Last night when it became clear we had plenty of leftovers for dinner tonight, my husband suggested that I make a dessert to post for VeganMoFo today. He’d stumbled on these cute little chocolate bowls that had surprised him with a vegan ingredients list a few weeks ago. He bought them knowing they could be used for some kind of goody.They’d been sitting in the pantry just waiting for something as spectacular as they are to embrace with their chocolaty goodness.
The back of the box suggested mousse as a filling, but I was kind of attached to the idea of cheesecake. In the end, I figured I could do a mixture of both. I glanced over a few recipes and decided I had this in the bag.
And then, suddenly… not so much.
They say patience is a virtue, but did you ever notice that no one says the same thing about tenacity? Interesting, isn’t it? Determination seems like a good thing, but if you’ve ever seen a woman hoist her hand mixer skyward and yell, “Noooooo!” you might know why. It’s possible that people in the house saw such a scene this evening. They are all male and were occupied with other things, though. This means it’s equally possible they saw nothing at all.
You see, the first recipe I tried was simple enough. It called for full fat coconut milk with no guar gum. I’ve had varied success with my ice cream making and know how big a deal the right coconut milk is. Unfortunately, it’s not something that is easily found anywhere near my house. But with the kind of cockiness that can only come from anticipating chocolate right after dinner, I plowed forward anyway. I could give you the long version, but it’s a very sad story and I don’t know if you have any chocolate to get you through the telling.
I was determined to find something I already had in the house, anything at all, that I could use to make my dessert. This might have been when the hand mixer was hoisted to the sky, lightning crackled above me, the clouds converged and darkened, and a distant roll of thunder shook the house. Naysayers will tell you it was simply sundown and the roar of the crowd at the Green Bay/Seahawks game on the television.
Naysayers are such buzzkills, aren’t they?
And so, our heroine (that’s me!) tried again. I traveled through the jungles of Google and met my wise and helpful guide, a website called wakingupvegan.com wherein the recipe for vegan whipping cream that would make everything right in the world was revealed to me. You may see it for yourself here: http://wakingupvegan.com/2012/09/10/make-homeade-vega-whipped-cream/
I used the Coconut Free Version, sprinkling in a bit of my own magic.
Vegan Whipping Cream
- ½ cup almond milk
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons agar agar powder
- 3 teaspoons cornstarch
Blend all ingredients on high in the blender for about 3 minutes, then put your mixture in the fridge to chill. It’s that easy!
The result was very good, but it was an imperfect solution for this particular application. The cream was a bit thinner than I’d anticipated, but it tasted just as I’d hoped it would. I’ll be sure to post what I use when I achieve creamy whipped perfection. For now, this recipe is sweet and very tasty, so it seemed to have good potential for the rest of my dessert plan.
If there were Ewoks in this story, they might be hearing my battle stories from C-3PO right now.
With that drama behind us, we may now move on to the fun n’ fruity part!
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- ¼ cup sugar
- juice from one lemon
- 2 cups mixed berries
Heat the frozen strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice to a boil. Lower the heat and stir pretty much constantly for about ten minutes or until a syrup forms. Let cool for a few minutes, then toss with the rest of the berries and chill.
- 8 ounces vegan cream cheese
- ½ cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup vegan whipping cream
Mix all ingredients with your blender until smooth. Fill your chocolate cups and chill for an hour or so. When you’re ready to serve them, spoon the berry sauce over them, drizzle them with a tiny bit more of the mousse, and celebrate!
For everyone waiting for the end of the movie, this is where the Ewoks dance and sing songs of celebration and everyone enjoys a well-earned feast! The Creamy Chocolate Berry Bowls were messy but decadent. We only had one box of the chocolate bowls, so we still have about half the berries and cream chilling for a special breakfast treat tomorrow, too.
Hurray! And, as the Ewoks would say, “Allay loo ta nub!” (which, if you aren’t a big Star Wars nerd, means “Celebrate the love!”) and enjoy your dessert!