Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms (Clean)

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Christmas is only 4 days away! These past few days have been fully dedicated to Christmas prep, and I mean purely Christmas prep. Yesterday, I spent the entire morning putting up Christmas window stickers with my mom, spent the afternoon shopping for more gifts, and spent the night wrapping gifts. I’ve probably spent at least 5 hours wrapping gifts in the past few days, but it’s all worth it. Not to brag or anything, but those gifts are looking pretty damn good. I’d show you now, but I think I’ll save that for a separate Christmas post where I can show off how festive my house is at the moment.

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Pop quiz: Why did I choose to make peanut butter blossoms?

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Answer: Because Hershey’s kisses were on buy-one-get-one-free and I didn’t know what to do with all of them ^_^ (If anyone has suggestions, I’d be happy to hear them!)

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Let’s focus on these peanut butter blossoms. I do realise that the cookie-to-chocolate proportion is a little off, but hey – more chocolate is never a bad thing, right?

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These cookies are so easy to make and are perfect for sharing during Christmas! You could even wake up half an hour early on Christmas Eve to bake these cookies – they’re that quick! You just throw together a bunch of ingredients, bake them for just under 10 minutes, stick a Hershey’s kiss on top of each one and voila! Cookies!

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What I love about these is the perfect pairing of both textures and flavours. The cookie has the wonderful texture of a crunchy cookie, while the chocolate just melts in your mouth. In terms of flavour – peanut butter and chocolate is a classic flavour combo, and all classics exist for a reason – because they pair so damn well together!

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This may perhaps be my last post before Christmas, so I wish you all a Merry Christmas and I hope that you get to spend time with your loved ones, receive lots of gifts, and eat delicious food. I know I will 😉

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Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms

Adapted from Amy’s Healthy Baking

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (120g) white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg white, room temperature or 3 tbsp aquafaba
  • 1 tablespoon (15mL) almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (64g) natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (96g) coconut sugar
  • 15-20 dark chocolate kisses

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the aquafaba/egg white, almond milk, and vanilla extract
  4. Stir in the peanut butter until fully combined
  5. Stir in the coconut sugar
  6. Stir in the flour mixture (you may want to use your hands for this part) until a dough forms
  7. Roll the dough into 15-20 spheres and place onto a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Flatten each sphere until it’s larger than the base of the chocolate kisses
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes. While the cookies bake, unwrap the chocolate kisses
  9. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, press a chocolate kiss into the centre of each one*
  10. Allow the cookies to cool and the chocolate kiss to set before serving. Serve at room temperature

*If you don’t want the kisses to soften and have a truffle-like consistency at room temperature, place the cookies into the freezer immediately to prevent the kisses from warming up

Rose Meringues (Cheat)

A long time ago, I made my first ever batch of meringues. They were shaped like roses and crossed between pink and white. They were perfect.

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I made them for a bake sale, actually, and let me tell you now, that they are possibly the best things you could sell at a bake sale. Input – 3 egg whites and some sugar. Output – $$$. They’re actually insanely easy and cheap to make, and you can sell each one for a decent profit.

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Rose Meringues

Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) fine sugar
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pink food coloring (preferably powdered)*

*Meringues call for preferably powdered food coloring, as it keeps them dry. If you use liquid-based food colouring, as long as you keep them in an airtight container in the fridge, you should be fine. I’ve also had success using beetroot powder as colouring.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 90 degrees Celsius or 200 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a medium bowl with an electric hand mixer, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until you get soft peaks. Add in the sugar a tablespoon at a time, and then turn the mixer to the highest speed and whip until meringue is stiff and glossy. This should take a few minutes. Beat in vanilla extract.
  3. Divide the meringue into bowls and tint them using food coloring of your choice. Transfer into a piping bag with a 1M piping tip and pipe roses (spirals that start from the middle and circulate outwards) onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake both trays until crisp, but not browned. This can take anywhere from 1-1.5 hours depending on the size and humidity. You should be able to remove the meringues from the parchment paper without them sticking. Store in an airtight container in the fridge

Unbelievably Healthy Beetroot Chocolate Microwave Cake (Clean)

Every year, millions of people make new year’s resolutions in determination to live a healthier year, and every year, millions of people cry. Personally, as you may have noticed from my little new year’s rant, I’m rather indifferent to new year’s resolutions. Nonetheless, I’m here to help out those in distress; sugar-free, gluten-free, oil-free, and veganize-able beetroot chocolate microwave cake under 200 calories to the rescue!

