Sunday, May 9, 2010

Vegan Linzer Torte Cupcakes iced with Bakers at Dawn

J-Fur and I recently finished watching season three of Dexter (I know we are way behind but that is what having just basic cable does to you). If you aren't familiar with the show it is about a man who works for the police but is also a serial killer. Pretty thrilling stuff. Anyway, during season three Dexter is in the process of getting married to his girlfriend Rita. During one episode Rita is trying to get Dexter's opinion on which type of cake to have, hazelnut or chocolate. Dexter choose the hazelnut.

As an homage to the show I decided that I too was going to choose hazelnut, and bake up some vegan cupcakes. One problem, the recipe I was using (From Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World) called for a lot of ingredients that I don't normally have lying around. I tracked most of these ingredients down but I couldn't find hazelnut extract. Like Dexter, I stalked this extract at my local supermarkets, big box store and even three different health food stores. I found root beer, lemon, almond, butter, orange, vanilla, mint, anise, and carob extract but no hazelnut. In the end, I substituted for it (something Dexter would never do). Learning from this experience, I am currently in the process of making my own extract (thanks J-Fur and Oso Negro for the recipe).

Vegan Linzer Torte Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Topping (adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World)
(printable version)

-1 cup plus 2 Tbs. all purpose flour
-1/3 cup hazelnut flour
-1 tsp. baking powder
-1/4 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
-1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
-1/2 tsp. of salt
-2/3 cup of almond milk
-1 Tbs. ground flaxseeds
-1/3 cup vegetable oil
-1/4 cup of maple syrup
-1/2 cup of brown sugar, packed
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
-2/3 cup of raspberry preserves

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake pans with wrappers. In a bowl whisk together almond milk and flaxseed. In another bowl sift together flour, hazelnut meal, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

2. To the almond milk mixture add: maple syrup, sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla and almond extract. Beat well. Pour wet ingredients into dry, mixing until smooth. Pour into cupcake liners (filling about two-thirds of the way). Bake 24 minutes. Cool completely.

3. Once cooled, fill a pastry bag with raspberry preserves. Using the fill head, poke a hole in each cupcake and squeeze as much preserves in as you can. After filling each cupcake, squeeze any excess preserves out and spread evenly amongst all the cakes.

4. Top with chocolate ganache (recipe below).

Chocolate Ganache Topping (adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World)
(printable version)

-1/4 cup of soy milk
-4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
-2 Tbs. of molasses

1. In a sauce pan, bring the soy milk to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate and molasses. Mix ganache until chocolate has fully melted. Set aside until ready to use.

Note: I ran out of maple syrup so I used molasses instead. To make it exactly like the authors of the book, replace molasses with maple syrup.

Last August I made a roux mix (here) and included a Swedish band by the name of The Argument. One of their members, Marcus, works on solo music under the moniker Bakers at Dawn. Considering this recipe was all about baking, I thought I'd check the band out and see what was happening. Bakers at Dawn are not a polished pop band. Their sound is very dirty and unrefined (the way I like my flour). Some tracks I wasn't super impressed with and then others I liked a lot. Here are two of my favorites, "Same" (courtesy of Swedesplease) and "I always know I'm right." You can download entire Bakers at Dawn albums, for free, via their myspace page.

Bakers at Dawn-Same

Bakers at Dawn-I Always Know I'm Right