Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake

The holidays can be stressful. There’s finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list, hosting family functions, attending all those social events you’ve been invited to, finding time to wrap all the gifts that you bought, decorating the house, setting up the tree, etc. It can be A LOT.

So today we’re bringing you a dessert that will have everyone at the table coming back for more, but will keep your time investment to a minimum without sacrificing any flavour.

No rolling cookie dough, no rolling pastry, no multiple batches of cookies to bake- just a couple of bowls, a bundt pan, some time in the oven, and a little love. Can we get an amen? There is definitely a time and a place for those more fiddly holiday specialties. They are usually much loved and time honoured in their yearly presence. We can’t forget about them, but we do want to have some other options for last minute guests, maybe an after Christmas party, when you just want to bring something special that still has lots of holiday flair and pomp.

This bundt cake is sure to make everyone happy. It’s got lots of chocolate, peppermint flavouring, and the slightest hint of coffee so that if you didn’t know that it was there you might not notice it. It makes it the perfect cake for all-ages and events.

The cake gets its rich chocolate flavour from Dutch-processed cocoa and the moisture from sour cream and butter. Instant coffee and peppermint extract give it that quintessential peppermint mocha flavour.

We topped ours off with what were hoping to be a white chocolate glaze. What we learned though, is that white chocolate does not behave the same way as dark chocolate does when you pour heavy cream over it. It still tastes nice, but definitely does not have the same thickness or consistency. Feel free to attempt our white chocolate version, or stick with the original dark chocolate. You can find a link to the original here.

This is sure to be a crowd pleaser, and a delicious addition to any holiday gathering!

Go bake.

Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup (230 g) salted butter

1/3 cup (27 g) Dutch-processed cocoa

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup water

2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour

1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar

4 tablespoons instant coffee

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:

225 g white chocolate chips (1 standard package)

1 1/2 tablespoons corn syrup

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Sprinkles, crushed candy canes, etc. for decoratating

Directions:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10 or 12-cup Bundt pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
  2. In a small pot, combine the butter, cocoa powder, salt, and water and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until melted and combined. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, instant coffee, and baking soda. Add half of the melted butter mixture and whisk until completely blended. The mixture will be thick. Add the remaining butter mixture and whisk until combined. Add the eggs and whisk until completely blended. Whisk in the sour cream, peppermint, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes before inverting onto a wire cooling racks and letting cool completely.
  5. While the cake is cooling, make the chocolate glaze. Place the chocolate chips and corn syrup in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine the heavy cream and sugar in a small pot and place over medium heat. Stir until the cream is hot and the sugar is dissolved. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk until smooth.
  6. Drizzle the glaze over the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides (If you think it’s a bit thin, let it rest for a couple of minutes in the fridge, then stir, and give it another go). Sprinkle with the decoration of your choice. Enjoy!

Inspired by this recipe.

Small Business Tax Changes, Site C, and Alabama!

December 15th, 2017

This month has been an interesting month, to say the least!

We have major issues happening in the states along with a few game changing situations worth speaking about here at home in Canada! Hats off to an incredibly historic win for the Democrats in the state of Alabama – Poor Roy Moore… at least he can look on the bright side – He’ll be able to deal with his pedophile allegations and the many other outdated views he’s amassed over his lifetime!

Bill Morneau – Small Business Tax Changes

Bill Morneau, Canada’s Federal Finance Minister, will be unveiling his revised tax plan for small businesses shortly before the holiday season! Oh, and the effects of his plan will be retroactive to the upcoming 2018 year, despite little-to-no public consultation on his new proposal. Seems a bit like foie gras, if you ask us – no one wants this new plan shoved down their throats! At any rate, it’ll be great to watch question period when everyone reconvenes in January. Put your hard hat on Morneau, because those questions are going to be flying at you from all angles! … Oh wait… you’ll have your deflective dodge cape on – You’ll be fine, you can always answer the opposition’s questions with another question or talk about how Canadians want whatever you think they may want at the time… Sorry, you don’t speak for the small businesses here in Canada – just sayin’.

