it’s official- bakery manis is getting serious! i finally purchased some very important baking accessories that i’ve coveted for a long time.
first on the list: a hand mixer! all the baking i do is done with a spoon or a spatula- which suits me just fine, because most recipes that call for blenders and/or mixers can be done by hand anyway. however, i stared at the pretty piped frostings in vegan cupcakes take over the world for a year now, and i just got this other little cupcake book (was supposed to be a gift, but the recipes are so very tempting…)- so i decided the time was right to get some proper frosting tools. the second purchase: a pastry bag with six tips! both are both kinda the ‘beginner version-‘ inexpensive and simple in function and design, but i think that it is a good place for me to start- maybe next year i will graduate to one of those beautiful kitchen-aid stand mixers… i also got a silicone pastry brush, for all those scones i am supposed to brush with oil, plus a ball jar and cute vintage pyrex bowl at the thrift store…. but those don’t really have anything to do with frosting. These are recipes i have been practicing piping art with….
vanilla bean buttercream frosting
(from vegan cupcakes)
i suppose vanilla might seem boring, bland even, to some. but to me, vanilla is truly yummy. this simple blending of ingredients creates brings a sweet and classic adornment to cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. i tried two ways: with chocolate-coconut cupcakes and peanut butter cupcakes- both from vegan cupcakes take over the world.
1/2 cup vegan shortening (i used spectrum brand)
1/2 cup vegan margarine (i used earth balance)
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp ground vanilla
1/4 soy milk or soy creamer (i used soymilk)
blend shortening and margarine until fluffy, then add sugar and beat for three more minutes; add vanillas and soy cream and beat 5-7 more minutes until fluffy! this can also be done with a whisk and some muscle. spread, pipe, or swirl on your creations with a joyful flourish (then have kale and rice for dinner to make up for all the sugar and oil!)
this cupcake recipe is the star from vegan cupcakes; i have tried others that were very tasty, but were not as pretty or sturdy. these toasted coconut cupcakes steal the show: perfectly formed, nice rounded crackly tops, and make with healthy coconut oil instead of canola. a winner all around- tasty naked or with pretty frosting!
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tsp total extract (vanilla, coconut, coffee, etc)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
prep your pan with muffin liners and preheat your oven to 350. sift together your dry ingredients. mix your coconut milk, sugar and extracts and then add in your *liquid* coconut oil; add the dry ingredients in two parts and stir until smooth. add in the shredded coconut. fill the liners about 2/3 full and shake the pan to settle the batter, and bake for 25 minutes. when they are absolutely, totally cool then you can decorate them with frosting!
pretty chocolate mousse
there is recipe similar to the one in vegan cupcakes, although this is my own version that i’ve been making for years. this is the best omnivore dinner party dessert: no one knows it’s tofu, and it has impressed even serious tofu-haters like my mama. all that and it’s wicked easy…. i wanted to make it again to practice with the pastry bag and make a pretty piped dessert.
1 box of silken tofu (firm is best, soft works too)(extra water drained)
2 tsp ground vanilla
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil or coconut milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 oz of unsweetened chocolate (usually 1/3 of a baking bar)
ground chocolate, chopped nuts and/or mixed berries for decoration
blend the tofu, vanilla, syrup and oil/milk in the food processor. melt the chocolate in a small saucepan or a double boiler until smooth and creamy, then add to the tofu mix and blend until combined. let cool for at least three hours in the fridge before piping and decorating.