Thursday, October 28, 2010

This "Best Ever" Chocolate Cupcake has a Dirty Secret

I'll admit it. When it comes to baked goods, I'm a classist. If it isn't made with butter, eggs, and sugar--it just doesn't qualify as a decedent treat. I have even openly laughed in coffee shops that feature "vegan" baked goods. Isn't vegan supposed to equal some lofty dietary goal?  And when chocolate calls me to be indulge, I'll go with the devil and brush that angel right off my shoulder. 

So in that sense, this cupcake changed my life. 

Moist but not sticky. Dense but still tender. Dark as the new moon in a deep chocolate dream. And {gulp} it is completely vegan.  This cupcake rockets to the front of my recipe box as the 'go to' for chocolate cupcakes (maybe even layer cake, once I test it out in regular pans) even when I don't have dietary restrictions to work with. The recipe is also the perfect size for one, 12-spot pan of cupcakes--which is really all you need.  The frosting recipe I chose is not vegan, though I suppose vegan substitutes could be made (not believing lightening strikes twice in the same place, I went traditional). 

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1tsp white vinegar
1 cup water

In a mixer bowl combine all dry ingredients with whisk to throughly blend. Add oil, vanilla, vinegar, and water and mix to combine. Blend on medium speed apprx. 2 minutes. Fill 12 cupcake liners in pan and bake for apprx 15 minutes. 

Not Vegan Chocolate Pan Frosting 

1 cup white sugar 
5 Tbs butter
1/3 cup milk
2 Tbs corn syrup
1 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium saucepan combine sugar, butter, milk and corn syrup and bring to rolling boil. Boil for one minute then remove from heat and add chocolate and vanilla. Stir to melt and combine. Frosting will set quickly, so have cooled cupcakes and any deco sugars at the ready. As frosting cools it will begin to set and get a glossy finish, so you will have to work quickly.  Scoop warm frosting by the heaping tablespoon onto cupcake then swirl to evenly distribute. Finish with sanding sugar or dragées. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

New Kitchen Cupcake Love

First cupcakes in my new kitchen (yes, I could say 'our' new kitchen, but who am I kidding?).  This quick two dozen were for the cake walk at my son's preschool Fall Festival.

White Almond Sour Cream marbled with chocolate topped off with a hearty swirl of All American buttercream frosting.  A fondant mod flower with pearl dragée finished the simple decor. I bagged each cupcake in a cellophane bag with a sheer chocolate brown bow.

Yes, I am loving my new kitchen and the bountiful counter space on the new island. Can't wait to tackle a big cake project once I settle in a little more. 

 (And I'm also working on finding my best natural light window photo to shoot near. These were taken at 11:30 p.m., which studies show is the most common hour in which school-required cupcakes are completed. )