dark chocolate cake & burnt orange silk buttercream

Um,  I’m not sure how to say this, but I may or may not have unintentionally put together a somewhat challenging recipe.

It’s not that it’s exactly hard by any accounts, but it is labour intensive, time consuming, and every second counts.

It’s not that I dislike you, really, it’s that I was challenging myself to grow as a chef. A challenge I thought I’d share. I mean, how many times are you going to use a Creme Anglaise in your buttercream? Exactly.

Every mouthful is entirely worth it though. Sinfully so.

Just repeat after me… “Burnt orange, silk buttercream“. Did that do it? Are you there yet? Alright, well how about this one…. “gluten-free, moist, chocolate cake“.

I knew it, you couldn’t resist either.

Make it. Announce it’s Cake Day to the people nearest & dearest, & just turn it into an occasion. Hell, I’d say put it in the middle of the table & just hand out spoons.

…Until next time xxx

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pumpkin & spice frozen yogurt

You learn so many things when you experiment. For example, I learned that yogurt doesn’t have enough fat in it to keep the frozen yogurt creamy once frozen.

Do you know how I know this?

It’s because the first time I came up with this recipe, I diligently went back & forth to the freezer to ensure I was keeping the mix moving & breaking up those ice crystals, and at some stage, it just turned on me & stopped being a nice creamy concoction, but rather had the consistency of very hard slushed ice.

So, I thawed it out & started again thinking I hadn’t quite been diligent enough, this time stirring it every 15 minutes instead of every half hour. Nope, same result.

I sat there frustrated looking at it & realized that if it was getting this hard & falling apart, there wasn’t nearly enough fat in it.

Ahhhhh, so here we go, the age old question… is it better for my frozen yogurt to be creamy, or healthier?

Creamy won. No surprise really since I always choose flavor & texture over calorie count.

…and wouldn’t you know it, adding an egg yolk & some sweetened condensed milk turned my frozen treat from a slushy mess into a creamy, delicious dessert.

So I have to ask myself, what’s really in all those frozen yogurts out there? Maybe it will require some investigation, maybe not, maybe that’s all for another post. We shall see.

I know it’s getting colder outside, but it’s still warm enough for me to get away with this fall concoction. I’m combining the last of the warmth with the flavors of the fall.

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cream cheese, blackberry & rolled oat muffins

You know those moments where you’re sitting, looking at a recipe & thinking to yourself “my god that’s a lot of butter”.

You sit there scratching your head & wondering about whether or not you should reduce it, replace it with oil, or maybe find some other substitute for it.

Don’t. Just don’t to it.

Instead what you should do is take out a calculator & divide it by the number of portions the recipe says it’s going to make & just plane realize that realistically speaking, when it comes right down to it, it really isn’t all that much.

I tried to do that earlier in the week. I was looking at one of my old recipes thinking about how I could adapt it into something new & gluten-free, maybe even put a healthy spin on it by throwing in some whole oats, so I cut out almost half of the butter & sugar.

Big mistake. I should have taken my own advice.

Actually, I sat there looking at the by product & wondering “what in the world have I done?!”.

I can’t accept failures as failures though. They down-right irritate the living daylights out of me. So I worked myself up into a fluster, went out & topped up on all the ingredients I’d run out of, & today I finally got my butt back in the kitchen to make things right!

Oh, and did I ever make them right!!!! I even threw in some fresh blackberries… mmm mmm mmm.

……all gone! 

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starting the week off right!

I usually judge how my week is going to pan out by how I start my Monday mornings:
Is there coffee?
Is it instant, filter, espresso machine, or did I splurge at the coffee shop?
Are my favorite jeans clean or did I forget to wash them…..?
Did I remember to buy groceries for breakfast?
How about lunch?
What did I dream about last night?
……..and the list generally goes on like this.

There are of course exceptions to every rule. Sometimes Tuesday just sneaks up and bites you on the ass. Yea, maybe. It happens. It’s always best to try & avoid it though.

I started my week off right this time though & it all began with breakfast. You’re going to judge me before you’ve even tried it. I promise, that would be such a mistake.

I like to do something a little strange… Now I know that freshly cracked black pepper on honeydew melon is amazing, (and if you don’t already know that it is you should immediately try it), and melon & Greek yogurt are a great combo. Pepper & yogurt go, just think about all the dips made using the two. Honey & yogurt go together, and honey & yogurt go together.

You’re all still with me so far… correct?

Well, seeing as each of things pair up with everything else on the list when you take them two at a time, I figured…. why not just combine them all?!

Yea, I did that. I took out a huge bowl, filled it with plain, full fat greek yogurt. Cut up a nice ripe honeydew melon on top of that. Drizzled it with thick, local honey & then cracked some freshly ground black pepper on top of it all.

I swear, it was heaven in a bowl.

…and wouldn’t you know it, I finished my goal of making 1,000 origami paper cranes the very next day. So, I repeat. Start your Monday off right!

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