Sunday 26 May 2019

Perfect Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes + Oreo Cupcakes

What makes a perfect chocolate cupcake? A rich, intense flavour and a fluffy texture come to mind. Those things are not always easy to achieve, especially when it comes to vegan baking. Oftentimes, you're just one hard whisk away from knocking all the air out of your cake batter or over beating it into a goo that ends up tasting more rubber than chocolate-covered cloud.

That's where this recipe comes in. Tried and tested for you, so you can be sure you'll get perfect results every time. You probably already have all the ingredients for this at home, and so the next time you're in need of a treat or a pick-me-up, maybe give this one a go. And if you feel like pushing the boat a bit, top them with shards of Oreo cookies for that extra crunch.

As always, don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven't already. I have a truckload of exciting videos coming up for the rest of the year, and it'd be great to build a lil' community over there.

Makes 24
- 250ml non-dairy milk (soy, almond, rice, coconut, oat...etc)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 100ml sunflower oil
- 150g caster sugar
- 200g self-raising flour
- 50g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Oreo cookies (optional)

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

In a large bowl, combine the non-dairy milk and lemon juice. Leave to stand for two minutes. Add the vanilla, sunflower oil and sugar. Whisk until the ingredients are well-combined.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into the wet mixture. Using a gentle folding motion, mix until just combined. Don't worry if there are a few tiny lumps.

Spoon the batter into cupcake liners and bake for 25 minutes. (Alternative version: top the cakes with shards of Oreo cookies). Check to see if they are baked all the way through by sticking a toothpick in the centre of a cupcake - it should come out clean.

Remove the cupcakes from the tray and allow to cool on a wire rack. Initially, the top of the cupcake will feel a bit hard and crunchy. Leaving it to cool for longer (usually overnight) will soften the overall surface. This is why it's usually better to bake cakes a day ahead of serving them.

Serve as they are, or topped with chocolate buttercream.

Top Tips for Perfect Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
1. Do not overmix! You just need to mix lightly to the point where everything is combined. No need to whip and whisk it excessively. If your arms start to ache and you've got sweat dripping down your face, you're doing it wring. Overmixing will only turn the mixture gloopy, and result in rubbery cupcakes.

2. Use high-quality, unsweetened cocoa powder. I recommend Green & Blacks.

Other recipes you might like: Coconut Cupcakes; Chocolate and Peanut Muffins.

Saturday 25 May 2019

Filming with Battabox

A quick snippet from a filming/cooking session for the Battabox Youtube channel. Check out the full video on their page, and be sure to subscribe to my channel if you haven't already. In my next video, I'll be showing you how to make the ultimate vegan chocolate/Oreo cupcakes.

The two recipes featured in the video: plantain/sweetcorn fritters and plantain fried rice. Both can be found in my plantain cookbook.

Sunday 5 May 2019

Vegan Nigerian Cooking Class

What a great evening this turned out to be!

As part of the 'Vegan Chefs of Colour' series by community cooking school 'Life After Hummus', I got to lead a Nigerian cooking class on Friday. We had a sold out event with 35 attendees learning the ins and outs of dishes such as jollof rice and efo riro.

The twist was that everything was low-fat and healthy to the nth degree. Aside from the plantain,  which needed a little spray cooking oil, the entire menu was oil-free. The jollof rice and efo was paired with a zesty coleslaw. Dessert was a palate-cleansing salad of fresh pineapple, mango and coconut, brought to life with a hint of nutmeg. For the full recipes, check out @lifeafterhummus on Instagram (recipes from the classes are always posted there afterwards).

Thank you to everyone who came along, to Farrah for all her hard work in organising the series and lovely volunteers on the night.

On a related note, if you're a group or corporate organisation looking for a fun team-building activity such as a cooking class, do get in touch!