Monday, August 29, 2011

Meatless Monday ~ Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World!

When I started Soy Chai Bookshelf, I meant it to be about books (as the name implies) and food (as the name less explicitly implies), as well as anything else I feel like writing about.  After a few months, it because pretty obvious that the blog was becoming a plain old book blog, and while that's fun, I like to babble about food (and vegetarianism) just as much!  So I've decided to install a feature at Soy Chai Bookshelf: Meatless Monday.

Meatless Monday is a movement to get Americans to eat less meat and more veggies by the simple expedient of not eating any animal products one day a week.  It's a great way to segue into vegetarianism or even veganism, or just make a small but real difference in your health and the environment.  To that end, on Meatless Mondays here at Soy Chai Bookshelf I will talk about anything related to food and vegetarianism, from cookbook reviews to to recipes I've created (don't hold your breath) to bragging about the delicious vegetarian feast I just whipped up to discussing in a (hopefully) not-too-judgemental way why vegetarianism is a great choice.

To kick off the feature, I'm going to share my favorite and most fun vegan cookbook - Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.  It may sound frivolous, but vegan cupcakes are actually a great way to introduce people to animal-free dining.  Think about it - when trying to convince people that meatless food tastes good, is it best to start with miso-marinated tofu with seaweed and multigrain rice or a cupcake?  I'm pretty sure that cupcakes always beat seaweed.

But enough with the reasoning behind the cupcake - on to the cupcakes themselves!  Isa and Terry's cupcakes are legitimately the best cupcakes I've ever made or even had, bar none.  I haven't made a single recipe from this book that wasn't amazing and I've made of bunch, including:

Tiramisu Cupcakes
  • Golden Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream
  • Your Basic Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Peanut Butter Cupcakes and Peanut Buttercream
  • Tiramisu Cupcakes
  • Crimson Velveteen Cupcakes
  • Black Forest Cupcakes
  • Chai Latte Cupcakes
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cinnamon Icing (an unexpected and amazing combo)
Chai Latte Cupcakes
What's interesting about these recipes is that often, on their own, the cake and frosting are just okay.  But when they're merged together, they become this symphony of delicious glory.  Sometimes I buy cupcakes from bakeries and cupcakeries (that's a word, right?) just to see if they compare, and they never do.  These cupcakes are special, and not just because they're vegan!

And, for those who fear baking from scratch, most of these recipes are super-easy.  The chocolate cupcakes especially are perfect for when you don't have much time.  Stir up some wet ingredients, stir up some dry, and combine.  Simple as that!  You can even transform each cupcake recipe into one 8-inch round cake recipe, simply by baking for ten to fifteen minutes longer!  Thanks to things like Earth Balance buttery spread and all-vegetable shortening, and Tofutti's Better Than Cream Cheese, you can have all the flavors and richness you so love without compromising the little baby cows.  And no eggs to worry about cross-contamination with (which also makes it okay to eat as much batter as you want)!

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World is a must-have for any kitchen, whether vegan, vegetarian, or meat-loving.  It's just that good!

1 comment:

  1. Gah I've been craving this cookbook for like a year.....

    And now I'm craving it more.