Recipes

Chocolate Mousse for the Dinner Party Soul

We move from comforting desserts like pie and baked pastries in the winter months to something lighter in spring -- I for one am not ready and willing to give up chocolate during anytime of the year, so equinoctial recipes are in order. 

I love dinner parties. I fantasize about backyard functions with jungalow vibes and abundant tables, where glasses clink and ceramic platters connect strangers now friends as both reach for a serving spoon. At the end of the meal, I want to proudly carry a tray of chocolate mousse.

Super Simple Chocolate Mousse
Serves 8

180g local honey (clover is a neutral flavor against the chocolate)
8 egg yolks
140g chopped chocolate (roughly 5oz)
500 ml + 120 ml heavy whipping cream (can substitute with coconut cream)
topping of your choice

Instructions:
Whip together honey and egg yolks over a double boiler on medium heat. When doubled in size, add - while whisking - the chopped #specialtychocolate (I used Ecuador 74%). Lower the temperature of the stove to low and melt the chocolate (avoiding scorching it) and add 120 ml/ 8 tbsp cream, incorporating until smooth. (Reserve an additional 500 ml/ 2 cups cream to make the whipped cream topping)

Pull from heat, cover, and make the whipped cream with the remaining cream. After you've formed medium peaks, and fold in half of final whipped cream to the chocolate mixture until homogenous. Spilt and pour in to eight ramekins or your favorite tea cups (reserve the other half of whip in fridge). Refrigerate for 3-3.5 hours to set. When ready to serve, place dollops of remaining whipped cream on mousse, then top with #cocoanibs or chopped seasonal fruit or #cookiecrumbs.

craft chocolate mousse.jpg

Fall Scones with Cocoa Nibs

Proof that autumnal recipes don't have to have pumpkin spice! (but you can sure add it if you'd like)

Makes 6-8 scones
250g all purpose flour, plus a scant for dusting
1 1/2 tablespoon nut or legume flour (almond or chickpea for instance)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
60 grams (cold) butter, cubed
100 grams of dried fruits/or your choice of favorite fall ingredients (I used 30 grams pumpkin seeds, 50 grams chopped WKND chocolate, 20 grams golden raisins
150 ml (1 1/4 cup) buttermilk (whole is fine if that's all you have) 
1 egg, beaten for egg wash
2 1/2 tablespoons cacao nibs
butter and Nib Honey to serve 

cacao_scones.jpg

Preheat oven to 400F and grease an oven sheet or silpat sheet

- Sift the flour in a large deep bowl, incorporate the nut flour, and mix in baking powder, sugar, and salt and stir. 
- With your hands blend in the butter, until the consistency resembles semi-damp sand
- Add the dried fruits/chocolate and stir
- Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk, use a wooden spoon to fold flours into liquid, avoid over-blending (creating too much gluten) to create a soft but firm enough dough. If it is too sticky or too dry, adjust accordingly adding a splash more of milk or flour. 

Roll out on a lightly flour dusted surface until the dough is roughly 1 1/4 inches tall
- Use a biscuit cutter, top-side of a tea cup, or cut in triangle shapes about 2 1/4 inches across, and place close together on the greased baking sheet

Brush on the beaten egg, and bake until lightly golden (between 16-20 minutes), remove and cool on a rack. Serve warm with butter and WKND nib honey....or jam, or your choice! 
 

Do you want a cookie?

I'd like to think we all agree the world needs more love right now. The world needs more :awesome: cookies too. That nostalgic kind, the soft in the center, just the perfect crisp on the outside kind, surely we can unequivocally agree on that. 

wkndchocolate_cookies_closeup.jpg

Craft Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Yield: Makes 12-14 cookies (2.5 inch diameter); double the recipe if you're serving more than 4 hungry cookie monsters

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 cup cassava flour (or sweet rice flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar (brown sugar is a fine substitute)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4oz of craft/fine chocolate "chips" or 2 broken bars 
  • 3/4 cups walnuts, finely chopped
  1. Heat oven to 375° F (385F if at altitude ~5k feet)
  2. In a sieve or sifter, sift flours, baking soda, and salt in a non-plastic bowl. Set aside.
  3. Mix together the walnuts & chocolate chips, also set aside.
  4. In a standing mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light/airy & homogenous. Scrape down the sides. Add the egg. Mix for 5 seconds. Scrape down the sides. Add vanilla extract. Mix for 5 seconds. Scrape down the sides.
  5. This piece is very important to the texture and integrity of your cookie! You'll need to add the sifted flour mixture in 4 batches, stopping before adding the final amount. For the first 3 batches (about 1/4 cup each), mix at low speed just to combine, scraping down the sides between each addition. When you get to the final batch of flour, add the chocolate/nut mixture. Mix but don't over-mix until the dough comes together and barely any flour is seen. Maybe you choose this last step by hand. 
  6. On a sheet pan w/ parchment or with a silpat, bake one tray at a time (to avoid uneven cooking). I like the size of about a soup spoon for the dough; leave a few inches between the raw cookies. 
  7. Place sheet pan in the oven. Given the high temps, they'll be done in 8-10 minutes -- but it's up to you to pull them as gooey as you like them. Pull sheet out, allow to cool for a few minutes, then, transfer cookies to a cookie rack to cool. 
  8. If you'll freeze the dough, be sure to portion out into balls first, and freeze on the sheet like that; once set-up (maybe an hour or so), store them in a plastic bag or sealed container in the freezer and they're ready to be baked-off immediately when you're ready for another batch! 

