Foodie Fave: Avocado Chocolate Mousse

I recently bought a TUB of coconut oil. Completely by mistake, mind you. That’s what happens when you late-night shop on Amazon. Anyway, I’ve managed to use it for a couple of things – chapstick, moisturizer, hair mask. However, I’ve been a bit nervous about trying it out in food. I don’t necessarily want my eggs to taste like coconut by using it as an oil.

I’ve tried mixing it with peanut butter like this recipe calls for. But let’s just agree that you don’t want to see the blob it actually came out as. #nailedit

Luckily, I came across Anna Eastick’s blog Heart+Bowl. She has super healthy bowl recipes like this drool worthy chocolate mousse recipe, with coconut oil!  I’ve been seeing avocado mixed with chocolate for a while now, so it’s about time we give you a damn delish recipe for it.

  • 1 large ripe avocado (or 2 small)
  • 1 tbsp raw, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (or any nut milk of your choice)
  • 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
To serve
  • 1 chunk of bittersweet dark chocolate, grated
  • 2 tsp cocoa nibs (optional)

In a food processor, purée the avocado until smooth. In a jug, combine the cocoa powder and milk until a smooth paste forms. Add the cocoa and milk mixture to the avocado, along with the remaining ingredients. Blend everything together until smooth and well combined. Transfer the mixture into individual bowls and chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Top with grated bittersweet dark chocolate and sprinkle over cocoa nibs.

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Happy Eating, XO.

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Bikini Brownies

We get it, it’s summer so no one can really indulge like they do in the winter. However, that doesn’t mean cravings for some soft and scrumptious chocolate brownies don’t arise. This is a low calorie, protein filled, and gluten-free way to make a brownie. It’s quite good paired with some berries and fresh whipped cream as well. Its a nice way to satiate the desire for dessert without packing on the bathing suit nightmare’s love handles. This is a perfect addition to a BBQ menu since it will cater to all types of food restrictions and diets.

  • 1 can of black beans (15.5 oz.)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee (really makes things more chocolate-y but feel free to leave out)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth (batter like consistency) Then pour into a non stick pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. I baked mine in a muffin pan so that I could portion out 160 calorie size/serving.

brownies

Happy Eating (and swimming), XO.

 

Italian Love Cake: Happy Valentine’s Day

Not sure on the history of why this is called love cake, but I will tell you its two major components are items I love dearly: chocolate & cheese!! (It’s ricotta, chill) Anyway, it’s not super laborious, but it’s also not your traditional cake. Set aside a good amount of time to make this and it’s actually best if you make the night before serving. Also! there’s an element of magic involved. That’s right kids, magic.

  • 1 boxed chocolate cake mix AND the ingredients listed on the box (I know I’m a disappointment to Martha but whatever, I love me a solid shortcut)
  • 2 lbs. (32 ounces) ricotta cheese (seemed like an insane amount when I was buying it but is actually the right quantity)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar (my coworkers seemed to think 1 cup would’ve been better as that layer wasn’t quite as sweet, so use your judgment)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (5.1 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup cold milk (yes that seems like too little, but just trust the recipe please, also I may swap this for Kahlua next time and see if that improves/ruins this “frosting”)
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9×13 inch pan and set aside. In a large bowl, prepare your cake mix batter according to the directions on the box. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a super strong whisking arm like mine), beat together the ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan and use an off-set spatula to spread evenly in the pan. Next, carefully pour the ricotta mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter. Gently spread the ricotta mixture so it evenly covers the cake batter. (The layers will switch while baking so the ricotta moves to the bottom and cake to the top – like magic or the scientific reason that ricotta weighs more than cake batter, whatever I am sticking with MAGIC.)

Bake for 60 minutes or until cake is set. Let cake cool completely before “frosting.”

Once the cake is cool, whisk together the pudding mix and milk until combined. Gently fold the Cool Whip into the pudding until combined. Spread the pudding mixture over the top of the cooled cake. Cover the cake and refrigerate at least 6 hours, or overnight, before serving. You know what -this cake SHOULD be called Love Cake because if I have to wait overnight to dive into this puppy I must really love you/it.

Not a very “pretty” picture but this is all I could sneak in as my coworkers devoured the cake.

IMG_6405

We are sending you all loads of Italian love this valentine’s day: tanti baci!

Happy Eating, XO.

Cupcakes to Die For

Finally one of the best times of the year is here – Halloween! Who’s excited for it?! (Raises both hands high.) Every year we decorate the house with skeletons, lights, fog machines. That’s all good, but what about the food? When you think of Halloween you probably don’t think of food first (candy doesn’t count), but it’s one of the only times of the year you can get super creepy and creative with it. Take advantage!

I originally found this creepy cupcake post years ago from Martha Stewart. Looks like Martha’s dark side came out to play!

Below is our “easy” version of the cupcakes, but if you’re feeling daring, her full post is here.

Cupcakes

  • 1 box of devils food cake

Caramel Glass

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup water

Frosting (Usually I’d say just use the canned stuff, but this is too good to pass up.)

  • 1 lb cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cherry preserves, strained, for garnish

Line the cupcake tin and bake according to box instructions. While they’re baking you can begin on the glass, you’ll need to let it to sit for a while. Pour the sugar and water in to a small sauce pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. When the mixture starts turning brown, remove from heat and pour on to a small cookie sheet. Let cool completely. For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract until fully blended.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, apply the frosting. Break up the glass, and place a shard or two in the middle. Drizzle the preserves where the glass meets the frosting. Prepare evil laugh.

Broken Glass Cupcake

 

Happy Eating, XO.

I <3 You, Cupcakes

It’s no secret by now – I love food, and I especially love baking. So it’s only right this Valentine’s Day I bake some yummy cupcakes! Some people go for chocolate covered strawberries, I go for chocolate on chocolate cupcakes. #NoShame. I bought a chocolate mold a few years ago just for the hell of it (shout out to Michael’s!), and as it turns out it makes perfect little hearts for cupcake toppers!

Chocolate Heart Toppers

  • 1 cup melted white chocolate
  • 2-3 drops of red food coloring (add more or less depending on the color you want)

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 packet chocolate pudding powder (I replaced this with unsweetened cocoa powder bc, let’s be real, you’ll never use unsweetened cocoa for anything after this recipe.)
  • 1⁄8 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 1⁄2 cup white sugar
  • 2 egg
  • 3⁄4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk

Icing

  • Pillsbury’s frosting in a can = no mess and just as good

Start on the chocolate hearts about an hour before hand so they have time to harden. Melt the white chocolate slowly in a sauce pan. Once it’s liquidy, add in the food coloring. (If it starts to score/harden after it’s already melted add a tiny bit of water to it and it will smooth right out again.) Pour in to the mold and stick in the freezer.

For the cupcakes, do the usual prep work: preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line the muffin pan with cupcake liners. Then sift together all of the flour, baking powder & soda, chocolate pudding powder, and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Follow up with the eggs and vanilla. Then slowly add in the flour mixture and milk until completely combined. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Valentine's Day cupcake

Happy Eating (and Valentines Day!), XO