It has been four years since I took that first underexposed photograph and announced the world I was a food blogger. Since, I have gotten married, made a home of this wonderful City, taught twenty-something architecture students what I think buildings can do, seen the Pacific coast, traveled back to Italy and Brazil, ridden a helicopter, and dined inside the restaurants I designed. Life as I knew it back then is completely different, but this has held it all together. Through every single episode, this ritual I crafted for myself has kept me as balanced as I will ever be.
I discovered that white food is the hardest to photograph and that there is only about two hours a day in which I can take good shot using the natural light that peeks through my kitchen window. I learned that blogging while on the road with a tiny little pot and a few essentials can make for the most beautiful posts, and that the simplest of recipes are always your favorites. But most importantly, I realized that persistence is the key to success.
Week by week, I have been recording my musings in the kitchen. I have cared for every post with love, wishing I could take a peek through your monitor as you cook and devour every Tasty Plan recipe (okay, maybe that is a bit creepy!). While there have been weeks in which I cannot think of coming up with a new recipe, I push through. I have to hold myself accountable for the success of this blog. I have to set goals and schedules I can hold. It is not about the followers, or learning how to shoot photography, it is about carrying a vision through and owning it, no matter how silly some people might think that kind of thing is.
Work hard. Work through it. Don’t give up.
To celebrate Tasty Plan’s fourth birthday I came up with an awesome recipe, you will fall in love with. Inspired by Green Kitchen Stories Flourless Chocolate cake, this Flourless Pistachio & Date Cake is made using all natural, un-processed ingredients. Similar to traditional flourless cakes, the eggs are divided, and the whites whipped into hard peaks. These are then folded into a rich, aromatic batter of dates, almonds, and pistachios. Orange zest and almond extract perfume every bite, making the combination of flavors feel exotic and decadent. Once cooked, the cake is drenched in a honey-almond glaze moistens the cake through. Every bite is sweet and warm, rich and decadent, a treat worth rewarding yourself with. You worked hard to get here, you earned it.
Flourless Pistachio & Date Cake
Cook time 1 ½ hours
For the cake:
- 1 cup shelled pistachios
- 1 cup almond flour
- 25 medjool dates, pitted
- 5 eggs, separated
- juice and zest of one orange
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- ½ tsp. baking soda
For the glaze:
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- ¼ cup shelled pistachios
- few small mint leaves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut parchment paper into a 10” diameter round piece. Add about a teaspoon of coconut oil onto pan to and evenly distribute using a paper or kitchen towel. Place parchment into baking sheet and set aside.
Chopped shelled pistachios. Place almond flour, pitted medjool dates, eggs, juice and zest of one orange, and coconut oil. Pulse until everything comes together. Place egg whites in a stand mixer with the whip attachment. Whip until hard peaks form.
Fold batter, chopped pistachios, and baking soda into egg whites using a rubber spatula. When evenly distributed, transfer into baking sheet.
Bake for 50 minutes.
Cake is ready when firm and golden on top. To test, insert a toothpick, or a knife, into the center of the cake If it comes out clean, the cake is done! Otherwise bake for five minutes at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.
To prepare glaze, place 1/3 of a cup of honey and a 1/3 of a cup of water in a small pot. Add a teaspoon of almond extract. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and add chopped pistachios. Pour glaze over cake, evenly distributing pistachios. Add a couple mint leaves over, and serve (tastes great with vanilla ice cream or coconut whipped cream!).