I would like to post something about how fabulous my knitting life is, but sadly, I'm still knitting away at baby and kid socks these days. I am, however, drooling over the blue ruffly cardigan on the front of the Adrienne Vittadini Spring Summer 2005 book. This sweater epitomizes what I am not today, but would sure as heck like to be: dressed in a spotless white cotton lawn and lace dress, reclining in a row boat, with a parasol, and this dreamy blue sweater, while someone else rows. Sparkling water, not to much conversation, lazy in the sun. I am instead, typing this post, while dreaming about all the other things I'm supposed to be doing, dressed in jeans, a comfortable old fleece ad my demented clown Lorna's Laces socks. Sigh.
Well anyway, so I'm not the knitting queen today, but I do have something wonderful to share - the best darn chocolate cupcakes ever. No joke, every time I make these cupcakes I barely live through the stampede of folks wanting the recipe. I've taken to bringing copies of it with me whenever I make them. Well except for the last time. A. thought it would be fun to bake them in ice cream cones, you know, the wafer ones with the flat bottoms, and decorate them to look like real ice cream cones - like our moms used to make for us when we needed to take cupcakes to school.
Unfortunately, the gathering was a relatively childless, rather literary crowd who just didn't get it. I guess none of them had ever had the ice-cream cone cupcake experience as children or parents. So co one ate our Delicious and (in my opinion) adorable creations until I stationed myself in front of the tray and explained the joke (and the contents therein) to anyone who even remotely glanced at the tray. I ate three just to make myself feel better. Note to self - find out who's going before deciding what to bring.
Technically, the cupcake recipe is Vegan, since there is no dairy, and you can keep them that way by sprinkling the tops with a bit of confectioners sugar, but I shoot the works and slather them with butter frosting. What can I say, a chocolate cupcake without a rich buttery vanilla frosting is not really a cupcake.
Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder* (heaping)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil (not olive)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 cup water
1. Preheat oven to 350. place paper cups into muffin pan
2. whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add oil, vanilla, vinegar, water and salt. Mix until smooth.
3. Divide into 12 cups and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and cool on rack.
6 tablespoons salted butter at room temperature
3 cups of confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk, heated to lukewarm
1. Cream butter till light. Gradually add sugar and mix at medium speed until smooth, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
2. Beat in vanilla and milk until smooth, lick beaters.
3. With small spatula, frost cupcakes, make coffee, sigh in sheer delight
*NOTE: the hands down best cocoa powder ever, double Dutch dark cocoa, is to be had from: www.bakerscatalog.com . It totally rocks the flavor of these cupcakes and anything else you use it for. And to really push it over the edge, they also have REAL chocolate sprinkles from Guittard, not chocolate flavored wax bits, but REAL chocolate. Yum.