‘Twas the night before Christmas a long time ago, when I was a child and to church I would go. After church was complete, we’d perform the great feat. A holiday meal which would take hours to complete. I, a young girl, with my eyes in pure […]
May I just take a moment to tempt your taste buds with these AMAZING dark chocolate lava cakes? Okay good! These perfect little confections have been given a slight makeover in the nutrition department. I’ve made them gluten free (you can still use regular flour if you prefer) and also have a dairy-free option. Plus, there’s no refined sugar. Just a splash of good ol’ maple syrup or some coconut palm sugar sweetens them up a touch from their deep dark decadent ways.
The toppings aren’t necessary but if you’re going to make a dark chocolate lava cake, why not go all out and make up a batch of this caramel sauce and a raspberry coulis to top it with? Both the caramel and coulis take a mere ten minutes and add so much flavor and pizzazz to this special dessert. Whether you’re making these cakes for this weekend’s valentine or for another occasion (or maybe just because it’s Tuesday…), they are a surefire way to capture anyone’s heart!
- ½ cup butter (or coconut oil)
- 1 cup dark chocolate, chopped (you can use bittersweet choc chips)
- 4 tablespoons coconut palm sugar (or maple syrup)
- 3 whole eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour (or use 3T any other all purpose flour GF or not)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- RASPBERRY COULIS:
- 12 ounces raspberries fresh or frozen
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup water
- In a microwave save bowl, melt the chocolate and butter together on medium power. Don't let it burn!
- Stir in the coconut sugar.
- Whisk in eggs, egg yolks and vanilla and stir until combined.
- Add coconut flour, cocoa powder and salt and stir until smooth.
- Divide batter evenly among 6 well-greased ramekins (5-6oz size).
- Tap each ramekin gently on the side to release any air bubbles from the batter.
- Refrigerate ramekins for 30 minutes (or more is fine but they may take longer then to bake).
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place ramekins into a 9x13 baking dish and add warm water to the baking dish to fill about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Be careful not to get water into the batter.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes. The very middle of the cakes may still look underdone but the edges should be set. If not, bake a little longer.
- While ramekins are baking, make up a caramel sauce and/or raspberry coulis.
- To plate cakes, run a butter knife along the outside edge of the cake and invert onto a plate.
- Serve warm with sauces, fresh berries and a dusting of cocoa powder.
- RASPBERRY COULIS:
- Place berries, honey, lemon juice and water in a small saucepot and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Pour and press through a strainer reserving the liquid and tossing out the seeds.
- Drizzle the coulis over cakes.
By now my family has completed nearly all of the pre-Christmas traditions. We’ve put up our tree and decorated the house inside and out. Santa rode right down our street perched atop a festive fire truck for the annual Santa parade this year which was VERY exciting to […]
Eating your veggies for dessert? Okay, I’m sold! Yes, I’ve officially boarded the pumpkin pie train. I’ve honestly never made a pumpkin pie since my all time favorite holiday pie is sour cream raisin or even mincemeat (I know, weird). Given that my husband absolutely MUST have pumpkin […]
We spent the weekend in much needed relaxation mode schmoozing with good friends on Friday night, having an awesome bonfire just me and my hubby on Saturday and then our somewhat productive Sunday afternoon quickly turned totally non-productive sitting out on the lawn with our neighbors. What can I say, it was what promised to be the last unseasonably warm day probably until next spring so we took advantage of the opportunity. Meanwhile, I made these amazing caramel apple mini-pies twice this week!!!
One batch went to the teachers for an appreciation dinner and the other batch came to our friend’s house for dessert. In both instances, two dozen caramel apple mini-pies were devoured in a matter of an hour. Fall and apple pie go together like, well, fall and apple pie! The dough for these pies are a traditional pate brisee like I used for plum mini-galettes but I used a half oat flour, half einkorn flour blend. It can be made dairy free by substituting lard in place of the butter and works the same.
I use a French style rolling pin to get the dough rolled out nice and thin which allows for a flaky delicious crust. Using super tart apples from our recent adventure to the pumpkin patch is also key to a great pie. My favorite apples for baking are Haralson but granny smith or another similar tart crisp apple will also work. The caramel for the filling is based on my dairy free creamy caramel sauce with a splash of spiced rum for a seasonal flair. You can make the caramel with dairy as well if you prefer and these little guys will taste divine! There is usually a little leftover filling but that’s no issue…just eat it up as is or spoon it over ice cream!
Seriously, who can resist a pie in miniature hand hold-able and totally portable portions??? I dare you to try. Resistance is futile… make them, eat them and maybe even share them!
