Organic Açaí Berry Cupcakes topped with Roasted Cocoa Nibs

With my rising obsession with Cupcakes, I am adapting “Anti-Aging and Healthy” ways to completely indulge in these sweet treats… Therefore, the well known Superfood, Açaí, was next on my list! I paired the cakes with Roasted Cocoa Nibs, so it would compliment the taste of this luscious berry and it turned out AMAZING!!

So what is Açaí?…
Açaí is the high-energy berry of a special Amazon palm tree. It contains a remarkable concentration of antioxidants that help combat premature aging, with 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes and 10 to 30 times the anthocyanins of red wine. Also, Açaí has the synergy of monounsaturated (healthy) fats, dietary fiber and phytosterols to help promote cardiovascular and digestive health. As well as an almost perfect essential amino acid complex in conjunction with valuable trace minerals, vital to proper muscle contraction and regeneration.

To make these lovely little cakes you will need:

1 1/2 Cups Organic AP Flour

1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt

1/2 Cup Organic Cream

1 Tablespoon Organic Açaí Berry Powder

1 stick Organic Butter, unsalted & room tempurature

3/4 Cup Organic Sugar

2 Organic Eggs

For the Frosting:

1/2 stick Butter

1 Cup Organic Powdered Sugar

1/4 Cup Organic Cream

1/2 teaspoon Açaí Powder

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the cups of a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low, add half of dry ingredients, followed by the cream and Açaí. Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool cupcakes completely before frosting.

Frosting:

In a medium bowl, with an electric mixture, beat the butter, powdered sugar, milk and Açaí until smooth.

The frosted Cupcakes are best eaten within 1 day.

Your taste buds, body, health and skin will LOVE the benefits of these decadent cakes!!

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Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with a Vanilla Bean Chocolate Ganache

Guinness is one of my FAVORITE beers. So I couldn’t wait to pair it with chocolate in this exotic cupcake! The Guinness hits your palate subtly but lingers in your mouth like a taste of wine. Its deep coffee-cocoa flavor is a perfect match with the chocolate and vanilla bean ganache. So if you enjoy a good brew you will LOVE these little cakes!!

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Organic Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1 Cup Organic Sugar

1 Cup Organic AP Flour

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt

6oz (half a bottle) Guinness Stout

1/2 stick Organic Butter, unsalted and melted

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Beans

1 Large Organic Egg

1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Organic Sour Cream

Ganache

4oz Dark Chocolate, Valhorna 70%

4oz Organic Heavy Cream

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Beans

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, vanilla beans, flour, baking soda and salt.

In another medium bowl, combine the Guinness and melted butter. Beat in the egg. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.

Dived the batter equally between 12 lined muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pan. Bake another 12 minutes until risen and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cupcakes on a rack or in the muffin tin.

To make the Ganache

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and cream together. Once melted, stir in the vanilla beans. Set aside to cool. Once cooled at room temperature, dip the cupcakes into the ganache and sprinkle with cocoa powder to finish!

Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache

For my 23rd birthday I wanted to make cupcakes! I had never made cupcakes before so for this special occassion it was on! Cupcakes are so perfect for a party because they are easy to eat and they do not require plates, forks, ect… So now for parties Im definately going cupcakes!

Ingredients

3/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup cocoa powder

4 Tablespoons melted butter

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/3 cup buttermilk

3 Tablespoons fresh espresso

Chooclate Ganache

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped

pinch of sea salt

Directions

1. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cocoa powder and sugar. Whisk till blended well.

2. In another medium bowl combine the melted butter, eggs, vanilla, espresso and buttermilk. Whisk till the mixture is blended.

3. Combine the wet to the dry ingredients and fold together. Do not over mix.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15 minutes until a toothpick insert comes out clean.

To make the Ganache…

In a double boiler heat the cream, add the chocolate and sea salt, stir until the chocolate melts. Set aside and cool until you are ready to dunk your cupcakes!!

To finish.. dunk your cakes and decorate with chocolate curls.

Happy Birthday!

