s’mores pound cake

s'mores loaf

it’s been 2 weeks since our vacation
with the nephews
while i don’t miss the bugs
or shitty water pressure
i miss the idyllic pace
evening grilling
star skies
and camp fire

s’mores is not new to my life,
but it’s not often in my life.
that needs to change.
starting now.

s'mores loaf

s’mores pound cake
adapted from food&wine

*note: i made 2 loaves, for a recent girls night in gathering. i ended up baking it for longer than i would’ve liked, and i thought it came out dry, but the ladies enjoyed it fine.

1 1/2 sticks soy butter, softened (i used earth balance)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup finely ground graham cracker crumbs, from half a sleeve
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 TBL lactose free half/half
3 large eggs
1 TBL pure vanilla extract

chocolate swirl:
3 TBL melted soy butter
2 TBL unsweetened cocoa powder

pre-heat oven to 325F. crease a 8×4 loaf pan. set aside.

in a mixing bowl, cream the soy butter with the sugars. in another bowl whisk the dry ingredients. and then in yet another bowl mix the liquids. keeping the mixer on medium, alternate btwn the wet and dry ingredients.

pour half the batter into prepared loaf pan. spoon in the chocolate swirl mix along the length of the loaf pan. top with the rest of the batter. using a chopstick swirl the batter around, but don’t aim to mix everything.

bake for about 50-55 minutes.

cool in pan for 15 minutes, and then turn out on rack and cool completely.

chocolate ganache

8 oz bittersweet chocolate, rough chopped, in a bowl
4 oz of lactose free half/half

heat the half/half in a small saucepan, just to boiling.

gently pour the half/half into the bowl of chocolate. ignore it for 10 minutes.

seriously.

after 10 minutes, stir until mixed through. it’ll be liquid-y but as it cools it’ll thicken up.

for the marshmallow fluff, i used this recipe.

to assemble, spread the ganache over the loaf and spread the fluff to your heart’s content. sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs as desired.

BAM!

s'mores loaf

4 years ago: spicy cantaloupe salad
3 years ago: pickled beets
2 years ago: not a blessed thing
1 year ago: fast ‘n dirty bread & butter pickles

mint chocolate chip cookies – NY Times style

Homemade Mint Chocolate Chips

similar to banana bread,
we all have our go-to favorite recipe,
(this is mine, in case you were wondering)
chocolate chip cookies have different iterations,
most of which i’m willing to try,
(tahini based, with soy sauce, with ginger & molasses, & gluten free.)
but i always fall back to the famous NY Times one.
dw requested it this year for his birthday,
and because i always add mint to his bday treats,
i made the chocolate chips minty.

his birthday is early in the month,
but i am incapable of not celebrating him everyday.
happy birthday sweet dw,
i am your Ride or Die,
forevermore.

Mint-Chocolate Chip Cookies

mint chocolate chip cookies – NY Times style
adapted from the NY Times

refer to the link for the method of the cookies themselves, i didn’t alter that part. my changes are that i used bread flour & spelt flour, as well green valley’s lactose free butter.

for the minty chocolate chips:

1 1/4 lb chocolate, if in bar form rough chop, or use chips
1 very generous TBL mint extract

using the double boiler method, melt the chocolate over boiling water. stir continuously, you’re aiming for a glossy sheen. add in the tablespoon of mint extract, i may have added a little over. mix to incorporate thoroughly.

remove from heat.

at this point, you can either spread the chocolate out on a piece of parchment paper and allow to cool. when completely cooled, break into small pieces.

or you can be fancy and make chips. allow the mixture to cool a little before handling. carefully pour into piping bag. i let it cool in order to be able to handle the piping without burning my hand. when ready, snip the end of the bag and carefully dollop a small chip amount on parchment paper, continuing until you’ve used up all the chocolate or you get annoyed and make the bar form.

allow to cool through before handling.

use as you would any other chips.

BAM!

