plain & chocolate mini cheesecake bites (GF, refined sugar-free, paleo-friendly)

I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for something I can bring to a potluck that’s going to tasty AND good for you AND look cute on a serving dish. (Should I not admit that? I mean … don’t you like it when stuff looks cute?)

Listen … I am not above bringing boxed brownies on occasion because the Ghirardelli Brownie Mix at Costco is just kind of perfectly easy (I sub coconut oil and use eggs from our backyard chickens so there not as bad as they could be, I guess …)

But if I want to bring something that looks and tastes good, and my gluten-free friends can enjoy, these are my go-to.

At least they are now.

NOTE TO SELF: Apparently a little recipe testing apparently goes a long way because these Grain Free, Refined Sugar Free, Paleo-friendly dessert bites don’t feel like they are missing any of the decadence of any other sugar and grain-laden dessert. And that makes me happy. Especially the plain ones. The chocolates are good. But the plain ones … yeah … I can’t be alone near the dessert table when there’s mini cheesecake bites.

454_1140812429274282_1857506219951727990_n

Plain and Chocolate Cheesecake Bites

INGREDIENTS:

Crust:

  • 1 c. hazelnut meal (or almond meal)
  • 1 TBLS pure maple powder
  • 3 TBLS melted butter

Filling: 

  • 16 oz cream cheese (two 8-ounce packages)
  • 2 tsp. stevia
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 large eggs (room temp)
  • 1 TBLS raw cacau

Whipped topping:

  • 8  oz whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp. stevia
  • 1/8 tsp. vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F)

Line two mini-muffin tins with 24 muffin liners

First comes the crust: Stir together all the dry ingredients and then dd melted butter. Mix until thoroughly combined

Add one heaping teaspoon to each liner and press down into the liner. (Reserve leftover crust mix to sprinkle on top of the cupcakes.)

Bake for 8-10 minutes (until very lightly browned).

Remove from the oven and cool while preparing the filling.

For the filling: In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and stevia at medium speed until light and creamy.  Add the vanilla and salt. Then beat in the eggs on low, until well incorporated.

At this point, using about half of the batter, fill the liners of ONE of the mini-cupcake tins with the plain cheesecake batter. If you’re only making plain cheesecakes, fill the second tin. If you’re looking for a mix of chocolate and plain, replace the bowl of the stand mixer and to the second half of the mixture add the cacau. Mix until well-blended and then fill the second tin’s liners with the chocolate batter.

Bake for 10 minutes or until the centers of the cheesecakes don’t jiggle when the pan is tapped. Open the oven door (at least 1 foot wide) and let the cheesecakes cool to room temperature – about 1.5 hours.

For the whipped topping, combine the heavy cream, stevia and vanilla in a clean stand mixer bowl and whip until peaks form. I load the whipped cream into a ziplock bag, cut the end off one corner and then use my pseudo pastry bag to top each mini-cupcake and then sprinkle with just a pinch of the reserved crust crumble.

Perfecto.

Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Happy pot-lucking!

j.

cinnamon coconut custard cake (a GF recipe review)

cinnamon coconut custard cake
Every once in a while I find myself pinning something and going back to it again and again and again …

and again …

and again …

… until someone gives me an excuse to make it.

Like today, when it just so happens that the husband of one of my BFFs is having a birthday and my very pregnant friend’s kitchen is mid-remodel and she can’t bake a cake for the love of her life.

Thursday also happens to be a very unscheduled homeschool day for us. No ballet. No violin lessons. No skiing or horseback riding. No piano or art. Perfect time to have school in the kitchen (measuring, weighing, blendering, baking, chemical reactions … can you think of a better way to introduce science and math to a 3-year old? Me either!!)

You see, since the New Year I’ve been working to eliminate grains from my diet. I’m not going “strict” paleo, but more paleo. Lots of veggies, some protein, good fats (like Coconut Oil and Ghee) and limited grains and sugars.

And if I’m gonna make a cake for someone, I would like it to be a cake that I can eat, too!

So this is the pin that caught my eye …

cinnamon coconut custard cake

Looks pretty moist and cake-like for a grain-free cake, doesn’t it??

Guess what? … it IS!

It’s moist.

It’s just this side of sweet perfection.

And if you like coconut, it’s deliciously coconutty goodness.

