Do you ever have those days where you’re starting out with an awesome recipe idea, and then it keeps morphing? Yesterday was definitely one of those days, for me. I knew that I wanted something minty, chocolatey and green so share with you all, but wasn’t sure about just which way to do it.
First, it started out as a cookie; minty, green and lil’ chocolate chips. But, after seeing the consistency of the dough I thought that maybe this was better suited to be a muffin. So, I baked a couple of test muffins. As good as they were, I knew that they needed something else, a little more of a minty kick. Let there be glaze! A minty sweet glaze was then poured over the top and I adjusted the recipe some more so that it would be a fluffier cupcake.
You better believe that I was in a sugar/carb coma after all that taste testing. But, I will do what I must for you! Even if that means a couple of extra work outs this week. So, now, we have an adorable cupcake that is perfectly suited for St. Paddy’s day! Plus, there’s veggies in it, spinach to be exact; that’s what gives these cuties their terrific color.
It’s Sunday, and I am worn out. I feel like that’s pretty common amongst most people, though. Work during the week, get other things done on the weekend, then end up tired at the end of it all before you have to start on the Monday grind, again. Kind of dreadful, huh? Although, today I’ve been working on a delightful little recipe for you all, so I can’t complain too much about being tired!
But first, I would just like to mention that I went sailing for the first time, on Saturday. It was super last-minute, but a very fun experience, that makes me feel extremely lucky to live where I do. We had a hot weekend in Southern California, which I honestly was pretty bitter about (I like cool weather!), but the winds made for a perfect sailing situation. It did get a little chilly when the sun was going down, but it was pretty terrific and the scenery and sunset were gorgeous.
Which is why I may have procrastinated on creating a recipe that I wanted to get done yesterday, oops. Never the less, I am really excited to share with you these delectable morsels that I have dubbed Mini Pizza Pies. Plus, I’ve tried out something new with my cashew spread! I have made it even healthier, by substituting a good amount of cashews with steamed cauliflower; and I assure you, nothing has been lost in this switch. The texture is pretty incredible and still very creamy and rich, success!
These little pizzas would be great served as an appetizer at a party, or even just served as dinner. They’re a fun, little dish that is very kid-friendly, and even more adult-friendly. The fluffy, homemade crust can’t be beat!
Picture this: you receive a text from a good friend asking for a vegan crème brûlée recipe the Monday night before Valentine’s Day. Then you think to yourself, I’ve never had crème brûlée in my life, but I’m sure that I can find a good recipe for one! (okay, maybe that’s just me) Your friend then tells you that her partner is a Chef and needs your help to make them for her restaurant’s Valentine’s Day dinner service. Um.. Excuse me? Is this real life? Why, yes, yes it is.
Nicole & I Chatting Pre-Dessert Making
As you can imagine, I may have started freaking out a little bit at this point. So, not only do I have to find or create a recipe that can be mass-produced and that has ingredients that can be ordered in bulk; I have to perfect it by Tuesday night so that supplies can be purchased Wednesday morning and so that I can make them at the restaurant on Wednesday night. Talk about a tight deadline! After checking out a few already vegan crème brûlée recipes, and then modifying one with eggs a couple of times, I had finally got it! It only took me 6 times. Phew. I’d also like to thank Paige, Lane, and Kelly for taking time to send me recipe suggestions!
The next night, I set out to Silverlake and the restaurant El Cid to complete my task. Their typical dinner service goes until 11pm, so we were working late into the night, prepping for the next day’s dinner and getting the crème brûlée ready. I didn’t get home until 4am, but it was so worth it! I had a great time working on the dessert project, plus I got to wear a Chef’s jacket. Does it get much better than that? I guess that depends on how much sleep you like to get.
Look! It’s a totally unintentional heart! <3
What’s great about this recipe is that it is seriously easy to make. Blend, simmer, blend again (only if necessary), bake, cool, torch. The only problem that you might run into is not having a culinary torch. I got mine for a good price at Bed, Bath & Beyond, along with the cute ramekins; just make sure to buy the butane to fill it if you don’t have it at home already. Another alternative to the torch is to carefully hold the sugared crème brûlée up to a broiler for a minute, or until the sugar melts/caramelizes.
I know what you’re thinking, you see all of the chocolate involved in this cake and you may say to yourself, “I think she means Chocolate Lovers Cake”. Well, sure, this cake is for chocolate lovers of all kinds! But, this recipe is a little more involved than just chocolate. Even though Valentine’s day was yesterday, why don’t we share the love today, as well?
As you may or may not know, chocolate (or cocoa rather) is considered an aphrodisiac. But, there are also a few other plant-based foods that are on the same list, such as: almonds, asparagus, avocado, bananas, basil, figs, and garlic (dragon breath anyone?). Delicious, right? This delectable cake has 4 out of the 10 in it! See what I’m saying? Sexy cake.
Here we have your oil-free cake base, with cocoa and a bit of banana, and an ultra-creamy mousse topping made with avocado, almond butter and more chocolate. Plus, it’s topped with some toasted almonds and just a few coconut flakes (which would be great toasted, as well). The whole dessert is super simple to make, and my favorite thing about this type of frosting/mousse amalgamation (say what?) is that it’s even less temperamental than typical vegan butter/powdered sugar frostings and is way better for you.
You could, of course, double the cake recipe and make it into a layer cake! Can you imagine this cake with a layer of almond butter frosting inside, while still covered in the rich, chocolate mousse? Incredible. Why do all of the great ideas come after I’m in the midst of blogging a recipe? Oy.