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Let’s start off with the nutritional breakdown of this golden nugget – each serving has 186 calories, 1g of saturated fat, and 2g of sugar! On the other hand, 8g of protein! *Does happy dance*

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There was a point where I was absolutely obsessed with using beetroot puré. Hence, the beetroot nut butter chocolate cups and the beetroot vanilla rice pudding with dark chocolate and the pink beetroot crepes and the skinny fudgy-cakey beetroot brownie bits. All of which, by the way, would work in benefit for that new year’s resolution of yours. Just sayin’.

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This chocolate microwave cake is honestly one of my all-time favorites. It’s a shame that I can’t make it everyday, as beetroot purée isn’t exactly a staple in my house. Hence, there was a point where I just got a good load of beetroot and boiled it up and puréed it and made a ton of recipes with it, which you can do as well! Plus, adding it to your smoothies and oatmeal turns it bright pink, which always brightens your day.

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This cake is so insanely soft and decadent and sweet and chocolately and it’s seriously what I’d eat everyday if I were in heaven. The beetroot purée keeps it ridiculously moist, and the egg white (can be substituted for vegans) keeps it fluffy and prevents it from getting too dense or spongey the way some microwave cakes get. Also, you gotta love the fact that this is sweetened with stevia only, which is a naturally sweet plant that I love using in baking. This recipe calls for 3 teaspoons of the powdered version, but you may need to change this around if you’re using pure stevia (you’ll need like, 1/10th of a teaspoon in that case – that stuff is strong!) or liquid stevia.

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The smooth, rich, glossy layer of melted chocolate that sits atop the cake is optional, obviously, but come on. Just look at that chocolate! I’d very very highly recommend throwing a sizable square of chocolate on top of the mixture just before you microwave it, because that just turned the cake into a gooey chocolate mess, and nobody can deny the fact that gooey chocolate messes taste better than single-textured chocolate cake, no matter how moist and fluffy and decadent.

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Beetroot Chocolate Microwave Cake

Makes 2 cakes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup beetroot purée*
  • 1/3 cup milk of choice
  • 1 egg white or 2 tbsp aquafaba (the water from a can of chickpeas)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 3 teaspoons powdered stevia (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Large square of dark chocolate (optional, but highly recommended)
  • Powdered sugar (optional)

*To make the beetroot purée, stick the beetroots (unpeeled) in a big pot of boiling water until they’re soft, peel them, and purée them in a food processor. Use leftovers for any of these recipes calling for beetroot purée.

Method

  1. In a small bowl, use a fork or whisk to combine the beetroot purée, milk of choice, egg white/aquafaba, and vanilla extract until fully combined.
  2. Add in the oat flour, cacao powder, stevia, baking powder, and salt, and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix.
  3. Transfer mixture into two greased ramekins or mugs. Place the dark chocolate on top of the mixture if desired.
  4. Microwave the ramekins/mugs on high for 2-3 minutes (depending on the wattage of your microwave and how gooey/cooked you want your cake to be). Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

 

Nutrition Facts
Servings 2.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 186 
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3 g 5 %
Saturated Fat 1 g 5 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 91 mg 4 %
Potassium 266 mg 8 %
Total Carbohydrate 30 g 10 %
Dietary Fiber 6 g 23 %
Sugars 2 g
Protein 8 g 16 %
Vitamin A  2 %
Vitamin C  3 %
Calcium  10 %
Iron  14 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Peanut Butter Granola (Clean)

It’s my first post of 2016! And I’ve decided to post….peanut butter granola.

