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.
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
12 ounces coconut cream, chilled overnight*
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8×8 inch baking pan.
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.
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.
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.
I love finding a dessert recipe that is free of white sugar and is mostly good for you. Oh, and of course that tastes good. We recently found a recipe that has three ingredients. Chocolate chips, coconut milk and coconut oil. That is it. Hard to believe, but they are oh so good and of course rich too. With just the two of us, we split the recipe in half (below is the full recipe). Even then it took us a few days to finish them. We topped a few with shredded coconut, a few others with coarse salt, and left some plain. My favorite was the coarse salt. It added just the needed amount of salt to cut the richness.
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (dairy free, if needed)
3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Place the chocolate chips in a large bowl.
Combine the coconut milk and coconut oil in a small pan, and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally to ensure the coconut oil melts fully, and the milk warms evenly.
Pour the hot coconut milk/oil mixture over the chips, and let sit for 2 minutes. Whisk until totally smooth.
Line a mini muffin pan with liners, and grease liberally. Fill each liner to the top (a heaping tablespoon of the chocolate).
Sprinkle sea salt on top (or any of the other toppings listed below). If using caramel, drizzle 1/2 teaspoon on each fudge bite, and use a toothpick to swirl.
Freeze (1 hour) or refrigerate (2-3 hours) until set.
You can store your finished fudge bites in the fridge or freezer. As you may guess, storing them in the fridge makes them a little softer, and the freezer makes them slightly firmer. They never freeze. They will melt if left out on the countertop.
The chocolate chips are key to the quality of the fudge, so use Ghirardelli or Guittard (if not vegan), or Enjoy Life (if vegan).
Here it is the third day of January, and most people are thinking about what they are going to do in 2014, but I want to talk about accomplishments for 2013. Not my accomplishments, though. Two individuals much more admirable. Janette Murray-Wakelin (age 64), a breast cancer survivor who was told she had six months to live and Alan Murray (age 68) fall into this category. They just completed their 366th consecutive marathon on New Year’s Day, their first for 2014, and their 365th for 2013 (365 marathons in 365 days). Both completed a marathon a day, and ran entirely around Australia for charity while also sticking to a raw and vegan diet.
While I have no plans to emulate their current life, I can be inspired and push myself from their example. While the internet mentions them as an elderly couple at 64 and 68, I would have to disagree. I would say they are still young in life. This article states that they also eat a dozen bananas a day, along with their green smoothie. My kind of people! I am always impressed with what individuals are capable of and what inspires and drives them.
So it makes me think, what are you not doing that you want to be doing? What are you afraid of doing because you think you are not capable? Or are you not doing it because you think you do not have time? I always think that is an interesting excuse. We find time to watch hours of our DVR, surf the Internet, and yet some of the things that are the best for us (exercise and eating healthy) are low on the list. It used to be low on my list too, and something shifted in my life and now I look at eating + exercise in an entirely new way.
Take a few minutes to explore their website, they have an amazing story. Hopefully their life has inspired you to know that whatever you set out to do tomorrow, this month, and this year, a lot is possible. You are capable of way more than you realize.