This morning I had to rack my brains: I was at the end of my wits of how to deal with the miserable, cold, dreary, rainy weather with a positive attitude. I had tried it all, a cozy day in front of the tv with the computer, running away and going shopping, ignoring the gray or staying insanely busy. I felt I had run out of options and today was more like the day of a prisoner rattling at her door: let me out of here! Full on protest.
First thing I did this morning was finally baking mini chocolate vegan cupcakes. The first batch was a hit and miss; I had a nice recipe, decided to half it, but forgot to half some of the ingredients. The cupcakes rose and then… deflated. They did taste insanely sweet (sugar was one of the things I forgot to half). So, in my general gritty mood I threw them out and started over. This time paying more attention to the recipe and using a true and tried recipe (at least by the originator), vegan cupcakes by Chef Chloe, the vegan chef who won the Cupcakes Wars on Food TV last year. The cupcakes came out well, but needed something, i.e. frosting. It was the first time ever that I made frosting. I used coconut oil, and it adds wonderful flavor. Since my frostening abilities are in the infancy stage I leave you with the original picture by Chef Chloe.
1/2 + 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/6 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup grapeseed or canola oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
Preheat oven to 350 F and line 2 12-cup mini cupcake pans with paper liners. Sift and then whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the coconut milk, oil, vinegar, vanilla, and espresso powder until smooth. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix with a small whisk. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners until each cup is 2/3 full. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
1 cup hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, preferably organic
2 TB refined coconut oil at room temperature
1 ts vanilla extract
1-2 TB water
Combine the confectioners’ sugar, the coconut oil, and vanilla extract in a bowl and whisk with a hand mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. With the mixer running, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, until the desired buttercream consistency. (I just needed 1 TB).
Assembly: Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, slice off the top 1/3 of each cupcake and slather with frosting and sliced strawberries. Place the top of the cupcake back on top and add an additional bit of frosting and sliced strawberries. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.