- 1½ cups einkorn wheat flour (or regular all purpose flour)
- 1½ cups oat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), cold and diced (or lard for dairy free)
- 4-6 tablespoons cold ice water
- 2 cups peeled, cored and diced tart apples (about 2-3 apples)
- 1 tablespoon oat flour
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon butter (or palm shortening for dairy free)
- ½ cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- ¼ cup coconut milk (full fat, from the can - or use dairy whipping cream)
- pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon spiced rum (optional)
- 2 tablespoons honey mixed with 2 tablespoons water
- cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
- In a food processor, blend flours and salt with a quick pulse.
- Dice the cold butter into small half inch cubes and pulse with the flour just a few times until the butter is about the size of peas. Alternately, you can do this by hand and cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender.
- Add honey and ice water and pulse just until dough starts to come together (or blend with pastry blender),
- Then, add the ice water one tablespoon at a time and pulse after each one or knead with your hands just until it comes together. You may not need all of the water as it'll get sticky. On the other hand, if there are still bits of dough that are not incorporating, add a touch more water.
- Once dough comes together, knead gently on a clean lightly floured surface to form into a disc. Do not over knead.
- Dust dough with flour and wrap in plastic wrap to refrigerate for an hour.
- While dough is chilling, prepare the filling.
- Mix apples with 1 tablespoon flour and the cinnamon and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, whisk together butter, sugar, coconut milk and salt.
- Heat over medium heat until it begins to boil.
- Let mixture boil for about 5 minutes whisking occasionally. Watch so it doesn't burn or boil over.
- Remove from heat and add vanilla and spiced rum if using.
- Let cool until ready to make pies and then combine caramel with the apples.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Take dough out of the fridge and divide into 2 equal pieces.
- Lightly flour a clean smooth surface and roll dough out to about ⅛" thickness.
- Cut out small circles with a 3" diameter biscuit/cookie cutter - or be like me and use a mason jar ring. Repeat with the other ball of dough.
- Place 24 circles onto baking sheets lined with parchment or silicon baking mat. Note you can re-use the leftover dough between each of the cut circles. Just ball it together and re-roll it out until you have enough circles.
- Spoon about a tablespoon of filling into the center of each circle.
- Place another circle on top and seal the edges by pressing around with a fork.
- Cut 4 small slits in the top of each mini-pie and brush with the honey/water mixture.
- Dust with a sprinkle of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
- Bake about 25 minutes until lightly browned.
- Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
It’s an exciting day…I have plums!!!! As in plums directly from my neighbor’s plum tree and not from a supermarket. Holy cannoli are they TASTY! Tart and lightly sweet, these lovely little stone fruit have been a delightful treat all week. Since I was graced with a large bucket of them, I just had to make plum […]
My oldest daughter is turning eight tomorrow. I know it’s cliché to say that they grow up so fast but it’s true. Time seems to move exponentially faster once you have kids and some days I wish I could just play freeze tag with time for just a moment so I can pause long enough in the midst of the daily chaos and enjoy them as they are with all of their cute smiles and emotions, their immaturity and the simple wisdom they have in their youthful thoughts which are still untainted by the woes of the world. I long to always provide comfort for them. I’ve learned that a part of providing comfort, for me, is providing food. Food is my love language. I’ve learned that whenever I feel the need to express how much I care for someone, I make them food.
The very first thing I gave to my husband when we starting dating was to travel across the city and bring him a bowl of steaming homemade soup when he was sick. It’s important to me to provide comfort and nourishment and I guess food is the means by which I do so. Having a house up for sale has been threatening to steal my birthday cake making mojo but I made my daughter her cake this morning so it can be frozen for a few days and frosted later for this weekend’s gathering. I have never purchased a cake for a loved one’s birthday and I swear I never will. It’s one of those things I’ve learned that I’m very protective over and my hubby thinks that’s weird. To me it’s simple. The cake is more than just a cake. It’s a creative symbol of my love, comfort and nourishment for someone I care for deeply.
Desserts are a bit like that too having roots in sweet comfort at the end of a meal. Chocolate avocado pudding, I think, fulfills that little bit of sweet decadence while being nourishing as well. I know it seems a bit strange to put avocado in a pudding but it makes the consistency so creamy. You only taste a hint of avocado as it’s really the chocolate flavor that comes through. It’s chock full of healthy fats and a little protein so this chocolate avocado pudding can easily sub in as a breakfast dish. Dessert for breakfast? I’ll raise my spoon to that!
- 2 ripe avocados
- ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Fresh berries for garnish
- Place chocolate chips, syrup and egg yolk in a small saucepan and heat just until chocolate chips are melted. Whisk occasionally while heating.
- Add melted chocolate mixture and other ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.
- Spoon into serving dishes and serve!
- Garnish with fresh berries if desired.
This weekend’s valentine treat assortment begs for a little ice cream love. The kind that’s a little exotic, creamy delicious, and goes with chocolate. This coconut lemongrass ice cream conjures up distant memories of when I used to travel for work visiting sweater and outwear factories. After the day’s […]