28 nov. 2017

Rocher Truffles

I'm back in full Christmas mode so get ready for some festive inspiration! I've been cooking and baking like there's no tomorrow for the past three weeks (am so tired!), savory recipes for clients/collaborations and also some sweet ones that will make an appearance here on the blog like these cute vegan chocolate hazelnut truffles. They are inspired by the famous Ferrero Rocher praline treats but way healthier, easier to make, more intensely chocolaty and (let's be honest) after making several batches and eating more truffles than I should, I can assure you that mine taste better, they are so melt-in-your-mouth delicious!...sorry Ferrero but I don't want to put your palm oil and concentrated butter in my body!
This is definitely the kind of treat for all the chocolate lovers, especially those who can't live without dark chocolate like myself; they make such a nice homemade Christmas gift for your loved ones or even for an office secret Santa. Note: I won't be held responsible for any poisoning...just a reminder in case you want to kill your boss and decide to add some lethal ingredient to these truffles. ;-p
That's all for now, still gotta answers a few e-mails, finish a new blog post and get ready for my workout. Can't believe november is almost over and the year is coming to an end, where did 2017 go?! It's been one crazy year for me in a not-so-positive way but looks like at least it's ending pretty well cause a new project is on the horizon (crossing fingers). 



Rocher Truffles
(yield: 20 truffles)

Ingredients
1/4 cup unsweetened almond butter.
2 tablespoons agave or maple syrup.
2 tablespoons pure cocoa powder.
100 g (3.5 oz) approximately roasted hazelnuts.
150 g (5.2 oz) dark chocolate 70-72% cocoa, for coating.
Edible gold glitter, to decorate (optional).

Notes:
- For a more intense hazelnut flavor you can use hazelnut butter instead.
- Reserve around 20 whole hazelnuts to fill each truffle.
- I couldn't find organic chopped hazelnuts (they're usually available, though) and chopped mine using my food processor. If your processor is pretty powerful be careful not to ground the hazelnuts, just use the pulse button and work in small batches.


Directions
Chop the hazelnuts using your food processor using the pulse mode, be careful not to overmix and pulse just for a second. Remember to reserve around 20 whole hazelnuts to fill the truffles later.
In a medium mixing bowl and using a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon combine together the almond butter, agave syrup and cocoa powder until well mixed and a thick dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and let it cool in the fridge for aroud 10 minutes to harden.
Scoop 1/2 tablespoon of dough per truffle and roll into balls using your hands but working quickly cause they'll get soft very easily. Don't forget to put a whole hazelnut inside each truffle. If they are too soft you can put them back in the fridge for a little bit so they can keep their round shape with no problem. Roll in the chopped hazelnuts and transfer to the freezer for 5 minutes, they need to be very cold before covering with the melted chocolate.
Meanwhile melt the dark chocolate using the double boiler method or bain marie.
Carefully doip each truffle into the melted chocolate and transfer to a lined baking sheet. You can repeat the process if necessary or if you want a thicker coating.
Let the truffles set in the refrigerator until the chocolate hardens and they will be ready to serve!
Store them refrigerated in an airtight container to avoid strong odors.







