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Mississippi Mud Pies

April 28, 2014 Print this page

When I was younger, my parents and I would often go out to dinner at a restaurant called the Ash Creek Saloon. It was kinda a cheesy place with wood everything and lots of cowboy hats, but as I recall, the food was pretty good.  The restaurant is gone now, but the one thing I still have a concrete memory of was the Mississippi Mud Pie. I only have flashes of Oreo cookie crumbs and sticky chocolate syrup, but I remember that it was really, really good. This is a healthier and more sophisticated version.

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time
Total Time 4 hr
Yield 3 good-sized mud pies

FOR THE CRUST:

2 cups of walnuts

1/2 cup of cocoa powder

A pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or coconut nectar)

FOR THE COFFEE CREAM:

1 cup of cashews, soaked overnight

1/2 cup of strongly-brewed coffee (preferably decaf)

2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or coconut nectar)

2 tablespoons of coconut oil

A pinch of salt

FOR THE CHOCOLATE LAYER:

The coconut cream from 2 cans of coconut milk (put them in the fridge overnight, tip upside down, and pour out the “water” on the bottom)

1/2 cup of cocoa powder

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or coconut nectar)

A pinch of salt

FOR THE CHOCOLATE SHELL:

3 tablespoons of coconut oil

3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

Directions

FOR THE CRUST:

Pour the walnuts, 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Process until the walnuts are finely ground but nowhere near turning buttery, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Add in 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or coconut nectar, if you prefer) and process for another 30 seconds until everything sticks together in a nice, firm dough.

If you find your crust is too liquid-y, add in more walnuts. If you find it is too dry, add more maple syrup.

Line 3 mini spring-form pans (or ramekins if you don’t have them) with a circle of parchment paper. Using your fingers, squish 1/6 of the crust into each of the pans, using up only half of your total crust. Spread it out so there are no holes and everything is in one uniform layer.

Pop those guys in the freezer while you make the coffee cream layer.

FOR THE COFFEE CREAM:

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the cashews with the coffee, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and a pinch of salt. Blend until homogeneous and creamy, about 1 minute.

Take the spring form pans out of the freezer and evenly divide the cashew mixture among the three of them. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth them out, then pop them back into the freezer for at least 3 hours to firm up. This is crucial!

After your spring form pans have been in the freezer for 3 hours with the cashew base, take them out and evenly divide the rest of the crust mixture among the pans.

Applying very gentle pressure, spread the crust out so it completely covers the layer of cashew cream. If you press too hard, you’ll have a mess–so be very, very careful.

Pop those bad boys back in the freezer while you make the light, fluffy chocolate layer.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE LAYER:

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the coconut cream with 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and a pinch of salt. Blend just to combine (only about 15-20 seconds), then taste and adjust if necessary.

Take the spring form pans out of the freezer (again) and divide the fluffy chocolate layer evenly among the three pans. Pop in the freezer for at least another hour.

Take the pans out of the freezer after the hour has elapsed. In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of coconut oil with 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder, then pour 1/3 of it over the top of each pie, using a fork or spoon to spread it out.

Put back in the freezer overnight. The next day, de-mold the Mississippi Mud Pies and store in the fridge for a softer dessert or freezer for a firmer sweet treat.

Enjoy!


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Mississippi Mud Pies (gluten-free + vegan)

April 28, 2014 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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For the first photo, I could have picked one of my pictures of the dessert in its whole, unbroken form. I thought that the ones with a bite taken out were prettier, though. They look happier, don’t you think?

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In case you didn’t see the title, I should probably tell you what these are.

They’re MISSISSIPPI MUD PIES.

Oh yeah, baby.

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You see all of those shades of brown in there? That’s because there are FIVE layers of deliciousness: a cookie crust, a coffee cream, another layer of cookie crust, a light, fluffy chocolate mousse, and a chocolate shell on the top.

Did I mention that it’s completely gluten-free, grain-free, and vegan, too?

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I’m salivating just thinking about it.