Mint-Chocolate Chip Cookies

previous dw chocolate + mint confections:
minty milano cookies – 2016
peppermint kisses – 2015 (not officially blogged  but use this recipe for reference)
coconut peppermint patties – 2014
homemade thin mints – 2013
mint chocolate cake – 2012

brownie cookies

Brownie Cookie

Brownie Cookie

Brownie Cookie

happy thanksgiving week, friends.
i am grateful for you all.

we’re unplugging for about 2 weeks –
traveling
eating
family-ing
movie-ing

speaking of which,
we saw loving recently.
not so long ago,
dw + i would not have been able to marry.
i am thankful for this couple.

this bears repeating,
i am thankful for you all.
be safe.

brownie cookies
adapted from mel’s kitchen who adapted it from urban bakes

note: i made these full on dairy doom since they are being shipped out to a sweet family who don’t have dietary restrictions. when i make these again, i will either use softened coconut oil or with lactose-free butter.
note*: i ended up with 39 cookies

brownie cookie dough:
1 stick + 2 TBL of butter, room temp
5 oz brown sugar
5 oz sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
7 1/4 oz white whole wheat flour
1.5 oz unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

chocolate chip cookie dough:
1 stick + 2 TBL of butter, room temp
5 oz sugar
5 oz brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
10 3/4 oz whilte whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
super generous handfuls of chocolate chips

for both sets of cookies, making each separately but using the same method:

in a bowl add the dry ingredients, whisk them together. set aside.

in mixing bowl, cream the butter with the granulated sugar and brown brown sugar until creamy and smooth. add in the egg and egg yolk, and vanilla; beat until well incorporated. add in the dry ingredients until just combined and no dry streaks are left (and the chips are evenly mixed).

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

roll out the dough, aim for teaspoon sized balls. we weighed out the brownie dough at 1/2 oz and chocolate chip dough at just a smidge heavier.

smush two differing balls together. sometimes i rolled them together and other times i pressed them and formed a fat disk. the cookies spread so don’t go too crazy flattening them.

bake for 7 minutes.

cool completely.

BAM!

Brownie Cookie

3 years ago: mango pomegranate guacamole
2 years ago: garlic panna cott + curried root vegetable soup
1 year ago: only one thing last year, vegan carrot cake

meringue roulade with shaved chocolate and salty-sweet peanuts

Meringue Roulade + Chocolate Shavings + Salty Sweet Peanuts

dear sweet dw:
today we celebrate 1,095 days of married life.
we don’t count days to boast,
but to be held accountable for
the Love Story we are writing together.
you know i was a shitty student
unless something was captivating to me,
and you, kind sir, are a being
i am most interested in.
i want to learn everything about you,
as you grow and evolve.
i remain ever curious about you,
and in our life together.
i commit to being your bestest student.
you are the gift that i never expected,
and i accept you with all my heart.

happy anniversary, sweet love,
let’s always have cake.

photo courtesy of luke eshleman & used with permission
photo courtesy of luke eshleman & used with permission

meringue roulade with shaved chocolate and salty-sweet peanuts
inspired and loosely adapted from yotam ottolenghi, also found in plenty more
serves 8, or in our case, just the two of us

*note: it was a dreary/wet day when this dessert was made, which made the meringue sticky. still very delicious.
humidity  cannot be fought.

Meringue:
4 large egg whites, at room temp
1 coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp distilled vinegar
1 tsp cornstarch

Toppings/Filling:
1 cup chocolate bar, whatever your preference, shaved
1/2 cup crushed roasted peanuts
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 TBL coconut sugar
So Delicious’ Coco Whip (alternative if you can’t get this product, skim the fat off of 3 cans of FULL FAT coconut milk and whip with 2 TBL powdered sugar until fluffy)

preheat oven to 325F. prepare a 13X9 rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper.

in a stand mixer & whisk attachment, add your egg whites and whisk until frothy. add the sugar by the tablespoon-ful. you’re aiming for stiff, glossy peaks. add in the vanilla extract, vinegar and cornstarch and whisk until blended.

