Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes

I haven't made a cupcake in over a month and I was feeling particularly sour about that yesterday. Its sort of spring in Seattle right now and lavender is a big part of spring and summer here. A few years ago I tried to make a lavender cupcake and it flopped. My mistake was in using an extract and not the real thing.

This time around I used a slightly modified version of a chocolate cake recipe that I'm fond of and I decided to use lavender in the icing only. I stepped the lavender buds in hot soy creamer and then chilled the mixture before adding it to margarine and powdered sugar that I had been mixing together. I was bad and didn't measure a thing which is fine so long as the result is good. Thankfully it was. The cake was extra moist and the lavender icing was perfect.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Blood Orange Almond Biscotti

I often get a weird obsession with certain ingredients and I want to use them everything. Recently I've been on a Blood Orange kick. I've made a Blood Orange Marmalade, Cupcakes, and even dehydrated several for no reason. This recipe is a variation on the Anise Almond Biscotti recipe found in Veganomicon only with Blood Oranges and a few other tweaks. To date this is my favorite biscotti I've made. I'm going to keep making it until the oranges are out of season. I recommend buying the book and trying out a blood orange variation its fantastic.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hazelnut Cupcakes

Going off the success of the Pistachio cupcakes I made a few weeks back I decided to try out a rich hazelnut cupcake. We had some extra hazelnuts and I had recently purchased some hazelnut oil at the local import store. Learning from past mistakes I toasted the hazelnuts for 10-15 minutes and was able to easily remove the skin from the nuts. I then added the hazelnuts to a food processor and processed until I had a small granules (Hazelnut Meal).

After the cupcakes were finished baking I prepared a rich cocoa butter cream from 100% cocoa powder and topped with a little leftover hazelnut meal. These cupcakes melt in your mouth a nice success that day considering the previous batch of cupcakes I made lacked baking soda and tasted like play dough. Prep before you bake.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lemon Sables

Since Scotland I've been on a bit of a shortbread kick. Sables are essentially the French equivalent to the shortbread. The day before I made the lemon sables I made chocolate sables, going off the recipe I used for the chocolate sables I incorporated lemon zest, fresh lemon juice and coconut flour. The sables turned out fantastic and go really well with a nice Ethiopian Yiracheffe.

Lemon Sables:

2 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup vegan margarine
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Mix the sugar and margarine together in a large bowl, but don't cream them together. Add the lemon juice and zest.

Combine the flours and salt together and slowly add them to the margarine and sugar mixture. Divide the dough into to balls and roll into logs. Wrap in parchment paper and chill for a few hours.

Heat oven at 350. Slice the logs every half inch and roll the edges in sugar. Bake for 12 minutes.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Orange Blossom Shortbread

Having recently returned from Scotland I was inspired to make a vegan shortbread. Most shortbread contains butter which is thankfully an easy thing to substitute. I wanted to make a shortbread that was traditional but had a little something extra that wasn't overpowering. Some recipes called for chocolate or lemon, but these things seem to be a little much and if you're not careful you lose the flavor you were going for.

I still had a bottle of Orange Blossom Water and decided to add about two teaspoons worth to the recipe. The result was a nice shortbread with that slight hint of Orange Blossoms. I was very pleased at the result and plan on making variations of this recipe.