CorEats Chocolate Lava Cakes

If you’ve ever been to any number of chain restaurants before I’m sure you’re familiar with the chocolate lava cake, or have at least seen it on the menu. It’s essentially just a delicious chocolate sponge cake with an undercooked core that oozes out when you cut into it. Today I’ll be guiding you through how to make a more upscale version of that with a quick and easy Chocolate Cupcake Mix from CorEats. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, and the covid-19 pandemic still raging on this year is a great time to plan an at home Valentine’s dinner. Whether you’re cooking for your partner as a treat, or you’re cooking together, I’d recommend making this for dessert. It’s sure to impress especially paired with one of our other date night dinner recipes like our Vegan “Scallops” and Risotto, or Vegan “Scallops” with White Wine Cream Sauce. If you’d like to make an appetizer I’d recommend our Unbelievable Blini recipe that also uses a CorEats mix!

For those of you that haven’t tried our recipes that we’ve done in conjunction with CorEats let me give you the run down. CorEats is another local Pittsburgh based business that sells vegan-friendly mixes that are also gluten-free, keto, and paleo friendly. We don’t do a lot of gluten-free recipes due to the fact that I don’t have a lot of experience baking gluten free and don’t want to provide anyone with sub-par recipes. However, it has been refreshing to team up with CorEats, because the baking mix is premade and I can’t mess it up. I’m glad to provide some recipes to those with other dietary needs in addition to a vegan diet. When creating this recipe I was sure to leave out added sugars to keep it light and keto-friendly.

The other recipes I’ve developed with CorEats mixes have been savory, so it was exciting to do a sweet recipe since I’m primarily a baker. These lava cakes have a super decadent feel without ingredients that will leave you feeling bloated and gross after consuming a rich, chocolatey dessert. The mix itself is sweetened with monk fruit, and we added no additional sugar to the strawberry compote. The only added sugar on the plate is in a bit of optional dairy free coconut whipped cream which you can leave off if it doesn’t suit you.


CorEats Chocolate Lava Cakes

  • Servings: 6-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 package of CorEats Chocolate Cupcake Mix
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, or oil of your choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup oat milk, or preferred non-dairy milk
  • 2 tbsp flax meal
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
  • vegan whipped cream (optional)

Directions

  1. Add the entirety of the CorEats Cupcake Mix package to a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl combine the flax meal and water to make the flax egg. Whisk well and allow to sit for about five minutes to congeal.
  3. Add the flax egg to the bowl with the mix along with the oil, vanilla extract, and non-dairy milk. Stir well to combine.
  4. Grease twelve small ramekins, or the cells of a muffin or cupcake tin. I used a cupcake tin for this recipe, and it worked well.
  5. Spoon one heaping tablespoon of the batter into each of the ramekins or cells. If you measure correctly you should get about twelve perfect portions out of it.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. You’ll want the oven to be higher than the package directs, because for this recipe we want the outsides of the cakes to set quickly so they don’t rupture easily but the center to still be soft and gooey.
  7. Bake the cakes for about 7 minutes. They should have formed a relatively solid skin on the top, but look a bit underdone. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  8. While you are baking the muffins you can cook down the strawberry compote. Add the strawberries to a small sauce pot on the stove over medium heat. Stir periodically as they cook.
  9. Once the strawberries reach a boil and become frothy on top turn the heat down, and allow them to simmer for about five minutes. Remove from heat. The juice should thicken up as they cool with the natural sugars and pectin in the fruit. No added sugar necessary.
  10. When the cakes have had a few minutes to cool it’s time to plate them. First, get them to unlock from the ramekin or cupcake tin by pressing a spoon around the edges. If you greased the baking vessel well enough they should come loose pretty easily. If you used a cupcake tin an easy way to get the cakes out is by putting a cookie sheet on top of the cupcake tin top-side down, and then flipping them over together while tightly holding the edges so the cookie sheet is now on the bottom. Lift the tin up, and they should drop right out onto the cookie sheet.
  11. Serve the cakes while still warm with the strawberry compote, and non-dairy whip cream if you’d like. You can save any left over cakes in the fridge. Enjoy them later by zapping them for a few seconds in the microwave until they are warm again throughout, but not cooked any further.

Unbelievable Blini

With CorEats Pancake & Waffle Mix

It’s a New Year, and a lot of us are starting it out with a commitment to trying to make healthier choices. When you’re busy it can be easy to fall off the New Year’s resolution band wagon, I get it. CorEats mixes are a great way to stick to a healthy diet when you don’t feel like cooking from scratch. As pleasurable as scratch cooking can be, sometimes it’s exhausting. It’s nice to have a mix that you can just add a few ingredients to, and have a ready made meal. The time saved also allows for creativity with no bounds even on busy nights!

For those of you who don’t know about CorEats they’re a local Pittsburgh company that creates a variety of mixes for both savory and sweet baked goods. We did a post previously featuring the pizza dough mix in our Fall Harvest Pizza recipe. All of their mixes are gluten free, vegan friendly, paleo, and keto. That makes it incredibly easy to use them in comfort food recipes while still keeping the food light and healthy.

