Well the home buying process is back on track, and aside from still having more paperwork to do (Seriously, how and why is there SO MUCH paperwork? I'd rather run a 5k than go through my bank statements one more time at this point.) things are going pretty good. I just got back form a drive up north this past weekend where I did some photography for Lundberg Farms that involved going to the Redwoods, Mount Shasta, and Mendocino county in 2 days, and those of you who read my last post know that I haven't been feeling too well lately. Well, it turns out it was strep throat, and after powering through the weekend on Nyquil, cough drops, and Excedrin I ended up in urgent care with a z-pack of anti-biotics. The photos came out beautifully though, and I'm definitely planning a trip back to each of the locations just to relax and enjoy the scenery more, especially Mendocino. There was just something about the way the fog rolled in along the seaside cliffs that was particularly breathtaking (in my case, literally).
I'm still feeling a bit too weak to cook, but I made this cake a couple weekends ago and have been waiting for the opportunity to post it. It's a simple flourless chocolate cake, made with melted Theo chocolate, cocoa powder, butter, and other goodies. I added in some almonds and an extra bit of sea salt because salted almond is my favorite chocolate pairing, and topped the cake with some fresh wild violets from the garden. The violets are completely optional, I just like them because they add a bit of color and life to an otherwise plain-looking and very disc-like cake. If you wanted to be extra-decadent, you could always double the recipe and create two layers and drizzle some melted chocolate between the layers and over the top of it, but this cake is SO dense and rich as it is you really get enough chocolate just from a single one-layer slice. It's pretty much a giant flourless brownie.
The kind folks at Theo also put together a little chocolate giveaway for you all, too! If you haven't heard of them and their delicious goods, Theo is a Seattle-based chocolate company that uses only fair-trade and certified organic cocoa beans in their chocolate bars, so you know their chocolate is going to taste good and do a bit of good in the world, too. If you're ever in the northwest, they offer tours of their Seattle chocolate factory, which I plan on checking out once I'm settled after the move (let's be real, you couldn't keep me away from a nearby chocolate factory if you tried). In the meantime, I'm going to attempt self-medicating my sore throat with dark chocolate bars. To enter the giveaway, please use the rafflecopter widget below, keeping in mind that the giveaway closes on June 17th at 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time.
Also, I'm now contributing over at DesignLoveFest and you can take a look at my first post here. I made some delicious raspberry rhubarb pinwheels topped with whipped cream and raspberries, a fitting end-of-spring send off to rhubarb, indeed! And along those same lines, I had another post go up at One Kings Lane a couple weeks ago for some ah-maaazing grilled baby back ribs with a homemade barbecue sauce (I'll leak the secret ingredient: pineapple juice!), so definitely try that one out once it warms up enough in your area to break out the ol' grill. Best of luck with the giveaway and talk soon!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Theo chocolate bar, broken into pieces
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon espresso powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon hazelnut extract
1/2 cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup chopped almonds
flaked sea salt (optional garnish)
1 teaspoon cocoa powder (optional garnish)
1 tablespoon fresh wild violets (optional garnish)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8-inch cake pan and line the bottom of it with parchment paper. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler until smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in the granulated and brown sugars, espresso powder, salt, vanilla, and hazelnut extracts. Whisk in the eggs until the batter is smooth, then stir in the cocoa powder. Add the almonds and stir until they're evenly distributed throughout the batter.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and place the pan in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, then remove it from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before running a thin rubber spatula along the edge of the cake to loosen it, then remove it from the pan and allow to cool for another 20 minutes before garnishing with the cocoa powder, sea salt, and violets. Serve immediately.