But I have to admit I struggle to follow recipes. I mean … I saw white chocolate chips in this cake and I don’t like white chocolate, so … no white chocolate. I didn’t even replace them, although I THOUGHT about swapping in some pecans or hazelnuts.

I imagine it’s because we’re at a higher altitude than the original baker, but it took at least 10 minutes longer in our oven to firm up and cook through.

And of course, I made this to celebrate a birthday, which to me means it needs frosting. So I whipped up a quick cream cheese vanilla coconut icing and sprinkled it with shredded coconut.

Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy.

The hardest part of today was waiting to sing Happy Birthday!

One more time … here’s the recipe by the Holistic Health Herbalist. If you’re looking for a tasty grain-free, refined sugar-free dessert … I like it!

xo,

Jeanne

strawberry rhubarb chia “pod”

Do you remember my friend April?

She sent me this recipe for Irish Soda Bread that … well … if you haven’t tried it yet you are really missing out on some serious yumminess.

A few months ago, April asked me if I had a recipe for homemade chia “pods” so I sent her our link to this one.  It was my first attempt at the “pods” (aka chia pudding) and it’s still one of our go-to portable snacks/desserts. It’s also one of our most-searched and clicked links ever. (I’m still embarrassed about the photos in that post. Not embarrassed enough to retake them, but still …)

Anyway, I’m happy to report that it started an obsession in April’s kitchen that just can’t be contained! She has since inspired me to make chocolate chia pods, cherry vanilla chia pods, chia pudding parfaits and most recently, she shared a new recipe with me.
strawberry rhubarb chia pod

Awe…

Some…

Sauce.

Tart. Sweet. Totally refreshing. A PERFECT summer treat.

And, if you’re like those of us with outdoor Montana gardens and still waiting on your June strawberries …
strawberries - omamas.com
… this works GREAT with frozen strawberries and rhubarb.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4 Cups Rhubarb (rough chopped)
  • 2 Cups Strawberries
  • 2/3 Cup Chia Seeds (black or white, both are nutritional powerhouses)
  • 2 Cups Coconut milk
  • 1 TBS Grade B Maple Syrup
  • zest from one lemon

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all the ingredients in a high speed blender.

IMG_5542 Blend and then divide into individual serving cups. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (best to leave it over night) and enjoy!!

And thank April … I did.

Makes 8-10 servings.

 

SHARED on:  Kelly the Kitchen Kop

cherry vanilla chia pod (vegan, gf, refined sugar free)

cherry vanilla chia pod recipe

Last summer we started making homemade chia pod treats.

And as time has gone on we’ve made them again and again. They are totally portable. Absolutely delicious. And completely healthy. (Have you read our post about why you want to add chia seeds to your diet?)

But we don’t limit ourselves to peach pods (because that would be boring, and peaches are not all that available here in Montana). We love chocolate pods. Vanilla pods. Coconut pods. Strawberry pods. Blueberry pods.

But our favorite of all favorites …

Cherry Vanilla …

(which might be because even in the midst of a spring snow storm we are anticipating cherries from our tree)

cherries

Cherry Vanilla Chia Pod Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups of pitted Cherries (if you use frozen cherries, thaw them first)
  • 2 cups full fat unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 2/3 cup Chia Seeds (black or white)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 Tbls Raw Honey (replace with grade B maple syrup for a vegan version)

DIRECTIONS:

Puree all the ingredients in a VitaMix or high speed blender until well blended.

Divide into individual portions (we use small mason or jelly jars) and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to “set.”

Makes 8 servings.

Enjoy as a healthy snack, as a tasty dessert, a lunch-time treat, an on-the-go-breakfast or anytime (like maybe in the middle of the night after the kids are asleep and you don’t feel like sharing … which is not something I ever do … I swear!

***************

HAVE YOU TRIED MAKING YOUR OWN CHIA PODS?

Would you like to see your homemade chia pod creation make it into the O’Mamas kitchen?

Submit your recipe here before April 15th, 2014.  (Email us with your name, your recipe, at least one or two photos of your favorite version, and a way to contact you. Use “POD RECIPE” in your subject heading please!).

We’ll post our favorite FIVE recipes and you can decide what pod you like best!

