love and chocolate in the air

IMG_7093

a box of chocolates is nice, but what’s even nicer is a plate of homemade chocolates… and fortunately, with all this snow, we’ve all got plenty of time to whip up a few decadent red surprises for our Valentine this year! I love giving (and eating) homemade sweets because 1) you know exactly what is in them, 2) they’re made from scratch with love,  3) you can modify them however you would like! Plus, you get to spend time in the kitchen… another project can only be an added bonus, as we may all be snowed in for a little while. So, here are a few recipes that I put together for this year’s Valentines Day celebration – all, as always, gluten free, whole foods based, and as healthy as chocolate goodness can be. Enjoy!

1. Red Velvet Macaroons

red velvet cake is heaven, but cakes can be tricky to deal with. Red velvet cupcakes are amazing, but sometimes just a little too crumbly. Red velvet cookies are simply not as exciting. But red velvet macaroons – they’re perfection. Bite sized, chewy, sweet, and dipped in dark chocolate. What more could you ever want?

Ingredients:

2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes

1 beet

1 cup almond flour

3 egg whites

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup cacoa powder

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

1 cup dark chocolate

IMG_7106

To Make: Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl, except for the dark chocolate. Now for the beet… any red velvet recipes I’ve found have called for a juiced beet, but I have a lot of mixed feelings about juicing beets, especially because the juice pictured above is all I got from juicing a beet, which wasn’t nearly enough to color all of my coconut flakes red. I ended up taking another beet and just grating it into the mix, which worked to color everything perfectly and also added a little bit of fluffiness and moisture to the macaroons. If you’re a more talented juicer than I apparently am, go for the beet juice. If not, I don’t think that grated beet hurts the recipe one small bit. Once the beet is added in, mix all of the wet ingredients in another bowl, making sure to beat the egg whites well, and then stir them into the mix. Grease a baking pan with coconut oil, form the dough into round little red balls, and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Once they’re finished baking, you’ll have to give them a little while to cool down, otherwise they’ll absolutely crumble all over the place… I let them sit for about an hour while I started on the next recipe, but use your discretion. Once they’re completely cool, melt the dark chocolate in a saucepan over the stove,  and dip the macaroons in. Let cool (again) and serve. Or eat all while standing up in the kitchen. Your choice.

IMG_7214

2. Red Mimosas

because you need something to sip on while you’re doing all of this baking! These were a little bit of a happy accident for me, because I needed something to do with the extra beet juice from my previously mentioned juicing catastrophe. Very simple, very delicious, very red and seasonal.

Ingredients:

1 grapefruit

1 beet

1 tbsp honey

handful of raspberries

champagne

To Make: Peel the grapefruit, and throw it into a juicer. Do the same with a beet. Pour those into a mason jar, and squeeze in some warm honey. Stir until completely dissolved, and then fill half of your champagne glass with the juice, and the other with the bubbly. Garnish with raspberries, and enjoy!

IMG_7173

3. Raspberry Chocolate Cake

or, the most delicious thing in the universe. Surprisingly low in ingredients, relatively low in sugar, and extremely easy to make!

Ingredients:

1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen

4 eggs

2 cups almond flour

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup honey

1 cup cacao powder

1 tsp baking soda

and for the topping:

1 cup coconut cream (trader joe’s has the best ever)

1 cup dark chocolate

a pinch of sea salt & some fresh raspberries

IMG_7185

To Make: For the cake: throw everything into a food processor. Once it’s all smooth, chocolatey, and delicious looking, grease a cake pan (or bread tin…) with coconut oil, and pour it in. Let it bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes, I let it bake about 30 because I’m a huge fan of the beloved Gooey Middle, but some people like their baked goods fully baked, hence the sliding scale of times. Once it’s baked, remove the cake from the oven, let it cool, and flip it out onto a platter. Then, for the topping: Scoop the coconut cream into a saucepan, add in the dark chocolate, and let cook over the stove until they blend together into smooth goodness. Then, let cool for 3-4 minutes, and pour over the cake. Top with a sprinkling of sea salt and some fresh raspberries. If you’re feeling extra sweet, or have a large crowd to feed, make two cakes, ice the first, put the second one on top of the first, and then ice them both! Too good.

IMG_7222

Enjoy, y’all! Happy snow day, and the happiest of Valentine’s Days!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under eats

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s