Chocolate Cake with Ganache

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Yield 30

Ingredients

Cake: (double recipe for tiered style):

3-1/4 cups King Arthur flour

1 cup chocolate chips, melted

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1-3/4 cups organic sugar

2-1/2 cups oat milk

2-1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. Himalayan salt

Frosting:

1 cup vegan butter, room temp

3-1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp. coffee extract

3 Tbsp. oat milk

1/4 tsp. Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

Ganache:

1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup coconut cream

Misc.

1-1/2 cups chopped pecans, garnish and in-between cake layers

Directions

Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a stand mixer, beat together the sugar and oil until light in color. Add the almond extract and oat milk.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and powder. Add the salt and combine the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, a little bit at a time.
  4. Beat until flour is well combined and cake batter consistency is achieve
  5. Cut out parchment rounds to fit the bottom of the cake pans. Be sure to grease the parchment also, this will help your cakes not stick.
  6. Using a 7 and 9-inch pan for a 2 tier cake, you will need to double the recipe and fill each cake pan half way.
  7. Bake cakes for 50-60 minutes (rotating half way through) or until a toothpick comes out clean and cake edges are slightly browned and pulls away from pan.
  8. Place on a wire rack to cool until bottom of the pan is cool to touch.
  9. Flip the cakes out of the pan onto the rack and allow to completely cool (roughly 1-1/2 hours).
  10. Using a knife, level the cakes top so they are all even. Slice cakes in half, wrap in plastic individually, and place in fridge or freezer until ready to frost or leave out if you are making it that day.

Assembling:

  1. Smear a small amount of frosting on the bottom your cake boards and place the leveled cake on it.
  2. Place one 9-inch round layer down on the plate and add 2 ice cream scoops of the frosting buttercream in a smooth layer. Sprinkle chopped pecans and place the other 9-inch layer on top and use more frosting. Coat the entire outside in a thin layer, or crumb coat (light layer of frosting to keep crumbs from showing up in the final frosting layer). Place into the fridge to chill while you do the same process with the 7-inch round cakes.
  3. Remove both from fridge and add frosting to the outside of the cakes for a final coat, smoothing it out. Add chopped pecans to the sides of the cake.
  4. Put three wooden dowels into the bottom layer. Put the 7-inch cake on top of the 9-inch cake and put another wooden dowel in the middle, smearing frosting to cover the hole. Frost the gaps and cracks once you are finished securing the cake.

Ganache:

  1. In a glass dish, heat the coconut cream until it’s just boiling and pour it into the chocolate chips to melt. Stir until smooth and add to a piping bag. Cut a small hole and pipe the edges of the cake with the chocolate sauce so it drips down the cake slowly. It helps if the cake is chilled before doing this.
  2. Top with chopped pecans
  3. Serve immediately

 

Chef’s tip: You can add coconut flakes in-between the layers instead of pecans.

Banana Fosters Cheesecake

Banana Fosters Cheesecake

Banana Fosters Cheesecake

One of my many favorite childhood desserts was banana fosters. I think it had to do with the live fire show you would sometimes get at your dinner table. This version is paired with a simple no-bake cheesecake, which in my opinion, is the best combo ever! 

Banana Fosters Cheesecake

Yield 8

Ingredients

Crust:

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup all-purpose organic flour

2/3 cups light brown sugar

1 tsp. Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, optional

Filling:

3 cups cashews, soaked overnight

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. filtered water

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. maple syrup

1/2 cup coconut oil

4 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Banana Foster Topping:

3 to 4 ripened bananas, sliced

1/2 cup vegan butter

1-1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup dark rum

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of Himalayan Salt

Sprinkle of cinnamon, optional

Banana Fosters Cheesecake

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor, add the crust ingredients and process until it starts to form a sticky-like dough. Once clumped together, transfer to your springform pan and press it down evenly.
  3. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes or until crust is lightly brown. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a blender, take your soaked cashew, water, maple syrup, coconut oil, lemon juice, and vanilla and blend until very smooth.
  5. Pour mixture on top of the almond crust and smooth down with back of a spatula. Place back into the freezer to set fully, about 5-7 hours (best results overnight).
  6. Allow cheesecake to thaw at room temperature for at least 20-30 minutes before serving.
  7. In the meantime, add your butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar to a skillet. Melt until bubbly, add the bananas. Carefully, add the rum and light with a lighter. Allow alcohol to cook off (will take about 30 seconds) before adding vanilla and salt.
  8. Remove the cheesecake from springform pan and top with hot banana fosters sauce.

 

Chef’s tip: Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts before flambéing the banana mixture.

Mandelbrot Cookies

Mandelbrot Cookies

When I was a kid, my grandmother used to play so many different memorable games with us. My favorite was “Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?” It was more of a singalong than a game, but we played it in the car all the time and it’s something that has stuck with me very closely over the years. Sadly, my sweet grandmother has passed on, but not her memories. For this post, I recreated her famous mandel bread recipe (something we call “Mandelbrot”) to honor her. It’s a crunchy, cookie-like dessert that I know you’ll love just as much as I do. Her recipe is the best and I’m super excited to share with you all something from my roots.