Ravioli with Spinach, Ricotta and White Truffle Oil


My Grandmother says that “Watching Haley eat is an art in itself.” She is so cute. However when I was eating these Raviolis it was down right ridiculous! I would not be quite about how amazing I thought these pockets of love were! My husband was looking at me like I was completely nuts! I was talking to these little things and with each bite I closed my eyes and “Mmmmmm……ing” every single time! So must I say more? This recipe is incredible simple and so much fun to make. Just you wait, you will be Mmmmm..ing with each bite too.

Ingredients

Fresh Pasta Dough

12 ounces Organic Spinach, frozen and chopped

16 ounces Ricotta Cheese

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

1/4 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped

3/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Heavy Cream

Black Pepper, freshly cracked

White Truffle Oil

Directions

1. Drain the Spinach into a colander, drain and rinse well. Place the wet spinach onto paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and squeeze as much of the remaining water from the spinach as possible.

2. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, garlic, spinach, parsley, parmesan and sea salt and pepper to taste. Fold in enough cream to make the mixture soft and malleable.

3. Roll out the pasta to thin sheets. Cut the desired squared sizes you would like for the ravioli. Cover with a damp cloth while you make the ravioli. Working 2-4 squares at a time, spoon 1-1 1/2 teaspoons of the filling onto the middle of every other square. Place another ravioli square on top of the mixture and gently pinch the bottom and top layers together. (If they do not stick together easily, brush the edges with water.)

4. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add a generous tablespoon of sea salt. Add the ravioli. Cook for a few minutes until the pasta is al dente and the ravioli floats to the top of the water. Be careful not to allow the water to reach a rolling boil or the ravioli could fall apart. Remove with a skimmer and place a few on each plate. Drizzle with the White Truffle Oil and grate parmesan and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.

Dark Chocolate Pots De Creme with Homemade Whipped Cream

This wonderfully silky, cream custard dessert are bursting with rich dark chocolate flavor. The French,Pots De Creme translates to, “Pot of Cream.” This is an elegant and fairly easy dessert for dinner parties. Each guest has their own served in little cups or dishes. This dessert is perfect for the end of any dinner. Its like eating a dark chocolate truffle only in a dish!

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 vanilla bean, spilt and scraped

4 ounces 72% dark chocolate, finely chopped

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

pinch of  Murray River Salt or sea salt

Whipped Cream

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons sugar

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place 4-ounce ramekins or pots with lids in a baking pan.

2. Combine the milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla bean and seeds in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Cover with plastic and let steep for 15 minutes. Stir the mixture until the chocolate has melted and is evenly mixed into the cream.

3. Beat together the eggs, egg yolks, and salt in a medium bowl. Return the milk mixture to the heat and bring back to a simmer. Remove from heat, and making sure the mixture is not boiling, whisk 1/2 cup of the mixture into the eggs. Whisk the egg mixture back into the pot, adding every last bit with your rubber spatula. Whisk well, the strain through a fine strainer into a bowl.

4. Fill each ramekin or pot just below the rim with the mixture. Fill the baking pan with enough hot water to measure two-thirds of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the little cups with their lids, (If they do not have lids, then cover with aluminum foil.)

5. Bake for 45 minutes, until the custards are just set. They should jiggle slightly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. They will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

6. To make the whipped cream, combine the cream and the sugar in a bowl and whisk to soft peaks. Refrigerate until ready to use.

::(Thank you to “New Classic Family Dinners” By: Mark Peel)::

Sauteed Mushroom Ravioli with Manchego Thyme and Pepper Cream


If I could rename “Ravioli” I would call it “Pocket Full of Goodness!” Because that it truly what it is. Not only is ravioli so much fun to make, but you get to choose what goes inside!

For this particular ‘Packet Full of Goodness’ recipe, I chose to fill them with gorgeous sauteed mushrooms, a thin slice of Manchego Cheese and tossed them in a delicious cream sauce.

