Ginger Tea Cake

A couple of years ago when I first began my foray into grain-free baking, I made this ginger cake.  And it was good.  Since the Englishman and I have a tradition of making cakes for each other on our birthdays, I decided to make it again.  But then I read Molly Wizenberg’s ginger cake recipe with caramelized pears in her book, A Homemade Life, and decided to create my own version of a ginger tea cake with pears.

Ginger Tea Cake Slices Can we talk about Molly Wizenberg for a second?  I read her second book, Delancey, on our flight home from Hawaii and as soon as I finished I turned to my husband and declared that I wanted to eat pizza, move to Seattle, and open our own pizzeria.  His reaction was a bit of shock and amusement and agreed to the eat pizza part, but wasn’t too sold on opening our own pizzeria.  In all seriousness, if you haven’t read Molly’s books yet just do it.  They are full of great recipes and will leave you hungry and wanting more.  And now I’ll stop fangirling about Molly Wizenberg.

So back to the ginger tea cake.  I call it a tea cake because it’s a bit lighter and isn’t overly sweet and would be the perfect thing to enjoy with an afternoon cup of tea.  And since I am married to someone who is English, I knew he would appreciate the tea cake gesture.

Ginger Tea Cake Candied GingerThis cake is sweetened with some candied ginger I got in the bulk bins at Sprouts and a couple of tablespoons of honey.  The Englishman is a huge molasses fan, so the molasses gives this cake its rich dark color.

Instead of using all-purpose flour I used spelt because I love the nutty taste spelt adds to baked goods.  If you haven’t baked with spelt yet I highly recommend it!

For the pears, I poached them instead of caramelizing them in a small sauce pan with whiskey, butter, cinnamon and a touch of sugar and they were still delicious.  I think next time I will try the caramelized version Molly has on her blog.

Ginger Tea Cake Poached PearsThis is by no means a “traditional birthday cake,” but the Englishman still loved it and so will you!

Ginger Tea Cake (adapted from Orangette)

Ingredients for the Cake:

1 cup spelt flour

1 egg

4 tbsp melted butter

2 tbsp honey

1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped (fresh ginger would work too!)

1/4 cup molasses

2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

For the Pears:

1/4 cup dry Irish Whiskey (I used Red Breast)

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp butter

1 tbsp granulated sugar

2 tbsp water

 Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Line a cake pan with parchment paper.

Chop your candied ginger into small pieces and set aside.

Ginger Tea Cake Chopped GingerIn a small mixing bowl, add your spelt flour, ginger powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.  Mix well and set aside.

Melt your butter and add to a larger mixing bowl.  Add your molasses, egg, honey, almond milk and vanilla and mix well.  Gently fold in your dry ingredients and continue to mix.  I used my Kitchen Aid mixer for this, but a little elbow grease and a wooden spoon will also do the trick.

Add your chopped ginger and continue to mix until the ginger pieces are well combined.  Pour your cake batter into your pan and place in the oven.  Bake for 17-20 minutes or until the cake is firm in the center.

While your cake is baking, cut your pears into thin slices and add to a saucepan along with your whiskey, cinnamon, butter, water and sugar.  Place over low heat and let the pears simmer until they are nice and soft.

Remove your cake from the oven and cut into slices.  Add your poached pears on top.

Ginger Tea Cake with Poached PearsThe pears complemented the cake perfectly and the ginger flavor was spot on.  Of course this cake tastes just as good without the pears, and really is the perfect ginger tea cake.

Ginger Tea Cake SlicesThanks to Molly for bringing this lovely recipe into my life.  I’m thinking that ginger tea cake is going to be a regular thing in my house from now on.

Yumvelope Boxes

It seems like subscription boxes are all the rage these days.  I am a frequent Stitch Fix user, I’ve tried Blue Apron, and recently I got to try a couple of Yumvelope boxes to review.  Yumvelope is a monthly subscription service that delivers a box of 6 different artisanal food products.

Yumvelope BoxesThe thing that’s great about the Yumvelope boxes is that no two are the same.  I received a box in June and one in July and they both had very different items which was fun!  The June box contained the following:

Madecasse Dark Chocolate with Salted Almonds

Gilded Nut Co. Salt and Pepper Pistachios

Masala Pop

McCabe’s Granola

Bearded Brothers Energy Bar

My three favorites in the June box were definitely the granola, the dark chocolate and the salt and pepper pistachios.  The granola made for a great afternoon snack at work, and I loved how the dark chocolate was made from bean to bar in Africa.

Yumvelope ProductsI couldn’t have the popcorn so I gave it to the Englishman, and while the energy bar was good, it was a bit too dense to eat in one sitting.

The July box contained a different assortment of goodies, including:

Bart’s Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

Halfpops

Mayesa Banana Drink

Marshall’s Wildflower Honey

Beanfields’ Nacho Chips

Jicachips

Yumvelope BoxesAgain, I passed the popcorn off to the Englishman (it wasn’t his fave), but the Beanfields chips were free of corn and soy which was great!  The banana drink was good (I think it would go great in a smoothie) and the chocolate chip cookies were a nice afternoon treat!

I really like the concept of the Yumvelope boxes – you get a chance to try products from brands that you wouldn’t normally try/see in stores which is awesome.  Unfortunately you can’t list any dietary preferences, so it’s always a gamble to see what will pop up in your box next (which can be part of the fun!)

