Chocolate Covered Strawberry Mousse Cakes

There are few things as perfect as a simple chocolate dipped strawberry, and these impressive little entremet cakes transform that classic pairing into a chocolate covered dome of delight, with a luscious strawberry mousse and rich chocolate brownie core. Featuring a cloud-like strawberry mousse and a square of fudgy chocolate brownie, all covered with a […]

The post Chocolate Covered Strawberry Mousse Cakes first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

There are few things as perfect as a simple chocolate dipped strawberry, and these impressive little entremet cakes transform that classic pairing into a chocolate covered dome of delight, with a luscious strawberry mousse and rich chocolate brownie core.

Featuring a cloud-like strawberry mousse and a square of fudgy chocolate brownie, all covered with a glossy chocolate ganache glaze, these little mousse cakes are as stunning as they are delicious. While entremet-style desserts do require a bit of effort and planning, the work is easily manageable when split over a few days.

Three domes covered in ganache, on a white plate, pink background

My blueberry mousse cake recipe is surprisingly popular given its complexity; and I’m giddy with delight every time I’m tagged in a photo by someone who’s made them.

This recipe is a similar entremet-style dessert, but with different components: a rich chocolate brownie instead of the almond sponge, a light strawberry Bavarian mousse (distinctive in its use of egg yolks in the base), and then a chocolate ganache coating instead of the mirror glaze.

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Strawberry Funfetti Ice Cream Cake

The summer fun has just begun! This colorful strawberry funfetti ice cream cake will have you smiling from ear to ear (or mouth to stomach, rather). If happiness could be frozen, sliced and eaten with a fork, it’d probably look something like this: a thick layer of freshly churned strawberry buttermilk ice cream sandwiched between […]

The post Strawberry Funfetti Ice Cream Cake first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

The summer fun has just begun! This colorful strawberry funfetti ice cream cake will have you smiling from ear to ear (or mouth to stomach, rather).

If happiness could be frozen, sliced and eaten with a fork, it’d probably look something like this: a thick layer of freshly churned strawberry buttermilk ice cream sandwiched between moist yellow cake freckled with colorful confetti sprinkles. 

Strawberry Funfetti Ice Cream Cake on gray with pink linen and fresh berries

Strawberry season is just about over here in Tennessee, but we managed to make it out to the fields to pick some before the fragile berries are smothered by the summer heat.

The berries were much smaller this year, so it took us a bit longer to pick a full bucket of them, but boy are they delicious. Tiny and sweet and oh so fragrant, I had to consciously restrain myself from eating every other berry that I picked (I’ve given myself plenty of stomachaches from eating too many strawberries, but I never seem to remember this when I’ve got a bucket of ruby red beauties on my arm.)

Honestly I can think of no better way to spend a long weekend then making all the strawberry things, from ice cream and pie to shortcakes and (of course) jam.

Partially eaten slice of Strawberry Funfetti Ice Cream Cake

This recipe combines two of my favorite things: funfetti cake and fresh strawberry ice cream. It’s bright, fun, and fruity and guaranteed to make you smile.

Serve it topped with freshly whipped cream, ripe local strawberries, and even more rainbow sprinkles for good measure (really, can you ever have too many sprinkles?)

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Roasted Potatoes with Arugula Chimichurri

Golden brown roasted potatoes are tossed with a bright and peppery arugula chimichurri sauce for a fabulously flavorful side dish. No more boring baked potatoes: these little gems are roasted until golden brown and bathed in a tangy, arugula based green sauce that’s very similar to traditional Argentinian chimichurri sauce (just with arugula instead of […]

The post Roasted Potatoes with Arugula Chimichurri first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

Golden brown roasted potatoes are tossed with a bright and peppery arugula chimichurri sauce for a fabulously flavorful side dish.

No more boring baked potatoes: these little gems are roasted until golden brown and bathed in a tangy, arugula based green sauce that’s very similar to traditional Argentinian chimichurri sauce (just with arugula instead of the typical cilantro or parsley).

