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Tag Archives: chocolate

Vegan Peanut-Butter Banana Bread

Peanut butter seems like it should be healthy, right? But have you ever read the ingredients? Most peanut butter is filled with added sugar and trans fats! Even if the nutrition facts states “0g trans fat” or it says “0g trans fat per serving” on the package, that may not be true. If there are hydrogenated oils listed in the ingredients, there are trans fatty acids in the food. If it’s less than a gram, it doesn’t have to be listed. That’s a big issue because with so many processed foods containing hydrogenated oils, it can really add up overtime and lead to some serious health issues. That’s exactly why I used Crazy Richard’s Peanut Butter to make my Vegan Peanut-Butter Banana Bread–there is only one ingredient: peanuts!

What even are hydrogenated oils?

Hydrogenation refers to the process of adding hydrogen atoms to the oil. I’ll try not to get too much into chemistry, but basically the process breaks some of the double bonds found in unsaturated fats. It converts them to single bonds so that the fatty acids are non-conjugated (there is at least one methyl group between them) which allows them to be in a trans configuration. Translated to English, that means they can pack more closely, thus being more temperature stable. Why is this even an issue? Hydrogenation takes unsaturated fats (which are, in many cases, healthier) and makes them artificially behave like saturated fats.

vegan peanut-butter banana bread

“Natural” Peanut Butter

What really frustrates me about the food industry (actually there are a lot of things) is how there is no regulation on the word “natural”. It’s just another marketing scheme and doesn’t mean anything nutritionally. Even though “natural” peanut butters don’t contain hydrogenated oils, there are still a lot of brands that add sugar, salt, and palm oil. These are totally unnecessary ingredients (besides maybe a little salt), but Crazy Richard’s really keeps it clean and simple by strictly using peanuts.

Nut Butter Egg Substitutes

The other thing I want to address is why I added peanut butter at all. Not only is it one of my favorite foods, but it makes a great egg-replacer. I wouldn’t call it universal, but it’s perfect for breads, muffins, and cookies. Three tablespoons is equivalent to one egg. Just like a real egg, it adds both fat and moisture. If you’re allergic to peanuts, any other nut or seed butter will work too!

Refined-Sugar Free

As always, I try to minimize processed ingredients as much as possible. For my Vegan Peanut-Butter Banana Bread, I was able to eliminate all refined sugar. The bananas add a good deal of sweetness on their own, but I also supplemented with sucanat. If you aren’t familiar or haven’t come across it in my other posts, sucanat is an unrefined sugar that still contains the natural molasses. It tastes like brown sugar, only it’s more rich and flavorful. I like to use Wholesome Sweets because it’s organic, non-GMO, and fair trade certified.

vegan peanut-butter banana bread

Vegan Peanut-Butter Banana Bread only has a few simple ingredients and comes together in just over an hour. If you’re short on time though, the batter works great for muffins too. They would only need to bake for 15-20 minutes.

Similar Recipes to Check Out:

Vegan Peanut-Butter Banana Bread

This Vegan-Peanut Butter Banana Bread is studded with chocolate chips, laced with creamy peanut butter, and sweetend by bananas–you really can't go wrong!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banana, banana bread, breakfast, chocolate, egg free, peanut butter, plant based, quick bread, vegan
Servings: 12
Author: Rachel Alexandra

Ingredients

  • 3 large, overripe, bananas mashed
  • cup coconut oil melted
  • 3 Tbsp Crazy Richard's creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup sucanat
  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the mashed banana and coconut oil.* Then add the peanut butter, sucanat and vanilla.
  • Finally, add the baking soda, salt, and flour and mix until just combined, being sure not to over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Bake for about 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Enjoy!

Notes

Make sure the bananas aren’t cold if they were previously frozen. Coconut oil has high freezing point and will start to solidify if the other ingredients aren’t at room temperature.
This recipe can also make 12 muffins instead of a loaf of bread. They would need to bake for 15-20 minutes.
If you’re allergic to peanuts, any nut or seed butter will work as a substitute.
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Pumpkin and Pepita Muffins

Being laid up at home definitely calls for a cozy batch of muffins…

Do you ever have one of those days when nothing’s going well and all you want is a homemade muffin? And then those are nearly a disaster in and of themselves? That was definitely me a couple days ago. I spent the first few hours of my day in urgent care after a horse mishap the day before. After a few hours, I found out I have a fracture right under my eye along with a mild concussion. By the time I got home, I still had time before running to the ophthalmologist to check for eye damage. Even though I was tired, I felt like baking a quick batch of Pumpkin and Pepita Muffins.

pumpkin and pepita muffins

…That is until they’re nearly ruined!

