Monday, March 30, 2009

Chai Cardamom Cupcakes with Cashew Buttercream

The poll winning cupcake! And as it turns out one of my all time favorites, but then again a lot of these are my favorites. I knew off the bat that I would extract the chai flavor black tea, I decided to use coconut milk heated up a little on the stove and then steeped four tea bags for 5-6 minutes. Soy milk would work better for this, but I really love to richness that coconut milk brings to a cupcake. After I let the coconut milk cool a little I added a tablespoon of flax seed and allowed the tea mixture to sit for about ten minutes before proceeding with adding the rest of the wet ingredients. While I wait for this process I get the dry goods shifted and ready to add.

Once the cupcakes were finished I ran into a little bit of an internal debate on what to top them with... A spicy chai buttercream, a cardamom buttercream, a powdersugar glaze or somthing else... I settled on cashews. I mixed cashew butter with a vegan buttercream frosting and it turned out awesome. It looked dense but turned out to be light a delicious. I topped them with broken cashews, next time I'll grind them down into finer pieces.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pineapple Coconut Cupcakes

We had some left over pineapple juice from a curry we made the other day, so I decided to use the excess in a spring cupcake. This is more of a fruit cupcake (ha ha...), the coconut is very subdued. I used coconut milk and a 1/3 cup coconut flour for the coconut flavor. I used a 1/2 a cup of pineapple juice which seems like a lot, but the cupcakes had a great texture to them and were eaten up by James and I. I love using juices in cupcakes, the sugars from the juice seem to crystalize a little on the top of the cake making a thin hard/crunchy layer of cupcake goodness.

For the topping I made a simple pineapple butter cream frosting and attempted to make flowers on the tops of the cakes. Practice makes perfect.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Stout Cupcakes 2.0

I made these on a whim after I tried the first stout cupcakes, and they turned out wonderful. I used coconut milk as the base because cupcakes with coconut milk are KILLER. That's not to imply that the previous posting was a bad cupcake, they were good, the second batch was just better. I left out chocolate because I felt it took away to much from the stout flavor, I replaced it with almond meal because almond meal is one of the best things you can use in baking. I used a 1/4 of stout for the beer flavor which was perfect after the cupcakes were fully baked.

For St. Patrick's Day I added a little festive green coloring.

I used the whiskey butter cream frosting on these cakes as well, terrific! I need to use that frosting for more cupcakes.

Vegan Stout Cupcakes

Set oven to 350

3/4 cup of coconut milk
1 tablespoon flax seed
Whisk flax seed and coconut milk together and let sit for 8-10 minutes. While waiting, in a separate bowl mix the dry goods together.

1 cup plus 2-3 tablesppons pastry flour
1/3 almond meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
Set dry goods aside and add remaining wet goods to coconut-flax mixture.

1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 stout
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix all wet goods well and slowly add dry goods into wet goods bowl in two or three batches. Once mixed add mixture to baking liners and place the cupcake tray in oven for 20-23 minutes.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Stout Cupcakes 1.0 (Chocolate)

I couldn't help but get sucked into the St. Patrick's Day Holiday especially since I'm unemployed and need to occupy my time with something. I found a cool little shop in North Seattle that sells a lot of cheesy cake decorations (note the shamrock sprinkles). I took this recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World and they turned out really well. My only critique was that the chocolate covered up some of the beer flavor. My one addition to these cakes was the whiskey butter cream frosting which is the best icing EVER.

1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup shortening
2 -2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup whiskey

Cream margarine and shortening together and then slowly add sugar until consistency looks like large crumbs. Slowly add the whiskey and beat for 5-7 minutes or until frosting is thick and creamy.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Rich Chocolate Cabernet Cupcakes

The combination of chocolate and wine are awesome in wine tastings, so why not cupcake the two? I'm officially making a petition to allow for the verb usage of the word "cupcake" FYI. I don't think I'm the first person to combine chocolate and wine into a cupcake maybe not even the first vegan. I decided on a whim to try these out last week and I'm told they were my best cupcake to date... Maybe I can get a few testimonials in the comments section for those who were lucky enough to nibble on these.

For these cupcakes I didn't want to fall into standard "flavor the icing" mentality and keep the cupcake really simple, which is always a success don't get me wrong, but I waned to make something truly ass-kicking. I opted for a rich chocolate cupcake and added a cheap cabernet sauvignon to the mix, on top of a really killer cupcake I added thin layer of a rich chocolate ganache over the tops and finished the cupcake with a vegan butter cream frosting with cabernet sauvignon added instead of soy milk.

I'm taking away one lesson from these cupcakes 'WATCH THE BAKING POWDER'! Thankfully my mistake didn't ruin the flavor or the cupcake itself. You might be able to tell from the photos that the cupcakes are a little sunken. I didn't take into the account that I'd have to up the baking powder with the addition of the cabernet. The mistake made the addition of the chocolate ganache a lot easier
, I was originally planning on breaking a hole in the center and filling it with the ganache. All's well that ends well.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Coconut Creme Cupcakes

I've wanted to do a recipe with tons of coconut for a while but I was never sure how I was going to go about it. I read a dozen different coconut cake recipes most of which just included coconut shreds in the recipe which isn't enough for me. I found a decent recipe and modified it to include coconut milk, oil, shreds, and flour. The only coconut item I didn't include was coconut extract which i though was unnecessary since I had so much of the real thing already in the recipe. The recipe I used (Top Secret) made a really dense and thick batter and I was slightly worried and then I tasted one. These were so good I made another batch the next day to take with us to a vegan outing.

For the frosting I used a standard butter cream recipe but substituted coconut milk for soy milk.

1/4 cup margerine
1/4 cup shortening
(Mixed really well with a fork)
2 cups powdered sugar
2-4 tablespoons coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

After I frosted the cake I then toasted a small amount of coconut in a sauce pan until browned. When the toasted coconut cooled I sprinkled it around the edges of the cupcake.

The cupcakes were moist and dense and the added creamy coconut butter cream frosting made a huge impression on all my friends I shared these with.

Très bon

Friday, March 6, 2009

Chocolate Espresso Gluten Free Cupcakes

I made these for a friend the other day, I used the basic gluten free cupcake formula but again added coconut milk, espresso and some coffee extract. For the vegan butter cream frosting I added a little coffee extract to ensure a decent amount of coffee flavor with every bite.

I think I can now claim success with gluten free and will eventually be making different kinds of gluten free cupcakes for friends. My recipe follows;

Set oven to 350

Wet Goods
1/2 cup of soy milk
1/2 cup of coconut milk
1/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup vegan sugar
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds

mix the soy, coconut milk and flax seed together and let sit for a few minutes. Mix in the rest of the wet goods. Slowly add;

1/4 cup tapioca flour

Mix really well 5-7 minutes until smooth, slowly add the dry goods;

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup coconut or quinoa flour (I love the taste of coconut flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Continue mixing until all ingredients are well combined and fill cupcake liners 3/4(ish) full and bake for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

If you like peanut butter these are the cupcakes for you! Moist and fluffy and yet these cupcakes maintain a high dose of peanut butter bliss. This recipe is taken from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and is perfect as is. I'm planning on translating this one into a gluten free cupcake eventually. I think the recipe could also be good substituting peanuts for cashews, that's only if you're a cashew addict like myself.

I paired this cupcake up with a rich chocolate ganache because its almost impossible to beat a combination of peanut butter and chocolate. If you're feeling really indulgent pair with decent soy ice cream and serve warm. Better yet serve with more chocolate ganache.