Fine Fixin's

Flourless Chocolate Almond Cakes

Confession: We love dessert. There you go, I said it. Unfortunately, we also know that when dealing with dessert, moderation is imperative, or at least imperative at times — sometimes you just need some decadence. So while Sarah still claims to have a portion of her stomach specifically reserved for sweets, we’re trying, albeit gingerly, to make some of these sweets a bit healthier. A little less decadent, and a little less sweet.

To kick things off, we made flourless almond cakes for the new year. These little chocolate cakes are made with almond meal and honey (hey, it’s not sugar) and guess what, they’re tasty — especially with ice cream (oops, but we had to, I promise. I overcooked them just a tad, making them dry). They also get some bonus points for being simple to prepare, which I always appreciate with a dessert. If you or someone you know is trying to cut down on sugar for a New Year’s resolution, we’d definitely recommend it. . . just skip the ice cream.


Flourless Chocolate Almond Cakes
Serves 2
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
  1. ½ cup raw almonds (or almond meal)
  2. 3 tablespoons butter
  3. 3 tablespoons honey
  4. ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  5. 1 egg
  6. ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  7. 1 pinch kosher salt
  8. 1 pinch cayenne
  9. 2 5-ounce ramekins
  10. 2 tablespoons sliced almonds (for garnish)
  11. powdered sugar (for garnish)
  12. additional honey (drizzled lightly on top for garnish)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. If using whole almonds, grind the almonds very finely in a food processor until the texture is light and fluffy.
  3. In a glass measuring cup or bowl, add 3 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons honey, and ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips. Microwave for 10 seconds intervals, stirring after each, until fully combined. (Alternatively, use the double boiler on the stove to melt the chocolate and stir in the butter and honey until fully combined.)
  4. In a medium large bowl, beat one egg with a whisk. Then add ½ cup of the almond meal, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, 1 pinch of kosher salt, 1 pinch of cayenne pepper, and the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Butter two 5-ounce ramekins. Pour in the batter, and bake for 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out nearly clean.
Adapted from A Couple Cooks
Adapted from A Couple Cooks
A Sunday Ritual, Featured

60 Second Gooey Chocolate Mug Cake

Editor’s Note: We’re very happy to have one Debbie Carlos breaking onto our very own blog with a fun new cooking series: “A Sunday Ritual.” What follows is the first installment, which we’ve tried and is as good as advertised. Thanks Debbie! Take it away.

60 Second Gooey Chocolate Mug Cake

I have a problem. I suppose its not the most serious problem in the realm of problem-having, but it does eat at me. Being a food enthusiast and lover of cooking, I collect many food magazines, cookbooks, and clip recipes off the internet daily. I have stacks and piles of cookbooks and magazines stuck full of post it notes, marking recipes I will someday make. There are probably as many post it notes as pages in each book, if not more.

I have a folder on my desktop labelled “menu” (which is a weird name for a recipes folder) with recipes I’ve saved off the internet. Looking through it recently, I found that within the menu folder lies another folder named “menu” with even older saved recipes. What? I also always work with two open browser windows. One window of things I’m currently internet-ing and the other is just tab after tab of recipes. I have no idea what I’m thinking sometimes.

I want to change. I want to be better! Its sad to just have these recipes sit there in disuse, so I’ve given myself a project. Every Sunday, I will sit down and dig through my archives and cook something new. I will then present to you, dear reader, the best of what I’ve made. The kind and lovely Sarah and Brian of the blog you are currently reading have given me a platform from which to broadcast my experiments. I am so excited about this exercise and to be a guest blogger on Westervin!!

For the first “A Sunday Ritual” post, I am going to tell you about the quickest cake recipe you will ever come upon. Pulling out the ingredients will take more time than baking this cake, I kid you not. Its a chocolate cake for 1 (or 2, or 3 as this recipe is easily doubled and tripled) baked in a microwave. I’m not one to usually skimp on the cooking process. I am all about the home-made, slow food way of life but this recipe just seemed so compelling and has been on my mind since I saved it. It definitely hits the spot when you’re craving a chocolate-something late at night. So here goes!

60 Second Gooey Chocolate Mug Cake

adapted from the site, The Family Kitchen

Debbie Carlos shows us how to eat 60 Second Gooey Mug Cake

  • 1 egg
  • ¼ Cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • the tiniest splash of vanilla
  • a tiny pinch of salt
  • Whipped cream, vanila ice cream, chocolate chips, mint chocolate chips, chopped nuts (optional toppings)
  1. Crack an egg in a bowl. Whisk in cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt. Mix until smooth and combined.
  2. Pour mixture into a mug and microwave for about 50 seconds until cooked but still gooey inside.
  3. Top with toppings of your choice & Enjoy!

Editor’s Note: this post is part of the series “A Sunday Ritual” by Debbie Carlos.

Fine Fixin's

Fine Fixin’s: Alton Brownies

Alton Brown's brownie recipe

The other night we had a brownie craving, so we thought that we could put a few aging boxes of cocoa powder to use! We really liked how dense and choclately these particular brownies were. They definitely hit the spot. We used a combination of regular Hershey’s cocoa powder and the Dutch processed cocoa powder, since that’s what we had on hand. If you’re in the mood for a real brownie, and not just any pansy, pre-boxed, pre-made brownie, put your stretch pants on and try this variation from Alton Brown.

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Fine Fixin's

Fine Fixin’s: Chocolate Chess Pie

Chocolate Chess Pie

With Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, it certainly seems like pie time out there. Before Sarah and I hunkered down to make our Thanksgiving day apple pie, I wanted to try a classic chess pie. Usually chess pie is a very simple buttermilk pie. This recipe, however, is a bit different. I figured Sarah would appreciate chocolate more than buttermilk, so I found an equally simple recipe for Chocolate Chess Pie. If you are in need of a really simple pie composed of ingredients you may very well have, please get bakin’.

Chocolate Chess Pie

Adapted from Southern Pies by Nancie McDermott
Serves 8

For the crust
1 sleeve chocolate graham crackers
1 stick butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar

For the filling
1 stick butter
1 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate (or 3 tablespoons cocoa powder)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350°.

To make the crust, crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs. (I like to put them in a large ziploc and smash them with a rolling pin. It’s very satisfying.) Add sugar and melted butter and mix until well combined. Push into a 9 inch pie pan to form a thin crust on the bottom and sides. (I also like to save a few bites for myself.) Bake for 8 minutes, remove from oven, and chill until firm and crunchy, about an hour.

Lower oven temperature to 325°.

To make the filling, heat the butter and chocolate in a saucepan over medium until melted and smooth. Remove from the burner and add the sugar, mixing until well combined. Stir in eggs, vanilla, and salt. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for around 45 minutes, until top is puffed and the center is just set. To be honest, I like mine a little on the gooey side so I start checking around 40 minutes just to be safe (however, my mom likes her chess pie totally set and would prefer around 50 minutes. It’s your call here.). I also covered the edges of the crust with foil about half way through to keep it from burning.

Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 – 30 minutes.

via theKitchn

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Awww… you guys <3!

chocolate turkey!

If a blog shouts into the ether, but there’s no one there to read it… does it even matter? No! Which is why we’re so grateful you’re here. Thank you for finding Westervin even remotely interesting. Have a happy Thanksgiving (if you’re into that sort of thing), and let’s hang out again next week.

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