Friday, February 3, 2012

Vegan Winner on Cupcake Wars!

Vegan cupcakes....who would have thought that a vegan baker would ever win Cupcake Wars? A cupcake with no eggs, no butter, no milk (not dairy anyway) other words, no texture and no flavor....or so I thought. Ever since I saw this on Cupcake Wars on the Foodnetwork, I knew I had to make it. This is "Sexy Back" on a cupcake! Chef Chloe moved with finesse and grace throughout the entire episode even under time pressure to bake 1000 cupcakes. Her cupcakes turned out beautiful and completely won over the judges, presentation and taste.  

These cupcakes are pretty low cost too with no eggs and butter and yet, they came out perfectly with nice domed tops, soft, fluffy and so moist. They're very easy to make. No creaming for several minutes, no beating the eggs until fluffy. You can mix everything by hand. My colleagues could hardly believe that these were vegan. They told me that these were the best cupcakes I made, even better than the Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes! 

Vegan cupcakes are taking over the world!

recipe adapted from and courtesy of Chef Chloe

Makes 14 cupcakes
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup soy or rice or almond milk (or you can use whole dairy milk to make it non-vegan)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp instant coffee powder
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract

sweetened whipped cream (frosting, recipe below)
fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced (garnish)
powdered sugar (topping)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 2 (12 cups) cupcake pans with 14 cupcake liners.

In a bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Whisk the dry ingredients together. In another bowl, mix the oil, milk, vinegar, vanilla extract and coffee until smooth. Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture and using a hand whisk, mix until just combined. Do not over mix it.

Fill the liners with the batter about 2/3 full. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs sticking  to it. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.

1 cup heavy cream, chilled overnight 
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat the cream with a mixer at medium speed for 3 minutes. Gradually add the sugar, then the vanilla extract and mix well. Increase the speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form. Chill for 15 minutes before using. Frost the cupcakes.
Note: You may also use Cool Whip Topping to make the frosting vegan.

To assemble the cupcakes:
Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, slice off the domed tops of the cupcakes, using the top edge of the cupcake liners as your guide and set aside. Pipe a good amount of whipped cream on the flat top, arrange the sliced strawberries on top of the whipped cream and place the top of the cupcake back on top. Finish with a small dollop of cream on top with more sliced strawberries. Dust with powdered sugar.