Thursday, 23 October 2008

If In Doubt... Sieve!

It's fair to say that I've been stuck in a bit of a blogging rut, but I can safely say that I'm back and (hopefully) better than ever!

I took delivery of 3 exciting new books this morning, bought all in the name of research of course, well that's my excuse anyway! It's my brother's 18th birthday on Halloween and I really want to bake him an impressive cake, so I now have Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World and Pretty Party Cakes for inspiration : )

Still no shopping until tomorrow but with a bit of help from the corner shop I managed to scrape together the basic ingredients for Brooklyn Brownie Cupcakes from 'Vegan Cupcakes'. I've been cooking more and more vegan cupcake recipes recently, it started mostly out of curiosity and then I learnt that actually there are no scary ingredients and that quite conveniently they can be made mostly from store cupboard staples. I do cheat a bit as I don't really buy soy milk or soy yoghurt but substitute them with my regular products but the end result is always good, I've also heard that vegan is quite low fat too :-D

I didn't get off to a great start, I was feeling quite lazy and melted my chocolate in my saucepan (I couldn't be bothered to walk a few feet to plug in the extension cable for the microwave) and so predictably it decided to seize up and be a pain. I should've known better and added the milk with it at the start or used my special bain marie thingy. I know I should have just started again but I'm not one to waste food, especially chocolate, so I decided that this chocolate could be rescued. I know how to make life hard for myself don't I?! So I sieved it. Yup, you read right. If in doubt, sieve! Many a sauce, cake mix, pancake batter, batch of mash has been resurrected by my trusty sieve. And I must admit that you'd never know, well you would but only cos I told you!

Brooklyn Brownie Cupcakes

2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup soy yoghurt
1/2 cup cherry preserves
1/2 cup soy milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp bourbon, or any whiskey
1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C I think). Line a muffin pan with paper cases. Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler, the microwave or a small pan over a very low heat.

Mix the yoghurt, preserves, soy milk, sugar, oil, vanilla, almond extract and bourbon in a large bowl. The preserves should be mixed in very well and there should be no large clumps (Or sieve it!!!)

Sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix thoroughly - if using a handheld mixer, mix for about 3 minutes on medium speed. Incorporate the melted chocolate.

Fill the liners with batter. Bake for 24 to 26 minutes (mine took 20 minutes exactly each time) Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting.

*** A quick hint with these cakes, they are sooooo squidgy when hot, whatever you do don't drop them or you'll struggle to pick them up without crushing them, and for goodness sake mind your fingers! The best way to cool them is either in the tin or turn them upside down, or you end up with leaning towers of brownie. I learnt the hard way! ***

To Make The Chocolate Brownie Frosting

2 tbsp melted margarine (I didn't melt mine)
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3 tbsp soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioner's (icing) sugar

Beat together the margarine, cocoa, soy milk, and vanilla. Add the sugar in cupfuls until incorporated. Use immediately or refrigerate for later use (or for midnight snacking!) Bring the frosting back to room temperature before use or it won't spread properly.


Pam said...

They look delicious. I too have been known to usually saves the day.

Mrs. Homemaker said...

I actually have 4 different types of sieves, in 2 sizes each! My husband can't belive I really do use them all... :-) Having a huge love of chocolate, I would have tried saving it too. They look great!

Leslie said...

I am not sure if I could wait until they cooled to eat them!

flower said...

O yum! Im going to put vegan cupcakes take over the world on my christmas list, and I have been very good this year :)

Coby said...

I've used oil before to bring chocolate back from the brink, but I've never (yet) sieved, thanks for the tip:) I am not vegetarian or vegan, but would happily follow a recipe for these and substitute 'regular' ingredients, heck, I have turned 'healthy low fat' food into fattening food using full fat dairy;) Your brownies, no matter the ingredients look A.Mazing:)

Maria said...

Hayley these cupcakes look so delish!