A few weeks ago I went to a fantastic vegan potluck held by the equally fantastic Aoife Mc aka the food blogger behind I Can Has Cook? who is an all-round rockin chick and a fab cook to boot. She had the super idea of holding a vegan potluck at herself and her lovely fella (and fellow super-blogger) Niall's house. They invited myself and some of our veggie friends around and we all brought vegan food with us.
It was, in a word, awesome. I must get some of the recipes for the meals people brought, because they were all flippin' gorgeous! We had polenta, tofu salad, baked aubergines with couscous and sweet tomato sauce, millet salads, spicy pasta salad, veg curry,sweet potato falafels (I brought those) and cupcakes baked by moi - more to come on those cupcakes below.
Here are some pics of the night - 'scuse the baaaad lighting! It's my birthday at the end of the month so I'm hoping to get some funds together for a proper camera...rejoice!
I decided to make some cupcakes, and in my never-ending quest to make delicious vegan cupcakes, I tried my hand at Snowball cupcakes. Snowballs are junk-food that you can buy in shops here and are basically a marshmallow filling covered in chocolate and dessicated coconut.
Images taken from http://motivationbychocolate.blogspot.com
I didn't try to make a marshmallow filling, but instead decided to try and make a coconut and chocolate cupcake. I used the basic chocolate cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule and then did my own thing with it. And miraculously, it turned out really nice!
These cupcakes taste even better the next day, and can be easily de-glutened by using a gluten-free flour mix or your favourite mix of gluten-free flours. See below for more details.
Here's the recipe - please let me know how you get on with it. I'd love to get some feedback! If you don't have apple cider vinegar to hand, I'm sure you can leave it out, but I've never tried these without it. I doubt it would have a huge influence on the overall taste. If you have coconut essence, you could use that instead of half a teaspoon of vanilla essence.
**vegan**can be made gluten-free**
20mins cooking time (approx)
Makes around 16 cupcakes
1 cup / 250ml chocolate soy milk (the small Provamel cartons are this size!)
1tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup / 160g granulated sugar
1/3 cup / 5 tblsp coconut milk
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup/ 160g plain flour
1/3 cup / 55g cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
*Pre-heat your oven to 180degrees, and fill your cupcake tray with liners.
*Pour your chocolate soy milk into a large bowl - you can use ordinary soy milk, but I think the chocolate milk is a must! Add your teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, whisk lightly and leave for about 10 minutes.
*In a separate mixing bowl, sift in your flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Be sure to sift your flour and cocoa powder as I've found the cocoa powder in particular can be very lumpy. Mix together gently until it's all combined.
*Go back to your bowl of soy milk - you'll noticed it has started curdling slightly. This is a good thing - it's precisely what you want to happen, as it makes it similar to buttermilk. If you use rice milk, you'll notice less curdling. This is OK.
*Pour in your sugar, coconut milk, and vanilla essence. Beat until foamy. I use an electric whisk for this but I'm sure a normal whisk would be fine.
*Pour in half of your dry mixture, mix, then pour in the second half. Beat until no large lumps remain. Don't overmix.
*Get a small handful of dessicated coconut and pour into the batter, then lightly stir until it's all mixed into the batter.
*Spoon your mixture into your cupcake liners - fill about halfway to two-thirds of the way. (If you're anything like me, this'll get messy!)
*Bake for 20 minutes, you'll know they're done when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.
To make gluten-free:
*I made a gluten-free version of these by using Dove's Farm gluten-free flour mix. I followed the same instructions, used 1 cup / 160g flour and about 220ml chocolate soy milk. I baked for around 20 - 23 minutes, and filled the liners 3/4 of the way. If you're a coeliac and have any tips on gluten-free baking, I'd love to hear them!
1 cup / 160g icing sugar
2 tblsp coconut milk
2 tblsp dairy-free butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
200g dessicated coconut
*Sift your icing sugar into a large bowl
*Add the butter, vanilla essence and coconut milk,
*It will be quite liquid, but if you want a thicker icing (especially if you're not using the dessicated coconut) just add more icing sugar by the tablespoon.
*Fill a (chipped) bowl with the dessicated coconut - ensure it's about 1inch deep.
*Spread the icing on the cupcake.
*Then turn the cupcake upside-down and gently dip into the dessicated coconut. Turn to ensure all of the sides are covered wth coconut.
*Your cupcake should look like this:
*Et voila - your snowball cupcakes are done!