Shared on Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday

holiday dessert inspiration

With six fresh inches of snow on the ground, and a serious Influenza A going around, we couldn’t think of anything better to do today except hole up and make Christmas cookies and holiday treats!

In case you’re looking for inspiration, we don’t have a shortage of tasty cookies and holiday desserts in the O’Mamas’ kitchens …

Almond Joyful Christmas Cookies (vegan/paleo)

Nana Ivy’s Molasses Cookies (not good for you, but OH SO GOOD)

Vanilla Cookies (recipe redux)

Chai Tea Cookies (vegan/paleo)

Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookies (grain free and DELICIOUS)

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (because who doesn’t love oatmeal and chocolate?)

Yam Brownies (made with YAMs?! Yes.  And they are wonderful!)

Tart Aux Pommes (apple tart) (refined sugar-free)

The Best Dang Chocolate Cake

Grain-free chocolate chip cookies

Homemade Almond “Nutella”

Homemade “Nutella”

Maple Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Maple Syrup & Coconut Milk Caramel Sauce

Chocolate Cake (the best-not-good-for-you-chocolate-cake-we’ve ever tasted)

Nourishing Chocolate Pudding

Pumpkin Cardamom Whoopie Pies

Simple (aka Perfect) Vanilla Ice Cream

Soaked Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten-free)

Sour Cherry Tart

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Triple Berry Cobbler (fast & easy)

Yum … I love Christmas

🙂

almond joyful Christmas cookies (no bake, paleo-friendly)

untitled (1 of 1)-28

It’s that time of year when it’s so  easy to be naughty. Cookies. Pies. Cakes. Candy. It’s everywhere. Sweet samples at the store. Santa shaped cookies with royal red icing at the coffee shop screaming to be eaten. We’re barely two weeks into the holiday season and, if you’re like us, starting to feel a little sausagey in our favorite jeans.

But we’re not willing to throw in the cards and see how many pounds we can gain before Christmas, just in time to resolve to lose weight in the new year.

So we challenged ourselves to create something tasty, nourishing and full of goodness.  Sweet enough that we can still indulge in the fun treats, but feel good about it while doing so.

untitled (1 of 1)-26

untitled (1 of 1)-25

We landed on a no-bake paleo-friendly Almond Joy-like cookie ball that had the kids begging for more.  And as we’ve said before, if the kids like it… we know it’s good.

Almond Joyful Christmas Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

For the coconut balls:

  • 3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 6-7 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 3 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds

For the chocolate sauce:

  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate (60 percent cacao)
  • 1/4 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • Pinch sea salt

To make coconut balls, combine all ingredients (except chopped almonds) in a food processor and pulse till combined.  If your coconut oil is solid this will take more than a few pulses (maybe 10 or 15).  Shape teaspoon-size bits of the mixture into balls, and roll them in the finely chopped almonds.  Put the almond crusted coconut balls in the fridge while you make the chocolate sauce.

For the chocolate sauce, combine all the ingredients in a double boiler and stir continuously until everything melts together and is luxuriously chocolatey.

We used a teaspoon to spoon chocolate over half of the coconut balls and then sprinkle with a little more of the chopped almonds.

One thing to note … this makes just a little too much chocolate sauce for two dozen cookies, but we like this sauce on ice cream … and at least one of the four children in our households would like to guzzle it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 🙂

Makes about 2 dozen 1 to 1 1/2-inch balls

untitled (1 of 1)-24

untitled (1 of 1)-27

 

We are linked up:
Domestic Superhero

not good for you, but oh so good

 If you haven’t registered yet, check out this week’s awesome iPhone 5 waterproof/shockproof case giveaway!

20131029-150402.jpg

Someone asked for dessert the other night.  I’m not saying who, but he might be married to Abby. 😮

But Abby and I didn’t have anything prepared.

So we improvised (aka, looked at the ingredients we had handy and then went to the internet to google funnel cake).

Enter Paula Deen.

Or rather (since Paula Deen didn’t come knocking at the door), check out this crazy easy recipe from Paula Deen for funnel cakes.

Not going to lie to you … this recipe is not a “healthy” one.

But wow.

Even with our pathetic attempts to make it less bad [we swapped out whatever oil she uses for frying (it was not specified) coconut oil, used organic flour, raw milk, pastured butter, aluminum free baking soda, sea salt and organic powdered sugar], it’s not a healthful dessert.  But it is easy and delicious and definitely Pin-worthy.

