I've been in Goleta, CA near Santa Barbara for the past week installing a mosaic walkway for Ryan's sister and her beau at their house. It's gorgeous here, just up the road from a butterfly sanctuary, meadow, and a bluffy, beautiful beach. Look up and you'll be sure to spot a flock of pelicans in flight. Look down so that you don't step on sand fleas galore, or the occasional stranded jellyfish.
I know all this because after a week of working very hard, I managed to finally get down to the beach...a much needed recharge to body and mind.
Tonight is our last night before heading home, and the mosaic is done! I am so happy that it is finished, and love the way it turned out. As usual, I underestimated the amount of work that it would be and ended up spending over 100 hours working on it, but it was worth it, as now their house looks like it is wearing a diamond ring. I have yet to name this mosaic, but it is inspired by the ocean meets mountain wonderland that is this part of the world. It is late in the afternoon as I shoot these pictures for you, and the sun is shining brightly on the entire mosaic. In the morning, the lighting will be ideal for the official portfolio shoot...this is just a sneak preview.
One thing I have been taking the time to do while here is cook and bake. I have been reading my way through the La Tartine Gourmande cookbook and it is incredible. She has brilliant recipes and lovely ideas. I highly reccomend that you get yourself a copy of this book (I know I will, as the copy I have now is borrowed from a friend). I was inspired by her savory muffins last week, and I made the most incredible quinoa and lemon pancakes this morning that are worth the book in themselves. As she cooks with a decidedly French flair (being French), I have been dreaming of souffles and quiches, fresh salads and rustic flavorful soups.
These cupcakes are inspired by a recipe in her book. Of course, I had leftover almond pulp to deal with. And I used frozen organic raspberries instead of fresh, expensive ones. If you want a fluffier cake, add 1/2 cup of GF flour and a teaspoon of baking powder.
Thanks Béatrice, for your amazing ideas!
chocolate raspberry cupcakes
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 7 TBS coconut oil
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 2 cups raspberries
- slivered almonds
- brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil muffin tins or 9 inch cake pan. If you are using a cake pan. line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.
In a double boiler, melt the coconut oil with the chocolate chips. With a whisk mixer beat the eggs, sugar and salt until foamy and doubled in size. Add the almond pulp and cocoa powder and mix. Then add the melted chips and oil and mix until combined. Add 1 1/2 cups of raspberries and stir to combine. Scoop into oiled muffin tins or cups, filling all the way. Place 3-4 raspberries on each muffin, then sprinkle with slivered almonds and brown sugar. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until they are firm to the touch and a knife comes out clean. Allow to cool before removing them from the tins.