John Horgan – Site C Dam Project

And for the most interesting piece of news (happening closest to home in beautiful B.C.), we have our NDP Premier, John Horgan, who’s decided to move forward with the Site C Dam project despite the fact that those who voted NDP, voted for him because he campaigned hard against the project. Yikes – this mudslide is going to be the thing that takes out the NDP in the next election, great job, Horgan… we knew big money and politics would get you too! You can come down off your high horse now and join the rest of the lying politicians.

Check out the Premier’s address to British Columbians below:

Site C and its short-term and long-term impacts for B.C.

Well, we know that the project will create jobs and financially help some First Nations communities, such as the North Indian Band in Northern B.C. (CBC Article found here). We also know that it’ll create enough hydro power to supply the province both over the short- and long- term. We know that this issue is incredibly controversial for the many First Nations bands here in B.C., and we know that the province and B.C. Hydro have committed to utilizing a workforce that will be made up of First Nations men and women to construct the dam and maintain it once it’s built. These are all things that are important, but not the only things that we should be considering.

The NDP’s platform for the Site C Dam project was to stop it in its tracks, send the information off to the Utilities Commission, and get a thorough analysis on its anticipated environmental impacts. The NDP and those who voted NDP were largely against the project, as it infringed on First Nations’ treaty rights and was anticipated to be an ecological disaster for the region and beyond.

The review and and a few issues facing Site C

Site C was reviewed nearly 20 years ago by B.C. and the B.C. Utilities Commission and at that time it was determined to be a no go. It was at this time that the Board saw far more drawbacks than positives for going ahead with Site C. Now, 20 years later, we’re technologically more advanced in wind, solar, and geothermal alternatives, so there is no need to move forward with such a risky endeavor.

Historically, dams of this size have produced incredible ecological issues and have been over budget every time. The project is already slated to go well over budget and has already cost British Columbians nearly $4 billion. The little foundation that they have created for the dam already has structural issues. The ground that the dam is being constructed on is made up of shale, clay, and other sedimentary rock not conducive to hold this monstrous structure. This project is risky at best and flawed and dangerous at worst.

While the job creation and excess power generated by this project may seem important now, over the long term, the dam could have catastrophic impacts on ecological systems and steer the advancement of our alternative energy programs back to hydro-electric energy and away from more progressive forms of energy that have proven to be cleaner, less environmentally cumbersome, and more appropriate given B.C’s complex landscape.

 

Check out our previous post here.

Sparkling Gingerbread Pear Muffins

We are definitely feeling a desire to bake everything holiday-inspired these days! Give us gingerbread, sugar cookies, and all things egg nog! Have you started any holiday baking yet?

In particular, we’ve been drawn to things ginger and molasses inspired. Check here for a delicious example of how amazing this combination can be! When we came across a recipe for gingerbread muffins we knew that we had to give it a try, with our own spin on it of course!

While this recipe has ½ cup of molasses in it, these muffins do not come out tasting bitter or overly of molasses. We added some crystallized ginger to the recipe as well, because well, if you can add ginger twice it is always better than adding it once.

The pears add a lovely touch of sweetness and offset the gingerbread flavours perfectly. We used an Anjou pear but you could really use any variety. We also didn’t peel it! When you need muffins, you need them stat, and in those times there is no time for niceties like peeling. If you’re serving them to company you might consider it, but really, these are just as good with the peel on!

These muffins would make a fantastic addition to a holiday plate of breakfast goodies or as a sweet addition to a holiday brunch spread. They’re a fun twist on a traditional recipe, and one that we will absolutely be making again!

Go bake.

Sparkling Gingerbread Pear Muffins

Ingredients:

1/4 cup canola oil

3/4 cup (178 g) plain yogurt (ours was 3%)

1/2 cup whole milk (or 2%, non-fat, almond, etc.)

1/2 cup (114 g) coconut sugar (or sub light brown sugar)

1/2 cup fancy molasses

1 large egg

2 1/ 2 cups (313 g) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 pear, finely diced

1/2 cup crystallized ginger, finely diced

Turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top

Directions:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a muffin tin with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, milk, coconut sugar, molasses, and egg. Let rest 5 minutes for the coconut sugar to dissolve slightly. Add the oil, and stir to incorporate.
  3. In a separae medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and cloves.
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until 3/4 incorporated. Add the chopped pear and crystallized ginger and mix until just combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups, then sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar. Bake the muffins for 16-18 minutes, until the tops are dry to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire wrack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Inspired by this recipe.