I call this dish a “Mississippi Mud Pie,” but it actually isn’t very much like the original, which is VERY dense, VERY sweet, and VERY chocolaty. I wanted to take my version to the next level, so I lightened up the creamier layers with cashews and coconut milk, significantly decreased the sugar content, and balanced out the chocolate with the wonderful flavor of coffee.

I think it’s way more sophisticated, too.

When I was younger, my parents and I would often go out to dinner at a restaurant called the Ash Creek Saloon. It was kinda a cheesy place with wood everything and lots of cowboy hats, but as I recall, the food was pretty good. There was barbecued chicken, pulled pork, and ribs galore, with cornbread, coleslaw, and very salty fries to go along with them.

The restaurant is gone now, but the one thing I still have a concrete memory of was the Mississippi Mud Pie. I don’t really remember what they put in there or how it was presented–I only have flashes of Oreo cookie crumbs and sticky chocolate syrup–but I remember that it was really, really good.

Years later, I was eating at a much finer dining establishment (namely Brown’s Beach House, which I mentioned in my Hawaii post) and had an incredible Mississippi Mud Pie ice cream cake that I think was about the size of my head. But I still ate the entire thing and licked the plate because, you know, I didn’t want to be rude or anything.

Not. It was super-duper stellarly amazing.

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Anyway, this dessert is a tribute to two Mississippi Mud Pies that have shaped my life, and I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I (and my teachers and friends) did.

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Let’s get started.

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Pour 2 cups of walnuts, 1/2 cup of cocoa powder (the good stuff, please), and a pinch of salt into the bowl of a food processor. Process until the walnuts are finely ground but nowhere near turning buttery, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Add in 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or coconut nectar, if you prefer) and process for another 30 seconds until everything sticks together in a nice, firm dough. It’ll look like this:

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If you find your crust is too liquid-y, add in more walnuts. If you find it is too dry, add more maple syrup.

Line 3 mini spring-form pans (or ramekins if you don’t have them) with a circle of parchment paper. Using your fingers, squish 1/6 of the crust into each of the pans, using up only half of your total crust. Spread it out so there are no holes and everything is in one uniform layer.

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Pop those guys in the freezer while you make the coffee cream layer.

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine 1 cup of cashews (SOAKED OVERNIGHT!!!) with 1/2 cup of strongly-brewed coffee (preferably decaf, because me + caffeine = everybody leaves), 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and a pinch of salt. Blend until homogeneous and creamy, about 1 minute.

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Take the spring form pans out of the freezer and evenly divide the cashew mixture among the three of them. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth them out…

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…then pop them back into the freezer for at least 3 hours to firm up. This is crucial! You’ll see why in a second.

Remember the second half of the crust you didn’t use earlier? Yeah, now’s the time. After your spring form pans have been in the freezer for 3 hours with the cashew base, take them out and evenly divide the rest of the crust mixture among the pans.

Applying very gentle pressure, spread the crust out so it completely covers the layer of cashew cream. If you press too hard, you’ll have a mess–so be very, very careful.

Pop those bad boys back in the freezer while you make the light, fluffy chocolate layer.

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In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the coconut cream from 2 cans of coconut milk (put them in the fridge overnight, tip upside down, and pour out the “water” on the bottom) with 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and a pinch of salt. Blend just to combine (only about 15-20 seconds), then taste and adjust if necessary.

Take the spring form pans out of the freezer (again) and divide the fluffy chocolate layer evenly among the three pans. Pop in the freezer for at least another hour.

Take the pans out of the freezer after the hour has elapsed. In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of coconut oil with 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder, then pour 1/3 of it over the top of each pie, using a fork or spoon to spread it out.

Put back in the freezer overnight. The next day, de-mold the Mississippi Mud Pies and store in the fridge for a softer dessert or freezer for a firmer sweet treat.

Enjoy!

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Are you a chocolate purist, or do you like it with other things? (OR BOTH?!) Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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Paleo Mocha Coconut Frappuccino Cupcakes (gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free)

December 31, 2013 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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It’s the end of 2013, and we’ve gotta celebrate. I don’t think there’s a better way to say “party” than a mocha coconut frappuccino cupcake, don’t you?

