A Slice of Joy

Simple cakes are beautiful.

For my sister’s birthday earlier this week, I wanted to make an elegant dessert without any frills or too much frosting. I had my mind set on an indulgent slice of cake with a dollop of whipped cream and freshly sliced fruit–a lovely treat with just the essentials.

Make this: A Slice of Joy

I think it’s beautiful in a relaxed way, perfect for a loved one’s birthday!

Essential Birthday Cake
(makes 4 servings)

Active prep time: 1 hour
Wait time: Overnight

What you’ll need:

  • Some cake // I halved this recipe from Hampton Creek. Just Mayo makes a beautifully moist and rich chocolate cake!
  • Something creamy // Oh She Glows has a SPLENDID tutorial for an amazing coconut whipped cream.
  • Caramel, for drizzling // Make your own or buy some from Whole Foods! I used Hey Boo’s coconut caramel to save time. This part is optional–I just wanted to have something extra special for my sister’s birthday!
  • Fresh fruit // I used strawberries!

Method:

  1. On the night before // Bake the cake, and let it cool overnight, covered with moist paper towels. Chill a can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge.
  2. The next day // Make the coconut whipped cream. Serve cake slices with a spoonful of coconut whipped cream, fresh fruit, and a drizzle of coconut caramel.

Simple Birthday Breakfast
Enjoy!! My sister loved it with her birthday brunch! 🙂 I also made strawberry pasta this week…recipe coming soon!

Lavender Hot Chocolate + Coconut Whip

Lavender Hot Chocolate I am a fan of all things lavender, especially lavender lemonade. I’ve been dying to try lavender hot chocolate. I saw a recipe for it on à la mode’s blog a while back, and it was simply gorgeous. Truly inspiring. I had to veganize it. While my photos may not be as amazing as his, I think the hot chocolate tasted divine, especially with this genius coconut whipped cream from Oh She Glows.
Decadent Coconut Whipped Cream

My friend just pointed out to me that this looks like the moon and stars! Not my intention, but I like it!

This drink is cozy and elegant—my kind of Valentine’s Day treat! I live for the joys of relaxation and authentic simplicity, no superfluous roses or overpriced dinners here, thank you.

My friend told me a rose hot chocolate might be more suited to tomorrow’s holiday, but I’m just so obsessed with lavender. It’s done.

Delicious Lavender Hot ChocolateThis recipe makes enough to serve two, so you can share it with your sweetheart for a charming end to your evening. If you’re single and have a 20 oz mug, then it serves one. More hot chocolate for me! ^.^

Food-saving note: You really only need a couple dollops of coconut whipped cream, so you’ll have coconut milk leftover–I’m going to use my leftover coconut milk to make this easy caramel sauce from Oh, Ladycakes!

Vegan Lavender Hot Chocolate
inspired by à la mode
(makes 2 normal servings, or 1 generous serving)

Total time: 15 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups nondairy milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1/2 t dried lavender buds (available at Whole Foods or any natural grocery store)
  • 3 oz dark chocolate, chopped uniformly (use at least 70% cacao—I used Theo’s brand, available at Kroger or Whole Foods)
  • 1/6 cup pure maple syrup (or to your taste)
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • coconut whipped cream, for serving (optional, but it gives the BEST creamy texture–be sure to chill several hours beforehand. You can get the canned coconut milk from Kroger or the Asian market.)

Method:

  1. In a saucepan, heat the nondairy milk and lavender buds over medium heat. Whisk occasionally and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and let the lavender steep for about 5 minutes.
  3. Strain the lavender and return the milk to the saucepan, on low to medium heat. Add the chocolate, maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt. Whisk until the chocolate is melted, and everything is incorporated and frothy. Remove from heat.
  4. Pour into mugs and serve with dollops of coconut whipped cream. Mix it up to incorporate the creaminess throughout the whole drink.

Gorgeous Lavender Hot Chocolate

Mmm…it looks like a galaxy and tastes like a combination of two of my favorite things—Earl Grey lattes and chocolate. It’s perfect!

Next time, I’m going to try making this with Dream Nondairy’s creamy sweet chocolate bar. I hope you all have a lovely Valentine’s Day, whether you are celebrating with someone special or your awesome self!

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day? Have any other lavender-related ideas? If you try the recipe, please let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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