Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Whipped Cream


I hesitated to even put the word "Vegan" in the title of this blog post because I'm willing to bet that at least 50% of the people who see that word won't read any further.  "Vegan" carries with it a very negative connotation and there are still a lot of people who believe that vegan food couldn't possible taste good.  (Mostly men)  I am not a vegan but I have a friend who is, so when we celebrated her birthday, I baked vegan cupcakes.  The recipe really isn't much different than my traditional chocolate cupcake recipe.  As a matter of fact, if I didn't tell you that these cupcakes were vegan, you would probably think that you were eating a delicious chocolate cupcake with chocolate ganache and coconut frosting. 

I found the cake recipe in a cookbook that I borrowed from a friend called "The Vegan Table."  The cake was originally intended to be baked in an 8" cake pan but I turned mine into cupcakes.  The recipe also called for an apricot glaze to be poured over the cooled cake and I eliminated that and opted for a coconut whipped cream to top of these delicious little cupcakes.

Chocolate Cake
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup soy milk
1/2 cup black coffee
1/3 cup canola oil
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Ganache
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons black coffee
2 Tablespoons nondairy butter







Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cocoa.












 Combine milk, coffee, oil, vinegar  and vanilla.













 Pour into dry ingredients and mix well.


















Pour into cupcake liners.














Bake 16 minutes at 350.








For ganache: Combine ingredients in a bowl and set over double boiler to melt.  Heat over low heat until smooth and shiny.


Spread ganache over cooled cupcakes. 
 

The recipe for the coconut whipped cream came from kblog.lunchbox.com.  I admit that it took 2 attempts to get it right so take my advice: have patience and buy and extra can of coconut milk!

The directions are really simple.









Start with a can of full-fat coconut milk.



















Put it in the refrigerator overnight. Open it carefully without turning or shaking the can.










Scoop only the top "solids" out of the can.  This is where I went wrong in my first attempt.  I got too much of the liquid from the bottom of the can. 









This is what should be left in the bottom of your can of coconut milk.







Whip the coconut solids in a standing mixer or with a hand held mixer until light and fluffy.  The goal is to incorporate as much air as possible into the mixture. 









Add in 2-3 Tablespoons of powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla to creamed coconut milk.  (You could also add cocoa powder to make chocolate frosting.)


Continue to whip mixture until stiff peaks form.










Spoon the frosting into a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes.


Decorate with vegan chips and enjoy.  (Don't forget the birthday candle.)



Ciao!




Chocolate Cake
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup soy milk
1/2 cup black coffee
1/3 cup canola oil
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Ganache
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons black coffee
2 Tablespoons nondairy butter

Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cocoa.  Combine milk, coffee, oil, vinegar  and vanilla.  Pour into dry ingredients and mix well.  Pour into cupcake liners and bake 16 minutes at 350.

For ganache: Combine ingredients in a bowl and set over double boiler to melt.  Heat over low heat until smooth and shiny.

Spread ganache over cooled cupcakes. 

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