Monday, May 28, 2012

Back in action

After a long blogging hiatus, I have decided to start blogging again. I can't promise that I will be as regular as I was BH (before Harry!), but I will be aiming to blog at least twice a week. I have continued baking the last two years, but not a lot of things that I would consider inspirational. However, just recently my passion for cake and cookies decorating (amateurish as it is!) has returned. To keep me blogging though, please leave lots of comments - I love to get them and that is really what inspires me.

My youngest sister is also a fanatic baker. She and I have been baking our way through the fabulous book, Cake Days, and just recently decided to also bake and decorate our way through Celebration Cupcakes, a book by a new zealander, Tamara Jane. The challenge is to not just bake the cupcakes, but also attempt to decorate the cakes in the same way as in the book.

The first recipe we chose (chosen by our mum) is for these chocolate vegan cupcakes. The recipe was chosen completely for what the finished product looked like, rather than the fact that the cakes are vegan. I've been fascinated by the photo of these gorgeous looking cupcakes since I was given the book last year. The intense purple of the icing was so gorgeous and I loved the flowers on top. My version isn't as stunning as that in the book, but I must say I was pretty pleased with my attempt. A word of warning though, I wouldn't eat the icing as the amount of purple food colouring I had to add to get that deep purple colour was frightening! My flowers need a bit of work, but hopefully with some practice, I will improve.

The cakes themselves are delicious. Mine weren't truly vegan as I did use cows milk, not having the recommended rice milk to hand. These would be a great recipe to use if you felt like baking but had run out of eggs and butter. They are also very easy to make and keep well.

Vegan chocolate cupcakes (from celebration cupcakes by Tamara Jane)

240ml rice milk (i used cows milk)
1 tsp white vinegar
150g castor sugar
80ml vegetable oil (I used rice bran)
1 tsp vanilla
120g flour
1/2 tsp b soda
1/2 tsp b powder
40g cocoa

- combine milk and vinegar and set aside for five minutes to curdle
- add the sugar, oil and vanilla to the milk mixture and whisk until well combined
- sift together the dry ingredients and then add in two batches to the liquid
- spoon into twelve cupcake cases and bake at 180c for 20 minutes
- when cold ice with butter icing and to make it truly vegan, make with something like olivio


Susan @ My Wholefood Family Essentials said...

Welcome back Tammy! Great to see you blogging again, you always make such pretty things!

Summer said...

Welcome back! We missed you. I look forward to reading your blogs. They always make my mouth water!

Megan said...

Lovely to open my Google Reader and see a post from you. As a working mum myself I know how busy it can be juggling family, work, and maintaining something of yourself too. I also have a blog and I know how hard it can be keeping up with that too! I love the Tamara Jane cupcake books, her recipes always work and I love the decorating she does....very inspirational!

Di said...

Hi, Tammy! Glad to see you blogging again. I can't wait to see what other cupcakes (and other stuff) you post. =)

Anonymous said...

Great to see you back! I had been checking sporadically :) Look forward to reading your blog again!

Anonymous said...

Tammy......... what a thrill to see you back on your blog.
You made my day.
Big hugs from Raewyn

Caroline said...

So pleased to see you back. I have missed your blog. Harry must be a 'little man' by now

Gem said...

Ah...sweet relief to see this on my iGoogle page! Welcome back, I had resorted to reading your old posts quite a few times so very much looking forward to new ones. Don't know if you have tried baking with Fresh As products on your hiatus, but if not, you must try! Made the most delicious choc raspberry cupcakes with cream cheese icing with Fresh As raspberry powder mixed in.....def took them to the next level!
Anyway, welcome back!

Tammy said...

Thanks for all your comments - I love getting them!
Raewyn, your comment made my day! Gemma, I have used the fresh as products. Not as much as I would like though. I've used it in a cheesecake and also in cupcake icing. Delicious!

Jenna said...

Hi Tammy, I made this recipe but used breast milk and left out the cocoa as it is for my 8 month girl. Instead of cupcakes I poured mixture into loaf tin as I have to make it into a train carriage. It worked really well- thanks! Am going to make the banana loaf next :)

Lesley said...

Wow, it's great to have you back. You were my main inspiration for starting my own blog as I regularly read and loved your posts. Welcome back!