I baked yesterday, and about 50% of the reason was for you, readers. I know you love warm baked goods. And I know you love recipes. So I figured, for the very last day of Vegan Mofo, why not give the people what they want? Bonus – I took a bizmillion photos of my wondrous creation, so you get to drool twice as much. The other 50% of the reason I baked yesterday was for the semi-vegan boyfriend. The reason the ‘semi’ remains in front of his title is basically because he has a sweet tooth, and I don’t bake enough. He likes candy! And horrible, gross things like honey buns! Have you ever read the ingredients list on the packaging of one of those things? Shew, so many ingredients, so few I am able to pronounce! I made a deal with him about a month ago that he should pick out a sweet thing from one of my many cookbooks that he wants each week and I will bake it for him, but we’ve both been lax on it. He hasn’t picked anything out, and I haven’t bothered to bake. But several factors came together yesterday:
- I felt like everyone (you and him, and maybe me) deserved a treat – it is Halloween after all.
- Last year (seriously, one year ago) I purchased a mini muffin pan because I thought it looked cute, and had yet to use it.
- The liners I bought (last year) for said pan have jack-o-lanterns on them, thus making them a time sensitive thing.
- I was bored.
So I combed through The Joy of Vegan Baking, saw a recipe for carrot cake (the semi-vegan boyfriend’s almost favorite), and changed it until I liked it. Normally, I don’t do that, because baking is chemistry and all that crazy science crud, but for whatever reason, this time it really, really worked.
You guys should have heard me, seriously. I laughed out loud every single time the buzzer went off and these were ready. They were just too cute! So tiny! So round! And since I only have one tiny muffin pan that makes 12 teensy muffins at a time, I got to laugh 5 times!
Look at the little jack-o-lanterns! Halloween! Since the semi-vegan boyfriend and I both have to work this evening (no candy for our trick or treaters, lame), I figured I’d do something festive. I guess we did go to a not at all scary (and that’s saying something coming from me, who is the ultimate scaredy cat) haunted house. And we went to this thing called the pumpkin house last night where these people carve hundreds of pumpkins and have a display set up all over their property, which in years past has been totally amazing… But I guess in recent years it’s gotten insanely popular, and when we went there were so many people that you couldn’t even really enjoy looking at the pumpkins. The best part of that journey was coming home to a cup of tea and one of these little guys.
Such a moist crumb. So lets talk cake. Carrot cake – it’s a spice cake with stuff in it, basically. Normally it calls for raisins and walnuts, but I don’t love either one of those items, so I made mine with currants and almonds. It’s just sweet enough, for me, and the perfect two-bite sweets fix. And since they’re wee, I didn’t feel bad eating three of them. I also tried to make the recipe from JOVB a little healthier, using whole wheat flour and taking out half of the fat and some of the sugar. They don’t seem to have suffered one iota. One note – since I thought these were plenty sweet, and I’m lazy (especially after all the carrot grating and almond chopping), so I didn’t ice them. The semi-vegan boyfriend thinks they would be better with some vegan cream cheese icing. However, besides the fact of my laziness, we didn’t have any Tofutti on hand, and we’re on a ‘just paid rent’ kind of budget, so no icing for us. Anyway, with less icing, you get to eat more cakes!
Mini-mini Carrot Cakes, adapted from the carrot cake recipe in The Joy of Vegan Baking
3 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups peeled and grated carrots
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup currants
1 1/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (or the ground kind)
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Add the flaxseed and water to a blender and blend until thick and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add applesauce and canola oil and process until well blended. Combine with carrots, almonds, and currants in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and salt and mix well, until smooth and fine (I used a fork to mix and smooshed out the lumps). Add the dry to wet and mix, using a rubber spatula, until moistened, but don’t overmix.
Line mini muffin tins with paper liners and, using two spoons, fill each tin with the batter, right up to the edge of the paper. These rise, but not a huge amount – filling them to the edge of the paper just gives them an adorable little top. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool a few minutes until the tops firm up a bit, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
Makes 54 tiny cupcakes! If you wish to make regular-sized cupcakes (spoilsport), you will need to bake them a little longer. Ice them with vegan cream cheese icing if it suits you. They’re sweet enough on their own for me!
With that, Mofo-ers, I bid you adieu. Until tomorrow, probably. I’ve rekindled my love for cooking and blogging throughout this past month, and I plan to actually keep up with it from now on. Enjoy your treats this evening!