Friday, January 25, 2013

Purple Macarons and Vegan Delights

A friend is having her baby shower in a couple of weeks and instead of pink she is going with purple. Since I volunteered to handle the sugary goodies for the shower I have started experimenting with purple goodies.

First off I started with macarons; I used my usual recipe but tinted it purple. Since I used liquid food colour I couldn’t get the colour as vivid as I wanted because large quantities of liquid would make the mixture too runny. Mental note; use either gel or powder colour. Another thing to note, not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but in the baking process you loose colour so I recommend making them slightly brighter than you’d like. I filled half with the purple butter cream that I had left over from the cupcake bouquet and the other half with white chocolate ganache. Unfortunately I completely forgot to take a finished shot of the macrons but this is how they looked straight out of the oven.

In keeping with the experimentation theme I thought it might be nice to have a vegan option just in case some guests are that way inclined. I’ve always been scared to do vegan cupcakes and I figured out why. The reason I liked this recipe by Hello Giggles  is because I already had everything in the pantry except applesauce, which after much research I discovered that I could just substitute with bananas. I suppose this goes without saying but be very careful that all your products are vegan; unbleached flour but also unbleached sugar. The lady at the organic store recommended this brand of sugar; its super fine so it works well as icing sugar as well.
I made half the batter with a few tweaks of my own and maybe this is where I went wrong. I omitted the red food colouring altogether and since the recipe called for cocoa powder instead of making red velvet I thought chocolate cupcakes would work better with purple frosting. The other large adjustment I made was using half vegetable oil and half cacao butter. My logic was that cacao butter when melted works the same as oil and since this had turned into a chocolate cupcake anyway what could possibly be the harm. Well the batter looked alright and tasted great.

 This is what they looked like out of the oven.


The cupcakes were really dense and heavy and even though I did the toothpick test several times a few of them were still a little underdone. The ones that were done had more of a consistency of pudding then cupcake. To make matters worse, and I am not sure if this is because a few were under baked or the cacao butter or the heat, but the next day a few of the cupcakes dripped oil when you bit into them. Oh and the horror didn’t stop there; I accidentally bought the wrong vegan cream cheese, not Tofutti like I usually do, and I had to use close to four times as much vanilla extract trying to hide the taste which made the frosting runny and difficult to pipe! All in all very challenging indeed; maybe next time I’ll stick to the recipe. This is the end result;

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