Sophie and Mango have got into the pleasing habit of trying out vegan recipes together on a Wednesday evening. This is not exactly a recipe blog, but a catalogue of trial and error, showing our successful and less than successful cooking adventures.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Cupping muffcakes...

Cake yayayay cake yayay!

So, I've been baking. No surprise.

First, I tried a new number from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World - chocolate and vanilla marble cakes. These were particularly fun to make, blobbing two different flavours side-by-side in the cases (note the natty reusable silicone cases, thanks Mum!) and then swirling them about in various ways. Some techniques make better swirls than others. But I defy any recipe, vegan or not, to make better tasting marble cakes than these. They had a particularly pleasing dense-but-moist crumb, thanks to the addition of cornflour.

Yesterday I decided it was time to release from the freezer the bag of blackberries we picked last September. Long overdue, really! But what to do with them? Google provided many a mouthwatering option, but taking into account both my limited ingredients and desire to limit the sugar intake at least a little bit, I decided on this recipe for Vegan blackberry muffins.

Well, sort of. I read the recipe, made a note of it and then largely ignored it. On Sunday, to go with the marble cakes, I decided to throw the box out of the window and attempt some kind of mashed banana-based topping, in the absence of margarine. Turns out, banana is not so much like margarine and does not make for good icing. As a result of this, I had in the fridge a bowl of mashed banana coagulated with cocoa powder, icing sugar and soy milk powder.

Enter a new and more cunning plan. Being that the muffin recipe was banana based, I merely blended the chocolate/banana mess with a few tablespoons of oil, forewent the extra sugar in favour of a spoonful each of molasses and agave (also in the blender for ease of emulsification), and then poured the whole lot into the mixing bowl to add the flour and baking powder. Of course I'd also nearly run out of wholemeal spelt flour too, so I used the rest of the pack and topped it up with rye flour and some plain. Stir in the blackberries, plop them in cupcake cases and bake.

And they were perfect! Not too sweet, not too chocolatey, tender and moist with lumps of sweet, soft fruit throughout.

Here is my recipe as modified:

1 mashed banana
1/2 cup sugar (whatever kind you fancy)
2 tbsp soy milk powder
3 tbsp oil
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 tbsp black molasses
2/3 cup wholemeal spelt flour
2/3 cup rye flour
2/3 cup plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup water

Blend the banana, sugar, soy milk powder, oil and a drop of water until they emulsify. Add the other sweeteners and blend again. Decant into a mixing bowl and add the flours 2/3 cup at a time along with a tsp of baking powder. Mix in and then add a splosh of water to relax it again after each addition of flour. I pretty much judged by eye the amount of liquid needed. It should be your average cake/muffin consistency - gooey but spoonable. Stir in berries and bake for 25 mins at 200.