Flourless Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes

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I like to start and end most things with chocolate. Runs, vacation, every meal of the day, and food blog series, of course!

I started this lavender week with a delicious Lavender Hot Chocolate, and I thought it only appropriate to bookend this week with another scrumptious chocolate treat.

When I found this chocolate lavender recipe I knew I had to try it! Most gluten free recipes use substitute flour, which can be hit or miss. This gluten free recipe however, simply goes without flour.

At first I was skeptical about this- wondering if the cupcakes were going to come out as dry or overly moist, but they were perfect! They baked for exactly as long as instructed, and were a perfect blend of dense and moist.

Whether you are gluten free or not, you will love these chocolate lavender cupcakes! So, from my little rented kitchen to yours, I hope you have enjoyed this lavender week. I have had a blast sharing these scrumptious edible flowers with you 🙂

Come back soon!

Love, Sarah

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Lavender Week

Day One- Lavender Hot Chocolate with Homemade Whipped Cream

Day Two- Roasted Yukon Potatoes with Lavender

Day Three- Lemon Lavender Loaf

Day Four- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts and Lavender

Day Five- Honey Roasted Pears with Lavender

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Ingredients

  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon dried lavender
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Violet gel-paste food coloring (or a drop of red and blue food coloring)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F, and line 2 cupcake tins with liners.
  2. In a durable heat-proof bowl, melt the chocolate and butter over a pot of simmering water, stirring consistently until melted together and smooth.
  3. Remove the chocolate and butter from the heat and whisk in the sugar and eggs.
  4. Once combined, stir in the cocoa powder until a thick batter has formed.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin tins until each liner is 2/3 of the way full, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops of the cupcakes are spongy but firm.
  6. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the milk and lavender buds to a boil over medium heat, and then immediately remove from heat. Allow the lavender to infuse for ten minutes.
  7. To make the icing, strain the milk to remove the lavender, and discard the used lavender buds. In a medium sized bowl, mix the sugar into the milk until smooth (you may want to add more sugar, depending on how firm you want the icing to be). Add food coloring as desired.
  8. Ice the cupcakes and sprinkle a few lavender buds on top for decoration. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to help the icing firm.
  9. Eat and enjoy!

 

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Wall Flower Girl 
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious treats from A Rented Kitchen. (Recipe links below):

Lavender Hot Chocolate with Homemade Whipped Cream

 

lavender week

 

On this day last year: White Bean Hummus with Lime, Parsley, and Cilantro (2014)

Lav. Hot Cocoa

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One of my very nerdy culinary dreams is to have a beautifully organized and fully stocked spice rack. I know that sounds silly, but it’s true. Ever since I started cooking I have drooled over the magnetic spice racks, the ones you label yourself, with all the little bottles. I’m truly revealing my inner organized nerd.

One of the spices I have always wanted to have in my stock, is a little jar of dried lavender buds. Lavender is a very affordable herb, but takes real intentionality to get. You are not likely to find it at your regular grocery store, unless you shop at Whole Foods!

I think part of the reason I wanted a little jar of lavender in my reserve, is due to its’ rarity. I had never tasted anything lavender flavored before! And who doesn’t want to incorporate edible flowers into their meal- helloooo?!

Thus, despite the fact that my little rented kitchen does not have an organized spice rack, yet, I have decided to bust the secrecy of this fragrant herb through a series of lavender food posts.

So, hold onto your apron, because this week is bringing you a series of scrumptious, sweet, and fragrant lavender meals!

On your mark, get set, lavender!

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Ingredients:

  • ½ cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate (70% cacao)
  • 3 Tablespoons milk chocolate (I used chocolate chips!)
  • ¼ teaspoon lavender buds

Homemade Whipped Cream

  • ½ cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ Tablespoon granulated white sugar

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the cold cream, vanilla, and sugar. Beat with a hand mixer on high until stiff peaks form (should take a few minutes!). Refrigerate until read for use.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and lavender buds over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the milk begins to simmer.
  3. Remove the saucepan from heat and allow the milk and lavender buds to steep for five minutes.
  4. Strain the lavender buds from the milk, and return the milk to the saucepan. Stir in the chocolate and continue stirring until the chocolate is melted and fully incorporated.
  5. Whisk milk mixture until frothy, about 20 seconds.
  6. Prepare the whipped cream by beating the cold cream, vanilla, and sugar with a hand mixture in a small bowl, until stiff peaks form. Keep refrigerated until ready to use, and then add a dollop of whipped cream to each mug, and sprinkle with a few lavender buds! Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: a la mode
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious hot chocolate recipes from A Rented Kitchen (Recipe Links found below!)

Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

muffins

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On this day last year: Gluten-Free Cauliflower Crust Pizza

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I am fortunate enough to be food-allergy free. I recognize that to be a true gift, because this day and age, food allergies are becoming more and more the norm. Thankfully, our society has grown increasingly sensitive to such food allergies, and restaurants and grocery stores are offering more and more items.

I too want to be more sensitive to food allergy concerns, and thus thought it was time I post a gluten free muffin recipe! This recipe was so delicious, I can promise it will not be the last gluten free muffin recipe!

This recipe is the ideal gluten free muffin recipe because it is incredibly moist and soft, unlike many firm and dry gluten free recipes out there. I took these muffins to a potluck and no one was able to recognize the absence of flour. I consider that a success!

If you are someone who is looking for gluten free recipes, I hope you will find this site helpful! In addition to the recipe I have dozens of other gluten free recipe options found under the ‘Gluten Free’ heading on the Recipe page. For example, last year’s Gluten- Free Cauliflower Crust Pizza.