16 nov. 2017

Cinnamon Girl's Anniversary Cake

First of all, I'm sorry for neglecting the blog for so long (my last recipe was almost three weeks ago!) but here's a little update on what I've been up to: finishing some collabs, being busy with daily life, preparing the first Christmas recipes and also trying to keep up with my workout routine which some days was extremely difficult since I ended up exhausted and with a rather messy kitchen. Btw, my legs feel like jelly today after yesterday's cardio session...can't hardly walk, geez!
These past weeks I've been more active on Instagram but it was about time to bring you some fresh new stuff! Also I want to find some extra time and visit your blogs to leave you some love because even though it's all about IG these days I'm one of those persons who actually enjoys checking out your beautiful blogs to read the full recipes and drool over your cool pics. I adore the 'gram but nothing compares to seeing pictures in full-size and navigate through a website. When it comes to my IG posts I prefer to keep it short and sweet and personally find it a tad bit boring when people write endless captions...well I kinda hated it back when I had an old iPhone 4 because the text looked so small on my screen but now that I'm the happy owner of an iPhone 8 Plus life gets easier, lol.
Some of you might recognize the cake I'm sharing today because I posted a sneak peek on my Stories and it was actually the cake I made for my sister's birthday but since I'm so short on time I thought that cake was big enough to celebrate both things. It's my blogiversary and can't believe Cinnamon Girl turns 7 this month! Seven years, woah!
This cake is super super delicious, sincerely one of the yummiest cakes I've made in a long time and my favorite part is that thick layer of creamy vanilla cashew buttercream; this buttercream is strongly addictive and works perfectly with almost any kind of cake/dessert. I'm so happy that I finally got the right consistency and it is also a quite versatile recipe, which I'll also use for some of my xmas recipes (but with a few variations).
The cake consists in a vanilla sponge cake with a generous layer of vanilla cashew buttercream and a thin layer of cherry jam, all covered with my go-to dark chocolate ganache. It's completely dairy-free and made with lots of love and I hope you like it!




Cinammon Girl's Anniversary Cake
(8 servings approximately)

Ingredients
- For the cake:
2 cups organic all-purpose flour.
1 teaspoon baking powder.
1 teaspoon baking soda.
1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (arbequina).
3/4 cup pure maple syrup.
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk.
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar.
Cherry jam (to spread over the buttercream).

- For the vanilla cashew buttercream:
1 1/3 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight (plus 1 tsp salt).
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk.
1/4 cup agave syrup.
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla powder.
Pinch of salt.
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted.
3 tablespoons cacao butter, melted.

- For the dark chocolate ganache:
225 g (8 oz approx.) dark chocolate (70-72 % cacao).
1 cup unsweetened almond milk.
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup.
Pinch of salt.
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (arbequina).


Notes:
I recommend making this recipe in the following order:
1- Cashew buttercream: remember it must set in the fridge overnight so I always prefer to begin with the buttercream.
2- Cake: if you have enough time you can bake the cake the same day you make the buttercream and let the layers firm up in the fridge overnight. This will make the assembling easier.
3- Chocolate ganache and assembling.


Directions
- Vanilla Cashew Buttercream:
Soak the cashews in 2 cups of purified water with one teaspoon of salt, overnight.
Drain well and place them in your food processor (or a powerful blender) with the almond milk. Blend well until you get a smooth cream with no lumps, you might need to stop and scrape down the sides of the container a few times. Add in the agave syrup, vanilla powder and salt, and blend again until completely combined. Gradually a pour in the melted coconut oil and finally the melted cacao butter. The buttercream should look smooth and creamy. Transfer to an airtight container, cover the surface with plastic wrap, put the lid on and refrigerate overnight to let the cream set, it will thicken considerably once it's chilled.
Before spreading it onto the cake let it thaw at room temperature a little bit if it's too thick.

- Vanilla sponge cake:
Preheat the oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF) and lightly grease with nonstick cooking spray or coconut oil a 20cm/8-inch cake pan; line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl stir together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla) until combined using a wire whisk.
In a separate bowl whisk the oil, maple syrup, milk and vinegar until foamy. Pour into the dry mixture and stir with a whisk until the batter is smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the pan comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then unmold and cool completely on a wire rack. Cover the cake and transfer to the fridge for a few hours until chilled, this way it'll be easier to cut in layers since this sponge cake is a bit delicate.
Cut the cake in two even layers and spread a generous amount of the cashew buttercream on top of one the layers. Spread a thin layer of cherry jam, cover with the second cake layer and crumb-coat the entire cake with the leftover buttercream. Let it set in the fridge while you make the chocolate ganache.

- Dark Chocolate Ganache:
Pour the milk into a medium saucepan, add in the salt and bring to a gentle boil. Immediately remove from the heat and add the dark chocolate and maple syrup. Use a silicone heatproof spatula to stir everything together until the chocolate is fully melted and smooth. Finally pour in the oil and mix until glossy and combined.
Set aside at room temperature until ready to use.

