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January 30th, 2007

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04:29 pm - Three times is the charm . . .
Every so often something happens in threes and you just know you have to pay it at least minimal attention. This happened to me this past week when a day or two after having come across a vegan website called Post Punk Kitchen while surfing I discovered that it was part of a write-up in the New York Times Food & Dining section. Then a few days after that, it popped up again in the form of a Google video of the public-access-television cooking show done by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, the person behind the show, the website and two cookbooks, “Vegan With a Vengeance” and “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World”.

Having "got" the message, I'm now sharing it with others, since quite a few of my friends are either vegetarians or vegans. The show is about a half-hour long and kind of fun, in a low-production-values public-access-TV kind of way.

Show media Loading...

Since the Post-Punk Kitchen website is currently down, I'll post the chocolate orange cupcake recipe here instead of just linking to it. The vegan sushi recipes are easy enough to follow and get down just from watching the video, but the cupcake recipe would be a pain to copy and since I'd fortuitously saved a copy of it from the PPK website when I first came across it, I'll share it here. The cupcake part of the show is about 19 minutes into the video, in case you want to just skip the sushi and go straight to the sweets. :)

Chocolate Orange Vegan Cupcakes

2 cups flour
1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa (like Droste)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel

Melt the chocolate in the microwave (1 minutes high heat) or in a makeshift double broiler (boil some water in a small sauce pot, put a small saute pan over the sauce pot, lower heat, add chocolate, stir occasionally with a plastic spatula until melted), let cool.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa, set aside.

Whisk together wet ingredients (oil through Grand Marnier) until foamy, add orange peel. Add wet ingredients to dry and combine. Fold in melted chocolate.

Line 16 muffin tins with paper cupcake liners. Pour batter in, filling cup 3/4 of the way.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Simple icing:

Equal parts soybean margarine, vegetable shortening and confectioners sugar (For this recipe 1/2 cup of each should suffice). Grated orange zest to taste. Cream everything well with a soft spatula.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Makes 16 cupcakes

Please note that in the recipe above, there isn't any mention of adding chocolate to the icing. In the video, Isa uses semi sweet chocolate she's melted as a frosting ingredient as well as apparently adding a splash of soymilk and a dash of Grand Marnier. (This occurs starting at 26 minutes into the video, in case you want to go straight to that part.) Since it looks like the same amount of chocolate as for the cupcake batter, about 2 ounces of semisweet chocolate should work. She also uses a garnish of quartered orange slices on the finished cupcakes -- nice presentation but perhaps a bit fussy if you're not having the cupcakes being a "display" item, like on a buffet table at a party.

Personally, I'm not sure how keen I'd be on using (very expensive) maple syrup in these cupcakes -- I don't know how well maple would go with both chocolate and orange flavours. Folks in the U.K. could easily substitute an equivalent amount of golden syrup, but people here in the U.S. might be better off with just adding some light corn syrup instead, if they don't want to use plain old granulated sugar. I know the amount of sugar would be a bit different, probably a bit more than the syrup, but it just seems extravagantly wasteful to use maple syrup when the flavour is going to be covered up by the chocolate and orange. (I guess my frugal Scot roots are showing here.)

I haven't tried the recipe above, but it would be interesting to make it and see if how it came out, since I have several vegan friends who could probably be persuaded to be guinea pigs. :)
Current Mood: hungryhungry
Current Music: "Killed By Death" by Motorhead

(3 seeds eaten | Eat a pomegranate)


[User Picture]
Date:January 31st, 2007 02:21 am (UTC)
I'd been thinking about getting that book after I saw the article on it! Maybe I'll try this recipe first ...

I imagine that the maple syrup is used instead of corn syrup because it's a more "natural" sugar, yeah? I mean, it's a bit healthier, isn't it?

I totally want to make vegan cupcakes and inflict them on my labmates. Maybe they won't be able to tell ... *g*
[User Picture]
Date:January 31st, 2007 03:11 am (UTC)
Maple syrup is not all that different from corn syrup and one can also just use a less-refined sugarcane syrup, like one of the lighter molasses ones if that's really that important. Or better yet, just use a granulated brown sugar, like turbinado, if you don't want to used refined white sugar. She does use confectioner's sugar, after all -- it doen't get much more refined than that! :P

If you do make these, let me know how they came out and what the reactions of your guinea pigs labmates were.

[User Picture]
Date:January 31st, 2007 03:23 pm (UTC)
Well, I was thinking about high fructose corn syrup. That isn't in maple syrup, is it? Or is it? Gosh, I'm so confused. Maybe I need a coffee to straighten things out ... with refined white sugar, of course. Because I'm unhealthy even though I know I shouldn't be. :)

Will try out the cupcakes after I make the experimental cheesecake that I've been wanting to try out ...

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