Happy Eating and cooking! Come back and see me!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chocolate hazelnut butter blend*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (squeeze excess water out of the shredded zucchini)
  • ¾ cup gluten free flour mix (you can use a mix of your own choosing, or sub in your favorite gluten free flour alternative. I like oat flour and rice flour, personally)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F, and line two muffin tins with baking cups.
  2. In a medium bowl, using a hand held mixer, beat the butter, eggs, syrup, vanilla, and sea salt together for two minutes.
  3. Add the baking soda and vinegar and beat for an additional 30 seconds. (The vinegar might fizz some!)
  4. Stir in the shredded zucchini and four mix until well blended.
  5. Spoon the batter into the lined muffin tins, and sprinkle the tops with a few mini chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes, testing that a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, before removing.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • If you are following a Paleo diet, you can replace the butter blend with almond butter sweetened with 1 Tablespoon of maple syrup and 1-2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder!
  • Adapted from: Whole Lifestyle Nutrition
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious bread recipes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (Recipe links found below!):

Homemade Chocolate Granola

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Considering I do a vast majority of my shopping in the hippy isle of the grocery store, I should probably like granola more than I do. However, for some reason, I have always been skeptical about granola. There seems to be to much sugar, too much crunch, it’s too dry, or too nutty- I don’t know! Call me high maintenance.

However, in the face of my discomfort with granola, I recalled one of my favorite ladies, Eleanor Roosevelt, encouraging us to ‘do something that scares you everyday.’ While cooking granola definitely does not scare me, it does push me outside of my comfort zone a little by baking and playing with food combinations I might not naturally choose. However, playing in the kitchen always seems like a success to me, so, there I went!

If you know me at all, or have followed this blog in the past, you know that I have a chocolate section on the recipe page, and thus this recipe doesn’t leap TOO far out of my comfort zone. What can I say, baby steps.

The good news is this recipe single-handedly has changed my perspective on granola. I literally had cravings mid-afternoon for a bowl of this delicious granola with vanilla yogurt. Oh my goodness, it was soooo good. Never again do I want to spend too much money on store bought granola. I’m a convert. Homemade granola for the win!

I have actually already looked up the ingredients for a new granola recipe, which goes to show that trying new things and stepping out of one’s comfort zone, really can be a glorious thing.

I hope you like this recipe as much as I did, and I hope you come back and see me!

Happy baking, and even happier eating 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups quick cooking oats
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. Place the oats in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, over high heat, combine the brown sugar, oil, and honey. Bring to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder.
  4. Pour the cocoa mixture over the oats and stir until evenly coated.
  5. Spread the oats in a 9 x 13 inch pan and bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven, turn the oven off, and stir in the chocolate chips.
  7. Place the pan back in the turned off oven (yes, turned off oven!), and allow to sit for 1- 2 hours. (This additional time can help add crispiness to the granola without over baking it!)
  8. Serve with milk, yogurt, or ice cream, and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Granola will keep for several days! Store in an airtight container in your pantry!
  • Gluten free? Use gluten free oats! Vegan? Use dairy free chocolate chips!
  • Source: Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious treats from ‘a rented kitchen’! (Recipe links found below the photos):

The World’s Most Delicious (and EASY!) Chocolate Cake

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No one has ever accused me of being picky when it comes to chocolate- ya, no. That’s never happened. However, despite my all-inclusive love for chocolate, I can still appreciate when a certain chocolate recipe or a dessert is better than another.

In my humble opinion, chocolate cakes often risk being too rich or too dense.  There’s nothing worse than ordering a chocolate cake at a restaurant, and being overwhelmed with it by bite three. As a result of that exact circumstance, society has learned to love the combination of ice cream and cake, so that the ice cream can balance out the rich chocolate flavor.

Well, for those of you out there who aren’t huge chocolate cake fans, or have suffered through an overwhelming chocolate cake experience, hold on, and bake this.

I literally do not have enough words for how delicious this cake is.  The combination of yellow cake mix and chocolate pudding creates a perfect- not too rich- chocolate flavor, that is enhanced by the moisture form the sour cream, and the soft melt of the chocolate chips.

I’m drooling right now, if you were wondering.

As a college student, and as a lady with chocolate cravings (honesty hour), this recipe is sooo dangerous. With only eight ingredients, it takes all of five minutes to prepare this cake, and is not going to break the bank! (Can I get an Amen from the college section?!)

No icing, no hassle. Just stir, bake, eat, repeat. You don’t even need ice cream to compliment this cake, it’s that good all on its own.

Eat up. And share some with me! please.

Love, a rented kitchen

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Ingredients:

  • One (18.25 oz) Pillsbury moist supreme cake mix- classic yellow
  • One (3.9 oz) box instant Jello pudding- chocolate
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup water
  • 4 eggs
  • One (8 oz.) sour cream
  • One bag mini chocolate chips (about 2 cups)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350˚ F. Thoroughly grease and flour a Bundt pan, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix ingredients the dry ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients, and stir thoroughly.  Fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Pour the batter evenly into the bundt pan and bake for one hour.
  4. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes, and then flip.
  5. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar, and serve with ice cream and milk, as desired

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Notes and Tips!:

  • This cake, in my cooking experience, really takes the full hour of baking, maybe a few minutes extra. If the top begins looking too burnt, but the center is still not cooked through, cover with aluminum foil and continue baking, checking regularly.
  • This delicious recipe is a highly prized and coveted recipe from two dear family friends- Margret and Meg Peery. If you ever have the pleasure of knowing them, thank them dearly for this contribution to your life.
  • If you like this recipe, try these other delicious desserts from ‘A Rented Kitchen’!: (Recipe links found below!)