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Okay, I know, it doesn’t sound like the most fancy and impressive thing, but sometimes it’s important to enjoy simple things…like peanut butter granola, which as a matter of fact, is absolutely delicious and awesome. If you follow my Instagram you may notice that it’s in practically every recent photo of nana ice cream or smoothie bowls.

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Now, homemade granola is something that I’ve been making for forever and it’s a staple in my pantry, but I get it if it seems a little intimidating at first. Just trust me on this one. Homemade granola’s are the best. They’re cheaper than store-bought granola, not to mention way healthier and crazily customizable. You could make pineapple-almond-cinnamon-nutmeg-matcha granola at home if you wanted, but you wouldn’t see that on a grocery store shelf! Speaking of customizable granola, you can check out all my other granola recipes here, which include mocha chocolate granola, cinnamon banana nut granola, oat-less granola, 7-ingredient granola chunks, and honey almond “quinola”.

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Peanut Butter Granola

Adapted from Whole and Heavenly Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup unrefined coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten until foamy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius or 300 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, peanuts, shredded coconut, chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and salt
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat the coconut oil and peanut butter and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and add in the maple syrup, egg white, and vanilla extract
  4. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir until combined
  5. Spread the mixture in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 25-30 minutes*. Allow to cool completely before breaking into clusters. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

*Baking time may vary. I’ve made granola many times and sometimes they’ll take longer than others, so use 25-30 as a general guide to when your granola should be done, but trust your instincts and use common sense as well 🙂

Katherine Sabbath Inspired 4-Layer Meringue Birthday Cake (Cheat)

Happy birthday to me! I’m finally 16!

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I’m one of the youngest in my grade, and although I liked being the only one in my classes who was 15 while others were 16, it feels pretty good to be 16. 16. 16! The sweet sixteen.

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This year, my brother turned 18 (what!) and I turned 16. I’m hoping that this year will go well, overlooking the fact that my brother started his first year in university and I’m starting my first year of the IB, of course.

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I wish that along with the study of chemicals and human behavior and history and language, there was a study of time. Maybe it exists somewhere out there, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s not a course in the IB. If it were, I’d be taking it as a higher level for sure.

Time is – to put it simply – absolutely amazing, and absolutely mind-f***ing.

The brain takes a fraction of a second to process information, so everything that’s happening around you is technically already in the past. And the stars that you gaze up at, including the sun. The light from those stars take seconds and minutes to travel from far away into your eyes, so you’re seeing those in the past. If a star went out, you’d still see it shining for a little while longer, because your eyes no longer view the present. Then there’s also that physics theory, where time isn’t always relevant. The theory states that if you’re next to something of an exceptionally large mass, or traveling at an exceptionally high speed, time slows down. I guess that’s a physics thing, but still.

Then again, time isn’t just about the unmatched human perception of time, it’s also about how much can change in either a millisecond, or over the course of a lifetime. Take this quote from DJ McHale: “A second is nothing. A tick on the clock. Seconds pass all the time and we never think about any one of them. But a second can be an eternity.” (I know, I already shared that quote on my last birthday cake post, but it was worth sharing again).

Tragedy happens at the same time as miracles do. I remember, a couple years back, I was on vacation in Europe. It was nighttime. Dark and rainy. My family and I didn’t have any rain protection, and we were frantically running to find our way back to our hotel. At that moment, I was absolutely miserable, and then I started to think. Someone out there in the world is having the best moment of their life. Perhaps getting married, or a couple welcoming their child into the world, yet I’m here, drenched, dripping, and shivering. Ever since then, I’ve always thought similarly at times of low, and it cheers me up to know that someone out there is having the best time of his/her life. Vice versa. When I’m happy and grateful for all the goodness around me, I take a moment to think about someone across the world who may be rushing through thunder and lightning, desperate for shelter, and although it may not help, I close my eyes and send out my condolences.

