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Valentine’s Day Recipes

February 7, 2016

With Valentine’s Day coming up, you might be thinking about making a special treat for your sweetheart. I’ve rounded up 14 of my favourite, indulgent – some healthy, but delicious –  treats and desserts that you could share this February 14th without the guilt of over-indulging. Since Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday, you have the whole weekend to prep and make these delicious treats. 

Adam and I have our usual valentine tradition – sushi ordered in while watching Valentine’s Day, the movie. When Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday, this is the ideal celebration. Honestly, even on a Friday or Saturday this is a pretty good situation, since we’re not the ‘going out’ type.  This year we’re actually going away for the weekend with four of our friends, but sushi may still be in the cards for Sunday night.

Whether there’s two of you – or four, these Valentine’s Day desserts are sure to please everyone. 

Here’s 14 Valentine’s Day recipes to suit your fancy (or un-fancy) plans.

strawberry naked cake 00 bakeaholic

Naked Chocolate Cake with Coconut Cream Frosting

A decadent, yet light, cake topped with coconut cream and sliced strawberries – small enough for two to share guilt-free. 

stout brownies 06

Chocolate Stout Brownies

definitely on the indulgent side, these brownies are made with chocolate stout, topped with a stout buttercream and finished with vanilla beer brittle. your man (and you) will love these.

rawvegan turtles

Raw, Vegan Chocolate Turtles

simple, yet decadent, these raw vegan chocolate turtles are easy enough to whip up before your valentine comes over for a healthy after-dinner nibble

bed apples 4

Hasselback Apples

don’t be fooled by how healthy they look, these are so, so good – you’d think they were bad for you. 


Raw, Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake

rich, creamy and full of healthy fats – half the recipe for two 😉


Flourless Two Bite Brownies

just like the addictive store-bought brownies, these are just as chewy and fudgey


Best Chocolate Quinoa Cake with Coconut Cream Frosting

don’t be fooled by the secret ingredient, you’re valentine will never know that this moist, rich cake is actually made with quinoa!


Vegan Brownies

make these in individual serving sized dishes, or in a pan

Raspberry Brownies //

Raspberry Brownies

fudgey, rich and made with spelt flour


Cookies & Cream Cupcakes

Adam’s favourite ice-cream flavour is Oreo – half the recipe!


Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache Torte

inspired by dessert shot-glasses, these ganache tortes are rich and satisfying, yet healthy

cups pb jam

Chocolate Raspberry Peanut Butter Cups

a classic flavour combo couple, pb & j


Raw Vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse

this raw mousse is thick, creamy, and silky smooth

Bars & Squares, Brownies, Chocolate, Dessert

Chocolate Stout Brownies with Beer Brittle

February 3, 2016

Chocolate Stout Brownies //

Chocolate Stout Brownies //

These Chocolate Stout Brownies may be the only reason I attend a super bowl party this weekend. Because really a super bowl get together is all about the food, and occasionally looking to see what the score is. Oh – and the halftime show. 

Although I must admit, i’ve actually watched quite a lot of football in the past little while. Adam started watching it more and more, and we found ourselves watching football for way too many hours on sundays the past couple of months. I think I actually enjoy watching/listening to football more so than hockey. I can’t even remember the last time we watched a Canucks game. 

Chocolate Stout Brownies are not a new concept – I had seen them recently on one of my favourite blogs, and was inspired to make them.  I began to search further into recipes using chocolate stout, or porter in baked goods. I’d used a stout once before for making stew, but hadn’t thought about using it for brownies. The idea of adding beer to brownies seems odd, however, let me tell you that it definitely tastes delicious. There is most certainly a distinct beer-flavoured aftertaste.

I decided to take it one step further, and really up the game with these bad boys. I made a chocolate beer frosting, a-la dessert for two, but then decided to create a vanilla stout beer brittle to go with it. Now I don’t have a candy thermometer, so my brittle didn’t quite set up as hard, but it was so, so good, nonetheless. A treat even on it’s own. Next time I’ll invest in the candy thermometer so the brittle is actually, brittle. The beer brittle/caramel was still a perfect topping.

Chocolate Stout Brownies //

Now, these would obviously be an exceptional choice to bring along to a Super Bowl party this weekend, I mean, Chocolate Stout Brownies with Stout Frosting and Beer Brittle? Game changer. But, I think these would also be a perfect gift for your beer-loving man for Valentine’s Day as well.

Chocolate Stout Brownies // 
P.S – I’m no beer drinker, however, I ate more than a few of these brownies while recipe testing. They’re GOOD. 

I used a chocolate stout for the brownies and frosting, and a vanilla stout for the brittle, but you can use one for both as well. 