We did make a few notable changes to her process.

This is what we did:

Melt about a cup of Coconut Oil in a large heavy-bottomed frying pan.

Follow her directions to mix the wet ingredients (milk, egg and vanilla) in one bowl.  The dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, sugar in another).  Combine (in batches).  Then fold in the melted butter.

This is where we switched things up.

We didn’t have a funnel handy, so when the oil was hot hot (if you sprinkle the tiniest bit of water in the oil and it sizzles, it’s hot hot!), we poured a quarter cup of batter into a sandwich-size baggie, snipped the end and  created a swirly confection in the oil.

20131029-150423.jpg

Then back to Ms. Deen’s recipe.  Let it cook for 2-3 minutes, then using tongs, turn it over and cook for one more minute.  Remove from the oil (we put it on a paper towel to drain some of the oil.)  Turned it over again.  Put it on a serving plate and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

OH … EM … GEE.

Dangerously delicious.

Dangerously easy.

That’s O’Mamas … we’re dangerous.

xo,

Jeanne & Abby

 

 

spiced chai pudding

Don’t forget to register for our GIVEAWAY this week!

I admit that as the weather cools (our morning temperatures for the past week have been in the low 30s) I look for excuses to make Chai anything.

Chai tea.

Chai cookies.

Chai cakes.

Chai pudding.

IMG_1582

I want it for breakfast.

I want it for snack.

I want it for dessert.

And I know part of that want is because of the warm and cozy scents of the familiar fall spices (like Cinnamon and Cloves).

I’m also sure it’s deeper than that.  Because ginger (in the Ayurvedic Tradition) is used to “warm” the body from the inside out.  It soothes the tummy and boosts the effectiveness of other herbs and spices.  Cinnamon is full of antibacterial, anti fungal and antiseptic properties.  It’s used to boost vitality.  And it tastes so good.  And Cloves are used in Eastern Medicine as a pain reliever (for all those winter joint pains that seem to set in as the temperatures sink lower and lower).

But chai pudding?  Why on earth would we make chai pudding?  (You mean, besides it being totally delicious and awesome?)

Because of the milk and gelatin.

Because it’s the beginning of cold and flu season and if you believe any of the recent research connecting gut health to the strength of our immune system, you know that it’s of utmost important to create a healthy environment in our bellies to make it through the season without cold or flu.

We hear a lot of talk about probiotics these days.

And I’m a big proponent of a probiotic rich diet (kombucha, yogurt, fermented veggies … to name a few).

But our guts need more than a few probiotics to digest and absorb all the nutrients in the food we eat.

We’ve already shared a series of posts on the benefits of raw milk (so long as it is from a clean source and from cows not fed growth hormones for antibiotics).  And here’s another excellent article that outlines really clearly the benefits and risks associated with it … not the least of which is reduced allergies and asthma in children.

But what about gelatin?  (I’m not talking about Jell-O.)

Yes, gelatin is good for bone and joint health.  But did you know that it’s also a great addition to digestive tract?

What is it?

Gelatin is basically composed of protein (amino acids) water and mineral salts derived from collagen.

Why should gelatin be part of our diet?

For centuries, gelatin has been used to treat digestive disorders.  Long before Imodium A/D, it was used to help alleviate diarrhea in babies.  It’s been used to treat dysentery.  And because it is a hydrophilic colloid (collagen that attracts water), it helps to line, protect and heal the mucus lining of the digestive tract.  It also helps aid in digestion and create an environment that allows better absorption of nutrients.  And now, studies are confirming that gelatin intake can help people with autoimmune disorders (like rheumatoid arthritis), joint disorders, allergies, and inflammatory bowel disorders.  I love this simple-plain English article from Natural Health about the benefits of adding gelatin to our diets.

So we look for ways to add gelatin to our diet.

Like Abby’s yummy probiotic gummy squares (probiotics and gelatin … a win-win!).

And the chocolate pudding that she made that still makes my mouth water when I see the picture.

20130814-134619.jpg

And I’m working on a lemon-honey-ginger gummy for cold and flu season (but I’ve yet to master it … actually, my first two attempts have been totally gross, but I’ll figure it out!)

