As I've mentioned a few times now, I really am considering going vegan. I've been pescatarian for well over a year a now, and haven't eaten pork or been in almost eight years. I have always had an interest in becoming vegan at some point in my life but never really did any research or anything towards it. Last year I bought a "Becoming Vegan" book that I am beginning to read, and as I read many blogs out there, and attempting many vegan recipes, I know that it wouldn't be that challenging for me. With that being said, I found a recipe the other day for vegan cupcakes. I was in the mood to try them out today, so I reduced the batch to 1/4 each (one vanilla batch, and one chocolate batch) this left me with two cupcakes from each batch. While making these cupcakes I was so tempted to lick the bowls (both looked like frosting, beautiful vanilla and chocolate frosting, yummy!) however, I didn't because well, the apple cider vinegar curdled the soy milk and to me that just doesn't scream yum, if you know what I mean.
As you all know cupcakes and ice cream are my weak points when it comes to food, however, cupcakes even more so than ice cream. These cupcakes were delicious, and the fact that they were vegan made me enjoy them that much more because I didn't feel guilty for enjoying each and every bite down to the last crumb. I believe that some people, when they think of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, egg-free cooking they think that because it lacks certain ingredients it also means that the taste is missing as well. This certainly is not the case for these cupcakes. They are fluffy, moist, tasty, sweet and just cute.
When I first tried them, I cut one vanilla, and one chocolate in half. Needless to say my favourite was the vanilla, however, the chocolate did come close. My mom preferred the chocolate one, as I split both the halves with her. What I liked most about the cupcakes were that the exterior were so crunchy and sweet and inside was still oh so spongey, moist and fluffy as I said above. I would definitely make these cupcakes again. Next time playing around with some spices... in the vanilla I'm thinking I would add some anise, oh delicious!
This is a great cupcake for anyone a-like, but I think it would be even better to server to your non-veg friends to show that eco/creature friendly foods could be just as tasty if not more sometimes. On another note, I think it's important for us foodies to post recipes that may not be exactly what we follow. What I mean here is, yes I am not vegan, but I am posting a vegan recipe (despite of my intentions on becoming vegan I am not at the moment), however, if there are more options on the Internet, and it allows people the opportunity to try out some of these recipes perhaps without actually going out and advocating the cause this can help make a difference. If people know that there are in fact, healthy, tasty and simple vegetarian meals out there, perhaps they won't be so easy in going to a fast food restaurant and getting that greasy burger and fries because instead they could go home and make a tofurky sandwich with some baked potato fries or baked onion rings. Who knows, but all I know is, there are so many people out there, who are all, "Vegan recipes can't be good, they lack so much flavour", that isn't the case, as you will find with these cupcakes.
- 2/3 cup soy milk
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2/3 cup light agave nectar
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
Same ingredients all through out except you need to alter the flour for the addition of cocoa powder, or else the chocolate cupcake will be very dry.
- 1 cup flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
Line muffin pan with cupcake liners and preheat oven to 325
Mix the soy milk and apple cider vinegar in a bowl; allow to sit for a few minutes to curdle. Beat in agave, oil, vanilla, and almond extract. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until smooth.
Fill liners two-thirds full. Bake 20 to 22 minutes, until knife or toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean; do not over bake, cupcakes will be dry.
These cupcakes need to cool at least an hour before topping or filling, and also to develop the flavor and texture properly.
Recipe adapted from here
Since I was so impressed with the vegan cupcakes I figured I might as well try another vegan dessert. The recipe I was anticipating trying was right up my alley. I’ve seriously become very fond of walnuts lately since I’ve been putting it on my oatmeal quite frequently. Walnuts and dates are meant to be lovers. This brownie was incredibly tasty, however I did find it to be incredibly chocolatey – that didn’t stop me from taking another bite after another and so on. I really liked this recipe, however, in trying to cut the pieces for everyone it was so crumbly. It was so crumbly that it kept falling apart. So I kept having to squish it together, try and cut it, a piece would fall apart and the whole event would happen again. I ended up getting nice squares in the end though, but it was a long process. Would I make these again? Probably not. As much as I loved the taste, and texture it was a lot of work to cut them (however, making the brownie took less than three minutes). I loved the taste of these just disliked the crumbliness during the cutting stage. Nonetheless, vegan dessert number two was highly successful in taste.
- 3 cup raw walnuts
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 22 pitted Medjool dates
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
- 2 tsp water
Place the walnuts in a food processor fitted with the S blade and process until coarsely chopped.
Remove 1/2 cup of the walnuts and set aside in a small mixing bowl. Add the salt to the food processor and process until the walnuts are finely ground. Add the dates and process until the mixture begins to stick together. Add the cocoa powder and process to incorporate. Add the chopped walnuts, dried cranberries and water and process briefly, just until mixed.
Pour the mixture evenly into an 8-inch glass baking dish and press down with your hand to compact. Cut into squares.
Yield: 16 small brownies (8 servings)