I gathered my ingredients and whipped up the batter for the recipe below. In about 20 minutes, I expected to have 12 beautiful, fluffy, flavorful muffins. But when it came time to test them with a toothpick, I tried to grab the pan with one oven-mitt. Sounds easy enough, right? It’s not a heavy pan after all. But then again, there’s not a lot of space to hold onto and I quickly realized I needed two hands. As I tried to place the muffins back in the oven, one of them on the corner bit the dust! Like how does that even happen?! How does just ONE muffin fall out of a deep tin like that?!

pumpkin and pepita muffins

Well, regardless of how it happened, I had a big mess to worry about instead. I grabbed most of the muffin from the rack, but a few pieces fell to the bottom of the 400 degree oven. Not only that, but when I tested the muffins, they weren’t done and had to go back in! At this point, the frustration was getting to me. I was tired with a headache and a broken face and now had to turn off the oven, clean it out, and get 11 half baked muffins back in. I was afraid they would cave in or something due to all the temperature changes, but to my surprise they actually turned out!

pumpkin and pepita muffins

Moral of the story:

So I guess the takeaway from my experience is to always use two hands when putting things in or taking things out of ovens. Sounds like common sense, but apparently not. Another thing I found out is that this recipe is pretty resistant to rapid temperature changes, which is great for checking for doneness along the way.

Despite the hassle, these Pumpkin and Pepita Muffins were totally worth it. Go ahead and give this recipe a try–I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!

How can I make this recipe vegan?

Simply substitute the milk for a non-dairy alternative.

Can I make these without refined sugar?

Absolutely! Instead of regular table sugar, you can substitute organic sugar. Also, try using pure dark maple syrup in place of molasses.

pumpkin and pepita muffins

Similar Recipes to Try:

Pumpkin and Pepita Muffins

Light, fluffy pumpkin chocolate chip muffins with crunchy pepitas on top. Pumpkin and Pepita Muffins make for a perfect cozy breakfast!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baking, chocolate, fall dessert, muffin, pumpkin
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 360kcal
Author: Rachel Alexandra

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup organic pumpkin purée
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp black strap molasses or dark maple syrup
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Pepitas for topping

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425° and line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
  • Whisk all the dry ingredients except for the chocolate chips and pepitas in a large bowl.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk all of the wet ingredients together. Then combine the wet and dry in the large bowl. Be careful not to over mix.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips and evenly distribute the batter between the muffin cups. If you want bigger muffins, fill 10 cups nearly full. Otherwise, you can make 12 regular muffins by filling cups ⅔ full.
  • Bake for 6-7 minutes at 425°.When the muffins start rising, turn the oven down to 400° and bake for another 8-10 minutes.Test them with a toothpick to see when they are done.Let them cool for about 15 minutes before placing them on a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Notes

To make vegan, substitute milk for a non-dairy alternative and use vegan chocolate chips.
To make refined sugar free, use the maple syrup option instead of molasses and substitute organic sugar for conventional table sugar.

Andes Candies Cookies

Hi everyone! I hope you all enjoyed a joyous Christmas this past week! If you’re like me and LOVE Christmas and never want it to end, here’s a classic Christmas cookie recipe to keep the festivities going: Andes Candies Cookies!

These soft little cookies are rich and chocolaty with a lovely mint twist on top. As an added bonus, (assuming the batch doesn’t disappear instantly 😉 ) they can even be used for a crust in my Egg-Free Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake! Since I planned to make said cheesecake for the Utke family Christmas last Sunday, I got together with my sister, Lauren (from Lauren and the Foreign), the week prior for a little baking extravaganza.

To make Andes Candies Cookies egg-free, I use cream cheese as a substitute. It’s not the most universal egg replacement, but it sure seems to work well in cookies by binding the dough and making it nice and rich. I also used Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips which are free from the most common allergens.