Dough

1 1/2 Cups Organic Flour

3 Organic Eggs

1 teaspoon Sea Salt

1 teaspoon fresh Thyme

Directions

Combine the flour, eggs, salt and thyme. Using your hands or a wooden spoon mix until well incorporated. Roll out the dough using a pasta machine until the sheets are very thin. Set aside on parchment paper to prevent the sheets from sticking. When your filling is done and cooled cut your sheets of pasta into 3″ x 3″ pieces. To put together the ravioli layer 2 mushrooms then a piece of the Manchego then 1 mushroom on top. Complete as many ravioli as you would like to serve then set aside on parchment paper dusted with a little flour to again, prevent sticking.

Filling

1 Cup Crimini Mushrooms, chopped

2 Tablespoons Organic Sweet Cream Butter

Manchego Cheese, thinly sliced into 1” pieces

Sea Salt and Pepper

Directions

In a large pan saute the butter, mushrooms, salt and pepper over low-medium heat until the mushroom are wilted and beautiful. Then set aside in a bowl to cool for about 15 minutes.

Cream Sauce

1 Cup Organic Cream

1/3 Cup Manchego Cheese

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper, fresh cracked

Few sprigs of Thyme

Directions

In a small pot heat the cream and Manchego until it is melted. Add in the sea salt, pepper and Thyme. Stir with a whisk to

prevent to much clumping. (A little clumping is good because it gives it that cheesy texture.)

To cook the ravioli, bring a large pot of sea salted water to a soft boil and add in your ravioli one at a time. Do not overcrowd the pot. Cook until tender 8-10 minutes. (All dough has a different cook time, so just test the ravioli to make sure it is to the consistency you would like.)

When your ravioli is ready to be served, top with the gorgeous cream sauce and garnish with a pinch more of pepper and fresh Thyme.

Olive Oil and Pink Salt Chilled Cream


If you love the fruity flavor of Olive Oil and you crave the ‘Sweet and Salty’ tastes, you will adore this recipe. I choose to serve this Chilled Cream as a last course with a beautiful Port dessert wine.

Olive Oil and Pink Salt Cream

2 Cups Organic Half and Half

1/2 Cup Organic Sugar

1/4 Cup Organic fruity Olive Oil

2 Organic Egg Yolks

1/2-1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt

Directions

Combine the sugar, salt and egg yolks. Then whisk them together for about 4 minutes until the mixture is well incorporated. Slowly add in the olive oil and half and half and stir until the mixture its glossy and creamy looking.

You may simply put it in the freezer in a sealed container or put it in an ice cream maker. When it is at the consistency you like, Bon Appetit!


Chicken and Kale Pasta in an Herb Cream Sauce

Pasta… One of the most satisfying dishes ever! It is hearty, fulfilling and so versatile. With this delicious combination of ingredients I have chosen I know you will adore this dish as much as we did.

Ingredients:

2 Large Organic Chicken Breasts, cut into cubes

2 Large stems of Organic Kale, rinsed well and chopped

1/2 packet of your favorite Pasta (I chose Organic Spaghetti because I love to twirl it on my fork.)

1/2 C Organic Cream

2 T Olive Oil

Bunch of Oregano and Chives

Some Parsley and chive stems for garnish

Sea Salt and Pepper

Directions:

Bring a large amount of salted water to a boil and cook pasta to al dente. (Reserve some of the pasta water.)

In a medium to large pan heat your olive oil and cook your kale till it is soft and wilted. Then remove the kale and set aside.

Salt and pepper both sides of the cubed chicken then place your chicken to the pan you used to cook the kale, you may need to add a bit more olive oil if there in none left over from the kale.

Allow the chicken to brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.

Then add the cream and herbs to the chicken and simmer the mixture for about 8 minutes.

Taste test to see if you need to add more salt and/or pepper.

When you are ready to serve add a little of the reserved pasta water to the cream mixture to thin it out a bit. Then add your kale and mix it together.

For plating, place some pasta on your plate then spoon the chicken mixture on top and garnish with parsley and chive stems.

Simple and delicious.

Bon Appetite!