When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

Vegan Adventure #15 September 24, 2008

I had two things go through my head when I saw this recipe the first time: 1) how do you make a vegan pastry cream and 2) what is agar powder. Both questions were quickly answered by reading the recipe and looking up “agar” on Wikipedia. Simply stated agar is the vegan form of gelatin 🙂 The hard part was finding it. I decided to just take a look at the local grocery stores just in case, but no dice. When all else fails find it on Amazon. I ended up buying agar powder and nutritional yeast flakes. I am ready for any sweet or savory dish.

I know, you want to know what my adventure was this time. Well of course it was another cupcake.

I can’t stop myself.

I have a feeling that I will make every single cupcake recipe in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World because damn they are that tasty, and I am not even vegan 🙂

The cupcake I chose this time was the Cappuccino Cupcakes filled with Espresso Pastry Cream, and topped with a Kahlua Spiked Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting. As you can see I changed the recipe to the frosting a little. I wanted it to be coffee flavored, but I didn’t have enough espresso powder to flavor it and sometimes the powder is a little strong. Also, I didn’t want to have to go to the store to get coffee flavoring when I know that I won’t use it in the future. The next best option was my enormous bottle of Kahlua, which I always keep on hand just in case Tiramisù needs to be made. I pretty much made the icing and then keep pouring Kahlua in until the flavor was right; I think it was 1/4 cup, but I am not sure. Then I added more confectioners’ sugar to the buttercream until I was satisfied with the texture. Hence no real measurements for the recipe.

Recently I threw my blender away because I have had it for 8 years now and the motor was going. I am hoping to get a food processor soon :hint hint: I ended up having to use an immersion blender to make the pastry cream filling, which took a little longer and made a little mess but it worked. After I made the filling I tasted it and thought that it had a chalky flavor to it, which could be do to the arrowroot starch not cooking out enough. I chilled it for a few hours and just hoped that when combined with everything else it wouldn’t be noticeable. Funny thing is after it was in the fridge for a bit I tasted it and it wasn’t chalky at all, oh well. Maybe my mouth was going crazy.

Everything actually turned out FANTASTIC. The cupcake was great. It had a nice coffee flavor with a hint of chocolate and cinnamon in the back. Of course I used the Chinese Cassia Cinnamon, yummy. The pastry cream added a nice creamy coffee flavor to the show and the buttercream just smoothed everything out and gave it a nice sweet kick. All in all, it was a good cupcake. But I have to say the Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting are still my favorite.

Every omni that I gave these to LOVED them.  One thought that they were a little too rich.  SCORE!!!  What is funny is that one of my friends recently found out that she was lactose intolerant and she was so happy when I brought her one.  She said that they tasted like real cupcakes, meaning not vegan, and the best part was that they didn’t make her sick since there wasn’t dairy in it.  That made me so happy 🙂

Cappuccino Cupcakes

Source: Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

1/3 cup canola oil

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup vanilla soy yogurt

2/3 cup rice or soy milk (i prefer rice)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2-3 tbsp instant espresso powder

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

Espresso Pastry Cream (recipe follows)

Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, yogurt, soy milk, vanilla and espresso powder till smooth. Sift in flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix until combined and smooth.

Fill liners 3/4 full and bake for 20-22 minutes. Be careful not to over bake.

Espresso Pastry Cream

Source: Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

1/2 cup soy milk

1 tsp powdered agar or 1 1/2 tsp agar flakes

4 tsp arrowroot

6 oz extra-firm silken tofu (half an aseptic pkg), drained

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp espresso powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

Pour 1/3 cup of the soy milk into a small saucepan; keep the ramining soy milk in the measuring cup. Add agar powder to the saucepan and cook mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and continue to cook the mixture till the agar is dissolved, about 4 minutes.

Whisk arrowroot into the remaining soy milk. Pour arrowroot mixture ina steady stream into agar mixture, stirring the whole time. The mixture will cook and get very thick in 1 minute or less; when done it will resemble a very thick pudding. Remove from heat and set aside

Crumble tofu into a blender, add espresso powder, sugar, salt, and cooked arrowroot mixture. Blend till creamy. Scrape sides of blender, add vanilla, and blend again. Scrape mixture into a covered container and put in refrigerator to chill and firm up, at least 40 minutes.

Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting – Kahlua Flavored

Source: Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

Modified by pastrybrush

1/2 cup non hydrogenated shortening, at room temperate

1/2 cup non hydrogenated margarine, at room temperate

3 1/2 – 4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup rice or soy milk

1/4 cup Kahlua

Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes, add the vanilla and soy milk, beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy. Since I modified this recipe you might need to add more confectioners’ sugar to get the right consistency, add it 1/4 cup at a time.

Assembling the Cupcakes

Poke each cupcake in the center, almost to the bottom, to create a hole for the filling. Very gently, press the sides and bottoms of the hole to widen it; you will want the extra little space to be able to fill it in with lots of custard.

Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip and fill with the Espresso Pastry Cream. Fill only halfway to make handling the bag easier. Pipe the pastry cream into each cupcake, trying to get as much filling as possible into the cakes. Cupcakes should feel noticeable heavier. Remove any excress cream on top by whiping with a knife. Next fit another pastry bag with a large star tip and filling with the buttercream frosting. Pipe generous amount of frosting on top of each cupcake.

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One Response to “Vegan Adventure #15”

  1. pastrybrush Says:

    HEHEHE, opps. When I originally wrote this entry I hadn’t made the Brooklyn vs. Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes. I know I do everything completely out of order. If you are a regular reader you probably saw that I did a pastry cream in that version which is very similar to the espresso pastry cream. Oh well, happy reading 🙂


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