Going Vegan

(I'm not really going vegan.) But, vegan baking has always been something I wanted to get into. So I finally bought Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (check out their website!)  and dove in. Vegan baked goods can still have terrific flavor and the only noticeable difference is slight, and it is in the texture- usually a tiny bit denser/chewier.

Baking vegan means you need to replace the eggs and butter with some type of fat and liquid. Often for the fat canola oil is used. Canola is a healthier oil and has a neutral flavor, but Sunflower, safflower or vegetable oil can work too. Margarine and/or shortening are often used too. The liquid used is usually soy milk (or rice milk).

Substituting ingredients in vegan recipes, actually makes the process much simpler. You don't have to worry about having enough eggs or your butter getting to soft. And for the most part, the ingredients you use are common and may already be laying around your kitchen.

I am drawn to cupcake recipes that call for beer, because beer is delicious, but also adds a  complexity to the flavor that makes a chocolate cupcake just that much better. The first recipe I tried out of the book was Chocolate Stout Cupcakes made with a crumb topping.

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

Ingredients for crumb coating:
1/4 C flour
1/4 C Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 C granulated sugar
2 tbsp canola oil

In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa, sugar and flour.  Slowly drizzle the oil in, constantly tossing the mixture with a fork. Crumbs will start to form. Continue to toss and stir the crumbs with your fingers for about 30 seconds. You should end up with mostly big crumbs (1/4" diameter) and maybe some loose flour too.

Ingredients for cupcakes:
3/4 C soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 C + 2 tbsp flour
1/3 C Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1.4 C stout
3/4 C sugar
1/3 C canola oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract/paste

Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake tins with paper liners.
Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl. In a separate bowl sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add stout, sugar, oil, and vanilla to soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. Add dry ingredients to wet in two batches and beat for about 2 minutes.

Pour batter into lined cupcake tins, filled 3/4 full. Sprinkle the tops with the crumb topping. make sure the crumbs rest on top of the batter and don't sink in. 

Bake 20-22 minutes. The authors recommend going to veganconnection/com/veganbeer.htm if you're concerned your stout isn't vegan.

Sorry no pictures, they were eaten to fast...What vegan recipe should I try next?

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