Monday, August 22, 2011

Vegan Peanut Butter Cupcakes w/ Peanut Butter Frosting & Chocolate Ganache

The title is a damn mouthfull!

Incidentally, so are these cupcakes.

I baked them for the RSPCA Cupcake Day, which we got well into at work. We ended up with about 20 varieties of treats and several hundred dollars of funds for the cause (cause being homeless puppies, kitties and the like).

I'm not vegan, but I often bake as if I were. Vegan treats are fluffier and better - 'nuff said.

So I'll give you the vegan version alongside the non-vegan version and leave it up to you to decide. To warn you, though, I've never made them non-vegan so don't call me mean names if you go that route and they're craptastic!

Peanut Butter Cupcakes:
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups soy milk + 1 tablespoon & 1 teaspoon white vinegar (or, 1 1/4 cup buttermilk for non-vegan)
2 1/2 teaspoons bicarb soda
3 eggs worth No-Egg - instructions on box (or 3 eggs for non-vegan)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup Nuttelex or an equally kick ass and creamy vegan butter sub (or 1/2 cup butter for non-vegan)
3/4 cup brown sugar
89/100 cup caster sugar (yeah, stupid.. it's my fault... it's like 3/4 cup + 1/8 cup... ish)

To Make:
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
2. Beat Nuttelex (or whatever), peanut butter, brown sugar and caster sugar until extra creamy
3. Add egg substitute or eggs and vanilla and keep beating until very fluffy
4. Beat the soy milk and white vinegar concoction in the bowl of creaminess
5. Mix up the flour, bicarb soda and salt real quick in a separate bowl
6. Add as much as you can at a time, beating after each addition, and stop when the last bit of flour is well-combined
7. Spoon the batter into lined cupcake trays, filling them about 2/3
8. Bake them for 10-15 minutes and make sure you poke a little thingy into them to make sure it comes out clean before you declare them done (you don't want them brown - they should still be white-ish)
9. Right before you take them out of the oven, make some sugar syrup to brush on them. Just boil 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup white sugar until the sugar dissolves completely.
10. Brush the sugar syrup onto the tops of the cupcakes

***Luckily, mine sunk down a bit, allowing a little hallow for the chocolate ganache. If this doesn't happen to yours (it may not in some ovens), that's cool. Just shmear the chocolate ganache all over the tops***

Chocolate Ganache:
200grams dark, dairy-free, vegan chocolate (or, any dark chocolate for non-vegan)
4 tablespoons thick soy milk (or, 1 cup pure cream for non-vegan)

To Make:
1. Break the chocolate into pieces and either melt it in the microwave or on stovetop
2. When it's totally, completely melted, add the soy milk (or cream) and stir it VIGOROUSLY
3. Spoon into the hallows of your cupcakes (if they have hallows) or smear it all over the top

Peanut Butter Frosting:
1 3/4 cups Nuttelex (or, butter for non-vegan)
1 1/4 cups smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons soy milk (or regular milk for non-vegan)
4 - 5 cups icing sugar

To Make:
1. Beat the butter, peanut butter, milk and vanilla together at high speed until it's extremely light and fluffy
2. Add 2 cups of icing sugar and beat at high speed until they're completely mixed
3. Add the next 2 - 3 cups of icing sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing seriously well after each addition. I only used 4 cups, but it's a matter of preference. Just keep tasting it until it tastes how you like it!

***This makes a crapload of icing! I'd suggest halving it or at least making 3/4 of the amount - although that would be some hard math right there***

The last step in the process is to frost the cupcakes! Conceal that creamy ganache with oodles of fluffy peanut butter frosting. I piped it on, but you can spread it if you like. Do whatever.

Just enjoy!