Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On Tiny, Magnificent Cakes . . .

     Recently, a vegan friend (yes, omnivores and vegans can be fond of one another) sent me a darling little book called Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I have never attempted to bake without my precious Diablo and Poseidon eggs (and Publix eggs before them), but I may well do so after reading some of these mouth-watering recipes. The margarita cupcakes look especially interesting . . . one is forced to purchase tequila to create them. One is probably expected to have a margarita or two while stirring, as well. I'm just sayin'.

     There are some terrific tips in this book, and even I—Queen of 300,000 Baking Sessions—learned a thing or two. According to the authors, a surefire way to get people to look at your blog is by posting pictures of cupcakes.

     Okay. Here are a few of my cupcake babies . . .

    New Year's Eve Cupcakes
    Vanilla Snow
    Auburn National Championship
    Chocolate Buttercream
    Deep Chocolate Madness
    Milk Chocolate with Strawberry Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache
    Chocolate Cherry Fudge
    French Vanilla with Chocolate Buttercream
    Milk Chocolate Minis with Vanilla Icing and Cocoa Sprinkles
    Chocolate with Mint Cream and Ganache
    Fresh Strawberry with Strawberry Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache
    French Vanilla with Chocolate Ganache and Vanilla Buttercream
    Vanilla Snowball Cupcakes
    S'Mores Cupcake
    Vanilla with Vanilla Buttercream
    Triple Chocolate
    Marshmallow Dream
    Chocolate with Chocolate Buttercream and Deep Chocolate Drizzle
    Banana Chunky Monkey
    Triple Chocolate in a box
    Strawberry with Strawberry Buttercream
    Strawberry with Fresh Strawberries, Strawberry Buttercream and Chocolate Drizzle
    Valentine's Day Collection

         I admit it: I am somewhat ovo-dependent . . . but I am going to try Lisa's cupcake book, because I love the way it is written.

         Here are some tips from the book:
    • "Baked stuff cools quicker and more evenly when set on a cooling rack. And without them the bottoms of cooling cupcakes can get soggy—so sad." Yup.
    • For decorating, get a small metal frosting spatula (also referred to as a palette knife). Great for spreading thick frostings into a smooth, swooping finish.
    • "Use an ice cream scooper with a release mechanism for easy pouring and filling."
    • "Spray your batter pouring implement with cooking spray before dipping it in the batter."
    • "Make sure that the cupcakes are fully cooled before filling or icing, unless otherwise indicated in a recipe. Spreading icing onto a still-warm cupcake is the work of fools."
    • Cute toppers: Cinnamon sticks, vegan gummies, gel fruit slices, colorful, fun-shaped kid's vegan breakfast cereals (I use the regular, sugary, evil kind.), chocolate-covered pretzels, edible flowers, Scrabble pieces, small plastic farm animals, fake flowers
         I love this: "The world is enraptured with this tiny cake—maybe it's our selfishness, knowing that the cake is 'Mine! All mine!' Maybe it's our obsession with beauty; cupcakes, like flowers, seem to have the perfect proportions to capture our eye. Maybe they speak to the child in all of us, our yearning for a simpler time, where a little something sweet was a reminder that there was something to celebrate."

         I have baked them with love for countless people, and I know this much: cupcakes make folks smile.

         I like that.

         Lisa might just find a little vegan sumpin'-sumpin' in her mailbox someday.

    Love from Delta.


    1. No I have to get dressed and go to the store!!!

    2. Wish you were here to bake some of those yummy cakes.....but then no calories invoking!;-). Cinda

    3. This book started my daughter on a year-long bender of vegan cupcakery. Hardly a kid at her high school did not get cupcakes for their birthday. Her proudest moment was one day when she was walking past some girls in the hallway who she didn't really know. She overheard one say to the other, "Oh my god. Have you had one of her cupcakes? They're better than MINE and they're VEGAN!" That said, don't start with the margarita cupcakes. She made them for my birthday and they're good but definitely unusual. (Of course, my daughter added extra tequila because I'm a fan.) Anyway, I know that this is heresy to you, but I think you will discover that eggs in baked goods are a scam. You really, really don't need them.

    4. I will try the recipes, Carolyn, but I will NEVER give up my precious Egg Gifts For Baking from my flock!

    5. I should have mentioned how lovely your cupcakes are! The thing is, I don't begrudge you your eggs. The unfortunate reality, though, is that the overwhelming majority of people get their eggs from the grocery store and those eggs, whether they are called "free range" or "organic" or whatever, are the products of unimaginable cruelty.

    6. Thank you! And yes, I know way too much about where those supermarket eggs come from . . . ugh.