We made this blini recipe for New Years Eve as we wanted something that felt upscale and decadent, but didn’t leave us feeling bloated. I know for me at least I tend to overindulge during the holidays, and end up feeling pretty poorly because of it. It’s nice to fill that holiday comfort food craving without feeling overly full. We used the CorEats pancake & waffle mix, because we wanted to showcase that pancakes can be more than a breakfast food. Savory pancakes are where it’s at when it comes to appetizers and hors d’oeuvres. The pancake mix worked great for this, because it’s a bit thicker than a mix that contains gluten so it was easy to shape as it was placed into the pan. Even though it’s thick as a batter when it’s cooked up there were still nice pockets of air that made it feel light and fluffy, and not too dense. This mix could work great for crepes, or blintzes as well.

As you can see in the photos these blini have caviar on them. Before you exclaim “But, caviar’s not vegan!” and rage quit this blog forever, relax. It’s just balsamic vinegar that was spherified into pearls. That may sound really complex, but I assure you it’s not. Spherification is one of the most basic molecular gastronomy techniques. All you need is some chilled olive oil, a syringe or dropper, some agar, and whatever ingredient you plan to make into pearls (in this case that’s balsamic vinegar). I’ve broken the process down into easy to follow steps in the recipe, but if you feel like all of that is too much work you can leave the balsamic caviar off. Blini are traditionally paired with smoked fish or caviar, but you can really top them with whatever you want. Try making some smoked “salmon” by marinating some carrot slices, or enjoy with just the sour cream and dill.

While I myself am quite the carboholic I’ve done my research, and carefully chosen keto approved and gluten free ingredients. The sour cream is a light blend of silken tofu, vinegar, and garlic. If you don’t feel like crafting your own sour cream you can find tofu sour cream at a number of supermarkets now. I recommend Tofutti brand, because it’s delicious and it should also be keto friendly. Whether your adhering to a keto or gluten free diet, or are strictly here for the vegan things, these blinis satisfy. Like I’ve said before I love carbs, and so does Nick, and we both really enjoyed these. They’re a great light bite, and would make a great appetizer or finger food at your next dinner party post Coronavirus. These are sure to impress your friends with your new found molecular gastronomy skills. Until then make them for yourself, and pair them with a nice bottle of sparkling wine.


Unbelievable Blini

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: intermediate
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Caviar Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 grams agar-agar
  • about 2 cups olive oil

Sour Cream Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic (optional)
  • 1 block of mori-nu firm silken tofu (about 12 oz)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Blini Ingredients

  • 1 package of CorEats Pancake & Waffle Mix
  • 3 tbsp flax meal
  • 9 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 cup plus 1 tbsp oat milk, or other non-dairy milk
  • -1/4 cup olive oil
  • a few sprigs of fresh dill to top

Caviar Directions

  1. Fill a tall thin glass with olive oil, and place in the freezer for at least a half hour. Using a tall glass ensures that the spheres will have time to cool and set before they hit the bottom of the jar. Using a thin jar allows you to do this while minimizing the amount of oil you actually need to use, and creating less waste. You can recycle a jar of the right shape just for this. I save a lot of glass jars for drinking and storing food in, and I have a jar that I believe used to be a home to olives that was the perfect size for this.
  2. In a small sauce pan start to heat your balsamic vinegar. Add in the agar-agar powder and whisk thoroughly.
  3. Bring the mixture up to a boil, and then promptly remove from heat.
  4. Using a syringe or a dropper drip small droplets into the chilled olive oil jar. Be sure to do this while the mixture is still hot. As it cools it will turn into a jelly, and be impossible to form into perfect spheres.
  5. You can either carefully spoon the spheres out into a fine mesh sieve, or dump the whole jar out into the sieve over the sink or a bowl. I’ve found that spooning them out, while tedious, makes it much easier to clean them. Dumping the whole thing out leaves behind a lot more of the oil residue that needs to drain through.
  6. Gently rinse off the caviar spheres, and store them in a bowl in the refrigerator until ready for use.

Sour Cream Directions

  1. Peel the garlic cloves, and add them to a food processor or blender with the tofu, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and sea salt. Puree until smooth. If you don’t want a garlic sour cream leave the garlic out, but I think it makes a nice flavor combination with the other ingredients and highly recommend it.
  2. Place in an air tight container and refrigerate for at least a half hour before use. This will give it the chance to develop more flavor.