Shallow bowl filled with roasted potatoes tossed with arugula chimichurri, small baby arugula leaves scattered on top

It seems like every culture around the world has their own green sauce. From Italy’s pesto to North Africa’s chermoula to Argentina’s chimichurri, they all feature a base of primarily green herbs, mixed/chopped/blended into a loose sauce of sorts, usually with ample fresh garlic and a bit of acid, salt and sometimes heat. But the similarities end there: classic Genovese pesto includes pine nuts and cheese, chermoula brings in fragrant spices such as cumin, cayenne, and paprika in addition to tangy lemon juice. Chimichurri is typically cilantro or parsley-based, and notable in its use of red wine vinegar instead of citrus juice.

All these green sauces are ever so versatile, used on everything from meats and marinades to pastas and potatoes, the specific herbs used in each easily swappable for whatever seasonal greenery you have on hand.

In this case, we used a bag of gorgeous locally grown baby arugula from Caney Fork Farms (our CSA). Arugula, while not technically an herb, behaves like one in this recipe, lending a spicy, peppery green flavor to this distinctive green sauce that is most similar to Argentinian chimichurri.

While I’ve made arugula pesto plenty of times before before (I like using pistachios instead of pine nuts and a bit of parmesan and serving it on pasta or pizza), but pesto didn’t seem like the right moniker for this particular concoction, what with its notable lack of cheese and nuts. I ultimately decided it was the most similar to chimichurri with the addition of garlic, pepper flakes and red wine vinegar.

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Toast & Jam Ice Cream

Toast and raspberry jam, now in ice cream form. Or, to be more descriptive, toasted brioche ice cream with a swirl of hibiscus raspberry caramel (I mean, how good does that sound?!) How do you turn your favorite morning toast and jam into a delectable dessert? Start with a sweet custard ice cream base base, […]

The post Toast & Jam Ice Cream first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

Toast and raspberry jam, now in ice cream form. Or, to be more descriptive, toasted brioche ice cream with a swirl of hibiscus raspberry caramel (I mean, how good does that sound?!)

How do you turn your favorite morning toast and jam into a delectable dessert? Start with a sweet custard ice cream base base, infused with actual toasted bread (trust me, it sounds weird but it’s actually amazing), and then swirl with a jammy hibiscus raspberry caramel sauce.

Bowl with stacked scoops of Toast & Jam Ice Cream, with a toast point and frozen raspberries as garnish

My thought process for this recipe was pretty convoluted, over the course of a few weeks I somehow went from a black sesame ice cream to this final toast and jam-inspired flavor. There was a peanut butter iteration in there somewhere too (think fancy PB&J) but ultimately I ended up here, with this toasted brioche ice cream and raspberry caramel ripple.

Much like my Sourdough Ice Cream, the custard base of this unique flavor is infused with actual bread; toasted brioche, to be exact, though you can pretty much do this with any kind of bread (whatever your favorite bread is for toast? Use that).

It’s always surprising to me how much flavor the bread imparts on the cream after a short 30 minute steep. I really didn’t think it would work the first time I tried it, and was simply floored when I snuck a spoonful of the freshly churned ice cream.

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Stuffed Cherry Amaretti Cookies

These soft and chewy, marzipan-like cookies are stuffed with luscious amarena cherries for a sweet surprise. Cherry and almond are a truly lovely flavor combination, which makes the dark amarena cherries the perfect filling for these soft Italian amaretti cookies. Lately I’ve been… well, languishing. As you may very well have noticed by the fact […]

The post Stuffed Cherry Amaretti Cookies first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

These soft and chewy, marzipan-like cookies are stuffed with luscious amarena cherries for a sweet surprise.

Cherry and almond are a truly lovely flavor combination, which makes the dark amarena cherries the perfect filling for these soft Italian amaretti cookies.

Wire rack with rows of amaretti cookies, one cookie cut in half to show the amarena cherry hidden inside.

Lately I’ve been… well, languishing. As you may very well have noticed by the fact that new recipes have been less than abundant around these parts. (Can you believe there was a time I used to post 3 times a week? The past few years I thought I was easing up by doing two. But lately… well, if I can manage one a week that’s an achievement. 2 or 3  a month is becoming the new normal.)

It’s not that I am not inspired. I’ve actually got dozens of ideas for new recipes in my draft calendar, just no actual motivation to put down my latest book and make anything.

