Chocolate Covered Fudgesicles (Sugar free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Vegan)
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you likely know a few things about me already: I adore my Girls (and you’re not too shabby, either, HH); I abhor winter and all its accoutrements (and–*sob*–it is just around the corner!); though it’s been many years, I still harbor resentment toward Rocker Guy (he of the black leather pants); I’m a proud Canadian (who dreams of visiting Australia and being on The Ellen Show); and I love chocolate.
But I love chocolate.
In fact, I’m even a little afraid to do a search on the word “chocolate” on this blog–it most likely features in all of my posts, somewhere or other. Well, maybe not the dog ones. Dogs aren’t allowed to eat chocolate. But wait, since I just told you they’re not allowed to eat chocolate, I guess that counts as mentioning chocolate, doesn’t it? And by mentioning chocolate, that qualifies as being featured on this blog post, too, doesn’t it? Even though, of course, those particular posts wouldn’t necessarily mean that I was cooking with chocolate, no; but the mere mention– (“Zip it, Mum. We get it: you like chocolate. Now, forget about that canine poison and give us some of this carob fudge instead, would you please?”)
Ahem. Well, I do realize I get pretty worked up about chocolate. My favorite all-time food (and I still imagine this to be the case, even though I haven’t had any in over a decade) is milk chocolate. Next up is anything chocolate-flavored, such as buttercream frosting, cake, cupcakes, cookies, etc. The only chocolate-based food I wasn’t too fond of, until recently, was chocolate ice cream.
Not fond of chocolate ice cream?? Are you mad, woman? (The answer to that question may indeed be, “yes,” but it has nothing to do with the ice cream.).
Leaving my mental state aside, I wasn’t even a fan of ice cream at all until I started the ACD. It’s amazing how having to cut out most grains will shift your dessert allegiance from cake and cookies to pudding, fruit-based treats, fudge, and ice cream. No matter; ACD-friendly, gluten free, sugar free, vegan ice cream is the Bomb!
And since I seem to be on an ice cream roll these days after perfecting that Caramel Ice Cream I posted about last week, I decided to go a step further and attempt an ACD-friendly chocolate ice cream.
Really, today’s recipe is just chocolate ice cream on a stick. Very firm chocolate ice cream, but chocolate ice cream nonetheless. I first learned to love fudgsicles (and, by extension, chocolate ice cream) in my twenties when I was in my “Weight Watchers” phase (technically, “Weight Watchers for the Fifth Time” phase). Along with my Weight Watchers Mousse for dinner, I remember being thrilled to discover diet Fudgesicles–”with only 60 calories each!” On nights when I really craved something sweet and chocolatey, I’d crack open the box of the frozen treats and savor one (okay–so, five).
I have no idea how many calories these babies provide–I stopped counting calories years ago–but I can tell you, I liked them a whole lot more than the diet Fudgesicles of yore. Dipped in chocolate, they make a fantastically decadent-tasting treat. The HH raved over the combination of bittersweet chocolate coating and thick, creamy, pillowy chocolate interior. In creating these, I also discovered that I much prefer the raw cacao powder (versus unsweetened cocoa powder) in the base here, as its slightly fruity undertones–along with both pear and avocado–results in one of the richest ice cream bases you’ve ever encountered, yet one that maintains its creaminess even when solid. (I’m limiting my consumption to one at a time these days, however.)
Of course, if you prefer to enjoy the mixture as regular ice cream, simply freeze the base in smaller portions and then use my “no ice cream maker required” method for almost-instant chocolate gratification. Or, instead of freezing, just pour the freshly mixed base into your regular ice cream maker, following manufacturer’s directions. The same chocolate coating can be drizzled on top for a wonderful “instant chocolate shell.”
However you serve these up, they offer an unmitigated hit of chocolate. Which is exactly what I’d like. . . pretty much any time at all.
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suitable for ACD Stage 3 and Beyond
These chocolate-coated fudgesicles are a classic summer treat. If you prefer ice cream, simply skip the sticks and pour into your ice cream maker, or else freeze and then cut the frozen mixture into chunks before creating softserve in your food processor, using the method described below. You can top with the chocolate coating later–or not–as you like.
For the fudgesicles (this also makes great ice cream; see directions below):
2 cups (480 ml) full-fat canned coconut milk (I use Thai Kitchen)
2/3 cup (160 ml) unsweetened plain or vanilla almond, soy or coconut milk (in a carton)
1/2 cup (120 ml) raw cacao powder, to your taste (regular cocoa is okay, but might require more sweetener)
1/2 cup (120 ml) pear purée (can be fresh or frozen)
1 medium just-ripe avocado, peeled and pitted (be sure it’s not over ripe!)
4 tsp (20 ml) pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp (1 ml) fine sea salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut sugar
1 tsp (about 80 drops) plain or vanilla liquid stevia, to your taste
For the Chocolate Coating (this also makes a great “instant shell” for ice cream):
7 ounces (200 g) good-quality unsweetened chocolate (I use Cocoa Camino)
1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut nectar (or use agave nectar)
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) plain or vanilla liquid stevia, or more, to your taste
2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp (40 ml) coconut oil, preferably organic
Set out 12-15 popsicle molds. (For ice cream, set 12 silicone muffin liners in a muffin pan or line a 9-inch (22.5 cm) square pan with plastic wrap and set aside.)
Make the Fudgesicles (or ice cream): Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until perfectly smooth and creamy. Pour into the popsicle molds, insert the sticks and allow to freeze completely, 6 hours to overnight. (For ice cream, divide the mixture evenly among the muffin liners or pour into the pan. Freeze until firm (3-5 hours), then peel off the liners and place the “muffins” in a plastic ziploc bag in the freezer until ready to use. For the pan, invert onto a cutting board, cut into 9 squares, and place the squares in a ziploc bag until ready to use.)
Once your fudgesicles are frozen, make the coating: Place all coating ingredients in a small, heavy-bottomed pot and heat over lowest possible heat, stirring constantly, until almost melted. Remove from heat, allow to sit 30 seconds, then stir again until all the chocolate is melted. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before using.
To coat the fudgesicles: Set two soup bowls side by side on your counter. Working with one fudgesicle at a time, hold the fudgesicle over one of the bowls and pour the chocolate evenly over it, rotating the fudgesicle so all sides are coated, allowing any excess chocolate to fall into the bowl under the fudgesicle. Turn it upside down briefly to allow any excess chocolate to drip off, then hold right side up until the chocolate has hardened. Once hard, place the fudgesicle back in the freezer (I kept them all on a plate until they were all prepared, then put them all in a large plastic container).
Scrape all the chocolate sauce into one bowl. Repeat with another fudgesicle, holding this one over the empty bowl, allowing excess chocolate sauce to drip into the bowl under the fudgesicle. Keep scraping all the chocolate into one bowl in order to pour it onto the fudgesicle over the other, empty, bowl. By the time you reach the last fudgesicle, you may need to spread the chocolate directly onto it using a spatula or the back of a spoon as you may not have enough to pour. In that case, you can spread and then drizzle fancy designs with the leftovers (as in the photo, below). Makes 12-15 fudgesicles. Will keep, frozen in a covered container, up to 2 weeks.