It’s the beginning of a new year and my social media feeds are filled with my friends’ optimistic new years resolutions. Generally, my friends hope to spend more time on themselves and with their friends/family, stick to their convictions and be more adventurous etc. While I think about other people’s resolutions, I can’t help but to think about my own resolutions for 2017.
But I don’t have any resolutions for 2017! And I’m not going to feel guilty or inadequate about it. You see, 2016 was a crazy busy year for me. I ceased my full-time office job, my social media boomed, I wrote and published a recipe ebook, I created a cake business from nothing and did several cooking workshops in Canberra and Sydney. Life went so quickly that I had to make constant changes to my attitude, behaviour and surroundings to remain efficient and survive. If I wanted to make a change to my life, I would do it as soon as I could.
For example, as my cake business got busier, I invested in more equipment when the time was right. I worked my arse off to create a solid foundation for my social media and business. I didn’t get much downtime, but that was anticipated and expected and I just saw it as part of the ‘job’. I did the best that I could and would not do anything differently. I always try to challenge myself and do things that I’m not comfortable with. I make lots of raw cakes for work, but thought I’d venture into the actual ‘vegan baking’ world. I used to bake a lot when I wasn’t vegan but found it difficult to make quality vegan cakes that were moist, fluffy and not crumbly. However, these cupcakes were perfectly moist and fluffy! They won over the omnivores in my partner’s family, yayyy! The cupcakes were also served to an elderly lady who loves her buttery cakes… and she said she’d be happy to be served this cake in a cafe!
When the cupcakes come out of the oven, they are quite moist and seem a bit uncooked in the middle. However, once they cool down, they are just perfect! I added agar to the frosting as it helps aerate and lighten up the cashew mixture, making it wonderfully fluffy!
- ¾ cup self-raising flour
- ¼ cup almond flour
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa or raw cacao powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup strawberries, leaves removed and chopped
- ¼ cup light-tasting vegetable oil e.g. grapeseed, canola
- ¼ cup plant-based milk
- Dash of vinegar
- Dash of vanilla extract
- 1 cup strawberries
- 3 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 cup cashews, soaked in water for at least 4 hours
- 2 cups canned coconut cream
- 1 tsp agar agar powder
- Liquid sweetener, to taste
- Handful of strawberries, sliced thinly
- Preheat oven to 180C. Line a cupcake tray.
- Sift all of the dry cupcake ingredients in a large bowl.
- Puree the strawberries with a whizz stick or food processor. Add all wet cupcake ingredients to a medium bowl and mix until combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Divide mixture into cupcake liners.
- Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer can be inserted into one and comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the oven and cool.
- Optional: for the chia jam, puree the strawberries with a whizz stick or food processor. Mix in the chia seeds and set aside. When the jam has thickened, add a dollop of chia jam on each cupcake.
- For the frosting, drain the cashews and blend in a high-powered blender with the cream and agar until smooth.
- Add frosting to a saucepan, bring to a gentle simmer, remove then refrigerate. (This step is to activate the agar agar.)
- When the frosting has firmed up, remove from the fridge and blend again.
- When the cupcakes have entirely cooled down, add the frosting into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe onto cupcakes. Decorate with sliced strawberries and enjoy!