Sunday, March 29, 2009
Defacing Vegetables, One Cupcake At A Time
I woke up this morning with a hankerin' for something sweet. I thought of making pancakes for breakfast, but shelved the idea for the sorry truth that pancakes for one is just a sad endeavor. Too much effort for one woman's sweet tooth. Cupcakes, on the other hand... well, I can pass those off with the good intent of sharing my vice with others.
I tried to make Massaman curry awhile back with the intent of blogging about it. The results were not worth the story. But I recreated the flavors in these cupcakes with pretty decent results. Coconut, sweet and savory spices and a crunchy touch of peanut will remind you of your favorite Thai takeout and a South End bakery rolled in one. They're a grown-up treat, kind of like a foodie's upgrade of carrot cake. Flavorful, you bet. Healthy... not even Karl Rove could spin that lie. These guys are heavy and indulgent and, unlike the potato chip slogan of yore, no one can eat more than one. But sometimes the flavor alone is worth the calories.
Curried Sweet Potato Cupcakes
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons plain soy yogurt (or two flax eggs)
1 cup grated sweet potato (a medium-sized sweet - not a monster)
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel (half a lemon's peel)
1 tablespoon grated ginger (about the length of your thumb)
grated lemon peel and ground peanuts for garnish
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup soy margarine
3 tablespoons (scant 1/4 cup) coconut milk
Preheat oven to 375F.
Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: canola oil, maple syrup, coconut milk and yogurt or equivalent egg replacer. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones, adding about one third of the mix, whisking gently, then repeating until they're incorporated. Add the sweet potato, lemon peel and ginger and stir until just mixed.
Line a cupcake pan with twelve cupcake papers. Fill with the batter about two-thirds full. Bake for about 20-23 minutes or until the cupcakes are springy when touched and/or a knife or toothpick comes out clean when poked through the middle. Remove from the pan adn cook for about twenty minutes. To make the icing, simply beat the ingredients together until smooth. You may need to add sugar or coconut milk to get the right consistency, just stiff enough. Try chilling the icing for half an hour or so if it won't set. Ice the cupcakes and top with the peanuts and lemon peel. Makes 12 li'l cakelettes.