Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with Olive Oil and Sea Salt


I have friends eating their way through their last week in Austin before a big move overseas. Some of their favorite things include dessert: particularly Lick Ice Cream. While I do love Lick, I can’t sample some of the favorites. I decided to try my hand at a Dark Chocolate with Olive Oil and Sea Salt ice cream for these ice cream connoisseurs. This version I can eat and so can they. It might be my favorite of all chocolate ice creams. It’s the texture that does it for me. To finish, add a sprinkle of sea salt and a little more olive oil if you desire and you’re golden.

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with Olive Oil and Sea Salt
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 pinches sea salt, plus extra for garnish
1 scant cup sugar
3/4 cup boiling water
1 1/4 cup coconut milk
3 Tablespoons full-bodied extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for garnish

Mix the cocoa, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Add the boiling water and stir into a paste. Add the coconut milk and simmer until the mixture comes to a light boil. Remove from heat. Whisk in the olive oil.

I decided to use a still freeze for this one. Place hot mixture in a heat proof bowl/tupperware with a lid. Leave uncovered in the freezer until chilled- about an hour. After the initial hour, mix with a wooden spoon every 20-30 minutes to even out the frozen crystals. When mixture is starting to feel frozen (about 2-3) hours, place in a blender or use handheld immersion blender and break up frozen parts. Freeze until ready to eat.

Drizzle with olive oil and additional sea salt if desired.

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Blackberry Lime Sour Cream Sherbet

This is my new favorite ice cream. I’ve mentioned the lactose free sour cream from Green Valley Organics before and how wonderful it is to cook with, right? It’s great because it’s not a “fake” substitute but rather the real thing sans lactose. Now think blackberry season. Now combine them. Yum. Refreshing. Light. Airy texture even after freezing over night. It’s also significantly lighter on the calorie side than cream and this doesn’t have a ton of sugar compared to store-bought ice creams.

Blackberry Lime Sour Cream Sherbet
3 cups blackberries
1 scant cup sugar
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons water
juice of 3 limes (about 4-5 Tablespoons juice)
zest of 3 limes

Place the berries, sugars, water, and lime juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cover the pot and simmer for 12-15 minutes, stirring infrequently. Blend the berry mixture in a blender or handheld immersion blender.

Strain the berry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof container with a lid.Push lightly so you get all of the juice. Toss out the seeds. Blend the strained berry mixture with the zest and sour cream. Chill. Follow ice cream maker instructions.

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Honey Ginger Almond Butter Stuffed Dates

I came across this recipe for Honey Ginger Almond Butter on Food52 and have made it several times already.

I have a hefty jar of it in my fridge and my favorite thing to do is stuff the almond butter into dates. It makes for a great sugar-free and chock full of protein snack. And so far everyone of all ages has enjoyed it too.


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Vegan Vanilla Frosting

For the chocolate sheet cake I wanted a simple white frosting. This is great for decorating with: food coloring, coconut, nuts, sprinkles… It’s simple enough to host each of those and it’s tasty enough to stand on its own. This is THE best vegan frosting recipe I have found. It’s also incredibly simple as a ratio- 1:1:1. I doubled this for the 9×13 sheet cake.

Simple Vegan Vanilla Frosting
1 cup shortening, at room temperature
1 cup butter (earth balance), at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar*
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt

Beat the shortening and butter until whipped. Fold in the sugar, vanilla, and salt so as not to have a powdered sugar explosion. Once folded, beat the frosting until whipped and very smooth. Spread at room temperature and then chill until ready to eat. This can also be made 2-3 days ahead and stuck in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before frosting cakes. If you’re in a hurry, add 1 Tablespoon of hot water and beat again.

*Use under a cup of powdered sugar if you prefer it less sweet.

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Chocolate Sheet Cake


Most of what inspired me to create this blog back in the day was to track what works and what doesn’t. When I look at a recipe and it looks familiar I often think, “does it look familiar because I tried it and loved it? Does it look familiar because I’ve tried it and hated it? Or does it look familiar because I meant to try it and haven’t yet?”

Chocolate cake. I see a million and two versions: some I have tried and succeeded and some I have tried and those recipes failed miserably. I went through the cadre of recipes on-line and in my books and decided I’d try one from Gluten Free Goddess. We loved it.

I am writing this one down because it was quite fool-proof, it was delicious and it made very little mess or dishes. I think next time I’d replace some of the sorghum with more cocoa powder just to make it a little more chocolatey for the chocolate lovers out there. It reminded me of my favorite dessert at summer camp: chocolate cake with white frosting. Remind me to tell you the story of “dutch cut” soon. Find the white frosting here.

