It’s birthday time! Every year since I started this blog, I’ve posted the sweet treat that I make for my partner’s birthday (apparently I also use the exact same candle in the photos every year). He’s not into traditional birthday cake, so I always try to make something different, especially delicious and a little over the top. It needs to be special. Normally, I make something that has a nostalgic feel to it. Two years ago it was a bienenstich cake that harkened back to his days working at a German bakery and last year I made chocolate babka, which was something that we both loved growing up. This year, I decided to go with ice cream. Without a doubt, it is his favourite sweet food. Of course, since I was making it from scratch, everything was possible in terms of the flavours and add-ins. I decided to play around with chocolate and hazelnut and ended up with this triple hazelnut ice cream.
This past week, I got married. It was last minute and unceremonious but I wanted to mark the day with some cake. Many years ago, when my partner worked at a German bakery, he loved a pear and chocolate cake that they made. For someone who claims not to like cake, this is a big deal. So, when I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen (probably 5 years ago), I thought it looked very promising. I think at the time, I couldn’t make it right away because it is one of those recipes that really requires an electronic mixer, so I was patient, and came back to it after I finally got a handheld electric whisk. All of these years later, it’s one of the most delicious cakes that I have made. So, when I saw that I had some overripe pears, I knew immediately what cake I wanted to make.
It’s the vegan chocolate mousse battle! You may be asking yourself, why would such a battle ever need to take place? Well, a couple of weeks ago, I was checking out some food videos on YouTube (as I contemplated making more of my own but that’s another story) and came across a Green Kitchen Stories video of some healthy avocado banana chocolate mousse. I was so excited by this healthy chocolate-y treat that I made it immediately (for some of my long time readers, this should come as no surprise to you. I am a total sucker for anything vaguely healthy and super chocolatey). Long story short, I made it, I ate it, and then I fell into an internet search spiral exploring the world of healthy-ish chocolate mousses. There are a lot of recipes. A lot of them go with an avocado base but I was intrigued though by another Green Kitchen Stories recipe that was a chocolate mousse with a black bean base. I was too curious to resist and decided to make that one too.
I’ve been on a bit of a baking spree lately. I actually really enjoy baking but I have very little self-control and try to limit the availability of sweet treats hanging around the house. The other day I was looking for a super healthy cookie recipe and I found this recipe, which was great as a snack, but it did not resemble a cookie in the slightest. It was more of an oat bar. While I appreciated that there were tons of whole, hearty ingredients in them, they didn’t taste like a dessert at all and would never satisfy my mid-afternoon sweet tooth (in retrospect, I think that the “cookie” referred more to the shape of the bar than anything else). Although, on a side note, I did find it hilarious that my boyfriend was enjoying crumbling them into his breakfast cereal until I told him there were beans in them, at which point he was less keen on the “bean cookies”. Needless to say, I was still on the lookout for a healthy-ish cookie. I eventually came across a version of these vegan chocolate almond cookies on My Darling Lemon Thyme. Of course, the chocolate and almond combination immediately caught my eye: they are a match made in heaven. On top of that, I liked how the only non-vegan ingredient in the original recipe was an egg, which is pretty easy to replace. Even though I’m not vegan, I like to have a few vegan desserts in my arsenal to share with friends that are or bring to potlucks.