Cupcakes may be the most fun thing on earth to bake. There are so many different combinations of cupcake, frosting, and topping to try, and best of all, your dessert comes in a pre-portioned package so you won’t over-stuff yourself. (Though they’re so tasty, you might go back for a second…)

My problem with classic American cupcakes is that the ratio of frosting to cake is about 1,000 to 1. While frosting is delicious, this is a cupCAKE, not a cupFROSTING. Frosting also packs on a ton of calories, since it’s pretty much made of a pound each of butter and sugar. The poor cake–which should be the centerpiece of the dessert–is buried and forgotten, and often is dry and flavorless due to its lack of attention. Everyone’s in it for the frosting, and that’s sad.

While these cupcakes do have a good amount of frosting, it’s clear that the moist, chocolaty cake is the star. It’s a little sweet, but not so sugary that it’ll make your mouth pucker: you can actually taste the other ingredients, like coffee, cocoa powder, and toasted coconut. They are the BOMB.

Made paleo-friendly from THIS recipe! Yay for inspiration! 
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Ready to pounce on these delicious cupcakes? Good, let’s get started.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin tins with 15 muffin liners, preferably parchment ones. I know 15 is an awkward number when it comes to baking, but just go with it, OK?

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 8 large eggs at medium speed until a little frothy and lightened in color, about 2 to 3 minutes. 8 eggs sounds like a lot, but it’s what gives the cupcakes a good deal of their structure. We want cupcakes, not pancakes.

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While the eggs beat themselves silly, stir together 1 cup of full-fat coconut milk with 3 tablespoons of instant coffee powder in a small saucepan over medium low heat. When the liquid begins to boil, turn it off the heat and let it cool for a minute; it should be a lovely chestnut-brown in color.

Allow it to cool for a minute, then pour into the eggs. Beat just to combine, then add in 1/2 cup of coconut nectar (can be substituted with honey or maple syrup), 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and 1/2 cup of coconut oil, melted. Keep mixing until everything is completely incorporated, about a minute longer.

In a small bowl, sift together 1 cup of coconut flour, 1/4 cup of tapioca flour/powder (doesn’t matter, they’re pretty much identical), 1/2 cup of cocoa powder (the higher quality, the better), 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine and pour into the wet ingredients about 1/3 cup at a time.

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Your batter should be smooth, thin-ish (about halfway between crepe batter and pancake batter in thickness), and dark brown in color when it’s ready. If you’re feeling adventurous, add in 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips, but feel free to leave them out, if you’d like.

Using an ice cream scoop or two large spoons, evenly divide the cupcake batter between the muffin liners. Bake in the center rack of the oven until a toothpick comes out clean in the center, about 30 minutes. DO NOT OVER-BAKE! Veer on the side of caution and take these babies out before you think they’re done; too late and they’ll taste like sandy piles of blugh.

Once the cupcakes are out of the oven, place 3 tablespoons of unsweetened shredded coconut on a baking sheet and spread out to ensure even toasting. Place on the top rack and bake until golden brown all over, about 5 to 7 minutes. Be careful: coconut burns very easily!

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Let the cupcakes cool in the muffin tins for at least half an hour. You can make the frosting while you wait!

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In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together 3/4 cup of palm shortening, 1/3 cup of coconut nectar (can be substituted with honey or maple syrup), 1/4 cup of arrowroot powder, and 2 tablespoons of coconut flour on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes.

To the frosting, add in 2 tablespoons of full-fat coconut milk, 1 teaspoon of coconut extract, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and a generous pinch of salt. Keep beating on high for a minute or two more, then taste and adjust the flavor.

Scoop the frosting into a pastry bag or a large ziploc bag with a corner snipped off. Secure the bag, push the frosting to the bottom, and twist the top. Set aside while you make the drizzle to go on top.

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In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together 1/2 cup of coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of mini chocolate chips, and 1 tablespoon of instant coffee powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cook until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. If you find that the drizzle is still really liquid-y, let it reduce for a little while longer or add in 1 tablespoon of sunflower seed butter (or other nut butter) to thicken.

