Tag: Chocolate cake

Party Time

Party Time

Wow, 19 days since my last post. I have been a little busy I guess. I had a house full of family visiting and it was amazing, but didn’t leave me much time for extracurricular activities. My sister, nephew and mom were all visiting from out of state and my dad stayed the weekend to join in the fun. My house was bursting at the seams, and so was my heart.

During the nearly 2 weeks of fun, we had a chance to jointly celebrate FOUR birthdays and my daughter’s graduation from high school. It was quite a party.

I tried quite a few recipes and most were fairly successful.

We have varying degrees of veganism/healthy eating in my family now. Everybody has their own needs which makes for interesting planning. My daughter is vegan, but doesn’t mind eating sugar, wheat and soy.  My mom was treating her visit like a vegan spa week, so she was eating along with us for the most part. She, however, has soy sensitivity. My sister has wheat sensitivity and eats very healthy, but includes animal products. My daughter’s boyfriend is a full on carnivore with an abhorrence for most of our vegan treats. Hahaha. My dad loves raw vegan but doesn’t have the same restrictions we do. We all know my son would be happy to binge on Cheezits and Oreos with a big glass of milk.  What’s a girl to do???

Get creative, of course! Behold my cupcake spread! Top left: Vegan organic double chocolate cupcakes with sweet potato fudge frosting Top right: vegan strawberry cupcakes with vegan “buttercream” Bottom: raw vegan chocolate avocado mousse tarts.

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This was the vegan side of the table. Notice my beautiful, go-to party appetizer, cucumber hummus and heirloom tomato bites. Mmmmmmm. I won’t even bother showing you the other side of the table. It was a train wreck of processed crackers, sweets and animal products.

I will provide links to the Vegan Strawberry Cupcakes and the Vegan Double Chocolate Cake with Sweet Potato Chocolate Frosting. None of them were things I can eat, however. The only one I could eat was the Chocolate Avacado Mousse Tarts.  I modified them but I still wasn’t entirely pleased with the outcome. Here is what I did:

The tart crust consisted of oats, raisens, almonds and cocoa powder. I ended up adding a bit of almond butter to help is stick together. 

I pulsed it until it was nice and sticky. I pressed it firmly into the bottom of cupcake liners and stuck it into the fridge to firm up.


While those were chilling, I made the mousse. It was simple to make. Avadado, dates, cacao powder, vanilla, water and coconut oil.

Even though I am usually oil free, I did use one teaspoon of the called for 1 Tbsp. of coconut oil to help it have the proper consistency.

Once it was ready, I spooned the mousse on top of the crust.I chose to forgo the lemon cashew cream (we eat something very similar on a weekly basis in the form of vegan sour cream and vegan ranch, basically savory versions of the same recipe) and went with unsweetened Whipped Coconut Cream instead. I used Trader Joe’s 100% coconut cream. The brand at Walmart had added ingredients that I did not want.

Top tip for Whipped Coconut Cream, make sure you have NO coconut milk mixed in with the the solid cream. Mine would not whip until I blotted the last of the liquid out of the bowl, then it worked. I only used a bit on top of each tart.

The verdict? Meh.

For next time I would actually use my Almond Joy Bites recipe for the crust. I was not a fan of the raisen crust.

I would also tone down the dates in the mousse. 1 full cup was a bit too sweet for me. All in all, not bad. Next time will be better.

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Epic Fail – Redux

Epic Fail – Redux

A while back a shared a post about my  utter failure with making Healthy Chocolate Cake. If you have forgotten, please let me remind you…img_3749.pngWow, just wow. I thought I would give them a try again, this time using an ingredient more in line with the original recipe. Einkorn wheat. “Wait,” you’re probably thinking, “but you are gluten free!”

I have been doing some reading and something I discovered is that most people aren’t actually gluten intolerant. Yes, there are people with Celiac’s, which is a very real, very serious disease that makes you unable to process gluten. Recent studies, however, have shown that most people have trouble with wheat due to the chemical glyphosate, (also commonly known as Roundup) that is sprayed on most wheat crops a week or two before harvest. Sadly, even most organic wheat receives the same treatment. See this article about toxic wheat. It recommended a wheat product that I purchased from Amazon and this is my first wheat in almost 4 months. I will let you know how it goes…

Anyway, on to the recipe. This time they came out of the oven really nicely.  If you want the recipe, see my post from May 10, 2017 “Fail Level… EPIC!”They looked like cupcakes this time! They smelled amazing. Last time I didn’t even bother making the “frosting” since they were such an abysmal failure. This time, I was really hopeful!I followed the recipe exactly. I used a mix of macadamias, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts, as well as almond milk.

Here is the final product:The verdict? Meh

They are moist, and cakey, but not the most delicious thing ever. Yes, they are refined sugar free (they are made with dates, beets, carrots, applesauce and banana as the sweetener), so they are definitely better for you than processed, sugar filled dessert. The frosting is a bit bitter and not very creamy. It was a bit of a disappointment. I think next time I will stick with nice cream when I am in the mood for dessert.

Back to the drawing board.

Fail Level…EPIC!

Fail Level…EPIC!

Oh my goodness, I am still wiping away tears. Not of sadness, though.  Oh no, I was (am) rolling with laughter.

Remember in the beginning I said I would share triumphs as well as failures? Well, here we go…

In my pre-vegan, gluten-filled days, I was an amazing baker.  My cakes were moist, light and delicious.  People would ask me to bake for them, and I would happily oblige. I liked being creative with flavor and trying new things.

Since I have been missing baked goodies, I though I would give this cake a try:

img_3546I wasn’t expecting something too incredible, but I also wasn’t expecting what I got, either.

Since I am gluten free, I went with almond flour instead of wheat flour. I looked it up and Pinterest said to use 1:1 ratio when substituting, so I did.  Yes, I added xantham gum. I mixed my dry ingredients and set aside.

I  blended up the dates, applesauce, banana and pineapple. This unappetizing looking slurry was actually surprisingly delicious.IMG_3533I grated all my fresh vegetables and mixed them in.IMG_3539It was actually starting to look really good! Even a mess is pretty when you cook with rainbow food.IMG_3541I added the dry ingredients and the chopped walnuts and raisins (since I didn’t have currants on hand.)IMG_3543I had decided to half the recipe and go with cupcakes to reduce the baking time.  I used two scoops of batter per cup.IMG_3548My house smelled like chocolate cake while it was baking. It was heavenly.  At the 20 minute mark, I opened the oven and checked them with a toothpick.  They began to deflate one by one! IMG_3552At 25 minutes they were still very wet and continues to hollow out on the middle.  I had begun to giggle. 😁 “Well,” I thought, “I guess I can use the dips in the middle to hold the frosting?”

By the 30 minute mark the tops that had puffed over were getting dry and hard. The middles were still wet and doughy. I called it good and took them out.

IMG_3556Um, no.  Just no. 😂

They actually taste pretty good. I didn’t even bother making the frosting.  This hot mess didn’t need anything else added to it.   I see some tweaking in my future.

Since this was my first gluten free baking experience, any input would be helpful. What do you think I did wrong?

Also, it wasn’t THEIR fault the cupcakes failed, so I thought I would plate one up, just for fun.  Please enjoy this work of art!  😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂IMG_3555My husband suggested maybe a sprig of mint to dress it up. Oh my goodness, I am dying!!!