Caveman Chocolate Cake

Shown here with my gooseberry currant sauce

Shown here with my gooseberry currant sauce

Caveman cake about to go into the oven

Caveman cake about to go into the oven

So the baking gig is going quite well.  I’m enjoying coming up with creative recipes to please the sweet-seekers at Big Spring Spirits.  I heard of someone that came in looking for more chocolate.  I hear ya sister, and so I offer this grain-free, dairy free, completely paleo Caveman Chocolate Cake!

 

For the Cake:

3/4 cup almond flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

10 eggs

1 cup melted coconut oil

1 1/2 cup honey

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

 

For the chocolate ganache frosting:

1 cup cocoa powder

3/4 cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

dash of sea salt

 

Method:

Cake:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

1.  In a small bowl, combine almond flour, cocoa, sea salt, and baking soda

2.  Place coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract in a large bowl.  Stir to combine.  Add in the eggs, using a hand-held mixer to combine, not over mixing (it will cause the cake to fluff up during baking).

3.  Add the dry ingredients into the wet

4.  Grease a cake pan with coconut oil and powder with cocoa powder.

5.  Bake for approximately 45 minutes until a tooth pick comes out clean.

6.  Cool the cake

 

For the ganache

1.  Combine all ganache ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Gently spread on the cake (the coconut oil will melt with handling – which is okay).  Place in the refrigerator in order to set the cake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alcohol Ice Cream

Say what?!  Yes, you heard correctly.  Alcohol infused ice cream!  It’s possible and it’s at Big Spring Spirits.  But you can makes your own at home too.  Even if you don’t have an ice cream maker, by tomorrow you can enjoy some great ice cream with a kick.  Mine is made with 99.9% local ingredients too.

Today, you’re going to get 2, not 1, but 2 recipes!!  Honey Whiskey Ice Cream and Cinnamon Rum Ice Cream.

The sneaky trick for today is gelatin.  The problem with adding alcohol to your ice cream is that it doesn’t freeze so you need something to stabilize it.  If you forget this important step you will most likely end up with boozy, creamy soup.

icecream

Honey Whiskey Ice Cream

Ingredients

2/3 cup Water

1 tablespoon Gelatin

8 egg yolks

2/3 cup Honey

2 2/3 cups Heavy Whipping Cream

2/3 cup Chilled Whiskey

Method

  1. Put the honey in a small pan and heat it.
  2. At the same time beat the yolks in a bowl.
  3. Slowly pour the hot honey into the bowl containing the yolks, while continuing to beat the mixture.  Chill
  4. Once the honey yolk mixture is chilled, place the water in a small sauce pan and sprinkle the gelatin, let sit for about 2 minutes, or until absorbed
  5. Heat the water and gelatin over low heat for approximately 3 minutes, or until gelatin is completely dissolved
  6. Whisk in the chilled whiskey and then strain the mixture
  7. Whip the cream until it is thick adding the whiskey gradually
  8. Gently fold the cream and whiskey mixture into the yolks and honey
  9. Put the mixture into a freezer proof container and freeze (I recommend over night).

Cinnamon Rum Ice Cream

2/3 cup Water

1 tablespoon Gelatin

8 egg yolks

2/3 cup Honey

2 2/3 cups Heavy Whipping Cream

2/3 cup Chilled Rum

1/8 cup ground cinnamon – adjust to taste

Method

  1. Put the honey in a small pan and heat it.
  2. At the same time beat the yolks in a bowl.
  3. Slowly pour the hot honey into the bowl containing the yolks, while continuing to beat the mixture.  Chill
  4. Once the honey yolk mixture is chilled, place the water in a small sauce pan and sprinkle the gelatin, let sit for about 2 minutes, or until absorbed
  5. Heat the water and gelatin over low heat for approximately 3 minutes, or until gelatin is completely dissolved
  6. Whisk in the chilled rum and then strain the mixture
  7. Whip the cream until it is thick adding the rum gradually
  8. Gently fold the cream, rum and cinnamon into mixture into the yolks and honey
  9. Put the mixture into a freezer proof container and freeze (I recommend over night).

Couple of tips – do not let the gelatin sit in water before you’re ready to follow the next steps – you’ll end up with flavorless jello.  Do not let the gelatin sit with the combined alcohol in it – you’ll end up with alcohol jello – it sounds better than it is.

Rum Cake

I made a rum cake using the fantastic Big Spring Spirits spiced and light rum.  Check out the pictures and be sure to be on the lookout for the recipe.  In the meantime, do you have a favorite rum cake recipe?

rum3 rum2 rum

Shamaretto Cheesecake (or Amaretto Cheesecake)

So one of my specialties just happens to be cheesecakes (see here or here or here or here or here oh and here – more to come!) and so I decided that using Big Spring Spirits‘ Shamaretto (their version of amaretto) was just too good to pass up and I married the two!  Introducing, the fabulously delicious Shamaretto Cheesecake of Bellefonte, PA!  (So, my first time baking in a new oven MAY have yielded a cracked top so I took almonds and chopped them in the food processor with some shamaretto- I actually prefer to have the creamy texture of JUST the cheesecake, so see what you think and comment below.  Thanks! #youreadoll)

shamarettocake

Ingredients

2 cups of graham cracker crumbs*

3 Tbs. granulated sugar

7 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

3 8-oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature

8 oz. mascarpone

2 Tbs. all-purpose flour

1-1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 Tbs. Big Spring Spirits Shamaretto (plus more if you do the nut topping)

4 large eggs, at room temperature

Optional almonds for topping

*I prefer to make my own, fresh graham cracker crumbs using my food processor.  I think you’ll taste a difference if you choose to do the same.

