Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Spring is in the air...

It's 5am & I have not yet been to bed yet (well that's a lie I'm in bed now)... I LOVE my bakery gig and I'm so excited it's turned into 5 nights a week, but this recent trend of not getting to sleep until Ian wakes up for class (usually around 7am) is mighty frustrating. Sleeping in until 1 or 2pm (no matter that I'm still only getting 6-7 hours of sleep a night) makes me feel incredibly lazy!

Fitzgerald (our cat) LOVES it by the way. He can cuddle up with Dad and when he gets bored come over to Mom for a petting and stretching session. I wonder if my cat has always been an insomniac or if he's recently developed similar sleeping habits to me? Lylah (our dog) isn't bothered in the least by my new habits. She sleeps all night with Dad and all day with Mom-- pretty perfect plan in her opinion. They both sleep all day anyway (see picture, yes that's how they sleep I'm telling you they're BFF's it's so weird) so I guess my habits don't effect them much.

While browsing the aisles of a craft store today I got the (in my opinion) genius idea to try regular 'ole rubber stamps on fondant-- it works! I made some medallions to top cupcakes with-- all the beauty of fondant decoration but without the need to eat it. These little guys just fancy a cupcake up and can (but don't have to be) eaten.

I made 5 pounds of fondant when I made my batch last time-- which was silly of me of course but I wasn't sure if it would turn out right, if I'd have to cover the cake 1 million times (hey I had to do it twice since my cat sat on the first one)-- so I have LOTS left over. I decided to test out my stamp hypothesis and make a new cupcake recipe at the same time-- both were stunning successes in my humble opinion.
You may (or may not) recall a post I had here before I was a vegan about Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake. While making Ian a sandwhich today I wondered if the recipe would work with Veganaise. I was worried that the eggs in the Mayo were an important part to the recipe-- but I'm glad I finally decided to try out the substitution... it worked, and worked WELL. When I went back to the original post I noticed I didn't list sugar-- that didn't seem right, and it wasn't so here is the new, improved and animal friendly recipe:

Chocolate No-Mayo Cupcakes
2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Veganaise
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla **Next time I make these, because there will be a next time, I will use a Tablespoon of vanilla**

Preheat Oven to 350. Sift the dry ingredients together. "Cream" The rest together, combine wet with dry. Bake for 25 minutes. Yup. It's that easy. These tend to rise a bit more then I expected so don't over fill your cupcake liners (as I tend to do because vegan cupcakes don't seem to rise as much)!

These cupcakes are moist and light but aren't super rich or flavorful. I will add more vanilla next go around and maybe some espresso powder or carmel extract!

I dolloped them with a generous heap of V.B.C. (Vegan Butter Cream) and my little fondant toppers. I think they're super cute for spring!For the toppers I rolled out some green fondant (colored with green gel food coloring) about 1/4 inch thick. I pressed in the rubber stamp with firm, even pressure. I used the lid of a spice jar to cut out the circles and then lightly dusted some edible pearl powder with a paint brush.

And just for kicks, because I'm incredibly bored:

1. Favorite non-dairy milk? EdenSoy "Spy" Milk (thanks to Melisser The Urban Housewife) though we always have at least Soy, Hemp & Hazelnut milk in the fridge at any given time.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?

this week?
vegan pizza purses from VeganYumYum
mini green bean casseroles (I got the BEST little mini dishes)
bean ball subs

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
thai chili oil

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure? i followed a recipie EXACTLY from VWAV but it was WAY too salty-- i had to throw it away ):

5. Favorite pickled item? jalapenos or dill pickles

6. How do you organize your recipes? In a recipie box

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
Trash & Compost at work

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods...what would they be (don't worry about how you'll cook them)?

mashed potatoes (with LOTS of earth balance and dill)
italian marinated tofu
ginger marinated portabello caps

OH NO I FORGOT DESSERT! THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE I CAN'T DO IT (thankfully I don't do island/beach/deserted things so I will never be in this cake-less situation)

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
my grandma's "church windows" (dark chocolate log peppered with mini colored marshmallows)

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
Coffee Coconut Bliss, incredible

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
my cast iron skillet

12. Spice/herb you would die without? dill

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
i have my stepmom's first copy of The Joy of Cooking-- not exactly vegan friendly but a great jumping off point.

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly? strawberry

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
buffalo style tofu

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh? tofu

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)? i'm a big brunch person

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator? haha vegan fondant decorations (they're drying in a paper bag) and posters we need to frame (its the only place in our house our animals cant get to!)
19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
I honestly do not have three things in my freezer-- we're big "fresh" heads here, but I do have local, organic frozen mixed berries & strawberries for making smoothies.

20. What's on your grocery list?
We actually went today so nothing (for once). Today the long list included soy milk, roasted red peppers and hearts of palm

21. Favorite grocery store? First Alternative Co-Op

22. Name a recipe you'd love to veganize, but haven't yet.
Creme Brulee. My all time favorite desert

23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa's because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?

Vegan Yum Yum
How To Eat A Cupcake
The Urban Housewife

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate? (premade?) I know this is so bad to admit but Oreos : /

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
a ten dollar bottle of vanilla extract o_o


Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Oh, I didn't know you were working at a bakery! cool cool.
The cupcakes look awesome, I love the fondant medallions. Are they from the fondant in the last recipe?
The cake sounds good! I work with my own cake recipes too, not the wacky cake or cupcakes from VCTOW everyone seems to use.

Holly said...

I love the stamps, what a great idea!

Chef Erik said...

Cupcakes look yummy. I wish I had 2 dozen.

trina said...

Hey! The cupcakes are gorgeous and I love the idea of the vegan mayonaise cake. I don't see the chocolate in your recipe, but I've had a couple cocktails, so I may not be the most thorough reader at the moment. I have my great aunt's old joy of cooking. I love it.

shannie cakes said...

melisser: yup i used the same fondant from my first batch. i have like 3 pounds left, i may have been a bit over zealous in making my first batch!

holly: thankie! your wonderful husband sent some of your songs my way-- LOVELY

erik: my husband ate them so quick i don't think 2 dozen last as long as you'd think!

trina: HAHA I totally forgot the cocoa- fixed it now, thanks for the close read!

Sugar Beat Sweets said...

2am isn't weird, I'm awake too! hahaha. (This is Melisser.)

keebot said...

Hey there lady. I don't know how to make that deokk. It's hard. Haha. I do know how to buy it! If you're in any major city, stop by a korean grocery store and they should have it or can order it for you. (: English translation is "Sweet rice cake filled with honey"

(: Hope this helps! If I find a recipe that makes sense, I'll send it over!