Lavender, mint, beet powder cupcakes with kefir frosting

 

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I recently read that cupcakes are still in, and I thought it was a crazy thing to read because cake in any form should always just be, cake is beyond “in”, cake is it’s own world, it’s own entity and to say any form of cake, whether in pound, round, square, small, cup, or otherwise is in or out is to degrade the thing that is cake. So, I’m posting this recipe, but not in response to the thing I read, because I don’t want to acknowledge cake speculation and trending, but just because these cupcakes are important to me. They are important to me because they are pretty and easy and absurdly delicious in all the right ways.

These cupcakes are quick and a totally successful first use of my beet powder. The lavender and mint combination is perfection I think, I mean just being able to smell mint and lavender before biting into a cupcake makes everything feel more okay. I first made them without mint and without beetroot, but the incorporation of these two ingredients made them both incomparably tastier and prettier. Oh, and the kefir! It just so slightly offsets the sweetness, and adds dimension and complexity, the way kefir should.

Cupcakes:

1/2 cup coconut oil melted
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 Tbsp plain whole milk kefir
2/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup coconut flour

Oven 350
1. Whisk coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, kefir, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl
2. Mix coconut flour and baking powder, then whisk into the egg-sugar mix
3. Line a cupcake tray, and bake for around 15 minutes.
4. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:
1-2 tsp lavender buds
3-4 tbsp kefir
1 Tbsp beet powder
1-1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (add more/less as needed)
Mint leaves

1. Whisk together the lavender buds and kefir; place in the fridge while the cupcakes cool.
2. Add the beet powder and powdered sugar. Adjust the consistency by adding more powdered sugar or more kefir.
3. Frost the cooled cupcakes, garnish with mint.

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Pear Custard

 

20141004_111516My usual quick dessert is usually some kind of crumble. I can get it together in about five minutes, and have a delicious hot dessert done when dinner is over. This dessert is just as fast, if not faster, and its such a simple and pretty way to serve pears, which are just about perfect right now. In the future I’ll play with infusions and different fruits, but for now just the straight forward and simple custard. I brought this dish to one of my best friends art shows and it was gone almost immediately, so cheers to a quick, tasty dessert that looks pretty and everyone loves.

Pear Custard
(Inspired by Martha Stewart’s recipe)
3 pears, ripe, but firm, cored and cut into thin slices- Barlett
1/4 cup melted butter
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt

Oven 350.
Place the sliced pears in a buttered tart dish or pie tin so that they overlap.
Blend the rest of the ingredients to a smooth consistency. Pour this blend over the pears. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
To serve, allow the custard to cool slightly, or to room temperature, then dust powdered sugar on top.
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Yellow Watermelon, Blackberry, Thyme + Lemon Verbena Margarita

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Yellow Watermelon, Blackberry, Thyme + Lemon Verbena Margarita
makes 4 cocktails
1 small yellow watermelon, rind chopped off
Juice from 2 small limes
Tequila
Vanilla infused sea salt (for rims)
Lemon Verbena simple syrup (recipe below)
Blackberries
Fresh thyme
Ice

Blend the watermelon with 3 cups of ice (or more), the lime juice and 1/4 cup lemon verbena syrup. Blend until smooth, you can also juice the watermelon.
Coat the glasses with a bit of the lemon verbena syrup, then coat with salt. Crush a few blackberries in the glasses, add a sprinkle of thyme, pour a half shot into the glass, then pour the watermelon mix on top. Garnish with addition fresh thyme and nasturtium flower petals.

Lemon Verbena Simple Syrup
4-5 small springs lemon verbena
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup water

In a small saucepan heat the water + sugar. Chop the lemon verbena and bruise a bit with your hands, then add it to the saucepan. Whisk on low heat for a few minutes, until quite fragrant. Remove from heat, and pour into a glass jar. Cool in the fridge for about 20 minutes.