Monday, September 8, 2008

vegan cupcakes rule

hi guys-

i was all set to blog about consumption and the new study that shows that obese kids are at a greater risk of liver disease than previously thought, but then i saw this lovely post about making cupcakes vegan and i thought i could postpone ranting for one day and talk about sweets!

i love vegan cupcakes. these compact little treats are such a lovely indulgence and there doesn't have to be a compromise to your health or your hips!

for flour, i have recently discovered that a mix of whole wheat pastry and quinoa flour (yes, like the grain) yield the most spectacular texture. about a 50-50 mix does the trick. second, i use equal measures of baking powder and soda (a teaspoon of each per cup of flour) to make them rise and create those little peaks that you think you can only get with eggs!

for oil i use avocado or a blend of flax and sunflower oil by a company called shape foods. i love the blended oil...i get a sweet treat and omega-3. the blended oil allows for cooking the oil without losing the omega-3. how sweet it is!

for sweeteners the options are varied. if you are looking to create a low-cal cupcake, go for stevia or erythritol, both natural and no calorie. stevia is an herb and comes in both liquid and granular form and is intensely sweet, so you will need to play with it to get your sweet taste right. a little goes a long way.

erythritol, known as the brands organic zero and z-sweet (i am sure there are others, but i know these) is a fermented sugar alcohol that has no effect on blood sugar chemistry and is all's very cool and i really like cooking with it. the only quirk is that you have to heat it slightly with your oil before adding it to the flour or the grains of the sweetener do not dissolve well and your cupcakes can taste gritty.

i use brown rice syrup most often and still love it the best for sweetening, but it does have calories...

the way i see it, we're talking cupcakes, so enjoy.

and here's a great recipe for cupcakes...from my new book, 'this crazy vegan life' due out in december!

Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes with Orange Glaze

Makes 24 cupcakes

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup semolina flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup avocado or olive oil
½ cup erythritol
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
1 cup canned pumpkin or pureed winter squash
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Orange Glaze
½ cup unsweetened orange marmalade
4 tablespoons brown rice syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 24-cup mini muffin pan. You may also use paper liners.
Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.
Combine oil, erythritol, syrup, pumpkin and vanilla in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring, until ingredients are smooth and creamy and erythritol is dissolved, about 3 minutes.
Combine the pumpkin mixture with dry ingredients. Slowly stir in almond milk to create a smooth batter. Fold in walnuts. Spoon mixture evenly into muffin cups, filling two-thirds full. Bake until the tops of the muffins spring back to the touch, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in the baking pan for 7 to 10 minutes. Carefully remove each cupcake and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Make the glaze while the cupcakes cool: Bring marmalade and syrup to a rolling boil over medium heat. Slip a sheet of parchment paper under the cooling rack and spoon glaze over each cupcake, letting the glaze run down the sides onto the paper. Allow glaze to set for a few minutes before serving.

Per cupcake: Calories 70; Protein 1.9g; Total Fat 1.3g; Sat. Fat .12g; Cholesterol 0mg; Carbohydrate 22g; Dietary Fiber 1.3g; Sodium 127mg


Anthony said...

I never would have thought to use quinoa flour. Can't wait to try that out!

christea said...

'll have to check out the quinoa flour. FYI --- Whole Foods has come out with their 365 Brand of Organic Cake Mixes. They do use sugar, but no white flour (in the mixes I've read) on the shelf. Interestingly they are mixing whole wheat pastry flour with barley flour so I've tried that combo with some of your recipes with good results. In your banana muffin recipe I do 50/50 and use 3 bananas and chopped up one fresh organic pear spritzed with lemon juice and tossed with some cinnamon and nutmeg and fold it in to the batter. They're a hit with the family. I use Suzanne's Specialties organic genmai brown rice syrup. I buy that and their organic brown rice maple syrup by the gallon. I LOVE the stuff.


christea said...

P.S. Also used the 50/50 (OG whole wheat pastry four and OG barley flour) in your Austrian Cake recipe and oatmeal scone recipe and follow the rest of the recipe as written.

Sheli said...

Thanks Christina! :)
I'm making them this week and I'll let you know how they turn out.