Category Archives: Cupcakes

25

Boy o boy, the weeks are going fast now… don’t you think? I’ve had the internet back for a while now, so my usual excuses as to why there have been no posts are not going to fly here.

Noted.

It’s almost December! OH MY GOD. It’s seems like just last month I was posting picture of my parents arriving in Sydney. You guys… scary.

Let’s just move on then, shall we? Let’s not talk about Christmas or New Years just yet. I’m not ready for 2013. Actually as far as I’m concerned, it’s still twenty eleven. And besides which, I never gave a birthday update! And now, a month later… I have finally settled into being 25. I have become acquainted with the new editor of my pictures… (hello lover.) And I am finally ready to share some highlights, of which there were many.

We had already gone camping, so my actual birthday was more about cocktails and dinner. As it happened, a friend on mine had some gold class tickets to see Argo, so we started the evening in style. Free drinks, canapes, plush seats (that reclined) and more food served to us mid-movie. Amazeballs. To say the least. If you’ve never gone gold class… you’ve never lived. That may be an over exaggeration, but go with it. Trust me. It’s worth the extra bajillion dollars. (Probably another exaggeration.)

Oh and the movie was good too.

After that, I had a hankering for antipasti so we headed to the Jamie’s Italian restaurant that I had just found out about the day prior. I had googled ‘Sydney restaurants with good anti-pasti’ and guess what I found? I was nervous about having to wait for a table. We were told it would be 30-40 minute wait, but since it was already 9pm our table was ready just minutes after we ordered a cocktail and sat down at the bar. Boom.

The food was delightful! We each had an antipasto platter (veggo for her, meat for him) and one separate dish.

I think Sean had the Italian nachos, which are basically a fried pasta-like nachos thing and I had the roasted red pepper on a chickpea flat bread. So. Good.

The service there was really fast! We were in and out in forty minutes… I almost stole a menu for fun and good times but my better half guilted me out of it. I’m pretty sure Jamie Oliver gets a lot of thieves. And I think he’s ok with it… just for the record.

Anyway, that was my birthday. It is really sad to me that Halloween isn’t a big deal in Australia. In years to come, should I find myself still living in Australia, I need to make a much better effort… or maybe I should just make a pact to be home every year on my birthday. Yeah. that sounds good.

I did carve a pumpkin though… it’s green cause the Grocery stores actually sold out of normal pumpkins. And not cause they are SO popular… but because they only stock 20 per store. That would NEVER happen in Canada. I was appalled and frazzled when on October 30th I could not find a single pumpkin ANYWHERE! Sean saved the day with this green one.

Also pictured, My carrot cake birthday cupcakes! A must-do! I altered the original recipe even further from my last attempt. I really was aiming to cut down the 1.5 cups of oil that the original recipe called for. haha. Anyway, these were great! And I experimented with the icing since last year I found the cream cheese icing was really thin. I’m not a fan of using an entire bag of icing sugar to thicken it up. And I didn’t have to! This version was great. Nice and firm, but delicious! It was sweet enough to even out the not-as-sweet carrot cake. Yum.

After all the festivities and sugar I passed out on the bed with my face planted into a book while letting my nails dry. I had  some serious book shaped sleep creases on my cheek when I woke up.

Good sleep creases mean good birthdays. Obviously.

Aside from my boyfriend going OTT on a present for me… (as per usual. I’m onto you boy…) and all the other bountiful things I received in care-packages from lovely people overseas, one of my very favourite gifts came from a wee Canadian lady who shares my love for Vegetable Shortening Pie Crust. In case you didn’t know, Veggie shortening is next to impossssssssible to find in Australia… but this jazzy lady found a can of Crisco and presented it to me in a bag with many other kitchen goodies. I squealed an unnecessary amount. but actually, it was totally necessary. So the next recipe to grace our presence? An Apple pie of course. Just in case you’re wondering. It was THE BOMB. diggity.

For now: The Carrot Cake cupcakes. I cannot give you the original recipe as that is a family jewel. But here is my adaptation.

