I just had a great nine days aboard the Victory II with my sister in law, Judi. We cruised and toured and dined our way along the St Lawrence Seaway, Great Lakes and passed through 17 Locks and 7 cities. So what did it matter that I have been to all the ports before? It didn't. Sailing on the Victory II put a new spin on the sights and they way I look at our beautiful country. It was fun to be a tourist with people who have never been to Toronto or some of the cities we visited - I personally felt responsible for the sunny days, gourmet food, beautiful sunsets and winning at Name That Tune!
So what does chocolate have to do with cruising? Lots to a chocolate lover! The food aboard the Victory II was well prepared and beautifully served. We had a tour of the galley and was surprised that all the food we ate come from such a small but well organized space. We ate well and tried really hard to leave room for dessert, especially if chocolate was on the menu. I tried a delicious Mousse au Chocolate, (sugar-free option), it was smooth and creamy, I did not miss the sugar and yes there was a cherry on top, and it was a real cherry! I also loved the mini chocolate cake paired with vanilla ice cream, I know it sounds simple but simple is hard to pull off, it has to be perfect and perfectly delicious is what we had.
Now that I am home I really wanted to try and recreate the chocolate cake. My version is gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free and the ice cream is made with coconut milk. Ok, so maybe my recipe is not as much fun as what we ate on the ship, but I am home now and need to fit back into my jeans.
For a full review of the Victory ll Great Lakes Adventure have a look at the article written by my sister-in-law Judi Cohen for Quirky Cruise.
Some of the delicious food we ate.
Mini Dark Chocolate Cake
This recipe makes 4 mini cakes.
I used 125ml porcelain ramekins
2/3 cup almond milk
1 1/2 tsp vinegar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable or melted coconut oil, ( I used coconut oil)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup of gluten free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 tsp instant espresso (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Grease 4 round baking ramekins.
3. Mix together the milk, vinegar, maple syrup, oil and vanilla extract, set aside for 10 minutes.
4. Stir together the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl until well mixed.
5. Pour wet into dry, stir just until evenly mixed, and transfer to the greased ramekins.
6. Bake 20 to 25 minutes on the middle rack, or until cake is done.
7. Let cool before removing. Remove by running a knife around the edges and gently turn over and remove cakes.
Make sure the almond milk, maple syrup and coconut oil are at room temperature.
You can prepare ahead of time and then bake just before serving for a warm dessert. Just remember to wait at least 10 minutes before removing from ramekins.