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Anyways, enough about time.

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I celebrated my birthday with my friends a couple of weeks before my actual birthday. It was a shared birthday party that I celebrated with my best friend, who turned 16 on August 24.

I found out that she, along with most of my friend group, hadn’t ever gone and properly done karaoke. I was stunned. We were in China, in Beijing! I’d done karaoke countless times, karaoke places are like a second home to me. During my childhood, when I lived in Beijing, I’d say that there were only 3 places people ever celebrated birthdays, child or adult: At home, laser tag, or karaoke.

Naturally, I insisted that we went and did karaoke, and then went back to my house to have dinner and cake and to chill, so that’s what we did. We truly had such an amazing time, and my friends got me the best gifts I could’ve asked for. I went to bed that night feeling loved. I was so happy to have received a dessert journal and Bobby Singer’s Journal and the Enchanted Garden coloring book and a cookie cookbook and a fountain pen and stickers and candy roses and etcetera etcetera. Plus, seeing everyone’s reaction to this cake was pretty memorable, but seeing my best friend’s reaction to finding out that she got a Polaroid? Priceless.

I won’t post any of the birthday party photos for the sake of my friends’ confidentiality, but I’ll post my “birthday in photos” here on my photography page tomorrow.

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I’ve always wanted to make a Katherine Sabbath cake. A couple months ago, I started planning cakes for all my family’s birthdays this year. I made my brother a Funfetti Layer Cake, my dad a Classic Tiramisu, and I knew that I had to make a Katherine Sabbath inspired cake (mom’s birthday is still coming up!).

There was one night a few days before I started making this cake where I got so excited about the cake that I couldn’t sleep ’til 3am. Granted, I spent a few hours looking at cakes, but still, I couldn’t stop thinking about cake!

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In the end, all was worth it. See how this is an 8-inch, 4-layer birthday cake? In just one night, a little group of girls consumed pretty much the entire thing. Two or three slices were taken home on paper plates, and my mom and I decided to save one slice for the next day, but the rest of it? Gone. Utterly gone.

Normally, there’s cake left over. Cake’s too sweet. They’re too full. Yada yada. None of that happened with this one. The cake layers were perfect. They weren’t dense and overwhelmingly sweet, but were fluffy, light, just the right amount of flavor. The frosting, though! I have to admit, the frosting is my favorite part of this cake. No surprise there, of course. I used the queen’s recipe. Katherine Sabbath’s, that is. I’ve always loved cream cheese frosting, but the fact that freshly whipped cream is folded into this one makes it so incredibly fluffy. It’s not diabetes-sweet and rich like most buttercreams, but is light and beautiful and tangy and has a hint of sweetness that balances perfectly with the crisp meringues.

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I absolutely adore making layered cakes. If you do make this recipe, you’ll know what I mean. It took quite a bit of time, but I seriously loved making it, especially the part where I got to dribble chocolate over the cake. That was fun. My layered cakes don’t always look as beautiful as the ones from around the web, and this one surely doesn’t compare to anything by Katherine Sabbath, but I did my best.

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Katherine Sabbath Inspired 4-Layer Meringue Birthday Cake

Adapted from recipes linked below

Makes 1 8-inch, 4-layer cake

Ingredients:

  • You’ll need a recipe for 4 cakes: 2 chocolate and 2 vanilla. You could also bake a chocolate mud cake and a white chocolate/vanilla mud cake, and slice them in half to create 4 layers. These need to be fully cooled and preferably trimmed before assembling

For the meringues

  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) superfine sugar
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Food coloring (preferably powdered)*

For the cheesecake filling

  • 500g cream cheese, softened
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g freshly whipped cream
  • 200g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2-4 drops blue food coloring

For the chocolate glaze

  • 5 ounces (150 g) best-quality dark chocolate, chopped (I used Lindt)
  • 3/4 cup (90 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup or honey

*I don’t have access to powdered food coloring, so I used water-based food coloring for the blue/green, and used beetroot powder for the pink one. The beetroot powder worked quite well. Meringues call for preferably powdered food coloring, as it keeps them dry, but as long as you keep them in an airtight container in the fridge, you should be fine.