Carrot (cup)Cake(s)

2 1/4 c. flour

2 tsp. cinnamin

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 c. carrot (grated)

1 c. coconut

1 can pineapple (crushed)

1 c. walnuts

1 c. rice syrup

1 c. coconut oil

1 flax egg (1 tbsp. ground flax w/3tbsp. water)

3 tsp. vanilla

Mix together the flax egg and let it sit for five minutes to firm up.

Then mix all the wet ingredients in one bowl (flax egg, oil, rice syrup, vanilla).

Separately, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add the wet ingredients. Then add the remaining ingredients one by one and stir. Just stir until well combined. the batter will be very thick.

You can make two 9 inch cakes or a bunch of cupcakes. I halved the recipe, cause it seriously makes SO MUCH. I had about 8 or 9 cupcakes from half.

Bake in a prepared pan (buttered/floured or with cupcake liners) at 350*F for 40-50 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean.

I will have to re-do my cream cheese icing because i didn’t write it down. IDIOT. sorry! But use any cream cheese icing and try subbing in soy cream cheese if you’re vegan like me. It’s tastes just the same!

 

 

xxx

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November 29, 2012 · 9:24 am

Baking and Beaches…

There is nothing cuter than miniature foods. I mean really. Miniature cookies, miniature burgers, miniature cupcakes. I’m not sure if I love them because they’re so darn small and adorable, or if it’s because they make me feel like a giant and I get to devour them in just one bite. Either way, I’m pretty sure that foods taste better in smaller sizes. Actually I’m going to make a sweeping declaration here and say that they do. For sure. It’s science.

And with that, I bring you more mini-cupcakes.

yummm

These cupcakes were crazy delish. I’ve made them before just never in mini-form. Anyway, they were very moist, very vanilla-y, very fluffy and the entire cupcake tasted incredibly buttery. Not sure how that works, as these are vegan. But I won’t argue with the masses. I took these to work for the very sweet, very pregnant English bird going on maternity leave and after eating one, or two, or three each, we shared them with the rest of the office. I left for a couple minutes and when I returned they were gone. 🙂

Without further ado, I will share with you the recipe that I only slightly tweaked from Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World. Possibly the best cupcake book ever created, vegan or not.

Vanilla Cupcakes

1 c. oat milk

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1 1/4 c. flour

2 tbsp. arrow-root powder

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 c. margarine

3/4 c. sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan.

Whisk the oat milk and vinegar together and set aside.

Sift the flour, arrow-root powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.

Cream the margarine and sugar for two minutes until it is light and fluffy, then beat in the vanilla. Add the soy milk mixture.

Beat the dry mixture into the wet. Fill the muffin cups up 2/3rds of the way and bake for 20-22 minutes.

Eat many.

In other news, this past weekend was jam packed with hot summer-y days and incredible beach-y afternoons. I narrowly escaped a Steve Irwin-like death, thanks to my keen eyed Canadian friend who spotted a sting ray as I was galloping into the water. No big deal.

So what if Sean laughed at us upon hearing our tale of near death, so what if that sting ray wasn’t large enough or fierce enough to take my life, SO WHAT if Sean’s stepped on sting rays before with no harmful effects… I still think we’re smart for avoiding the shallow waters.

beachin'

We followed Sean on a small hike up some rocks to find the perfect place for an afternoon swim. After much consideration and debate we climbed down the rocks and into the jelly-fish infested waters. Apparently the see through ones don’t sting you. I’m learning so much… and slowly getting over my fears of deep sea creatures. Although, that seaweed the brushes past my legs freaks me out EVERY TIME. idiot.

After fully submerging ourselves in the clear blue waters, Sean casually pointed out which jellyfish that would sting us, if given the opportunity, and so as Samantha clambered for the rocks… I peed my swimmers, only slightly.

🙂

I kid. We were totally cool. Because of course we know that those jellys only move with the wind, so if we kept tabs on the wind direction and stayed aware… we’d be fine. Never mind that their tentacles range from 15 cm to 10 meters. pft… That doesn’t scare me. At all.

