Looking for a special, last-minute way to say “I love you” this Valentine’s Day? Check out my selection of baked goods and other treats on Etsy!
All food bloggers have their obsessions. The lucky ones are obsessed with things like kale, quinoa, and detox smoothies made from a combination of leafy things that should never be placed in a blender together.
What about me? I’m obsessed with donuts, toffee, coconut, salted caramel, dates, coffee, and Top with Cinnamon. So basically, everything that is antithetical to what kale stands for. And today I’m ready to share my obsessions with all of you!
As part of a blogger-hosted Valentine’s Day Cookbook Giveaway Affair, I’m here to a) spread the Top with Cinnamon gospel, b) give you the chance to win your very own copy of this magnificently published cookbook, c) make you wish you could lick some Mini Samoas Sticky Toffee Banoffee Donuts off your screen, and d) introduce you to a group of the loveliest bloggers who are participating this month!
So let’s get started. You’re going to thank me for this, I promise…
Have you met Izy? She’s the fabulous blogger from England who possesses some of the finest photography skills in her hemisphere and creates some damn delicious recipes to boot, tons of which are vegan/healthified/gluten-free. As if these weren’t accomplishments enough, the girl is nineteen years old.
Yes, you read that right: this girl isn’t even two decades along, and she has already turned her food blog into a worldwide phenomenon AND published a freakin’ cookbook. She’s also one of the most hilarious writers in the blogosphere, with a totally down-to-earth sense of humor and humble, self-deprecating, but incredibly engaging set of stories to tell about her fabulous life as a teenage food blogger.
When I was nineteen, the biggest accomplishment I could claim was dragging my sorry behind around and watching reruns of Sailor Moon episodes for 72 hours straight without sleeping. So yeah, I have mad respect for this gal #priorities
That’s why I was so darn thrilled when I learned about this cookbook giveaway series–I love Izy’s recipes and they always turn out, so I knew immediately that I wanted to share something from her new cookbook. I received my copy a few weeks ago and was flipping through the Desserts section when I came across her photo for Sticky Toffee Banoffee Cake.
As it turns out, the timing for these adorable treats couldn’t have been more perfect, because my friends were hosting a banana party that night (yes, apparently it’s a thing) and we were all bringing banana-themed snacks. And thus these bite-sized morsels of banana-y sin were born.
I made a few changes to the original recipe–I used all-purpose flour instead of whole wheat (just because it was what I had on hand), I added shredded coconut and melted chocolate on top, and of course I turned a whole cake into a batch of mini donuts–but otherwise, the recipe is mind-blowingly good as is.
Imagine a moist cake made with banana, sweetened by chunks of dates, infused with a light coffee flavor, and kept incredibly sticky by a toffee caramel, all topped off with that toasted coconut and chocolate drizzle a la Samoas.
Mini Samoas Sticky Toffee Banoffee Donuts.
If that doesn’t sound like a winner, then no amount of therapy is going to save us here.
Now that I’ve shared my love of everything Top with Cinnamon, including these crazy donuts, it’s time for you to enter my giveaway! And the wonderful blog, Food Lust People Love, will be hosting Day 12 of our Valentine’s Day Cookbook Affair giveaway–be sure to check out her Facebook page and blog tomorrow to enter!
This post is part of the 14-day Valentine’s Day Cookbook Affair, hosted by a group of lovely bloggers who want to share their cookbook loves with you. To check out the rest of the participating blogs, visit my Facebook page! My cookbook giveaway is open to all participants 18 years or older with a valid continental U.S. mailing address–giveaway ends March 10, 2015.
For the cake:
- 1 cup pitted dates, chopped
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 2 overripe bananas, peeled
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose or whole-wheat flour
For the caramel:
- 4 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
For the toppings:
- 3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips
For the cake:
- Soak the dates in 1/2 cup boiling water for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a mini donut pan with oil. (Original recipe calls for one deep 8-inch pan.) Set aside.
- Place the dates and soaking water in a food processor and blitz until as smooth as possible. Add the oil, sugar, eggs, yogurt, and bananas, blending until well combined. Blend in the baking soda, salt, and flour until just mixed together.
- Carefully pour the batter into each of the mini donut molds, filling until more than halfway full. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until donuts are baked through. (If you are using an 8-inch pan, simply pour batter into the pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.)
For the caramel:
- Heat sugar with 1/4 cup water in a deep saucepan, stirring until the sugar just dissolves. Continue to heat the mixture, swirling the pan often, but not stirring. Let it caramlize so that the mixture is mostly golden with a few darker areas around the edges of the pan. Add the butter and cream, turn down the heat to low, and stir until a smooth consistency is achieved. Cook the caramel for a further 5 minutes to help it thicken, then immediately use to dunk tops of mini donuts (or pour all over your cake). Sprinkle tops of baked goods with sea salt.
For the toppings:
- Spread coconut on a cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring twice to prevent coconut from burning. Remove from oven once most of the coconut flakes have turned a golden color. Sprinkle on top of donuts or cake.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips at 30-second intervals, stirring vigorously between each interval, until chocolate is melted. Drizzle over donuts or cake.