Some days I feel like baking a whole cake and getting all fancy, other times I get a chocolate craving at 7 pm and just want a few bites of something sweet, without having leftovers in the fridge to tempt me the next day (and the next!).
That’s where this chocolate mug cake comes in. It’s dairy-free, egg-free and a cinch to make. You can make this in the microwave, but I decided to bake mine because I try to nuke things as little as possible.
I have made mug cakes in the past that have just been okay, but this chocolate baby came out moist, fluffy, gooey in the center and fudgy. I knew it was a win because my boyfriend finished it off for me after I got full.
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Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Mix dry ingredients in a mug or ramekin. I used a ramekin. Add liquid ingredients and stir with a fork, being careful to scrape the bottom to combine the mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes, checking after 20 minutes. You can also make this in the microwave by nuking it for one to three minutes, starting at one minute and cooking for 30 second intervals until desired doneness is reached. Let cool and enjoy.
I know it’s September already, but technically the last day of summer is not until near the end of the month. So you still have time to squeeze in some summer bbqs and bonfires and pretend like you’re still a teenager, without a care in the world. (Or maybe you are, in which case I hate you!)
There were so many things I had planned for this season that didn’t get done – I was supposed to get back in the gym, work on my novel novels (I have so many draft pages of projects I start and stop), and also work on this blog more. But, life as usual gets in the way and as they say, God laughs at man’s plans.
Anyway, I couldn’t let summer pass me by without making ice cream. I bought a Cuisine Art ice cream maker last year and actually used it several times (unlike my dehydrator which is sitting on top of my fridge, catching dust, waiting sadly to be donated to the Salvation Army.)
I also had a super ripe jumbo avocado in the fridge, too ripe to eat on its own. So, I decided I can either make guac with it or ice cream. I chose ice cream, wouldn’t you? I know what you’re thinking, avocados in ice cream? Is this bish crazy? But before you close this screen, let me school you. Avocados are actually a fruit, so it makes sense to put them in ice cream. Considered a superfood, this nutritional powerhouse has lots of healthy fat, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and a host of other vitamins. The fattiness of the avocado also adds creaminess to this non-dairy ice cream, something once lacking in my homemade attempts.
Coconut cream also ups the ante on creaminess. The trick is it has to be cold and firm so make sure your can has been chilled in the fridge overnight. Whenever I go grocery shopping I normally buy a can or two of coconut cream or milk, and I always have one in the fridge since I use it so often to make vegan desserts.
A few of the problems I’ve encountered in the past is that my ice cream just comes out too hard, full of crystals. No matter what I did. Except for my first batch which was a peanut butter vanilla flavor, everything else ended up in the trash after a few bites.
To help solve that I used agave nectar instead of sugar (the liquid sweetener slows down crystal formation) and also added a special ingredient – agar agar. According, to One Green Planet, agar agar “is a mix of carbohydrates extracted from seaweed, specifically Red Sea algae.” But don’t freak out! It has no flavor, odor or color and can be used as a sub for “gelatin, to thicken soups, and make jams and jellies, ice cream, and other desserts that need to set.”
I found a packet of agar agar flakes in my local organic health store. You can also grab some from Amazon if it’s not found near you. My packet was pretty pricey, like all specialty foods imported to the Bahamas but I plan to use it later on to make cashew cheese and vegan Jello, so I think it’s worth the coins. It may be cheaper where you live. Plus a little goes a long way.
This recipe is so easy. It only has seven ingredients (one of them is water, does that even count?) and it’s totally healthier than store-bought frozen desserts with God knows what in them. It is also refined sugar-free. You will need a blender and an ice-cream maker for this recipe (I’m an appliance junkie, but honestly, how does a dessert lover live without an ice-cream maker??) and that’s it!
I hope you try this recipe out and let me know in the comments, what’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
1 can coconut cream, chilled in the fridge overnight
½ cup agave nectar
1 tbsp agar agar flakes
6 tablespoons of water
Juice of half a lime
Add agar agar flakes and water to a small pot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce to a simmer and cook for five minutes, stirring frequently, until flakes have dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside. Once cooled, the mixture should congeal.
Scoop avocado meat into a high speed blender. Add the top layer of the hardened coconut cream, being careful not to add any water that’s left at the bottom of the can. Store coconut water for a smoothie or other later use, or discard.
Add remaining ingredients, including agar agar, and blend on high until smooth.
Chill ice cream mix in the fridge for about 20 minutes before transferring to your ice cream maker. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions (I ran mine for about 30 minutes).
You can eat the ice cream immediately as a soft serve or transfer to an airtight freezer safe container (if using a pyrex dish, place a layer of plastic wrap over the ice cream, gently pressing out the air) and freeze for a few hours. Let ice cream defrost for a few minutes before scooping.