Cupcakes A Go Go

November was super busy and I enjoyed a lovely 10 days in Mexico. It’s finals season so that has contributed to my cooking delinquency. However, the final project in my Social Entrepreneurship class is pitching my organic bakery concept, Patisserie Carbon. So with that in mind, I’ve been making cupcakes, like crazy.

I got these cute little mini muffin tins so that I can feed my whole class on my batch of cupcakes and people can taste both flavors without feeling guilty. I made vegan chocolate cupcakes, with a raspberry jam filling and a fluffy vanilla icing. I also made gingerbread cupcakes with a caramel butter cream icing. Of course everything is made with organic ingredients.

For the chocolate cake I used an old recipe from war times. It amazing me how good this tastes for being vegan, really.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
1-1/2 c unbleached white flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 c sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 c brewed coffee
2 t pure vanilla extract
2 T vinegar

1. Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.

2. Mix together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and sugar into a large bowl.

3. In a 2-cup measuring cup, measure and mix the oil, water (or coffee), and vanilla. Slowly and gently pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl and mix the batter with a whisk.

4. When the batter is smooth, add the vinegar and stir quickly. There will be pale swirls (and some bubbling) in the batter where the baking soda and vinegar are reacting. Stir just until the vinegar is evenly distributed throughout the batter (the color becomes more consistent throughout).

5. Pour batter into a lined muffin tin and bake for 25 minutes–testing with a toothpick. Remove to a cooling rack and frost.

Vegan Vanilla Icing

2 c shorting (transfat free)
6 c powdered sugar
1 T vanilla extract
¼ c soymilk

Beat all ingredients on low, then high with an electric mixer, until fluffy.

Gingerbread Cupcakes (Courtesy of Bobby Flay and The Food Network)
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour 

1 t baking powder 

3/4 t baking soda 

1/4 t salt 

1 T ground ginger 

2 t ground cinnamon 

1/4 t ground cloves 

1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted 

3/4 c brown sugar 

2 large eggs 

6 T black strap molasses 

3/4 c water

1. Pre-heat the over to 3:50 degrees.

2. Mix all the dry ingredients and set aside.

3. In an electric mixer, bead the butter, brown sugar, eggs and molasses will well blended.

4. Gradually add the dry ingredients and water, alternating to form a thick batter.

5. Pour the batter into muffin tins with paper liners and bake for at least 20 minutes, checking doneness with a toothpick.

6. Cool on a wire rack and frost.

Caramel Butter Cream Icing
1 c sugar
½ c heavy cream
2 sticks butter
2.5 oz margarine
3 large egg whites
1-1/2 c sugar
1 T vanilla Extract

1. Heat the cup of sugar on medium high heat in a heavy bottom pan. The sugar will met and caramelize, take the sugar off of the heat and swirl the pan to make sure that all crystals dissolve and that the sugar doesn’t get too dark or burn.

2. Pour the cup of cream into the sugar and let it continue to cook. After 10 minutes, stir to pull the sugar off of the bottom of the pan and continue to cook so that the mixture thickens. Take it off the heat and set it aside to cool.

3. Beat the butter and margarine together on high, till fluffy, with an electric mixer, set aside.

4. In a heat proof metal bowl, over simmer water, like a double boiler, wish the egg whites and remaining sugar. The sugar crystals will dissolve and the mixture will get thing and turn white. Be careful not to cook the eggs.

5. Wisk the vanilla into the egg whites.

6. Add the egg whites and the caramel to the butter mixture. Beat on high until well combined and fluffy.

7. Put the mixture into the refrigerator to cool. Stir occasionally until it is the right consistency for piping.

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