Method:

  1. For the meringues, preheat oven to 90 degrees Celsius or 200 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a medium bowl with an electric hand mixer, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until you get soft peaks. Add in the sugar a tablespoon at a time, and then turn the mixer to the highest speed and whip until meringue is stiff and glossy. This should take a few minutes. Beat in vanilla extract.
  3. Divide the meringue into bowls and tint them using food coloring of your choice. Transfer into a piping bag with a star or round tip of your choice and pipe onto two baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake both trays until crisp, but not browned. This can take anywhere from 1-1.5 hours depending on the size and humidity. You should be able to remove the meringues from the parchment paper without them sticking. Store in an airtight container in the fridge
  5. For the cheesecake filling, use an electric mixer to whip cream cheese, butter, icing sugar, rose water and food colouring until pale and fluffy. Fold in whipped cream until combined
  6. To assemble, place approximately 1/2 tablespoon of the frosting on the center of a cake board, and place your bottom cake layer onto the cake board. Add about 1/2-3/4 cup frosting onto the top of the cake, and using a small offset spatula, spread the frosting so that it covers the top of the cake. It’s okay to let a little bit of frosting go over the side. At this point, you may sprinkle on some crushed meringues if you wish (making sure to save the pretty ones for decorating!). Add the next cake layer (different flavor) and repeat until you’ve reached your final cake layer
  7. Cover the cake with a thin layer of frosting, also known as crumb coating it, and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes
  8. Cover the cake in a final layer of frosting, and chill in fridge for at least 15 minutes
  9. For the chocolate glaze, in a small bowl, melt the chocolate, butter, corn syrup and salt in the microwave, about 50 seconds, and stir until smooth. Let cool until it thickens slightly, about 15 minutes.
  10. (Assembling, continued) Remove the cake from the fridge and spoon the chocolate glaze to the edges of the cake, gently pushing some over the side and letting it dribble down. When you’ve finished putting chocolate glaze on the edges of the cake, spoon chocolate glaze into the center until covered. Decorate the cake immediately with meringues and other desirable decorations/sprinkles
  11. Serve!

Funfetti Layer Birthday Cake (Cheat)

Happy birthday, Jeffrey!

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So today, my brother turns 18. 18! 

18, which, to me, is absolutely unbelievable.

Why?

Because he’s my older brother, yet his friends say I’m more mature than him.

Because he’s my older brother, and he loves board games and having fun.

Because he’s my older brother, and he still wakes up at 11pm on weekends, coming into my room wearing his blanket over his head and jumping onto my bed and pretending to be a ghost while I try to work.

Because I swear that yesterday we were celebrating his 8th.

Because I can’t imagine him going to college.

Because truly, time passes too quickly.

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“A second is nothing. A tick on the clock. Seconds pass all the time and we never think about any one of them. But a second can be an eternity.” -DJ McHale, Black Water

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Anyways, to celebrate the day he officially became an adult, I decided to make him a funfetti birthday cake, because sprinkles keep you young forever (scientifically proven, guys).

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Wanna see the inside of the cake? Alright. (Warning: bad photo ahead)

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Yeah, I didn’t get to photograph the cut cake under good lighting, but you get the point.

