Fudge Pudding Mug Cake, Sugar Free

Yesterday was a perfect day!  It was in the 80’s, the kids got the pool cleaned out, and we sold our last three goats.

Baby Kiko goats

Just look those cute little overexposed faces!

If you’ve ever been around baby goats you know they’re seriously cuter than puppies.  I’ll miss their cute little mugs and playfulness but soon they’ll be big and smelly so I’m so thankful they’re gone.  Huge blessing!

I had a hankerin’ for a snack and since I can no longer indulge in nuts (grrr!) I decided to experiment with mug cake.

I used to make it quite a bit with “real” ingredients and have tried several paleo, low carb, etcetera type recipes and they have always been dry and nasty.  I experimented with ingredients and made several cakes and came up with a winner that tastes amazing.  Really.

As the kids were in and out of the house yesterday I’d stop them to try some cake and the one I’m sharing with you was everyone’s favorite.

The key is to not overcook it which is so easy to do in the microwave.  (I know, microwaves are so bad!)  Cook it just long enough so that only the outer cake is set and the center is still jiggly and glossy as you can see in the photo below.

Fudge Pudding Mug Cake, sugar free

Everyone kept referring to them as “mud” cake which might be more suiting anyway since I baked them in bowls instead of mugs.  I think making it in a mug might change the cooking time but I haven’t tried it to see.

Fudge Pudding Mug Cake, sugar free

This recipe was so rich and gooey and super satisfying.  If you have a couple of spare minutes you can indulge in this sweet cake and not even feel bad about it!

Printable

Fudge Pudding Mug Bowl Cake:

3 T unsweetened applesauce

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 T cocoa powder

1 T xylitol

1/4 tsp stevia concentrate powder, or sweeten to taste

2 T coconut flour

Combine all ingredients in order in a small microwave safe bowl and mix well.  Microwave on high for 35 to 40 seconds** or until the outer portion around the cake is set and the center is still jiggly and glossy.

Serves 1 or 2 people and is extra amazing with a tablespoon of heavy cream poured over the top.

*Microwaves vary a lot so keep an eye on it to keep from overcooking and thus drying it out…yuck!

Grapefruit Julius

I’ve been on a grapefruit kick for the past few months, partly because it’s one of the few fruits that are allowed on the antifungal diet and also because I love winter grapefruit.  It’s so much sweeter and juicier than at other times of the year.

I love to segment it then chop it up into bite size pieces and mix it along with frozen blueberries and stevia into plain yogurt.  You might never assume grapefruit and yogurt go well together but, boy do they!

Last week was such a busy week for me I didn’t use up all of the grapefruits I had and I didn’t want them molding so I juiced them.  I froze the juice in ice cube trays so I could add them to smoothies or to make grapefruit julius.  I also made almond milk and froze that too.  (I used some leftover ground almonds from the milk for the crust in this cheesecake and froze the rest.)

grapefruit julius

Growing up, my older sister used to make orange julius for the two of us using the recipe she learned in her junior high (middle school…incase you’re that young) home ec class.  Oh, how I loved her orange julius!  So orangey, sweet, and creamy and with a hint of vanilla.  Of course, plain milk and oranges are banned from the diet so I had to come up with my own version of the icy treat.

grapefruit julius

Now that warmer weather is (finally!) here we had a little celebration and broke out the bendy straws.  What’s a celebration without bendy straws?

The grapefruit julius was a hit and even my two littlest who won’t touch grapefruit with a ten foot pole finished theirs fast enough to get brain freeze.

grapefruit julius

It doesn’t have an overly strong grapefruit flavor but you can most definitely taste it.  So, for all you health conscious grapefruit lovers out there, give this one a try.

Grapefruit Julius

2 c frozen grapefruit juice

2 c frozen almond milk

1 c coconut milk

1 c yogurt, plain

1 t vanilla

1/4 t stevia concentrate powder, or to taste

Blend all ingredients together in a high powered blender until smooth.  Serve immediately.  Serves 4 to 6.

Chocolate Double Cream Cheesecake

Last weekend, Hubs and I celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary.  I can’t believe I’m old enough to be married so long!  It’s seriously been the best fifteen years of my life.

Part of our celebration included a creamy, chocolatey cheesecake.  Cheesecake is one of the very best desserts in the world for accommodating a sugar free, grain free diet.  Tartness is key in disguising the taste of stevia and cream cheese and sour cream both have just enough to do the trick.

