A blanket announcement: Anytime a chocolate recipe calls for almond extract, I never add it (unless it is meant to be a chocolate almond flavour specifically). I don't know if almond extract in the US is different from almond extract here, but it just makes everything taste like marzipan. And I like marzipan, but not in everything! I normally just use more vanilla unless there is another flavour option listed in the recipe.
Cookies and Cream Cupcakes: This is a variation of Your Basic Chocolate Cupcake. I used Oreos (Newman-O's don't exist here, and Oreos are vegan in Australia), which are added chopping into the batter, ground into the buttercream frosting on top and used as decoration.
Chocolate-Chocolate Gluten Freedom Cupcakes: Yay for gluten free cupcakes for all the lovely gleegans in my life! These cupcakes are quite a bit denser than non-gluten free cupcakes, but are still moist. Just don't be tempted to lick the beaters because raw gf batter is icky! But they bake up into tasty treats. Here they are topped with chocolate buttercream, shaved white chocolate and chocolate sprinkles.
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Bombes: Any of the regular vanilla or chocolate cupcake variations can be adapted for the gluten free ones. Chocolate cupcakes are piled high Peanut Butter Frosting, drizzled with chocolate ganache and decorated with chopped peanuts.
Chocolate Coconut Gluten Freedom Cupcakes: For this recipe I replaced the soy milk in the cupcake batter with coconut milk, as well as adding some coconut extract. They are topped with ganache, which was also made with coconut milk instead of soy milk, then I just sprinkled some sweetened shredded coconut on top.
Chocolate-Orange Gluten Freedom Cupcakes: Yes, another chocolate cupcake variation. When I do bake sales, I tend to always try and take one sort of GF cupcake, so I have made a few variations over the months. In this case I added orange essence to the batter and to the ganache, then topped with orange rind right before serving.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting: I love carrot cake, and these are some cute little carroty cupcakes (despite the terrible photo). As well as carrots they have raisins and walnuts. I find the actual cream cheese frosting in this book insanely sweet and unpleasant, I much prefer the one from Joy Of Vegan Baking.
Rating: :) (see note re frosting)
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemony Frosting: We don't have 'light' molasses here, so normally I use either treacle if I have it or a blend of blackstrap and golden syrup. For these I just used straight up blackstrap. It gave it a stronger taste and a darker colour, but I love blackstrap molasses! There is the option to top these with lemony cream cheese frosting or lemony butter cream. I used the cream cheese frosting (I made them with the carrot cake cupcakes above, so I flavoured half the frosting with lemon for these.
Rating: :) (see note re frosting in Carrot Cake Cupcakes)
Crimson Velveteen Cupcakes with Old-Fashioned Velvet Icing: Red Velvet isn't a thing in Australia, so I never really new what to expect. These have a hefty dose of red food colouring in them, so of course I made them to take to a two year old's birthday party! Artificial petrochemical colouring all the way, baby. ;) It was basically a really nice chocolate cupcake, enhanced by the chocolate extract I recently procured, it didn't taste particularly 'red'. The old fashioned icing is lovely, kind of custardy.
Chocolate Stout Cupcakes: I normally don't like stout in things, I find the taste too overpowering, but in this recipe it is just enough to add a nice depth. I used muffin cups, which were a bit later than cupcake ones, and filled to 3/4 full I got eight and a half, but the rose a lot. You need to be careful with the crumb topping, it says to use 2 tablespoons of oil but it very quickly turns into sludge with this amount!
Cute Kitty Photo of the Post
A year today since Possum passed away. We miss him.