I've been feeling a little under the weather today, with various aches, pains, and an overwhelming desire to go to bed that hit me a little while ago. So I was going to skip posting tonight until I remembered that I'd already typed out most of this entry a few nights ago. Well! That changes everything. ;)
Apparently my peanut inspired dinner on Monday didn't fill my daily peanut quota, because later that night (after dutifully finishing my art history reading) I decided to break in my new copy of VCTOTW by making the Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.
Now, one of the downfalls of going to school far away from home is that I am sadly unable to bring my family's well-stocked kitchen along with me. I live in an on-campus townhouse this year with B & E, my two best friends here, and although we're slowly stocking our kitchen with necessary utensils and whatnot, those things ain't cheap, and inevitably we find ourselves lacking certain items. So my Peanut Butter Cupcake making journey was a lesson in making do.
First, I don't have any molasses. I know, I know. So I substituted a little of the brown sugar for some of the white sugar and added a bit of applesauce, since molasses is sort of liquidy, right? And my lack of crunchy natural peanut butter led me to crush some peanuts instead. And because we don't have a sifter (I know, I know!) I sort of used a whisk to make sure my cocoa powder was lumpless. And since we don't have cupcake liners (...), I just (unhealthily) greased the muffin tins with shortening. Oh, and for once I don't have soy milk - just the almond milk about which I rhapsodized in my previous post.
When it came time to make the frosting, I used the same sifting... trick... to make sure my powdered sugar didn't have huge lumps. And then my lack of a hand mixer compelled me to beat the frosting with a fork, a strenuous process which has left me with a rather sore right arm.
Somehow, though, everything magically worked out in the end. The cupcakes themselves, to be honest, sort of straddle that line between cupcake and muffin, but they are still yummy. I wouldn't call them sweet though; they have a mellow, rich taste that doesn't hit you until you actually begin chewing on the bite you've just taken. I bet the molasses would've added just the right depth of sweetness.
And the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting? Well, let's just say that the next time somebody disparagingly calls vegan fare bland, boring, and waaay too healthy, I'll just whip up a batch of this frosting and in one fell swoop topple all those stereotypes! This stuff is super rich! Tasty, but heavy. VCTOTW suggests topping the Peanut Butter Cupcakes with a drizzle of ganache, but my lack of chocolate chips led me to make the buttercream instead. In retrospect, the buttercream is probably too heavy for this cupcake - it almost overpowers the peanut butter's flavor. Ah well. Live and learn and in the meantime eat lots of delicious cupcakes!
...or not, since later that night I had a very unpleasant stomachache which can really only be attributed to the rather large quantity of fat in the frosting. I've never been able to tolerate too much fat, so I think it did me in this time. Alas!
Anyway, now I'm going to curl up in bed with a comps book - Virginia Woolf's Orlando, which is one of those books that gets better and better each time you read it - and read 'til I'm ready to fall asleep. Ciao!
7 hours ago