Basil Peach Cacao Nib Ice Cream

If you'd have told me 5 years ago that Colorado grew some of the juiciest peaches in the land, I wouldn't have believed you. But the farmers markets of Boulder and Denver have time and time again proved me wrong, during the most abundant 5-6 week window of late summer (for 2017, I've been told by farmers that's July 20-September 2 roughly). This recipe is refined sugar free and using herbs and fruit at the height of their season; for instance, store bought basil in January won't impart the same pungent fresh flavors as during its summer peak. 

 Cacao nibs make everything better. 

Cacao nibs make everything better. 

Peach Basil Nib Ice Cream

YIELD: Yields about 1 quart or 800ml

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups half and half
  • 3/4 cup coconut cream
  • 1/2 cup local honey (spilt into 2)
  • pinch of Himalayan pink salt
  • 3-4 stalks of fresh basil (20 full sized leaves), torn or chopped roughly to release natural oils
  • 5 pasture egg yolks
  • 1 summer peach; (peel the skin and chop into mini cubes ~2cm across)
  • cacao nibs for topping 

To make:
Infuse the milk/cream
1. In a medium heavy saucepan or copper pot, stir together the liquids, half of the honey (1/4 cup), and salt.
2. Add the basil and bring the pan to medium high heat (allowing the mixture to just about bubble around the sides of the pot), then remove from heat and cover the pan to steep for ~20 minutes. (Taste until you've noticed a sweet basil flavor, too long and it will be bitter). Your basil may turn dark brown or black, this is OK. 

Separately, whisk the yolks In a medium (non-plastic) bowl, and add in the remaining 1/4 cup of honey, still whisking. Set aside. Uncover the cream mixture and put the pan over medium high heat. Just before the mixture starts to simmer, reduce the heat to medium.
3. About a 1/2 cup at a time, scoop out the heated mixture and whilst whisking the eggs/honey, slowly stir in the liquids to create a more viscose base. Repeat, adding another 1/2 cup at a time to the egg bowl. Once incorporated, add the egg and cream mixture back to the pot and with a heatproof spatula, stir on medium heat.
4. Continue to cook the mixture carefully, stirring constantly until the mixture is thickened closely resembling a loose custard, & it coats the back of a spatula, leaving a clear mark when you run your finger across it, 1-2 minutes or maybe longer.
5. Strain the finished ice cream base through a fine-mesh sieve and into a clean (stainless steel) bowl. Set into an ice bath. With a clean spatula, stir until cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
6. Now the base is ready to be processed in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions; add the chopped peach chunks towards the last 5-10 minutes of the batch. Freeze immediately (at least 5 hours), or enjoy right out of the machine for a more "fro-yo" consistency. 
7. Top with nibs, fresh basil, and a peach slice for a beautiful presentation. 
 

Green Machine Donuts

Prep time: 25 minutes (10 minutes active, 15 minutes passive) 
Bake time: 15 minutes
Makes 8 small donuts

Ingredients
For the donuts:
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 1/2 Tbsp spirulina powder
3 Tbsp matcha powder
2 tsp vanilla bean powder
2 tsp cacao/cocoa powder
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt or table salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flax seed with 3 tablespoon water; mix and allow to set 10-15 minutes in the refrigerator, until a gooey "egg" is made) 
1/3 cup local non-filtered honey
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil or ghee (melted) 

For the frosting:
1/4 cup cashew nut butter (you can substitute with almond or brazil nut)
1/2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp Saigon cinnamon

For adorning:
Sprinkle with matcha and cocoa powder
1/8 cup (fine flavor) cocoa nibs

 Green Machine Donuts with matcha, cocoa, and spirulina 

Green Machine Donuts with matcha, cocoa, and spirulina 

 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (360F if baking at higher altitudes) and liberally grease a donut or muffin pan (if the latter, pop out mini donut holes in the tin after baking - they're very snack-able!).

2. In a small bowl, mix the dry ingredients; coconut flour, spirulina, matcha, cocoa, vanilla powder, salt, and baking powder.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs & flax egg with honey and melted coconut oil (or ghee).

4. Fold in dry ingredients into wet ingredients, blend until no clumps remain. 

5. Fill the pan's receptacles about 3/4 full and bake for 12–14 minutes, until just firm and spongey. 

6. Allow to cool on a wire rack, or an elevated non-plastic surface for a few minutes. 

7. In the existing dry ingredient bowl (no need to mess up a clean one!) stir nut butter, cinnamon, and dash of your preferred sweetener. 

8. Turn the mold/pan over and dip the top side of the donuts into the "clean/paleo" frosting while they’re still a tad warm, sprinkle with nibs and Jackson Pollock style decoration. 

9. Will keep up to 3-4 days in an airtight container.

 Color me donut

Color me donut

Recipe adapted from Well + Good