Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday Cupcakes & Pigwidgeon Ornament

Made some Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese icing and some Red Velvet with plain cream cheese icing.

My mom gave us this owl ornament for the tree. We call it Pigwidgeon. <3 Not food related, but adorable.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Feelin' Like Baking

Are you getting sick of cupcakes yet? No, me neither.

Chocolate Cupcakes with 'Abombinaball' icing. If you remember from my last batch of cupcakes, which were created to taste like the Lush 'Abombinaball' bath bomb, the icing was a melty runny sticky disaster. It tasted good, though. I figured a good vehicle for minty vanilla frosting would be plain ol chocolate cupcakes.

I also had a complaint with icing that is half margarine and half shortening, as you will see in an upcoming post about Snickerdoodle cupcakes. I hate the mouthfeel of shortening. But I like the consistency it gives to frosting. So while I was uncompromising with the icing for the Snickerdoodle cupcakes (all margarine, all the time!) for these I decided to go with 3/4 c margarine and 1/4 c shortening. The result is better, though still not perfect. It's definitely a better frosting to work with, that's indisputable, but I can still feel the shortening. Maybe I just need to get over it. Anyhoo, recipe.

From Isa & Terry's VCTOTW

1 c 'milk'
1 tsp apple cider vinegar 
3/4 c granulated sugar 
1/3 c canola oil 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1/2 tsp almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract (I used Chocolate extract)
1 c flour 
1/3 c cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda 
1/2 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350F and line your cupcake pan with fun liners.
Mix the milk and vinegar together and set aside to curdle. Beat the sugar and oil together, then add the milk mixture and the extracts and beat until frothy, a couple of minutes. Sift in  the dry ingredients and mix until no lumps remain. 
Divvy up amongst the cups and bake for 18 - 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before putting the cupcakes on a rack to cool the rest of the way.

Frosting (based on vegan fluffy buttercream also from VCTOTW)

3/4 c Eartch Balance, room temp

1/4 c shortening, room temp
3 1/2 c icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp mint extract
1/2 tsp butter flavour
3 tbsp 'milk'

Beat the margarine and shortening together until fluffy. Add about half of the icing sugar and beat until well incorporated. Add a tbsp or two of milk and the rest of the sugar and beat well; add the extracts and beat to combine. If the icing is too stiff, add the rest of the milk. This is a LOT of frosting, so pipe very generous swirls onto the cupcakes.

Three Frosting Designs

Swirly swirls, mountain of frosting, lovely rose

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pictureless Recipe: Panko Coated Chickpea Cutlets and Maple Mustard Sauce

I didn't get any pictures of this meal, but I assure you it was delicious and you want to eat it now.

Meal: panko coated chickpea cutlets with maple mustard sauce, mashed potatoes, green beans and tomato and fennel au gratin.

I've made the chickpea cutlets before but never to great effect. I decided that I would try one last time but instead of frying or baking them immediately, to steam them like one does with vegan sausages and then later coat them in bread crumbs and fry them.

Result? Success! They were definitely a little softer than they probably should have been but I found them much preferable to the other two trials I've made, so I'm pretty happy. The only problem is that I'm a slow prep chef and that combined with adding the steaming onto the cooking made the whole meal take almost 2 hours to make.

The recipes I used for the coating and sauce for the cutlets is from Food & Drink magazine.

Maple Mustard Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp flour
1 c veg stock
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp soy sauce
salt & pepper

Saute the onion in the olive oil over medium heat until translucent (5 - 7 minutes). Add the garlic and saute another minute. Add the flour and continue to cook another minute, till there is no more white visible.
Whisk in the stock, mustard, syrup, and soy. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and whisk constantly for another 5 minutes or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper; keep warm till ready to serve.

Panko Coated Chickpea Cutlets

1/2 recipe Doublebatch Chickpea Cutlets

 1 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt

1 c panko bread crumbs

Mix the syrup through salt together in a wide, shallow bowl and place the bread crumbs in a similar bowl. Coat each cutlet in the syrup mixtures and then coat in breadcrumbs. Pan fry over medium heat in olive oil until brown and crispy, 5 - 8 minutes / side.

Serve with the maple mustard sauce. Yum!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Abombinaball Cupcakes

Holy crap. Cupcake Challenge 1.0 is turning out remarkably well.

Today's project was Abombinaball cupcakes. Abombinaball has a remarkable vanilla mint scent which I thought would lend itself well to cupcakeification. I was right.

I'm not sure about the colour combo. Abombinaball has some gold and white and blue, so I made the cupcake blue and the frosting orange. I think if there were to be a round 2 I would do white frosting (if possible... I'll get to that in a second) and blue and yellow sugar sprinkles.

Frosting. The frosting is tasty, but I actually wanted something with a marshmallow consistency, not the soft consistency I got. I use Ricemellow Cream, which is a light gold colour (it's made with brown rice syrup, what did I expect...) and this is the first time I've ever used it so I had no idea what to expect. I think next time I'll either have to use some sort of agar frosting or else go with a plain cream cheese or butter cream frosting. The taste was phenomenal though.

Recipe? Sure.

Adapted from Isa's Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan. 

Mix together
1 c unsweetened almond (or soy) milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Whisk together
1/3 c canola oil
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp artificial butter flavouring
2 tsp mint extract (I have the mint/peppermint combo extract)
Then add in the milk mixture and whisk till frothy (at this point I added somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 drops of blue food colouring. Optional for you, of course)

Sift in
1 1/4 c flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Mix up well, you don't want clumps, and then divide among the cups.  Bake for 20 - 22 minutes, remove from oven, cool for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack and cool the rest of the way.

Beat together
1/2 tofutti cream cheese
1 c Ricemellow Creme

Sift in gradually until smooth
3/4 c icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp butter flavour
1/2 tsp orange extract
1/4 tsp mint extract
some gel colouring if you want

It was quite liquid at this point for me, so I popped it in the fridge for half an hour. This was an unsuccessful ploy. This frosting is really frigging messy and I am unlikely to bother using it again. Thank god it's tasty.

Quite disastrous.