If I could say that January has been a month and a half and be taken seriously, I would. It has been absolutely jam-packed full-to-bursting and my month of trying out veganism has absolutely whipped by. Teetering on the 27th without having attempted a vegan bake was a rather sorry state of affairs. But don’t worry every1, I had it covered.
It was my friend’s birthday on Wednesday and I decided that some sort of non-dairy baked good would be attending the event. It also coincided with an afternoon in which I needed to de-fizz my my brain, listen to Taylor Swift and put my hands to some use.
I had already done extensive research. I’d come across some fantastically complicated ones that needed super expensive, obscure ingredients, and then came across one which required 250ml water and some standard ingredients. I thought the water sounded rather strange, before remembering that we humans are mostly water anyway, which suddenly made these cupcakes seem reassuringly compatible. They also had rave reviews which swayed me.
I substituted the teaspoon of distilled vinegar for lemon juice (based on what was available in the kitchen). The consideration that cupcakes take less time to cook occurred to me once 80% of the baking time had elapsed, so the tops were worryingly firm. This brought me to the final (but nevertheless exciting) conundrum: how to decorate them. Here I decided to go all out and use the extravagance that goes by the name of coconut oil. I mixed it with icing sugar and a wee bit of water. Tremendously coconutty and sweet but no melting disaster and I lurve coconut. I suddenly had a flash of inspiration when an image of my mixed berry jam that I had made a week or so ago came to my mind. I spread that on the cakes, topped with the snow-white icing (tantalizing pips of dark red peeping through) and sprinkled them with desiccated coconut.
Thoughts: a distinctly dark-chocolate taste which, given my new-found appreciation for squares of 75% chocolate that snap in your fingers and melt in your mouth, I loved. The velvet texture was one of its most endearing qualities: soft, fine crumb, top breaking crisply to mallowy, sweet coconut tempered by the tarty jam. Other peeps who tried them said they enjoyed them!
I’ve decided to call them Bounty Cupcakes because I felt happy when I baked them and they spread some joy as well as implying the whole chocolate coconut combo.
200g plain flour
200g caster sugar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar (or lemon)
250ml (8 fl oz) water
a couple of tbsp jam
3/4 tbsp coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Lightly grease a 13x23cm loaf tin or a 20cm round cake tin.
- Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda.
- Add oil, vanilla, vinegar (or lemon) and water and mix until smooth.
- Pour into prepared tin and bake at 180 C for 45 minutes (or fill cupcake tins 2/3 full and bake for 25 minutes). Let them cool.
- Mix ¾ tbsp. coconut oil with as much icing sugar/water to give it a consistency you like.
- If you have jam, heat it until it’s runny, then put a small amount of jam and spread it around.
- Put the coconut icing on top, sprinkle coconut flakes on top and keep in fridge until needed.