Friday, October 14, 2011

Vegan Margarita Cupcakes: The Real Deal

As part-two of the fiesta cupcakettes that I made for MonkeyMan's
Aunt, I wanted some crazy margarita cupcakes. Obviously citrus,
but I didn't really know where to go from there.

Hopefully I won't get assaulted for this, but why are there no cupcake
recipes other than from the 'cupcakes take over' book. I looked over
the recipe and could just tell it wasn't going to be flavourful enough.
No, I wanted a sharp citrus, a creamy cupcake, and a strong kick of
tequila. Not a lingering aftertaste and some glaze with sparkly sugar
on top. Too harsh? I just wanted something that would knock people's
socks off. If it was just the tiniest bit bland, people are going to
immediately blame it on being a vegan cupcake.


Margarita Cupcakes: El Auténtico


Juice and zest from one lemon
Zest from one lime
3/4 cup coconut milk/cream
(if using cream, reduce the oil and increase the cream to 1 cup)
I Like how this adds a little more of a topical taste
1/4 cup oil
3 tbsp tequila
2 tbsp triple sec
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup cake flour
2 tsp corn starch or arrowroot
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup earth balance
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
lemon or lime zest
1 tsp lemon or lime juice
4 tbsp tequila (Or more)
dash of salt
(one drop of each yellow and blue colouring: optional)

(+rock salt and more tequila)

Combine the lemon juice with the coconut, stir and set aside.
Sift together the dry ingredients (including the sugar).

Stir the coconut/lemon once more and add the alcohol, vanilla, and
oil. Gently combine the wet and dry ingredients, just until mixed.

Portion out into cupcake cups, about 80% full.

Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350°F. Remove when a tooth pick inserted
into the middle comes out clean, or you start to see the tiniest bit of
gold on the tops.

Remove from the pan and allow to cool on a rack. Right after placing
the cakes on the cooling rack, brush the tops with more tequila, making
sure to get around the edges too.

While the cupcakettes are baking, prepare the frosting.
First cream together the sugar and earthbalance, then add the zest,
juice, salt and a little bit of the tequila at a time.

The frosting should be smooth and fluffy, but not stiff or wet.
Right before frosting, brush the cakes again with tequila. Pipe the
frosting on in your favorite design, then top with a tiny wedge of lemon
or lime and sprinkle lightly with rock salt.

These went faster than a blink of an eye. Maybe a guacamole or salsa
cupcake should be next? Or is that just too weird? Okay.

How about a spicy mango?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mexican HOT Chocolate Cupcakettes

Monkey Man's Aunt had her big Five-O last week, so I've been planning
on sending some vegan goodies that direction for a while. Since her
party theme was Fiesta, I couldn't resist going loco for flavour.

This is part-one of these fiesta cakes. I call the mini ones cupcakettes
because I think it sounds cuter. And this is my first official blog
featuring cupcakes. I don't really care for them. If I have the option of
pie or something else, cupcakes are the last thing I would order.

SO. If I don't really like cupcakes and I say these are good...
You better bet these are smokin' Good!

For the initial recipe inspiration, I have to give a big 'ol shout-out
to "Yeah That Vegan Shit" and her Mexican Chocolate Cake!

I basically pumped up the spices, HOT factor, made my own frosting to
top 'em, and overall revamped it for richness. Not being able to resist
chipotle, I had to throw some in. I don't care if that bandwagon has
come and gone as far as food fads are concerned, I am forever sold on
the smokey spiciness!

These were rich, moist, and oh so spicy. Not overwhelming, but you
definitely get a warm kick after the first bite.

(Please be warned that I have a very high heat tolerance,
so please taste as you go).

Mexican HOT Chocolate Cupcakettes

Ingredients (yields 36-40 cupcakettes)

1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup sucanat
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp mild chili powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 chipotle in adobo sauce, diced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup almond milk

Add the lemon juice to the almond milk and stir, set aside. Sift together
all the dry ingredients, make a well in the middle of the bowl to add the
wet ingredients.