You’re now ready to assemble! Squeeze the frosting in a circular motion on top of the cupcake, apply the drizzle with a small spoon, and sprinkle some of the toasted shredded coconut on top. Enjoy…but please do so before 2:00 in the afternoon. (Otherwise, you’ll be bouncing off the walls all night!)

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What desserts would YOU like to see made paleo in 2014? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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Paleo Mocha Coconut Frappuccino Cupcakes

December 31, 2013 Print this page

It’s the end of the year, and you’ve gotta celebrate. I don’t think there’s a better way to say “party” than a mocha coconut frappuccino cupcake, don’t you?

Ingredients

Prep Time 30 min
Cooking Time 30 min
Total Time 1 hr
Yield 15 cupcakes

FOR THE CUPCAKES:

8 large eggs

1 cup of full-fat coconut milk

3 tablespoons of instant coffee powder

1/2 cup of coconut nectar (can be substituted with honey or maple syrup)

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup of coconut oil, melted

1 cup of coconut flour

1/4 cup of tapioca flour/powder

1/2 cup of cocoa powder

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips (optional)

FOR THE TOASTED COCONUT:

3 tablespoons of unsweetened shredded coconut

FOR THE FROSTING:

3/4 cup of palm shortening

1/3 cup of coconut nectar (can be substituted with honey or maple syrup)

1/4 cup of arrowroot powder

2 tablespoons of coconut flour

2 tablespoons of full-fat coconut milk

1 teaspoon of coconut extract

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

A generous pinch of salt

FOR THE DRIZZLE:

1/2 cup of coconut milk

2 tablespoons of mini chocolate chips

1 tablespoon of instant coffee powder

1 tablespoon of sunflower seed butter (or other nut butter, optional)

Directions

FOR THE CUPCAKES:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin tins with 15 muffin liners, preferably parchment ones.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs at medium speed until a little frothy and lightened in color, about 2 to 3 minutes.

While the eggs beat, stir together the coconut milk with the instant coffee powder in a small saucepan over medium low heat. When the liquid begins to boil, turn it off the heat and let it cool for a minute; it should be a lovely chestnut-brown in color.

Allow it to cool for a minute, then pour into the eggs. Beat just to combine, then add in the coconut nectar, vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar, and coconut oil. Keep mixing until everything is completely incorporated, about a minute longer.

In a small bowl, sift together the coconut flour, tapioca flour/powder, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine and pour into the wet ingredients about 1/3 cup at a time.

Your batter should be smooth, thin-ish and dark brown in color when it’s ready. If you’re feeling adventurous, add in the mini chocolate chips.

Using an ice cream scoop or two large spoons, evenly divide the cupcake batter between the muffin liners. Bake in the center rack of the oven until a toothpick comes out clean in the center, about 30 minutes. DO NOT OVER-BAKE!

FOR THE TOASTED COCONUT:

Once the cupcakes are out of the oven, place the shredded coconut on a baking sheet and spread out to ensure even toasting. Place on the top rack and bake until golden brown all over, about 5 to 7 minutes. Be careful: coconut burns very easily!

FOR THE FROSTING:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the palm shortening, coconut nectar, arrowroot powder, and coconut flour on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes.

To the frosting, add in the full-fat coconut milk, coconut extract, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Keep beating on high for a minute or two more, then taste and adjust the flavor.

Scoop the frosting into a pastry bag or a large ziploc bag with a corner snipped off. Secure the bag, push the frosting to the bottom, and twist the top.

FOR THE DRIZZLE:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the coconut milk, mini chocolate chips, and instant coffee powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cook until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. If you find that the drizzle is still really liquid-y, let it reduce for a little while longer or add in the sunflower seed butter to thicken.

TO ASSEMBLE:

Squeeze the frosting in a circular motion on top of the cupcake, apply the drizzle with a small spoon, and sprinkle some of the toasted shredded coconut on top. Enjoy!


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