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!

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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.

Thumbprint Cookies with Blackberry Chia Jam

Over the weekend I did some experimenting in the kitchen and came up with a tasty little cookie that even my pickiest eaters scarfed down and asked for more.

It’s a dessert, of course, and who doesn’t love sweets?  I always had a major sweet tooth and baking has always been the only cooking I’ve really enjoyed.

Thumbprint Cookies with Blackberry Chia Jam (sugar and gluten free)

These cookies are sweet as well as sugar and gluten free!  As I was sampling my first one I thought I couldn’t really tell they were sugar free but assumed it was because I’ve been off sugar for a few months.  Then, as my oldest was eating some, she also mentioned she couldn’t tell they weren’t made with sugar.  I think having naturally sweet and tart blackberries helps.

Thumbprint Cookies with Blackberry Chia Jam (sugar and gluten free)

My oldest, whose 14, picks wild blackberries every summer and we freeze bags full of them.  They’re smaller and the seeds seem larger than store bought blackberries but they also seem sweeter with a stronger flavor.  They are sooo yummy!

Thumbprint Cookies with Blackberry Chia Jam

Dry ingredients:

2 C almond meal

1/4 C coconut flour

1/4 C xylitol

1 t cinnamon

1/2 t stevia concentrate powder, or to taste

1/2 t salt

1/2 t baking soda

Wet ingredients:

1/2 C butter, softened

1 egg

1/4 t raw apple cider vinegar (you can’t taste it at all and it helps them rise)

In a bowl mix all of the dry ingredients together then add wet ingredients and mix until very well incorporated   Divide and shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.  Press your thumb half way into the center of each cookie making a well to place the jam in after baking.  Bake them in a 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies just begin to brown.

Once cookies are baked and cooled fill the center of each cookie with 1 1/2 tsp of jam.  Store uneaten cookies in the refrigerator.  This recipe make 24 cookies.

Blackberry Chia Jam

2 C frozen blackberries

2 T lemon juice

2 T chia seeds

1/2 t stevia concentrate powder, or to taste

In a small saucepan heat the frozen berries and lemon juice to a simmer and cook until berries are soft.  Remove pan from heat, stir in chia seeds, and smash up the berries with the back of a spoon or a potato masher.  Stir in stevia and allow the jam to cool in the refrigerator or stick it in the freezer for about 5 or 10 minutes.

Printable Recipe Here

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??