spread mixture on the parchment paper and with an off-set spatula spread it out until level.

bake for 30 minutes, a crust will form, but the meringue will be cooked. remove from oven and let cool in pan.

flip the meringue onto a fresh piece of parchment paper, and gently peel the lining paper.

spread however much of the coco whip you want on the meringue, it’s your party, you do what you want. i would say i used about a cup, and leave a small border around the edge. sprinkle with the shaved chocolate and salty-sweet peanuts.

from the long edge, and using the parchment paper to help, roll the meringue into a log. transfer to serving plate. chill in fridge for 30 minutes.

top the meringue roulade with even more coco whip and sprinkle with yes, even MORE chocolate shavings and salty-sweet peanuts. slice and serve.

BAM!

Meringue Roulade + Chocolate Shavings + Salty Sweet Peanuts

3 years ago: diy wedding envelopes
2 years ago: chocolate tahini cake + rosemary infused buttercream
1 year ago: 6″ chocolate cake

where the wild things are smash cake

Where the Wild Things Are Cake

following in the same thread
as last post’s boxed confection,
i recently created a small cake
for a small bae
with a wild streak.
a smash cake was reqested
and since i figured it was going to be,
well, smashed to smithereens,
i went boxed, again.
but since it’s for a most beloved child,
we did go organic.
i still have standards y’all.

the theme was
Where the Wild Things Are,
a book i vaguely remember.
i doubt NT will recall this occasion,
though there were plenty of pictures that captured it.
in any case,
it was so easy to put together,
though you’da thunk i slaved over it
by the reactions of everyone in attendance of the party.
that’s winning at adulting,
if there were such a thing.

Where the Wild Things Are Cake

Where the Wild Things Are Smash Cake
makes 1 2 layered 6″ cake

1 box of cake mix, i used Immaculate Yellow Cake Mix
1 can of frosting, i used Wholesome Chocolate frosting
half bag of chocolate chips, a brand i like is enjoy life
1 tube of pre-made pie crust, i used immaculate ready to bake pie crust

bake the cake as per box instructions. for 6″ i baked for 35 minutes. it did dome a smidge, so it had to be leveled.

for the crown: on a lightly floured counter top, lay out the crust layer. with the mind set of an heir and a spare, i made 2 crowns. i measured out 2 10″ wide rectangles. i’m bad at math and space, so one of the crowns was taller, while the other was stubby. just make a chevron/jagged crown. using either the upside of a muffin or popover tin, wrap the crown around the base. for shininess and some color, do an egg wash. bake for 12 minutes, until gold brown. hopefully 1 of the 2 will come out. in my case, the heir died and i had to use the stubby spare. set aside, be careful, try not to break it.

for the textured bark: you can either melt the chocolate in the microwave or double boiler style. when the chocolate is fully melted, spread it into a rectangle on parchment paper, you want it as thin as possible, so use an off-set spatula. carefully fold the parchment paper into a roll and fridge it until set.

to assemble: lay the first cake layer on a plate or whatever you’re gonna serve the cake on. pipe in a layer of frosting, spread and then top with 2nd layer of cake. crumb coat it. it does not need to be perfect. you do want to make the top be as smooth as possible though, the sides can be bare minimum though. when ready, take the role of schmeared chocolate out and crack it. unroll the paper, you should have varied sized shards of chocolate. adhere them to the sides of the cake, you may need to dab on some frosting to get it to stick. again, it does not need to be perfect, just think of what a tree stump looks like. when the sides are sufficiently covered, re-melt the remaining chocolate shards and with a pastry brush, dab on the chocolate to the the cracks and fill in blank spots. you’re aiming for something rustic.

fridge it. take out about 30 minutes prior to smashing. top with the crown.

BAM!

Where the Wild Things Are Cake

3 years ago: tofu gyoza – vegan
2 years ago: peach ginger scones – vegan
1 year ago: summer salsa – vegan

nile + smash cake