I’ll happily eat a chocolate ganache tart anytime time of year. It’s one of the few desserts I’m happy to bake all year, too, even in the heat of summer. See, you just give the buttery pastry a quick bake ’til it’s golden – then you can turn the oven off! The ganache itself warms up on the stove then cools in the pastry shell, so you don’t have to worry about keeping anything heat-generating on for too long. If you’re like me and live in an old house without air conditioning, that’s enough to make this recipe a winner.
And I haven’t even gotten to the chocolate part yet. Ganache is one of those things that’s so decadent and utterly delicious it’s hard to believe it only has two ingredients. A silky, rich blend of cream and chocolate – and that’s it! I like to chill ganache tarts in the refrigerator before serving, so the ganache is cool and thoroughly set. Something about chilled chocolate makes it even tastier as it melts in your mouth! Make sure to use the best tasting dark chocolate you can find, and don’t forget the sprinkle of sea salt. It brings out the flavor of the chocolate and is a tasty foil for the creaminess of the ganache. Mmmm.
I’m going to keep this one short and sweet. I made this easy peasy rhubarb buttermilk upside down cake a few weeks back, and have been meaning to share the recipe ever since. Between working on our new house, taking care of our basement kitty, Pinecone (more on her here), and other life stuff, it’s been near impossible to sit down and write. I want to share this cake with you before rhubarb season passes us by though, so here goes! If you like rhubarb, sweet and tart flavors, cake or any combination of those things, you’re going to inhale this upside down cake the same day you bake it, just like Ponny and I did!
It might not be the prettiest cake I’ve ever made (next time I’ll cut the rhubarb into skinnier pieces), but it is one of the most delicious. The rhubarb is melt-in-your-mouth tender and the buttermilk brings out the natural tang of the rhubarb, while also making the cake extra moist. It’s a sweet cake, but not so sweet, like some of the rhubarb desserts out there – I think some people tend to drown rhubarb in sugar. I say let rhubarb be what it is – a tender, tart and magical food we get to enjoy for just a few weeks every spring – and that’s just what this cake does. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
After a long, dreary winter, is there anything so refreshing as looking outside and seeing sunshine and colorful blooms around every corner? Even the dull gray sidewalks are dusted in pretty petal confetti! My food cravings are almost entirely driven by what’s in season around me; I’m the person jumping up and down at the market going, “yes! Strawberries/pumpkins/etc. are back! I’ve waited all year!” So it’s only natural that when spring flowers abound, I’m making plans for how best to eat them!
And I’ll happily eat just about any edible flower there is, including dandelions, which have an unfortunate reputation for being pesky, pointless weeds. But let me tell you, they’re anything but! Think of dandelion greens as a slightly milder friend of arugula. They’re tasty in salads, on pizzas and in smoothies, just like any other leafy green, and happen to be packed with vitamins. The flowers are a little more bitter, but totally edible, too!
If you’re not quite convinced, these sweet mini cakes, with Stash Organic Sunny Dandelion Root Tea-infused frosting are for you. They’re an extra palatable, tasty introduction to eating dandelions that I’m sure will make you a dandelion convert for life! I made a simple yellow sheet cake, cut out rounds and stacked them up to make cute mini cakes that are just the right size for 2-3 people. I won’t judge you if you eat a whole one yourself though, because they are frosted in the lightest, loveliest tea-infused buttercream, and it’s really hard to stop at one slice.
The tea has notes of chicory, cocoa shell, orange peel and vanilla in addition to the dandelion greens, so the resulting buttercream was a little herbal, floral and fruity, with just the right amount of sweetness. You’d be hard pressed to find mini cakes better suited to springtime, especially when you top them with fresh dandelion flowers! Continue Reading
Hello again, at long last! How I’ve missed you, dear readers, and how I’ve missed sharing on my little blog. The last month has been a whirlwind of house hunting, cat sitting and various work projects – including becoming a contributor over at A Beautiful Mess! If another few weeks go by without a new recipe or DIY here at Crafts and a Cat, pop over to ABM and there’s a good chance I’ll have a new post up there. You know, if you’re really missing me (hi mom!). And now, the time is ripe (not sorry) to share an old favorite of mine, frozen chocolate dipped bananas.
I’ve been making these since high school, when the only other things I could make were cheesy pasta and PB&J’s. They’re wonderfully easy – you dip the bananas in melted chocolate, add toppings and freeze. I’ve made them with kids too, and it’s a lot of fun when you (the adult) do the dipping and the kiddos get to go crazy with sprinkles, crushed cookie bits and the like. These toppings are the grown up version: toasted coconut, for my coconut loving husband, simple yet decadent flaky sea salt, and a Greek-inspired one with dried rose petals and chopped pistachios from the Kosmas family orchard in Greece. Yes, I am that spoiled. Next time I’m going to try freeze dried fruit and tiny candied flowers. What would your ideal toppings be? Continue Reading
As I write this post, I am trembling with excitement because P and I went house shopping today and stumbled across our dream home. Eeee!! I’m trying really, really hard not to get my hopes up about the house because everyone we know in Portland who’s bought a house recently has gone through several rejected offers before securing a home. Before we started this process we promised each other we wouldn’t get attached to any houses, but I just have a feeling about this place. I don’t believe in fate, but I do believe that sometimes things align in your life with perfect timing and you know when it’s happening because everything feels right. Do you know what I mean? It’s the same feeling I had when I met P and knew immediately that he was my person for life. Eeeeeee! Now that that’s out of my system, I’m brewing some herbal tea and cutting myself a piece of P’s leftover birthday cake to calm down.
While we’re talking about cake, I’ve been meaning to share this super simple yet incredibly delicious blood orange olive oil cake. It’s airy and moist and not too sweet, with a citrusy zing and the prettiest pink glaze I ever did see. Since it’s made with olive oil instead of butter, the only fats it has are the wholesome, healthful kind. My mom came over and reluctantly tried some – she’s not much of a sweet tooth – and immediately asked for a second slice. Yesterday she called and asked me to make it for her birthday in June. It’s officially a winner! You’ll want to make this one before blood oranges disappear for the winter if you’re like me and you’re currently hooked on everything pink, but even after they’re gone this would be tasty with any regular orange, too. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!