Chocolate Stout Brownies //

Chocolate Stout Brownies //
Chocolate Stout Brownies //

Chocolate Stout Brownies //
Chocolate Stout Brownies //

Chocolate Stout Brownies
Yields 18
Rich and Fudgy Chocolate Stout Brownies with Chocolate Stout Frosting and Beer Brittle. Decadent, yet manly.
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  1. 1 cup all purpose flour (can also use gluten-free flour blend)
  2. 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. 3 1/2 ounces semi sweet chocolate
  5. 8 tablespoons of butter, browned
  6. 1/2 cup chocolate stout
  7. 4 eggs, separated, at room temp
  8. 3/4 cup white sugar
  9. 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  10. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  2. 3-4 cups sifted icing sugar
  3. 1/4 cup almond milk, or milk
  4. 1/2 cup chocolate stout
Beer Brittle
  1. ½ cup vanilla stout beer, or chocolate stout
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  4. splash of vanilla
  5. 1 cup roasted, salted peanuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 9x9 inch square baking dish with parchment paper.
  3. Sift together the flour and cocoa powder.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl - on one minute intervals at 50% power until melted. Whisk in the egg yolks until thick.
  5. Add the chocolate stout and brown sugar.
  6. In separate bowl, beat together the egg whites and white sugar until thick and shiny, about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add flour mixture to melted chocolate, whisking until glossy.
  8. Fold in the egg whites and sugar with spatula until just mixed.
  9. Pour into prepared 9x9 baking dish.
  10. Bake for 18 minutes. You want the centre to be gooey, but not fully cooked otherwise they'll become dry.
  11. Allow to cool on countertop before removing from pan.
For the Frosting
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the chocolate stout on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes until it reduces to a glaze. It will bubble up and reduce. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the icing sugar on low, and whip at high speed until incorporated.
  4. Slowly add in milk, and then reduced chocolate stout.
  5. Whip on high until fluffy and light.
To Make the Beer Brittle
  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium heavy-bottomed pot combine beer, sugar and corn syrup.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to simmer.
  4. Cook until a candy thermometer inserted reads 310°, and remove from heat.
  5. Immediately stir in vanilla and nuts. Quickly pour the brittle into the prepared pan, spreading it thin. Cool completely, and break into pieces.
  1. The trick to fudgey brownies with that signature thin sugary crust is the egg whites. The thin layer of crust is actually like a meringue, so be sure to whip your egg whites and sugar separate from the yolks to achieve this.
  2. You can totally also make these brownies without the frosting and brittle, they're just as delicious.
  3. These are even better the next day, so I suggest making the brownies a day ahead, and then frosting them the next day.
Adapted from Dessert for Two & The Kitchy Kitchen
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Bars & Squares, Brownies, Wheat Free

Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Blondies

January 27, 2016

almond butter chocolate chunk blondies //

almond butter chocolate chunk blondies //

almond butter chocolate chunk blondies //

Almond butter chocolate chunk blondies – a mouthful to say, and eat. These bars are chewy, crunchy and stick-to-your-mouth almond butter-y. You could switch the almond butter for peanut butter, but I find that almond butter has a deeper, more nutty flavour to it.  

And bonus, they’re wheat-free. Instead, make your own oat-flour in the blender. Adam and I recently bought a Vitamix. We put it on our registry, but we understood it would probably not be purchased since it is quite expensive. The Vitamix was definitely high on the ‘want’ list – so we waited until it was on sale and used some gift cards towards it. I use my blender on a very regular basis. Aside from smoothies, I used my blender for soups, purees, pancake and waffle batter, nut butter, ice-cream, sauces etc. So I was so thrilled when we finally got one. It came with two blender jugs, one specifically for dry grinding, such as making your own oat flour from oats. The oat flour comes out so smooth and fine. It’s amazing. I can’t wait to make some more flours for baking.

almond butter chocolate chunk blondies //

I’ve been trying to get some more recipes developed and made for the site to keep up on a more regular basis. Over the past year with wedding planning i’ll admit I was absent from the blog quite a lot. Now that the weather has been keeping us indoors, and I’ve got more free time on the weekends I’ve been trying to create some more recipes to post. The problem with working is that by the time I get home, the sun is just getting ready to set, and the light is terrible for taking photos. I only use natural light to take pictures for the blog, so beginning to bake at 4:00 and having the finished product ready after 5, means there’s little to no light left. 

So, on the weekends I’ve been trying to get in at least two recipes to make and photograph for the week ahead. These Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Blondies were definitely one of them. I made these last week and they were so good. Definitely a welcome little snack each day. 

almond butter chocolate chunk blondies //

Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Blondies
Yields 16
Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Bars are chewy, crunchy and stick-to-your-mouth almond-buttery.
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  1. 1 1/4 cups almond butter
  2. 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  3. 2 eggs, room temperature
  4. 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  5. 3 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  6. 1 1/2 cups oat flour
  7. 2 tsp baking powder
  8. 1/2 cup almond milk
  9. 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
  10. 1/4 cup almonds, chopped (optional)
  11. 1/4 cup toasted coconut (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. To make the oat flour, blend 2 cups oats on high speed until fine flour, then measure out 1 and 3/4 cups.
  3. Line an 9x9-inch square pan with parchment paper.
  4. In large mixing bowl or stand mixer with whisk attachment, cream together the coconut sugar, almond butter, coconut oil and vanilla. Add in the eggs and mix to combine.
  5. In separate bowl, whisk together oat flour, rolled oats and baking powder.
  6. With mixer on low, alternate adding dry ingredients and milk. Mix to combine on medium-low speed.
  7. Remove bowl from mixer, and add the chocolate chunks using a spatula or spoon to combine.
  8. Scoop batter evenly into prepared 9x9 baking pan.
  9. Sprinkle top of batter with chopped almonds, coconut and chocolate chunks if desired.
  10. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until edges are golden and toothpick inserted in centre comes out mostly clean.
  11. Let cool completely on countertop, remove from baking dish an cut into bars.
  1. Store in container or ziplock on countertop, or freeze. They are deliciously dense when frozen - and have a lovely crisp crust on top. When the chocolate sets, it adds a satisfying bite.
Adapted from blissful basil
Adapted from blissful basil
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