Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Banana Caramel Cupcakes

Over ripe bananas. What do you do? Muffins? Loaf? Pancakes?

Naturally, my answer is CUPCAKES. Naturally.

I made the cupcake just plain banana. Nothing fancy. I bet chocolate chips would be awesome (1/2 c or so?). Next time I might throw in 1/2 tsp or maybe a full tsp of cinnamon too.

Makes 12 cupcakes
1 c mashed over ripe bananas
1/3 c oil
1/4 c 'milk'
2/3 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat your oven to 350; line a muffin pan with cupcake papers.

Mix the banana, oil, milk and sugar, beating well with a fork. Stir in the vanilla.

Sift in the dry ingredients. Mix with the fork, but be careful not to over-beat. No one likes tough cupcakes. Divide into liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 - 22 minutes, remove from oven, and let cool in the pan for a couple of minutes before removing to a rack to cool the rest of the way.

Caramel Sauce
The sauce crystallized which is really annoying. It tastes fine; I also added about a tablespoon of rum so that we would kind of get a bananas foster effect to the finished cupcake. I used almond milk instead of soy cream or mimiccreme, so maybe that's the problem; I'll try with a cream next time and see how it does.

1/2 c room temperature Earth Balance
1/4 c + 2 tbsp caramel sauce
2 c icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp butter flavour
More caramel sauce
A little cinnamon

Beat the Earth Balance until light and fluffy. Add the caramel sauce and beat until well incorporated. Add the sugar in two batches, adding a bit of milk in between if it gets too stiff. Add the extracts, beat in, then frost your cupcakes.

Drizzle the caramel over the cupcakes; dust with a little cinnamon. Eat!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

My heart is full of love for cupcakes.

I can't make enough cupcakes. The next major holiday is Easter, that means Spring cupcakes like Carrot Cake and Lemon Meringue. We'll discuss the challenges of vegan meringue at some point. Also, Valentine's Day is soon. Mexican Snickerdoodle cupcakes? Chocolate Strawberry cupcakes? Plain vanilla cupcakes with red buttercream? Making some of my own flavours is the focus of Cupcake Challenge 2.0. Recreating well known non-vegan faves and making up some new combos!

At any rate, today it's crappy and dreary out there, so I thought something summery and uplifting would be the ticket - pink lemonade cupcakes!

Like the cupcakes of your dreams. If you have Dr Seuss dreams.

Cupcakes - More or less based on VCTOTW Margarita Cupcakes
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon (my lemon was juicy, so this turned out to be 1/4 c + 2 tbsp juice)
1 c milk
1/4 c canola oil
3/4 c sugar
2 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp raspberry extract
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/3c flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350; line a cupcake pan.
Whisk everything from the zest through to the vanilla extract together until well combined. Sift in the dry ingredients and mix well until perfectly combined. Add some colour if you want; I used fuchsia food colouring gel because the icing is bright yellow, but you can do what you want!
Bake for 20 - 22 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes in the pan before removing the cupcakes to a rack to finish cooling.

1/2 c margarine
1/4 c shortening
3 1/2 c icing sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp lemon extract
yellow food colouring gel

Cream the marg and shortening together till fluffy. Add the sugar in 3 increments, alternating with a tbsp of the juice. Add the zest and the colouring and beat until smooth and delicious. Ice those bitches!

One last picture because they're so pretty.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Delicious Lentils.

It's really easy to fall into a trap where as a vegetarian you end up eating soy products an awful lot. December was definitely one of those months and whether or not the whole cancer thing is true, it's always better to have a more diverse group of foods in your diet rather than letting things get stagnant and eating the same thing day in, day out. Back to the bean!

Or legume. We had Isa Chandra's Upside Down Lentil Shepherd's Pie for dinner tonight and it was scrumdiddlyumptious. Served over dijon mashed potatoes and with a glass of merlot, you can't go wrong! I ended up using about half red lentils and half green because I was too lazy to find du Puy lentils the other day - I would have had to go downtown *gasp* and I just didn't feel like it. Also, do try to find the Worcestershire sauce - it definitely adds a little sumthin sumthin. I've made it without, as well, so I'm not just saying stuff.

Oh, yeah, and I added corn instead of peas because it's what I had.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Not Cupcakes

The last couple of times I've made cupcakes I've been all "Yeah! Gotta make cupcakes!" and then made them and not actually wanted to eat any, so they've been donated to the worthy cause of the stomachs of the people with whom I work. I decided it was time to talk about something else then, too.

I love multi coloured quinoa. It's the perfect side to this orange tofu and braised baby bok choy.

For the bok choy, heat a little olive oil (mediumish heat) in a wide shallow pan, add some well cleaned bok choy and a couple of cloves of garlic, crushed. Give it a stir, add a splash of water, and cover and let steam until crispy and bright green, just a few minutes.