Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Mini Bundts with Almond-Vanilla Frosting and Raspberry Drippings

I know, I know. You might be scratching your head and trying to figure out what in the dickens are 'raspberry drippings'. Well, it's just me, some fresh raspberries, a small bowl of vegan frosting, and a Kitchen Aid mixer all having a party in the kitchen corner nearest the stove. But the more highly technical and scientific definition is a raspberry glaze that is generally too thick to be considered a glaze. So I named it 'drippings', because that's what it looks like. And I like the word 'drippings'. Reminds me of making chicken gravy.

YEEEES! This recipe is vegan. This actually leads to my absence from the blog over the holiday season. For one, I was busy. Very. Busy. I baked enough cakes and goodies to fill this blog for 6 months and even snapped plenty of photographs. But getting over to the keyboard at the end of it all is another story. I also started a new line of employment as the baker for a local organic grocery and supplement store. There is a natural foods deli tucked away in the back corner along with a quaint little bakery, which offers plenty of vegan, gluten-free, and even RAW desserts. (I will get into making raw desserts hopefully later on in the maturing life of this blog.)

Anyway, because of the demands and polite asking of many of the customers, I have been working to 'veganize' many of the recipes in my books as well as researching more about how to convert cakes and other sugary treats into being free of all animal products. I'm fairly familiar with vegan baking and how to get away with not using things such as eggs and butter, the very ingredients that often, and usually, give cakes their structure and rich flavor. But the artist within has really come alive in the past month and make these pieces of pastry art taste every bit as good as their eggy-buttery cousins...and often even better.

So after doing my nightly food blog browsing, I spotted a chocolate cupcake recipe that happens to be vegan and very reminiscent of the Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake. (Yes, I will post a blog entry on this recipe some day. It is still to this day one of my favorite chocolate cakes!!!) Angela, author of the 'Oh She Glows' vegan blog, took it even one step further and created a BEAUTIFUL and creamy, yet somewhat fluffy, vegan almond frosting along with a raspberry glaze. So I basically just plagiarized her work and turned it all into mini bundts! Hehe, I am kidding...I am totally giving her credit for this tasty frosting. I only changed the flavoring slightly to give it a vanilla-almond blend (almond extract can be overpowering for some people), and my pictures weren't nearly as pretty as hers. She obviously has a much better camera than I do, and her props were much nicer. You are just going to have to deal with my camera, which was left behind by a guest at my husband's hotel, cooling wrack and paper towels. 


Vegan Chocolate Mini Bundts
*Makes 6 mini bundt cakes
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used Silk unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 cup sugar (I used C&H raw cane sugar, also known as turbinado sugar)
  • 1/3 cup light-tasting olive oil (or oil of choice, coconut would be great!)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
  • 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 F and prepare your cake pan. (I use Bakers Joy cooking spray, which has flour added to it to prevent sticking)
Just sift together all of the dry ingredients, minus the sugar, and set aside.
With an electric mixer, beat together the oil and sugar for a minute on medium speed. Then add in the extracts, vinegar, and milk and beat for another minute or so. Or just beat until you see a good amount of frothiness floating around on top.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry, and stir it around with your beaters to get it all incorporated. Then turn on the mixer, medium-low speed ONLY until the mixture comes together and there are no visible lumps of flour.
Baking times are going to vary depending on your oven and the pan you use. I think I checked at about the 18-minute mark and then just kept an eye on the pan for the next few minutes. A toothpick will come out clean when the cakes are ready.

Vanilla-almond Vegan Frosting and Raspberry Drippings
  • ½ cup vegan buttery spread or vegan shortening* (I used Earth Balance, soy free)
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tbsp non-dairy milk (I used almond milk again)
  • ½ tsp popcorn salt (popcorn salt is very fine and dissolves well in frosting)
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 fresh raspberries (and more for garnish if desired), mashed in a bowl with a fork
Cream your buttery spread or shortening for about a minute on medium-high speed until it starts to become light and fluffy. (This works best in a stand mixer, but your hand mixer is perfectly fine. You'll just be mixing for slightly longer time.)
Add in the extracts and salt and then the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. I only do this on low speed until all the sugar has been mixed in.
Add in the non-dairy milk. Start with 1 Tbsp to see how whether or not you like the consistency. Then add more as desired. Once this is done, allow the mixer to go for about 4-5 more minutes, on medium speed. This is actually going to increase the volume of your frosting as well as improve the color by lightening it up.
*To make the drippings: Reserve ½ cup of the frosting and simply mix in the mashed raspberries. If you want them even juicier, mash them with a sprinkling of granulated sugar before you even bake the cakes so that the sugar will draw out the juices.

To decorate your little bundts, you can easily use the Ziplock bag method. Same with the raspberry drippings. Simply shove into a bag, snip off the end, and drizzle all over your freshly frosting cakes and top with fresh raspberries. I would actually recommend allowing your frosting to 'rest' for at least 4 hours, an entire day if you can. The reason? This allows the salt in the frosting to mellow out. It is going to taste a bit salt at first bite. But once all the flavors have had time to mellow out, you'll see why it's necessary to use so much salt in a rather small amount of frosting. The salt and extracts balance each other perfectly. Enjoy!! xx

*Spectrum makes an organic, vegan shortening that works cup for cup in any frosting or baking recipe that requires butter or shortening.  No trans fats, nothing hydrogenated, and very neutral flavor.