Saturday, December 1, 2007

Vegan Jasmine Tea Cupcake

I have eaten Jasmine flavored ice cream long time ago, and if I remember correctly the texture was between ice cream and sorbet. It was extremely delicious. I like jasmine tea served with DimSum, but at home when I make some for myself, I always add some a bit of vanilla added soy milk.

The cake turned out ok, but I'm not too crazy about it. I was expecting more intense Jasmine flavor.
The cake sticks to the paper and does not come out easily. Maybe the tea should be less than half a cup, it seems that it lacks in fat. Maybe more oil to add...The recipe needs a serious improvements!

Basic vanilla cake recipe, replacing only the liquid>3/4 cup strongly brewed tea + 1 Tbsp vinegar + milk makes 1 cup
Also added was 1 tsp Orange Blossom water, but the flavor seemed somewhat disappeared...

1 Tbsp strongly brewed tea
1 Tbsp flour
5 Tbsp Almond milk (or other milk)
3 Tbsp Vegetarian Shortening
5 Tbsp Powdered sugar
2 tsp crushed Jasmine tea

Cook the first three ingredient over at low heat, constantly mixing. Eventually it becomes like custard cream. Remove from heat and wait to cool down a bit. Add the rest and with an electric mixer, beat until it is hard and creamy.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Vegan White Sesame and Rosewater Strawberry Cupcake with Strawberry Glaze

I love strawberry & rosewater combo. This time with some white sesame seeds to add some rich flavor, but to be honest I'm not sure if it really fits. I think this could go without it. Dried strawberries are added to the dough.

The glaze is made by:
1Tbsp margarine
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp rosewater
2 Tbsp of strawberry syrup (my friend gave me a jar of strawberry jam which was very watery, but delicious)

The pink glaze is girly, and tastes good...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Vegan Black Sesame Cupcake with Vanilla Icing topped with White Chocolate

Very long title...

I made this when I had some friends over for dinner. A day earlier, I stopped for a church bazzar in my neighborhood. This two layered plate thing (thought it was perfect for English afternoon tea themed party) for $2! Wow, cheap. I brought it home and my boyfriend told me this was for a religious that so? in anyhow, the cakes looked very cute.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Vegan Lemon Cupcake with Lemon Tarragon Icing

Tarragon?! It does go well with lemon! Delicious.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Vegan Gluten-Free Chinese Five Spice Cupcake with Crystal Ginger Frosting

This is my first attempt baking gluten-free cupcakes. The dough turned out to be a little thick, but the cake came out of the oven beautifully. The only thing I'm concerned; the unsmooth top! I wonder, should the liquid need to be more, or is it because of the buckwheat flour again? I have baked gluten-free cakes (without buckwheat flour) before and the dough was usually more watery. I will have to readjust this for the future, but anyway, the cake is fluffy and moist, with a little chewy feeling. It is not very sweet and so the sugar could be 1/2 cup or more, instead of 1/3 cup.

*The sponge became much harder the next day. So, this is something to be adjusted for the next time, I don't know how yet...

Cupcake (makes 12):
3/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
2 Tbsp Arrowroot flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
1/3 cup coco
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp Chinese Five Spice
1/3 cup sugar
100 ml olive oil (a little less than 1/2 cup)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1Tbsp vinegar + rice milk = 1 1/4 cup

preheat the oven at 350 degree.
Place papers.
1. Mix vinegar and milk, leave it aside.
2. Measure all the dry ingredients, mix well, leave it aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil, and vanilla. Beat well with an electric mixer.
4. Slowly introduce the milk mixture into "3". This will be very watery, but keep beating.
5. Add the flour mixture at once, beat well. There is no gluten so no worry for over-beating. The batter will be smooth.
6. Divide the batter into 12, filling about 2/3 each cup. Bake for about 20 minutes.
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp shortening-room temperature
2 Tbsp margarine-room temperature
roughly 6 crystal ginger (leave 2 for the topping-each cut in 6)
a few drops vanilla essence
1 to 2 Tbsp milk

1. Mix shortening and margarine with a fork, add the powdered sugar.
2. Add vanilla. Mix well while introducing a little bit of milk at a time.
3. When it reaches at a nice creamy texture, mix in the chopped crystal ginger.
4. Decorate the cakes when cooled.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Vegan Banana Cupcake with Chocolate Almond Butter Glaze

I was expecting this cake to be more dense and heavy but it turned out to be very very light. I even feel it is rather dry a little.
The buckwheat might have contributed greatly for this light texture. I hardly smell any cardamon, so the next time I will add more of it, or cinnamon could be a good replacement. The batter was very thick, compared to my other ones.

