We celebrated my husband’s birthday this weekend with a special treat – homemade mango ice cream and black bottom cupcakes. This was certainly not diet food though I tried to lighten up the cupcakes a little.
The ice cream idea stemmed from a gift of HUGE mangoes from a wonderful friend. She gave me three of these monsters and they were all perfect. Check out the size of the mango next to a lime! This is my husband’s favorite fruit and so I went in search of a birthday ice cream recipe.
I debated over whether to go with the light or heavy version but the mangoes were so creamy and luscious I just couldn’t skimp and go with the milk or yogurt. I combined a few different recipes I found – most were very similar. I finally opted for half and half and heavy cream; it made this ice cream absolutely heavenly. This was a definite act of portion control!
The cupcakes – while not really attractive – are the most amazing thing ever. These are chocolate cupcakes with a dollop of cream cheese mixed with chocolate chips. They are simple and easy to make and are best served chilled. A dear friend of mine would make these for teacher birthdays at school and once my children tried them, they really needed no other options. I did stick with the whole wheat flour, used dark cocoa and low fat cream cheese. Once again, portion control is a must because I’m pretty sure I could eat about 4 of these before even realizing they were gone.
Homemade Mango Ice Cream
Cut up mangoes to yield 2 cups of fruit. In a blender, puree the mangoes with 1/4 cup sugar ( this amount really depends on the sweetness of your mangoes) and the juice of one fresh lime.
In a bowl, mix together 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and 1 cup of half and half. Add the mango puree and stir until well mixed. Chill the mixture for about an hour and then put it in a counter top ice cream maker and follow the directions for your machine.
If desired, chop extra mango pieces to make 1 cup. Freeze these separately and add them to the ice cream mixture when the machine is done. Freeze until desired consistency. This can get very hard in the freezer, plan accordingly if you are serving on a schedule.
Black Bottom Cupcakes
Blend one 8 ounce package of light cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/4 cup sugar and a dash of salt with a mixer until smooth. Add 8 ounces of chocolate chips ( I used Ghirardelli dark chocolate morsels). Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of sugar, 1 and 1/2 cups of flour ( I did use whole wheat) , 1/4 cup cocoa powder ( I used dark chocolate), 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in 1 cup water, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat until smooth.
Fill muffin cups 1/3 full with cocoa batter. Drop a dollop of the cream cheese mixture in the middle of each cup, dividing it evenly among the cups. This should make about 20 cupcakes though you could stretch it to 24.
Bake them at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Cool and chill before eating.
This was a fun diversion from the standard birthday cake. I have to admit I have had a cupcake every day for the past few days and they are still wonderful. I pulled out the ice cream to pack some up for my friend who gave me the mangoes and I think I sampled as much as I packed. I can only hope my Tabata class at the YMCA is balancing some of this out!
~ The Mildly Manic Mom