Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Vegan Carob, Cherry and Raisin Cup Cakes

One of the questions I get asked quite a lot by non-vegans is 'how do you make cakes?', to which I answer 'very easily'!  Given that most standard recipe books, magazines or cookery shows seem to be addicted to eggs when it comes to cake recipes, it is an understandable misconception that you cannot make cakes without eggs.
I normally like to follow up my explanation of ease by making some cakes and letting people sample them. I do this at work every now and then resulting in a 'bun fight' amongst my non-vegan colleagues to get at them; further countering the other popular misconception that vegan cakes must taste terrible without the use of eggs!

Recently I wanted to make a cupcake that said 'evening comfort food' but without the chocolate that is renowned for keeping Phil from snoozing at night. So I came up with this little combo - Carob, Cherry and Raisin - and it worked well with just the right level of naughty but nice.......particularly with a splash of vegan custard on top!
Carob, Cherry and Raisin Cup Cakes

240ml soya (or rice) milk
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
220g plain flour
2 tablespoons corn flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
100g mix of raisins and dried cherries
100g carob flakes or drops (broken up a bit)
75ml rapeseed oil (gives cakes lovely colour)
150g caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla paste or essence
1 teaspoon almond essence (if you like it)

1. Whisk the vinegar into the milk and then leave it alone for about 5 minutes whilst you weigh out all the other ingredients.

2. Mix all the dry ingredients (except the sugar) in a bowl.  Stir in the fruit and carob.

3. Add the oil, sugar and essences to the soya milk mixture and give it a good old mix up.

4. Add the wet mixture into the dry ingredients in the bowl and mix well, giving it a little whisk to add air.  Check there is no sneaky flour on the very bottom of the bowl!

5. Fill cupcake liners (about 3/4 full) or a greased muffin tin and then bake for about 20 minutes at 200 degrees C. A knife inserted into the centre of one will tell you they are ready if it comes out clean.

This recipe makes about 7 big boys or 11 to 12 smaller ones. It even works well put in a shallow baking pan as a 'tray bake' (with a little extra baking time).


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