Cupcakes: (makes 12, 350 degree for 18 to 20 minutes)
1 cup flour
2/3 cup buckwheat flour (2 Tbsp tapioca flour)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cardamon

1/3 sugar
1/3 olive oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp almond essence

1 1/2 banana mashed + rice milk + 1 Tbsp vinegar = 1 1/4 cup
1/4 cup dried coconut

Chocolate Glaze:
40 g chocolate
1 Tbsp almond butter
2 tsp shortening
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
a few drops of Vanilla and almond essence

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Vegan Orange Cranberry Cupcake with Rum Glaze

Cranberry and Orange combo is my favorite.
This cupcake is very fluffy and moist.
It tastes even better a day later as the dried cranberries becomes more moist.

Cupcakes:(makes 12, 350 degree for 18 to 20 minutes)
1/3 cup almond four
1 1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup olive oil

1 Tbsp vinegar + rice milk = 1 1/4 cup

Grated orange rind (1 orange)
1/4 cup dried cranberry

The rum glaze...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Vegan Strawberry Basil Cupcake

I followed the Basic vanilla vegan cupcake recipe, substituting 1/3 cup with cornmeal, and about half a cup of sliced strawberries & 1 tsp dried basil were added.

Very moist and fluffy. No frosting this time...

Monday, September 3, 2007

Vegan Black Sesame Cupcake with Fake Cheese Frosting with Green Tea

I love black sesame. I'm trying to find what could go well with it, though. I looked some Japanese dessert sites, and there were some with green tea, hmm, maybe they are a good match. There are other recipes with chocolate. That could be good too. I think I just have to do some experiments.

ingredients for the cupcake (makes 12):

1/3 cup black sesame (roughly ground) + flour makes 1 and 2/3 cup
1 tsp Baking Soda and Baking Powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Vinegar + Rice milk makes 1 and 1/4 cup
100 ml oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

preheat the oven at 350 degree.
Place papers.
1. Mix vinegar and milk, leave it aside.
2. Measure all the dry ingredients, mix well, leave it aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil, vanilla, beat well with an electric mixer.
4. Slowly introduce the milk mixture into "3". This will be very watery, but keep beating.
5. Add the flour mixture at once, beat quickly for about 10 seconds, scrape off the side once and then beat for another 5 seconds. The batter will be smooth.
6. Divide the batter into 12, filling about 2/3 each cup. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes.

The cake turned out to be amazingly soft and fluffy, full of sesame flavor. I like it as it is, this doesn't really need any frosting, in my opinion. But to make it a little fancy, a thin layer of dark or white chocolate might be good...
The fake cheese frosting turned out to be somewhat acceptable, but not sure if I like it or not. Definitely the choice of tofu was wrong; I used the hard tofu because that was all I had. The result was too rough. And maybe the lemon should be reduced, or not used at all. I list what I did with it anyway for my own purpose, but this really needs more experiments, so please don't follow the recipe yet...

ingredients for the vegan cheese icing with green tea:
1/4 cup hard tofu
1/2 cup powder sugar
1/4 lard
1 to 2 Tbsp lemon juice (or just plain soy milk might be better)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp green tea/sencha (+ 1/2 tsp matcha)

Blend tofu with some lemon using a hand blender. Then in a separate bowl, with a fork, mix lard and sugar, slowy adding the tofu mixture until the right consistency.

Vegan Vanilla Cupcake for BD

This was almost a month ago, I went to my friend's BD party.
One cupcake with a stick of candle, that was a small gift for him. We never got to fire up the candle, sing the BD song nor made him blow it. I missed the right moment to do any of it, as I knew nobody there except the BD boy and two of my friends. Oh well...

For the first time I got to use the piping tube kit thing I just got recently. It is fun. I used to use it when I was small but it was such a long time ago.

The icing is a standard vanilla icing:

1/4 cup margarine (room temperature)
1/4 cup vegetarian lard (room temperature)
1 cup powder sugar
some vanilla
(and I like some almond essence and a bit of rum added)
and some soy milk

Just mix everything above with a fork and gradually add the milk until the right consistency.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Piping Tube

After baking vegan cupcakes for more than half a year, I decided that I wanted good looking cupcakes.
I got tired of using the ziplock bags, or just a plain bumpy looking icing top.

So I went in to a store on St-Laurent, near Prince-Arthur. They look very old and junky but they sell a lot of cooking utilities.
Just behind the cashier I found what I wanted. There were individual piping bags (fabric) that were about $6, rings for $1 to 2, also many choices of tips from $2 to 5, depending on sizes, it seemed. I knew I wouldn't need too many kinds of tips, but even with the bag and one kind of tip would cost me close to $10. Then I found this small kit thing for $7 which seemed to be a good deal. I decided to give it a try.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Vegan Rosewater Pistachio Cupcake with Velvet Vanilla Frosting

This recipe comes from the book called "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World", the book just arrived last week. I modified a bit as I did not have any soy yogurt. Even though I already knew how to bake vagan cupcakes, I enjoy this book very much. I brought it with me to my boyfriend's aunt's cottage one weekend, and read through the whole thing by the lake! There are a lot of mouth-watering beautiful cupcakes introduced in this small book. The frosting is also from the book, I find the process was very interesting. It is sort of like, first you prepare eggless custard and then beat with butter(vegan, of course!) and sugar. Surprisingly, it works. The great thing about this is that it is less sweet, has larger volume, and super creamy.