So now back to Chai Pudding …

Because this one works.

It fills my need for the Chai spices.  Gives us the benefit of the milk and the gelatin.  And the kids LOVE it (which is always the kicker, isn’t it?)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups Heavy Cream (preferably raw)
  • 1/2 cup Milk (preferably raw or unpasteurized)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves
  • pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Gelatin (we get ours here)

DIRECTIONS:

In a small saucepan over VERY LOW heat (you don’t want to boil the milk and cream and destroy the goodness of the “raw,” you just want to warm it), combine the heavy cream, milk, vanilla and salt.  Whisk in the cinnamon, ginger and cloves.  When they are well-combined, pour the contents of your saucepan into a blender.  Add the gelatin and blend on high for a minute or two.

Pour the contents of the blender into individual serving dishes and refrigerate for at least 90 minutes before serving.

Serve with fresh whipped cream and a little sprinkle of Cinnamon (or not … it’s great on its own).

YUM!

Makes 4-6 servings.

 

a perfectly portable homemade chia “pod”

After a nearly two-week technology vacation, it’s Jeanne here.

I’m going to admit that it’s weird to be back after almost 14 days mostly unplugged.  The littles and I were on a 3,000+ mile road trip to visit the Cowboy, my mom and stepdad, my sisters, a new baby cousin, and some very dear friends.

IMG_0765
The real reason we made the trip:  it was take the kids to work day (not really) … but they loved sitting at Dad’s very fastidious desk (his desk at home is a little less neat :))

To describe it as “whirlwind” is sort of putting it mildly.  We trekked from Montana to Utah to Los Angeles to Palm Springs to north of San Diego to southern San Diego to LA to Palm Springs to Utah to Montana … and we did it in just under 2 weeks.

IMG_0910
I am so thankful our littles like to travel … this was taken on the very last leg of our trip in a hotel room in Salt Lake City. It was a very happy dance.

And honestly, it wasn’t a totally conscious decision to be offline.

We were just in the car so much … and after reading about Werner Herzog’s new 35 minute “short film” From One Second to the Next about the dangers of texting and driving I had made a commitment not to text or talk while driving.  Mind you, I have NOT seen the film.  I just read about it and it changed my life.  I don’t think I have the courage to actually watch it.  But I agree with the message … whatever it is you have to say?  It can wait.  But I digress.

I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of our trip because not everyone wants to be invited over to watch a home-movie (but if you invite me over to watch yours, I will do so happily :))

Plus … there’s a good chance the real reason you’re here today is this:

IMG_0803

My San Diego sister introduced me to these little nuggets of goodness, which she found at Sprouts.

It has four organic ingredients:  Coconut Milk, Bananas, Blueberries, Chia Seeds.

I love how good for you they are [Chia seeds have been shown to stabilize blood sugar, increase brain power.  They are 20 percent protein.  Jam-packed with digestible fiber, calcium and antioxidants.  They have strontium (which helps assimilate protein) and can help with weightloss by boosting metabolism and promoting lean muscle.  There’s evidence that these tiny little nutty-tasting seeds can help reduce blood pressure and encourage heart health.  They’ve also been shown to aid in detoxification and elimination. And I haven’t even mentioned how good for you Coconut Milk is.]

I love the portability (although I wish it weren’t in plastic with two plastic covers and a plastic spoon).  It’s a great texture (it’s kind of yogurty … not slimy like I thought it could be because sometimes that happens when you add chia seeds to liquid).  And it doesn’t have the “it will go bad by lunch if it’s not refrigerated” that threatens dairy products.

I tried the blueberry.

I was uber ready for it to be delicious.

🙁

It was okay.

Actually, it was sort of bland.  Like the bananas weren’t ripe enough.  Or maybe it was missing just a hint of sweet.

But I love the idea of a Chia Pod.

So I have been obsessed with making my own version of this since Saturday … waiting (not so patiently) to get home, get to the store and whip out the Vita-Mix.  (Plus, it gives me an excuse to use all those dang jelly jars that have been cluttering our cupboards.)

I started simply, with four ingredients …

IMG_0923
I used peaches instead of blueberries because when we were in SoCal we stopped at a local farmers’ market and bought way too many to eat on a drive home and I didn’t want them to go bad and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. (How’s that for a run-on sentence?)

