02 November 2009

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes w/- Vanilla Cream"cheese" Frosting

Yes, these are a bit late to be considered a Halloween post but personally I don't need an excuse to try my hand at baking pumpkin pie. It's moist, sweet and pumpkiny! You can't freakin' loose!

Wasn't sure how a vegan version of this recipe would go. In fact, I spent hours scouring through pumpkin pie recipes trying to figure it out. Sure there were plenty of vegan pumpkin cupcake recipes but I wanted something with the soft velvety texture of real pie! I decided to use some silken tofu to replace the eggs only to discover I had bought mango flavoured silken tofu because they had put the sale sticker over the word mango! Crap!

Then it hit me, pumpkin puree is a natural binder...why even use an egg replacement! I'm slow, but I get there eventually.

Now, these aren't baked in shells so obviously they needed a little more hold to them than the really creamy texture of the traditional pumpkin pie I've been lucky enough to try (which by the way is only once as here in Australia no-one seems to have cottoned on to the wonders of this dessert). I ended up deciding that some flour would have to be added. This resulted in a cakey outer layer and a gooey middle and I can't think of anything better than having your cake and eating pie too.

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes w/- Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (makes 12-14)

  • 3/4 cup soy milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, cardamom, all spice)
  • 1 425g can pumpkin puree (I found mine at a specialty candy store as it's not readily available here in Australia)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease or line tray with silicone cupcake papers.
  2. In a medium bowl mix together soy milk and apple cider vinegar. Place aside to curdle.
  3. In another medium bowl sift together plain flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
  4. To the soy mixture add pumpkin puree, canola oil, white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Whisk until mixed thoroughly.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until no large lumps remain.
  6. Fill each paper about 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 20-22 mins or until tops are a golden brown and a few cracks are forming.
  8. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10mins then remove from pan to completely cool.
  9. Chill in refrigerator.
One small thing to note is that these will sink a little in the middle which is due to the soft centre so don't worry they aren't undercooked!

Vanilla Cream"cheese" Frosting

  • 1/4 cup Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 2-3 cups icing sugar
  • scraping from 1 vanilla bean pod or 1 tsp vanilla essence
  1. Whisk together cream cheese and margarine.
  2. Add icing sugar 1 cup at a time until it is a stiff enough consistency that it holds it's form and is at desired sweetness.
  3. Add vanilla bean scraping or vanilla essence and whisk until fully incorporated.
  4. Pipe onto chilled cup-pies and enjoy!

27 October 2009

Chocolate Cupcakes w/- Rosewater Jelly Filling & Chocolate Ganache Topping

Phew, what a mouthful. I should also note that I topped these with a sprinkling of rosewater flavoured sugar crystals but that was just going to turn into some kind of lengthy title nightmare.

The chocolate cupcakes and ganache are from an older post which you can find here so I will just be posting a recipe for the rosewater jelly and sugar crystals. I admit, I've been going a tad rosewater crazy lately but, in my defence it's been sitting in my cupboard for at least 6 months just waiting to be used and once I started I was hooked. Now since no-one had organised any kind of intervention and a google search of "rosewater rehab" resulted in Olivia Newton-John lyrics it looks like I'll just have to kick the habit myself.

Anyway, along with the rosewater I've also had a few sticks of Agar Agar sitting in my pantry looking pretty lonely so I figured why not let the two meet? This resulted in some kind of turkish delight style cupcake which, had they not been so incredibly rich I would have happily eaten the whole batch.

Rosewater Jelly

  • 1 bar of Spiral Foods agar agar-product code is 01590 (I bought mine from Flannery's)
  • 5-6 tbsp icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp rosewater
  • 3 cups water
  • Couple of drops of vegan red food colouring
  1. Soak bar in 3 cups of water until soft.
  2. Boil slowly for 15mins.
  3. Add sugar, rosewater and colouring.
  4. Place into a tray and chill until firm.
Agar Agar Bar and Rosewater Jelly Cubes

Now, I should point out that this is just the method for the agar agar I used. There are different brands and you can also buy it in powder or flake form from most asian grocers and health food stores. You will need to follow the instructions on the packet and adjust the amount of rosewater and icing sugar used accordingly compared to how much water is used. Just be sure not to buy a pre-flavoured agar agar powder.