Thanks for letting me try out some delicious new snacks Yumvelope!  I’ll definitely be buying more of that Madcasse chocolate in the near future.

Cauliflower Pizza

Yep, I went there.  I’ve made cauliflower mash and cauliflower rice, and now I jumped on the bandwagon and made cauliflower pizza.  Guilty as charged.

cauliflower pizza wine

Truth is, I’ve been wanting to make cauliflower pizza since I saw it on Karla from Foodologie’s blog back in January.  But I was just lazy and never made it.  I don’t know why, since the recipe isn’t any more complicated than making cauliflower rice, but I just didn’t do it.

So here I am seven months later posting about cauliflower pizza.  And I am here to tell you that while cauliflower pizza is quite delicious, it’s not pizza (which you probably already figured).

Cauliflower PizzaIf you don’t like the taste of cauliflower, then I don’t recommend making this pizza.  The cheese and the tomato sauce and all the toppings make for a lovely dish, but you also have to at least somewhat like cauliflower.  Just putting it out there.

The cauliflower pizza also doesn’t crisp up quite like a regular pizza, so I recommend eating with a knife and fork.  I also used fresh herbs in my “dough” but I think dried herbs would work just fine.

Cauliflower Pizza (inspired from Foodologie)

Ingredients:

1 medium head of cauliflower, grated

1/2 cup grated cheese of your choice (I used Trader Joe’s quattro formaggio blend)

1 egg

Fresh Herbs: I used rosemary, sage and thyme.  About 2 tbsp of each.

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 425F

Using a box grater or a food processor, grate your cauliflower until it is in small fine pieces.

Dump your cauliflower onto a cheese cloth or dishtowel and squeeze all the water out.  Some methods recommend microwaving the cauliflower for a couple of minutes beforehand, but I just placed all my cauliflower in a towel, wrapped it up, and squeezed all the excess water out.

Once your cauliflower is dry, place in a bowl with your cheese, herbs, egg and salt and pepper.  Mix until well blended.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and firmly press your cauliflower onto the sheet.  Make the cauliflower pizza as thin as possible.

Cauliflower Pizza DoughPlace in the oven for 15-20 minutes to let the crust firm up a bit.

Remove the crust from the oven and add your toppings of choice.  For my pizza I did tomato sauce, additional cheese, ground turkey, mushrooms and caramelized onion.

Cauliflower PizzaIf you are looking for a grain-free, low-carb pizza option then this will definitely fit the bill.  It’s tasty and a nice healthy alternative.

BUT if you are looking for a real legit pizza, then I suggest you make one using this recipe for the dough.

Favorite pizza topping? And go!

Grilled Pineapple Dessert

On the 4th of July, the Englishman and I were doing some shopping at Sprouts when we spotted a sign that said Maui Gold pineapples 2 for $5.  If you recall from my Maui pineapple post, Maui Golds are a rare commodity on the mainland and when you find them, you buy them.  We practically trampled over some of our fellow shoppers to get our hands on the delicious fruit, and immediately decided to make a grilled pineapple dessert to go with our 4th of July feast.

I’ve been meaning to grill pineapple for a while now, so it was definitely fate that these wonderful Maui Golds fell into our hands.  While most grilled pineapple dessert recipes recommend you soak your pineapple in rum before grilling, I decided to try something different and used some of Veev’s new Coconut Colada instead.

Grilled Pineapple Dessert Veev Coconut CooladaRemember Veev?  I partnered with them last fall when I created a flourless chocolate cake to pair with their PEARsecco, and the team was kind enough to send me a bottle of their Coconut Colada to try, which has the lovely flavors of a pina colada without the extra sugar and calories (each serving is 125 calories and sweetened with agave nectar).

While it is perfectly acceptable to drink Veev on its own over ice, I decided to use is as a base for my grilled pineapple dessert and it was delicious.  I just added some cinnamon, vanilla and a pinch of sugar to the Veev Coconut Colada mixture and then covered some pineapple slices in it.

grilled pineapple dessert veev shotIf you have never grilled pineapple before, you are missing out!  The grill really brings out the sweetness in the pineapple and it is the perfect dessert to serve over some ice cream.  Of course it is preferred if you use Maui Gold pineapples, but I won’t hold that against you if you don’t use them.

Grilled Pineapple Dessert pinGrilled Pineapple Dessert

Ingredients:

1/2 pineapple, cored and sliced into spears or rings

1 oz Veev Coconut Colada

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch of sugar

Directions:

In a small bowl mix your Veev, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar.  Gently place each pineapple spear or ring in the bowl and cover with the mixture.

grilled pineapple dessert bowlPlace your pineapple spears on a grill and let them cook.  You will want to monitor the pineapple and flip as needed so the pineapple does not burn.

grilled pineapple dessert grillOnce your pineapple is warm and begins to get dark grill marks, remove from the grill and set aside.

grilled pineapple dessert spearsYour pineapple will be perfect as is to enjoy as a dessert, but if you want to take it to the next level, spoon some ice cream of your choice into bowls (I used vanilla coconut milk ice cream) and cut your pineapple into small pieces and place on top of the ice cream.  I also had some of Larabar’s renola that I used for a grain-free nutty topping.

grilled pineapple dessert bowlServe and enjoy!  The Veev adds a wonderful flavor to the pineapple but this recipe can be made with rum, or without any alcohol.  The grilled pineapple is where it’s at.

What’s the next fruit I should grill next?  I really want to try grilled peaches.