After melting the butter, sugar, and water on the stove, I stirred in the chocolate until it melted. I allowed it to cool for a few minutes before mixing in the cream cheese, baking soda, salt, and flour. Then I covered the dough and allowed it to chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.

The chilling can reduce spread when baking and can help for rolling the dough into balls. Personally, I prefer making little cookies, so I made my dough balls no bigger than a ping-pong ball. Also, if you want to have thinner cookies than the ones pictured below, you could press down the dough before baking.

Right after the cookies come out of the oven, top each one with half of an Andes mint. As it starts to melt, take a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon and swirl the chocolate around. If you make larger cookies, you’ll likely want to use a full mint per cookie. After about 10 minutes, the cookies can be transferred to a cooling rack as the chocolate hardens. Enjoy!

If you love Andes Candies Cookies, give these other recipes a try:

Andes Candies Cookies

These soft little Christmas cookies are rich and chocolaty with a lovely mint twist on top! Perfect for all your holiday celebrations!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Chilling Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, Christmas, cookie, mint
Author: Rachel Alexandra

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 cups Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 4 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 ½° cups all purpose flour
  • Andes mints halved

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, brown sugar, and water.
  • Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Chill for 10 minutes.
  • Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the chocolate mixture and keep beating until just combined. Don't over mix.
  • Slowly add the baking soda, salt and flour. When all the ingredients come together, let the dough chill for about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Roll the dough into balls, about 2 inches in diameter and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake cookies for 10 minutes. Immediately top each cookie with one half of an Andes mint. As each one melts, swirl it around with the back of a spoon or a small offset spatula. Allow cookies to cool somewhat before transferring to a cooling rack.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles

I filled my bowl with peanut butter, powdered sugar, and butter and turned on the mixer. As I folded in some crisp rice cereal, the aroma of Christmastime wafted around the kitchen. Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles only seem to come around once a year, but I think I need to change that 😉

After all, these truffles are basically a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup except a zillion times better. I’m talking rich peanut butter filling with a crispy crunch, submerged in decadent semisweet chocolate. Plus they don’t have all the added preservatives and funky oils you get in processed candy bars. So naturally Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles will top anything found in a store.

I’m all about clean eating, but that doesn’t mean I’m anti-dessert. I just use the highest quality, most minimally processed ingredients and cut no corners cooking from scratch. For these truffles, I made sure to use Crazy Richard’s peanut butter which only has one ingredient–peanuts! Just like it should be. I didn’t want to use anything with added sugars or hydrogenated oils found in most conventional peanut butter. However, even among “natural” peanut butters, you find unnecessary ingredients when all you really need is peanuts and maybe salt.

Overall, these Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles are super easy to make. The only challenge I encounter is getting them to look as good as my mom’s! The first few always look the best, but toward the end it becomes nearly impossible to have a perfectly smooth chocolate coating. Either way, they still taste amazing! Plus, you can always pick and choose the best ones to give away or serve at a gathering. If you want them all to look perfect though, you can always melt some extra chocolate. My other tip is to make sure the peanut butter balls are rolled into perfect little spheres. The smoother they are, the smoother the chocolate coating will look.

If you love Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles, give these a try:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles

Natural peanut butter filling with a crispy crunch, dipped in smooth, rich chocolate–the perfect holiday truffle!
Prep Time20 mins
Cooling Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, confectionery, peanut butter, truffle
Servings: 40 truffles
Author: Rachel Alexandra

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups crisp rice cereal
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup Crazy Richard's peanut butter
  • ¼ cup salted butter softened
  • Pinch of salt
  • 12 oz semisweet baking chocolate

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, peanut butter, and salt. Using a hand or stand mixer, mix the ingredients until everything is evenly combined.
  • Gently fold in crisp rice cereal.
  • Form the dough into 1 tablespoon-sized balls. Roll them until spherical and place on a sheet of wax paper.
  • Melt the chocolate using a double boiler or in the microwave. To use the double boiler, add one inch of water to the bottom and melt the chocolate on top. Stir often and be sure not to let any moisture in the chocolate (it will alter the consistency). If using a microwave, go in short intervals and stir often to avoid scorching the chocolate.
  • Individually, place the peanut butter balls in the chocolate. Roll each one around until it is totally covered. Carefully removed with a fork and place on wax paper to cool.
  • When all the truffles are made, they can be placed in the refrigerator for faster cooling time and they can be stored in an airtight container there or in the freezer.

Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread

Growing up, banana muffins were always one of my favorite treats, but with the rate at which we went through bananas, we hardly ever had any that lasted until they were overripe. (They called me “Monkey” for a reason!) However, now my husband and I always seem to have plenty of overripe bananas on hand, so this Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread is our go-to recipe.

The bread features warm fall spices, rich dark chocolate, and a splash of rum for good measure. I adapted the recipe from Smitten Kitchen’s Jacked-Up Banana Bread, but use coconut oil and a flax egg to make it vegan. I also reduce the sugar, use whole wheat pastry flour, substitute rum for bourbon, and add a generous dose of chocolate for good measure.

In addition, I just want to add a side note about freezing bananas. Previously frozen bananas work great in this recipe, but you’ll want them to get to room temperature first. The coconut oil with it’s high freezing point will start to solidify shortly after adding it to the bananas. However, if you aren’t concerned with making it a vegan recipe, you could always use melted butter and then it should be less of an issue.

I hope you give Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread a try and I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below! Happy fall baking!

Similar Recipes to Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread:

Eggless Bronco Bread

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Makes 1 loaf or 12 muffins

Ingredients

1 Tbs. ground flaxseed

3 Tbs. hot water

3 large, ripe, mashed bananas

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup white sugar

1 Tbs. molasses

1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 Tbs. spiced rum (optional)

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Pinch of ground cloves

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup vegan dark chocolate chips

Directions

In a small bowl, whisk the flaxseed and hot water to make an “egg”. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350° and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix the mashed banana and coconut oil.* Then add the sugar, molasses, vanilla, and rum (if using).

Add the spices followed by the baking soda and salt. Finally, add the flour and mix until just combined, being sure not to over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Bake for about 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Enjoy!

*Note: Make sure the bananas aren’t cold if they were previously frozen. Coconut oil has high freezing point and will start to solidify if the other ingredients aren’t at room temperature.

Milk and Honey™ Chocolate Cupcakes

Happy Thursday, everyone! I’m really excited to finally be posting this cupcake recipe. It’s one I actually made a while back in collaboration with Lauren and the Foreign and Milk and Honey™. Lauren (my sister) and her friend Julia (aka the foreign) are lifestyle bloggers who create a bunch of fun cocktails. One of their favorite products is Milk and Honey™ which is a cream liqueur made of date honey.

In these chocolate cupcakes, I use the Milk and Honey™ kind of like you would use Irish cream. I added some to the whipped cream filling and in the rich chocolate frosting for a little extra spike. Of course, you can always omit the alcohol to make these kid-friendly or if you just want a milder flavor.

Ingredients

Cupcakes

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup brewed Purity Coffee (must be hot)

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vinegar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup melted butter

Filling

8 oz. heavy cream

1/4 cup Milk and Honey ™ cream liquer

1/4 cup powdered sugar

3/4 tsp. vanilla

Frosting

Powdered sugar

Unsweetened cocoa

Butter

Milk and Honey ™

Cream or half and half

Directions

Cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 count muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Bloom the cocoa powder by dissolving it in the hot coffee. Let stand for 2-3 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and baking soda. Add the vinegar, vanilla, melted butter, and coffee/cocoa mixture. Stir until combined.

Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full with batter and bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

When the cupcakes are cool, use a cupcake corer (or a small spoon/knife) to remove the center of each cupcake. Set aside the cake that’s removed.

Filling

Using a hand or stand mixer, start by whipping the cream. As it starts to stiffen, add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Once they are mixed in, add the Milk and Honey ™ cream liqueur and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Adjust the amount of liqueur per your preferences.

Scoop the whipped cream into a piping bag with a coupler attached. No tip is necessary. Pipe the whipped cream into the middle of the cupcakes and cover the top with the cake that was removed.

Frosting

Start by adding about 4 cups of powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer and add a few tablespoons of Dutch cocoa powder about 1/3 cup of softened butter. For the liquid, you can use any combination of cream and Milk and Honey ™. (We opted for more liquer and less cream, but it all depends on how strong you like it!)

