March 3, 2014

Irish Coffee Cupcakes


It seems I’ve been on a kick this year of turning cocktails into cupcakes. This week I decided to take a shot at an Irish coffee cupcake. Which turned into a chocolate Irish coffee cupcake, because well when does adding chocolate ever go wrong. In case you are not familiar with Irish coffee, it is a drink made up of hot coffee, whiskey and sugar, topped with a layer of heavy cream. I imitated the drink with a chocolate and hazelnut coffee cupcake, filled with a whiskey cream and frosted with chocolate espresso frosting. Before diving into this, I would suggested reading through the whole recipe first. There are a few things that need to be refrigerated the night before baking.

Chocolate Coffee Cupcake


Ingredients

2 cups almond milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
3 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups brewed coffee
2 tbs coffee grounds


Instructions

1. Preheat your oven to 350°
2. Combine 2 cups of almond milk with 2 tsp apple cider vinegar in a mixing bowl. Let this sit aside for a few minutes until it begins to curdle.
3. Once curdled add in 1 1/2 cups sugar, 2/3 cup oil (I used safflower oil, but any vegetable based oil will work), 2 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tsp almond extract. 
4. Once blended slowly add in the dry ingredients: 3 cups flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, and 1 1/2 tsp salt. 
5. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of brewed coffee. I chose to use hazelnut because it is a sweeter coffee. Then add in 2 tbs of coffee grounds. If you grind your own coffee make sure this is very finely ground, you don’t want the cupcakes to end up with a crunchy texture. 



Whiskey Cream Filling


Ingredients

3 cans of full fat coconut milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup whiskey 
4 tbs cornstarch
1/4 cup crisco

Instructions 

1. Refrigerate the cans of coconut milk the night before baking. Open the cans the next day and you'll find that the coconut milk has separated, one half remaining an oily liquid and the other forming into a cream. Scoop only the cream portion into a mixing bowl.
This is the oily liquid that will be left in the can after the cream has been scooped out

2. Pour 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar into the coconut milk and gently beat for a few seconds. Its important not to over beat this filling, it will become too runny.
3. Add in 2/3 cup whiskey one tbs at a time (it will end up being around 10 tbs). I used Jameson, but feel free to use any Irish whiskey. I really just chose a whiskey that everyone would want to drink after the cupcakes rather than what I thought would work best with the cakes.
4. Gently stir in 3/4 tbs cornstarch and 1/4 cup of crisco. These are both added for texture. 
5. Ideally you should now put the filling in the fridge over night. However I don’t have the patience for that and put it in the freezer for about an hour and had the same effect. My dad always tells me I cook on either high or off, there is no medium. 


Chocolate Espresso Frosting


Ingredients

1 cup non dairy butter (or dairy butter if thats what your into)
1 cup crisco
5 cups powdered sugar 
2 cups cocoa powder
5 tbs brewed coffee 

Garnishes

Espresso sugar
Pirouette cookies


Instructions

1. Beat the room temperature 1 cup butter (I use soy free earth balance) and 1 cup crisco for a minute.
2. Add in the 5 cups of powdered sugar one cup at a time. 
3. Beat in the 2 cups of powdered sugar and 5 tbs of brewed coffee.

Assembly


Cut a quarter size hole into each of the cupcakes. 

Pour a small amount of whiskey into a cup and dip a baster or any clean brush into it. Brush the insides of the cupcakes with whiskey and then fill with the whiskey cream filling. Once filled, pour a teaspoon of whiskey on top of each cupcake, this step is optional if you do not want the whiskey to play such a prominent feature 



 Pipe on your frosting with either a piping tool or by filling a plastic bag with frosting and cutting off the tip.



 Sprinkle the top of each cupcake with espresso flavored sugar. I purchased mine at a small spice shop in Colorado. If you’re unable to find some in stores you can make espresso sugar by storing sugar and espresso together in an air tight container for a few days. If that sounds like it takes way to long, feel free to omit this step.





 I then topped off the cupcakes with a pirouette cookie. Now go eat cupcakes, drink whiskey, and be merry. 

