My contribution to this year's Easter feast came in the form of cupcakes. I love the holidays because they mean I can bake and sample the fruits of my labour without needing to eat an entire cake or two dozen cookies. My blood sugar levels thank me for giving away all but one or two fresh-out-of-the-oven goodies.
The recipe for these made me slightly nervous. After I bought all of the ingredients (and paid $6 for two teaspoons worth of bulk-binned agar powder - yikes!) I regretted venturing out into the unknown. Baking is not really my thing. I can follow a recipe as well as the next guy, but the stringent steps and chemistry behind baked creations give me panic attacks. I'm more of a flinger in the kitchen and when you're cooking there is rarely a problem that can't be fixed somehow. When baking, one tiny error in measurement can send the whole product into the trash. It's just too stressful.
The first step for these cupcakes involves making the very same golden vanilla cupcakes I've made a million times before. So far so good.
Once they are done and sufficiently cooled, you poke holes in the centre.
Next you need to inject the agar-based creamy custard into each of the cupcakes. This is where things got a bit dicey. I made the custard earlier in the day and allowed two hours for "firming up" in the refrigerator. After two hours it was a bit less watery, but not what I would call "firm".
This could stem from the fact that I doubled the recipe in order to accommodate the number of cupcakes I needed to bring for the family dinner. Maybe there was too much liquid to solidify in that short amount of time and we couldn't give it anymore time to settle, in fear of being late for the dinner. In the future, I will make the cream the night before and see if that makes a difference. If I am doubling the recipe again I will probably use a bit more agar and a bit less silken tofu and see if that helps as well.
Regardless of this setback, we needed to truck on and get out the door, so we set to work at filling each cupcake with the cream. Because it was so running, we couldn't use a pastry bag like we had hoped, and instead just scooped the cream into each cupcake with a teaspoon.
Once filled, we gave them another 20 minutes or so in the refrigerator, while we prepared the chocolate ganache topping. Once topped, back in the fridge they went and luckily they got an extra chilly four hours or so before dessert was served. While the cream was still not as firm as it should have been, the cupcakes held together decently and were DELICIOUS.
Paul is holding firmly onto his selection of chocolate mint as his cupcake of choice, but for me, these Boston vs Brooklyn Cream Cupcakes are my new favourite. Find the recipe in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (where else???).
Easter was really great, but isn't the best part of the holidays the leftovers? Today's lunch was delicious...leftover "meat"loaf and green bean/fried onion casserole. YUM!