March, the best days of winter

The kids are on ski break this week and the weather has been treating us great! The best days of winter have arrived. This week we have taken the kitchen outside and on Monday the whole family went on a skiing and sledding trek to a laavu, or a classic Finnish lean-to that can be found in the wilderness all over the country. They can be resting spots on a hiking or a berry picking trip and are usually open for public use. In front of the laavu, there usually is a fire pit and so we roasted sausages for lunch with the children.

laavu and finnish winter

laavuretki finnish winter

The children were also hoping for a special snack, something out of the ordinary. I decided to give the vegan avocado-chocolate pudding a try. I found a recipe on the kitchn ‘s website.

It was a simple recipe and quick to make although I ended up having a little mishap in the process. As I was whipping the coconut cream for the topping, my phone rang. I left the immersion wand standing upright in the bowl and the second I turned around, the bowl fell on the floor and into two pieces and I had coconut cream all over the kitchen. Amateur mistake, I know. And I spent the next half hour with one of my daughters cleaning the kitchen. In the end, I did not have any more coconut cream left and but did have some regular heavy cream in the fridge. And so our pudding was only partly vegan. For our crowd, I doubled the recipe.

vegan chocolate pudding 3

Vegan Chocolate pudding cups with Coconut Cream recipe created by Gina Eykemans

pudding cups:

15 Medjool dates, soaked in warm water for an hour
1 ripe Hass avocado
1/4 raw cacao or semisweet cocoa powder
1 c full-fat coconut milk
pinch of sea salt

Coconut cream:
395 g/ 1 (14 oz) can of chilled coconut cream
2 tbsp maple syrup

Soak the dates for an hour in warm water. Drain the dates and remove the pits and place into a blender. Peel the avocado and remove pit. Cut into big chunks and place into the blender along with the cacao, coconut milk and sea salt. Blend until a smooth consistency. I was pleasantly surprised how pudding like the consistency was. Spoon into cups. I made fairly small portions as kids sometimes have a hard time finishing large servings and I hate when food goes to waste. I prefer to start with small servings and give seconds, plus the serving does not look as overwhelming to them and they have an easier time finishing it. This is one thing I learned from my Mom!

For the coconut cream, make sure it has been chilled. Whip with a hand mixer until thick and creamy and swirl in the maple syrup. Top each pudding with a spoonful of coconut cream. Serve immediately or chill and serve later.

vegan chocolate puddingThe kids had their comments. They thought it looked like something that just makes your mouth water, but they would have liked it a bit sweeter and came for another spoonful of cream after they were half way through their puddings. So perhaps next time I’ll add just a bit of sugar.

vegan chocolate pudding2This post is a part of the In My Kitchen series now hosted by Maureen from the Orgasmic Chef. Stop by her blog to find links to kitchens all around the world!


  1. The desserts look wonderful in spite of the tragedy and I love the idea of going to a laavu.

    1. Thank you Maureen. We really did catch the best days of winter as now the weather is hovering right above freezing point and it is slushy and gray. Love winter when it is just below 0C and the sun shines brightly! 🙂 And I personally really liked the avocado-chocolate pudding.

  2. What a beautiful day for a picnic in the snow. 🙂 As for the cream covered kitchen, I think that a kitchen isn’t a proper kitchen until that happens! It’s amazing how far cream or custard or soup or anything sloppy will go!!!

    1. Yes, it certainly was amazing to see all the nooks and crannies the cream made it’s way into! 😛 Well, at least we now have a proper kitchen…although I’m afraid that was not the first time we had a proper mess in the kitchen. With many little and bigger cooks stirring the pot messes are bound to happen 😉 But the outdoor picnic was certainly a highlight of our ski break. Everyone came home with rosy cheeks after skiing and sledding.

  3. Firstly, as usual, I love your photos. I’m very happy living where I do, but in many ways I wish we’d experienced living somewhere totally different like you do.
    Secondly, I’ve been wanting to make an avocado based chocolate dessert for ages, so I’m going to save this very simple sounding one and give it a try. Thanks.

    1. Perhaps you could enjoy a vacation in Lapland some winter and really get to experience the clean white winter of the very north. I know it’s not the same as living somewhere, but perhaps the next best thing! I would like to experience a warm winter someday…we’ll see what my husband would say to that! He really enjoys his cool and crisp falls. Hope you have a chance to try the avocado chocolate pudding. It was really simple and fast…especially if you don’t spill the cream all over the place 😉

  4. What a great outing for a family and fantastic way to celebrate the warmer part of winter. With kids in the house, making a double batch is a must when it comes to chocolate pudding. This sounds like a delicious recipe.

    1. Ha, ha! 😀 With kids in the house, we get to make a double and sometimes triple batch of EVERYthing! At least it saves a bit on cooking time if there might happen to be a bit of leftover. Lately I’ve noticed that since the kids are getting bigger, there is usually just a smidgen leftover for the ones home at lunch the next day. Good thing I love cooking and don’t consider it a chore! 🙂

    1. Thank you 🙂 It was a fantastic day. We have had some beautiful weather recently, but spring is now coming and snow banks have become soft making skiing a bit harder.

  5. the lunch in the snow looks such fun. i made a similar dessert with avocado recently but i felt it really needed something sweet in it. i had added rice bran syrup but it needed more:) perhaps maple syrup would be good.

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