Blini Directions

  1. Add the entirety of the CorEats mix to a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a small, separate bowl combine the flax meal with 9 tbsp water and allow to sit for five minutes. This will be the egg replacer.
  3. Add the oil, and non-dairy milk to the large mixing bowl, and whisk together well. I’ve found that adding a tablespoon or two more of non-dairy milk helps the consistency since we’re leaving out the vanilla. Do not add the vanilla as instructed by the mix package for this recipe. These are supposed to be savory, and even though they’re already lightly sweetened with monk fruit adding some extra salt and pepper seems to balance the flavors in a savory direction.
  4. Add the flax egg once it has congealed, and add in the salt and pepper. Mix well and allow the batter to sit for a few minutes while you preheat a skillet.
  5. Preheat a large pan. I used a stainless steel pan with plenty of canola oil spray in between batches, but you can use a non-stick pan as well if you have one. Either way I recommend spraying it with a bit of canola to enhance browning, and decrease sticking.
  6. Spoon the mixture by the tablespoon into the pan. I managed to cook about 4 at a time, but this will depend on the size of the pan you are using. You don’t want to overcrowd the pan.
  7. Cook until brown on one side, and flip to do the same on the other just like a normal pancake. This should take about 2-3 minutes on either side. The bubbles are more subtle with this pancake mix than with a thinner mixture, but they are still there. Watch for them to pop along the edges. This is usually a good indicator that it is time to flip the pancake.
  8. Cover a plate or tray with a towel to soak up some of the excess oil, and place finished blini on it. Repeat the cooking process until all the blini are nicely browned and cooked all the way through.
  9. Assemble the blini on a nice tray, or serving platter. Top the pancakes with sour cream, then caviar, then some little sprigs of dill. Add some additional salt and pepper to taste. You should have about 14 blini.
  10. Serve as an appetizer with your favorite sparkling wine.

Fall Harvest Pizza

Vegan, Gluten Free, and Paleo Friendly When Made With CorEats Pizza Dough

This week we’re featuring another local Pittsburgh company in our recipe! We made this beautiful fall harvest pizza with fresh organic produce, and CorEats Pizza Dough Mix. CorEats sells a line of wholesome, easy to make dry mixes that cater towards just about every dietary restriction. All of the products they sell have simple, whole ingredients, and no weird artificial junk that you need to read a scientific research paper just to figure out what it is. Not only does CorEats carry savory mixes, but they have a ton of dessert mixes as well. If you love fresh baked sweets, but don’t always have the time to bake they’re a great option.

Luckily I don’t have any form of gluten intolerance or allergy, and I rarely eat gluten free. To be completely honest, as a lover of bread, gluten free can often times be a little lack luster for me. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste and consistency of the CorEats Pizza Dough. It had a light, doughy texture for a gluten free crust. Normally I expect gluten free breads to be pretty dense and chewy. The dough mix also contained Himalayan Pink Sea Salt which added a nice balance to the over all flavor.

We really wanted to stay in line with the mission of CorEats, and create a recipe that showcased wholesome food that everyone can enjoy. Using fresh organic vegetables, and a lot of warm, fall spices, we created an incredibly flavorful fall harvest pizza. This pizza is vegan, gluten free, and paleo. At our local farmers market, and food co-op, we found some lovely beets, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts. We prepared each ingredient with care in its own special blend of spices, and served them on top of a roasted red pepper sauce, topped with delicious pesto. If you live in a different region, feel free to sub in your own local seasonal autumn veggies.


Fall Harvest Pizza

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 package CoreEats pizza dough mix
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 beets
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1/4 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup shredded Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tbsp spicy mustard
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic

Directions

  1. Wash and dry all of the produce.
  2. Cut peppers, tomato, and onion into large chunks. Add them into a large stock pot with four cloves of pealed garlic, two tablespoons olive oil, dried basil, dried rosemary, dried oregano, dried thyme, and red pepper flakes. Cook down for about a half hour.
  3. While the red pepper sauce is simmering prepare the toppings and crust.
  4. Peel the beets, and mandolin them into thin slices. Place them in a bowl and coat them with about a teaspoon of olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. I like to think of these as little beet pepperoni that satisfy the craving for something crispy, and salty.
  5. Break down cauliflower into florets. Place them in a bowl and coat them with curry powder, turmeric, and paprika. This warm blend of spice adds to the fall feeling of the dish.
  6. Cut down Brussels sprouts into thin slices. Add them to a mixing bowl, and then add both types of mustard and apple cider vinegar. Make sure they are well coated.
  7. In a food processor or high powered blender prepare a pesto sauce to top the pizza with. Combine fresh basil, two tablespoons olive oil, and two cloves of garlic. Blend on high until it reaches a pesto consistency. Set aside in a bowl, or a squeeze bottle.
  8. Prepare the CorEats pizza crust as directed on the packaging. Pre-bake crust for about 15 minutes at 375.
  9. Once the sauce has had about a half hour to simmer remove the pot from heat. Give it a few minutes to cool, and then transfer to the food processor. Process until sauce is smooth. In lieu of a food processor you can use an immersion blender directly in the stock pot.
  10. Prepare the pizza by applying the sauce to the pre-baked crust. Top with beet slices, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.
  11. Bake pizza for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and top with pesto sauce. Return pizza to the oven for a minute or two to warm pesto if desired. Enjoy.