Organic Chocolate Cake with a Strawberry Acai Buttercream

I just got these fabulous cookbook, “Organic and Chic,” By: Sarah Magid. I was so excited to find this because I LOVE her philosophy being Organic and local as possible! This is completely up my ally… I must admit though, the only little thing that I was disappointed about was the food coloring she uses. It is the generic “chemical” kind. But for my recipes I want ALL of my ingredients to be as pure and chemical free as possible. Therefore, I have discovered this amazing naturally made  food coloring by “India Tree.” I paid $19 for it, but to me it’s worth it 🙂

 I made the Pink Macarons with an Organic Strawberry Acai Buttercream I had left over buttercream so I wanted to make a cake… and Since I love ANYTHING Chocolate, I made Sarah’s “Easiest Chocolate Cake…”

Ingredients

(This is the recipe cut in half for a smaller cake)

1 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Organic AP Flour

1 Cup scant Organic Cane Sugar

1/2 Cup Organic Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt

1/2 Tablespoon ALMOND EXTRACT (This is a change I made; Original recipe called for Vanilla Extract)

1/3 Cup Organic Canola Oil

1 Teaspoon Organic White Vinegar (Apple Cider is what I used)

1 Cup Cold Water

Directions

Preheat the oven to 35o degrees F. Butter and flour a 8 or 9-inch round cake pan. In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the extract, oil, vinegar, and cold water. Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, 

being careful not to overmix. The mixture will be quite wet, but this is okay. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-24 minutes.

Allow cake to cool then frost it with the Strawberry Acai Buttercream.

Organic Vanilla Bean Sugar

Did you know that the flavor of Vanilla is derived from the ripened fruit of a tropical orchid? Vanilla planifolia, the only orchid in the world that produces an edible fruit!

The subtle yet seductive aroma of Vanilla has been known to be an aphrodisiac; has a calming, soothing effect on the central nervous system and tummy upsets; And reduces or prevents drowsiness by invigorating and uplifting the spirit.

Therefore, whether you are feeling down or looking for LOVE, go Vanilla!!

Here is the simplest recipe for your new invigorating sugar…

Ingredients

1/2 teaspoon Organic Vanilla Bean Powder or 1 whole Vanilla Bean Pod (Dried out)

2 Cups Organic Sugar

Directions

Blend in a food processor until well mixed. Store in a glass jar with a lid for optimal freshness.

That’s it! Simple as that!!



Caramel, Chocolate and Salted Almond Tart

I got inspired for this recipe when I was looking through “The Art and Soul of Baking,” by Cindy Mushet. I came across this insanely gorgeous “Baci Tart with Frangelico Cream” which, the photo itself is stunning and the ingredients were delectable. So I had to take on this recipe… with a few changes I came up with this decadent Chocolate, Caramel and Salted Almond Tart.

Ingredients

Chocolate Dough Recipe

1/2 Cup Organic Heavy Cream

1/2 Stick Organic Butter

1/4 Cup Water

2 Tablespoons Almond Flavored Syrup or 1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract

1 Cup Salted Almonds, chopped

2 ounces Dark Chocolate, chopped

Coarse Sea Salt for garnish

Chocolate Dough Recipe Ingredients

1 stick Organic Butter

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Egg Yolk

1 Cup Organic AP Flour

2 1/2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (Valhorna is what I use)

Directions:

1: Cream together the butter and sugar. Then add the egg yolk and beat well.

2: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa powder. Add to the butter mixture all at once. Blend just until the dough comes together.

3: Scrape the dough in a tart pan. Use the heel of your hand to press the dough into an even layer across the bottom and up the side of the pan. Press from the center of the pan outward, building up some extra dough where the bottom meets the side. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use

1: BAKE THE SHELL– (You can use a tart pan or 6 small tart pans)Preheat the oven to 35o degrees F. Bake the tart shell(s) for 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool on a rack while you prepare the filling. You may leave the oven on.

2: MAKE THE FILLING– Combine the cream, butter and chocolate in small saucepan and heat just until the cream begins to simmer and the butter and chocolate is fully melted. Remove from heat and let the mixture sit while you make the caramel.

3: Combine the water and syrup in a medium saucepan. Sprinkle the sugar and almond syrup over the top. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a heatproof silicone spatula, until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is clear. Turn the heat to high and boil rapidly, swilring the pan occcasionally (do not stir) to cook the sugar evenly, until it turns a golden honey color. Then remove from the heat and immediately add the warm cream and butter mixture. Be careful!

4: Stir with a spatula to blend the caramel and cream. If there are any bits of hardened caramel, put the pan over the lowest possible heat and stir gently until the caramel melts. Add the almonds to the caramel and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the caramel turns a light golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately pour the filling into the cooled tart shells.

5: Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling. Transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely. Then sprinkle with the coarse sea salt for garnish.

… and oh my goodness!

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

One of my favorite treats ever… Chocolate Chip Shortbread. In this new recipe I used semolina flour instead of arrowroot starch and it creates the perfect texture. Just wait.. you’ll see what I mean!

