Friday, September 10, 2010

S'Mores Cupcakes

A few days early yet, but in a way, this is my blog's first birthday!  After all, today's my friend Amanda's birthday, and it was the cupcakes I made for Amanda's birthday last September that started the whole blog.

Although I feel like my blogging style is still evolving, I've already learned a lot about vegan baking and about new foods and flavors from all over the world.  Looking back at my early posts, I realize I've also figured out a lot about making photos taken with my apparently prehistoric 2005 point-and-shoot digital camera look significantly sexier.  Thinking back also over how much intense personal and academic stuff (growth?) took place since those first cupcakes, I'm rather amazed that it's only been a year.

But onto the cupcakes.  Given several options, Amanda requested these S'Mores cupcakes that I've had on my desktop for ages, and I was only too happy to oblige!  I followed author Kelly's recipe and method, except that I used the chocolate cupcake recipe I'd relied on last year (originally from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, I believe), only adding almond extract like Kelly does.  Why mess with perfection?

For the graham cracker crust, I used the home-made graham crackers from earlier this week, because they were way less sweet than the cinnamon-sugar ones I bought from Trader Joe's and thus probably closer to the ones imagined in the recipe.  Obviously, this isn't necessary.

I processed the graham crackers, mixed the crumbs with sugar and melted earth balance, and pressed them into the cupcake papers.  Then came the cake itself.

For this recipe, you mix soymilk and vinegar and let it sit until it gets really, really thick.  The batter is like chocolate pudding, and it turns out to be a ridiculously moist cake.

Then for frosting!  Now that I know that vegan shortening is real!, I was eager to try another vanilla frosting recipe in hopes that it might be a bit stiffer than the one I used last year that only called for vegan butter.  I still don't have an electric mixer--making frosting is really the only time I think about getting one--and I rather like the unpluggedness, at least in concept.

So, this frosting was actually too stiff.  Check it out: a spoon stuck in it stands straight up.  Only when the frosting had been out at room temp for awhile could I make it stay spread out on the cupcake!

So then, eventually, I had frosted cupcakes.

After this, it was easy.  Make some ganache-in-a-bag....

...cut off the corner, do some decorating, sprinkle some graham crumbs, and done!

I multiplied this recipe by 1.5, and it actually made two dozen cupcakes, so this recipe makes several more than your normal dozen.

S'Mores Cupcakes
(adapted from Vegan Thyme)


Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs made from whole graham crackers
4 TB melted vegan butter
1/4 c sugar

Chocolate Cake
(from last year)
1 c soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 to 5/8 c turbinado sugar
1/3 c corn oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 c flour
1/3 c cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt 

Vanilla Icing
4 TB vegan butter
4 TB vegan shortening
2+ c powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Chocolate Ganache
1/3 c chocolate chips
2 TB vegan butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350*.  Line cupcake pan with papers.
2. Combine ingredients for graham cracker crust.  Put 1-2 TB crust in each normal-sized cupcake.  Use your fingers to press the crumbs down.
3. In a pyrex, combine soymilk and vinegar and set aside for 10 minutes.
4. In one large mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
5. In another mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, vanilla, and almond extract.  Then add curdled soymilk-vinegar mixture.  Then add flour mixture to the wet mixture.  Don't overmix.
6. Using a 1/4-c scoop, pour batter on top of graham crust in cupcake tins.  Fill to approximately 2/3 full.
7. Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes.  Then, let them cool for 10 minutes before removing from tin.
8. When cupcakes are completely cool, you can frost them.  For frosting, combine frosting ingredients, adding more powdered sugar as necessary. 
9. Frost cupcakes.
10. To make ganache, heat ganache ingredients in a double-boiler setup (or in a microwave?).  When completely melted and combined, remove from heat.  When cool, spoon the mixture into a plastic bag, then cut off the tip and "pipe" chocolate onto cupcakes.  Finally, sprinkle graham crackers on top.  Makes about 14-16 cupcakes.

Ok.  One final photo!


Starskee said...

Dang -- those look really good. This post may drive me to buy a cupcake pan...

Julia said...

Thanks! I think it's a worthwhile purchase; everything's more fun in little individual object-servings. Which remind me, I finally tried that vodka pie crust this week (on little discrete objects), and it was very good.

x t i n a said...

Wow, you've really outdone yourself this time. Seriously, I want one.

Gauri Radha गौरी राधा said...

These cupcakes look SPECTACULAR