Chocolate Blueberry Mousse Cake

bluebThis cake was the perfect end to our memorial day celebration today.  It was rich and creamy and cool and refreshing, not to mention pretty to look at.  Making it did take some time, although it was easy and well worth the effort.  Next time I will try strawberries and raspberries and blackberries too!  Any combination would be wonderful!  I must say that the chocolate cake is a recipe I found online when I first started cooking vegan.  I copied it down and have made it many times since, but unfortunately I can’t find it online anymore and so am unable to give credit to whomever created it.  Sorry!  Also, the chocolate cake recipe makes 3 layers and only one is needed here.  You can try to cut the cake recipe into thirds, or you can freeze the other two layers for later.  The best option is what I did, which is break the other two layers into pieces and use the extra whipped cream from this recipe and some fresh or frozen berries and make a quick and delicious trifle.  I have used Agar Agar on a few other recipes and every time I use it I proclaim that it is awesome!  It is a tasteless, vegetable gelatin derived from sea vegetation.  For those of you who are unaware – gelatin is absolutely horrid.  It is made of animal bones (along with animal skin, hooves, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage) all boiled together into a goo that’s added to all kinds of candy and baked goods.  Agar Agar has none of that nastiness!  It works perfectly in this recipe to hold the blueberry mousse together.  You can find it at health food stores or specialty markets like Whole Foods, as well as on online.

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Chocolate Cake

  •  2 1/2 c flour
  • 3/4 c cocoa powder
  • 2 c sugar
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 c canola or safflower oil
  • 2 1/4 c water
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/8 c white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350.

Lightly grease 3 8” pans, with one pan being a springform pan.

In a large bowl, combine oil, water, vanilla and vinegar.

Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Pour into 3 pans.  Bake 25 minutes.

Use the two regular pans as you wish, and place the springform layer into the fridge while you prepare the rest of the cake.

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Chocolate Mousse

  • 1 12.3 oz package firm silken tofu
  • 1 1/2 c vegan chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 T powdered sugar

In a food processor or blender, combine tofu, syrup, and vanilla.  Pour into a large bowl and stir in chocolate.  Then stir in sugar.  Pour on top of chocolate cake in springform pan and place in fridge for at least an hour.

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Blueberry Layer

  •  2 c frozen blueberries
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 T agar agar flakes
  • 1 1/3 c whipped cream *see below – place coconut milk in fridge the day before

Heat blueberries and syrup in a medium pan over medium heat.  Raise heat to high and add agar agar flakes.  Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring, to dissolve agar.  Let cool for a few minutes.  Pour into a blender and process.  Pour into a large bowl and stir in whipped cream.  Pour on top of chocolate mousse layer and place in fridge for at least 3 hours.

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Whipped Cream

  • 2 cans full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1 T powdered sugar

Place coconut milk cans in fridge the day before so they solidify.  Open cans gently and with a spoon scoop out the thickened cream from the top, leaving the liquid in the can.  Place thickened coconut milk from both cans in a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer on high until stiff peaks form.  Add vanilla and sugar and beat to combine.  You will need 1 1/3 cup.

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S’mores Cake Bomb

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I feel a bit irresponsible posting this recipe.  I have been trying to eat healthier lately – just because I’m vegan doesn’t mean I should eat anything I want.  However, this cake is incredible.  It is decadent and amazing and I want to share it to show that vegans are most definitely not missing out on anything!  The sky’s the limit when it comes to vegan baking.  Having said that, this cake should probably be reserved for those special occasions when nothing else will do but a huge calorie overload.  I plan to focus on healthier desserts in the future, but since I already made this, and it was a huge hit, I might as well share it.  Just promise me you won’t make it too often.  While your taste buds may be happy, your arteries most definitely will not be!

For the Chocolate Cake

I have to say this is not my own recipe.  My daughters got it online a few years ago and wrote it down and we have no idea where it came from.  So – to whomever created this recipe – thank you – I am sorry I cannot give you the proper credit!

  • 2 1/2 c flour (I used 1 1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour and 1 1/4 c white flour)
  • 2 c sugar
  • 2/3 c cocoa powder
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 c warm water
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 2/3 c safflower oil
  • 2 t distilled white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease 2 9” round baking pans.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Spoon batter into prepared pans.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Let cool.

For the Cookie Layer

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  • 3/4 c vegan butter
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 T ground flax seed mixed with 3 T warm water
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 c vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 c flour

Preheat oven to 350.

Place parchment paper on bottom and over edges of 2 9” baking pans and lightly grease.  Make sure there is enough paper to be able to lift the cakes out of the pan.

Beat the butter and sugars until creamy.  Add the flax with water and vanilla.  Beat to combine.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Spoon into the prepared pans.  Bake for 6-8 minutes.  It will be gooey, but will firm up a bit more as it cools.

For the Marshmallow Layer

1 10 oz. jar ricemellow creme (you can use Dandies vegan marshmallows and melt them if you cannot find the rice mellow creme).

For the Graham Cracker Layer

4 vegan graham crackers, broken into pieces

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For the Ganache Layer

  • 4 c melted vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 c non dairy milk
  • 4 T coconut oil

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and melt over medium heat.

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To Assemble the Bomb

Turn out one of the chocolate cake layers on a plate.

Spread half of the ricemellow creme on top.

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Lift out a cookie layer and slide it off the paper onto the top of the creme.

Gently spread a very thin layer of ganache on top of the cookie cake.

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Place the graham cracker pieces on top of the ganache and then carefully cover them with another thin layer of ganache.

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Slide the other cookie layer on top of the ganache.