Ingredients

6oz Organic Salted Butter

2 Cups Organic AP Flour

1/3 Cup Semolina Flour

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt

1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Organic Sugar

1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Beans or Vanilla Extract

1/4 cup 60% Bittersweet Chocolate Chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cake or tart pan with parchment and butter the bottom. Combine the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together, then add the vanilla. Mix well. In another bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and whisk together. Combine the dry ingredients with the butter mixture and press in the bottom of the prepared pan. Press the chocolate chips on the top on the shortbread. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.

Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Just remember… There are nutrients in butter, so there should be NO guilt here 😉

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

 

These are the absolute most incredible cupcakes I have ever tasted! If you LOVE cookie dough you will go crazy over these little cakes. I will admit this is not my recipe.. I followed this Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcake recipe. The only thing I changed was the ingredients I used were organic and I used less frosting.

Look at the cookie dough goodness inside…

Seriously, find ANY excuse to make this recipe. You will be so glad you did!


Sweet Onion Marmalade

This gorgeous marmalade is so simple to make.. It’s sweet its savory its perfect!

Ingredients

1 medium sweet or yellow onion

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons organic butter

1 teaspoon molasses

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

1. Dice the onion and set aside.

2. In a skillet, on medium heat, add the butter and sugar and cook for 1 minute. Then add the balsamic, molasses and sea salt. Stir and cook for another minute. Then place the diced onion into the mixture, set on medium low heat, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until the onions are tender.

Chocolate Doughnuts with Powdered Sugar

After making these delectable Chocolate Doughnuts I was waiting for my husband to get home from work. So I was watching “The BEST thing I ever ate,” on my favorite show Food Network (of course). Shortly after the show was over my husband got home, and I gave him a doughnut I had made… his eyes then rolled back and after a few minutes he yelled, “This is the best doughnut I’ve ever had! The best thing I’ve ever eaten!” I just had to giggle because I was just previously watching that fun show. So anyways, here is what could be one of the BEST things you ever eat as well!

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups  whole wheat flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 large organic eggs

3/4 cups sugar

2 tablespoons buttermilk

1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted

2-4 cups canola oil  for frying

1/2 cup powdered sugar to coat

Directions

1. In a bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and sea salt then whisk together well.

2. In another bowl stir together the sugar, melted butter, eggs and buttermilk. Then, add the mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well.

3. Prepare a brown paper bag by filling it with the powdered sugar.

4. Heat the oil to about 375 degrees F.

5. Using an ice cream scoop, drop dollops of doughnut batter into the hot oil. Only a few at a time. Do not over crowd the pot. Fry for about 2 minutes on each side or until the doughnuts are browned and crispy.

6. Take the doughnuts out and immediately put into the paper bag and shake to coat each doughnut.

Serve right away!

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!

Chocolate and Key Lime Angel Cake

In this recipe Chocolate and Key Lime come together beautifully!  Angel Cake got it’s name because of its airy lightness is said to be the “food of the angels.” This recipe in a cake-lover’s prayer.

Ingredients

1/4 cup White Whole Wheat Flour

2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder

2 Tablespoons Arrowrroot Powder

1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt

5 Egg Whites

1/2 teaspoon Key Lime, zest

Topping

Homemade Whipped Cream

4 Tablespoons Mascarpone Cheese

1 Tablespoon Sugar

1 teaspoon Key Lime Juice

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, arrowroot powder, and salt together a few times.

2. Beat the egg whites in a large bowl until foamy and continue to whisk until soft peaks form.

3. Add the sugar to the egg whites a spoonful at a time, whisking after each addition. Sift a third of the four and cocoa mixture over the meringue and gently fold in. Repeat twice or more.

4. Spoon the mixture into a ring mold or a pie pan (that is what I do.) Bake for 35 minutes, or until springy when lightly pressed. Turn upside-down on to a wire rack and leave to cool in the pan. Carefully ease out of the tin. Then, after it has cooled I use a small circle cutter and punch out “bite size” circles.

5. To make the topping, mix 1/2 cup of  Homemade Whipped Cream, mascarpone cheese, key lime juice and sugar. Spread how much topping you would like on each bite. Top with some lime and chocolate zest.

Organic Fruit and Berry Tart

This beautiful fruit tart is a perfect summer time dessert.  The rich Lemon Curd and beautiful berries makes this tart absolutely perfect.

Ingredients

Fresh Lemon Curd

Tart

4 Tablespoons Butter

1/4 Cup Raw Sugar

1 Organic Egg

1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

pinch of Sea Salt

1/4 Cup Berries of choice

Dark Chocolate

Directions

In a medium bowl combine together the flour, sea salt, sugar then whisk. Add in the butter 1 Tablespoon at a time and work it with your hands, then add in the egg and mix well. If the mixture is too dry and is not coming together add in 1 Tablespoon of water. Form the dough ball then wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 min.

When ready to bake the pastry crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Whether using 4 mini tart pans or one large one, press the dough to the bottom of the pan to form your tart. Place the tart pans on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. If you choose to add the Dark Chocolate, pull the tarts out of the oven the last 2 minutes and place some chocolate on each tart and allow it melt in the oven for the remaining time needed to bake.

When the tarts are cooled you are ready to assemble the lemon curd then your beautiful berries. Chill in the refrigerator.

I LOVE these tarts!!