Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Cupcakes

Before the cupcakes, the Share our Strength Food Blogger Bake Sale was yesterday and Stefani reports it went well.  I hope they sold absolutely every last morsel.  I hope next time I can actually be there in person.

Okay, now back to cupcakes.  Yesterday was the first opportunity I've had to bake since I did the wedding cake in April.  It's been almost a month and I was getting a little antsy.  Since it was a Saturday, I knew I would be home alone with cupcakes until Monday; therefore I decided to make cupcakes that wouldn't do quite so much damage if I ate them.  All.  So here's the (totally subjective) low down on the cupcakes:

The Good:
  1. With just 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, they have very little added sugar.
  2. There's no added fat - absolutely none.
  3. With raisins, carrots and whole wheat pastry flour, they're high in fiber.
  4. There are no eggs or dairy so they're vegan.
The Bad:
  1. they have very little added sugar
  2. there's no added fat
  3. they're high in fiber
  4. they're vegan
The Ugly:

Before.  Need I say (show) more?

Seriously, do not spend a lot of time analyzing the appearance of this batter or you may decide to just throw them out completely.  They do look slightly better after baking.


This is a recipe I've been playing around with for awhile now.  I think this is the fourth time I've made some sort of incarnation of it.  My goal is to keep thefrom being nutritionally evil while still keeping them tasting like they're evil.  I've not reached that goal yet.

For this go around I made half the recipe for 10 cupcakes.  And I substituted most of the water with some flat Young's Double Chocolate Stout


1¼ cups (½ + ¾)
10 fl oz (4 + 6)
boiling water, divided
4 oz
¾ cup
2 ½ oz
natural cocoa powder
2 cups
9 oz
whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbs

baking soda
½ tsp

¾ cup
6 oz
finely grated carrot
1 cup
8 fl oz
water, cool room temp
1 Tbs

¼ cup
2 oz
brown sugar
1 ½ tsp



Put the raisins in a small bowl with a lid and cover with ½ cup boiling water.  Cover and set aside to steep for 20 minutes.  In a large bowl, blend together the cocoa and ¾ cup boiling water.  Stir until no lumps remain.  Set cocoa aside to cool.  Over a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. 
Heat oven to 350°F.  Line muffin tins with foil cupcake liners. 

Transfer raisins and water a food processor and puree.  Add carrots and cool water to the raisins and puree until smooth.  Dissolve the cornstarch in the apple juice. 

Stir the raisin and carrot puree, dissolved cornstarch, sugar and vanilla into the cocoa mixture.  Before proceeding, this mixture should be at room temperature.
Quickly whisk the dry ingredients into the cocoa mixture.  Do not stir longer than needed, but do thoroughly mix the two.  Use an ice cream scoop to portion batter into the cups.  Bake for 15 – 17 minutes.  Remove to a wire rack and cool completely. 
Makes about 20 cupcakes.

There would be more cupcake to eat if I had used foil liners.
This stuff really sticks to the paper.
As you can see, I didn't use foil liners for this batch.  It makes a difference.  There's a lot of cupcake left on that paper.  I've not iced these, but if I do, I'll make a glaze of a bit of Young's and some powdered sugar.

What will I do differently the next time? 

For sweetness, maybe replace some of the water with unsweetened apple juice and swap the brown sugar for some agave nectar.

For texture, use a blend of whole wheat pastry flour and unbleached all-purpose flour and maybe add a tablespoon or two of olive oil or coconut oil. 

Or maybe next time I'll just make lots of sugar, full fat, non-vegan cupcakes.

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