Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sweet Sunday

Courtesy of Can You Stay for Dinner
What if I told you that you could have your cake and eat it too for only 100 calories? And whole grain. And nonfat. And made from real, wholesome ingredients? 'Nough said right? Thanks to the cookbook, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, you can now enjoy a dessert that both feels good and tastes good too!

Each of these cupcakes is moist, tender, soft crumbed, and plenty chocolatey. And unlike lots of healthy baking projects, these are ones I would serve to someone other than my husband. Healthy yet fabulous enough to share with friends and strangers. They’re gently sweet and have a decidedly lighter texture than most of the non-fat cake recipes I’ve tried. Splendid.

Courtesy of Can You Stay for Dinner

~100 Calorie Chocolate Cupcakes~

1 cup nonfat or low fat milk, dairy or nondairy
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup all purpose flour –OR- whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners. Spritz them lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

2)  Combine a cup of milk with 1 teaspoon of vinegar, preferably apple cider vinegar. Set that aside for a few minutes so that it can curdle, like buttermilk.

Note: You can use dairy milk or nondairy milk, nonfat milk or whole. All varieties- everything from almond milk to 1% to soy - work well. The point is to create a light buttermilk (though using less acid than a traditional buttermilk), which will chemically react with the baking soda in the recipe to help the cupcakes rise while baking.

3)  In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients: 1/2 cup all purpose white flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (you can also use whole wheat pastry flour with even better results), 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set this mixture aside.

Note: Using all white flour produces the lightest, fluffiest texture, and the one most closely resembling a standard, full-fat cupcake. Using 1/2 white flour and 1/2 whole wheat is quite perfect. Nutritionally, you’re getting a better-for-you dessert, and the texture isn’t compromised. Using all whole wheat flour turns out well too, it’s just that the cupcakes bake up denser. If you want to use 100% whole grains in the recipe, though, use whole wheat pastry flour, as it lends a softer, more tender texture than traditional whole wheat flour. Use whatever you like.

4) In a large mixing bowl, combine 3/4 cup brown sugar with 1/2 cup of apple sauce and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Note: Replacing the fat in the recipe with applesauce yields great results. The cupcakes are extra moist from the substitution, but they are a bit heavier in texture because of it.

5) Pour in the milk mixture. You’ll notice that the milk has begun to separate and curdle. Give all wet ingredients a thorough stir.

6) Add your dry ingredients to the wet ones and stir just until incorporated. The batter will be much thinner and more runny than traditional cake batters, almost like a pancake batter.

7) Divide the batter evenly among the cups and bake for about 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean.

8) Let the cupcakes cool for at least 10 minutes in the pan set on top of a wire cooling rack before removing from the pan to cool completely. When they’re cool, frost with your favorite fluffy whipped vanilla frosting - See below.

Cupcakes -- Calories: 108.7, Fat: 0.6g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 15.4mg, Carb: 29.7g, Fiber: 1.2g, Sugars: 20.5g, Protein 2.2g

Need a frosting recipe? Try this Whipped Frosting from Missy Dew over at Tasty Kitchen. It's a smooth, silky, fluffy, subtly sweet frosting - almost like whipped cream but more substantial. One that will leave you saying, "that's the best frosting I've ever had!"

Courtesy of Can You Stay for Dinner
~Whipped Frosting~

5 Tablespoons Flour
1 cup Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup Butter
1 cup Granulated Sugar (not Powdered Sugar!)

1) In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You want it to be very thick, thicker than cake mix, more like a brownie mix is.

2) Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (If I’m in a hurry, I place the saucepan over ice in the sink for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture cools.) It must be completely cool before you use it in the next step.

3) Stir in vanilla.

4) While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left.

5) Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat the living daylights out of it. If it looks separated, you haven’t beaten it enough! Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.

I hope this ends your weekend on a sweet note!

No comments:

Post a Comment