Whip the frosting until it is light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. Adjust the amount of cocoa to get the desired degree of chocolate flavor. If it’s too thick, add more liquid and if it’s too soft add more sugar. Finally, scoop the frosting into a piping bag equipped with Wilton tip 1M and swirl the frosting over each cupcake. Enjoy!

Cappuccino Cheesecake

It’s finally here! Cappuccino cheesecake! I was hoping to get this brand new recipe published early this week, but finals got the best of me. Looking back, I think my biggest accomplishment this semester was not “procrasto-baking”…not too much anyway. But if you’re looking for an excuse to procrasto-bake, then this is your opportunity!

My fiancé and I baked this cheesecake a couple weeks ago and it was a huge hit (My mom even says it’s her favorite one yet!) It starts with a buttery graham cracker crust with a creamy, coffee infused filling and topped with chocolate ganache. 😋

As always with recipes involving coffee, I’m going to recommend Purity Coffee. You can learn more about why this is the only coffee I buy here and they also have tons of awesome, science-packed info on their website. Enjoy 10% off your first order with promo code ROOTS!

Crust

1 tsp. sugar

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup melted butter

Filling

1 cup white chocolate chips*

2 Tbs. butter

2 8-oz. packages of 1/3 fat cream cheese (room temperature)

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup coffee reduction

1/4 tsp. sea salt

Ganache

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 tsp. butter

Directions

Grease the bottom and sides of an 8 inch spring-form pan with canola spray or melted coconut oil/butter.

Put the graham crackers in a food processor and grind until they are just small crumbs. Add the sugar and pulse a few more times.

In a small bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted coconut oil or butter. Then press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside.

Prepare the coffee reduction using this recipe. Set aside.

Add approximately an inch of water to the bottom of a double boiler and melt 1 cup of white chocolate chips on medium heat. Stir every few minutes and be sure not to get any water in the chocolate. When the chocolate chips are melted, remove from heat and stir in 2 Tbs. of melted butter. Allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large, deep bowl, combine the somewhat-cooled white chocolate mixture, cream cheese, sugar, coffee reduction, and salt. Use an electric mixture to mix all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides every so often to ensure that everything is well combined. Be sure not to use the slowest setting and do not over mix.

Put the filling in the spring form pan and using a small offset spatula, smooth out the filling until it is even across the pan.

Bake for 35 minutes, making sure to not open the oven! Any rapid change in temperature or humidity can lead to cracking and caving.

Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for another 30 minutes, still not opening the door. When the time is up, let the cheesecake cool for approximately 30 more minutes before letting it chill and set up in the refrigerator for at least three hours and up to overnight.

While the cheesecake is cooling, it’s time to start the ganache! Measure the chocolate and set aside in glass bowl. Over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to boil. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Pour the cream and butter over the chocolate chips and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir the mixture until the ganache becomes homogeneous. Pour over cake and smooth with offset spatula. Allow ganache to cool before serving. Enjoy!

Tips

*When selecting white chocolate, make sure it actually contains cocoa butter and is free from hydrogenated oils and artificial flavors. (I get mine at Trader Joe’s.)

It’s important to make sure the base of of the spring-form pan is right side up. However, even if it is, it’s still possible for butter to leak out the bottom. To prevent a major mess, line a baking sheet with foil and place it under the cake pan.

Allow the cream cheese to reach room temperature before use so that it mixes smoothly. It will also help prevent the need to over-mix which can cause the cheesecake to cave in.

Whatever you do, do not open the oven until it is time to take it out. I know it’s tempting, but you just have to trust me on this one! This is also where it becomes imperative that the pan is put together correctly and a baking sheet is below the pan. If you have to open the oven to clean up burned butter as the house fills with haze, the cheesecake will surely cave in the middle. (Yes, I also learned this the hard way.)

But in the unfortunate event that the cake does cave in, all is not lost! The ganache will make it less noticeable and it will still taste great!

Don’t cover the cheesecake in the fridge until it is totally cool to prevent condensation from collecting on top. If this does happen, dab it off with a paper towel.

Mocha Cheesecake

This egg-less mocha cheesecake is actually one I made a while ago, but never got around to sharing the recipe. So here it is! It features a classic graham cracker crust and a chocolate filling with a hint of coffee. I chose to top it off with a drizzle of coffee infused glaze.

