Tuesday, November 15, 2011

...my Cupcake Creation, inspired by other bloggers

Today was not a great day.

I won't get into the details of why it wasn't so great, so just accept that my temptation for cupcakes as a result was strong.  Quite strong.  So strong, in fact, that I tweeted it at lunchtime.

To make my temptation even stronger, at the end of the day, I checked Twitter, and there were tweets from @JanePitt, @burghbaby, @iheartpgh, and @cookingformydad, all commenting on...what else?  Dozen Bake Shop and Sugar Cafe, as they were stops on the Sonic Sweets Tour in which they were partaking at the time.  Really?  REALLY?!  Of all days?!

I was going crazy, and I had tests to grade.  Yum Yum was also tempted by the tweets.  I told her that baking may be on my agenda when I got home, and she agreed that that was a good idea.

And so it was.  

What to bake, though?  I did love those vegan cupcakes that I made over the summer from the Dozen Bake Shop recipe that was posted on Boring Pittsburgh.  I should make those again - and I already had the ingredients at home.

The stars were aligning.

Oh, but WAIT!  The Franklin Inn Mexican Restaurant had posted a recipe on Facebook the other day from another blog  for a chocolate frosting with quite the interesting main ingredient...

...I knew what I had to do.  I stopped at Giant Eagle for the ingredient on the way home.

I made the vegan cupcakes as soon as I got home (which wasn't until almost 5:00) - for some reason, I feel that this recipe is so much easier than that of regular cupcakes.  They also come out moist and vanilla-y.  As a side note, I don't use almond milk - I use light vanilla soy milk, which adds to the vanilla-y-ness.

Apple cider vinegar and light vanilla soy milk, curdled

I like the pattern that formed when I added the vanilla extract to the oil

Not quite as pretty with the curdled soy milk

Cupcake batter (no eggs, so ok to lick the bowl!)

Cupcakes baking in my super-old oven

Done - not the prettiest, but don't judge a book by its cover, right?

Once they were cooling, it was time to make the frosting.  I assembled my ingredients and pulled out my food processor...

Agave nectar, cocoa powder, and...wait, what?!


Yes, this chocolate icing is made from avocado.  I played around with the ingredients, as I thought it tasted too bland, and I could not seem to get it sweet enough.  I chose to use agave nectar as my sweetener (you can use whatever kind of sweetener you want - honey, sugar, Splenda...), and I felt like I kept adding a ton of it until it was sweet enough.  To take care of the blandness, I added some Pampered Chef Double-strength Bourbon Vanilla (my favorite vanilla of all time) and cinnamon.

I finally got it right.

I iced each cupcake with the creamy, silky icing, and then realized that I had quite the biased opinion on my cupcakes.  I'll eat anything with avocado, but would anyone else?  I needed a critical outside opinion.

I called my aunt and uncle, who live 5 doors down.  They were home, so I took a cupcake to them to try.

The finished product - vegan vanilla cupcake with avocado chocolate frosting
 I didn't tell them what was in the cupcake, because I KNEW that if I did, they wouldn't eat it, or make a face, or think it was gross from the get-go.  My aunt tried it first, and she commented that it smelled like booze (NOTE: there is no booze in it - the smell comes from the vanilla extract, due to the fact that it is made from bourbon initially).  She said that the cupcake was good, so I passed it on to my uncle to try - he is quite the baker, and has strong opinions on baked goods.  He also thought that there was booze in it (AGAIN NOTE: No booze.  Vanilla extract), but said that the cake was moist, and the icing was good.

Then I broke the news - vegan cupcake, avocado icing. 

Shock and awe.

I'm glad that I got their unbiased opinions - believe me, my uncle has no problem telling me if my baked goods aren't good.  I love when people try new things without realizing that they're trying something new.  

So thanks to @JanePitt, @burghbaby, @iheartpgh, and @cookingformydad for making me even hungrier for cupcakes today, as it resulted in an experiment-gone-tasty.  

Now what to do with the other 10 cupcakes?!...