Monday, April 11, 2011

The Secret Ingredient Is...

Hi Friends!
     Recently, I took a trip back home to find some Chocolate Chip Cherry ice cream stocked in the freezer.  Score!  I thought to myself, "What could be better than chocolate chip and cherry ice cream?", then the obvious struck- CUPCAKES!  I know how expensive cherries can get- but with my secret ingredient (almond extract, shhh!), these cupcakes pack that wonderful cherry taste without the extra costs.


Chocolate Chip Cherry Cupcakes!
yields 1 dozen

1 cup soy milk
1 tsp white vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1) Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pans with liners.
2) Combine soy milk and vinegar- whisk until frothy and set aside for 5 minutes to curdle.
3) In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil, extracts and soy milk.
4) In a medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients (minus the chocolate chips)
5) Combine the dry to the wet ingredients- folding in the chocolate just before the mixture is combined.
6) Fill each cupcake liner with 1/4 cup of batter.
7) Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
8) Let the cupcakes rest in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

yield about 4 cups

1/2 cup vegan margarine (room temperature)
1/2 cup vegan shortening
4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
2 Tb cherry syrup

1) With a hand mixer, cream together the margarine and shortening for about 3-4 minutes.
2) Add the powdered sugar to combine.
3) Stream in the almond extract and cherry syrup.  You might need to add soy milk to get to a fluffy consistency.
4) Continue whisking for about 5 minutes.
5) Frost those COOLED cupcakes, and enjoy!

**I strongly recommend using PURE almond extract.  Yes, it is a little pricey, but it really makes a difference! And, almond extract really adds a nice to touch to just about any baked good you can imagine!  Try it in other vanilla cupcake recipes- you will be surprised!!

(Recipe adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World- Isa Moskowitz)

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