Add the vanilla, oil, and chipotle and about 1-2 tbsp of adobo sauce to
the almond milk. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix until just

Pour into mini or regular cupcake cups and bake for 12 minutes at
350°F, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

It depends on what size you’re baking. Take a peek through the
window of your oven first, if they look like they are still rising—
DO NOT open your oven door! This could cause your cakes to fall!

Once baked through, remove from tray and allow to cool on a baking
rack before frosting.

Mex Hot Chocolate Frosting

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup earthbalance
2-3 tbsp almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Whip together the powdered sugar and the earthbalance, then add the
vanilla, cocoa, and spices. Add the nondairy milk a little at a time to
get the right consistency. It should be soft and smooth enough to pipe,
but not wet or runny. If it is too wet, just add a little extra sugar and
cocoa to absorb the moisture.

Spoon into a small star and pipe on your classic swirls, or whatever
design you like best. I topped them off with a chocolate cigarette and
a dusting of cinnamon.

Check back soon for some fan-frickin-tastic Margarita Cupcakettes!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Vegan, Soy, Gluten-Free Peach UpsideDown Cake

With a lot more gigs picking up and all the summer travel plans,
the side work of writing, blogging and testing has taken the sideline.
However, I’ve been promising this posting for quite a while and
couldn't keep it from you forever!

Last month, I whipped up a summery storm for the Animal Acre’s Hoe
. Cooking and spending time at one of my favorite places?
What could be more fun!

Going with the summer/western theme we had BBQ Tofurky Baked-
Beans, Gardein Chick’n Salad, Tomato and Watermelon Salad,
gluten-free Sweet Potato Corn Bread, and gluten-free Peach
Upside-Down Cake! All my favorite tastes of summer before it
slips away to chilly autumn nights.

I just had to share the recipe for the Peach UpsideDown Cake!!
This cake can be done with pineapple, cherries, mango or any of
your favorite fruits—but I can’t get enough of fresh juicy peaches
when their in season. Served with vegan whipped cream, it is simply divine!

I’ve been doing a lot more gluten-free, so I hope you all enjoy!

Gluten-free Vegan Peach Upside-Down Cake

2 large ripe peaches or about 2 cups, sliced
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1 1/2 cup All Purpose GF flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup peach pulp or juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp flaxmeal whisked with 3 tbsp water
1/3 cup turbinado
3/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla extract

In an 8 or 9 inch pan sprinkle the first quarter cup of sugar, then
place the peach slices over it.
Add the lemon juice to the almond milk and allow to sit and curdle.
Sift together the dry ingredients: flours, soda, powder, ginger, and salt.
Separately mix the juice/pulp, oil, flax sugar and vanilla. Add the
almond ‘buttermilk’ to the liquid mix. Gently fold in the dry mix,
just until blended and pour over the peaches in the cake pan.

Bake at 350F for about 25-30 minutes.
Once removed from the oven, put a plate over the pan and
(being careful to not burn yourself) flip over and let the cake slide out.

Allow to cool, but eat it while its warm with cream (Peaches and
Cream!!) It doesn’t keep that long, so eat it the day of at least!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Harry Potter Cauldron Cakes

First off, I know not everyone out there is a Harry Potter fan and
not everyone is an avid fan as some of us. If you’ve never read the
books, watched the films, or taken part in the wizarding world of
J.K. Rowling, I strongly encourage you to.

It may not change your life, but you may be missing out on some really
good entertainment. What’s all the hype about? It may have just gotten
on your nerves and now you’re ignoring it out of principle. Get over it
and go read the books. Really. Honestly. It’s not high classic literature,
but they are really FUN and undeserving of your contempt.

I am not just saying this because of how much I love swords and
sorcery, or because I was one of those teens those wore capes to the
midnight book releases, or was one of those who finished the last book
in less than 48 hours.

I enjoy fan culture like this because of the sense of camaraderie.
Sure you can go to a rocky horror picture show screening or some other
cult flick and experience the same type of tuned-in energy, but the
whimsy of the whole thing becomes addictive. The HP bug doesn’t turn
off when you leave the theater, it stays with you the whole way home
and the next morning and lingers-- leaving you wanting more!

Cult flicks are tons of fun, all the fans cheer when certain characters
come on or when certain credits roll, but Harry Potter is much more.

