Call us stingy if you like, but due to our grand plan of trying to save for a house deposit one day before we are both old and grey, Mr P and I try to stick to a budget of £50 per week for our food and other household shopping. I'm constantly amazed by how well we live on this, even though the inspirational Michelle Rice at Utterly Scrummy Food for Families has totally blown our efforts out of the water this week, with her £50 family meal plan - epic!
Anyhoo, occasionally if we have extra expenses like bus/train tickets etc, we end up 'borrowing' from a futue week, and then trying to claw ourselves back by living on whatever we have in our store cupboard. And this often leads to a great tendency to experiment, and also to some interesting foodstuffs making an appearance on our table.
This week, when I fancied a naughty little sweet treat but we were out of eggs, the obvious answer was vegan cupcakes. We had the syrup from some stem ginger left over from Christmas ready for just such an emergency, so I adapted the Basic Chocolate Cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes take over the world to come up with this scrumptious Chocolate and Ginger delight.
Chocolate and Ginger cupcakes (vegan)
1 cup soya milk
1tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 granulated sugar
1/3 cup rapeseed oil
1/3 cup rapeseed oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 cup self-raising flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar (original recipe called for baking powder, which I'd run out of)
For the toppings
1 tablespoon ginger syrup
1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon icing sugar
orange/yellow food colouring (optional)
jelly sweet decorations (optional)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 10 degrees celcius and line a muffin tray with cupcake cases.
2. Whisk the soya milk and vinegar together and set aside to curdle for a few minutes. Then add the sugar, oil and vanilla extract and beat until foamy.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cream of tartar and ground ginger.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in a few small batches, and beat together until there are no large lumps, then pour the mixture into the cupcake cases.
5. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
This topping needs to be made whilst the cupcakes are still warm: Prick all over the surface of the cupcakes with a cocktail stick, then drizzle 1 tsp of ginger syrup over each of them. Sprinkle generously with granulated sugar.
Ginger icing (middle)
Mix the icing sugar with approximately the same amount of ginger syrup, and a little food colouring, if required. Add a little water if needed to thin the icing out. Use this to cover the top of your cupcakes, and finish with a jelly sweet, if you like.
Chocolate buttercream topping (bottom)
I had a batch of vegan chocolate buttercream in the freezer, so used some of this to cover my remaining cakes. To make it yourself, you can veganise this buttercream by replacing the stork with Pure vegan spread.