Yields

Ingredients

1=1/2 cup organic cane sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

2 cups chopped pecans

4 Tbsp. egg replacer + 8 Tbsp. filtered water

2 tsp. vanilla extract

4 cups all-purpose organic flour

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a stand mixer, mix sugar and oil together. Add the egg replacer slowly until well combined. Mix in the vanilla and pecans. Add the flour until the dough is stiff and form into 4 round balls – pat into strips.
  3. Bake 20 to 23 minutes. When strips begin to brown, remove and slice into pieces- return back to the oven and brown again. Bake for an additional 12 to 15 minutes.

 

Chef’s tip: Wet your finger tips when molding the dough in to the strips, it will help.

Toffee Cookie Squares

Toffee Cookie Squares

Toffee Cookie Squares 

These cookies are the absolute best (especially during Christmas time)! As long as I can remember, my mother would make these cookies and they have become a yearly tradition to enjoy. My favorite part of this cookie is the shortbread  like chewy cookie with chocolate on top. It is the perfect duo and the taste is incredible.

Toffee Cookie Squares

Yield 15

Ingredients

1 cup vegan butter

1 cup light brown sugar

1-1/2 tsp. egg replacer + 1 Tbsp. filtered water

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. Himalayan fine pink salt

2 cups all=purpose organic flour

1-3/4 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, cream together the butter sugar. Stir in the egg replacer. Add the vanilla, salt, and slowly mix the flour in., 
  3. On a parchment-lined 13×9-inch pan, pat out the cookie dough into an even layer.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread melted chocolate over the top, sprinkling with chopped nuts. Allow to cool before cutting into small squares.
  5. Serve or store in a container in the refrigerator to retain maximum freshness.

 

Chef’s tip: Sprinkle with coconut flakes.

Vegan Graham Cracker Cookies

Vegan Graham Cracker Cookies

Vegan Graham Cracker Cookies 

These are probably the most addictive Christmas cookie I have come across (thanks, Mom). As long as I can remember, these cookies have always made an appearance each Christmas. Essentially, these cookies are like a graham cracker brittle with slivered almonds. They are perfect alone or with some non-dairy vanilla ice cream, which is actually my favorite way to eat them. Everyone needs a recipe like this and I am happy I get to share it with each of you. Who is ready to get baking because I sure am!

Vegan Graham Cracker Cookies

Yield 48

Ingredients

1 box Nabisco original graham crackers (break into 4 sections)

2 sticks vegan butter, melted

1/2 cup organic cane sugar

Slivered almonds, evenly coat each square

Directions

  1. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil. Spread crackers on two 15×10 cookie sheets.
  2. In a small pot, melt butter and sugar, and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour over crackers and evenly smear across, then sprinkle with slivered almonds.
  4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove cookies from pan while still warm, because they harden quickly. Place on a wire wrack to cool completely.
  5. Store in container to retain freshness.

 

Chef’s tip: Dont over bake these cookies, they will burn quickly.

Shortbread Cookies

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread Cookies

When I think of shortbread cookies, I think of buttery biscuits that are simple, sugary, and have the perfect crunch! You know what makes them even better? Dipping the ends in melted chocolate with a sprinkle of coconut flakes, if you’d like. These cookies keep well in an airtight container and you can even make the dough well in advance for quick treats!

Shortbread Cookies

Yield 42

Ingredients

1-1/2 cups vegan butter (3 sticks), softened

1 cup organic cane sugar

1 Tbsp. egg replacer + 2 Tbsp. filtered water

1/4 tsp. Himalayan fine pink salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3-1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour

Sugar for sprinkling, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; Set aside for later.
  2. In a stand mixer, combine the butter, salt,  sugar and beat on high until smooth and creamy. Stir in the egg replacer and vanilla.
  3. By hand, fold in the flour a little each time until its all mixed. Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
  4. Working with one disk of dough at a time, flour your surface and roll the dough until it is 1/2″ in thick. Cut the cookies using a circular cookie cutter.
  5. Transfer the cut cookies to the prepared baking sheets and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until lightly golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  6. Store in a container for up to 1 week.

Chef’s tip: Dip half of the cookies in the melted chocolate and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Toppings:

2 cups vegan dark or semi sweet chocolate

1 cup toasted coconut flakes, optional


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Flourless Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies

 Flourless Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Flourless Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield 32

Ingredients

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup light brown sugar

1 Tbsp. egg replacer + 2 Tbsp. filtered water

1 tsp. baking soda

1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Directions

  1. In a bowl, beat together peanut butter, and brown sugar until creamy. Stir in the  egg replacer and baking soda. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  2. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, drop rounded teaspoon onto uncreased pan. Space the cookies about 2-inches apart.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cookies are puffed and slightly browned.
  4. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Chef’s tip: 

Applesauce Bars

Applesauce Bars

Applesauce Bars

When you have to make a dessert that is easily shareable, these bars are your go-to  dessert. With a simple glaze that covers the top, these homemade applesauce bars are the perfect treat! The best way to enjoy these bars are when they come out of the oven and have slightly cooled. The warm sensation with Fall flavors and cinnamon glaze is a finger-licking good recipe.