To fill you cupcakes you will need to remove a cone shaped section from the centre of your cupcake by cutting a circular shape from the top angling your knife inwards.

Wells Cut Into Cupcakes

Fill your holes with jelly (I didn't keep them in the pretty cube form, you'll have to break it into small chunks) and replace the
top of the cupcake. (This is just the top section of each cone you remove from the cupcakes.)

Rosewater Sugar Crystals

  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp rosewater
  • 1 tsp margarine
  1. Place white sugar and rosewater in a small saucepan over a med-high heat and stir until bubbly.
  2. Take off heat and stir in margarine.
  3. Pour and spread over a sheet of baking paper and leave for a few minutes until cool enough to touch but not completely solid.
  4. Break apart into a crumble.
  5. Sprinkle over iced cupcakes.
That's it! Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to eat a big bowl of cereal covered in rosewater!

24 October 2009

Lemon Pistachio Cupcakes w/- Rosewater Pistacio Brittle

Apparently my best efforts yet according to official cupcake taster and all round sweet tooth Murdoch. I'm not sure if that's because he helped me make them and just wants to blow smoke up his own arse but I'm going to take the compliment and run with it anyway.

This is the first time I've been successful making brittle that was actually, well brittle. Granted I've only tried a couple of times before but I've managed to make a soft, runny toffee-esque version and a burnt mass of ass. Turns out it's really not so hard to make, I'm just not the kitchen master I thought I was.

Anyway, point being if I can do it you can too, so whip out your apron and mixer and get to cooking. You only live once and sugar is king!

Lemon Pistachio Cupcakes w/- Rosewater Pistachio Brittle (makes 12 cupcakes)

  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/8 cup cornflour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 30-40 whole pistachio nuts, shelled.
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and line tray with papers.
  2. In a medium bowl mix together soy milk and apple cider vinegar. Place aside to curdle.
  3. In another medium bowl sift together plain flour, cornflour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. To the soy milk mixture add the canola oil, sugar, vanilla extract and lemon extract. Beat until foamy.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until no large lumps remain.
  6. Add lime zest and pistachios and mix until combined.
  7. Fill papers to about 2/3 full. Take note that each cupcake is getting a few of the nuts.
  8. Place in oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched with a finger.
  9. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10mins then remove from pan to completely cool.
Lemon "Butter"cream

  • 1/4 cup copha
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean scraped
  1. Cream together copha and margarine.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of icing sugar, beating the whole time and then a splash of lemon juice. Do this until all the icing sugar and juice is gone.
  3. Add vanilla extract and beat for a further 3 or so minutes.
Rosewater Pistachio Brittle

  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp rosewater
  • 1 tbsp margarine
  • couple of handfuls of coarsely chopped pistachios (really doesn't matter how many you use, depends how you like your brittle)
  1. Place sugar in a medium heavy bottom saucepan and cook over a medium heat for about 5 mins or until sugar dissolves and is a nice golden brown colour.
  2. Add rosewater, stir through and remove from heat.
  3. Add margarine and pistachios and stir to coat.
  4. Pour and spread over a baking tray to cool. (You can line it with some baking paper but I found the margarine made it really non-stick so I'm not even sure it's necessary.)
  5. Leave for about 20mins to cool and harden then break into shards.
  6. Eat half the brittle before it even makes it onto a cupcake.
Pipe your icing onto cool cupcakes and top with a few shards of brittle. I sprinkled a heap of lavender coloured sugar over my brittle while it was still cooling and it ended up looking really pretty also.

**Note** Liquid sugar is beyond hot and sticky as all f***. If you get it on yourself it will mean a serious burn so make sure when preparing the brittle it has your complete and utter attention. Now, I have the awareness of a small child full of pixie sticks, whiz fizz and cordial but even I managed not to scald myself so turn off the TV, stop yelling at the kids and for
Lucifer's sake put on some pants! Everyone knows genitals hate molten lava sugar!