September 9, 2013

Breaking Bad Cupcakes


With the series finale creeping up, my friends and I found it appropriate to make Breaking Bad cupcakes. If you google Breaking Bad cupcakes, you are likely to only find vanilla cupcakes sprinkled with blue rock candy. We wanted to take things a little further and spent hours deciding on how to relate every element of the cupcakes to the show. We started with a honey cake spiced with a dash of chili p. The cereal milk ice cream filling was infused with Corn Flakes, given how Walt Jr. does nothing but eat breakfast. The ice cream was also made with ric(in)e milk. The frosting was doused in whiskey due to the constant guzzling of WhistlePig. Unfortunately, the closest place to me that sells WhistePig is over 600 miles away, so I went with Maker’s Mark. And, of course, I followed the crowd and garnished my cupcakes with blue rock candy meth. Although all of these elements may not sound like they would mesh together well, I swear it's awesome. Even if you’re not a fan of the show, which by the way crawl out from the rock you're living under, they are still great cupcakes.

Chili P Honey Cake


Ingredients 


-1 cup almond milk
-1 tsp apple cider vinegar 
-1/2 cup safflower oil (or any light oil)
-3/4 cup sugar
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 1/2 cups flour
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-3/4 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp nutmeg
-1 tsp chili powder
-1 tsp cayenne pepper
-2 tbs cornstarch 
-1/2 cup honey

Instructions


1. Preheat your oven to 350°

2. Combine the 1 cup almond milk and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar and set aside for a few minutes until it starts to curdle.
3. Mix the almond milk and vinegar mixture, 1/2 cup oil, 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tsp vanilla extract.
4. Add in 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 3/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt and 2 tbs cornstarch.
5. Add 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp chili powder and 1 tsp cayenne pepper. Despite its name chili powder isn't actually very spicy, so I decided to add in some cayenne pepper. If you don't want your cupcakes to have a kick then skip this step.


6. Stir in 1/2 cup honey. If you are a non-honey eating vegan this could be substituted for agave or molasses.
7. Fill your cupcake liners about half full. Usually I recommended filling them 3/4 of the way, but something in the honey makes these rise more than other cupcakes I've made. Bake for 20 minutes.

Cereal Milk Ice Cream


This ice cream was again created by Collin Miranda. His idea was to create a vegan rice milk adaptation of the cereal milk made by Momofuku. It ended up tasting like cornflake ice cream. Maybe if enough people bother him about it I can get him to post his recipe. If your friends aren't ice cream masters, you could always use any store bought ice cream. I think these cupcakes may be good with out a filling as well.

Kitchen decorations my friend Ally made for the occasion 


Whiskey Frosting


I have actually made whiskey frosting on the blog before so excuse the repost of this recipe.

Ingredients 

1 cup margarine (I used soy free earth balance)

1 cup Crisco
- 7 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp almond milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

4 tbsp whiskey 

Instructions 


1. Start by beating together the 1 cup Crisco and1 cup margarine. 

Feel free to make butter snowmen
2. Once the mixture starts to get fluffy add in the sugar one cup at a time and beat for a few more minutes. You may end up wanting to add more sugar depending on the texture of the frosting.
3. Add in the 1 1/2 tbs almond milk, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla, and 4 tbsp whiskey. Feel free to add more or less whiskey depending on your preference.


Assembly


Empty the middle of each of the cupcakes with a small knife.

Make sure Richard Simmons is watching.

Fill each cake with a generous amount of ice cream.


I pipe my cupcakes with a piping tube but filling a plastic bag with frosting and cutting off the tip works if you don't have anything else. I used store bought blue rock candy to garnish.



August 13, 2013

Vegan Arnold Palmer Cupcakes


I fell asleep watching the Food Network the other night and woke up to Paula Deen making Arnold Palmer cupcakes. God knows I would never let that woman’s food near me, but it sounded good so I thought I would try a vegan recreation. I teamed up with my ice cream genius of a friend Collin Miranda to make these. I made a lemon cake with an almond frosting and a candied pecan crumble, we filled the cakes with a vegan tea ice cream that Collin made. I know I always say everything on this blog is good, but ice cream filled cupcakes have to be best thing I’ve ever made. 

Lemon Cupcake


Ingredients 


-1 cup almond milk
-1 tsp apple cider vinegar 
-1/2 cup safflower oil (or any light oil)
-3/4 cup sugar
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 1/4 cups flour
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-3/4 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-2 tbs cornstarch 
-2 tbs lemon zest 
-3 tsp lemon juice


Instructions

 


1. Preheat your oven to 350°
2. Combine the 1 cup almond milk and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar and set aside for a few minutes until it starts to curdle.
3. Mix the almond milk and vinegar mixture, 1/2 cup oil, 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tsp vanilla extract.