Oh my god. It terrifies me. But I have to admit, you can’t say no to the ocean. It’s nearly impossible, even if it’s salty waters sneak into my nose and ears. There is nothing like swimming out in that warm water. It was incredibly comfortable… nothing like swimming in those crisp Canadian lakes. (which I still love and miss.)

We paddled around for quite a while and after gracefully climbing back up the rocks like the mermaids and mermen that we are, we dried off and cracked into the beer and chocolate. All class.

summer beer

It was so lovely and relaxing that I completely forgot it was Sunday.

xxx

party boy!

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Cupcakes

Canad-ia Day!


Being a Canadian in another country always makes you feel like you need to be extra patriotic.

All.the.time.

You constantly cheer at inappropriate times when you see things related to your home country. You jump into every conversation that is even remotely about the great white north. You pretend you are actually educated on and are concerned about the Stanley Cup, and who wins… and most of all, you keep that Canadian flag sewed to your backpack, no matter how many people make fun of you for it.

With that being said, when July 1st rolls around you have no choice but to dig out your red and white clothing and wish everyone that you encounter a Happy Canada Day. And in my case, you make mini-cupcakes with cinnamon-vanilla icing and maple candied pecans. obviously.

I had little time this week, what with haircuts and office parties, but Canada day woke me at 6am to finish off these babies. I took them into work and displayed them proudly in the communal kitchen. I was only kind of pissed when the first cupcake eater stole the C in Canada… honestly? Cause now it says Happy Anada Day. No one knows it’s Canada day to begin with, let alone ANADA day. However, I allowed my inner Canuck shine through, I took some deep breaths and I bit my tongue. I put up a sign beside the cupcakes to educate everyone on the date and occasion.

delightful

After work, my lovely boyfriend and I decided to hit the one bar that was throwing Sydney’s Canada Day Bash. The Art House Hotel. Their website advertised real live Huskie dogs and a show called ‘The Full Mounty.’ It promised a good night.

We decked ourselves out in our finest Canadian threads and headed out. Immediately after arriving, we found the Huskies. Adorable. I don’t know why they were wearing leis… but we fed them treats before heading to the bar for Canadian beverages. And just then… we spotted the other lone Canadian rocking the very same Black bear hat that I was. Amazing.

A couple friends joined us and we danced the night away,

the crew... haha minus the guy whos head I cut off. oops.

as mounties stripped down to nothing on stage in the much anticipated ‘Full Mounty’ and BNL, Avril Lavigne and Sum 41 serenaded us with some sweet tunes.

Black Bear Lovin'

Sean got a bit carried away and began making out with the black bear. That’s not actually what we do in Canada… but I let him be.

After we’d had enough drinking and enough dancing we left the bar and wandered back to the train station. After a brief drunken stop at Woolworth’s and some croissants and soy-yogurt, we headed back to North Sydney for a snack and early sleep.

July 1st ended for me, but it was just beginning in Toronto… so naturally I celebrated on Saturday as well.

xxx

Chocolate cupcakes with Cinnamon-Vanilla frosting and Maple Candied Pecans

Cupcake recipe adapted from Vegan cupcakes take over the World

1 c. soy milk

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

3/4 c. sugar

1/3 c. canola oil

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 c. flour

1/3 cocoa

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees F and line a mini-muffin tin.

Whisk the soy milk & apple cider vinegar and set aside to allow it to curdle. Add the oil, sugar & vanilla. Beat the mixture until foamy.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder & salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet in two batches. Beat out all the large lumps.

Pour about a tablespoon or the mixture into each liner. Bake for about 14 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Now make some bad ass frosting.

Vanilla-cinnamon Frosting

1 3/4 c. icing sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 c. margarine

Beat the margarine until fluffy and add half the icing sugar. Add the other half and beat until smooth with the vanilla. Add in the cinnamon… delish.

Maple Candied Pecans

1/4 c. maple syrup

1/3 c. sugar

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

1 c. pecans

Toast the pecans lightly in the oven. Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and heat on medium high until it comes to a boil. Stir often, careful not to burn. Reduce to simmer for ten minutes.

Toss pecans in mixtures and set.

Frost each cupcake and top with a maple pecan!

cuppy-cakes...

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Cupcakes