Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cups

I’m participating in Alex’s sugar-free challenge. But, I wasn’t going to let that keep me from enjoying a delicious dessert.

So, yesterday I created dark chocolate raspberry cups

They were so good I had to make more today so that I could eat more get exact measurements and take pictures so I could share them with you.

They’re kind of extremely delicious. You should try them.

Dark Chocolate raspberry Cups

Vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free

Makes 12

1/2 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup shredded coconut (plus more for garnish)

1/4 cup coconut butter (coconut oil, regular butter, or margarine would work too)

4 dates

2 oz (or  more) bakers 100% chocolate finely chopped*

1/3 cup all fruit raspberry jam (I use 365 brand)

Fresh raspberries (for garnish)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 12 muffin liners.

In a food processor (or blender) combine almonds, oats, and shredded coconut well blended. Add coconut butter and dates and blend until everything is mixed. Divide batter between the 12 muffin cups. Using the back of a spoon pack the measure firmly into each muffin cup. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and spread a heaping teaspoon of raspberry jam on each one. Top with 1/12th of the chocolate and more jam if desired. Bake an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Garnish with raspberries and coconut . Place in fridge or freezer until the chocolate solidifies. Serve and enjoy! Store in the fridge.

*I usually find 100% chocolate way too bitter but, mixed with the sweetness of the jam it is perfect.

What’s your favorite summer dessert? Do you have any tips for improving food photography? (I’ve been working on improving my picture quality but I’ve still got a long way to go)

P.S. I’m submitting this to Katie as a delicious vegan dessert. You can submit something here!


Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Hot Fudge Filling and Peanut Butter Frosting

This is the kind of recipe that makes me want to forget about the whole college thing and open a cupcake shop. Immediately.

This is the kind of cupcake that I want to take pictures of and picture mail them to everyone I know because I’m so darn proud of them.

This is the kind of recipe that makes me realize that Katherine and Sophie(of DC cupcakes) having nothing on me and my sisters.

This is the kind of recipe that makes me want to do nothing but bake cupcakes all day.

This is the kind of recipe that makes me never want to eliminate gluten, dairy, or sugar from my diet.

This is the kind of recipe that must absolutely never be “healthified”. I guarantee you it won’t taste half as good. If you want to make something healthy just refrain from making insanely rich decadent cupcakes. No substitutions allowed.

My mom said she thinks they’re the best thing I’ve ever made. I’ve made some pretty good things.

Daddy says they taste as good as they look. They’re kind of beautiful, no?


I strayed from Jessica’s recipe slightly in that, rather than using some of the pb frosting as a filling, I just used it on top and filled the cupcakes with some of the extra hot fudge sauce. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I kinda like my way. The frosting is so sweet and rich having it on the inside too might over do it a bit. Rather, the fudge sauce on the inside adds unexpected gooey, chocolatey goodness and a nice moistness to the finished product.  I’ll be honest; it was actually my mom and sister’s idea. See, I’m really not tooting my own horn.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Hot Fudge Filling and Peanut Butter Frosting

based on this recipe from How Sweet It Is

Dark Chocolate Fudge Sauce

1 cup sugar

1 cup dark cocoa powder

2 tablespoons flour

pinch of salt

1 cup water or milk

1 tablespoon of butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Combine sugar, cocoa, salt, and flour in a medium size bowl. Bring water or milk to a boil. Once boiling, Gradually pour hot liquid into the sugar mixture. Stir constantly until mixture thickens.

Once it has reached the desired thickness, remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Set Aside.

Cupcake Batter

makes 12 cupcakes

1 egg

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 1/8 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup dark cocoa powder

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup homemade fudge sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, whisk egg and sugar until smooth and no lumps remain. Add milk, cream, butter and vanilla, and mix until combined, add sour cream. Stir in flour, coco powder, baking soda, and salt . Mix until batter is smooth, then swirl in fudge sauce. Line a muffin tin with liners and using a 1/4 cup measure, add batter to each cup. Bake for 15-18 (it took me more like 20-25 but my oven is a little wacky)minutes. Let cool before frosting.

Peanut Butter Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup peanut butter

3 cups of powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 of milk

pinch of salt

Cream butter and peanut butter together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add powdered sugar with mixer on low speed and gradually add milk and vanilla extract. Mix until frosting is smooth. If too thick, add more milk; if too thin, add more sugar.

Assembly

Once cupcake have cooled completely use a knife to cut two slits into the cupcakes, forming one X shaped slit. Inject hot fudge sauce into the cupcakes using either an icing bag with a very small tip or, preferably, put the fudge sauce into a squeeze top bottle (like the kind chefs use to decorate plates and for salad dressings). The sauce will soak into the cupcakes. Once this happens feel free to inject with a bit more fudge sauce. Top with peanut butter frosting and drizzle with more fudge sauce. Enjoy!

I plan to make these again very soon to take to some of my friends. Hopefully I will get  step by step photos up after that.

My cousins sure liked them :)

Don’t forget to check out my twitter.

@flourishingfood

Lent and Going Sweetener Free

Lent. As a Catholic, I definitely take part in the Lenten season which started this past Wednesday; however, I’m typically not a big fan of giving things up for lent. I just don’t find it that effective in growing spiritually during lent. For some people it’s great; for me, it’s not. Giving up some unhealthy food or habit probably makes me a bit healthier; however often I forget the main reason I’m giving said unhealthy thing up  which of course is to use my little tiny sacrifice as a way to unite myself with Jesus and His big giant sacrifice.

That being said, I’ve decided to give something up this year. I still primarily want to focus on doing good acts and growing in virtue this Lenten season; however, I have decided to go sugar free for lent. Actually, scratch that, sweetener free. Tuesday evening I said so long to not only white sugar, but also agave, stevia, honey and all other sweetening devices. Four days in and my commitment to being sweetener free has already been tested numerous times.

Friday afternoon I even made a batch of traditional chocolate chip cookies for some friends and family. I’m proud to say I didn’t so much as lick dough from the beater, nor did I eat a single cookie. I’ve realized that watching others enjoy the  food I make is actually better than eating my self. Still, nothing sounds better right now than a big chewy overly sweetened cookie. 42 days until Easter.

I’ve already determined that come Easter Sunday I will be making Peanut Butter Stuffed Hot Fudge Cupcakes from How Sweet It Is.

How Sweet It Is

I think they’ll be worth the wait :)

Do you celebrate Lent? What’s your opinion on giving things up? Any delicious sugar free recipe you’d like to share?