26/02/2013

Cooking in Heels: Revenge of the Vegan Cupcakes


I know that with my Cooking in Heels posts I've successfully convinced all of you that I am a decent cook (and made you slightly hungry) but the truth is this: I'm pretty crap at cooking. Fortunately, I have an Italian boyfriend and Italian men are generally either worthless cooks or kitchen magicians. Very fortunately for me, David is the second. So, to put it simply, I haven't had to cook for five and a half years. I know, I should thank the heavens every day for my luck - and believe me I do - but the problem is, I was born and raised a dessert fanatic. And guess what's the one thing David' can't cook? That's right.

Since I went vegan, getting my sugar fix on has been more than a little challenging. Most vegan bakeries in London (there are more than a few, actually!) only cater to larger, "I'm having a party and I need 200 cupcakes" needs, kind of like 2 Broke Girls. So it's not like you can take an afternoon stroll to one of these places and just sit there and enjoy a (soy) cappuccino and a luscious pastry. Except for Cookies and Scream at Camden market, there are not many choices for sweet-toothed compassionistas.

So what's a vegan girl to do? Bake, baby!
After months of searching, I finally found Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World at Waterstone's. And then, well.

I tried.

I tried AGAIN.

To put it mildly, my first attempts at vegan muffins and/or cupcakes (FYI, cupcakes are muffins with frosting on) were so revolting I'd rather eat my own sweater. This is where it should probably be mentioned that our first-ever batch was born out of David's genius idea to make muffins from leftover pizza dough. Want a tip? Here it is: don't do that.

After that, we went through a range from rubbery to stone-dry and other charming particularities such as burned chocolate chips and "frosting" so liquid you could drink it. But I kept at it. I wouldn't give up. I had my determination, my can-do attitude...and my hand blender.

...and THEN.

I wouldn't say they're a culinary masterpiece or anywhere near places like The Vegan Cakery or Ruby Tuesday,  but at least now they're edible. And have the shape and texture of an actual muffin.

So yesterday, I took them to work. At my office, we have this thing called Cake Monday. Basically,  every Monday someone brings a cake, depending on whose turn it is (if you're reading this and you work in my office: we've all done a round and it's your turn now). Well, yesterday was my turn and people LOVED'EM!  Really, I'm not exaggerating. They actually came up to me (or Skyped me) to say the muffins were lovely, "especially for egg-free - wow!"

And my little cupcake crusader's heart and vegan sweet tooth were so proud. I did it! I've successfully learned to bake. Well, I've successfully learned to make this ONE vegan thing, but still - yay!

One day, I'd love to have you all over for tea or coffee and muffins...and cupcakes...and vegan red velvet cake! And David can make vegan spaghetti Bolognaise and then we can all eat cake and have a nice glass of wine and talk about our blogs. Wouldn't that be a perfect Saturday?

Picture from my Instagram


2 comments:

  1. I'm so glad they finally turned out well! A lovely post, and I love you wine&cakes idea!

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  2. That would be a perfect Saturday ;)

    I bought a vegan cookbook a while back and have so far never completely mastered anything in the book (I think it's the book!). But I now use egg replacer exclusively (never bought an egg since moving out my parents in October) and it's worked for all of my older cake recipes. Good luck with more vegan baking!

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