But my first attempt had the same problem as the store bought Chia Pod.

Tasteless.

So here’s what I did:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 very ripe peaches (pitted and cut into large chunks … it was about a cup and a half to two cups of chopped peaches, but it could have been strawberries or blueberries or mango or a blend of any berries or fruit that trips your trigger)
  • 2 ripe bananas (I will likely reduce this to one banana next time because the taste is pretty heavy on the banana)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup of chia seeds (the Chia Pod uses white chia.  I only had black chia on hand and while it doesn’t look as “pretty” as the store bought version, it still tastes pretty much the same and packs the same amount of awesomeness)
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey (or use grade B maple syrup or raw sugar or agave if you want to make this a vegan treat)
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and pulse until well-combined.  Divide into individual serving cups and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to “set.”

And …

IMG_0925
I know they’re not as cute as the one’s my Sis got at Sprout’s (or it might have been Trader Joe’s). I’ll have to work on the packaging when I make a strawberry version next.

I love them.

I had one for dessert last night.

Our little guy had one for a snack … and his big sister ate half of it.

And there are still six in the fridge to pack and go anywhere anytime (breakfast, lunch, snack, dessert).

So life is good.

Except for maybe what I found in the freezer after being gone for two weeks.

IMG_0917

But I don’t want to leave you with this image that’s haunting my brain … so here’s one of our kids after going to a block party with their cousins …

IMG_0876
It may not be helping you much, but it definitely takes my mind off my task for the day 🙂

 Find us also at:
Pinworthy Projects @ The Domestic Superhero
& Pennywise Platters @ The Nourishing Gourmet

chocolate cake … c.h.o.c.o.l.a.t.e. c.a.k.e. … CHOCOLATE CAKE!

I’ve been living a lie … a lie that I don’t love chocolate.

I’ve denied it a thousand times.

But it’s just not true.

I do love chocolate.

What I’m coming to understand is that I love chocolate when it’s really good chocolate.

Then you read these stories about conventional chocolate trade and production.  “Conventionally grown cocoa is one of the highest pesticide-using crops out there,” which not only puts the consumer at risk, but the farmers are exposed to such great levels of toxins.  I find it difficult to know that and not think about it at the grocery store.  Not to mention the high fructose corn syrup, artificial coloring, artificial flavor, et al, that you find in conventional chocolates.

But what if I still love chocolate?

And what if I found the perfect (I’m not kidding here) recipe for chocolate cake?

Wouldn’t you want a piece?

Wouldn’t it be wrong of me to not share it?

Right.  That’s what I thought.

So here it is …

photo

From Sally’s Baking Addiction.

And I don’t know that I can say enough good things about this deliciousness … except that I did swap out canola oil for coconut oil.  And I used organic/fair trade cocoa and coffee.  And unrefined sugar.  And sea salt.  And when it came to the frosting, I used salted pasture butter instead of unsalted.  Less sugar.  More cocoa.  And a dash more vanilla.

Why I can’t just leave well enough alone, I don’t know … but I’ll say this … we’ve made this cake THREE times in the past month.

The first time it was for our very dear friend Buzz’ birthday and we decorated it with mini dark chocolate chips and sea salt.  The big crunchy sea salt addition was pretty spectacular, if I don’t say so myself 🙂

The second time, we made a little loaf version for our friend Laurie’s birthday and we decorated it with shaved dark chocolate and sea salt.

This last time, (which was sort of a … we-have-to-bring-dessert-to-a-cookout-and-we-have-nothing-to-bring-so-let’s-make-that-excellent-chocolate-cake-since-we-have-some-chocolate-left”) we used peanut butter chips … just to mix it up.  And more than a few times I had to shoo the children away from plucking those little peanut chips from the cake, which suggests it might have been a good choice!

So if you’re in the market for the best homemade chocolate cake … ever.  Check out Sally’s.  It may not be the most nourishing dessert I’ve ever made.  But it’s way up there on the delicious chart.  Way up.  Like Top 5.

Sincerely,

Confessed-Chocolate-Lover-Jeanne

What are your go-to desserts?  What do you bring to the family cookout?

We’re linked up:

Kelly the Kitchen Kop
This Chick Cooks