these Chocolate Cardamom Morning Rolls with Artisan Collection by Nestlé® Toll House®. Their two luxurious options are: Extra Semi-Sweet and Extra Dark. Both are really delicious. I’ve used them in a few baked goods and the chocolate is rich and has amazing deep flavor. These baking chips are made from single-origin chocolate from Ghana and are available now! Ghana is fortunate in having wonderful rich soil, making it ideal for its top exporter: cocoa beans. The chocolate is really high-quality and pairs with all sorts of flavors like caramel, walnuts, cinnamon, honey and more!

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Coquito Cake

Cakes, Desserts, The Holidays

Coquito Cake

I love this Coquito Cake so much!

Let’s start with the basics:

What is coquito?

Coquito is often described as a Puerto Rican eggnog but I’ve always felt like that comparison doesn’t do it justice. First of all, it’s MUCH better than eggnog. And secondly, it usually doesn’t have egg in it (some families’ recipes do use egg, but most don’t).

Coquito is a coconut-based drink that usually has sweetened condensed milk, regular milk, lots of rum and a hint of spices like cinnamon and cloves.

My family is not Puerto Rican so I didn’t have it until I was a teenager, living in South Florida. I remember someone handing it to me at a party and I was like, DANG WHAT IS THIS?!?!

It’s way better than eggnog in my opinion. The texture and weight is way lighter than eggnog (my usual issue with drinking it), which I love. The combination of rum and coconut is just the best, especially with the spices added in.

Coquito Cake

Now, Let’s Incorporate Coquito Flavors Into a Cake!

I took those flavors and implemented them into this cake! I thought of doing a tres leches but I’ve made a lot of tres leches cakes in the past so I was looking to do something a lil’ different.

This cake is kind of like a soaking cake because of the rum syrup that is brushed it on top. When we were developing this cake, we sort of asked ourselves, How do we put the rum into it? We thought about a lot of options but none of them sounded all that great. Soaking it in a rum syrup sounded like the absolute best way. The butter in the rum syrup, adds a nice gentle richness. It’s like a buttered rum…but not.

The sheet cake itself is a nice fluffy coconut cake that uses coconut cream (a must in coquito). I used the brand Goya. This can is usually sold at liquor stores (a lot of mixed drinks use cream of coconut) or you can check any grocery store in the Hispanic Section.

I also used coconut extract because it really packs that coconut flavor punch that we love so much. (I tested it without the coconut extract and the flavor didn’t come through enough; you really need that!)

Coquito Cake Sliced Up! Continue Reading