Eat This, Complete Your Life: Baci Cheesecake.

Well, hello. I'd like to introduce you to the new love of your life: Baci-crusted cheesecake. Holy yum. HOLY EVERYTHING. 

A classic cheesecake gets a dandy candy upgrade when paired with melted Baci to create a cheesecake crust unlike any other. Why stop there when you could have some more yum, though? There's homemade whipped cream, chocolate ganache, and (why not) MORE Baci candies on top. 

Now, I take enough yoga classes to know that you shouldn't be looking outside of yourself for joy and happiness, but gosh-darn, this is an object that I promise will bring you joy.


Flourless Chocolate Cake with Beer

You've seen flourless chocolate cakes. You've seen cakes made with beer. But have you ever seen a flourless chocolate cake made with beer? 

This cake is a work of culinary art. Before making the cake, stout beer is slowly simmered with sugar until it reduces into a thickened, slightly caramelized liquid, which imparts a caramelly, malty, rich flavor to the cake without being too boozy.

But wait: beer isn't the only secret ingredient. The second is extra virgin olive oil, which adds a wonderful sweet and nutty flavor to the cake, complementing the unique flavor of the beer reduction. Both of the secret ingredients act in tandem to bring out the flavor of the cake’s not-so-secret ingredient: a big ol' bunch of bittersweet chocolate.

This cake is perfect for St. Patrick's day, and, well, any day.

Recipe here!

Perfect for Easter: Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter "Eggs"

Let's talk about chocolate peanut butter eggs. Let it be stated from the very beginning that I love the things.

I remember when Reese's debuted their peanut butter eggs. It was a red-letter day--no, year!--for me. Finally, a chocolate and peanut butter confection with a better chocolate (slightly less) to peanut butter (slightly more) ratio. I always felt like I wanted more peanut butter in my cups, and this new formation seemed to address that issue. Unfortunately, they were only in stores around Easter.

Now, Reese's repackages seasonal variations so that you can basically get the higher-ratio-peanut butter treats all year round--there are Christmas and Halloween varieties, and basically those show up in stores like a month after Easter, right?

But I need to tell you that in spite of nearly year-round availability, you should still learn how to make your own chocolate peanut butter eggs. Why?

1. They are better for you. The list of ingredients is not as scary as the Reese's ones. Don't get me wrong, I will eat them, but I won't necessarily be proud of myself for doing so. The homemade ones, I can be proud of eating.

2. They taste better. It's just a fact: you can use better quality ingredients if you make your own choco-pb eggs. I used Peanut Butter and Company peanut butter, and Perugina chocolate, and you can taste the difference with the better ingredients. 

3. You can make them as salty as you wanna. I am obsessed with salt, and I like to add extra salt to basically everything, from chocolate cake to avocado slices to buttered bread. I like to add an extra dash of salt to both the filling and the coating.

4. They are fun to make and people will like them. People will be impressed when you tell them you made a homemade version of a commercial treat. It's a fun way to get people to like you even more.

OK! I think I've made a good case. Make your own chocolate peanut butter eggs!


February 23: National Banana Bread Day

So, today is National Banana Bread Day. I say you celebrate with something slightly better than banana bread--BANANA CAKE.

Forget you, banana bread! 

Hummingbird cake is a delicately-textured spiced banana cake. While it has characteristics of banana bread, its texture and sweetness bring it firmly into cake territory.

Traditionally, hummingbird cake is made with pecans and bits of pineapple. But recently, I did a little experiment where I substituted "pineapple" for "chocolate bar" and "pecans" for "hazelnuts" in the recipe.

Did it alter the finished flavor? Yes. Is it traditional? Not quite. But will you forgive me because of its insane deliciousness? I sure hope so. 

Chocolate-hazelnut hummingbird cake recipe here. 

February 18: National Crab-Stuffed Flounder Day and National Drink Wine Day

Well, well, well. Today just so happens to be National Crab-Stuffed Flounder Day. No, I wouldn't kid about such a thing. Luckily, it's also National Drink Wine Day. I think I'll stick with the latter. And to make wine really stand out, I know just how to enjoy it: with cake.

This is no ordinary cake. It just so happens to be a decadent flourless chocolate cake served with a red wine glaze. The red wine adds a pleasing acidity to the sweetness of the glaze, which works wonderfully with the extra-dark chocolate. So have your wine, and eat it, too! 

Here's the recipe for flourless chocolate cake with red wine glaze.

February 14: Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentines Day--regardless of what you think of the holiday I hope it's a very good day, and that it includes something delicious.

Obvi, the famous treat on V-Day is chocolates, and today's national food holiday is in keeping: today is National Cream-Filled Chocolates Day. 

Honestly, I like a few of the chocolates in the box, but once the buttercream and caramel ones are gone, they aren't a high priority dessert to me. So I'd rather make soufflé today...what do you say?

This soufflé is perfectly sized for two (or one, if you feel like anger-eating and watching Lifetime movies, no judgement) and it tastes freaking delicious. It's just about as jammed with chocolate as it can be, and it's light and a little gooey when freshly baked. Yumz.

February 13: National Tortellini Day, and a Sky High Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Happy National Tortellini Day! Oh me oh my, how I love tortellini. Carbs and cheese. So much yes! But while I loved sharing that with you, I think I'm going to keep my focus for the post sweet today, since Valentine's Day is coming and I have made so many romantic and fantastic desserts lately. For instance, this sky-high red velvet cake.

Technically, I suppose it's two cakes: a red velvet cake, and a chocolate layer cake. But I've sandwiched them all together into a four-story sweet stack of frosted awesome to make this object of edible art. 

This would be an impressive cake to make for your valentine, don't you think?

Find the full recipe here. 

February 4: National Stuffed Mushroom Day

Don't get me wrong. I love a good stuffed mushroom. But National Stuffed Mushroom Day? Not so much on this site, sorry. It's also National Homemade Soup Day, BTW. That is also delicious, but not for this site. So why don't we cut to the chase and talk about homemade pop-tarts instead?

Well, technically they are pop-hearts, because as you can see they are heart shaped. But that's not the only thing that makes them special.

These homemade pop-tarts are also made using a unique pastry crust, made using olive oil instead of butter or shortening. It gives them a unique and sophisticate flavor--you've got to taste it to believe it. It's tender, not necessarily flaky, but tasty.

The pop-hearts are also filled with melted Baci chocolates. OMG! OMG! 

You've got to make these sweet treats for your valentine. Forget stuffed mushrooms! This is where the romance is at, people.

Full recipe here.