I have used stevia every single day for the past seven or eight years in all of my sweetened drinks and I love it.  When it comes to baking however, it’s noticeably not a perfect sugar substitute.  It doesn’t work in every application, but cheesecake is an exception.  There’s more flavor and texture going on with a cheesecake than just the sugary sweetness of say, a cookie and that goes a long way to making a stevia sweetened dessert truly enjoyable.

Chocolate Double Cream Cheesecake (sugar free and gluten free)

This cheesecake has two layers, one being chocolate cream cheese and the other being vanilla sour cream.  It’s also a little time consuming since there are three parts including making the grain free crust, but it really is a simple recipe and worth every minute it takes to make it.

Chocolate Double Cream Cheesecake (sugar free and gluten free)

I had a constant stream of interruptions while trying to make this particular cheese cake and wound up rushing through softening and blending the cream cheese and cocoa which led to a unique looking chocolate layer.  I’m no perfectionist so I just rolled with it and when we were eating the cheesecake Hubs and the kids all commented on how cool it looked.  I told them it was confetti, like it was supposed to look like that.  Heh, heh.

Chocolate Double Cream Cheesecake (sugar free and gluten free)

It still tasted heavenly and was completely devoured with everyone wishing for seconds.

I’d say cheesecake and all it’s variations, is in my top three favorite sugar/grain free desserts.  If you haven’t tried it yet you should.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Printable

Chocolate Double Cream Cheesecake

Crust:

1 C almonds, ground

1/4 t stevia concentrate powder, or to taste

1 t cinnamon

3 T butter, room temperature

Mix ground almonds, stevia and cinnamon together then add butter and mix with a fork or pastry blender to get butter well incorporated   Press the mixture into a 9″ pie plate and refrigerate until ready to use.

Bottom layer:

2 large eggs, room temperature

2, 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature

3/4 t stevia concentrate powder, or to taste

1/3 C granulated xylitol

3 T cocoa powder

1/2 t vanilla extract

1/2 t salt

Either in a mixing bowl using a handheld mixer or in a stand mixer, start by beating the eggs then add the remaining ingredients and continue mixing just until all ingredients are well incorporated.  Pour mixture into the pie shell and bake in a preheated 375° oven and bake for 20 minutes until the cheesecake has puffed up but still not completely set in the center.  Turn off the oven and crack the door open leaving the cheesecake in the still hot but cooling oven for another 20 minutes to set the center.  Remove cheesecake from oven and allow to cool to room temperature before adding the top layer.

Top layer:

1 and 1/2 C sour cream

1/2 t stevia concentrate powder, or to taste

1 t vanilla extract

Either in a mixing bowl using a handheld mixer or in a stand mixer, beat together the sour cream, stevia, and vanilla.  Spread over cooled bottom layer of the cheesecake and bake in a preheated 425° oven for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.  Once cooled, add the chocolate sauce in swirls.

Chocolate Sauce:

2 T coconut oil, melted

1 t cocoa powder

1/8 t stevia concentrate powder, or to taste

a tensy, tiny dash of salt

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl or coffee mug and drizzle over pie.  (If the sauce thickens before you can drizzle it, reheat it.)

Chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for 4 hours or longer before serving and store any leftover, covered in the refrigerator.

Note:  You’ll notice that I also use a little xylitol in a lot of my desserts which goes a long way to making a dessert taste and feel closer to the real deal.  You can leave it out and up the amount of stevia and the cheesecake will still taste way better than most stevia only sweets.  However, because xylitol is a sugar alcohol, I never use more than about 1/3 cup of xylitol in a recipe.  Sugar alcohols are notorious for causing digestive upset and although xylitol is typically a lesser offender, it can cause trouble for some people.

Tapioca Fudge Pops (sugar and dairy free)

Spring weather is back for just a few days so yesterday I made the kids some tapioca fudge pops.  Yum!

Tapioca Fudge Pops

 

I forgot to include the coconut milk in this picture…oops!

They’re supper easy to make.

Tapioca fudge pops

Tapioca Fudge Pops:

5 1/2 c. coconut milk

6 T instant tapioca

4 T cocoa powder

2 eggs

1/3 c. granulated xylitol

1 tsp stevia concentrate powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

Mix everything but the vanilla in a sauce pan and let it sit for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes, heat to rapid boiling over med-hi heat while stirring.  Once you reach rapid boiling, remove it from the burner and let it cool for a few minutes before adding the vanilla.  (If you add it while it’s boiling hot, it will dissipate.)

