Oh my dear Lord. I have fallen in love with baking all over again. Well, I’ve always liked baking, and somewhat enjoyed it, or at the very least enjoyed the products of it, but always had a bit of a problem with patience. And baking certainly needs patience. You can’t rush things, and you especially can’t rush yourself. Lately I’ve been taking a calmer approach to it all, and holygoddamnwhat, it has quickly become almost a necessity now in order to wind down after a stressful uni week or a stressful people week or a stressful anything week. Just put on some good music, as loud as possible (just quiet enough so as not to annoy the flatmates or the neighbours), take a deep breath and bake bake bake.
My first weekend in the new flat I made dinosaur-shaped shortbread cookies and covered them in chocolate and chopped hazelnuts. Just yesterday, I made chocolate brownies with a chocolate ganache (my first ganache ever!) And last week, I made chocolate cupcakes. With peppermint frosting. Because peppermint chocolate is the best combination on earth, and if you disagree, I disapprove of you. … no, not really, some of my best friends hate mint/choc (*glare*), but seriously, y-u-m-m-y.
The recipe I use is absolutely foolproof (in my opinion), vegan, therefore mostly allergy-friendly (not looking at you, coeliac people), and from the lovely Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. The measurements are Imperial (American recipe, etc), so … if you’re using scales … I’m really sorry: whip out the calculator.
I slightly modified the frosting, because the original was wayyy to sweet for my taste. I ended up using about half as much sugar. Then again, the frosting kind of crystallised this time and didn’t turn out as great as it should have. Oh well!
Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting
|Ingredients (12 Cupcakes):
1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
¾ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon mint extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
|Ingredients (Peppermint Frosting):
¼ cup vegetable shortening (I used Trex
approx. 1 ½ confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup soy milk
1½ teaspoons mint extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
small drop green food colouring
After Eights (off brand! –
the originals contain milk powder
and aren’t vegan)
1. Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F) and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
2. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar. Set aside for a few minutes to curdle. In a large bowl, add the sugar, oil, extracts and soy milk mixture and beat til foamy. In a seperate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in batches to wet ingredients and beat till no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are okay).
3. Pour into liners, filling three-quarters of the way. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely.
For the frosting:
1. Cream the shortening for a few seconds to soften it. Add ½ cup powdered sugar and a splash (tablespoon or so) of soy milk and mix to incorporate. Alternately add sugar and milk, mixing after each addition, until all the ingredients are used and the icing is smooth and creamy. Add the mint and vanilla extracts and colouring; mix to incorporate.
2. When cupcakes have fully cooled, fill a pastry bag fitted with a tip of your choosing (or use a freezer bag with the tip cut off – or be really lazy and just smear the frosting on with a butter knife!). Pipe the icing onto the cupcake in a spiral form from outside in, leaving a little room on the sides for the cupcake to show through.
3. Cut After Eights diagonally in half and place them in the middle of the frosting. EAT.
I have to practise the piping. I’d also like a larger tip, the one I have is teeny tiny, but for a larger tip, I’d also need a larger coupler, so … yeah, I’m just making do with what I have for now. Haha.
Everyone loved the cupcakes, which was really nice. I actually made two batches, which I’ve never done before. I had 30 cupcakes sitting around! And they were all gone after not even half a week. I like having friends who like sweet things. 🙂