Chocolate Espresso Coffee Cake

 

Chocolate espresso coffee cake

For all of the times I’ve eaten coffee cake, not once has it actually tasted like coffee. I was pondering that fact a short while ago, and I became profoundly disturbed by the though. Why would one not want their coffee cake to actually taste like coffee? I can understand if it’s called  a crumb cake. But f you’re going to serve someone a coffee cake, it had better live up to the name.

Chocolate espresso coffee cake

The more I thought about it, the more upsetting it became. How terrible it is to trick people into thinking they’re about to enjoy the heavenly brew that is coffee, come to find they’re just getting a mouthful of cinnamon and sugar. I can’t think of many experiences more disappointing than that.

IMG_5451 I had to take matters into my own hands – and that’s how this cake was born. When I brought it into work,  several of my coworkers, independently of each other, proclaimed that this was the best treat I’ve ever shared. So I think that qualifies as a success, no?

Generally, the crumbly topping is the best part of a coffee cake, and there is no exception here. Especially since this crumble topping is sprinkled with a healthy dose of chocolate. The cake itself, though, is nothing short of wonderful either. A generous pinch of espresso powder, accented cocoa powder, and my favorite sweetener, coconut sugar, make a seemingly simple cake taste quite complex.

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This is the perfect cake to have on hand for guest, or just for an everyday treat. If you’re a coffee lover, there’s no excuse for you to skip over this one. And if you’re not a coffee lover, you soon will be!

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Chocolate Espresso Coffee Cake

Ingredients

  • Cake
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Crumble Topping
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. Chop up the chocolate and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch pie pan or 8 inch square baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, combine coconut sugar, almond milk, coconut oil, flax, molasses, and vanilla. Whisk until homogenous.
  3. Pour in the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined and no large lumps remain. Do not overmix. The batter will be quite thick. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and set aside while you prepare the crumble topping.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients for crumble topping until the texture is sandy. Sprinkle evenly over cake batter.
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove cake from oven, and immediately sprinkle with chopped chocolate. Let cake cool on a wire rack at least 1 hours before serving.
  6. For all of the times I’ve eaten coffee cake, not once has it actually tasted like coffee. I was pondering that fact a short while ago, and I became profoundly disturbed by the though. Why would one not want their coffee cake to actually taste like coffee? I can understand if it’s called a crumb cake. But f you’re going to serve someone a coffee cake, it had better live up to the name.
http://wholepurerecipes.com/2015/01/22/chocolate-espresso-coffee-cake/

Are you a coffee lover? How do you take yours? I generally prefer mine black, but every now and then I pour in a splash of almond milke. And if I’m feeling really fancy I’ll use my frother and make myself a little latte. What are your favorite coffee flavored treats?

Chewy Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies

Fudgy Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies IMG_5340

You’ll be happy to know that I’ve finally decided to go with a seasonally appropriate recipe, being that Christmas is right around the corner. What is the culinary epitome of Christmas to most people? Candy canes, smooth, rich hot chocolate sprinkled with marshmallows, and, of course, plenty of indulgent desserts. Well, it seems i’ve bundled all of these into the perfect cookie. A chewy peppermint hot chocolate cookie, to be exact.

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I never realize what a sucker I am for mint chocolate until I eat it. Honestly, it doesn’t sound all too great in my head, but when I actually take a bite of the classic flavor combination, my mind is blown. Every. Single. Time. In fact, I was recently having a late night snack of tea and chocolate, when this very phenomenon happened. You see, I took a sip my peppermint tea just seconds after I’d put a piece of chocolate in my mouth. The chocolate began to melt and mingle with the mint and I was left craving more. This has become a thing. Anyway. on to the cookies!

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A not-too- sweet chocolate cookie dough is the base, with crushed candy canes, chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows perfectly distributed throughout. To put a healthier spin on these seemingly over-indulgent treats, I used whole wheat pastry flour and rolled oats to form the dough, along with a combination of coconut sugar and molasses rather than traditional brown sugar. I love the rich flavor of these sweeteners. They always seem to add such a nice depth to chocolate recipes. Coconut haters rejoice – the coconut oil and coconut sugar in this recipe don’t leave even the slightest hint of coconut flavor in the final product. Chocolate does that. Especially double chocolate.

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Mini marshmallows and candy canes add wonderful texture contrast to these cookies. While the marshmallows bake, they get crispy on the outside and stay chewy on the inside. Crushed candy canes melt a bit while baking, and then set once they’re cool into a brulee type of topping. We have crunch, chew, and melty goodness all in one bite.