Methods

Prehead the oven to 375°F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the vanilla wafer crumbs and 3 Tbs. granulated sugar.

Mix in the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moist and clump together slightly.

Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of the pan.

Bake until the crust is fragrant and slightly darkened, about 10-11 minutes.

Let the pan cool on a rack.

Lower the oven temperature to 300°F.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone, and flour on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle frequently, until very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Make sure the cheese has no lumps.

Add the 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.

Add the shamaretto and beat until blended, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until blended. (Don’t overbeat once the eggs have been added or the cheesecake will puff too much and crack as it cools.)

Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top.

Bake at 300°F until the center jiggles like Jell-O when nudged, 55 to 65 minutes.

The cake will be slightly puffed around the edges, and the center will still look moist. Set on a rack and cool completely. Top with chopped shamaretto almonds, if using.

Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours and up to 3 days.

Run a clean knife around the circumference of the cake and unclasp and remove the side of the springform pan

shamaretto

Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top.

Bake at 300°F until the center jiggles like Jell-O when nudged, 55 to 65 minutes.

The cake will be slightly puffed around the edges, and the center will still look moist. Set on a rack and cool completely.

My New Gig

Surprise!  So you may not have heard, but I have a new gig!  I’m really excited about it too!  There is a newish (less than a year old) distillery near my house and they needed a baker!  Guess who the lucky person is….

me

So, you’ll be seeing a lot of new things here as I make and create new things.  I’m beside myself with excitement and I’m really working hard to reign it in, as I want to create 50 new desserts each week.

Look forward to some great desserts, but in the meantime, please check out Big Spring Spirits by clicking here, or even better, go visit them at the Match Factory complex in Bellefonte, PA and have one of their delicious craft cocktails.  Everything is very fresh and you’ll love it!  Just tell them Sara sent you.

bigs

Delicious Dijon Dill Salmon

Delicious Dijon Dill Salmon pictured with millet and fresh asparagus

Delicious Dijon Dill Salmon pictured with millet and fresh asparagus

One of the great things about a farm share is that you are forced to be creative.  I don’t tend to do a lot with fresh dill (I know, terrible) but the Alaskan sockeye salmon I picked up from a fisherman at the farmer’s market that begged to join the dill party, so I came up with this! (note that I served it with leftover millet and some fresh local asparagus).

Ingredients:

Sockeye Salmon Fillets

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot, diced

1/2 cup white wine

2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Methods

Preheat broiler and lightly season fillets with salt and pepper.  Place in oven and cook until salmon is cooked through, approximately 6-10 minutes.

Melt butter with olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted.  Add the shallots and cook until soft, approximately 2 minutes.

Add the wine until reduced by half, about 3 minutes

Stir in Dijon, dill, sat and pepper

Pour over salmon fillets and enjoy!!

Coconut Oil – Your Pantry Workhorse

coconutoil

I joke that I could survive on vinegar, baking soda, and coconut oil.  These are so versatile!  Coconut oil is very trendy right now – but I think it’ll be here to stay because the stuff is amazing!  There are so many things you can do with it!  Just search on Pinterest and you’ll find a zillion things you can do with it (just don’t fall for the sunscreen idea – trust me, this porcelain sister got BURNT on the beach and added fuel to the naysayers as I slathered it on).

Cook with it (duh!)

I hope that this is not new to you – go for it!  It’ll add a subtle, nice flavor to your dishes.  Full of healthy fats (get outta our lives you nasty Canola oil!) and is stable for high heats (unlike olive oil).

Eye Make Up Remover & Face Wash

So I’ve been using coconut oil to remove my mascara and eye make up and (believe it) as a facial wash.  Yup!  No, my face isn’t a oil slick, it’s actually really healthy – not too oily and not too dry since I started doing this.  It’s the BEST.  I was always someone who avoided oil in my beauty products, but washing with coconut oil has done WONDERS.  Try it!

Lovely Legs

You know that beautiful glow you see on well-moisturized legs?  No need to get baby oil (eww) or any such lotion – just rub some coconut oil and you’re done!  Natural glow!

Goop Be Gone

I recently purchased some cute, clear glass dishes after I realized that the same two tiny dishes were continually being used again and again.  They were sold individually and each had a really sticky sticker on them that didn’t want to come off.  Before I entered ‘Goo-Be-Gone’ on my shopping list, I decided to give it a go with the coconut oil.  I slathered it over the sticky residue, gave it a good scrub, and washed.  GONE!  Saved some money (and storage space by not having to purchase ANOTHER product for my cleaning closet).

Please share how you’ve been using coconut oil in the comments below!

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