Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Sunny Disposition: Vegan Mango Cupcakes with Saffron-Pistachio Frosting

mango cupcakes
It was spring this weekend—cool and rainy punctuated by sunniness. I spent much of the weekend with Belle and it really lifted my mood. I might not have her pictures but I have those memories—and her.
mango cupcakes
On Saturday, Belle’s cousins were coming over so I decided to make cupcakes. I rushed around and got two kinds made during her naptime. For picky eaters, I made fluffy white vegan cupcakes from Shmooed Food with strawberry “whipped cream”. I just added fresh strawberries to vegan buttercream, but as I was on the phone while I was doing it, I just lost track and the cream broke. I then proceeded to add way more sugar, and then began to give up. Finally, I put it some chilled coconut milk, whipped it again, and then accepted defeat. The result was tasty but not pretty. But, no one asked what was in the frosting.
mango cupcakes
Then, I made vegan mango cupcakes. Since I was going to include these in the Livestrong event, I wanted to try to work out a recipe on my own. My recipe resulted in a vat of batter which resulted in 48, yes 48, mini-cupcakes. But, frankly, they were wonderful—moist, fluffy, not too sweet. I have less than a dozen left to take to work tomorrow. So, if you decide to make this recipe, feel free to ½ it—or accept that you are about to have one hell of a good time and just make the full order.

Late one night last week lying in bed awake, I was using my time wisely planning these cupcakes. Yellow for me could be acid free tomatoes, saffron, cornmeal, schmaltz… I had already seen a saffron cupcake recipe for Livestrong. Frankly, being near the end of this gave me some good parameters, the world was no longer my yellow oyster, and I was glad for it. Belle had been enjoying mango this week, so I decided to go with that.
mango cupcakes
We all love pistachios, and I decided to go Indian fusion with the dessert. One of the best things at Indian restaurants is the kesar-pista or saffron-pistachio ice cream. This flavor is repeated in any variety of desserts. One dessert, shrikand, basically thick sweet yoghurt, seemed like the perfect frosting for mango cupcakes. Could I veganize a dessert for which dairy is central? I thought the result was wonderful.
mango mini-cake
mango mini-cake
Finally, I had some crazy notion, thanks to its late night inception, to make a mini-cake. Not a cupcake mind you, but a minicake. I pictured making a three layer cake with mango jelly in the middle and shrikhand frosting. It was a little annoying to make because I don’t have a tiny lazy susan. I ended up using the bottom of a wine glass. And then in the final minute as I was cutting into the cake, it tipped over. So even though there is no picture of the final cake perched alone on the cake pedestal, there is a picture of one slice with a fork and a teacup for scale. And, I know some friend or another will say to me, why exactly minicakes? I have a feeling there are tea parties in my future.
mango mini-cake
mango mini-cake
Vegan Mango Cupcakes with Saffron-Pistachio Frosting

Vegan Mango Cupcakes
Cream in a blender

4 oz Earth Balance Margarine
3/4 cup sugar

To the blender bowl add
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 cup plain soymilk
1/3 cup very finely chopped mango
¼ cup mango pulp (available in cans from Asian Grocery Stores)
½ cup oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Blend the wet ingredients and then dump in
2 ¼ cups flour
2 ½ tsps baking soda
¼ tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp salt

After all of this is mixed add
3 tsp Egg Replacer dissolved in 4 T Warm Water

Fill (up to about 3/4ths full) greased cupcakes tins. Makes 48 minicupcakes. (To make mini-cakes: fill mini-cupcake tins until only ½ full. Use 3 to make a layered cake with mango puree or mango jam as the filling.)

Vegan Saffron-Pistachio Frosting (Shrikhand frosting)
Tie up in cheesecloth and drain overnight

1 cup soy yoghurt

In a blender, add the drained soy yoghurt (which should be much less wet)

1 cup Tofutti cream cheese
¼ cup Tofutti sour cream
¾ cup sugar

In a small mug, warm
3 T soy milk
8 threads saffron
2 cloves cardamom

Add the warmed milk to the blender with 1/8 cup crushed pistachios and, if desired, diced dry mango. (I decided at the last minute not to do this step.)

This frosting is not as thick a real shrikhand, which is important, b/c this frosting is very easy to pipe.

mango cupcakes


MPG said...

yummy! i'd like to have some please :)

Unknown said...

They are gorgeous. I love them. Thanks for supporting LiveSTRONG With A Tatse Of Yellow.

Pixie said...

This looks amazing- I'd never tried a mango cupcake-very tempting indeed.

Sarah said...

I love the little triple layer cake you made. I made vegan cup cakes (lemon ones) a month or two ago, and they failed to rise. They ended up looking like little lemon hockey pucks. They tasted way better than any other vegan baked good I had made (it was a recipe from vegan with a vengance) - but they looked sad.

Anonymous said...

those are not only beautiful,but have some of my favorite flavors. The mangoes have been fab lately if you've been grabbing the champagne variety. I think you'll like my next recipe if I manage get a spare moment to post it - between work and being sick :-(.

Cakespy said...

Oh my--now those look delicious! I love mangos and tiny cute things and cupcakes--I believe you've made the absolute trinity of awesome here!

Sunshinemom said...

Damn! I finished all the mangoes yesterday eating them just like that! Will try this one during the coming weekend and let you know! Yours looks too good! Light and airy:)

FOODalogue said...

OMG...I am not a vegan, not particularly a fan of cup cakes, and generally don't like icing BUT this made me drool! I wish I had one right now!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I love seeing vegan food on Tastespotting. Your mini layer cake is the cutest!

Anonymous said...

oh that minicake on a pedestal looks awesome!

Andrea said...

Looks delicious. I love mangos and cupcakes. I cant eat gluten so I might try out your recipe with gluten free flours instead. Your pictures are great.