Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

Chocolate mint, because your friend loves this combination. This is one of many things you agree on. Cupcakes, because this is for a work celebration, and who wants to fuss with plates and cutlery? Vegan, because you are obstinate by nature and find challenges rewarding. Whether you disclose that to future cupcake-eaters or not is up to you. With a delicious fluffy crumb and an impressive rise, these cupcakes hide such secrets well.

Made for a friend’s birthday.

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes (adapted from the Cupcake Project). Makes about 24 cupcakes with enough left over for a mug cake.

  • 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 C flour
  • 1 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 C fresh mint leaves, packed firmly
  • 1/2 C silken tofu
  • 1 C soy milk
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C oil
  • Indeterminate amounts of water
  • 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar
  • More soy milk
  • Peppermint extract
  • Green food colouring

1) Sort and pack down mint leaves into an amount that roughly resembles a cup. Put that into a food processor, or a cheap single serving-blender you just bought at Wal-Mart. Whatever. Chop (“blend”??) mint finely, using a spoon to jam it into the blades. No, more finely than that. You don’t want to see any leaves in these cupcakes. People already think you’re a subhuman who just eats leaves.

2) Add in tofu, soy milk, vinegar, vanilla, and oil. Process until smooth. Be incredibly suspcious about this whole endeavor. Your friend also likes Funfetti. Maybe you should have just made funfetti. Taste the resulting mixture. It tastes fine. Proceed.

3) Preheat oven to 350.

4) Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda, because you read somewhere this improves lift and you have your reservations about the end result.

5) Combine wet with dry, first in halves, then in quarters. You do this because you read somewhere this improves lift and you have your reservations about the end result. You have no idea if this is actually necessary or not.

6) Add in, slowly and carefully, indeterminate amounts of water totalling somewhere close to half a cup. You are terrified of ruining the recipe at this point, so you add this in 1/8 cup increments until the batter looks “batter-y”. Think about the last time you baked anything, and wonder what batter is even supposed to look like. Err on the side of less water, because you don’t want to drown your poor cupcakes.

7) When batter looks like batter, fill cupcake liners approx. 2/3 of the way full. Put cupcakes in oven, and set the timer for a fraction of the suggested time (15 minutes).

8) While cupcakes are baking, put leftover batter in a microwave-safe mug for about 2 min. Be amazed by the results.

9) Wander over the to the oven when it goes up, and see your cupcakes with an encouraging dome. Use the fork test to find they are done! Eek! Yank them out, convinced that you burned them. Remove from pan and let cool.

10) Work on the icing. Put confectioner’s sugar in a bowl, and bloop in teeny amounts of soy milk until it is smooth and thick. Put in a few drops (CAREFUL! Oops, maybe less than that) of peppermint extract. Taste this on its own to find it to be unexpectedly potent. Less is definitely more. Add in a few drops of green food colouring to warn the chocolate-mint haters that there is something different about these cupcakes, and to inform the chocolate-mint lovers that there is something wonderful about these cupcakes.

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