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
  • Print

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.

Vegan Brownies

I know we recently made a brownie post for our refined sugar free Black Bean Brownies, but I like to have options when it comes to dessert. You really can’t taste the black beans in black bean brownies, but I can see why it might be an intimidating hurdle for a picky eater. This recipe is bean free, but just as tasty. These brownies get a nice crispy exterior that makes them perfect for decorating, or serving plain. I decorated mine using my recipe for The Best Vegan Buttercream. You can flavor your buttercream by adding in things like caramel, or chocolate. If it starts to get to thin compensate by adding a bit more powdered sugar.

It took me two tries to get this recipe perfect. The first time I tried to cut corners by using a mixer. I incorporated too much air, and that caused the butter to separate when baking. Mixing them with a spoon is an absolute must. I ended up throwing the first batch I made in the trash, because they were completely inedible. They were a thin, crunchy sheet coated in oil that ended up tasting like burnt popcorn. It really stresses me out to throw food away. If I think there’s any chance I can save something and make it palatable, even if it’s not quite what I wanted, I absolutely will. That should tell you how bad this first brownie experiment went. I learned from my mistakes, and did some in depth brownie research. I adjusted my ingredient ratios, mixing technique, and cooking temperature. The second batch turned out wonderful.

This recipe was based on a recipe my mom would make for our family. It wasn’t an old family recipe, just a recipe she found on a product label, but in my mind they were the be all end all of brownies. I used the recipe as a guide for the vegan version I created, and I think I got the recipe pretty close if not maybe a little bit better. A lot of my time spent engineering the perfect recipe is spent researching, and shopping for the highest quality ingredients I can find at a reasonable price. I try to use only fair trade ingredients which can often increase the cost, but I’ve found that usually means increased quality and flavor as well.

A good flavored non-dairy butter is a must for this recipe. I used Earth Balance. Oil is not a good butter substitution, because it lacks in the flavor and texture required. The most important ingredient in a good brownie is the cocoa, of course. Starting with a rich flavorful cocoa that’s fair trade is a good way to go. Brownies taste sweeter when you know that you’re not paying to keep others enslaved to make them. I used SACO Conscious Kitchen Certified Organic Cocoa in this recipe. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s worth it for the rich taste and fair trade label. As always, Wholesome brand Organic Cane Sugar is my go to certified vegan white sugar, and tastes great in this recipe.


Vegan Brownies

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

If you can’t find Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer you can substitute it with the same quantity of flax egg.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups vegan white sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fair trade baking cocoa
  • 4 tbsp Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup melted vegan butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground sea salt

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl, or measuring cup. Keep a close eye on it as it melts to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  2. Add melted butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
  3. Add in vanilla extract and salt. Stir to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl combine Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer, and water. Set aside for one minute to firm up.
  5. Slowly mix in the egg replacer. Mix until everything is blended, and there are no clumps.
  6. Sift in the cocoa powder a little at a time while continually mixing.
  7. Sift in the flour and baking powder a little at a time. Stir until the batter flows well and there are no clumps, but be careful not to over mix. Over mixing will make for tough brownies.
  8. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan that’s at least 2″ deep. I lined my baking sheet with parchment, so I could easily remove the brownies in a full sheet to cut them evenly and decorate. If you’d like to decorate your brownies I recommend doing this. Make sure the parchment has enough overhang on the sides to easily lift the brownies out of the pan, and always remember to lightly grease your parchment for a recipe like this, so you can conveniently peal it off the brownies without tearing them.
  9. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Cook the brownies for 30-35 minutes. Check to see if they’re done with a toothpick. If it comes out clean your brownies are ready.
  10. Let your brownies cool, and cut them to serve. If you’d like to decorate the brownies let them cool, and then remove them from the pan. Measure, and cut them to desired size. Whip up some butter cream, and decorate them as you desire.

Baked Cauliflower Wings

When I was a kid cauliflower was on my list of vegetables that I absolutely hated. I always thought of it as a bad, less flavorful version of broccoli. It wasn’t until I had my first fried “cauliflower wing” that I was introduced to the transformative qualities of cauliflower. Sure, it might not be super flavorful on its own, but it soaks up other flavors like a sponge. Much like tofu, this quality makes it easy to make it taste like whatever you want. While I might not be a big advocate for things like cauliflower rice, or cauliflower pizza crust, I’ve grown to love cauliflower on its own. My favorite ways to prepare cauliflower are roasting it with a variety of spices, or breading it and serving it up with some of my favorite sauces for cauliflower wings.

Today I’ll share with you my quick and easy recipe for breading cauliflower wings. It’s super simple, and allows you the versatility to bake them, or fry them if you’d prefer. You only need a few ingredients and your favorite wing sauce/s. In this recipe we used vegan buffalo sauce, and BBQ sauce to coat ours. Feel free to experiment with some other great flavors like Thai Chili sauce, or a garlic non-dairy butter. Just make sure you check the ingredient label. Some buffalo sauces contain dairy, and some BBQ sauces contain anchovies.


Baked Cauliflower Wings

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • one head of cauliflower
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup bread crumbs, we used panko
  • 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup of Buffalo Sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • canola oil spray (optional)
  • parchment paper

Directions


1. Wash and dry the head of cauliflower. Break it down into bite sized florets.
2. Set up three bowls. In the first bowl add all of the milk. In the second bowl add all of the flour, salt, and pepper and mix. In the third bowl add the panko.
3. Dredge each cauliflower floret, and then set aside on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. To dredge them first place a floret in the non-dairy milk. Remove it allowing excess milk to drip back into the bowl, and then place it in the flour mixture. Make sure it is coated well with flour, tap of excess, and place it back in the milk. Remove it from the milk, and finally coat it thoroughly in the panko. Repeat for every floret.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
5. Spray the florets with just a little bit of canola oil. This will help them brown in the oven.
6. Bake the wings for 30-35 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.
7. While the wings bake place whatever wing sauce you’ll be using in a large mixing bowl, so it can warm to room temperature and won’t make your wings cold.
8. Melt butter in a separate bowl in the microwave, and add to the wing sauce/s. Mix thoroughly. This will help the sauce coat the wings nicely, and adds an extra fatty richness. If you’d like to you can skip this step.
9. Once the wings have baked toss them in the desired wing sauce/s until they’re thoroughly coated. If you choose to only use one sauce double it from a 1/4 cup to a 1/2 cup.
10. I recommend serving with a dipping sauce, and a side salad.