4. Add in the 2 tbs of lemon zest and 3 tsp of lemon juice. If you read my post on margarita cupcakes you'll remember how much I hate zesting and squeezing fruit. I invested in a three dollar juicer that made the process a bit more bearable than last time. 



5.
Add in 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 3/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt and 2 tbs cornstarch. 
6. Fill your cupcake lines 3/4 of the way full and bake for 20 minutes.

I doubled this recipe and ended up with 22 cupcakes 


Almond Frosting



Ingredients 



-1/2 cup soy free earth balance (or any vegan margarine)
-1/2 cup crisco
-5 cups powdered sugar
-4-5 tsp almond extract
-food coloring (optional)

Instructions 

1. Beat together the 1/2 cup of earth balance and 1/2 cup of crisco until it becomes fluffy.
2. Beat in the 5 cups of powdered sugar one cup at a time.
3. Add in the almond extract. Use more or less of this depending on your taste.
4. I dyed my frosting a light almond color. 

Candied Pecan Crumble  



Ingredients 


-Light Oil
-1/2 cup sugar
-2 tbs water
-1/4 tsp cream of tartar
-3/4 cup halved almonds 

Instructions 


1. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and cover it in a light layer of any light cooking oil. I dipped a paper towel into some coconut oil.



2. Combine the 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tbs of water, and 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar in a medium sauce pan. 


If you are unfamiliar with cream of tartar it is normally found in the spice section of grocery stores. Its technical name is potassium hydrogen tartarte, it is a byproduct of wine making and, you know, science. 

3. Put over medium heat until and stir until the sugar starts to dissolve. Once the mixture starts to boil, stop stirring. It will start to form a syrup like consistency and turn a light amber color. 


Here is an example of what it shouldn't look it. Be sure to keep your eye on this mixture until the second it starts to change color. I looked a way for a minute and turned back to this burnt stinky mess. 


4. Once the mixture has turned a light brown stir in the pecans.
5. Pour over the oiled tin foil. Use a fork to separate out all of the pecans. 



If you don't separate the pecans it will become one giant hard to break cluster. As you can see the instructions for this pecan crumble are less instructions and more me showing you what not to do. 

6. Once cooled, put the pecans into a plastic bag and crush them with something heavy to create the crumble. 

Assembly 

The one flaw with these cupcakes is that they have to be eaten right away upon being put together, otherwise the ice cream will melt. I cut a small hole into each cupcake with butter knife and we placed about two tbs of ice cream into each of them. 


Collin is going to be doing a guest post later in the week talking about his ice cream. 

After being filled with ice cream, I piped each cupcake with the almond frosting and sprinkled them with the candied pecan crumble on top of a paper plate. 

Pay no mind the the hot sauce in the middle of this photo. 




June 27, 2013

Vegan Almond Joy Cupcakes



I think Almond Joy is a bit of a reject candy. They are the ones usually left in the bottom of your halloween bag. However, all of my friends that hate Almond Joy loved these cupcakes. A little girl I used to live next door to asked me if I could make Almond Joy cupcakes a few years ago, and I just remembered the idea this week. I imitated Almond Joy by making an almond cake with a coconut filling and a chocolate frosting. Make your filling first so that it has time to set in the fridge until the rest of the cupcake is finished.

Almond Filling


Ingredients


-6 oz soft tofu
-3/4 cup sugar
-5 tbs cornstarch
-14 oz coconut milk
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-3 tsp coconut extract 
-1/2 cup shredded coconut 

Instructions


1. Chop up your 6 oz tofu and put it in the food processor on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until it is smooth. If you don’t have a food processor you can put the tofu in a bowl and use a hand mixer. This may take a little longer.



2. Whisk together the 3/4 cup sugar and 5 tbs cornstarch for a minute.
3. Slowly add in the 14 oz of coconut milk. Stir until the mixture starts to get thick. After 5-7 minutes it should have a pudding like consistency.



4. Once the mixture is thick, add in the blended tofu, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 3 tsp coconut extract, and 1/2 cup of shredded coconut.
5. Pour the mixture into a bowl and set it in the fridge until it is time to fill the cupcakes.