These cookies come together so quickly, too. They’ll make the perfect addition to your holiday dessert spread, or a gift for a good friend (even though you waited until the last minute to get them a gift… I won’t tell)!

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Chewy Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies

Yield: 20-24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed plus 3 tablespoons water)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup vegan mini marshmallows (I used Dandies)*
  • 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 2 vegan candy canes, crushed*

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flaxseed and water. Set aside while you mix the wet ingredients. .
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, coconut oil, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk in the flax egg until the mixture is homogenous.
  4. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt until just combined. Fold in the oats, marshmallows, and chocolate chips.
  5. Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes and press down to slightly flatten.
  6. Bake for 11 minutes, then remove from oven and let cookies cool on pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

*Dandies brand makes traditional sized and miniature marshmallows. If you can't find the mini marshmallows, just chop the larger ones into quarters. Sweet & Sara also make wonderful vegan marshmallows. To crush the candy canes, place them in a zip lock bag and smash with a rolling pin or the back of a knife.

http://wholepurerecipes.com/2014/12/21/chewy-peppermint-hot-chocolate-cookies/

Fudgy Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies IMG_5341

What are your favorite classic Christmas desserts? If you’re looking for more options, or you just aren’t a mint chocolate fan, be sure to check out my Sparkling Lemon Glazed Gingerbrad Biscotti and my Soft Baked Gingersnap Cookies for a real treat.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pumpkin Bread

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pumpkin Bread

So… I didn’t say that my previous post was going to be the last pumpkin recipe of the season, did I? Didn’t think so. Well anyway, this will be. The very last one. I promise. It will be well worth your time, though. Not that it takes very long to make. I made 10 loaves in two days – so surely, you can find the time to make just one. Everyone will thank you. Plus you won’t have to think about making breakfast for the week. So really, the one hour it will take you to make this (90 percent inactive time, by the way), from start to finish, is saving you precious minutes of sleep every day. And those minutes do add up. Especially with the dark, dreary mornings that make it ever more difficult to drag oneself out of the warmth and comfort of the massive pile of blankets on the bed. And, if there’s a cat snuggling under the covers, then all bets are off. There is absolutely no chance that breakfast is being made. So you’ll thank me later when all you have to do is pop a slice of this wonderfully moist, spicy, pumpkin bread into the toaster and call it a day. Or at least a well rounded breakfast.

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I opted for decadence here, throwing buttery pecans and chocolate chips into the batter for this particular loaf. But I did a lot of experimenting in the 9 other loaves I baked, and the results were stellar. Coconut sprinkled on top of the loaf becomes perfectly toasted while baking, leaving you with a nutty, crunchy topping, that pairs perfectly with plump raisins stirred into the batter. I also experimented with the all too appropriate pumpkin seeds, as well as tangy cranberries, chopped dates, and slivered almonds. All of these mix in options turned out beautifully, so I can safely say that you should just go with whatever you happen to be in the mood for at the moment.

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What I love most is that, while this loaf is certainly wholesome enough for breakfast (with the requisite smear of peanut butter, of course), it is also a perfectly acceptable dessert. Dressed up with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, or perhaps even served warm with homemade caramel poured over top, nobody will be able to resist. Maybe some ice cream, too? I certainly think I could enjoy something like that.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pumpkin Bread

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flax plus 6 tablespoons water)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips plus extra for garnish (optional)*
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans*

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together ground flax and water. Set aside to gel for a few minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flax eggs, pumpkin puree, coconut oil, coconut sugar, molasses, and vanilla extract. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. With a wooden spoon, stir in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until no large lumps remain. Do not over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Spread batter into prepared loaf pan, then sprinkle with chopped pecans and chocolate chips, pressing in slightly.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Notes

*You may replace chocolate chips an pecans with any combination of mix-ins in equal amounts. Some of my favorites include pepitas, coconut flakes, raisins, almonds, dried cranberries, and chopped dates.

http://wholepurerecipes.com/2014/12/12/chocolate-chip-pecan-pumpkin-bread/

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Are you all done with pumpkin by now? I know I will be after these loaves are gone. What are your Christmas/New Year’s/Hannukah plans? I started thinking about my Christman menu halfway through Thanksgiving dinner! Stay tuned for plenty of Christmas-themed recipes coming soon.