I think it also has something to do with how loyal the movies were
to the books and how disappointed I was in the new Star Wars and
Lord of the Rings movies. I’ve given up on comic book films (Scott
Pilgrim excluded). I still enjoy the rebooted films like TRON and
Star Trek etc. But they simply don’t exude the same intoxicating energy
that Harry Potter does.

It is engrossing because of the depth, the detail, and the sheer
extent of character development. For many of us it was also a coming
of age ritual. It was something for us to look forward to each year
and to hide away in when reality got a little low. Hogwarts was a little
escape for each of us and sadly it has come to an end. I was a few years
older than the kids in the books when it first came out, but I was still
growing up while I was reading them. So it truly is the end of an age for
some of us.

Now all the films are out, I plan on going back and rereading the series
(when I get some time-- Eventually). I’ve read the first few books more
than once, but not the later ones. So, I’ve gone a little fuzzy on many of
the details. Besides, it is always fun to go back and try and pick up on
all the little hints when you know what the ending is going to be.

To be honest, the end has left me feeling a little low and really old.
I don’t like waiting for Halloween to costume up. How often to I get to
flaunt my Ravenclaw uniform? For now, I’ll have to bid a fond farewell
to Hogwarts and a turning point in my life-- now I’m coming up to my
quarter-life crisis who knows if anything will catch on like Harry Potter
and steal the hearts of so many muggles... at least in our lifetime!

So lets all raise our butterbeer and pumpkin juice to what was a damn
good, magical decade!

Yes, I saw it opening night-- not the midnight showing, but still...
And of course it was epic! (Surprisingly violent, watch out little ‘uns)

In celebration of Book 7 Part Two, I made some Cauldron Cakes
for your enjoyment. To be honest can’t remember if there was a
description in the books of these or not. So I just made what I thought
Cauldron Cakes sounded like. These are not sweet, so don't expect a
cupcake. They are hearty and look like they were cooked over a cauldron!

Harry Potter Cauldron Cakes

3 cups unbleached wheat flour
3 tbsp powdered sugar
2 3/4 cup non-dairy milk + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup berry jam
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup raisins, cranberries, cherries or chopped dates

Sift together the dry ingredients.
Mix the oil, jam and curdled non-dairy milk, slowly add to the
dry mix and stir briefly to not over-mix the soda. Add the nuts and
which ever dried fruit you like.

Pour into greased and floured cupcake cups or mini bundt tins.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes at 350•F.

Serve while still warm with powdered sugar and jam.

Try em with some Pumpkin Juice!

Here is also a Vegan version of ButterBeer from PETA2 which sounds
pretty good, except I might add some vanilla vodka or spiced rum
to give it a real kick.

Monday, July 4, 2011

All Hail Kale Salad: Swipe!

Swiper, no swiping!

Those of you that have young siblings as I do or children of your own
might catch that reference. If not, I just swiped or knocked off a dish
from everyone's favorite Veggie Grill.

To be honest, I've never even had the darn thing. Yes, everyone raves
about it, blah blah blah-- but I have a hard time bringing myself to
pay $8-10 for a bowl of kale. I don't care how good it is. If I'm going
to go out to eat and drop dollars in the double digits, it better be
something I can't make at home or have never experienced before.

Its Ok if you can't cook and like to eat out because its the only decent
way to get good food, but you have to at least tell me you're trying to duplicate these things.

What is this All Hale Kale stuff? Apparently it is Kale and Quinoa
marinated in a papaya vinegarette, topped with purple cabbage,
walnuts, carrots, and a roasted corn salsa and chic'n/tempeh (opt).

I basically had everything but the papaya, so I subbed out some OJ for
that baby. Voila. Pretty delish. I didn't do the grilled plant protein,
since we were already eating quinoa and quinoa is high in protein.
Although, we did have some assorted baked sweet potato fries on the
side: orange, purple, and white sweet potato!

FYI: although many people do, there is really no need to remove the
stems from kale. Just cut off the very end and roll the whole leaf with
a rolling pin to tenderize. Crush the stem so it is soft and chewable.
Why waste a perfectly good piece of kale?