Almond Cupcake


Ingredients 


-1 cup almond milk
-1 tsp apple cider vinegar 
-1/2 cup safflower oil (or any light oil)
-3/4 cup sugar
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-4 tsp almond extract
-1 1/4 cups flour
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-3/4 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-2 tbs cornstarch 

Instructions 


1. Preheat your oven to 350°
2. Combine the 1 cup almond milk and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar and set aside for a few minutes until it starts to curdle.
3. Mix the almond milk and vinegar mixture, 1/2 cup oil, 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tsp vanilla extract.
4. Once blended, add in the 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 3/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt and 2 tbs cornstarch. 
5. After the ingredients are all blended, add in the 4 tsp of almond extract. I accidentally spilt all of my almond extract on the counter after adding in 3 tsp. I added in a very small amount of rum to make up for the lost almond extract, it ended up working out but it would be better with 4 tsp of almond extract. 
6. Fill your cupcake lines 3/4 of the way full and bake for 20 minutes. 


Chocolate Frosting


Ingredients


-1/2 cup margarine (I use soy free Earth Balance)
-1/2 cup Crisco
-5 cups powdered sugar
-1 1/2 tbs almond milk
-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-2 cups cocoa powder

 Instructions

1. Start by beating together the 1/2 cup Crisco and 1/2 cup margarine.
2. Once the mixture starts to get fluffy, add in the sugar one cup at a time, usually around 5 cups but feel free to improvise if it seems too thick or thin.
3. Add in 2 cups of cocoa powder.
4. Finally add in 1 1/2 tbs milk, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla, and 2 tsp almond. 

Assembly 


1. Cut a nickel sized hole into each of the cupcakes. 


2. Take the coconut filling out of the fridge and place a small amount in each cupcake.


3. Pipe your cupcakes with the chocolate frosting, or spread it on top with a knife. I then decided to garnished my cupcakes with some coconut shavings and salted almonds.

June 8, 2013

Vegan Margarita Cupcakes


 
I made these cupcakes years ago using dairy products and wanted to see if I could do a vegan version. Right after I finished this recipe I was asked to make beach themed cupcakes for a middle school party. I figured that these would be perfect, and then remembered that they are full of tequila. While there isn’t enough liquor in these to inebriate anyone, to avoid rampant mothers I recreated a PG version. I’ll explain those more at the end of this post. I doubled everything in this recipe and ended up with 20 cupcakes.


Margarita Cupcake


Ingredients


-2 limes
-1/4 cup safflower or vegetable oil
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-1 cup almond milk
-1 1/2 cups flour
-3/4 cup sugar
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-2 tbs tequila

Instructions


1. Preheat your oven to 350°
2. I had no idea I had such a dislike of zesting and juicing things until making these cupcakes. So let's get the limes out of the way first. Zest and juice 2 medium sized limes into your bowl. 


3. Stir in 1/4 cup oil, 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1 cup almond milk.

4. Add in 1 1/3 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda and  1/2 tsp salt. Make sure this is mixed well and there are not any lumps.

5. Add 2 tbs tequila. If this is too strong for you, add 1 tbs. I wouldn’t recommend using more than 3 tbs because there will be too much liquid.
6. Fill the cupcake holders 3/4 of the way full and bake for 20 minutes


Margarita Frosting

 

Ingredients


-1/2 cup soy free earth balance (or any vegan margarine)
-1/2 cup crisco
-5 cups powdered sugar
-1 1/2 tbs tequila
-1 1/2 limes
- option food coloring

Instructions


1. Beat together the 1/2 cup of earth balance and 1/2 cup of crisco until it becomes fluffy.
2. Beat in the 5 cups of powdered sugar one cup at a time.
3. Add in the 1 1/2 tbs tequila and the juice of 1 1/2 limes. If the frosting still feels to thick, feel free to add more tequila or lime juice until you feel you have the flavor right.
4. I decided to dye the frosting a light green. Food coloring and I don't get along too well, and I ended up dying my hands green. If anyone has any suggestions on how to get this off, other than practically rubbing your skin off with steel wool, I would appreciate it.
 
After piping these cupcakes with frosting, I added a ring of sugar to mimic salt on a margarita glass. I purchased lime sugar at the Tea and Spice Exchange. If you happen to have one near you I highly suggest taking a look inside. They have some great flavored sugars.  


 When I remade these for the middle school I used the same cupcake recipe and left out the tequila. For the frosting I replaced the tequila with another lime because I still needed the moisture. I decorated these cupcakes to be a bit more campy than the original margarita cupcakes.