I did change several things in the recipe and made it a sheet cake instead of a layer cake so here’s my take on Karina’s (aka Gluten Free Goddess) Gluten Free Chocolate Layer Cake. Note to self: make this for a crowd. Travels well, simple, good the next day, and it feeds a ton.

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Chocolate Sheet Cake
for a 9×13 very hefty cake
3 cups granulated cane sugar
1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups sweet white rice (glutinous) flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1 cup potato starch
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 teaspoons guar gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, beaten
3 Tablespoons water
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 cups almond milk (or other non-dairy substitute)

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and lightly flour Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add all wet ingredients to dry ingredients and beat for 2-3 minutes. It will be thick and elastic-y.

Pour into the prepared pan and smooth it out with a spatula. Bake for 34-38 minutes. It is done with the top is firm and a toothpick comes out with crumbs or clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

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Cauliflower, Currants, Balsamic.


It’s sadly the end of cauliflower season. Grab the last of them while you can. I love roasted cauliflower and it tastes so good when it’s fresh from the farmers’ markets. I make this on a pretty regularly basis, but I wanted to change it up a bit. I got an amazing balsamic vinegar from Texas Hill Country Olive Company and bought a small head of cauliflower from the SFC Farmers’ Market East this week. This is an incredibly simple, very flavorful dish and uses very few ingredients.

Cauliflower, Currants, Balsamic
1 medium cauliflower
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic
pinch of salt
1-2 teaspoons good quality balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons currants

Preheat the oven to 400. Clean the cauliflower and tear/cut into small bite-sized pieces. Cut the garlic in half or quarters if larger cloves.

Place the olive oil, garlic, salt and cauliflower in a cast iron skillet large enough to hold the cauliflower in a single layer. Toss until cauliflower is coated in oil. Roast in the oven for 15-18 minutes. Stir once. Garlic and cauliflower should be browning but not crisp yet.

Remove from the oven and toss in the balsamic vinegar and the currants. Toss and return to the oven for 5-8 more minutes.

Taste for more salt. Serve hot out of the oven.

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German Pancake with Brandied Apples

German Pancake II
Easter Sunday became the Great Pancake Cook-off of 2014. We never actually voted but every pancake was eaten and there were a lot of “mmms” going around. My mother makes an amazing version of this German Pancake but I haven’t been able to eat it in years and years. I tried my hand at gluten free version based on Gluten Free Canteen’s Holiday Apple Banana pancake. I’ve had this recipe sitting in Pinterest for I don’t know how long. A pancake cook-off was just the excuse I needed to test this out.

If you’re unfamiliar with a German Pancake, it can best be described as a cross between a crepe and a pancake baked in the oven. From what I’ve heard, it’s also called a “Dutch Baby” but apparently that was a mispronunciation of the Deutsch breakfast dish.

It worked. It puffed up. It was crisp on the outside and perfectly done on the inside. Traditionally this is brought out of the oven and served immediately with lemon juice and powdered sugar. I stewed apples in Brandy and lemon juice and topped that with powdered sugar. Hey, I wanted to win this contest!

I did this in a 14-inch skillet. It also works in a 9-10 inch skillet with half the recipe.

German Pancake with Brandied Apples
For the Filling
2 pounds crisp apples (about 5 apples)
1 Tablespoon butter**
2 Tablespoons palm sugar or muscavado*
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
2 Tablespoons brandy
2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Heat a 14-inch skillet over medium heat. Peel, core, and slice the apples. When the skillet is hot, add the apples. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix together the cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar together. Toss in with the apples and stir until completely mixed. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the brandy and lemon juice. Stir until the liquid and sugar has mixed and become thick about 2-4 minutes (the alcohol will have evaporated). Place apples in a bowl and set aside. Wipe out the skillet.

For the Pancake:
100 grams sweet white rice flour (or glutinous rice flour)
80 grams brown rice flour
50 grams tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons butter**

Preheat the oven to 450. Place skillet in the hot oven. Mix together all dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl beat the eggs and add the milk. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and whisk until lumps are minimal or non-existant.

Remove skillet from the oven and add the butter. When butter is completely melted, add the pancake batter and place in the oven for 15 minutes. At this point, if the center puffs up, poke it with a toothpick and let it collapse. Turn the oven down to 350 and bake for another 15-20 minutes***.

Remove from oven, place apples in the center and top with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.

*Any “raw” and course sugar will do.
** Earth Balance butter substitute works too.
***If halving this recipe, bake for another 10-15 minutes at 350.

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