Monday, May 11, 2009

Mocha Cupcakes!

More often than not, it can be a daunting challenge to find a vegan cookbook with solid recipes that do not call for obscure, expensive ingredients. Though I love agave nectar and brown rice syrup as much as the next vegetarian, they are extremely pricey and often times, hard to find. (Although many supermarkets are now noticing the trend in wholesome eating and including a natural foods section).

However, after recently coming across vegan culinary genius Isa Chandra Moskowitz's cookbook, "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World", I was astounded with the goldmine of relatively easy, creative recipes that use ingredients found in any home, vegan or not. From your basic Chocolate Cupcake to a very promising Mucho Margarita Cupcake, there is literally a tasty little treat for everyone.

The recipe below is for the Mocha Cupcake, which appealled to me due to my love of mocha lattes and chocolate covered espresso beans. These are topped with a decadent chocolate ganache, which reminds me of the chocolate drizzle my favorite barista pours over my latte!

Mocha Cupcakes
makes around 12 cupcakes

1/2 cup soymilk

1/2 cup cold coffee

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 tablespoon instant espresso powder

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with foil or paper cups.
Whisk soymilk, coffee, and vinegar in a large bowl. Let curdle. Add sugar, oil and extracts. Whisk until frothy.
In a separate bowl, sift flour, salt, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and espres powders together. Add to wet ingredients.
Beat until there are no large lumps.
Fill liners 3/4 of the way full. Bake 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Chocolate Ganache

3 tablespoons soymilk

2 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar

3 chunks of unsweetened chocolate

Heat soymilk in the microwave about 20 seconds. Whisk in powdered sugar. Drop in chocolate. In 20 second intervals, heat and stir mixture until all the chocolate has melted and the consistency is smooth. It should be thick and very chocolatey, adjust ratios of ganache accordingly. Spread or drizzle on cooled cupcakes.

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