The Amazing Self-glazing Pumpkin Cupcakes!

I’ve recovered enough to stop whining and start posting again, and besides, I promised choirqueer a cupcake recipe, so here it is. I came up with the best possible combination of batter and frosting, which turned out to be… Fluffy Coconut Pumpkin Cupcakes with Mrs. Weasley’s Chocolate Fudge Topping and Speculoos Hagelslag. Which is much to long for a post heading, and half the praise should go to Kris from nom!nom!nom! blog anyway. They are totally decadent but really easy to make, and the best thing – yes, you read that right – is that they are self-glazing. But we’ll get to that.

So here’s the story. First I made this amazing fudge recipe (that I linked to above, so please scroll back and click on nom!nom!nom! right now) that I found via Dumbledore’s Vegan Army, a great blog project that deserves an honorable mention. But I don’t know what went… not wrong, exactly, just rather different from what I’d expected. Maybe the margarine I used was too soft. Anyway, the fudge didn’t quite set. Even kept in the fridge, it was still slightly runny and couldn’t be cut. But it tasted like heaven. So I put it in the freezer compartment and waited for the right moment and opportunity to use it. And the moment arrived soon enough.
Suddenly there were pumpkins in all the shops again! I immediately carried a few home to start my secret stash of roasted and pureed pumpkin (and squash) for soups and cakes. My all time favourite is the versatile butternut squash, but I got a couple of really nice hokkaidos as well. Yum, orange food! Of course I had to make cupcakes. So here’s what I did.
I combined all of these ingredients in a big bowl and stirred them together with a fork:
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Baked at 180°C (about 350°F) for 22 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack (or just turn your oven grill upside down and put the cupcakes on it).
I love baking with coconut milk. Everything turns out so fluffy, and I bet I can taste it too.
While the cupcakes were cooling, I had the best idea ever: I took the fudge from the freezer, shaped it into little patties and placed them on top of the still warm cupcakes. No spreading, no getting chocolate all over the place! It just melted a bit to look like regular cupcake frosting. Amazed, I sprinkled them with the last of my Speculoos hagel (more thanks to another Kris!).
The result: The most awesome combination of cupcake batter and frosting you have ever tasted. Pumpkin and coconut milk are a match made in kitchen heaven, and the fudgy frosting is as close to a real Sachertorte glaze as possible without actually being one. At least in this combination.
Seriously, you must try this. I’d send you a cupcake, but my stargate is not perfected yet.

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MoFo Post #30: Annnd… I did it!

Who would have thought that I’d manage to post every day for MoFo. It’s been a lot of fun, and I think I still have enough blog entries to read and recipes to try out for months to come.
I don’t have a picture for you today, since we were out on a work lunch, and getting out my mobile phone to photograph my food would have been kind of inappropriate. Nevertheless, Café Einstein deserves an honorable mention. I was just about to order a cheeseless pizza, when the waitress pointed out to me that they could make me a vegetarian jacket potato without the cheese and sour cream sauce. Everyone at the table was a little sceptical about that at first, but I’m glad I tried it, since the roasted vegetables were really good, and it was a pleasant change from my usual pizza or penne arrabbiata.
MoFo afterthought: I just made a batch of my usual no-bake oatmeal cookies (and hey, that was actually my very first blog post!), and during the ritual tasting for doneness a thought struck me: I’ll have to try making a new variation featuring coffee. Maybe if I borrowed that food processor, I could grind the oats even finer and make the cookies taste almost exactly like delicatobolls. :)

MoFo Post #28: Zebra Cake

Right now I’m baking my birthday cake in advance. I’m going to be very busy throughout the week, so I’m freezing the cake and thawing and decorating it the evening before the party. It’s a zebra cake, which means that the inside will have (wonky) brown and white horizontal stripes. (BTW, I didn’t invent this technique. It’s from a recipe a friend passed on to me years and years ago.) Today I’m going to show you how to get that effect.