Applesauce Bars

Yield

Ingredients

1 cup organic cane sugar

1 cup applesauce

1/2 cup avocado oil

2 cups all-purpose organic flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp Himalayan fine pink salt

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup  walnuts nuts

Glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1-2 Tbsp. hot water, use as needed

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. Himalayan salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, combine the sugar, apple sauce, and oil. Mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a separate bowl and add it to the wet mixture. Stir until combined. Fold in the raisins and nuts.
  3. Grease and flour a 13×9-inch baking pan and add the cookie bar mixture.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before topping with glaze.
  5. Enjoy

 

Chef’s tip: You can swap the raisins for another type of dried fruit of your choosing.

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread men Cookies

Gingerbread men Cookies

Here is my favorite gingerbread cookie recipes—and probably one of the more classic Christmas cookies you’ll find. Whenever Christmas comes around, the first thing on my mind are gingerbread cookies and houses, apple pies, and more! I’m sure we can all agree that the smell of gingerbread baking is the quintessential smell of the holiday season. What I enjoy most about this dough is that you can store it in the fridge for up to two days, giving you ample amount of time to get them baked and decorated in time for those holiday parties. There are two different options when baking, my favorite is a plump gingerbread cookie because they are more moist. Or, you can roll it thin, making a crispier cookie. No matter what you chose, you are going to love this recipe!

Gingerbread men Cookies

Yield 36

Ingredients

1 cup vegan butter, slightly softened

1/3 cup maple syrup

2/3 cup dark brown sugar

1 Tbsp. egg replacer + 2 Tbsp. filtered water, combined

1/2 tsp. baking soda

3 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. Himalayan fine pink salt

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

4 cups all-purpose organic flour

Royal icing:

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup concentrated aquafaba liquid, (2 cans garbanzo beans)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; Set aside for later.
  2. In a small pot, add both cans of chickpea liquid and reduce by half. Set in refrigerator overnight.
  3. In a stand mixer, combine the butter, brown sugar, and cream together until smooth. Add the maple syrup and mix until combined. Stir in the egg replacer and then the baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt mixing until well combined.
  4. Slowly add the flour in batches while mixing on a low speed until it is all gone. Once the dough comes together, roll into a ball, divide it in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 1 hour.
  5. Remove dough and transfer to a lightly dusted counter and roll the dough to 1/8”-inch thickness. Cut the dough with desired cookie cutters and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until edges are lightly golden.
  7. Allow to completely cool before decorating.
  8. In a large bowl, add the concentrated aquafaba and beat on high for 7 minutes, or until stiff peaks are formed. Slowly add the powdered sugar until combined. Pour royal icing into a piping bag to decorate.
  9. Store in a cookie container to retain freshness.

 

Chef’s tip: If you are making these with small children, place a small hole in the head of the gingerbread. This makes for a great edible ornament activity.


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Mini Cheesecake with Raw Caramel Sauce

Mini Cheesecake with Raw Caramel Sauce

Mini Cheesecake with Raw Caramel Sauce

Velvety smooth, this no-bake mini cheesecake is perfect for the holiday season! You can share them by slicing little bite size pieces or take it one step further and coat completely in melted chocolate- Yummm! What makes this cheesecake better than the others you may be wondering. The secret is in the crust, I used @simplemills pecan cookies which give this cheesecake the simple touch it needed.

Mini Cheesecake with Raw Caramel Sauce

Yield 4

Ingredients

Crust:

1/2 box Simple Mills Pecan Cookies, crushed

1/4 cup pecans

4 to 5 Medjool dates, pitted

Pinch of Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

Filling:

1-1/2 cups cashews, soaked overnight

1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. filtered water

1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Caramel:

8 to 9 Medjool dates, pitted

1/4 cup coconut milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of Himalayan Salt

Directions

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the caramel ingredients and blend until smooth. Place in the fridge and set aside.
  2. Line the bottom of 4 round ramekins with cling-wrap. Set aside for later.
  3. In a food processor, add the crust ingredients and process until it starts to form a sticky-like dough. Once clumped together, transfer to your ramekins and press it down evenly. Place in the freezer to set for 30 minutes.
  4. In a blender, take your soaked cashew, water, maple syrup, coconut oil, lemon juice, and vanilla and blend until very smooth.
  5. Pour mixture on top of the almond crust and smooth down with back of a spatula. Place back into the freezer to set fully, about 5-7 hours (best results overnight).
  6. Allow mini cheesecakes to thaw at room temperature for at least 20-30 minutes before serving.
  7. Remove from ramekins and serve with caramel drizzled on top.

 

Chef’s tip: Swirl pumpkin purée into the batter once poured.


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