Have you ever booked a weekend away and picked the hotel purely on the basis that it was in the same city as a café that sells vegan cupcakes…. only to find out that the café was sold 2 months’ earlier and now isn’t even vegetarian?!
That was my valentine’s weekend, haha! Aww well, we still had a lovely time 🙂
We went to Derby and despite a distinct lack of cake; I still managed to gorge myself silly. On the first night I enjoyed a lovely okra jalfrezi at Balti International (all dishes are cooked with veggie oil rather than ghee, apart from the butter chicken which obviously I wasn’t likely to order).Second night I had a fabulous Chinese meal at Excelsior where I had vegetarian hot and sour soup, choi sung and a mountain of sweet and sour tofu. I was VERY impressed by the owner’s knowledge of what was in each dish.
Final day we stopped off at Café Yaffle where my omni hubby shocked me by sharing a couple of (very yummy) vegan cheese toasties with me (one with sausage and pickle, the other with pizza-cheese and tomato). I also raided the shelves of Soundbites, an adjacent vegan store with a fantastic range of goodies. So all in all it was a pretty good trip!
Anyway, hubby bought me a silicone cupcake kit for Christmas so I decided to christen it by making lemon and poppy seed cupcakes. I loosely based the recipe on this non-vegan version and I have to admit that I was pretty smug about the result! Seriously soft and fluffy but delightfully tangy and not too sweet… I ate 7 out of 12, whoops! And my favourite part? They rose! It might be pancake day today but these beauties were most definitely NOT vertically challenged!
Lemon and poppy seed cupcakes:
Ingredients (Makes 12):
|13/4 x cups self-raising flour
1 x tbsp. slightly toasted poppy seeds (cook in a dry frying pan on a medium heat for 1 – 2 mins)
3/4 x cup sugar
Zest of 2 un-waxed lemons
3 x tsp No-Egg in 6 x tbsp. water (whisked together until white and frothy)
1 x tsp baking powder
1/3 x cup soya yoghurt (or any other dairy-free variety)
½ x cup vegan friendly marg
1/3 x cup soya milk (or any other dairy-free variety)
Juice of 1 lemon
Also: 12 x cupcake cases. I used silicone.
Preheat oven to 180oC.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, zest (reserve a quarter for decoration), poppy seeds and baking powder. Sift the flour if you want, but I didn’t bother.
In another bowl, electric-whisk up the No-Egg and water before adding the marg, followed by the sugar, yoghurt, milk and finally the lemon juice.
A spoonful at a time, add the dry ingredients into the wet and gently fold in. A silicone spatula is great for this
Using a couple of teaspoons (one for scooping, one for scraping), distribute the mixture evenly between the 12 cupcake cases.
Put in the oven and bake for 15 mins or until golden brown. A skewer should come out clean when inserted into the centre of each.
Allow to cool on a wire rack.
These cakes are so tasty that they don’t really need icing. However, just to pretty them up, I added a small swirl of the following onto each and topped with some extra poppy seeds and a sprinkling of zest:
|4 x tbsp. icing sugar
1/3 x cup vegan friendly marg
½ x cup vegan cream cheese (I used Violife – now available in some Tesco stores!)
Juice of ½ lemon
Whizz together the marg, cream cheese and lemon juice using an electric mixer. Whizz in the icing sugar, cover and pop in the fridge for 20 mins or so. Once the cupcakes are COMPLETELY COOLED you can either spoon or pipe a small amount of icing onto each cake.
Perfect with a cup of tea!