STICKY DATE CAKE WITH SALTED TOFFEE SAUCE

I can't believe it's already Christmas and this year is coming to a close.  I'm spending time in rainy California with family, tons of christmas cookies and holiday music.  This sticky date cake will be a beloved new addition to our usual Christmas morning cinnamon rolls (gf, of course), hot chocolate and quiche.  These cakes couldn't be more festive if they tried, and I hope they bring some much needed cheer to your holiday gatherings.

STICKY DATE CAKE WITH SALTED TOFFEE SAUCE (Gluten-free) Makes 10 mini bundts

Date Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cup chopped medjool dates 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, liquified
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 mandarins, zested + 2 tablespoons juice
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot or tapioca flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut or brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Salted Toffee Sauce (Adapted from Nigella)

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3/4 stick butter, cubed
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a mini bundt pan with coconut oil and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add chopped dates, baking soda and boiling water.  Let mixture sit for about 10 minutes to soften.

Once dates have soften, using a masher or fork, mash the mixture until dates have broken down and sauce is thick, smooth-ish paste.  Then, stir in coconut oil, vanilla, maple, and mandarin juice + zest.  

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together almond, oat, and arrowroot flour with sugar, spices and salt.  Then, mix flour mixture into wet ingredients, a little at a time, until all dry ingredients are incorporated.  Stir until well combined, then evenly divide among mini bundt cakes (filling until 3/4 full).  Bake for 15-17 minutes or until edges are firm and cake bounces ever-so-slightly back.  Set aside to fully cool in the pan before trying to remove.  

To make toffee sauce: Put sugar, maple, and butter in a saucepan and slowly bring to a boil.  Once sugar and butter have dissolved, let simmer/bubble for 3-4 minutes, then whisk in the heavy cream (carefully, it will bubble up).  Mix in sea salt.  Then, cook mixture over medium heat until thick, glossy and golden brown.  Remove from heat.  Store in a clean mason jar.  

To serve: Top date cakes with warm toffee sauce.  Serve immediately!  Also, would be great with a dollop of creme fraiche or ice cream ;) 

 

BUCKWHEAT OAT BARS WITH SPICED CRANBERRY-APPLE COMPOTE

There’s nothing more healing than holiday baking.  When the weather starts to drop & the christmas lights come up -  It’s my favorite time of year.  These oat bars are my new favorite holiday treat, easily eaten for breakfast, dessert or anything in between.  The cranberries make this extra festive for Winter weather and holidays, but you can use any kind of fruit compote (or preserve!).  For your Christmas morning, holiday gatherings and beyond…

buckwheat oat bars with spiced cranberry apple compote (gluten-free) makes 16-18 bars

  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

Cranberry Apple Compote:

  • 12 oz. cranberries
  • 1 green apple, peeled and diced
  • 2 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 vanilla bean, de-seeded
  • 3/4 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Make cranberry compote: add all ingredients to a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then lower to medium heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or cranberries have broken down and mixture is thick.  Remove from heat to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oats, flours, baking powder, salt, xanthum gum and spices. 

In another small mixing bowl, whisk together egg, coconut oil or butter, sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. 

Mix wet ingredients into dry, mixing well until dough looks like oatmeal cookie dough. 

Add 3/4 of oat mixture to a greased 8x8 or round tart pan, using your hand to press batter evenly.  Add about 1 heaping cup of cranberry compote over top, using a silicon spatula to evenly disperse.  Then sprinkle the top with the last amount of oat mixture.  

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until oat topping is browned.  Set aside to cool, then serve warm or chill before cutting into squares.

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CHAI-INFUSED FRENCH TOAST

The holidays are the perfect time for indulgences, as we all know we only have the allotted time to really let loose.  By the time January roll around, no one wants to look at holiday cookies or turkey dinner.  Luckily, we're right in the thick of it & I'm taking every opportunity to be festive.  This chai-infused french toast is the perfect wintry breakfast to share with a crowd (perfect for Christmas morning).  Hope you all have the happiest of holidays! XO

CHAI INFUSED FRENCH TOAST (Gluten-free) Serves 4-6

  • 8 slices gluten-free bread, cut diagonally (I used UDI's)
  • About 3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup Dona Chai chai concentrate 
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • Maple syrup, for serving

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Arrange sliced bread on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Spread each slice with a bit of coconut oil.  In a small bowl, mix together sugar, almond meal, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and a pinch of sea salt using your fingers.  Sprinkle about half the mixture atop each slice.  Bake for 5-7 minutes or until bread is browned and caramelized.  Let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together almond milk, chai concentrate, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt.  Reduce oven temperature to 375.

In a greased 9x9 baking dish, arrange toasts in two even layers.  Pour egg mixture over top and let soak for 15 minutes, pressing down to make sure all bread is being submerged.  Top with the remaining spiced sugar mixture and sprinkle with sliced almonds.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until topping is browned and caramelized.  Serve warm with a drizzle of maple syrup.