Friday, October 14, 2011

You've Gotta Chai These Cupcakes!

I would officially like to apologize for being MIA as of late. I know that most of you have probably been sleeping at your computers, waiting and hoping for a new post. I hate to keep you in suspense!

Halloween is around the corner and most of my energy has been spent crafting and baking for the world's most amazing Halloween party that is happening at my house. Pictures and updates to come on that front. In the meantime...

I have been craving cupcakes. This is both a good thing and a bad thing, but mostly it is a delicious thing.

Recently I made Chai cupcakes with Chai Buttercream frosting and I almost turned into Frostine. Does she have hair, or is that translucent sheath her hair?

I didn't have my camera at the time, so YET AGAIN it was my archaic cell phone taking the pictures, but hopefully you can get an idea of how delicious these cupcakes were.

I used the Chai Latte Cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World and I whole-heatedly recommend you purchase this book because it is full of all your wildest cupcake fantasies, and that is no exaggeration.

Things you will need for Chai Latte Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup rice/soy milk
  • 4 black tea bags (I only had actual Chai tea bags, so I used those and it made the cupcakes SUPER flavorful but not overly so.)
  • 1/4 Cup Canola Oil
  • 1/2 plain or vanilla soy yogurt (I used Vanilla)
  • 3/4 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 & 1/3 Cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 TSP ground cinnamon
  • 1 TSP ground cardamom (I didn't have this, so I excluded it, but I am assuming that the Chai tea bags that I used had cardamom added)
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • pinch of ground white or black pepper

What you will need to do with the aforementioned ingredients:
  • Preheat the oven to 375
  • Line your cupcake tin with some festive liners!
  • In a small saucepan heat soymilk until almost boiling, add tea bags, cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 10 minutes. When you're ready to use the milk, squeeze the teabags thoroughly to get as much tea into the milk mixture as possible. Be careful! The bags will be hot. 
  • In a large bowl whisk together oil, yogurt, vanilla and tea until yogurt lumps disappear. (Ew, yogurt lumps)
  • Sift (Which I didn't do) flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, pepper and cardamom (if using) into wet ingredients. Mix until there are no large lumps. Small lumps are okay. (How many times do I have to type lump?)
  • Fill your lined tin and bake for 22 minutes until a sharp knife inserted comes out clean.
One thing to remember: don't accidentally turn the oven off after putting your cupcakes inside. It takes a lot longer for them to cook.

For the Chai Buttercream Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup margarine (Earth Balance - always)
  • 2-3 cups of Powdered Sugar (sifted if super clumpy)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/4 cup soymilk
  • 1 Chai Tea Bag (I used the same as I did for the cupcake - Stash brand)
  • A dash of the following spices:
    • cinnamon
    • ginger
    • cloves
    • pepper
Here is what you will need to do to make the frosting:
  • Heat soymilk in saucepan until almost boiling. Add teabag, cover and remove from heat. Let steep for ten minutes. 
  • Beat shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy
  • Add sugar and spices and beat for about 3 more minutes. It will look like an impossibility that anything even remotely resembling frosting will form, but I promise it will work.
  • Add vanilla 
  • Add soymilk/tea mixture 1 TBS at a time and beat for another 5-7 minutes, adding more milk as needed. I prefer thick frosting, so I ended up not using all of the milk, but just play it by ear!
I finally purchased decorating bags and tips and frosted my cupcakes with those. They were easy to use and easy to clean up, although I need to work on my technique. In spite of the wopperjod frosting job, I must say that these cupcakes were the perfect Autumn treat. Yum!

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