Tag Archives: dessert

Recipe: Salted Chocolate Coconut Ganache Torte with Chocolate Cashew Crust

Chocolate Cashew Crust Ingredients:

  • 2 c. unsalted cashews
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut butter (or coconut oil; if not worried about dairy, butter might be a good substitute)
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. fine Himalayan sea salt

Crust Instructions: Add cashews to food processor and pulse till coarsely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until thoroughly combined. Press into greased 8″ round (or square) pan (I use Trader Joe’s coconut oil spray and wet my hands slightly to press the crust on the bottom and sides of the pan; you could use a spring-form pan, if desired). Chill in freezer until ready to fill.

Chocolate Coconut Ganache Filling Ingredients:

Filling Instructions: Bring coconut cream to low boil over medium-low heat. Empty chocolate chips into a large glass bowl. Pour boiling coconut cream over chips, let sit for 2-5 minutes, then whisk gently till smooth. Add vanilla and whisk gently until combined. Pour into chilled crust. Return to refrigerator to set and chill for at least 2 hours.

Top with any or all of the following: 

  • 1/4 – 1/2 c. coconut flakes
  • 1/4 c. roughly chopped, unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 – 1 c. whipped coconut cream (or whipped cream, if not concerned about being dairy-free)
  • 1/2 – 1 c. fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or a combination would be nice; or you could serve this on the side)

Serving Instructions: Serve chilled in small slices or petit-four sized squares. Just before serving, sprinkle with 1-2 tsp. coarse, pink, Himalayan sea salt (if you do this earlier, the salt may dissolve into the dessert). It looks especially nice on top of whipped cream or whipped coconut cream, since it’s a beautiful pink! Serves 12-24 (depending on how large you cut). Bonus: This recipe is gluten free and dairy free! Bon appetit!

New Favorite, High-Protein Snack: Peanut Butter and Honey Parfait!

My friend Mike Campbell introduced me to this new favorite treat! It’s so simple. It’s healthy. And it’s delicious! (And, yes, I told him it was going on my blog.)

photo-25

  • 3/4 to 1 cup Plain Whole Milk Yogurt (you can use the low fat if you really want to, but I personally think we need a little fat in our diets to help absorb certain nutrients, and it makes it creamier)
  • 2 Tbsp. All Natural Peanut Butter (or organic, if you can find it)
  • 1-2 tsp. Local Honey (or organic, if you can find it)

Just stir or whip the three ingredients together, and it creates a rich, creamy, high-protein treat that tastes as good as a parfait or dessert mousse. If you want, you can substitute a spoonful of your favorite jam instead of the honey and call it “PB&J Parfait”–great way to get kids (of all ages) to eat yogurt! Bon Appetit!

 

Journey Journal: Days 96-97

Day 96: Saturday, April 6, 2013

Slept in. Breakfast of Ezekiel 4:9 Golden Flax cereal with raspberries, banana slices, and almond milk, and a French Press of coffee. Went to Goga for 20 minutes of workout and 15 minutes of sauna time. Brought a book to read in the sauna (Reckless Abandon by David Sitton, an autobiography of a missionary to PNG). After that, I came home, filled my water bottle, grabbed a granola bar, and went on a 5 mile walk in the neighborhoods surrounding ours. I am so thankful for this sunshine and the new blooms of springtime! After a hot shower, I met Bryan downtown, since he was there studying for his Microbiology test all day. I grabbed some red pepper strips and a mandarin orange on my way out the door and enjoyed them with a Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad from Port City Java. He studied for a bit more, then we checked out the new Anthropology store downtown (very cool, by the way!) before heading to dinner at 21 East. Bryan got a burger with root beer caramelized onions and a side of fries; I wasn’t super hungry (since the salad wasn’t that long ago), so I just got a single cajun crawfish taco (which was delicious! I might just have to get the 3 for $10 next time). It was a relaxing evening! I love date night!

Day 97: Sunday, April 7, 2013

Church this morning. Then 2nd grade Journey Group, where we talked about God being “Unchanging.” Had my cousin, his girlfriend, and another friend over for a lunch of tacos and taco salad (beef with cumin and garlic; and shrimp with curry powder, red pepper flakes, and garlic; plus loads of fresh veggies). Shared a French Press of Columbian coffee with our guests. While Bryan and the gang continued to study, I went for another 5 mile walk…this time with book in hand. I read and walked and enjoyed the fresh air! Bryan grilled burgers for dinner, and I had a side of carrot sticks. Made some lemon corn muffins with a lemon glaze for dessert, which got gobbled up very quickly! (Recipe here; I used about a cup of powdered sugar instead of 1/3 c. white sugar in the glaze, and I used Jiffy cornbread mix instead of the suggested brand.) Will have to remember that! Watched some clips on Food Network, while sipping a vanilla almond iced coffee (leftovers from this afternoon’s brew). Time for a hot, Epsom salt bath before getting ready for bed and grabbing my book one more time for the weekend.

