Vegan Date-Sweetened Chocolate Frosting

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Frosting is fun— it evokes the whimsy of childhood birthdays, holidays and brightly colored bakeries. The sugar hangover that follows isn't so much fun. Additionally, the oils and cornstarch that give frosting it's texture and structure also don't make me feel so good.

I have experimented with quite a few agar-based frosting recipes to get the right texture without lots of oil. This one, that I adapted from the Angelica Kitchen Cookbook is by far the best tasting and easiest to make with no sugar hangover.


1.5 Tbs. agar powder
1.5 C. water
3/4 C. cocoa powder
28 California dates (or half as many Medjool), soaked and pitted.
6 Tbs. coconut milk (light okay, or other non-dairy milk)
4.5 Tbs. arrowroot
1.5 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt

agave or coconut sugar to taste (optional)

1. Blend dates + 3/4 C. water in blender or vita-mix until smooth.
2. Over medium heat in medium saucepan whisk together 3/4 C. water and agar powder until water becomes cloudy and thickens.
3. Whisk in date mixture, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla. Whisk until well-dissolved and not lumpy.
4. Bring to a boil.
5. In a separate bowl dissolve arrowroot in coconut milk.
6. Reduce heat until mixture stops boiling.
7. Add milk mixture and stir until thickens (about 1 minute).
8. Cool mixture and refrigerate for at least an hour.
9. Cut hardened mixture into cubes and blend in food processor, blender or vita-mix until smooth.
10. Taste. If it isn't sweet enough, add agave, stevia or coconut sugar to taste.

I should also note that you can also easily substitute Carob powder for Cocoa powder if you prefer the taste of carob or want a caffeine free alternative.


Ariana Anderson said...

Could you use gelatin instead of agar-agar? How much?

EcoliciousLife said...

Hi Ariana,

I have never worked with gelatin although agar (a sea vegetable) is frequently used as a substitute for gelatin so it should probably work. Agar has stronger gelling properties so you would probably want to use closer closer to 4-5 Tbs. of gelatin.

This recipe probably has a higher agar content then necessary but I err on the side of making it too stiff because it's always easier to break it down by blending it out rather than to reboil and re-gel.

I buy agar powder at my local Asian grocery store for about $1/pack (telephone brand). It's also pretty cheap online (but a small fortune for the less potent flakes at Whole Foods). If you are in an Asian grocery store I really recommend picking some up, it's great to work with.

Good luck and let me know how it goes with gelatin if you try it!

Elizabeth said...

Your recipe looks wonderful. I don't have any dates on hand though... Do you know if I could substitute vegan sugar instead? Thanks!

EcoliciousLife said...

Hi Elizabeth,

Any kind of sugar or sweetener should work well. The agar hardens everything so liquid, granular or puréed sweeteners are all fairly interchangeable.

I just use dates because I am extremely sugar sensitive. You'd probably want to use about 3/4 cup of sugar or more if you like it a bit sweeter. Maple Syrup or Agave are also other vegan options that I have used that have worked.

Happy Baking!

Anonymous said...

O.k. I made this. OMGOODNESS! This is truly inspired. GENIUS! I can't thank you enough.
THANK YOU!!! My husband has a heart condition and can't eat any added fat. He LOVED this on his fat free vegan birthday cake. It was more popular with the rest of the family than another full fat cake I served. Wow.

EcoliciousLife said...

So happy to hear that! Congratulations on making a cake and this recipe so well that you beat out the traditional desserts.

Making healthy food that beats the less healthy competition seems to peak others interest in changing their diet more than anything else!

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