Sunday, March 11, 2012

Vegan Banana Bread

Originally posted here on March 11, 2012 as "Vegan Banana Bread"

I made this for the first time on Friday. During Lent, as I'd mentioned before, we are eating a vegan diet (instead of the simple "abstinence from meat" which we tend to practice regularly anyway). Part of that, in my book, is also a "no dessert" rule- even vegan ones! Peter was a bit bummed and in search of a sweet treat, so I popped out a loaf of this modification I made from the Veganomican's recipe (pg. 228). Here's mine! Enjoy (on a Friday of Lent or any other day of the week- like today)!

Vegan Banana Bread

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a loaf pan.

In a mixing bowl, toss together:
3 large bananas, mushed (the kids love this part!)
1/4 cup applesauce (made some today with local Kiku apples-DELICIOUS!)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp molasses

Blend together on medium-low until well combined.

Stop and add:
1 1/4 cup A.P. flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Blend together on low until just combined. Use a spoon/spatula if more is needed, to avoid creating too much gluten, but I find just blending for 30-45 seconds does the trick!

Spoon (or use your hand to get) out into your greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or so until done.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes

Originally posted here on March 10, 2012 as "St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes"

These are actually called something else, which gives a negative connontation with car bombs. Due to the offense of that name, abbreviated ICB, I've updated this post to reflect a new title.While I dont personally like either the drink or the name of it, I couldn't resist taking a go at making these, after Sarah forwarded me a link to the recipe. So, I've made some chances and, the verdicts from neighbors, my MIL, Peter, and the kiddos is in... These are a new keeper. A big thanks to our neighbors, C and D, who gave us the Guinness substitute we used! Normally, I'm not an Irish gal who'd substitute her Guinness for anything, but in these delicious cupcakes, the chocolate stoudt is to die for! Dont even bother looking at the calories... I didnt because, really, I dont want to know.

The ganache makes extra (enough to layer a 9" cake) and the icing makes enough extra to ice said cake. On top of the 24 cupcakes.

For the cupcakes:
1 cup Brooklyn Brewing Co. Black Chocolate Stoudt
1 cup salted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 dark unsweetened cocoa
1 1/3 cup A.P. flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup Greek yogurt

For the ganache:
7.5oz 56% Icelandic chocolate (Sirus, bittersweet)
2/3 cup half and half
2 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
1tbsp Red Breast 12 year Irish whiskey (Middleton's is my fave but my stepdad would have a FIT if he even thought that I cooked with that! Don't worry, Dad!!!)

For the frosting:
2 cups salted butter, room temp
5 cups powdered sugar
6 tbsp (1/4 plus 1/8 cup) Bailey's Irish cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring the stoudt and butter to a simmer over medium heat. Add the cocoa and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk the flours, sugars, baking soda, and salt together and set aside. Beat the eggs and yogurt on medium to combine; add in the chocolate mixture. Reduce to low and add the dry ingredients a tbsp at a time until incorporated. Divide the batter into the cupcakes. Bake for 17min or until done. Cool completely.

2. Finely chop the chocolate for the ganache and place it in a heatproof bowl. Heat the half and half until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. After 1min, begin to whisk. Add the butter and whiskey. Place in the fridge for an hour, until it becomes thick and cooled. Place on the counter for another hour. You'll be piping this into the cupcakes.

3. Using the whisk attachment, whisk the butter for the frosting until fluffy. A half cup at a time, beat in the sugar. Finally, beat in the Irish cream and continue until fully incorporated.

4. Piping in the ganache: use a cupcake filler and cut out the center of the cupcake, filling it with the ganache and then placing the cake back over the hole.

5. Frost the cupcake. I like to fill a ziplock with the frosting, cut off the tip, and pipe it around the top. Sprinkle some green sugar on top to complete the perfect St. Patrick's Day look!

6. EAT. EAT. EAT. And try to remember to share. :)