Random recipe: Vegan Dark Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

We tried it. Being vegan. We could not do it. While I could probably give up meat, it was impossible to give up cheese and eggs. I love both way too much, and the fake vegan version of cheese just does not compare. I am my father’s daughter. My dad was all about cheese (even if he probably at the time was not “cultured” in his cheese knowledge — no pun intended). With that all in mind, I love finding recipes, especially desserts that have the core of the ingredients inclusive of coconut milk and creme because it is so much better for you. This recipe is vegan and almost gluten-free, (if you can find a substitute for the flour). Maybe I will try to recreate into a gluten-free version. These cupcakes were good, and super moist (ugh I hate that word, but it is true). The frosting was not that sweet which is just the way I like it.

Vegan Dark Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes [Original recipe from Love & Olive Oil]

Yield: 1 dozen
Total Time: 1 hour

Cupcakes:
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil (softened)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted (we used dark chocolate cocoa powder)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Frosting:
12 ounces coconut cream, chilled overnight*
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
  2. Whisk together the coconut milk, sugar, and coconut oil until incorporated. It you are making it in the summer you might need to slightly warm the coconut oil (depending on where you live). Since it is warm here, no need to do so as my coconut oil is not solid right now. Stir in vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Pour the coconut milk mixture in the middle of the dry ingredients. Stir until dry ingredients are just incorporated (do not overmix).
  4. Spoon into liners, filling each with a scant 1/4 cup of batter (cups should be no more than 2/3 full). Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
  5. For whipped coconut cream, spoon solid coconut out of can, discarding any remaining liquid in the bottom (or reserve for another use). Place in a chilled mixing bowl (keeping it cold is key here!) and beat on high-speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth and holds soft peaks. It won’t firm up quite like whipped cream. Return to refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes to firm up slightly.
  6. Frost cupcakes with a thin layer of coconut cream. It’s pretty lose, so it won’t hold huge swirls like buttercream. Dollop a bit of frosting on top of the cupcake, then dip top in a bowl of shredded coconut. The coconut will help hold the frosting in place.
  7. Cupcakes are best enjoyed the day they are made, but can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 1 to 2 days.

Note: We did not read early enough that the coconut cream needs to be chilled overnight. So we made the cupcakes at night and finished the frosting the next morning. Breakfast anyone?

*You can also use full fat coconut milk but will need twice as much. Refrigerate at least 24 hours until thoroughly chilled. When you open the can, spoon off the solid layer of coconut at the top; this is what you will use to make the frosting. Any liquid at the bottom of the can can be discarded or reserved for another use. Note that if you use full-fat coconut milk instead of coconut cream, you may need 2 cans to get enough cream for the frosting.

Random Recipe: Black Bean Avocado Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownies

Some of the oddest mixture of ingredients I have seen in a long time. Who ever thought that black beans and avocado could be put in brownies? I grew up with the cheapest brownie mix possible (do you remember Aldi?) I am always an advocate for a different kind of recipe. One that has little to no white sugar (this one does not fit that bill as it has dark brown sugar) but that also uses ingredients that are good for you, but you might not think about them going into a dessert. Chris made them last night, and they are not bad. His only complaint was that he cooked them too long. The recipe says to bake for 25-35 minutes, and he baked them for 25 minutes, and he felt they were too cakey and he should have baked for 20 minutes, so beware.

Only caveat: they are dark, almost black brownies. Most likely the black beans. Makes for an interesting conversation.

Black Bean Avocado Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownies {gluten-free & low-fat}

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 – 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 of a large extra ripe avocado
  • 1 teaspoon coconut or olive oil
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (important to use a VERY good quality powder!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips of choice, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8×8 inch baking pan.
  2. Place all ingredients besides chocolate chips into blender or food processor. Process or puree until ingredients form a smooth batter. If the batter is WAY too thick and won’t process then add in a teaspoon or two of water. This batter needs to be very thick in order to produce fudgy brownies. Add in 1/3 cup chocolate chips and fold into batter.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of remaining chocolate chips. You can also fold in nuts or swirl in peanut butter. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out somewhat clean and top of the brownies begin to crack.
  4. Cool pan completely on wire rack then cut into 12 delicious squares.
ORIGINAL RECIPE NOTES:
_Vegan version: Use vegan chocolate chip and sub a flax egg for the egg and egg whites.
_These brownies are best once they have cooled. Try them right out of the fridge.