After yet another recipe failure quashed my momentum and vanquished my motivation, leaving me without anything to post for another week… I knew I needed something quick and straightforward that would work on the first try, one that didn’t need hours of prep or planning or fancy ingredients.

Scattered cookies on a white background, one cut in half to show the cherry filling.

Is it a surprise that I ended up making another variety of my favorite cookie: the amaretti (they’re also one of your favorites too, made clear by the fact that at least a few of the flavors typically hovering the top 10 at any given time). This time with a cherry stuffed inside.

Tell me though… at what point am I legally required to rename this blog Love & Amaretti? When the amaretti recipes outnumber the olive oil ones? Because at this point I’ve done flavored and swirled and stuffed. What’s next, amaretti sandwiched or thumbprinted or super-sized and layered into a cake? (Actually, I kind of love that idea.)

If keeping up with a regular posting schedule means unlimited variations of amaretti and coffee cake in lieu of brand new recipes, I’m cool with that. Whatever it takes to get me out of this funk and back into the swing of things.

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Quick Pickled Red Onions

Tart, tangy, and fantastically fuchsia, these pickled red onions are quick and easy and stored in the fridge, no canning required! Pickled red onions are the perfect garnish for just about anything, from tacos to burgers to grilled chicken and more. They add bright flavor and a kick of acid to any dish they embellish. […]

The post Quick Pickled Red Onions first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

Tart, tangy, and fantastically fuchsia, these pickled red onions are quick and easy and stored in the fridge, no canning required!

Pickled red onions are the perfect garnish for just about anything, from tacos to burgers to grilled chicken and more. They add bright flavor and a kick of acid to any dish they embellish.

Two jars of pickled red onions in glass jars on a marble background

Technically, I’ve posted quick pickled red onion recipes before, but always as a part of another recipe (like these pulled pork tacos or these loaded nachos).

But the thing is, this recipe is so easy and so versatile, it really deserves a post of its own.

Two lidded glass mason jars filled with Quick Pickled Red Onions

This is a very basic recipe, with little more than salt, sugar, peppercorns and vinegar.

Consider this a foundation for flavor, if you will. It’s perfect as is, but if you’re feeling frisky can mix it up with some fresh garlic cloves, maybe a sliced red chili or pepper flakes for a bit of spice, mustard seeds or some fresh herbs, even. Or maybe add a spoonful of gochujang for a kimchi-like twist.

You can also mix and match vinegars here. I like to use half white vinegar and half cider vinegar, but red wine vinegar would be lovely as would a little bit of champagne, rice vinegar or even a small splash of balsamic (though you would muddy the gorgeous garnet hue of the onions with that last one.)

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Milk Chocolate & Peanut Butter Ganache Brownies

Chocolate and peanut butter lovers: delight! This one’s for you, with a rich milk chocolate brownie topped with layers of creamy peanut butter frosting and a luxurious chocolate ganache. Given the choice between chocolate cake or brownies, I’ll choose the brownie every time, especially when it’s loaded and layered with more chocolate and sweet and […]

The post Milk Chocolate & Peanut Butter Ganache Brownies first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

Chocolate and peanut butter lovers: delight! This one’s for you, with a rich milk chocolate brownie topped with layers of creamy peanut butter frosting and a luxurious chocolate ganache.

Given the choice between chocolate cake or brownies, I’ll choose the brownie every time, especially when it’s loaded and layered with more chocolate and sweet and salty peanut butter like this one.

Sliced peanut butter ganache brownies on parchment, bowl of peanut butter on the side

I recently had the urge to re-make, re-test, and re-shoot my old Cream Egg brownie recipe from way back in 2012. It’s a great recipe that always sees a little bit of a boost this time of year, but the photos don’t really do it justice. They’re not horrible (I had almost 5 years of experience at that point, if you can believe it… man I’ve been doing this blogging thing for way longer than I realized), but they are definitely not quite the same caliber of images I’m able to capture now. I also wanted to play with the ratios of brownie-filling-topping, and explore swapping the milk chocolate topping with a silky smooth milk chocolate ganache (basically, I can’t leave well enough alone).

