Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Boston Cream Cupcakes

At a time like this, ladies and gents, a girl needs cupcakes. Chocolate and vanilla and cream filling...OH MY!!!
It's been a crazy summer. Not awesome, not exciting, just crazy. Things are very different and everything is upside down, but I'm still baking and I'm still vegan, so here we are!

These cupcakes are fancy! They take a bit more work than regular cook-and-frost cupcakes, but they're worth it. I promise. They're in three parts: the cupcake, the filling, and the ganache. It's work, but you'll love them!

Boston Cream Cupcakes
Prep time: 20-30 minutes, plus cooling time
Cook time: 20 minutes

Golden Vanilla Cupcake

1 cup plain soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups unbleached flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350° F and line muffin pan with cupcake liners.

2. Whisk the soy milk and vinegar in a measuring cup and set aside a few minutes to get good and curdled.

3. Beat together the soy milk mixture, oil, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Sift in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until no large lumps remain.

4. Fill cupcake liners two-thirds of the way (I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to make sure they're all even) and bake for 20 to 22 minutes till done. Transfer to a cooling rack.

(Just so you guys know what Agar Agar looks like...here's a picture of the kind I use. It's in the Asian section and is a must for any vegan kitchen!

Vanilla Vegan Pastry Creme

1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 tsp agar powder or 1 1/2 tsp agar flakes
4 tsp arrowroot
6 oz soft silken tofu (half of a Mori-Nu package)
1/3 cup superfine or castor sugar (I just blended regular sugar until it was the right consistency)
Pinch salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Pour 1/3 cup soy milk into a small saucepan; keep the remaining soy milk in the measuring cup. Sprinkle agar powder over the soy milk in the saucepan and cook mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and continue to cook for about 4 minutes. The agar will be dissolved when the soy milk appears smooth, and a spoon dipped into the mixture does not have any undissolved agar flakes or powder flecks sticking to the spoon.

2. Whisk the powdered arrowroot into the remaining soy milk in the measuring cup. Pour the arrowroot mixture into the agar mixture in a steady stream, stirring the whole time. The mixture will cook and get very thick in 1 to 2 minutes, and when done it will resemble a very thick pudding. Remove from heat and set aside. Place it in the refrigerator and allow it to set for at least an hour.

3. Crumble tofu into a blender, add the sugar, salt, and cooked arrowroot mixture. Blend till creamy. Add vanilla extract and blend again. Scrape mixture into a container, cover, and put in refrigerator to chill and firm up, at least an hour.

Rich Chocolate Ganache Topping

1/4 cup soy milk
4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp pure maple syrup

1. Bring the soy milk to a gentle boil in a small sauce pan. Immediately remove from heat and add the chocolate and maple syrup. Use a rubber spatula to mix the chocolate until it is fully melted and smooth. Set aside at room temperature till ready to use.


1. Make a hole in the center of each cupcake by poking with your CLEAN finger (just sayin'.). Very gently press the sides and bottom of the hole to make it a little larger. You'll want the space to be able to fill in with lots of custard.

2. Fit a pastry bag with a large round or star-tipped nozzle, then fill bag with firmed pastry creme. Fill only halfway to make handling the bag easier.

3. Fill each cupcake with pastry creme, trying to get as much filling as possible into the cupcakes. Cupcakes should feel noticeably heavier. Remove any excess creme on top by wiping with a knife or finger. Spread tops of cupcakes with ganache. Chill until ready to serve.

There you have it! A little bit of Boston, no matter where you are.

Is there anything you want to see used in a recipe? Some crazy ingredient or a dish that you really want to try vegan?

PS: Stay tuned for a long-overdue giveaway!!!