Thursday, March 31, 2016

Karen's Incredible Triple Chocolate Cake

Karen’s Incredible Triple Chocolate Cake

(Everyone loves this, but especially Jesse and Matthew!)

            1 package Pillsbury Plus Devil’s Food Cake Mix
            1 c dairy sour cream                         ¾ c water
            1/3 c oil                                              3 eggs
            4 oz (+) bar milk chocolate, chopped in food processor

Frosting (I usually double this part for frosting-loving crowds)
            8 oz (+) white chocolate, cut into pieces*
            ¾ c butter, softened
            ½ c powdered sugar

Garnish (make before frosting the cake) -- This step takes the cake from amazing to over the top. You do NOT need to put the white chocolate curls/fans on top if you don't want to... the cake is still amazing without it!
            Apx. 2 lbs. white chocolate

            Heat the oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9” round cake pans. In large bowl, combine cake mix, sour cream, water, oil and eggs at low speed until moistened: beat 2 minutes at high speed. Gently fold in milk chocolate. Pour batter evenly into greased and floured pans. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely.

            Mix white chocolate in double broiler, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool. (If you don’t cool it thoroughly, it will harden when mixed in with room temperature ingredients and look lousy.) In small bowl, beat butter at ROOM TEMPERATURE (you canNOT melt the butter either -- it has to be really soft from being on the counter or the consistency of everything will change -- trust me on this!) and powdered sugar until fluffy. Gradually beat in cooled bar until smooth and fluffy. To assemble cake, place one layer bottom side up on serving plate. Spread generous amount of frosting between layers. Place remaining layer bottom side down on frosted layer. Frost sides and top of cake with remaining frosting.

            For garnish: Melt white chocolate and spread thin layer over back of cookie sheet or ideally on slab of marble. When it loses the shine, but BEFORE totally cool, take a putty knife or wide spatula, and make big chocolate curls or fans to put all over the top and sides of the cake. Put over sides and bottom while frosting is not yet “set.”

*Use GOOD white chocolate! I use Callebaut or get Ghirardelli or get chocolate from candy making store.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Vegan Aussie Bites

These convenient, tasty little bites are like a cross between a granola bar and a muffin. Best of all, they take only about 10 minutes to assemble!

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 cups oat flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup unsalted roasted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup flaxseed meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried apricots

I didn't have apricots so used dates instead; instead of raisins I used dried cranberries and cherries, and I added some hemp seed and camu camu powder.


1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray the cups of a mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray or rub with a little coconut oil.
2. Heat the coconut oil and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until coconut oil has melted. Set aside.
3. To the bowl of an 8-cup or larger food processor, add oat flour, oats, and sunflower seeds. Pulse a couple of times until the seeds and oats begin to break up. Add the coconut, flaxseed meal, baking powder, and salt. Pulse to mix.
4. Add the raisins and dried apricots and pulse until the apricots are approximately the size of peas.
5. Pour the melted coconut oil and maple syrup over the dry ingredients, then pulse just until combined. Transfer to a large bowl and stir well to make sure all ingredients are well-combined. If any of the apricots and raisins stick together in clumps, use your fingers to separate and distribute them throughout the mix.
6. Scoop by the heaping tablespoonful into the cups of the mini muffin pan (I use a cookie scoop). With your fingers, press each gently but firmly to pack and flatten.
7. Bake for about 12 minutes until set and edges are golden.
8. Remove from oven, allowing to cool for about 10 minutes. Use a butter knife to help pop each bite out of its respective tin; carefully remove from tin and place on a wire rack until completely cool and set. They may be fragile until completely cooled.

9. Keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days, or freeze in a zipper bag.