A combination of factors, including crummy light and less-than-clean cuts (as a result of my impatience to get it done undoubtedly) failed to please my perfectionist self, and I didn’t end up reshooting the recipe after all. But that’s not to say we didn’t enjoy the spoils of the endeavor nonetheless. As Taylor was shoving the results of my test batch into his mouth, he remarked that his idea of a perfect brownie would be that same fudgy brownie base, a layer of sweet and salty peanut butter in place of the fondant, and a rich ganache topping.

So I made it happen.

Stack of 3 Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache Brownies, top one with a bite out of it

The peanut butter layer turned out a bit more buttercream-y than I envisioned (I was shooting for something Reese’s like), but we both decided that it was quite lovely, light and fluffy and perfectly peanut buttery. The hint of salt, in both the brownie layer and the peanut butter layer, cuts the richness of the chocolate beautifully and also amplifies the flavors.

The brownie itself is dense and fudgy (just how I like them), even more so if you let it chill overnight (as hard as that may be, trust me when I say you’ll get much cleaner looking cuts if you wait until the next day).

I used a mix of chocolates, both dark and milk chocolate in both the brownie and the ganache, since, while I love me an ultra-dark chocolate brownie, I couldn’t ignore the fact that milk chocolate pairs so well with peanut butter. I wanted the best of both worlds.

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Monstera Cake Roll with Pandan Whipped Cream & Kaya

Hello, springtime! This springy, spongy, stenciled cake roll is filled with a layer of rich kaya (coconut jam) and fluffy pandan whipped cream. If your piping skills aren’t up to snuff, stencils make for gorgeous prints and patterns with minimal effort… like screen printing, but with cake batter. This monstera leaf design is achieved with […]

The post Monstera Cake Roll with Pandan Whipped Cream & Kaya first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

Hello, springtime! This springy, spongy, stenciled cake roll is filled with a layer of rich kaya (coconut jam) and fluffy pandan whipped cream.

If your piping skills aren’t up to snuff, stencils make for gorgeous prints and patterns with minimal effort… like screen printing, but with cake batter. This monstera leaf design is achieved with 3 different colors of green batter for a water-color like effect, on a pale pink background that’s perfectly on trend.

Pink cake roll with stenciled monstera leaf design, sliced to show the spiral of green pandan whipped cream filling

This recipe is the product of months of dreaming and weeks of testing. It’s something I’ve been planning for quite a long time (I actually bought the monstera stencil before the wood-grain stencil from my holiday cake roll), but ended up waiting until spring when the design would better match the weather.

The idea for the design popped into my brain and has remained pretty much unchanged (and the fact that the final result matches my vision so closely… well, I’m pleased as punch).

But that still left me with the question of… what do I fill it with?

I knew I wanted something green, to match the monstera leaf design. And I also wanted something a bit different than my usual green-go-to’s (aka matcha and pistachio). The perfect solution came in the form of Pandan: a grass-like leaf native to Southeast Asia which is often used in flavoring sweets and desserts.

I also added a thin layer of Kaya, a coconut-egg jam popular in Southeast Asia (especially Malaysia and Singapore), to give it an extra kick of flavor and sweetness and again, to make it a little bit different from my previous cake roll recipes. The punch of coconut is a perfect pairing for the subtle vanilla notes of the pandan. I simply adore this combination and couldn’t be more delighted with how the final product turned out (although, I’d maybe be slightly more delighted if it didn’t take me 5 rolls to get it just right…)

Two slices of Monstera Stenciled Roll Cake on rectangular plate

As is the case with this recipe, I am often inspired by Asian ingredients, flavors, and techniques, and I try my best to show my appreciation for the origins and cultural histories of these amazing and diverse foods. I truly believe we can all enjoy these unique recipes and ingredients, while still appreciating the cultures from which they hail and without laying claim to them as our own (there is a fine line between appropriation and appreciation, and I try very much to fall under the later with my recipes).

I simply didn’t feel comfortable posting a recipe like this one, inspired by Japanese techniques and Southeast Asian flavors, without addressing the increasing violence and hateful rhetoric directed towards Asian Americans in this country. Sadly, it is nothing new: Asian-Americans have been discriminated against in this country since before it was a country, even. This Twitter thread is rather eye-opening; did you learn about any of this in history class? Because I sure didn’t.

