17 oct. 2017

Halloween Bundt Cake

At first I was going to name this recipe 'Black n.1 Cake' in honor of Type O Negative 's famous song (and a gothic anthem). They have always been one of my favorite bands and it's such a pitty that we lost Peter Steele...they don't make vocalists like him anymore. Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only food blogger that talks about gothic-metal bands as an introduction to a recipe, lol. I find it funny and, I must confess, also ridiculous, that people automatically thinks that you like pop/mainstream stuff just because you seem nice, sweet, quiet, etc or because you don't wear black all the time. Well, I like my music as I like my chocolate: dark, bittersweet, intense and luscious. Can't think of a better combination than baking cookies while listening to Katatonia, Children of Bodom or Gojira, to name just a few.
So how much do you like this deep dark chocolate ganache? I mean, look how black and glossy it looks; it's a Halloween dream come true! I always have so much fun preparing my special Halloween recipes, searching for props and writting down the ideas. This year I wanted it to look as dark as possible but at the same time keeping that natural and homemade feel that is Cinnamon Girl's trademark. The cake is a spongy chocolate cake covered with my favorite thick dark chocolate ganache to which I added a bit of black gel food coloring, but it's totally optional.
The recipe is an adapted version of my Christmas Bundt Cake from last year and I even used the same bundt pan just to show you how easy can be sometimes to use the same thing for very different purposes. You just have to visualize the theme of the recipe, choose the right props and simply have fun.
Are you guys preparing something special for Halloween? Tell me! I wanna see your recipes, costumes...everything! 
"It's all Hallow's Eve
The moon is full
Will she trick or treat
I bet she will"
(Black No.1, Type O Negative)

Halloween Bundt Cake
(yield: enough to fill a 10-cup bundt pan)

1 cup all-purpose flour.
1 cup whole wheat flour.
1/2 cup pure cocoa powder.
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder.
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda.
Pinch of salt.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, such as arbequina.
1 cup pure maple syrup.
1 cup plant-based milk.
2 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar.
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks.
- For the dark chocolate ganache:
1/3 cup oat milk.
115 g (4 oz) 70-72 % dark chocolate.
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup.
Optional: black gel food coloring.

Preheat oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF) and thoroughly grease a 10-cup bundt cake pan.
In a large mixing bowl sift the whole wheat flour and add in the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla. Use a hand whisk to mix everything together.
In a separate bowl whisk the oil, maple syrup, milk, and vinegar. Whisk vigorously for 1 minute approximately, until foamy.
Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until a soft batter forms. Gently fold in the chocolate chunks and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean or with tiny moist crumbs.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, unmold and cool completely on a wire rack before glazing.
- To make the ganache:
Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan heat the milk until it begins to boil. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Immediately add in the maple syrup and stir until the chocolate is fully melted and the ganache looks smooth and glossy. 
Optionally you can add the desired amount of black food coloring (always choose gel coloring, not liquid!) until the ganache looks as dark as you want.
Pour the ganache over the cooled cake and let it rest at room temperature to thicken.
Store the cake in an airtight container in the fridge and remove the cake rest at room temperature before serving, for at least 40 minutes.

13 oct. 2017

Gluten-Free Tahini Orange Cookies

I posted a quick video on my Instagram stories last weekend to give you a glimpse of what I was preparing for my next blog post. Well, the cookies are finally here!...and oh man these are hands down one of the best cookies I've ever baked and I'm sorry if you've heard this from me before but I had to say it; they deserve to be on my top 5 cookie list. These tahini orange cookies are yummy, ridiculously easy to make, completely plant-based and so spiced and irresistible. Also, let me have a little 'damn, I'm proud of myself' moment cause I managed to make them gluten-free and they are not the typichal super crumbly gf cookie. They hold together pretty well and doesn't spread like crazy so you can easily choose if you want them more on the cakey side or crispier and thinner just by pressing down the dough a bit more. The ones you see in the pictures were delicately crispy on the edges and cakey on the inside.
This is the perfect recipe to prepare when it's rainy and you don't wanna go outside and prefer to stay all cozy at home wearing your favorite pair of fluffy socks. Nothing is better than the smell of freshly baked cookies and while these are still in the oven you'll notice that your home is filled with a lovely orange, ginger and cinnamon aroma. Diptyque's candles are too expensive, I know they make your living room look 'très chic' and do smell great but forget about them! Bake cookies instead and your belly will thank me later. ;-)
Now I'm off to continue with my Halloween recipe mission and check if my sister bought the right food coloring (she's the best assistant Cinnamon Girl could ever have, btw). Can you guess which color I'm looking for? ;-)

