So I gotta be honest: this week has not been a great week for me. It wasn’t even remotely good, it was downright bad. It wasn’t even that something decidedly bad happened, but it was the first week of the semester (or half-term, as it would be called in America), and I felt the pressure of all the different things I’m trying to juggle at the moment. Additionally, it has been a cold week, with fall really arriving – at least that’s what it seemed like to me.
I don’t do pressure well. I am not sure who does, but with me, once I feel pressure in any way, nothing in my life seems to be pressure-free anymore. I am just one of those people who immediately jumps to negativity, pessimism, and depression, I guess. I’ve had my fair share of feeling depressed, trust me, and, anyone who knows the feeling will understand why my week wasn’t a great week.
One very hard thing for me this week was deciding against continuing to sing in my choir. I knew I had to cut down on my commitments, and choir is the only thing I actually CAN get out of. After talking with my conductress, whom I’ve known since 2009, we figured out a way I can at least sing a couple of the songs at what will probably be my last concert with my choir. Still, it feels like I am letting her and myself down, like I am somehow failing. That itself is reason enough to be feeling down…which is why I needed comfort food tonight. I finally made it through this week, through lots of worrying and stressing, and have the weekend ahead of me, which will be busy, but very fun. I tutored two kids this afternoon, and had just finished cleaning the kitchen after making dinner:
But no, sorry, I won’t post a recipe for sushi, as that’s really nothing inventive or new – if you don’t know how to make sushi, simply google it or look at the instructions on the packages of the nori leaves and rice. Trust me, it really isn’t that difficult, even though you will need quite a bit of time!
It was great, but I needed some dessert desparately today. Of course, there is that little voice of reason telling me I probably shouldn’t, but, frankly, this week has been a bust, concerning feeling stressed, feeling low energy, feeling sad, feeling lonely, feeling out of control. The least I can do is experiment in the kitchen and produce something sweet, gooey, yummy, and make the healthiest version possible. I therefore went into my kitchen and started throwing ingredients together to make two of my favorite desserts, only completely vegan and gluten-free: The result was this:
For those of you who don’t know Málaga Ice Cream: it get its name from Málaga-wine, in which raisins are usually soaked prior to making the ice cream. I had neither the time (it was tough enough waiting for the ice cream to freeze up in the freezer) nor the mind for soaking the raisins, and I didn’t have Málaga-wine, but, since it is very similar to brown rum, I used that instead. If you are avoiding alcohol, you could use rum-flavoring instead. In order to get the taste of the original, you will need some rum-flavor!
The Carrot Oatmeal Muffins were an attempt to create a copy of the juicy, gooey, sticky carrot cake a family friend used to make us in Tanzania. It was covered with a heavenly lemon-cream-icing, and, if I ever got my hands on that cake, I would probably eat the whole batch by myself. I once recreated a cake that was similar, but this was before I was watching lactose and wheat, which means I haven’t attempted making it since then.
Both the Ice Cream and the Carrot Oatmeal Muffins turned out wonderfully, and I am so glad that they did after this hard week. Of course, you can enjoy one without the other (the carrot oatmeal muffins will make a great breakfast!), but tonight, I ate a beautiful scoop of the greatest vegan temptation I may have created so far, at the side of the juicy and gooey carrot muffin!
Since I was experimenting, I didn’t make a huge batch of either, so if you trust my judgement, you will want to double this recipe for sure!
Vegan Málaga Ice Cream With Carrot Oatmeal Muffins
for the Málaga Ice Cream:
- 100g cashews (you could use almonds, too, but cashews have a great natural sweetness to them, which is great for ice cream!)
- 1-2 Tbs. maple syrup (remember that if you cool sth down, it won’t taste as sweet!)
- 150-200ml soy milk (or almond milk)
- 2-3 Tbs. soy yogurt
- 1 Tbs. rum (or rum flavoring)
- pure vanilla extract, to taste
- 1 Tbs. raisins (if you have the time, you can soak these in 1 Tbs. of rum overnight!)
for the carrot oatmeal muffins:
- 100g almond flour
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 50g oat flour
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 1/2 Tbs. date sweetener
- 1 tsp. baking powder
1. If you are making both, you want to start with the ice cream, as it will need a long time in the freezer to firm up! Blend the nuts in a food processor, and gradually add the other ingredients, excepting the yogurt, raisins, and rum, testing the consistency and taste as you go along.
2. Once you have a creamy mixture, stir in the yogurt and rum, and place in the freezer. Every 20 minutes, make sure you stir with a spoon, otherwise it will freeze from the outside and turn crumbly! If after 20 minutes it is already crumbling, you may want to add more yogurt! Keep in the freezer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours (checking every 20 min. or so).
3. For the carrot oatmeal muffins, place all the ingredients in a bowl and knead together.
4. Preheat oven to 200°C. In a muffin bake form, place the muffin wrappers and then divide the dough into the 5 wrappers.
5. Bake for 15 minutes, then take out of the oven and muffin bake form immediately, allowing it to cool.
6. Serve a warm muffin with the cold ice cream, and enjoy this healthy comfort food!
Tip for the icecream: If your mixture looks like this, it is not done yet – you will need to add more milk, it needs to be very creamy and well-blended.
If it looks like this, you can start the next step!
…add the raisins once it’s creamy enough:
Mix together the ingredients for the muffins:
As you can see, the inside is still very juicy and gooey, which is just the way I like it. Since there is so much almond flour in there, adding additional fat is unnecessary. And the carrots will keep the muffins from drying out. I would refrigerate them, though!
After your “icecream” has firmed up, serve a cut up muffin with a scoop of icecream!
I actually licked the plate after I was done, it was so amazing. The carrot oatmeal muffins are so wonderfully soggy, and the ice cream was so creamy…I could eat another serving right away! Seriously, you should go make this right now, it may be one of the best desserts I have made so far!