Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Blog Party #38, Birthday Bash: Jelly Donut Cupcakes and a "Red Cooler"


Part 3 of Blog Party #38: Stephanie's Birthday Bash is always my favorite course--dessert! (If you missed parts 1 & 2 they are below). I have been wanting to make the Jelly Donut Cupcake recipe from Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Just listen to this description from the book: "Here is a treat that defies all logic: it's both a tender cupcake and sugared jelly donut at the same time. They're cute, yummy, and deceptively easy to make, too. No need to use a pastry bag to fill the cupcake in order to create its amazing jelly donut effect; the jam bakes right into it, doing all the work for you. Add a sprinkle of confectioner's sugar and you have yourself one heck of a cupcake moonlighting as a jelly donut." Yum and fun too! Sounds perfect for Stephanie.

Jelly Donut Cupcakes
Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

1 cup soy or rice milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
About 1/3 cup raspberry jam or preserves (you can use strawberry or grape if you prefer)
2 Tbsp confectioners' sugar
-----
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pour the soy milk, vinegar, and cornstarch into a measuring cup and set aside. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper cupcake liners. In a large mixing bowl, shift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Create a well in the center of the flour to pour your wet ingredients into. Stir the soy milk mixture with a fork to dissolve the cornstarch, then pour into the flour mixture. Add the oil, granulated sugar, and vanilla. Stir until well combined. Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full with batter.
Place a heaping teaspoon of jam on the center of each cupcake. You don't need to press down o the jam or do anything else; the baking will take care of all that and it will sink in. Bake for 21-23 minutes. You can't really do a toothpick test here because of the jelly filling, but the cupcakes should be done by this point. The tops should be firm. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on wire racks. Once cooled, set them someplace cool and dry, and leave uncovered. If it is winter, leave them in your coldest room. If it's summer, leave them somewhere air conditioned if possible. If it's not possible, don't sweat it--just don't leave them anywhere very warm. Let them sit overnight and preferably up to 24 hours. This will make the tops dry and a little bit crispy and more donut-like. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar (using a shifter if you have one). Serve with coffee. Makes 12 cupcakes. (The authors note that the cheaper your jam the more authentic your donut will taste).

Results: It went together well but my end result was not quite as pretty as I would like considering the holes in the top of most of the cupcakes. The instructions tell you to use cheap jam or jelly to make it more authentic and that ended up being a on-sale squeeze bottle of Smucker's Strawberry Jam. "How perfect!" I thought as I happily squeezed my best guesstimate of 1 "heaping teaspoon" of jam into the center of each filled batter-filled cupcake liner. Well I think I must have blasted that jam in there like a power-washer hosing down a sidewalk because my jam sunk in but left large craters in the tops of the cupcakes, (a friend described them as "bullet holes"). Not pretty, not perfect (you can only cover so much with powdered sugar) but hey, I think they have some personality! If you want to avoid this issue, I would suggest delicately spooning the the correct amount of jam in. They do taste really good! I don't know that if I was blindfolded and you gave me one I would think it was a jelly donut but it definitely had some of the characteristics. Not quite as sweet as many cupcakes and a bit healthier because they aren't covered in frosting, also they have no dairy if you know anyone who can't have it. I would make these again and my friends at work seemed to like them.

We also need a good, refreshing drink to wash it all down with. My drink of choice is a palate cleanser from Teany Book: Stories, Food, Romance, Cartoons and, of Course, Tea by Moby and Kelly Tisdale. (Yep it is that Moby, the musician who also has a tea store in New York). I know Stephanie is a tea fan, so I thought this drink would be fun to have amongst all the alcohol at the party. Plus it could work with some vodka mixed in too.

Teany Red Cooler
Teany Book by Moby and Kelly Tisdale
-----
You will need equal parts of:
mint tea
any black tea that has been flavored with a red, tart and sweet fruit: like plum or raspberry
cranberry juice
-----
You can make this recipe in any quantity, because it calls for equal parts of all three ingredients. Steep the mint tea for 5-10 minutes. You want to make the tea very strong and you don't have to worry about it turning bitter because it's herbal. Steep the black tea for 3 minutes, and no longer because it will turn the whole mixture bitter. Pour equal parts of all three liquids in a container and refrigerate. Garnish with mint if you are feeling fancy.



Results: Very refreshing! I love the combo of the mint and the tang of the cranberry juice and fruited black tea. I used a favorite, Tevana's "Sweet Cranberry Black" tea in mine. Since I bought an unsweetened organic cranberry only juice, I did add a couple teaspoons of agave syrup to the tea so it was not quite so pucker inducing.


I want to wish Stephanie a Happy Birthday as well as wish a terrific Birthday Month to her and all the other September Birthday people! I look forward to seeing all the delicious offerings everyone will be bringing to Blog party. If you want to check them out, visit Stephanie at Dispensing Happiness after Saturday 9/20 to see the round-up.

3 comments:

Natashya said...

I think the cupcakes look great! I have not baked vegan-style and really should give it a try.
The drink looks refreshing, I love the goblet. I think Stephanie will love her bday tea.

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Deb, what a beautiful way to serve this delicious looking cupcake. It's so pretty. Your whole setup looks like a wonderful Tea Party. You Hawaiians are o cool!

Debi said...

Deb
that looks really yummy...You should try the little cream cheese filled pastries at panya... if you can eat dairy that is.

it's funny, but I just read your bio and I have never met anyone who also loved 'like water for chocolate'. This is a wonderful book!!
anyway, i also live in hawaii and am named Debi...
catch you again soon.