The Great Vegan Lava Cake Experiment

This year for Valentine's day, I made lava cake for the very first time. I served it with whipped cream, a dusting of powdered sugar and some fresh raspberries. It had to be one of the best desserts I've ever had - ever. It was, however, EXTREMELY rich and sweet! There were 3 eggs, a whole lot of chocolate, and even more butter. Although, I knew I couldn't exactly make a healthy lava cake, I started thinking of how I could cut out at least some of the fat. This led me to the idea of a vegan lava cake. This version I came up with has no eggs and no butter; instead, I opted for pureed fruit (egg substitute) and coconut oil (butter replacement). I cooked it a lot longer then I would a traditional lava cake, baking it 20 minutes instead of  10 minutes, but when I removed it from the oven, it was still quite jiggly and wet inside, yet it was set on top. So we decided to take a quick post-dinner walk while the lava cake cooled. Unfortunately, I left the lava cakes on the sheet pan on top of the still-warm oven, and by the time we came back from our walk, the lava cakes were no longer so lava-y (more fudgey) and had completely set all the way through.

Looking back, I will definitely try this experiment again. Next time I will probably only use one type of fruit and won't let it "cool" on top of a warm stove. This vegan version was still very sweet like the original, but I think I will also reduce the amount of sugar next time since the fruit added a bit more sweetness. That being said, I liked it, but my husband loved it. In his words, the fact that a cake without eggs could taste this good was "revolutionary." While I wouldn't go that far, it was still rather tasty. Enjoy!


The Great Vegan Lava Cake Experiment #1

1 apple, peeled and deseeded
12 de-stemmed strawberries
1/4 cup water
6 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place jar of coconut oil under hot running water - or place jar in bowl filled with hot water. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature - so this will liquefy it.

Place apple, strawberries and water in blender or food processor - and puree until smooth. Strain puree through fine mesh strainer in order to remove strawberry seeds. Set aside.

Put coconut oil and chocolate in large sauce pan. Melt over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Once chocolate is melted, remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and fruit puree. Slowly, whisk dry ingredients into chocolate mixture.

Grease 4 ramekins with coconut oil and place on sheet pan. Ladle mixture into ramekins and place sheet pan into oven. Bake 18-20 minutes. Remove from sheet pan and let cool for a few minutes on cooling rack. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar or creme Anglaise.

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