Sunday, 28 July 2013

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Alex and I tag-teamed in the kitchen a couple of weeks ago to make some chocolate cupcakes for him to take to work for his birthday.  I realised that I hadn't shared these recipes on my blog, so here they are for all you chocolate freaks, my favourite chocolate cupcake and icing recipes.  I have made these countless times for work morning teas, birthday parties, celebrations or just because I needed a chocolate hit. This makes light, chocolatey, moist cupcakes or cake.  And the icing is rich, fluffy and lick-the-bowl-icious.  Who needs eggs and dairy?

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes (or Cake)
(adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World)
Makes 12 cupcakes.  Can be easily halved to make 6 cupcakes (if you want a chocolate hit, but don't want to make a whole batch!)

1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (you can use white vinegar if you don't have ACV)
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup white flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder (I use Sun Valley brand)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 180 degC and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

2. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil and vanilla to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. 

3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are OK).  

4. Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before icing.

1. I have made these at different times using my kenwood mixer, hand held mixer and just beating by hand.  I have found that the cupcakes were much fluffier and moister when I used a mixer to beat the mixture rather than just mixing by hand. 

2. To make a cake, pour mixture into a greased 20-23cm round cake tin and bake for 32-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  If you want to make a layer cake, double the recipe and make two cakes and then sandwich with some icing or jam or stewed berries in the middle. You may need extra icing for a layer cake.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing
(adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking)

1/2 cup (112g) non-dairy butter (in NZ use Olivani or Olivite)
3 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/3 cup cocoa (I use Sun Valley brand - much richer than Cadbury or Nestle)
1 tsp vanilla essence 
3-4 tbsp water or non-dairy milk

With an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth.  With the mixer on low speed, add the icing sugar and cream for about 2 minutes.  Add the cocoa, vanilla and milk/water and turn the mixer to high speed once all the ingredients are relatively well combined.  Beat on high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 1-2 tbsp (15-30ml) more milk if it is too dry.  Pipe or spread onto cupcakes or cakes.  Lick the bowl and the beaters afterwards!

Makes enough for one 23cm cake or about 12 cupcakes piped. If you are not going to pipe the icing on your cupcakes, you could probably halve the recipe, but when it comes to cupcakes, the more icing the better!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

{26 Things I Made} 11/26: More Slippers

Another pair of knitted slippers - these were a birthday present for Alex.  He has been wearing them round the house at every opportunity since I finished them a couple of days ago.  It's so nice when your craft is well received!

Knitted Slippers
Ravelry details here.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

{26 Things I Made} 10/26 A birthday present

My lovely friend Fi celebrated her birthday this last weekend with High Tea at Martha's Pantry.  I'd never had high tea before and it didn't disappoint, with lots of amazing treats and different teas to try.  She made sure to let them know I was vegan and they whipped up this lovely cake-stand full of sweet and savoury treats all for me (top tip - if you are the only vegan, you get a stand all to yourself!).

Vegan High Tea at Martha's Pantry

As a birthday present for her I made this cosmetics purse (though you could use it for other things too).  It has a nylon lining to help prevent makeup messes and the outside is made from some favourite Japanese fabric I picked up in Melbourne a couple of years ago.  I interlined it with cotton quilt batting to give it a bit more structure because the outer fabric is pretty thin.  I really like the end result and am thinking I could do with one for me too (and maybe some to sell in my Felt shop - a job for the school holidays I think).Makeup bag