February 25, 2018

Lingonberry Elderflower Sponge Cake

6:32 PM 0 Comments

A few weeks ago I was at Ikea!
I bought plants, candles, and of course food! It was close to Valentine's Day and I was inspired to use my heart shaped cake pan that I bought last time I was at Ikea.
I decided to make a sponge cake with elderflower concentrate and lingonberry jam. The results were amazing! I absolutely love lingonberries and really must get the jam more often! The elderflower concentrate was also delicious.
If you do not have the jam or concentrate on hand, you can substitute with apple juice and any kind of jam you like! I would even say increase the amount of juice whatever you're using if you want a more intense taste but I'm not sure how this would affect the cake! Let me know if you try it.

I love the way sponge cake is so light and fluffy and the way it encloses the layers of jam and whipped cream. Such a simple dessert but still a showstopper!
Lingonberry Elderflower Sponge Cake

Ingredients

Cake
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
pinch of salt
1 tbsp elderflower juice concentrate
1 cup flour, sifted
2 tbsp cornstarch, sifted in with flour

Filling
2/3 cup lingonberry jam
1 1/3 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp honey
2 tsp elderflower concentrate

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Oil an 8" round pan (or heart shaped pan!) and line it with parchment paper
2. Put sugar, eggs, salt, and elderflower concentrate in a bowl. 
3. Beat with hand or stand mixer until eggs are fluffy and pale. About 15-20 minutes. To test if your mixture is ready, let a small amount of the batter fall on top. If it stays on top for a second before sinking then your mixture is ready. 
4. Sift flour and cornstarch on top of eggs a little at a time and fold it in
5. Pour batter into prepared pan. No need to smooth or tap it! You'll get rid of all the fluff you have worked so hard to create!
6. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean
7. Turn off oven but leave cake inside for 5-10 minutes to cool slowly
8. Remove sponge cake from oven and allow to cool completely or over night before removing
9. Once cake is removed from pan, carefully slice it in half through the center with a serrated knife

For filling
1. Whip heavy cream with the honey and elderflower concentrate until stiff peaks form
2. On bottom layer of the cake you have sliced, smear jam on top. You may want to use more jam depending on your preference and how much you're able to cover
3. Layer whipped cream on top of jam
4. Place top half of cake on top and sprinkle with icing sugar if desired

February 19, 2018

Soft Chocolate Cranberry Cookies (vegan)

6:05 PM 2 Comments

Perfectly soft and thick chocolate cranberry cookies. Making a fun and unique cookie has never been easier! 
What's the secret to keeping these cookies soft? Cornstarch! 
If you have never tried adding cornstarch to your cookies, I highly recommend it. Just like it gives gravies, puddings, and fillings a more full-bodied texture, cornstarch will keep your cookie dough more compact during the baking process, leaving the cookies soft, thick, and puffy.
Make sure not to over bake these as it will result in a crunchier cookie. It will still be tasty but if a soft cookie is what you want, try to keep the bake time closer to 10 minutes or less even depending on how long you refrigerated the dough for. 

Chocolate Cranberry Cookies


Ingredients

1 cup spelt flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup grape seed oil (or other vegetable oil)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
2. In a large bowl, mix together spelt flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cocoa powder, salt, and cornstarch.
3. In another smaller bowl, whisk the grape seed oil with the coconut sugar and maple syrup.
4. Add the oil mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until cocoa powder is incorporated
5. Fold in cranberries and chocolate chips
6. Cover and chill dough in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes
7. Scoop dough and roll into tablespoon sized balls. Bake for 10-12 minutes until firm

February 13, 2018

Vegan Coconut Flour Brownies (vegan, gluten free, sugar free)

11:23 AM 1 Comments

I have been obsessed with pink lately! Not sure if it's because Valentine's Day is coming up or what but I used to not like pink at all! But I have to say, the new obsession is quite welcome.
These brownies are so healthy you won't believe it! I have been looking hard for a vegan recipe that uses coconut flour but they are so hard to find as coconut flour generally needs a lot of eggs to bind.
This recipe uses lots of flax seeds instead of eggs which works well. You may taste some grittiness from the flax if you make your own like I do but the frosting will mask this.
I adapted this recipe from Has Fit (which by the way has amazing workout videos!) and made my own frosting. The brownies are refined sugar free but the frosting is not. If you want to make these sugar free you can omit the frosting.
I like to make my own coconut butter by blending shredded coconut with a little bit of salt in a food processor until it's creamy! This goes great for recipes or drizzling on to pancakes, oatmeal etc.
If you don't have lingonberry jam, you can substitute this for raspberry or strawberry jam. I think cranberry juice would also work well but you may have to omit the almond milk.

You can make the frosting ahead and refrigerate it if needed. You will however, need to wait a few minutes for it to soften as the coconut butter will harden in the fridge.
If you don't have a heart shaped muffin tin, you can use a regular muffin tin. You could also bake these in a 8X8" pan (adjust baking time. It will probably be 20-25 minutes). Allow it to cool before removing the brownies from the pan and then cut out hearts with a heart shaped cookie cutter.

Vegan Coconut Flour Brownies
Makes 12-15

For Brownies
5 tbsp ground flax seeds 
3/4 cup plus 3 tbsp of water
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp almond milk (plus more if needed)

For Frosting
1/4 cup coconut butter
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp lingonberry jam*
2 tbsp almond milk

Directions
1. Whisk together flax seeds with your water and let sit for 10 minutes until sticky. Preheat your oven to 350F and oil a muffin tin
2. In a medium sized bowl, combine the coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together your flax seed mixture, coconut oil, maple syrup, and almond milk.
4. Pour wet ingredients over dry and mix until combined
5. Spoon batter into muffin tin until they are a little less than half way full 
6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until brownies are set and lightly brown on the edges
7. As your brownies are cooling, get started on the frosting!
8. With a hand mixer, cream together coconut butter and coconut oil until combined 
9. Add in powdered sugar a little at a time and blend until fluffy
10. Beat in lingonberry jam and almond milk until light and fluffy. You should be able to spread it quite easily. Add in more almond milk if needed

*You can use raspberry or strawberry jam or even cranberry juice instead! If using juice omit the almond milk unless it ends up being necessary to reach the right consistency. 

February 5, 2018

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

8:49 PM 0 Comments

I'm going to let you all in on a little secret, well it's not really a secret. But I loooove peanut butter! I also adore white chocolate. I mean, I like all chocolate and especially dark chocolate but there's just something about the buttery sweetness of white chocolate that I love in sweets and desserts.
The almond flour in these really makes a difference. I don't usually use almond flour in my recipes. Mostly because it costs an arm and a leg. But I was so pleasantly surprised by how almond flour really made the difference in this recipe. It made them moist but crumbly and buttery! I hope to use almond flour more often so if you have any hacks for it, please let me know!

These bars are the perfect treat for breakfast, an energy boosting snack, or an after dinner treat! They are just subtly sweet and I think they were perfect this way. However, if you have an extra sweet tooth or serving it to those not used to healthy desserts, you may want to up the coconut sugar by an extra quarter cup.


White Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

Ingredients
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup almond flour
1 tbsp coconut flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup chopped white chocolate

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Oil and/or line a 8x8" pan
2. With an electric mixture, blend together the peanut butter, coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth and creamy.
3. Stir in almond flour, coconut flour, coconut sugar, and cinnamon.
4. Fold in white chocolate
5. Spread into prepared baking dish and bake for 20 minutes or until the center is sent and the edges are golden brown
6. Cool before cutting into squares. These taste great straight out of the fridge as well


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