Monday, September 7, 2009

A labor of love

It's Labor Day, and I'm serving up some some yummy Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes to celebrate the fruit of my labor I endured a couple weeks ago (in this case, I'm referring to Hayden).

That's right; I said "Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes." This (chocolate and avocado) may have seemed like an unusual combination to the contestants and judges on a recent episode of the Food Network series, "Chopped," but to many of us raw foodies, this is the norm.

I actually consumed quite a bit of this duo while pregnant and in the months leading up to my baby girl's conception. Sometimes I think the good fats in the avocados, as well as in my endless supply of raw cupcakes at the time, helped make this pregnancy a reality.

So, the Vegetarian Times e-mail with their cooked version of Glazed Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes couldn't have come at a more perfect time. I've been thinking about them since the recipe arrived in my inbox last week. It had combined all the ingredients my lovely lady adores.

I knew instantly how I could make them raw, by substituting one of my chocolate avocado puddings for the wet ingredients in my basic raw cupcake recipe, as well as using the pudding to frost them. The results were delicious, although less sweet than my original cupcakes.

The best part was that I was able to create these with what I had on hand. I didn't have any dates or coconut (ingredients I've used in my past raw cupcake recipes), but I certainly had avocados, which were on sale at the grocery store this week (who am I kidding; I would've stocked up on them anyway).

And, you can make them, too; just follow the recipe below. You don't even need a dehydrator. These raw cupcakes are truly unbaked.

Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes
For the pudding-style frosting
2 small bananas
1 small avocado
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. grade B maple syrup
dash of sea salt
touch of vanilla

Put all the ingredients into a high-powered blender and puree into a pudding consistency.

For the cupcake
1 1/2 cups almond flour (finely ground almonds)
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup pudding-style frosting (see recipe above)
1 Tbsp. grade B maple syrup
dash of sea salt
touch of vanilla

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, flax, cocoa powder and sea salt. Stir with a whisk or use an electric mixer.

Next, add about 1/4 cup of the pudding-style frosting and the vanilla. Whisk/mix, paying close attention to the consistency of the batter. Add the maple syrup, and whisk/mix to combine. The batter should be moist, but not so damp that it requires "baking" in a dehydrator (although you could if you desire).

Divide the batter into 4 sections and form into cupcake shapes. Frost with the leftover pudding-style frosting (you'll have more than you need, so feel free to enjoy the pudding on its own as a treat). Allow to set in your refrigerator. Enjoy every last bite :-)

And, for anyone who is interested, here is one of the first pics of me and my Hayden. Please keep in mind that this was taken right after 11 hours of labor. It is not the most flattering photo, but since Jacob had already brought it in for show and tell at school, what's the difference if I show a few more people?

Speaking of Jacob, he's been such a sweetheart. Seeing me frustrated with my usual camera, he happily offered up his for this cupcake photo session. Thanks, Jacob.