After my friend Alice from smokin’ tofu posted “How to make vegan cream cheese suck less” I began to think how vegan cream cheese could be applied in other ways. When we were still living together in Norwich, England I once ate 11 chocolate bars at once…somehow I maintained a figured back then! So when looking to incorporate cream cheese I wanted Chocolate to play a huge role.
I must admit I am someone who opens 3,000 tabs at once all related to vegan baking. I get lost and come out the other end with a million ideas but I always take one and make it. I was inspired to use cream cheese as a base after reading a post about peppermint patties. Being vegan can be hard when it comes to sweets, especially those of us who miss peanut butter cups and peppermint patties. The original recipe called for vegetable shortening which I am assuming is not available in most places as an organic entity. Besides, I would rather use something a bit more natural and less processed so I substituted it with coconut oil. Add a small amount of coconut flakes on top of the patty and we are in business.
Some notes on what I learned doing this the first time:
1.Using a pyrex measuring cup to pour the chocolate works well.
2. Flattening the peppermint filling allows you to use less chocolate and have the filling actually fill the whole patty.
For the Peppermint Filling:
1 1/2 T vegan cream cheese such as Tofutti or Vegan Gourmet
1 1/2 tsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp mint extract
splash of vanilla extract
1/8 cup coconut flakes
1 cup powdered sugar
For the Chocolate:
2- 12 oz of your favorite dark chocolate (avoid chips like I used as they have other additives to help them hold their shape in high temperatures)
9 parchment muffin cups
1. First mix all the ingredients except the powdered sugar and coconut flakes for the filling in a stand mixer or using a hand mixer. Once the ingredients are homogenized slowly incorporated the powdered sugar until combined, add the coconut flakes and turn off the mixer.
2. Roll tablespoon sized pieces of filling into balls and flatten. Place all of these in the freezer, you will have some left over peppermint filling depending on your balls and the size of your muffin liners.
3. Temper/melt the chocolate over a double broiler. I rig one by using a stainless steel bowl over a pot filled with an inch of water. Turn the heat on low and using a rubber spatula fold the chocolate pieces continuously. When about 2/3rds of the chocolate has melted turn off the heat and take the bowl out from on top of the pot. Continue to fold until all the chocolate has melted, if you keep the chocolate over the heat you will over temper the chocolate.
4. Once the chocolate is melted pour a small bit to cover the bottom of your liners (see above photo), it will be a messy process but it just allows you to lick your fingers ;). After that is complete take the flattened pieces of filling out of the freezer and place one in each of the 9 liners. Fill the liners up with more chocolate until the filling is completely incased.