The protagonists: 1 1/2 batches of chocolate & vanilla marble cupcake batter (I used coconut milk again!), and a greased (read “margarined”) baking pan.

Now drop a generous spoonful of batter right in the middle of the pan (I started with vanilla, since there’s always slightly more of that). – Yeah, I know, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s the exact center.

Now drop a spoonful of the chocolate batter right on top of that.

Repeat until all the batter is used up. Don’t worry about sloppiness. You’re allowed to make a mess. Just try to get most of the batter where you want it. (Scroll down and watch the zebra cake grow.)





Pre-baking (about 40 minutes at 350°F / 180°C):

Baked:

If you want to see pictures of the decorated cake (and an inside shot, showing off the stripes), you’ll have to come back next weekend. ;)
[Edit: Now you can time-travel there. Use this link.]

MoFo Post #21: Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows

Yes, these are the (in)famous cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar that will turn frowning sceptics into drooling addicts. I can safely say that, since I’m speaking from experience. I used to think that peanut butter in chocolate cookies was something “very American”, but then I also used to think that they might be too sweet for my taste. (Ha!)
The picture featuring the tacky Mickey Mouse glass is actually from last year, when I had a kitchen with much better lighting. But here’s one of the cookies I just made. Have a bite:

MoFo Post #18: granola bars #2

This is my first attempt at homemade granola bars. Inspired by a MoFo post I can’t find any more (dear fellow MoFoer: if you’re reading this, please give me a shout so I can give you credit!), I mixed up some crushed cereal, quick-cooking oats, raisins, mixed nuts, chopped up dried apples, ground flax seed, shredded coconut etc. in a big bowl, added some agave syrup – and when that wasn’t enough to hold everything together, some maple syrup as well – and spread the whole sticky mess on a baking sheet and stuck it in the freezer. When it was holding together (or so I thought) but still pliable, I cut it into bars… or tried to. And this is where everything stopped going according to plan, and fell to pieces instead. Incredibly sticky pieces. Nevertheless, I didn’t want to give up. So I shaped as many “bars” as I could fit into a plastic container with a lid, wrapped in foil, then slammed the lid on them and stuck them back in the freezer. I declared the sad leftovers a kitchen fail and ate them mixed with whole wheat flakes over the next couple of days. More out of curiosity than anything else, I checked on those frozen bars today, and they seem to hold together! I’m still not convinced, so I’m reluctant to post anything close to an actual “recipe” here, but after a few more tries I might actually be getting somewhere.

MoFo Post #6: Pumpkin loves Speculoos!

Once upon a time, Kris gave me a packet of Mori-Nu silken tofu, which I put in my kitchen cupboard. When I next looked at it, I realized that its expiry date was approaching, and still I had no idea what to make with it. But fortunately it’s MoFo, so inspired by Jenny’s Pumpkin Pie recipe, I set out on a pumpkin pie adventure of my own. What I came up with is based on Jenny’s recipe, but I made a couple of changes on the way that led to the renaming of the whole thing. It’s now…

Jack (the Pumpkin King) Pie

Before you do anything else, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
Then start by making the
Speculoos cookie crumb crust (yeah, you heard right):
1 1/2 cups speculoos cookie crumbs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 T soy milk

Spread the cookie crumbs on the bottom of a (8-9”) pie dish or springform baking pan, sprinkle with the oil, mix and spread with your hands, add soy milk, mix and spread again, press firmly into dish, refrigerate.

Pie filling:
about 1 3/4 cups pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 TBS cornstarch
1 package (12 oz.) silken tofu
1/2 cup coconut milk

Blend all ingredients in a big bowl, pour onto prepared and chilled pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 180°C (360°F) and bake for another hour. Check after about 50 minutes, though, especially if you’re using a larger dish, since your pie might be quite golden brown on top by then. Refrigerate, best overnight – and enjoy!