Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake + Cherry Chocolate Glaze

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IMG_2686 IMG_2706This is a simple, throw together at the last minute cake. I’ve made it with melted chocolate as well, just depends on what I have on hand. The glaze is slightly salty, and pairs well with the sweet cherries and rich chocolate glaze. I like serving this warm, just out of the oven, but I’ve done research on how it tastes cold the next day and it is also fabulous.

Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake + Cherry Chocolate Glaze
2 small japanese sweet potatoes
1 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cacao
1/8 tsp salt
4 eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sprouted whole wheat flour

Oven 350. Using a food processor, or hand mixer, blend the potatoes, sugar, cacao, salt, eggs and baking soda until well incorporated (I leave my potatoes just a little bit chunky though). Add the flour and stir until just mixed. Bake in a small buttered or parchment paper lined cake pan for 35-40 minutes.

Cherry Chocolate Glaze
1 handful cherries, pitted & halved
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp unsweetened cacao
1 tsp fresh ground espresso
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup (+ or -) powdered sugarIMG_2692

Whisk the butter, cacao, espresso, sea salt and powdered sugar. Add more or less powdered sugar depending on your desired frosting consistency. If you let the cake cool, double this recipe and spread it all over the cake. Garnish with the fresh cherries and sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake with Brown Butter Vanilla Frosting

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This cake has a woodsy, nutty taste from the rosemary and browned butter and a bit of a crunch from the cornmeal. The quality vanilla used in the frosting is essential and it pairs with the tones of the rosemary so well and adds this kick of complexity to the nutty browned butter frosting. The cake itself is not overly sweet, and I added a splash of apple cider vinegar for lightness and a slightly acidic apple flavor. The apple cider vinegar also reacts with the baking powder and baking soda to start a chemical reaction that helps give the cake lift and lightness–a good thing when you want to cook with all whole grain flours.

Rosemary + Olive Oil Cake
1 1/4 cup sprouted whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup raw turbinado cane sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

Browned Butter Vanilla Frosting
1/2 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla

Method:

Oven 350* Start by making the browned butter. Chop up the butter and place it in a small metal pot, or stainless steel pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally, and notice that as all the butter melts a layer of foam forms on the surface. Continue to stir, paying attention to the smell and color of the butter. It will start to darken to an amber tone and smell nutty and rich. When the butter is browned, pour it into a small bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder & soda, and salt. In another bowl whisk together the eggs and sugar until well incorporated. Add the olive oil and cider vinegar and mix well. Slowly start adding the dry mix to the wet mix, and then finish by stirring in the rosemary.

Place a piece of parchment paper in a small square cake pan and bake the cake for about 30 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean when inserted into the cake. Allow the cake to cool and then mix the powdered sugar and vanilla with the butter until smooth and creamy. Spread on the cake and garnish with extra chopped rosemary.

Spicy Chai Apple Cake + Lemon Ginger Frosting

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I love making birthday cakes, especially when they’re for me. So this morning I spent some time making food for the party potluck extravaganza. I started with Tikka Masala, using stew meet from the grass fed cows we raised at our ranch. This all went into a crockpot with lots of extra butternut squash and spices. As that simmered, I made the spicy chai apple cake. It made my house smell like gingery-chai-cake heaven as it baked. The last thing I made was coconut ice cream with candied ginger, fresh ginger and lemon. For the cake I used the recipe on Meats and Sweets, but changed a few of the ingredients as I tend to do. I’ve included my version of the recipe on this post. My birthday was an incredible reminder of how lucky I am to be alive and 25 on the 25th day of April under the light of the full moon surrounded by friends and family and treats.

 Spicy Chai Apple Cake + Lemon Ginger Frosting

1 cup whole milk
2 black chai tea bags
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 stick butter, soft
1 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp ground vanilla
2 apples, diced
1/4 cup candied ginger flakes

Lemon Ginger Frosting
1 stick butter
Grated zest of a lemon
grated fresh ginger, about 3 inches of ginger root
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp lemon juice + milk

Method:

Oven 350*
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Gently heat milk over medium high heat, when warm, add the tea bags and brew a strong chai. Mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla powder. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together taking care to not overmix, then add the chai milk, the apples and the candied ginger flakes. Line a cake pan with parchment paper and bake about 35-45 minutes.

Fresh Ginger Loaf Cake with Lemon Glaze

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My whole house filled with the smell of gingerbread as this cake  baked to a deep golden brown in the oven. This is a new recipe, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised to bite into a rich and flavorful cake with an extra flaky and crispy crust. The glaze gives just a little bit of lemon sweetness without being overly sweet while the minced ginger gives some bites a little spicy warmth. I’ve made different types of banana and zucchini breads, but this is one of the best breads/cakes I’ve made.

 Lemon Glazed Ginger Cake

2 cups white whole-wheat flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1 ½ tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 eggs
¼ cup honey
½ cup butter
¼ cup molasses

Glaze
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
3 tsp lemon juice

Method:

 Oven 350. Mix the flour, baking soda and spices in a medium bowl. Mix the eggs, butter, honey and molasses in a separate bowl. Mix the wet and dry ingredients until just combined. Fill two small buttered bread pans (or one large) and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Let the cakes cool completely before glazing them. To make the glaze whisk the sugars with the lemon juice. Drizzle the glaze over the cakes and enjoy.

Chocolate Beet Cake

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I made this chocolate beet cake in honor of the creative and beautiful energy expressed in the video made by Tiger in a Jar. I’ve watched their video so many times, mesmerized by it’s beauty and simplicity, that I’ve pretty much memorized the recipe by now. My roommate and I were talking about why a video like this is so inspiring when it is so simple—it just shows ingredients and the process of making a cake. But we figured it was the old time feel, the comfort and beauty and simplicity, the celebration of food, and the lovely use of beets.

The cake itself is incredibly photogenic, and more importantly, delicious. The beets add moisture and a rich sweetness, one that lingers on your tongue instead of the sharp, quick sweetness you get from refined sugar. Using good, dark chocolate is absolutely essential as this adds the best flavor and pairs perfectly with the beets. I followed the measurements for the recipe, but changed a few of the ingredients like usual. Instead of using white sugar, I used coconut palm sugar. Instead of white flour, 100% whole wheat (I really like the density and chewiness of whole wheat). I used Green&Black’s 72% baking chocolate, which turned out to be just perfect. Also I use vanilla powder instead of the liquid, I like the flavor of the powder more.

A few notes: when I melt chocolate I always do it in a glass bowl over a simmering pot of water, never in the microwave. When most of the chocolate looks melted, I take it off the heat and stir until the rest melts. I boiled the peeled beets in water for about 45 minutes, until they were soft and easy to cut with a fork. Then I pureed the beets in the vitamix with a little beet water (we saved the rest of the beet water for future clothes dying projects). Finally, make sure you let hot ingredients (the melted chocolate and pureed beets) cool some before you add it into the rest of the mix, this way you don’t cook the eggs. I garnished the cake with figs, raspberries and baby beet green leaves because of their beautiful color.