Hi guys and girls! I made a video explaining the art of how to make coconut macaroons with olive oil. SPOILER: it does include a pug, and unicorns.
When I was in Asheville, several of my yoga school classmates became hooked on something sold at the Whole Foods nearby called "Paleo Coffee". Well, I didn't have too much interest in it until someone told me it contained butter.
What? Coffee with butter? That sounded awesome!
I was intrigued, and when I tried the stuff, I found that it was quite agreeable. Turns out, it was not only butter but coconut oil in addition that gave the coffee its rich, creamy flavor. Yes, I liked the stuff.
After Asheville, I promptly forgot about it until I happened upon this article in In Touch Weekly (one of my guilty pleasures fo'sho). I had to roll my eyes at it a bit, but then again, I have to say that the butter diet is one of the better ones I've come across.
They called it "bulletproof coffee" but it was the same thing that Whole Foods in Asheville had deemed Paleo Coffee. Either way, I think this stuff is worth a try. It's far cheaper to make it at home (I've seen it for sale between $4 and a whopping $8 per cup) and it's pretty delicious. While I will never ever suggest a fad diet to you, I think that this buttery coffee is a curiosity that is worth trying at least once!
Paleo Coffee, or "Bulletproof" Coffee
inspired by In Touch Weekly and Greenlife of Asheville
- 2 cups (16 oz) hot brewed coffee
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon butter (I used unsalted)
Procedure: It's as easy as combining all of the ingredients, but I will give you a few small tips. First, you'll definitely want to use super hot coffee, because it needs to be hot to allow the coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature, become liquid, and the butter to melt. Second, I suggest pouring the mixture into a bowl and mixing it all together with a whisk, because if you just stir with a spoon in the cup, it won't be vigorous enough to make the butter droplets go away. I find that it just looks better when mixed thoroughly.
Finally, be sure to drink it while it's quite hot. The fat will begin to separate as it cools, making for a less appetizing visual.
Have you ever tried bulletproof or paleo coffee?
Do you like beer?
In general, I do not. But in recent years I have come to appreciate a few what I will call "fancy beers" - the type that cost more than the average six pack, have the word "handcrafted" somewhere on the packaging, and that the average football watching dude would probably scoff at.
The only problem is that a lot of the fancy beers only come in 22 ounce bottles. Now, as an occasional beer drinker, this is an insanely large quantity to me; I have never and probably will never be able to finish an entire bottle. And as it simply isn't the same the next day (flat!) and I'm the only one in my house who drinks it, it has been relegated to "occasional" treat, and I usually end up throwing out the un-consumed portion.
I hate waste.
So the last time I bought a fancy-ish beer called Cappuccino Stout, I had some, and then decided to experiment with the rest.
What would happen if I substituted fancy beer for cream in a ganache recipe? What would beer ganache taste like?
Well, given the success of chocolate stout cupcakes, I figured there was a chance that I could be successful. So I heated up the beer, and then mixed it with mixed dark and milk chopped chocolate in an equal quantity.
I let it sit until it firmed a bit, and here's what it looked like.
And as for the taste? Surprisingly good. Like, actually good. The beer didn't so much taste beer-y anymore, but it more imparted a malty, caramelly taste to the chocolate. If I had been given a sample and you'd asked me to do a blind taste, I would have said that it was some sort of malted chocolate sauce.
Stout beer ganache is definitely worth your time. I think I'll try it on top of brownies next!
Actually-Good Beer Ganache
- 10 ounces fancy stout beer (I used Cappuccino Stout by Lagunitas)
- 10 ounces chopped chocolate (I used a mix of dark and milk chocolate)
Note: you can use whatever quantity you like, as long as the beer and chocolate are in equal weights.
- Put the beer in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to bubble (not to be confused with the fizz), like it's just shy of boiling.
- Either add the chocolate to the pan, or pour the hot beer over chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
- Mix until combined, and the chocolate has melted.
- Let set until it has reached cool room temperature. Enjoy as a cake filling, icing, or as a tasty dip for cookies.
Would you ever try beer ganache?
Well, technically it's four ingredients. But I happened to have ganache handy, so I didn't need to take any extra steps.
Even if you don't have ganache handy, though, this cake is incredibly easy to make. All you need is ganache, eggs, and sugar. If you have these things, you could be eating this cake within the hour. For reals.
This cake was inspired by the three ingredient peanut butter cake I made for Craftsy. The cake got a great reaction, because it's just so darned simple: peanut butter, eggs, sugar. That's it.
Of course, it also came with questions, ranging from the deeply boring ("Can I substitute non-sugar substitute?" and the like) to sensible ("can I use natural peanut butter?") to very interesting ("can I add chocolate?" "Can I substitute almond butter?").
Well, the questions about chocolate in particular intrigued me and my sweetheart, especially because we had a big old pan full of ganache in the kitchen (related: I love my life).
