I had a cupcake jones the other night which resulted in vegan chocolate cupcakes with chocolate velvet (vegan) icing. I thought they were ok. Jason thought they were gooooood. But he thinks everything is goooooood. My problems probably more had to do with ingredients than anything else. I didn’t have any baker’s sugar, which is what I like to use for this kind of icing. In fact, the only sugar I had was super hippie, coarse washed crystals of love or something. Organic dried cane juice nuggets. Whatever. It’s just sugar but it is extremely coarse, kind of kosher salt coarse. And it has a lot of the molasses flavor still. But a cupcake jones will not be denied and I forged ahead. Then I realized that I didn’t actually have any vanilla. I only had vanilla flavor, which was a shopping error, so don’t yell at me for not using real vanilla. I normally would but I apparently picked up the wrong bottle. So I used some of that and made the up the rest with REAL ORGANIC chocolate extract. Damn hippie. Oh, and then when I made the custard that is the base of the icing…and it’s a really lovely icing, I cooked it too fast so I added a little soy creamer to try and slow it down a little and I think that may have given the icing a little too much of the hippie overtones. But you know, overall, totally edible. Pleasant and if you are not me, you probably wouldn’t notice the problems I had with them.
The icing is…hmmm, well I don’t actually know the non-vegan equivalent. It’s not a cooked butter cream, which I love the flavor of but hate making. But it’s not a straight up quick butter cream because you add this custard element to it for creaminess and stabilization.
I made a really delicious cooked butter cream once, Swiss butter cream, I think they call it. It was going to be the icing for a bridal shower cake for Donovan’s Mama (yes, she has a real name but I don’t know if she wants me to use it and since Donovan has his own blog where he details all her parenting mistakes…well, you get the picture). I say this icing WAS GOING TO because, well, if you’ve ever made a cooked butter cream, it’s…not exactly complicated but it is kind of involved, you need to cook it and there’s hot sugar and your whipping things so they don’t curdle and whatever, but at some point you need to use a candy thermometer to make sure the sugar is the proper temperature. I am not fond of candy thermometers. I don’t really know why though. I mean, when I make candy I usually use the “put a drop in water and see what stage it’s at” method (what do they call that, you know? When the sugar makes a soft ball or a hard ball or a ribbon or it cracks…I don’t know…) but this time, because the recipe called for it, I used a candy thermometer.
The icing was lovely, fluffy and white and just gorgeous. And it tasted nice. Well, it did until I realized that a huge chunk of glass was missing from my candy thermometer. Uh-oh. I thought really hard about this. I hadn’t heard anything grinding in the mixer, I had tasted the icing and it seemed fine…I could just ice the cake; no one would have to know…unless they all started choking and bleeding all over my friend’s wedding shower.
I made a second batch of icing.