- Assembling:
Once the ganache has thicken a little bit place the cake on a wire rack with a big plate or baking sheet below. Pour the ganache over the top of the cake making sure it is completely covered, you can carefully tilt the rack to fully cover the sides. This is optional but you can use up the leftover ganache that flows off the cake to cover with a second layer of chocolate, you might need to reheat it in a double boiler or bain-marie.
Let the cake rest in the fridge (covered, to prevent the chocolate from absorbing strong odors) until the ganache thickens.






27 oct. 2017

Raw Sandwich Cookies

This recipe has been on my to-do list for a long time and it is finally here! For one reason or another I had something else to do (collaborations, recipes for special occasions, etc) but then I realized all the ingredients I needed to make these raw sandwich cookies were waiting for me in my kitchen pantry, plus I missed using my rolling pin and cookie cutters.
Expect another raw sandwich cookies in the near future cause these ones were a "hit" in my home and now I can't stop thinking about making a healthified Oreo version (btw, can't remember the last time I actually ate Oreo cookies...), you know a version that tastes as good (or even better) than the real ones but without all the junk.
By the way, proceed with caution cause these cookies are pretty damn addictive, so try not to become the Cookie Monster! They are super delicious, rich in flavor, tall and packed with nutritional and healthy ingredients but they are also rich in calories and fat content (he good kind of fat, of course).
While I'm typing this new post my mind is also thinking about all the things I must plan for the weekend, and all of them (minus one, I think) are blog-related which means I have a lot of work ahead of me. Most people relax on the weekend, I cook and take pictures of my recipes like there's no tomorrow. A blogger's life!
Before I leave (it's short and sweet today, sorry folks) I must say a big THANK YOU to all the new followers I got this week on Cinnamon Girl's Instagram. I reached more than 1000 followers and even though it might be a small number for some people, this little milestone I reached makes me so happy cause I know these are real followers (so many people use apps to gain followers and even pay for them! Lame, isn't it?!).



Raw Sandwich Cookies
(yield: 12-14 sandwiches)

Ingredients
- For the cookie dough:
1 1/4 cups raw almonds.
1/2 cup raw cacao powder.
1/3 cup oat flour.
12 medjool dates.
1 tablespoon maple syrup.
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.
Pinch of pink himalayan salt.
- For the cashew coconut cream:
1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water overnight.
2 tablespoons agave syrup.
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla powder.
3 tablespoons coconut cream.
2 tablespoons shredded coconut.

Directions
- To make the cookie dough:
Place the almonds and the oat flour in your food processor and pulse until finely ground. Pit the dates and add them, along with the rest of the dough ingredients, to the food processor. Process until a sticky dough forms, you must stop a few times and scrape down the sides of your food processor's container because the dough is quite sticky.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on your working surface and roll the dough about 1 cm thick. Using a cookie cutter cut 24 to 28 cookies or until you have used up all the dough. Tip: lightly grease your cookie cutter with coconut oil so the dough doesn't stick to the border of the cutter. Transfer the cookies to a baking sheet (with the parchment paper on) and place in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
It's important that cookies are set and cold for an easier handling.
- To make the cashew coconut cream filling:
Drain the cashews and place them in your (clean) food processor with the rest of the ingredients and process until well blended. 
- Assembling:
Remove the cookies from the fridge, scoop one generous tablespoon of the cream filling and spread on one cookie, top with another cookie gently pressing down to form the sandwich. 
Repeat until you make 12 to 14 sandwiches.
Store the cookies in the fridge in an airtight container. If you plan to serve them the same day they are made you can transfer them to the freezer so the cream firm up faster.


Notes:
- Depending on the size of your cookie cutter you will get 12 to 14 sandwiches (24 to 28 cookies). The size of my cookie cutter is 5 cm diameter.
- If your dates are too dry to soaking them in warm water for 15 minutes approximately and drain them well before proceeding with the recipe. I always recommend using soft medjool dates.
- If you forgot to soak your cashews overnight you can also speed up the process by soaking them in hot water (not boiling!) for 30 minutes approximately.