I don't know what happened but the cake did not rise enough. :(
Anyway, the rosewater & pistachio combo gives a special romantic flavor, perfect for a small cake like this.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Vegan Raisins Cupcake

This reminded me of the steamed cupcakes I had when I was small.
Very simple, but I loved them. There weren't many fancy sweets out there that time.

I added 1 Tbsp rum, to give some flavor. But this could've been 2 Tbsp.
I'm a little self conscious on my waist these days. I love my yoga pants for its amazing stretchyness and comfyness. I get used to this over the weekend, then when Monday comes, all my jeans feel too tight, I hate this.

So, sadly, I'm skipping the frosting to cut down some calories.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

red surprise

The pea plant has this red thing!

Soon later, these red things opened...!!!

When you buy some green onions from supermarket, they usually have their roots growing. My friend told me to plant the bottom part, like the part you usually toss if you do not have a compost. It works! They are growing, well, slowly. I'm hoping that I do not have to buy any more green onions during the summer!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Vegan Rosemary Cupcake

The cake came out somewhat dense, not very fluffy :(
The cake usually reaches to the edge of the paper and rise over, but it didn't :(
I might have mixed the dough too long since the lumps didn't seem disappearing. It was my mistake. It's been a while and I could easily forget how small details should be adjusted.

Nonetheless, the flavor is very settle and pleasing.

(After learning that I could grow baby rosemary by just planting its branches into soil, I cut off three branches (about 20 cm) and took off the bottom leaves, leaving about 1/3. The branches are still in water since yesterday, I have to get a proper pot. )

I added about 1Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary and lemon zest into the basic vanilla recipe. The rosemary leaves could be added more, maybe. I didn't use any lemon juice, but could be used as well.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

growing high

The thundershower this afternoon was like the one we see in tropical islands. It showered at 45 degrees really hard for about 20 minutes, gradually slowed down, then soon after the sun appeared again. It's been very hot so it was a nice surprise, well, for me at least. I was luckily being at home and watched people running hard toward the gazebo in park across from my apartment. It seemed very crowded there.

The pea is growing very fast. It is growing at least 10 cm everyday.
The tomato plant has two tomatoes coming up, finally.

The herbs seem to be doing fine.
The seeds I got from my friend; the mix salad is coming up, though I am not sure what exactly they are, they are looking very fragile. It will take some time till I get to eat them. The weeds are growing with them too.
The radish is growing quick, but it looks too crowded and so I'm worried that there's not enough space for them to grow big.
The other herbs; only a few seeds actually sprouted.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Vegan Vanilla Almond Cupcake

The mint plant in my small balcony garden is growing crazy! Why don't I use some for decoration?
It's been a bit cool these days and the temperature yesterday was very low, for the season. I thought of baking something with an interesting flavor, but then I was too tired from my day job to think of anything exciting. So yes, vanilla! It is always safe to be basic.
I used the slightly larger cupcake recipe. This is now my basic recipe to follow, as it gives me the 12 perfect cakes. The cake volume came out beautifully. I baked for 21 minutes at 350 F, the color looks good this time. While in the oven, they rose like mountain but then came down, the surface is somewhat flat when cooled. The 1/3 cup of 1 + 2/3 cup flour is almond flour. The sugar I added is 1/3 cup. The cake itself (without the frosting) is not really sweet.

I used the electric hand mixer for the first time to whip the frosting, worked well without having a tired arm.

The texture is very fluffy and moist!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

St-Viateur Street Festival Cupcake

They are probably not vegan. The girls had them on big plates walking in the crowed at St-Viateur street festival. $2 each.
Mine was with the blackberry, chocolate with coconut frosting. The cake texture was rather hard and dry, but I enjoyed it anyway.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Deadly hot!
In this heat, there is no way that I turn the oven ON. No way.
I don't even turn on the stove top. I haven't cooked much in the last few days.
They say the temperature will drop down a little in a few days, then I can go back to my cupcake baking again, maybe.

Monday, May 21, 2007

something to grow

My friend and I exchanged some seeds, these are what I got from her, very pretty. From the left, mix salad, chinese mustard leaves, and radish. I planted then in soil yesterday, I hope they will come out.
The couple who used to live here left us some very pretty peas. These are what I gave to my friend.They started to come out after 2 weeks, and it is just over 3 weeks now.
I also found some old seeds from Japan. I bet they are expired long time ago, but I planted them anyway, to see if they are still alive.

My boyfriend and I moved in together in December and this is our first spring to spend at this apartment. It has two sunny balconies!! which I never had for the last few years. I'm very excited to see how they will grow.
I started some pots of herbs.
and also a small cherry tomato plant.