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Banana Cupcakes

6 Jan

With creamy chocolate ganache filling and not too sweet peanut butter cream cheese frosting, to be exact.

These are by far one of my favorite cupcakes. And the dairy and eggs aren’t even missed!

Banana Cupcakes

1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 banana, mushed up

Directions:
Mix together soy milk and vinegar, and let curdle. Once curdled, add oil, sugar, vanilla, and banana, mix about 3 minutes.

Add the dry ingredients, and mix until just incorporated. Fill 12 cupcake liners with the batter, and bake at 350 degrees F for about 18 minutes.

Chocolate Ganache

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup soy milk


Directions:
Simmer soy milk on stove. If chocolate  isn’t already in small pieces, chop up so it melts quicker.

Remove the simmering milk from the stove, and pour over chopped chocolate. Let sit for about 4 minutes, then whisk until smooth. If there are still chunks of chocolate, microwave for 15 second intervals stirring in between until all is melted.

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 oz. dairy-free cream cheese (I use the tofutti brand, It’s the only kind they carry in my grocery store)
2 tablespoons margarine or dairy-free butter substitute
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions:
Beat cream cheese, margarine, and peanut butter until smooth and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, and beat until all the ingredients are incorporated.

How To assemble the cupcake:

Directions:
Using a paring knife or melon baller, cut/scoop a small hole out of the top of the cupcake, and pipe or spoon a dollop of ganache. You can cover this with a slice of banana, a thin piece of the cake you cut out, or just leave it open.

Pipe frosting on top. I used a lot of frosting on these, the frosting only uses about one cup of powdered sugar (while a lot of recipes use close to 4!) So it’s not overly sweet. If you do want to make it sweeter however, feel free to add as much sugar as you like.

To decorate, I just drizzled some of the extra ganache on top. The cupcake on the far right has a pulled sugar garnish, that I made at school and brought back with me. You could also pipe on some peanut butter or sprinkle some chopped peanuts on top as well.

The World’s Greatest Chocolate Cupcake

3 Jan

… or chocolate peppermint cupcake I should say. And it’s vegan to boot. ; )

Once again, I got the base cupcake and frosting recipe from my favorite, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. The frosting is a chocolate mousse- and it contains- get this, tofu! I made some of these for one of my mom’s church events, and all those tofu/vegan wary people thought they were to die for, and were shocked they were vegan!

Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes:
Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 cup  soy milk
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and prepare your muffin tin with liners.

Mix together the soy milk and vinegar, let curdle for several minutes.  Once curdled, add the oil, sugar, and peppermint extract and beat until foamy.

Add all the dry ingredients in two additions, and beat until there are no large lumps in the batter.

Dish out into the cupcake liners, and bake about 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before frosting.

Amazing Chocolate Mousse Frosting

Ingredients:
1 (12.3oz) package of firm silken tofu
1/4 cup plain soy milk
2 tablespoons agave syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (you could use peppermint, but I didn’t want the peppermint to overpower the cupcakes)
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Melt the chocolate. Let cool for about 5 minutes.

Add the tofu, soy milk, agave, and vanilla to the blender and blend until smooth. Add the chocolate, and blend until incorporated.

Refrigerate for about an hour, until firm.

Pipe onto cupcakes, and sprinkle with crushed up candy canes if desired. It’s the perfect holiday treat. I do realize, the holidays are over : / Guess you’ll have to save this one for next year. Although, It is a great way to use up those leftover candy canes. I know my grocery store has carts full of them at the checkout that they give away for free once Christmas is over.

I’ve been spending a lot of my time lately looking for jobs, as well as entering some baking contests. One is the Chocolate Adventure Contest, which ended yesterday. The other is the ZenSoy Contest at GoDairyFree.org. It’s an amazing website if you are lactose intolerant or have a milk allergy. This contest ends January 15th, I highly recommend you check it out! I’m keeping my lips sealed on my entries for these contests however. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

My next post I’m going to give ya’ll the recipe for a delicious Banana cupcake with ganache filling, and peanut butter cream cheese frosting! See you soon!

Basic Italian Buttercream

21 Dec

This buttercream recipe is a staple in my cupcake making adventures. I’m not a huge fan of buttercream, but if I had to choose one type I would defiantly choose this one over the kind with butter, shortening, and confectioners sugar. You really can do soooo much with it!

Unfortunately, the ingredients are listed in ounces, but next time I make this I will convert it to cup measurements.

Ingredients:
2.25 oz hot water
9 oz granulated sugar
3 oz fresh egg whites
10.5 oz butter
Vanilla extract to taste

Some notes about the ingredients:

-Make sure when separating the egg whites you do not get any yolks or any other kind of fat in them and that you are using a clean bowl. These things will prevent the yolks from whipping.
-You butter needs to be very soft before adding it. Not melted though, so please don’t put it in the microwave. Just leave it out for a few hours before using.

Put the hot water and 2/3 of the granulated sugar into a pot. I often add some lemon juice or a tablespoon of corn syrup when cooking sugar. This prevents it from crystallizing. Also make sure that the pot you use is big enough, sometimes sugar boils up. Heat the sugar to 250 degrees F. Before using your thermometer, put it in a glass of ice water. If it doesn’t read 32 degrees- it’s time to get a new one, or if possible, calibrate it. The instructions that came with it should tell you how to calibrate it so it’s working properly.

Once the sugar reaches 230 degrees, this is your cue to start whipping up the egg whites. Once they are frothy, you can slowly start adding the sugar. Make sure to add it very slowly. If you don’t, the meringue won’t be at a full volume.

If your like me and start whipping the whites too soon, don’t fear. Just keep the mixer on low until your sugar is at 250 degrees. Once the sugar is ready, slowly pour it into your mixer, and have it on medium speed. There should be just a thin stream of the sugar drizzling into the whites. Pouring too fast will result in sugar chunks in your frosting. No one wants that! Mix this until the bowl feels room temperature, it will take about 15 minutes

Once the meringue has cooled, add the butter in small pieces. It should be very soft, and incorporate into the mixture well. Once the butter is all in, add the vanilla extract. And voila- you’ve got delicious Italian buttercream!

This is just a base recipe, you can add other extracts, fruit purees, chocolate, and many other things to flavor you icing!