So, along with said sweetheart, a version of the peanut butter cake was made, but this time with ganache instead of peanut butter.
Well, let me tell you.
It was a bit flatter than its peanut butter counterpart, but it...was...freaking...delicious.
It is like eating the best parts of a chocolate layer cake, but condensed into one little dense form. It's simultaneously rich and oddly light.
Although it technically added more ingredients, topping the cake with whipped cream or ice cream is a really, really good thing.
I don't want to waste any more of your time, because every minute you read this is a minute less that you'll be baking this cake. So let's get baking! Here's how you do it.
Three Ingredient Chocolate Cake
- 8 ounces ganache, weighed on a scale
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and 8-inch cake pan and line with parchment paper. Lightly grease the top of the parchment paper, too. This will ensure easy removal later.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs until more than doubled in volume — about 8 minutes at high speed.
- Stop the mixer. Add the sugar, and beat one more minute, until fully combined, on medium-high speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if necessary.
- Stop the mixer. Add the ganache, and mix on the lowest setting only until no streaks remain and the color is consistent. You can also add the ganache by hand, gently folding it in to the egg mixture.
- Pour the batter in your prepared pan.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a knife or cake tester inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Immediately run a sharp knife along the perimeter of the cake pan to loosen the edges. Let the cake cool completely before inverting on to a cake platter and serving. Store in the refrigerator, but serve at room temperature.
How would you top this cake?
"If I could only eat one pie for the rest of my life, I would choose this one. It’s so incredibly good!" - so says Roy Fares in the headnote for this recipe, featured in the new book United States of Cakes: Tasty Traditional American Cakes, Cookies, Pies, and Baked Goods. I am pretty into this book so far. For one thing, it's beautiful eye candy: I could look at the pictures of cakes and places all day--it speaks to my sweet tooth and wanderlust tendencies.
Now, the title might be a bit misleading - while you might be picturing sweets from sea to shining sea, the book is mostly set in Southern California. The author, Roy Fares, is an international pastry chef celebrity, and on his travels, the Los Angeles area intrigued him quite a bit--so he settled there to bake through some American favorites. It's a beautiful book, but don't expect a book like United Cakes of America: Recipes Celebrating Every State. DO expect some delicious and decadent desserts, like the one featured below.
Makes 12 pieces
- 15 (200 g) graham crackers
- 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp (100 g) butter
- 1⁄4 cup (40 g) sugar
- 11⁄2 tbsp (10 g) cocoa powder
- 1⁄2 tsp (3 g) salt
- Cheesecake Filling
- 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1⁄2 cups (600 g) cream cheese
- 3⁄4 cup (180 g) sugar
- 2 tbsp (20 g) all purpose flour
- 1⁄4 cup (59 mL (50 g)) whipping cream
- 2 (30 g) egg yolks
- 2 (110 g) eggs
- 1 1⁄2 (80 g) Snickers bars
- 1⁄2 cup (60 g) salted peanuts
- 1 1⁄4 cups (300 g) cream cheese
- 2 tbsp (15 g) cocoa powder
- 3⁄4 cups (120 g) confectioners' sugar
- 1⁄2 tsp (11⁄2 g) vanilla extract
- 1⁄4 cup (50 g) whipping cream
- Pieces of Snickers
- Salted peanuts
- Optional, cocoa powder for Dusting
Make the Pie Shell
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius), convection function. Run the cookies in a food processor until they become fine crumbs. Melt the butter and add it. Add a little more butter if you think that the mixture is too dry to work with. Line a springform, 9 inches (23 cm) in diameter, with the crumbs, create an edge of about 11⁄2 inches (4 cm) high. Flatten the surface a little with the back of a tablespoon. Bake in the center of the oven for 7 minutes. Allow to cool.
Make the Cheesecake Filling
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius), convection function. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, and flour in a bowl until fluffy. Whisk in the cream. Fold in the egg yolks one egg at a time with a spatula. Cut the Snickers into pieces and spread them over the bottom of the pie shell along with the peanuts. Pour the cheesecake mixture on top and smooth with a spatula. Bake in the middle of oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (105 degrees Celsius) and bake for 35 minutes (do not open oven door). Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake stand in the heat for another 25 minutes (which reduces the risk of cracking). Remove and let cool completely. Let the cheesecake stand in the fridge for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight, so that it hardens properly. Run a thin knife around the form’s edge before it is removed. Rinse the knife with hot water a few times during that process.
Make the Frosting, and finish up
Mix all the ingredients except the cream in a bowl and whisk until the mixture feels fluffy. Whip in the cream in batches until it becomes a smooth frosting. Pipe or spread the frosting over the cheesecake. Garnish with Snickers chunks and peanuts and, if you like, dust with cocoa powder.