I always feel bad for people with dietary restrictions. It must be the bleeding heart vegetarian in me. If you have allergies, finding out your favourite food has crab/peanuts/eggs/wheat in it can be devastating. When I found out that shrimp paste (my gastric arch-enemy) appears in the majority of Thai cuisine, I grieved for months. I'm still sitting in the first stage of denial: I'm not really allergic to shellfish. I'm sure this pad thai will go down just fine. A couple minutes later bending over the toilet tells me otherwise. Denial sucks.
Vegans and vegetarians have it worse. When you ask for a corn on the cob without butter or for a soup without beef broth, sometimes you get a funny look. Sometimes you get a snide remark. It depends where you live and where you're eating (try getting a vegan salad in a Calgary steak house). Luckily, the Pacific Northwest is pretty friendly to the meatless. There are veggie-friendly shops and restaurants popping up all over. Bakeries are also picking up the slack. Gluten-free/lactose-free/vegan/vegetarian/organic cakes and cookies are the new hot item around the city. It really gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
Everyone - no matter if you're vegetarian or celiac - should be able to eat a cupcake. For this month's Cupcake Hero, we decided to send out some good karma and make a delicious vegan treat that would make everyone's mouth water. Thus, the Vegan RasMataz was born. These raspberry-mocha cupcakes please everyone. Even the people who think they can't live without butter and eggs.
The Vegan RasMataz
Raspberry-Mocha Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting
Makes about 16 cupcakes
1 cups whole wheat flour
2 cup AP flour
3/4 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp espresso powder
1/3 cup applesauce
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar dissolved in 1/4 cup water
3/4 cup brewed espresso, cooled
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp raspberry puree (make sure you strain out the seeds!)
1) Preheat your oven to 350F.
2) In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and espresso powder.
3) In a smaller bowl or glass measuring cup, combine your applesauce, vanilla, vinegar/water, espresso, and puree. Slowly pour into your dry ingredients, stirring to combine. Note: If your batter seems a bit dry, don't be afraid to add a bit more applesauce and raspberry puree.
4) Spoon into cupcake liners and bake for 15 minutes, or until your tester comes out clean. Set aside to cool before frosting.
Vegan Raspberry Frosting
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening (Crisco All-Vegetable)
1/2 cup vegan margarine (Earth Balance)
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain soy milk
2 cups of fresh raspberries
beet root powder (optional, for colour)
Dark chocolate covered espresso beans (optional - we recommend Pacari. They are organic and vegan)
1) Using a mixer, combine the shortening and margarine together until fluffy. Add the extract. Add the sugar and milk, alternating between the two, mixing on high for about five minutes. When the frosting looks stable, add the raspberries slowly. Add colouring if you wish.
2) Pipe on cooled cupcakes, and decorate with a chocolate covered espresso bean. Enjoy right away, or place in the fridge for later.
Remember to vote for your favourite in the Raspberry Edition of Cupcake Hero. Voting starts on the 17th and ends on the 22nd.