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Spread the rest of the ricemellow creme on top of the cookie layer.

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Turn out the remaining chocolate cake onto a plate and then carefully turn it over on top of the creme.

Frost top and sides with ganache.  Don’t worry if it all drips down the sides.  You will be able to cover it later when frosting with the ganache.  Messy is fine here!! 🙂

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Place in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars

date bar These bars are the new favorite dessert in my house!  When I was making them I was planning to call them chocolate chip bars, but they taste so much like cookie dough that I had to revise the name.  I saw it as a challenge to create something incredibly delicious without any white sugar or white flour and with only 1 tablespoon of oil.  Success!!!  I added 2 tablespoons extra chocolate chips because my family likes their desserts extra gooey and chocolatey, but they are just as wonderful without the extra chocolate.  I know I will be making these again soon because they’re already almost gone!  Yes, they are that good!

  • 1/2 c soft, pitted dates (about 6 medjools) – if the dates are not soft, microwave them with 1/2 c water in 30 second intervals until softened, and drain.
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/3 c brown rice syrup
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 2 T ground flaxseed mixed with 5 T water (let sit for about 5 minutes before using)
  • 1 1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 T coconut oil, room temperature
  • 3/4 c (+ 2 T optional) vegan chocolate chips, divided

double date

Preheat oven to 375.  Lightly grease an 8×8” pan.  Puree the dates and the vanilla in a food processor.  Add the brown rice syrup and maple syrup.  Process until smooth.  Scrape into a large bowl.  It will be very sticky.

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Add the prepared flaxseed and mix well.

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Add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix well.  Stir in the coconut oil and mix well, making sure there are no lumps of oil.  Stir in 1/2 c (+ 2 T) chocolate chips.

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Scrape into prepared pan.  Smooth the top with the back of a spoon.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 c chocolate chips on top.

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Bake 18 – 20 minutes.  Let cool a bit to firm up.  Cut into 16 bars.

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Cashew Cookies with Cranberries and Sunflower Seeds

cookieMmmmmmmm – I love these cookies!  They taste very similar to a peanut butter cookie, but with a slightly more subtle flavor!  And since cashews are much less of an allergen than peanuts and most other nuts, I hope this recipe will allow those who have never been able to enjoy a peanut butter cookie to finally do so.  And with the cashews and sunflower seeds, each cookie has a whopping 2 grams of protein!!  They are also gluten-free.  You can make them plain and even press them down with a fork to make them look just like peanut butter cookies, or you can also add mix-ins for texture and taste.  They are an incredibly versatile cookie!   I love adding cranberries and sunflower seeds as shown here, but I also love them with chopped dates and peanuts, and also with raisins and chocolate chips.  I’m sure you can think of some other incredible combinations!

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cookienuts

  • 1 cup cashew butter (if you cannot find ready-made cashew butter, you can make it yourself by using one of the many recipes online, or you can use peanut butter)
  • 3/4 cup sugar *see adjusted recipe below if you do not do white sugar
  • 1 T ground flax seed mixed with 3 T water
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t maple syrup
  • 1 T brown rice flour

optional

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (I prefer salted, but unsalted is fine too)

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine all ingredients except cranberries and sunflower seeds in a large bowl.  Mix well.  Depending on the softness of the cashew butter used, you may need to use a hand mixer on low.

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Stir in the cranberries and sunflower seeds if using.

With slightly wet hands, roll into balls about 1 T dough each and place 2” apart on two lightly greased baking sheets.

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You can either leave them in balls, or press down a bit with a fork to flatten, depending on if you want them crunchier (flatten) or chewier (leave as balls).

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Place your oven racks so one is in the middle and one in the top third.  Bake for 6 minutes then switch the trays and bake another 6 minutes.

Let cool.

If desired, top with melted chocolate and cashew nuts.

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Makes 2 dozen cookies

*To make these uber healthy – substitute 1/4 cup + 2 T agave for the sugar and add an extra 2 T brown rice flour.  They will still be delicious but will not have as much of a nutty flavor.

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Best Ever Vegan Fudge

DSC_0194Don’t you just love fudge?  And who wouldn’t love fudge with chocolate, peanut butter, butterscotch and marshmallow?  The result is a perfect blend of all those yummy flavors.  It is creamy and delicious and so simple to make!  I made it a lot when my kids were younger but I stopped making it once we became vegan because I couldn’t find vegan butterscotch chips.  Until now, that is!  YAY!  I found vegan butterscotch chips (click here), ran home to make this fudge, tweaked it a little bit and it is perfection; even better than I remember!  Before making it, I will always have to make sure I have the butterscotch chips and the vegan marshmallows on hand, because both can be hard to find in stores and may need to be ordered online, but this fudge is so well worth any extra effort that I will still be making it often.  And just so you know, if you use regular marshmallows, they contain gelatin, which is made by boiling bones, skin, connective tissue and organs of various animals such as cows, pigs, lambs and horses.  Infinitely better to prepare in advance and get one of these vegan brands (Dandies or Sweet & Sara) at a specialty store or online.  Enjoy!

  • 12 oz vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 c peanut butter
  • 1 T vegan butter
  • 1 c vegan butterscotch chips
  • 8 oz vegan mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t vanilla

Lightly oil an 8×8” pan, then line with a large piece of plastic wrap so that the piece drapes well over the sides of the pan.

In a medium size pan, melt the chocolate, peanut butter, “butter,” butterscotch and salt over medium heat, stirring until smooth.

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Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and marshmallows.  Cover by folding over the plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 3 hours.

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Remove plastic and cut into whatever size pieces you like.

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