Gluten-Free Tahini Orange Cookies
(yield: 12 cookies)

1/3 cup smooth tahini paste.
1/4 cup coconut sugar or panela (unrefined whole cane sugar).
2 tablespoons extra virgin arbequina olive oil.
1 tablespoon maple or agave syrup.
Zest of one orange.
2 drops organic orange essential oil.
1/2 cup rice flour.
1/4 cup oat flour.
2 tablespoons cornstarch.
1 teaspoon baking powder.
1/2 teaspoon baking soda.
Pinch of salt.
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.
1/4 cup oat milk or almond milk.
- To decorate:
Raw white sesame seeds and black sesame seeds.

Preheat oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl combine the tahini, coconut sugar, oil, maple syrup, orange zest and essential oil. Stir together with a wooden spoon until well combined.
In a large mixing bowl whisk the flours, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Use a hand whisk to aerate the dry ingredients.
Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix using a wooden spoon again or a sturdy silicone spatula. Gradually add in the oat milk until you get a soft dough that holds together well.
Scoop the dough into a generous tablespoon and roll the dough with your hands to create perfectly round balls. Distribute onto the baking sheet and slightly press down the dough with the back of a spoon or the palm of your hands to flatten a little bit.
Sprinkle with the sesame seeds tapping with your hands so the seeds adhere to the dough.
Bake for 15 minutes until edges are golden brown. If you want to make them crispier bake for 2 more minutes.
Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack later.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

5 oct. 2017

Spirulina Energy Bites

Remember that green energy ball picture I posted on Instagram back in august? Well, here's the full recipe (finally!). These spirulina energy balls are super easy to whip up and packed with wholesome ingredients; plus they have such a cool bright and deep emerald color. Some will think they taste like seaweed or something like that but worry not, medjool dates, almonds and pure maple syrup are the main ingredients and only a small amount of spirulina powder is needed.
If you haven't heard about this algae before you should do some research because it's one of the top superfoods. I recently discovered it and am starting to take supplements, so far I feel it's boosting my energy....which is something fantastic for those of us who are always on the go and doing a million things in one day. Food blogging ain't easy my darlings!
While writting this blog post I found this article that might help you know more about the health benefits of this tiny green miracle. 
If you can't find spirulina powder or you want a more fancy energy bites recipe there's quite a nice collection of raw bites here on the blog so simply type the words 'energy bites' or 'raw' in the Search box.
Hope you are all having a good week, it's almost friday guys, you can do this! ;-) 
What are your plans for the weekend? I feel like I'm starting to get a cold so probably will get all cozied up, drink some ginger + lemon tea and watch Once Upon a Time's season 7 premier...and I'll probably bake some cookies too! ;-)

Spirulina Energy Bites
(yield: 19-20 balls)

8 Medjool dates, pitted.
1 cup raw blanched almonds.
1 tablespoon organic spirulina powder.
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup.
A pinch of pink Himalayan salt.

Place the almonds in your food processor and pulse until a flour forms. Add in the pitted dates, spirulina, salt and maple syrup. Process until a sticky dough forms, it'll be a tad bit softer than the regular energy ball dough and your hands will get dirty and green (sorry!).
Scoop out the mixture using a 1 tbps measuring spoon and roll into balls using your hands. Transfer to an airtight container and let them rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so they will firm up.
Store these energy balls in the refrigerator because they get too soft at room temperature.