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Notes: 

  • As you can see, I chose to use a full butter buttercream, as opposed to using vegetable shortening, so there’s a slight yellow tint to it. If you want it the buttercream to be white, substitute about half of the butter with shortening.
  • You can break up the steps and start making this a couple days in advance. I suggest dedicating three/four ‘time slots’ for the cake: 1. Baking; 2/3. Making the frosting, trimming, stacking, and crumb coating the cake; 4. Decoration and finishing touches

Funfetti Layer Birthday Cake

Adapted from Sweetapolita

Makes a 8-inch, 2-layer cake

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk, room temperature
  • 4 (120g)  large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp (1.25ml) almond extract
  • 2 3/4 cups (315g) cake flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (19.5g) baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon (5g) salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
Frosting:
  • 1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons (375 g) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups (400 g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) milk
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract

Method

Baking the cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius, or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a medium bowl, mix 1/4 cup of the milk, egg whites, egg, vanilla and almond extract until combined
  3. In a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until combined
  4. Add in the butter and beat using the stand mixer, or an electric hand mixer, for about 30 seconds, before adding the remaining 3/4 cup of milk, until just combined
  5. Add the egg mixture in 3 separate batches, mixing for about 20 seconds in between each addition
  6. Fold in the rainbow sprinkles
  7. Transfer the batter evenly among two 8-inch cake tins, lined with parchment paper and greased/buttered
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean
  9. Let cool completely before triple-wrapping in cling film and placing in the fridge/freezer

Making the frosting:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter  until pale and creamy
  2. Add the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract and beat until light, creamy, and fluffy

Assembling the cake:

  1. (optional) Trim the tops of the cakes so that they’re flat
  2. Place a dollop (about 1/2 or 1 tablespoon) of frosting in the center of a cake plate or cake board, and place the bottom layer on top
  3. Place 1 cup of frosting on top of the cake layer and spread evenly with a small offset palette knife
  4. Gently place the second cake layer on top, and place a generous amount of frosting on top, spreading it evenly with the small offset palette knife, and spreading it to the sides of the cake, adding more frosting as necessary. This is just the crumb coat, so it should be a relatively thin layer.
  5. Chill the cake until the frosting has set, at least 30 minutes
  6. Use the remaining frosting and extra sprinkles to cover and decorate the cake

Mocha Chocolate Granola (Clean)

~ Aromatic mocha chocolate granola – Easy, crunchy, and healthier granola with melt-in-your mouth chocolate chips and a hint of mocha ~

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Let’s say you were checking out my recipe index, and you demanded, “Pick one oat recipe to eat for the rest of your life.”

I’d point at this one without question.

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By the way, excuse all the weird angles with these photos. I was playing around with angles and it wasn’t until I finished editing them all that I realized that less than half of them are straight.

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Anyways, let’s talk granola. Granola is one of my favorite things to make, since I get to make up the recipe as I go. They’re so insanely diverse and customizable, and they taste so good. I always have at least two different types of granola in my kitchen. Some of them are much better than others. Those are the ones I post.

Such as this one.

It usually takes me the first bite to determine whether the granola is good or not, but I fell in love with this recipe from the moment the batch came out of the oven. It was the aroma of mocha/coffee that got me. Then I stirred in the chocolate chips when the granola was barely warm. The temperature was perfect, as the chocolate chips warmed, but didn’t melt, and then cooled down with the rest of the granola. This resulted in chocolate chips that weren’t messy and melty, they could still hold their shape, and most importantly, they literally melt in your mouth.

And obviously, alongside the chocolate, there’s the hint of unsweetened coffee, which isn’t noticeably bitter, and pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the chocolate.

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I know that this is a ‘clean’ recipe, so there isn’t supposed to be any white or brown sugar. This recipe does call for brown sugar, though you could substitute a liquid sweetener of choice if you wish, so it’s not mandatory. However, I do suggest using brown sugar in this particular recipe, because it caramelizes beautifully and the flavor just works better with the mocha and chocolate and almonds.

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Mocha Chocolate Granola

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or honey, though brown sugar is recommended)
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder or espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white, whisked lightly until foamy
  • 1/3-1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius, or 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together oats, almonds, flax seeds, brown sugar, coffee/espresso powder, and salt
  3. Stir in the olive oil, vanilla extract, and egg white, until fully combined
  4. Transfer the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the surface is golden brown
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for approximately 10 minutes before stirring in chocolate chips, and then allowing to cool fully before breaking into pieces. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.