This recipe makes a lot but I have five kids so I need a lot!

You can serve it as pudding warm or cold or freeze it in popsicle molds.  The kids love the popsicles and I love it as a bowl of cold pudding.

I’ve noticed that when I use stevia in sweets that the desserts taste better after they’ve cooled completely than when they’re still warm, and this recipe tastes just like Jello brand chocolate pudding after it’s been completely chilled in the refrigerator

Salt is also necessary when cooking or baking with stevia as it brings out the sweetness without having to use quite as much stevia which also improves the flavor and helps cut any bitter aftertaste.

On another note, my photography skills are horrific!  I have a Nikon D3000 that Hubs surprised me with a few years ago…after I whined and begged for one forever.  I know it’s not an amazing camera but it’s capable of producing much nicer photos than the ones I always take in auto mode.

Every time I decide to figure out how to really use it I become instantly overwhelmed but yesterday afternoon I was perusing a favorite food blog with beautiful photos and finally decided to read her photography 101 posts.  Wow!  She really knows how to cut the crap and make it simple and understandable.  It was so good I even made a few notes on 3 x 5 cards.

Her blog is edible perspective and she’s a foodie and self taught photographer.  Her recipes and pictures always look so delicious!

It will take time and lots of practicing I’m sure but I think I’m getting the hang of it already.  I dreamed about it all night long too.  Ha, ha!

On even another note, I never meant for this blog to become another food blog…I don’t really even like cooking per se.   I don’t know what I meant it for but I enjoy blogging so much that I started this blog with no purpose or reason other than I felt like I managed to blog myself into a corner with only one topic on my other blog.  Am I already doing it again??

Chocolate Maca Chia pudding

I recently jumped into the chia pool and tried a recipe called, Chia Tapioca, or something like that.  It was pretty good but it’s not an exact replacement for tapioca since the little gelatin like balls now have a hard, slightly crunchy center, but if all the hype is true it’s surely better for me.  I’ve adapted it a little to include maca, another supper food, and it turns out to be my favorite way to get maca down my gullet.

 

Chocolate Maca Chia pudding

Chocolate Maca Chia pudding

I don’t eat maca that often and when I do I have to use very small amounts and only in the evening.  I know it’s supposed to be energizing and all, but it actually makes me feel sleepier than usual for several hours before it kicks in…in the middle of the night while I’m actually trying to sleep.  If I only use it as an occasional dessert in the evening I seem to be okay, but even one small serving any other time of the day equals an energy fit filled night and if I don’t get my eight hours of shut eye I turn into a crazy woman!

Chocolate Maca Chia pudding

Chocolate Maca Chia pudding

Back to the pudding…I think maca and chocolate go together pretty well flavor wise.  The chocolate kind of hides the cigarette butt flavor of the maca.  Mmmm.  I made some yesterday and took some slightly fuzzy pictures of it.  Here’s the recipe:

1 15 oz can full fat coconut milk

3/4 c water

1/3 c chia seeds

2 Tbs cocoa powder

1 tsp maca powder (adjust the maca to your liking and here’s the brand I use.)

1/4 tsp salt (I’ve been using Real Salt, tasty!)

Stevia to taste*

Mix all the ingredients together till clumps are gone.  Refrigerate for at least thirty minutes then mix again if needed.  You may eat it at this point or save it for later in the fridge.  It makes four servings.

I bet there are all kinds of ways to play with this using other ingredients like protein powder or even raw eggs.  We have our own chickens so I do this sometimes in shakes and it makes them so creamy.  You can coddle the egg first if you don’t have a good, clean source for healthy eggs.

Stevia concentrate

Stevia concentrate

*It’s hard to put a measurement on stevia since there are so many varieties and they all vary in sweetness and measurements.  I started using the brand in the link above about seven years ago and haven’t looked back.  I use it every single day in my tea so I’m very used to eyeballing just how much I need and I even cut a bendy straw to use as a little scoop.  For this recipe I used four scoops which seems to be about the equivalent of one cup of sugar.

Homegrown green stevia

Homegrown green stevia

I also grow stevia and dry and grind my own, but green stevia has a green taste to it so it’s less versatile.  I use it mostly in juices that are bitter and don’t have enough carrots to sweeten it up.  It’s not quite as strong as the concentrate, but it’s surprisingly close so I use a snipped straw to measure it out too.