Talk is good and all (the more we can create awareness about what’s happening, the better), but I’m committed to putting my money where my mouth is, as they say. So I’ve committed to donating 100% of the ad revenue from this post to the AAPI Community Fund, which aims to address the urgent issues that face the AAPI community as well as broader, systemic problems through grants issued to trusted AAPI organizations working to rectify the racial inequalities in our society.

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Loaded Smoked Chicken Nachos

When the nacho craving hits, nothing satisfies quite like a mountain of hot and melty nachos. Our version is topped with savory smoked chicken and a creamy cheese sauce so flavorful you’ll be tempted to eat it by the spoonful. Way beyond your basic ballpark nachos, these loaded smoked chicken nachos are topped with all […]

The post Loaded Smoked Chicken Nachos first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

When the nacho craving hits, nothing satisfies quite like a mountain of hot and melty nachos. Our version is topped with savory smoked chicken and a creamy cheese sauce so flavorful you’ll be tempted to eat it by the spoonful.

Way beyond your basic ballpark nachos, these loaded smoked chicken nachos are topped with all the good stuff including pickled jalapeños and pickled red onions (pickles are the secret to next-level nachos), plus olives, fresh radishes and micro cilantro.

Overhead, sheet pan of Loaded Smoked Chicken Nachos with radishes, micro cilantro on a turquoise background

Ready for a little nacho history?

What we think of as nachos here in the US, a heaping mound of crispy tortilla chips drenched in globs of plasticky orange cheese sauce, looks nothing like the original nacho which originated in Northern Mexico in the 1940s. Invented by Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya as a simple and satisfying snack, the original nacho featured simple triangles of fried corn tortillas topped with melted shredded cheese and pickled jalapeño.

Heck, if I created such a brilliant snack I’d name it after myself too.

The “Nacho Special” eventually made it across the border to Texas in the 1970s, where it started to evolve into the ballpark snack we know today.

Closeup, Loaded Smoked Chicken Nachos topped with sour cream, cilantro, radishes and pickled onions

This recipe takes that original idea of chip, cheese, and pickled jalapeño (a perfect combination if there ever was one) and loads it up with even more goodness, including smokey shredded chicken, pickled red onions, black olives, sour cream and cilantro.

I mean, I’d argue that these nachos are less snack and more meal (and indeed, we thoroughly enjoyed a pan of them between the two of us for dinner).

The inspiration for this particular iteration of nachos comes from a Nashville bar called Bastion. Let me just say, their nachos are phenomenal, and I’ve driven across town more than once just to fulfill a craving.

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Matcha Pistachio Shortbread

Doubling down on all things green with these matcha and pistachio shortbread cookie bars. A buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture and a crunchy granulated sugar topping will have you clamoring for more. This flavorful twist on a classic butter shortbread is a matcha made in heaven, combining two green ingredients in one brightly colored cookie that has […]

The post Matcha Pistachio Shortbread first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

Doubling down on all things green with these matcha and pistachio shortbread cookie bars. A buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture and a crunchy granulated sugar topping will have you clamoring for more.

This flavorful twist on a classic butter shortbread is a matcha made in heaven, combining two green ingredients in one brightly colored cookie that has a unique flavor that’s all its own.

Fingers of Matcha Pistachio Shortbread on a ceramic plate with a mug of matcha and pistachios scattered around

So you know those sound illusions where you can trick your brain into hearing a completely different word depending on what you’re focusing on? (Yanny/Laurel is the one example that went viral not too long ago).

Well, this recipe is sort of like that, with a combination of matcha and pistachio (what would you call that… Mastachio? Pistacha?)

Take a bite and think matcha, and you’ll taste bright and grassy matcha.

Think about pistachio and you’ll definitely taste the nuttiness.

Think about nothing specific and you’ll just taste pure deliciousness, sweet and salty and just plain lovely.

Geometric arrangement of rectangular cut cookies, one cookie broken in half to show texture

This is a more traditional shortbread than my previous shortbread recipes: the most notable difference being the lack of egg here. While the egg adds stability for sure, it’s definitely not a traditional shortbread and results in a texture more like a sugar cookie. This eggless shortbread has a ‘shorter’ texture, short being the moniker used to describe that crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth characteristic that’s so unique to shortbread.

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