Mexican Coffee Recipe

by Harriet Dickson (my pastor’s wife from Ohio)

Makes 8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 c. brewed coffee (the original recipe says 3/4 c. coffee, but I never knew if this was coffee grounds or brewed coffee or just a typo, so I use one french press of coffee or one small pot of coffee)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 c. milk (I use 2% organic)
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. Hershey’s Syrup (I use the Dark Chocolate Syrup)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Instructions:

  • Brew coffee and cinnamon together. (Mix cinnamon into coffee grounds before brewing.)
  • Heat rest of ingredients together in a saucepan.
  • Add brewed coffee to saucepan.
  • Serve hot.

This makes a great holiday beverage or just a good dessert coffee. After making it a time or two, you won’t even need to measure. Just add the ingredients in the proportions you like.

Toasted Poundcake with Citrus Cream by Giada DeLaurentiis

The dessert went off fabulously (though I made twice as much as I needed to). I brought the leftovers to work today and got rave reviews as well. Thanks, Giada!

Giada tops hers with orange segments. I set out a fruit bowl of lemon and lime slices, orange segments, and honey mango pieces. Delicious!

Here are the pics:

Pretty as a Picture

Thanks, Giada!

You can find the recipe at FoodNetwork.com or in yesterday’s post below. Caution: watch the cream as you’re whipping it. I think I overwhipped mine a little bit. Fortunately, I caught it before it turned to citrus butter (though I’m sure that would be tasty too).

Bon Appetit!

Melissa

Fool Proof Date Night – Lobster, Steak, and Fondue (Feb. 22, 2010)

This past Saturday was the perfect evening. Some of our closest friends, Dave & Rachel, met us at our house around 6 p.m. for an experimental dinner. I had coupons for lobster tails and fillets at Earthfare, and felt compelled to use them. So, we decided to experiment. Bryan had lobster mac n cheese in Buffalo on one of his recent business trips and has been waiting for the chance to experiment. And we all took part…

Rachel brought this delicious, fresh salad with spinach, black olives, beets, and cheddar cheese. And we topped it with organic Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing (also on sale at Earthfare).

Then we had some organic shell noodles, which we brought to a boil and simmered for 8 minutes (we used a little over half of the 1 pound bag). After draining, Bryan added 1/2 a stick of butter and 2 minced garlic cloves to the pot. Then he poured the noodles back in the pot and added about 1/3 c. of organic heavy whipping cream and a pile of organic cheese! (Thank you, Dave, for grating all of that!) We used about 6 oz. havarti, 4 oz. sharp white cheddar and 1-2 oz. asiago. Then, to top it all off, we folded in chunks of lobster tail. (To cook the lobster tails, cover with water, bring to boil, simmer for 8 minutes, then cool in ice water. Carefully remove meat from shell and chop into bite size pieces. Hint: Cook this in a separate pot as you’re cooking your noodles, and use the same timer.) We used two 3-4 oz. lobster tails. Adding one more would have made it perfect.

I had the privilege of cooking the steaks. Usually, I leave the meat to Bryan, but he was busy with his lobster cheese masterpiece. So, it was up to me. We pulled the meat out of the fridge about 45 minutes before Dave & Rachel arrived, so it would have time to come to room temperature. I seasoned both sides of the steaks with sea salt and cracked pepper and let it rest. When they got here, I heated the pan over medium high heat, added about 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, and 2 cloves of minced garlic. I quickly added the seasoned steaks and seared it for 2 minutes on each side, adding a pat of butter to the top of each. (Remember, don’t move the meat during this process. If you keep wiggling and checking the meat, the heat can’t do it’s job of sealing the moisture inside.) I pulled Dave & Bryan’s off and left mine and Rachel’s on for 1 more minute, since we like ours a little less rare. I bought two 6 oz. fillets, cooked them as two pieces (instead of four), then cut them just before serving. We kept them warm in the toaster oven on about 180 degrees Fahrenheit. This kept them warm without continuing to cook them. (By the way, the steak was a success, of which I was quite proud.) And we certainly didn’t need more than 3 oz. per person with the pasta and what was to follow.

After dinner, we had french press coffee, while enjoying each other’s company (and a little comedy show). Then we finished the evening with dessert reservations at The Melting Pot (a fondue restaurant in town). A full meal at The Melting Pot can be a bit pricy, but if you want the experience for a reasonable price, dessert for 2 is about $14. Dave & Rachel chose the milk chocolate turtle fondue and we got the dark chocolate Irish creme fondue. They brought each couple a plate with strawberries, banana slices, little squares of pound cake, Rice Krispy treats, brownies, and marshmallows, and a piece of New York style cheesecake. And while not exactly physically healthy, it was good for our mental health and the perfect ending to our double date night.