also known as… So Addicting You’d Think They Were Crack Cupcakes, Lick The Beaters All You Want Because There is No Egg in Them Cupcakes, and The Best Darned Cupcakes You’ve Ever Eaten… cupcakes.
Need I say more?
Yes, actually. I do. When I first made these (I’ve made them 3 times since!), but the first time, the recipe was off. My cupcakes were secretly training to be donuts.
So, what does one do with sunken, wannabe-donut cupcakes?
Fill them with chocolate, of course!
Once frosted, you couldn’t even tell of the mishap. They were heavenly, but sticky and sickeningly sweet. After two bites, we decided that something could, indeed, be too sweet. I attributed it to the 2 tablespoons of almond extract in the batter and the 1 tablespoon of it in the frosting (I didn’t go overboard, did I?). As much as I love almond, the almond extract really amplifies the sugar content. Hence, sickeningly sweet.
Despite the sweetness, the cupcakes still disappeared rather quickly. :) I knew I had to give them a second chance.
I increased the flour, decreased the almond extract and baking powder, added almond paste, popped them in the oven… and viola! Perfect cupcakes! I don’t think there exists a more perfect cupcake.
I topped it with a variation on the frosting (again with a bit less almond extract), which is practically fudge. Slathered on the delicious and perfectly cooked cupcakes, topped with some sliced almond and a cherry (always a cherry), I present you, the world’s perfect cupcakes… (and they’re vegan! what? yes, it’s true! you know what that means? eat all the raw batter you want with no worries about nasty bacterias and raw eggs! it’s a dream come true!)
Heavenly Vegan Almond Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting
Makes 14 cupcakes (or 12 and plenty of tasties).
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 Â½ cups plain soymilk
2 1/8 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
Â½ teaspoon baking soda
Â½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/8 cups sugar
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup almond paste (not marzipan)
Â½ cup canola oil
1 Â¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 cups powdered sugar
Â½ cup cocoa powder
Â½ cup soymilk
3 tablespoons margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat the oven to 350Âº. Line 14 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners. Lightly spray liners and top of pan with cooking spray. This will prevent the tops of the cupcakes from sticking to the pan when they rise. Set aside.
Combined apple cider vinegar and soymilk in small bowl. Stir well and set aside (the mixture will curdle).
In a food processor, chop almonds until finely ground. Add almond paste and oil and pulse until well incorporated. Mix in almond and vanilla extracts and pulse once to combine.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the curdled soymilk and almond mixtures to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth (try not to overmix it).
Fill each muffin cup with Â¼ cup of batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.
Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.
With electric mixer, beat margarine until fluffy. Add cocoa powder and soymilk and beat until combined. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and continue to beat until all the sugar is incorporated. Add extracts. Beat on high speed for another 3-5 minutes, or until fluffy. Spread generously on cupcakes (there will be plenty leftover – store in the fridge and eat with a spoon!). Sprinkle with leftover sliced almonds (or sprinkles) and top with a maraschino cherry. Store at room temperature in an airtight container (though these cupcakes are notorious for disappearing at an alarming rate, so storage probably won’t be an issue).
Anything almond, I’m all for it. And this was a very nice, refreshing treat. I think I may have overcooked the filling a bit (or did something wrong while making it), but it was still good nonetheless. This would be good with any summer fruit, peaches, even pears. And did I mention almonds?
Plum Almond Tart
Makes 6 servings. Recipe from Epicurious.
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons ice water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole almonds (about 2 ounces)
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
4 teaspoons framboise (raspberry liqueur) or brandy
12 ounces ripe red-skinned plums, pitted, cut into 3/4-inch-thick wedges
1/4 cup red currant jelly
Whipped cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 375Â°F. Combine first 3 ingredients in processor. Using on/off turns, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix 2 tablespoons ice water and vanilla in small bowl. Pour water mixture over dough. Process until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Roll out on floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold overhang in and press, forming double-thick sides. Using fork, pierce dough all over. Freeze 15 minutes.
Bake crust until pale golden, about 30 minutes (crust may shrink slightly). Cool on rack. Maintain oven temperature.
Finely grind almonds with sugar in processor. Add egg, butter and 2 teaspoons framboise. Process until batter forms. Pour filling into crust. Arrange plums atop filling. Bake until plums are tender and filling is golden and set, about 50 minutes.
Melt jelly with remaining 2 teaspoons framboise in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat. Brush jelly mixture over plums. Cool tart. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream, if desired.
Here we go again, making side dishes for meals. Add some spiced chicken to this and you’d have yourself a full on meal. I’m not a huge fan of cauliflower… something about the texture, but Taylor loved the flavors in this dish and gobbled it up. If you’re a fan of Indian food, you’ll appreciate this one.
We added a sweet potato to this, along with the regular potato and cauliflower. A great addition to the flavors of the dish.
The mix of spices that went into this was as beautiful as it was flavorful. We managed to find the fenugreek at an International food store… it’s sort of a coarse spice, almost like split peas that have been pounded, and bright orange in color. Not like anything I’ve ever tasted before.
Aloo Gobi with Potato and Cauliflower
Makes 4-6 servings. Recipe from RecipeZaar.
1 head cauliflower (flowerets cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
2 medium boiling potatoes (3/4lb, cut into Â½ inch cubes)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1-2 dried hot red chili pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon garam masala
Heat the oil in a large 12 to 14 inch skillet. When the oil is smoking, scatter in the fenugreek, fennel, cumin and red peppers. Stir once and add the cauliflower and potatoes. Stir lightly until coated with spices and oil.
Turn heat down to medium. Add turmeric, ground coriander, salt and pepper. SautÃ© for 8â€“10 minutes.
Add Â¼ cup water and cover immediately. Turn heat very low and steam vegetables for 7-10 minutes (until tender). Sprinkle the garam masala over the vegetables, stir once and serve.
So I thought that I’d never get to eat lasagna again, being that I can’t eat dairy… until I found this recipe. Let me tell you, this would fool anyone. The tofu/herb/lemon mixture becomes the exact texture of ricotta cheese, and has fantastic flavor. We might have added a bit too much lemon, as it was a bit tart, but delicious nonetheless. Next time, try a spinach lasagne instead of zucchini, or at least cut the zucchini thinner. The faux-ricotta would also make a great filling for pasta shells or ravioli.
Herbed Tofu and Zucchini Lasagna
Makes 10 servings. Recipe from RecipeZaar.
2 (14 ounce) packages firm tofu, well-drained
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch slices (about 3 cups)
5 cups marinara sauce (the best you can find)
16 no-boil lasagna noodles
extra virgin olive oil (for drizzling on each serving)
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Coat a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray.
Toast pine nuts: Place them in a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly until golden (about 3 minutes).
In food processor, combine tofu, basil, parsely, toasted pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt, red pepper flakes, and sugar. Blend until smooth and similar in texture to ricotta cheese.
In large non-stick skillet, heat oil and saute the zucchini on medium-high heat just until they’re tender (about 3 -5 minutes).
Spread 3 tablespoons of the marinara sauce on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Cover with a layer of noodles, overlapping them slightly.
Layer 1/2 of the tofu mixture, then 1/2 of the zucchini mixture, layer of noodles, then remaining tofu, remaining zucchini, 1/2 cup marinara sauce, more noodles, and remaining marinara sauce. Cover pan with foil and bake 1 hour.
Let rest 10 minutes before serving. Drizzle olive oil on each serving.