15 February 2011

Recipe Testing: Working the Cupcake Magic

A year after my first taste of cookbook recipe testing, I'm thrilled to be part of a new vegan cookbook project, and an especially sweet one at that; this time around, I'm testing recipes for the forthcoming Sweet and Simple Vegan Desserts, a cookbook written by Christina-Marie "Sexy Vegan Mama" Wright and William Maltese. The book is set to release sometime in 2011, so keep your eyes peeled for what looks to be yet another gem of a vegan cookbook.

To kick off the fun, I decided to make Sexy Vegan Mama's incredibly adorable Derby Gurlz Double Mocha Mini Cupcakes with Coconut Almond Cream Cheese Frosting. If the name alone doesn't make you smile, one look at these wee chocolate treats will. With just a bite, you will surely be hooked, as were my tasters--some cupcake non-likers, others cupcake devotees, many chocolate lovers, and all (save for yours truly) omnivores. These minis have received nothing but rave reviews and even a few requests for repeat batches!
As mentioned, the recipe follows in straightforward fashion and whips up very quickly. Although not instructed to do so, I sifted the cocoa powder into the dry ingredients to ensure more lump-free distribution of the cocoa. The rest of the recipe was completed as written, with beautiful results.
Making the frosting was nearly as easy making the cakes themselves, with likewise delectable flavor and sweetness. I chose the handheld mixer option, which involves only slightly more effort than using a stand mixer. Only four of six cups of powdered sugar were used to make the frosting appropriately stiff for piping through a makeshift icing bag (i.e., a plastic zip-top bag with a hole cut in the corner and a piping tip slipped in), yielding more than enough frosting to generously top four dozen mini cupcakes. A dusting of cocoa powder and single chocolate chip provided the final decorative touches to each cake, modeled after the version depicted with the recipe.

The mini cupcakes were a pleasure for all who tasted them. Despite lacking the particular coffee flavor I expected from the "mocha" in the recipe title, the cupcakes boasted a deep chocolate richness that often results from adding coffee to chocolate baked goods. Studs of chocolate nestled within the cupcake domes added a welcome textural element to the otherwise plain (although by no means dull) cake. The sweet almond frosting was a delightful complement to the chocolaty intensity of the cake itself. In their entirety, the mini cupcakes were simply divine and dangerously addictive. I was particularly grateful for their diminutive size, which theoretically aids portion control.
Visit Sexy Vegan Mama for additional sweet treats and continue to check back here for more test recipe recaps!

9 comments:

  1. These sound really wonderful! Glad to hear you enjoy the testing!

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  2. The wacky cake recipe is such a fun one to use — so easy and it never fails me. Using coffee is an interesting variation, and like you, I'd expect a coffee flavor. Your cupcakes look so pretty — I never get beyond the most basic decorations but I admire that skill in others.

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  3. I want a mini cupcake pan so badly! I always feel like I need to eat two cupcakes, no matter the size. It's really weird I justify it because it's "Not real cake."

    These look fantastic, I'll definitely be looking out for that book :)

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  4. The mini cupcakes are too cute! They look delicious! :-)

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  5. Coconut almond cream cheese frosting? Holy moly! Sounds unbelievably good.

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  6. What an amazing opportunity! These look delicious and just too cute :D

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  7. The wacky cake recipe is such a fun one to use — so easy and it never fails me. Using coffee is an interesting variation, and like you, I'd expect a coffee flavor. Your cupcakes look so pretty — I never get beyond the most basic decorations but I admire that skill in others.

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Thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. :)