All Hail Kale Salad for 4

8 stalks of kale, tenderized and shredded finely
2 cups cooked quinoa

1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup raw walnuts, chopped

1/3 cup orange juice
2 tbsp olive oil or a nut oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp agave
juice from one lemon
1/2 tsp grated ginger
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup fresh corn
1 tomato, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 small clove garlic, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
juice from one lime
salt and pepper to taste
cilantro (opt)

Once the cooked quinoa has cooled, toss it with the kale and add the
dressing. Go ahead and mix the salsa, let it sit to 'age' the flavors.

Once you're ready to chow down arrange the salad on the plate
starting with the marinated kale, salsa, cabbage, carrot then walnuts--
or whatever you like, it's all ending up in the same place anyway!

This is where you go "WHAT? That's it?!" and I smile and laugh manically.

I guess it's the Forth of July... Don't go out and roast dead animals
or burn a forest down with stupid fireworks... please and thankyou.
No, we are not celebrating today. Why? I dunno, should it be a priority?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mother Vegan Seitan Stroganov

If you've followed me for a while, you're probably familiar with
my complicated relationship with mushrooms. You'll also be glad to
hear that I am still working on it. In fact, I actually had a craving
for a dish with mushrooms. Yeah, weird huh? Craving something that
could potentially trigger me to start gagging.

(If you're not so familiar with my mushroom problem-- for some
reason, ever since I was little, they cause me to gag. Not that
I don't like them, they just trigger me to puke. Yes, a complicated
relationship indeed.)

A few months ago I had a dish of middle eastern vegan stroganoff.
It was pretty good, I guess. But it was one of those dishes that you
sat at a restaurant eating while only thinking about how much better
you could make it. (Why the hell am I paying $12 for this!?)

I've also noticed that I have recently been ordering things that
Monkey-man would be more likely to pick off the menu, I suppose it's
my way of eating outside my comfort zone. It hasn't gone wrong so far!

Yet, since I knew he'd enjoy this Russian comfort food, I had to
make it for dinner. I believe that middle eastern versions usually
contain tomato paste, so mine is more Russian. I'd use a different type
of pasta than the little UFO guys we had here-- or even make it again
with some roasted potatoes, even better!

Mother Vegan Seitan Stroganov

2 tbsp earthbalance
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups white button (or any) mushroom, chopped
1/2 cup cup dry red wine
1 vegetable bouillon cube
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp mustard
1/4 cup water
1 cup seitan, chopped*
1/3-1/2 cup vegan sour cream
salt and pepper
pinch of tarragon

Melt the earth balance and add the onion and garlic, sauteing
for a few minutes until it become translucent and fragrant.

Add the mushrooms, bouillon cube, and wine. Cook the mushrooms
until the start to look a little soft. Add the flour and mustard
and cook for a few minutes more.

Add the water if it looks like it needs a little liquid.
Toss in the seitan, sour cream and seasonings and heat through.
Serve once the mushrooms are tender and it is thoroughly hot.

Made about enough for 4 servings, maybe more depending on what
you serve it with. I used my homemade cracked pepper seitan.
But use whatever works for you, as long as it has a good flavor.

If it is the unflavored seitan maybe add an extra bit of soysauce
and seasonings.

And if you haven't watched it yet, check out our video entry for
the Daiya cheese contest. And please share it too!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cooking Video!!

We had a blast this past weekend, filming and editing our first
'cooking video'. Of course we've both done this sort of thing
before, just not with food. Its an all out Scott Pilgrim, Classic
video game, geek squad sort of deal.

The recipe is for Chilaquiles, something my Mom used to make a lot.
Traditionally the recipes call for eggs, a lot of frying and a
butt load of cheese. (As in so much you'll get a big butt from eating
it all). Its a cross between an enchiladas casserole and nachos...
or a pizza. Lets just say its real tasty and easier than eating out.

My Mom used to make it with tomato sauce and ricotta, I've one up-ed
that and use a home made sauce pumped with garlic and onions and
tofu instead of cheese. You can top it with any of your favorite
vegan cheeses, but I prefer Daiya Cheddar or Pepper Jack!

So, watch the video, have a laugh and share-share-share.
To win we need the most views, so help us get it out there peeps!

Share me!!