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I usually make nothing but chocolate cakes, but today I needed a change and ‘made up’ a recipe: i.e. I took a variation on a basic non-vegan chocolate sponge, de-choco-fied it, took out the eggs and milk, and added a different flavour as well as some spur-of the moment toppings.

Here it is for sharing :D By the way, you get a gold star if you can work out what flavour the cakes are from my oh-so-subtle and minimalistic use of a particular ingredient *G*

Recipe:

Modified from a plain chocolate cake from the M&S Chocolate book.

The Cake:

100g sugar
100g soy margarine
juice of 2 lemons
225g of flour
pinch of baking powder
approx. 200ml soy milk mixed with a little cider vinegar (yeah, I know…but the vinegar makes the soy milk thicker according to ‘Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World’)

The Syrup:

Juice of 1 lemon
50-100g of sugar

The Icing

Juice of 1 lemon
150-200g of icing sugar

Instructions:
Pre-heat oven to 180C.

Cream the soy margarine and sugar together in a bowl. Sieve the flour and baking power together, then alternate between pouring the soy milk and the dry ingredients into the bowl, gently folding the mixture together. Add the lemon juice and a teaspoon or so of the rind (this is why I like to be organic unwaxed lemons – so the rind is okay). At this point you can add some more soy milk if the batter looks too thick, or some more lemon juice if it isn’t lemony enough.

Put the batter into cupcake cases and bake for approximately 15 minutes – the length of time depends on the size of the cakes, but you can test their readiness by quickly opening the oven door and prodding a knife into the nearest cake. If it comes out cleanly, the cakes are ready.

Leave the cakes on a wire rack to cool.

To make the syrup:

Heat the sugar and lemon water over a medium-level heat until the sugar has dissolved, and the mixture has started to thicken slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Prick the tops of your cupcakes with a fork and drizzle some of the syrup over them.

To make the icing:

Make a simple glace icing but using the lemon juice in place of the water. Once the cakes are fully cool, dollop or drizzle on the icing and let it firm up a little before serving the cakes.

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A few notes: I’m a chucker, so some measurements aren’t precise. I tend to go by the ‘look’ of things and add liquid ingredients according to how thick the batter should look. You don’t want a doughy batter, but you don’t want something as thin as pancake batter either; somewhere in between is what you’re aiming at.

 

Bit of round up post (that’s right, whoopie pies get a whole post to themselves, everything else is shoved into one shared post. Priorities people!)

First news: I managed to get a tutorial into Beads and Beyond this month (June issue) which was lovely to see – I used lampwork beads by June of Beaujolais Beads to make a diamond motif bracelet. Here’s a variation, also using her beads:

Lampwork bracelet

Second thing: I’m still enjoying these carved beads, so more are going up in my shop and the Etsy shop. They’re quite calming to make, and I hope they’re pretty to look at too…

Third item: Yeah, there is no third item. Oh wait, how about a plug for an awesome vegan cake service (there’ve been a few birthdays lately), Vegan Cakes Direct. I normally do my own baking, but sometimes it’s a treat to receive something pre-baked *G*   

 

Apparently whoopie pies are the new cupcakes…although the Food Network Channel is telling me donuts are the next big thing in baking, so they seems to have skipped over the whoopie pies and gone onto the next, next big thing. But regardless, I received a book of whoopie pie recipes and had a go at veganizing them (using my usual egg replacement, Alpro Soya soy puddings).

Well, they’re tasty, but I think I had expectations that were too high – I tried a chocolate recipe and made my own filling with mint chocolate, soy margarine and icing sugar melted over a bain marie, which was good and yet not mind-blowing. Maybe I made them too chocolatey (turns out there is such a thing as too much chcolate); the recipe called for 100g of cocoa powder (yikes!) and then I added a chocolate soy pudding too, and chocolatey icing.
I’ll try a vanilla and raspberry version next time, see if a lighter flavour works better. (There’s also the possibility that I didn’t make it correctly….nah, who would ever believe that? Obviously it’s the recipe’s fault *G*)

Mind you, I did like that the filling squeezes out the sides of the cake sandwich. That was fun – like eating a jam doughnut *G*

 

Firstly, Sunday Browsing will be back soon; drooling over Etsy finds had to go on hold for a bit when my laptop starting acting out, and I had to buy a new laptop (which also meant my virtual shopping mojo was drained by having to do actual shopping *G*)

Secondly, I have quite a haul of polymer clay beads ready to put up, but they are waiting to be photographed in something other than British November light (the greyest, dullest light of all). So, as an offering instead, I present my simple but yummy vegan cupcake recipe. Some of the measurements are based loosely on a plain cake recipe in the Australian Woman Weekly’s cake book (I know, random right?) but I played about with it to make it vegan.

Ingredients:
125g soy margarine
150g granulated sugar
250g organic self-raising flour
1 to 2 Alpro Soya Vanilla Puddings
50ml Rice/Oat/Soy/Coconut milk

1). Cream the sugar and margarine together until it’s light and fluffy, and a little paler.
2). Empty out one vanilla pudding serving into another bowl, add a splash of the ‘milk’, and whip with an electric mixer; this makes the cake a little airer.
3). Add the sifted flour and the pudding mixture to the sugar/margarine base, alternating between the two.
4). Fold the batter together gently, and if the mixture is too stiff, add a little more pudding or milk until it loosens.
5). Add your desired flavourings; vanilla extract, lemon juice and rind, or a little reduced fruit juice (e.g. stir some raspberries and sugar over a low heat until it thickens and becomes a syrup)
6). Spoon the cake batter into paper cake cases/silicone moulds and bake at 180 degrees centigrade for 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven, leave to rest for 5 minutes, then transfer to a baking rack to cool.

For icing, I generally make the old staple, buttercream, but obviously substitute the butter for soy margarine, and make sure the icing sugar is vegan.

Shopping info: Vegan icing sugar can be bought from http://www.steenbergs.co.uk/ or http://www.sumamarket.coop/ but the brand is quite widely available. These stores also carry a lot of other vegan baking supplies (although not everything is vegan, so check first).

 
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