In case you’re wondering what type of coffee to use, I always recommend Purity Coffee. Purity is certified organic and lab tested for mold and mycotoxins. It is also higher in antioxidants than other conventional coffees. You can learn more about all the wonderful health benefits here! In the meantime, enjoy 10% off your first order by using promo code ROOTS.

As you read through the recipe, you make notice that there are no amounts listed for the glaze ingredients. If you’ve been following my blog for while, you probably know my philosophy on frostings, icings, and glazes: no recipe needed! Just add a little of this and a little of that until it’s just how you like it. Worst case scenario, you keep adding more until you have a lot more frosting than you really need 🙂 Enjoy!

Ingredients

Crust

1 tsp. sugar

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup melted coconut oil or butter

Filling

1 cup dark chocolate chips

2 Tbs. melted coconut oil or butter

2 8-oz. packages of 1/3 fat cream cheese (room temperature)

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbs. coffee reduction

1 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa

2 tsp. pure vanilla

1/4 tsp. sea salt

Glaze

Coffee reduction

Powdered sugar

Milk

Directions

Grease the bottom and sides of an 8 inch spring-form pan with canola spray or melted coconut oil/butter.

Put the graham crackers in a food processor and grind until they are just small crumbs. Add the sugar and pulse a few more times.

In a small bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted coconut oil or butter. Then press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside.

Prepare the coffee reduction using this recipe. Set aside.

Add approximately an inch of water to the bottom of a double boiler and melt 1 cup of dark chocolate chips on medium heat. Stir every few minutes and be sure not to get any water in the chocolate. When the chocolate chips are melted, remove from heat and stir in 2 Tbs. of melted butter or coconut oil. Allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large, deep bowl, combine the somewhat-cooled chocolate mixture, cream cheese, sugar, coffee reduction, cocoa, vanilla, and salt. Use an electric mixture to mix all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides every so often to ensure that everything is well combined. Be sure not to use the slowest setting and do not over mix.

Put the filling in the spring form pan and using a small offset spatula, smooth out the filling until it is even across the pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, making sure to not open the oven! Any rapid change in temperature or humidity can lead to cracking and caving.

Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for another 30 minutes, still not opening the door. When the time is up, let the cheesecake cool for approximately 30 more minutes before letting it chill and set up in the refrigerator for at least three hours and up to overnight.

While the cheesecake is cooling, it’s time to start the glaze! In a small bowl, whisk powdered sugar, coffee reduction, and milk. Adjust the amounts to achieve your desired consistency. When the cake is cool, drizzle with glaze and enjoy!

Tips

Make sure you put together the spring form pan correctly. Otherwise, oil from the crust will leak into the oven causing a huge mess. I’ve learned this the hard way. Three times to be exact.

Line a baking sheet with foil and put the spring form pan on it while baking. This will prevent any major mess in the event that some leakage does occur.

Allow the cream cheese to reach room temperature so that it mixes smoothly.

Again, whatever you do, do not open the oven until it is time to take it out. I know it’s tempting, but this is crucial to cheesecake success! This is also where it becomes imperative that the pan is put together correctly and a baking sheet is below the pan. If you have to open the oven to clean up burned butter as the house fills with haze, the cheesecake will surely cave in the middle. (Yes, I also learned this the hard way.)

But in the unfortunate event that the cake does cave in, all is not lost! The glaze will make it less noticeable and it will still taste great!

Don’t cover the cheesecake in the fridge until it is totally cool to prevent condensation from collecting on top. If this does happen, dab it off with a paper towel.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

Good morning! Today I’d like to share a simple banana snack cake recipe. It tastes like banana bread, but has a light, fluffy cake texture. I chose to use whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose and to reduce the sugar by 1/2 cup to make it a little healthier.

You may also notice the aquafaba in the ingredients list. I go into this in a little more detail in my post on egg substitutes, but it’s basically just the water from the can of garbanzo beans.

