Monday 29 November 2010

Hot Toddy Cupcakes

Hot Toddy Cupcakes

Afternoon tea....just got interesting!  I don't really know why I decided to make these but am sure glad I did. I absolutely love hot toddies, never even heard of them until my first winter in Ireland many years ago and they quickly became my favourite winter tipple. The flavours of lemon, cloves and whiskey are so simple but just perfect in a warm drink, and, I started to think, perfect for a cupcake.

These really turned out well, and amazingly taste just like a hot toddy!! So often flavours in a cupcake can get 'lost' but not here, the lemon, cloves and whiskey all come shining through. The cloves are possibly just a tad too strong though, I added 1/2 tsp but think that 1/4 tsp would be too little. Next time I may try something in-between. They are so very yummy though, the texture is perfect - really nice and light and definitely an 'adult' only cupcake ;-)

Hot Toddy Cupcakes:
120ml soy cream
60ml rice milk
2 Tbsp Irish whiskey (I use Jameson)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (sieve out seeds and pulp)
zest of 1 lemon
175g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp cornstarch (cornflour)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves *see blurb above
80ml vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
160g caster sugar

Whiskey Buttercream Frosting:
40g vegetable fat (shortening)
50g vegan margarine
270g icing sugar
1 Tbsp Irish Whiskey
zest of 1/2 lemon

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a muffin tin with paper liners. Mix together the soy cream and rice milk then stir in the whiskey and lemon juice. Now, it will curdle big time, not just get flaky looking but thicken up and look positively revolting!! That's all ok - you want that to happen :-) Set aside. Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, soda, salt and cloves and set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oil, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and the soy cream curdled mixture until very well blended and sugar seems to be dissolved. It shouldn't look curdled any more. Add the dry ingredients to this and whisk until just blended and no lumps remain. Fill muffin tins until almost full up, you will probably have some batter left over, I get 14 cupcakes out of this. Bake in preheated oven for 20 - 25 minutes, or until golden and springy to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to fully cool.

To make the frosting, soften the vegetable fat first with a fork, then add the margarine and whisk well until well blended. Add half the icing sugar and all the whiskey and mix well. Add the rest of the icing sugar and mix well. You may need a touch more whiskey and or icing sugar. Just keep adding what you need until you get a smooth spreadable frosting. Now stir in the lemon zest.

Frost each cupcake as you like - I decorated with whole cloves, even though you have to remove them before eating I thought they looked very cute!

Recipe loosely based on Vegan Cupcakes take Over the World's Golden Vanilla Cupcakes and frosting :-)

Sunday 21 November 2010

Marzipan Mince Pies with Rummed Up Vegan Whipped Cream

Vegan Marzipan Mince Pies

Well hello again!!!!  I'm back, I'm back!!! First of all, apologies for the extended blog holiday, we really thought we would be living in the new house in September but that turned into October, then November! We are however now in, have slept here twice now and simply love it. The house is amazing, I still can't believe the size of my kitchen, it's an absolute joy to cook and bake in - especially compared to my last closet sized kitchen!

Furthermore, I am loving Ireland. I knew I would as we came here often before but it's even better now :-) All in all, life is grand!! (picking up the lingo ;-)) Thank you all for sticking around and a warm welcome to all my new followers! Thank you :-) Now, back to the FOOD!

I last made these years ago, back in the vegetarian days and you can find these on my old blog. I've been seeing all the mince pies popping up in the shops and had a serious craving, even if it is a wee bit early ;-) Sure, a lot of the store bought pies are vegan but these really are lovely - a little disc of marzipan lines each little tart and the pastry has a little lemon zest in it - very nice. The cream was a total experiment but we both loved it with these, sweet, rummy and vegan - what's not to love?? ;-)

Marzipan Mince Pies with Rummed up Vegan Whipped Cream

200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbsp caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
100g vegetable fat/shortening
about 120ml ice water
about 85g white marzipan
mincemeat, store bought, check vegan

Rum Whipped Cream

150g soya whipping cream from a carton, well chilled, or chilled coconut cream
50g icing sugar
1 Tbsp dark rum

First make your pastry, mix the flour, baking powder and salt together. Cut in the vegetable fat until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the lemon zest and sugar. Add the ice water and stir with a fork until the mixture just comes together, you don't want it too wet. Gather into a ball, flatten into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 200C and have a 12 hole mince pie tart tin ready. Remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to sit for 5 - 10 min. Roll out and cut out circles to fit your pie tin, save all the scraps. Now take the marzipan and roll it out. Cut out circles to fit the inside of the pastry lined tarts, you can have a look at my old blog for a photo of this. Spoon in the marzipan, about 1 Tbsp per tart, depending on the size of your pan. Re-roll the scraps and cut out shapes for the tops, I used hearts and stars here. Place the shapes on top of the tarts then bake for about 15 - 18 minutes, or until tarts are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove tarts to a cooling rack.

Vegan Marzipan Mince Pies

To make the cream, simply whisk together the soya cream, icing sugar and rum until light and fluffy - store in the fridge. Tarts are good warm or room temperature, with a big dollop of cream and steaming mug of coffee :-)

♥ 2012 Edit ♥
Vegan Marzipan Mince Pies.

Not that the above pastry isn't delicious, it is, I just decided to try another one that is more based on my standard pastry as it is soooo flaky. This is an alternative pastry recipe for you and really, really good :-) Recipe will make just enough for 12 mince pies using a tart pan, if using a muffin tin or something else "deep dish" you may want to double it.

Alternate Pastry:

1 cup flour
88g cold shortening (1/3 cup + 2 tsp)
2 Tbsp cold water
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp golden caster sugar (or just granulated)
zest of 1 orange or lemon 

Add the flour, salt, sugar, zest and shortening to a food processor and process until well mixed and the shortening is not noticeable. With the motor running slowly add the cold water and vinegar until it is moist but still crumbly. Tip out onto a surface and bring together into a ball then flatten it down to a disc and wrap in cling film then chill for 1/2 hour.