Friday, February 16, 2007

Chocolate Cupcakes

I must confess, I love to bake, regardless of how I feel, there is something about it - maybe it's like Dr. Clyburne said way back when I was taking Inorganic Chemistry - they are the same, chemistry and baking and the satisfaction is the same. Honestly I would never equate vacuum filtration of a transition metal compound or the creation of a polymer, regardless of it's secondary use as silly slapper hand... to baking, because you can't eat it, so why would the satisfaction be the same? So anyways even though these are vegan, I'm not making them for me, I'm making them for my "kidlets" - the grade 6-10 kids I teach on Saturday nights... but of course I'm not telling them it's vegan...

I modified this recipe quite a bit, but you always must give credit where it is due - the cake portion from Post Punk's "Chocolate Orange Cupcakes" and the Fluffy Icing, from, although it actually originates from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

On a side note all the soup has been consumed and hereby declared better than restaurant quality... hmmm.

Dry Ingredients
2 cups flour - I used 1 c. white pastry and 1c. whole wheat - use whatever you want
1/2 cup cocoa - used Black and Green's - awesome, so much better than the stuff in the yellow package...
2 tsp baking power
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Wet Ingredients
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup each of white and brown sugar 0r whatever substitute you want to use
1/4 cup soy milk
3/4 cup vanilla soy yogurt
4 oz of melted dark chocolate - vegan of course
1 egg substitute - I found some no name vegan version at our local health food store
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup approx. strong brewed coffee or espresso

Preheat the oven to 350.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, whisk at the end, or sift as you add, both do the same thing, get rid of the lumps and set aside. Cut the chocolate into small pieces and place in a Pyrex or heat safe vessel, something that isn't going to have weird hot spots. Melt chocolate at low temperature in the microwave, the same thing can be done with a makeshift double boiled but that means more to clean up in the end... Melt slowly, stirring every 30-60 seconds, chocolate continues to melt as you stir, remember you don't want to burn it. Set the melted chocolate aside, to cool. Mix together milk, yogurt, vanilla, oil and sugars. Using a portion of the coffee add it the egg substitute powder and then add to the other wet ingredients. Add about 1/3-1/2c of the coffee and the chocolate to the other wet ingredients. Keep the coffee on hand as you will need it. Combine the wet into the dry and mix adding the coffee as needed to get a thick but still soft consistency, like a brownie batter. In the end I used the entire cup of coffee.

Scoop batter in to muffin cups or greased tins, I used the later because I apparently have run out of muffin cups... Bake for about 20 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting - Don't knock it till you try it, and yet I know it's not "healthy" but a treat once in a while isn't bad
1/2 cup Earth Balance margarine - room temperature
1/2 cup Earth Balance shortening or Crisco - it's apparently vegan, who knew?
3 1/2 cup of sifted icing sugar
1/4 cup soy milk or creamer
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
and in this case, being the icing it chocolate 1/2c. of cocoa powder

Starting with the margarine and shortening blend until smooth, then add the vanilla, icing sugar and then slowly the milk until is close to the consistency you want. Scrap down the sides, add the salt and if you are making it chocolate the cocoa adding more milk if necessary. Frost when the cupcakes are cool.

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