The original cake recipe (from Brown Eyed Baker) also suggests topping it with cream cheese frosting. But you know what? I don’t think it needs it. Wait…what?? Me?! Saying it doesn’t need frosting?! I know that probably comes a shock, because if you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you’ve probably gathered that I love all things frosting, glaze, and ganache. But I honestly think the cake is sweet enough and moist enough on it’s own and the cream cheese was just a bit too tangy for me. (Maybe I just didn’t have enough sugar in the frosting 😉) That being said, if you want to make it more of a dessert cake than a snack cake, by all means go ahead and add some frosting! Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbs. aquafaba*
  • 1 cup mashed, ripe bananas (2 to 3 medium bananas)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

Grease a square 8 inch baking pan and preheat the oven to 350° F.

Before measuring any other ingredients, mash the banana to ensure you have the right amount. There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a recipe and finding out you don’t have enough of something!

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the aquafaba, bananas, and vanilla.

Now, stirring by hand, alternate between adding the milk and dry ingredient mixture until a batter comes together. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (with the exception of some melted chocolate). Rotate the pan in the oven halfway through baking.

The cake can be stored at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to 5.

*This amount of aquafaba is equivalent to 2 whole eggs.

Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake

I know, it’s another cheesecake post on what’s technically a clean eating blog. 🤷‍♀️🍷🍫But yesterday I teamed up with my sister Lauren and her friend Julia from Lauren and the Foreign to bring to you this Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake. It’s rich, decadent cake with an egg-free, chocolate cheesecake base on a delicate graham cracker crust. Then I topped it with a sweet, homemade Merlot reduction. It’s the perfect combination of cheese, chocolate and wine!

Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake

Cheesecake has a reputation of being super difficult, but as long as you follow the directions and take your time, you’ll have it down in no time! I’ve also include a few tips to help make yours a success.

Tips for Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake

Make sure you put together the spring form pan correctly. Otherwise, oil from the crust will leak into the oven causing a huge mess. I’ve learned this the hard way. Three times to be exact.

Line a baking sheet with foil and put the spring form pan on it while baking. This will prevent any major mess in the event that some leakage does occur.

Allow the cream cheese to reach room temperature so that it mixes smoothly.

Again, whatever you do, do not open the oven until it is time to take it out. I know it’s tempting, but this is crucial to cheesecake success! This is also where it becomes imperative that the pan is put together correctly and a baking sheet is below the pan. If you have to open the oven to clean up burned butter as the house fills with haze, the cheesecake will surely cave in the middle. (Yes, I also learned this the hard way.)

Don’t cover the cheesecake in the fridge until it is totally cool to prevent condensation from collecting on top. If this does happen, dab it off with a paper towel.

Other Eggless Cheesecakes to Try

Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Resting, cooling, and chilling4 hrs
Total Time5 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheesecake, chocolate, merlot, wine
Servings: 8
Author: Rachel Alexandra

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter or coconut oil

Filling

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbs melted butter or coconut oil
  • 16 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs raw honey
  • 1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Merlot Reduction

  • ½ cup Merlot
  • 1 cup sugar

Instructions

  • Grease the bottom and sides of an 8 inch spring-form pan with canola spray or melted coconut oil/butter.
  • Put the graham crackers in a food processor and grind until they are just small crumbs. Add the sugar and pulse a few more times.
  • In a small bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted coconut oil or butter. Then press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside.
  • Add approximately an inch of water to the bottom of a double boiler and melt 1 cup of dark chocolate chips on medium heat. Stir every few minutes and be sure not to get any water in the chocolate. When the chocolate chips are melted, remove from heat and stir in 2 Tbs. of melted butter or coconut oil. Allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large, deep bowl, combine the somewhat-cooled chocolate mixture, cream cheese, sugar, honey, cocoa, vanilla, and salt. Use an electric mixture to mix all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides every so often to ensure that everything is well combined. Be sure not to use the slowest setting and do not over mix.
  • Put the filling in the spring form pan and using a small offset spatula, smooth out the filling until it is even across the pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, making sure to not open the oven! Any rapid change in temperature or humidity can lead to cracking and caving.
  • Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for another 30 minutes, still not opening the door. When the time is up, let the cheesecake cool for approximately 30 more minutes before letting it chill and set up in the refrigerator for at least three hours and up to overnight.
  • While the cheesecake is baking, it is time to start the reduction! In a saucepan, add the sugar and Merlot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for three minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool and set up.
  • Pour the Merlot reduction on the cheesecake and smooth it out with a small offset spatula. Enjoy!