Time for another sweet! Baking is what I really love. I like to cook new savoury meals but there’s just not the enjoyment that you get from baking something, and having it turn out wonderful. I would never make it on a show like the Bake Off, purely because my presentation skills are disastrous, but I’d like to think I’m not too bad at the taste side of things.
I’ve always loved fudge and like to experiment with ways of making vegan caramel/fudge things. I successfully made vegan millionaire’s shortbread a year or so ago – I was going to do it for vegan Mofo again but seeing as I used soya whipping cream, it became a bit too expensive. I’ll be sure to post it if I ever get round to it again though! I’ve never really found a perfect recipe, so I always made it similarly to how I made dairy fudge, by boiling the sugar mix, then beating it for ages to make it fluffy and smooth. However, as I found making these, you don’t need to have whipping cream (or any cream) to get the fudgy taste!
Initially I was going to make a caramel flavoured buttercream for these cupcakes, but it turned out that I’d ran out of icing sugar (powdered sugar for you non-Brits) and couldn’t be bothered going to the shop, so I made the best of what I had, and made this fudgey topping instead.
I also made little decorations to go on top! These were super fun and easy to make. I just melted up some dark chocolate in the microwave (sorry, no fancy tempering here!) and put it in a piping bag with a small tip. Piped out swirls and stars and hearts freehanded onto baking paper – but if you wanted to, you could always pencil in a design and trace over it with the chocolate! I put it in the freezer for a few hours before I made the cupcakes so they hardened up.
The cupcake recipe I used was adapted from my current favourite cake recipe in the Divine Vegan Desserts book. I got this book last year and have to admit I’ve not made a whole ton of recipes from it. They all look wonderful but a lot of them are big recipes and there’s only so many occasions in the year to make them for! But the cake recipe has pretty much become my go-to.
This time I added chocolate chips to the mix because chocolate chip cupcakes are awesome. I think my oven must be tilted because all my cakes ended up leaning in the same direction, so, that kinda didn’t help with the presentation thing.
I left the cakes to cool and went back to making the icing. This is when I realised, woah, I don’t have icing sugar. So I had to come up with something else. My dreams of perfectly piped creamy icing were gone. But fudge to the rescue! I was going to make a small caramel anyway, so why not a larger one?
I melted 1 tbsp of vitalite (vegan butter) in a saucepan and added 2 cups worth of brown sugar. I measure this in cups because I didn’t actually weigh it and kinda did it by eye, but I want to give some sort of instruction! I brought this to a boil, where it looks kinda crazy.
Some recipes will say to stir, some won’t. I say, do stir it, but be careful because this is VERY HOT. Hot sugar is hotter than hot water, hot sugar will hurt you veeeeery badly if it touches you.
Anyway after that warning. Let it bubble for 4 minutes or so, then take it off the heat and start stirring. Beat it with a spoon for another five minutes while it cools. I then added a couple of tbsp soya milk and mixed that in to loosen the icing up a bit. After this, use a knife or a spoon to spread it on the cupcakes and..voila…done!
Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
- 240g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarb of soda
- pinch salt
- 250ml soy milk
- 1.5 tbsp cider vinegar
- 75ml sunflower oil
- 125g sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 130g chocolate chips (or however many you want)
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F
- Mix all the dry ingredients except the chocolate in a large bowl until well combined.
- In a jug, measure out the soy milk and add the cider vinegar. Leave for a couple of minutes until the mixture starts to thicken.
- Add the oil and vanilla to the soy milk mixture and whisk well.
- Mix in the wet ingredients to the dry ones and stir until there are no lumps.
- Stir through the chocolate chips.
- Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases – which should be about two thirds full.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until risen and turning golden.
- 1 tbsp vitalite (or alternative)
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 tbsp soya milk
- Melt the butter in a saucepan until completely liquid.
- Add in the sugar and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
- Boil for 4 minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Bring off the heat, and stir constantly for 5 minutes.
- Stir through the soya milk until it reaches a smooth consistency.
- Ice and decorate the cupcakes!