the food: Vegan Avocado Cupcakes
the song: "You're the Good Things" Modest Mouse
Happy voting day! Get your tails out there and do it. It'll make you feel proud, and you'll be doing your American duty. Really. And once you're finished, why not come home and make some hippie vegan cupcakes?
You might be asking yourself "What do vegan cupcakes and voting have in common?" As you can see, I voted democrat this morning (just like always). When I walked in and announced to my (very professional) polling reps that I was voting in the democratic primary, one of them said "Of course you are! You're smiling!" Random as this comment may be, it got me thinking...only a liberal would jump at the idea of a vegan avocado cupcake. I mean, come on, have you ever met a conservative vegan*?
Joy the Baker has been making me very hungry lately with her gorgeous food blog. I ran across this recipe for avocado chocolate cake a few weeks ago and it looked intriguing. This morning, I ran across it again, and I considered it a sign. I love sweets with unexpected ingredients. My favorite cookies have carrots in them. I've adapted my mom's brownies to include stout beer. And lest we forget the roasted garlic cupcakes from the husband's birthday party. So I was psyched about using avocado as the fat in a baked good.
As I started mixing the ingredients, though, I became a bit skeptical. So let me warn you now- the wet mixture is less than appetizing looking. The oil and water do what oil and water does, and the avocado bits floating around make for an odd texture. But carry on with the directions, and I assure you these cupcakes will turn out the perfect consistency...soft and dense and chocolately, with just a vague taste of something you can't quite identify. Well, you'll be able to identify it, because you made them.
I wish you could see the subtle green specs in the batter. It's so pretty. The best thing about vegan baking is being able to eat the raw batter with no worries. So don't be shy about licking the whisk. The worst thing about vegan baking is that it is easy to tell yourself that vegan equals healthy. Let me remind you...these are still cupcakes, made with white flour and plenty of sugar. While they may be better for you than your average sweet, they are not health food, and you are not entitled to eat the whole pan. This is the speech I had to give myself the moment these puppies came out of the oven.
Oooh, lordy. Vegan or not, these are the most perfect chocolate cupcakes I've ever made. I followed the recipe exactly, except I made cupcakes and I left off the avocado buttercream frosting. It just didn't sound that appetizing to me, although it makes for a lovely presentation. For me, a light dusting of powdered sugar was all they needed to help that rich chocolate avocado taste shine.
Enjoy the cupcakes, hippies.
Vegan Avocado Cupcakes
adapted from Joy the Baker
3 cups all-purpose flour
6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup soft avocado, well mashed, about 1 medium avocado
2 cups water
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper, set aside.
Sift together all of the dry ingredients except the sugar. In a separate bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together, including the well-mashed avocado. Add sugar into the wet mix and stir. Mix the wet with the dry and beat with a whisk until smooth.
Pour batter by the spoonful into prepared muffin tins, about 3/4 full. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Once cupcakes are completely cool, you can frost them or sprinkle with powdered sugar if you like. Recipe makes 2 dozen cupcakes.
*Dear Conservative Vegans,I mean no disrespect by openly questioning your existence. I understand that there are probably a few of you out there. Please note that I am being deliberately reductive about both food politics and...uh...political politics in this post to loosely tie into election day. Rock on your small government, big animal-rights selves!