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Island Life. Recipes. Frugal and Sustainable Living.

My Best Island Life

My Best Island Life

Island Life. Recipes. Frugal and Sustainable Living.

Recent Posts

Fresh-Is-Best Platter

Fresh-Is-Best Platter

Is it Monday already? Oh yes, I guess it is. Since there is a slew of tasks for me to do today, I wanted to throw together something easy for the family to graze upon as we go about our duties on this Mostly Vegan […]

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Summertime ‘Sparklers’

Summertime ‘Sparklers’

Aloha, Friends! I just wanted to share a quick and healthy way to celebrate your holiday tomorrow. My inspiration for this one came from one of my favorite places to look for ideas, Pinterest! This adorable idea from ‘This Healthy Table’ is a real crowd […]

Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting and Fresh Raspberries

Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting and Fresh Raspberries

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday, and because summertime is in full-swing, I wanted to do something decadent with berries. Our family doesn’t care much for the store-bought bakery cakes that are thick with waxy frosting or a dull tasting fondant. Eww. No, we like things a little more simple and traditional, like a good tasting chocolate cake topped with fresh fruit.

The inspiration for the cake came from a darling food blog that I have saved on my Pinterest board, ‘Baked Goods’. This cake recipe traditionally makes two 9 inch layers, or, as a twist, you can make one larger size layer with a smaller one on top as I have done with mine.

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I wanted to have something oh-so pretty to look at, but relatively uncomplicated to make, so I picked a simple chocolate buttercream frosting and made a few changes. Many of the chocolate-raspberry themed cakes I found out there have some kind of raspberry preserve or ganache inside the layers of the cake. I actually bought some very tasty, seedless raspberry preserves, but ultimately I decided it would make the cake much too sweet. I’m happy I decided to leave it out, because it came out wonderful just the way it is. This recipe would also taste great with blueberries or blackberries on top instead of raspberries.

Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting and Fresh Raspberries

  • Servings: 12-16
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
  • Print

A delicious, rich cake topped with delicate, tart raspberries.


Ingredients

    For the cake:
  • 2 cups organic flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pint of raspberries (optional)
  • For the buttercream:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk, soy or nut milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, mix together oil, sour cream, water, vinegar, vanilla and eggs.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix together until batter is smooth. Pour batter into thoroughly greased and lightly floured cake pans. The recipe traditionally calls for using two 9 inch pans. (If you choose to use two different sizes, adjust your baking time accordingly. I took out my smaller one about ten minutes earlier.) Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cake completely cool before removing from pans.
  5. While cake is baking, prepare frosting by combining softened butter, cocoa, powdered sugar, milk and sea salt, beating by hand for several minutes, or with a mixer until butter is fluffy. Spread frosting evenly on completely cooled cake (and if you desire, add piping around the bottom of both layers) and garnish with berries.

Roasted ‘Hapa’ Potatoes

Roasted ‘Hapa’ Potatoes

My exposure to any type of potato growing up was very limited to the basic Russet variety, or sweet potatoes covered with some kind of sickening-sweet marshmallow goop. I was so traumatized by the marshmallow potato nightmare of my childhood holidays, that at one time, […]

Golden Veggie Burgers

Golden Veggie Burgers

This is the perfect recipe to kick-off my Mostly Vegan Mondays campaign. These colorful beauties are called “Golden Veggie Burgers” because they’re made with golden beets and turmeric. They not only look vibrant, they also taste fabulous and really pack a nutritious punch. My inspiration started with […]

Calla Lily

Calla Lily

The ornamental Calla Lily takes center stage this Aloha Friday. The species in my yard is called the Zantedeschia aethiopica and it is native to southern Africa. The Calla Lily is the national flower of the British territory of St. Helena and has been a symbol of Irish nationalism since 1926. These flowers are popular among brides who like to use the elegant lilies in their bridal bouquets and wedding décor. Most varieties of lily are white or light yellow in color, but there is also the less common ‘black’ calla lily, which is actually more of a dark purple or burgundy color.

This is such a regal plant, with it’s thick, shiny, green leaves, and slender, snow-white flower. Like so many other things in my yard, it is a lover of rain, and seems to thrive when it’s really wet and rainy out. The photos above wonderfully capture the essence of the relationship between the thriving plant and the thirst quenching rain. While it is important to have plenty of rain, the soil should also be well drained and loose. I find that the ones I have planted on a slope seem to do the best because of the natural drainage flowing down-hill. My lilies are also planted in full or partial sun and need this balance of sun and rain to do well all year long. They are easy to pull apart and re-plant elsewhere because they develop rhizomes and are a ‘clumping’ plant. It is recommended to fertilize regularly, but I have found that mine have never needed fertilization, but perhaps that is because they are planted down slope from my chicken coop.

There are various places to look for growing information about lilies and it all depends upon what zone you are located in as to what tips you should follow. For example, the Black Thumb Gardner has some useful tips and information regarding growing lilies outdoors in a cooler climate, like New York. I encourage finding a variety of lily suitable for your particular growing environment and giving them a try, as mine give me plenty of beautiful flowers for my kitchen table all year long.

 

Zero Waste

Zero Waste

The smallest implication of a zero waste lifestyle is a wonderful thing in itself. It does not have to be an all-or-nothing experience, and any waste reduction, small or great, will encourage a cleaner, sustainable future for all of us. The simple act of trying […]

Eruptive Disruptions

Eruptive Disruptions

Aloha. Initially, I didn’t want to address the situation currently happening on the Big Island, and was a topic I was avoiding like the plague. Mainly because my life is almost entirely consumed by it at the moment and I am literally living and breathing […]

Blue Ginger

Blue Ginger

This Aloha Friday I wanted to feature a colorful beauty that grows very well in partial or full shade in my yard. It is referred to as blue ginger, or Dichorisandra thyrsiflora, and is actually not a true ginger plant, but more similar to a spiderwort or wandering Jew. I was excited to learn this was in the same family, because I have some wandering Jew plants that are doing great, and I had intended to share them on an upcoming Aloha Friday post.

Blue ginger is such a great plant for those low light, moist areas of the yard that don’t require much attention. My environment just so happens to be quite humid, and with plenty of areas in my yard that have shade, this is a perfect match for those spaces that needed a little something extra. The green, waxy leaves are very similar to the leaves on real varieties of ginger, and beautiful purple-bluish flowers crown the top of a long stalk that comes out the top.

If you live in certain places in California or Florida, this may be a great plant to put into your landscape in a low-key, shaded area that will keep the soil moist. I have included some links that I came across in my quick search about blue ginger should you decide to start growing this plant. The first link is from the University of Florida, and the second is a very detailed  assessment of the pros and cons of growing and other useful information, by ‘Louis the Plant Geek‘. Happy Aloha Friday!

The SAK Women’s Rhythm Rain Boot
Wasabi

Wasabi

This Aloha Friday I wanted to feature my newly harvested wasabi plant. It grows exceptionally well in Volcano, and once it starts sprouting keikis (offspring), it is easy to separate into smaller pots and start growing even more. Rumor has it that wasabi is hard […]


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