Thursday, September 02, 2010

Vegan Chocolate Orange Ginger Cupcakes

Once we had settled in to our rental apartment in San Antonio, it wasn’t long before I had a craving for a chocolate dessert. I started by making so-called triple-threat dark chocolate cookies, though I have to admit I used margarine instead of butter, parchment paper instead of wax paper, and I only had a little baking sheet. The presentation of the cookies therefore left a little to be desired. They tasted good, but not marginally better than any other triple-chocolate cookie I’ve tried, so I won’t be keeping that recipe.

I did find a great keeper, though: these chocolate orange ginger cupcakes that happen to be vegan. They were easy to make in a single bowl and were delicious even without frosting (which I couldn’t make anyway without my electric mixer). I used a bit of ground ginger instead of grated fresh ginger, but my orange zest was wetter than it would have been if I had used my regular zester, so I think the consistency overall was the same and the ginger taste was more subtle. And they plumped up beautifully! I preferred these cupcakes when they were still warm from the oven and the top was crispy, but they did stay moist for several days. I’m making them again for a barbecue this weekend, and I’ll definitely be making them after that too. This recipe makes 24 cupcakes, so you could scale it back or freeze some if you want.

3 cups all purpose flour (organic unbleached if you have it)
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups natural cane sugar (I used vegan cane sugar)
1 2/3 cups water (or cold freshly brewed coffee)
1 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger (or a few tsp ground ginger)
4 Tbsp zested orange peel (from 3 or 4 oranges)
1 Tbsp orange juice
4 Tbsp cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 375 °F. Line 2 muffins tins with 24 paper liners.

Mix all dry ingredients and whisk to combine.

Add water, oil, vanilla, orange juice, ginger and orange peel. Stir to combine.

Add vinegar and stir quickly to combine.

Things will be slightly foamy and lighter in color. Once the mix turns slightly darker again, you know you've incorporated all the vinegar and you're set to pour it into muffin tins (or even two cake pans).

Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to sit in pan for 5 minutes, remove and place on wire rack until completely cool.

Frost as you wish.

No comments: