(VALENTINE’S DAY/VEGAN RECIPES) “Cupcake Wars” contender, chef Doran Petersan of Sticky Fingers Bakery in Washington, D.C., introduced some of her yummy vegan treats on The Today Show. Petersan shared her recipe for vegan red velvet cupcakes, brownie s’mores, and champagne cupcakes.

Read on for how to make these delicious vegan sweets for your significant other this Valentine’s Day. — Global Animal

Guest chef Doran Petersan of the bake shop Sticky Fingers makes some vegan sweets on The Today Show. Photo Credit: Eccorazzi.com

Today Food

Doron Petersan of Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats in Washington D.C. and “Cupcake Wars” contender is known for her shockingly delicious vegan desserts. Here, she shares three recipes from her book, “Sticky Fingers’ Sweets,” that are good enough to convert any nonbeliever.

1. Vegan brownie s’mores

Ingredients

For brownies:

  • 2/3 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (recommended: Earth Balance)
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate (58% or darker), finely chopped or pistoles
  • 2 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

For s’more assembly:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 4 cups mini vegan marshmallows (recommended: Dandies or Sweet & Sara)
  • 24 graham cracker squares
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
Vegan brownie s’mores by chef Photo Credit: Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats

Preparation

For brownies:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.
  • Using a double boiler, heat the coffee, margarine, and dark chocolate, stirring, until the chocolate is melted and the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, cocoa powder and salt and mix together with the paddle attachment.
  • Add the oil, water, and vanilla and mix to combine. Add the coffee mixture and mix to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder. Stir in the chocolate chips. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely, then cut into squares.

For s’more assembly: 

  • Once brownies are cooled and cut, melt 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in a microwave. Drizzle the melted chips over the brownies.
  • Pile the marshmallows onto the brownies, on top of the melted chips. Using a pastry torch, flame the marshmallows until you get some browning, being careful not to burn them. Sprinkle the remaining chips on top.
  • Break the graham cracker squares in half and press them into the marshmallows so that they stand upright. Or, simply crush them in a plastic bag and sprinkle them over the top.

Serving Size: Makes 12 large or 24 small brownies

2. Vegan red velvet cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons
  • (11 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon soymilk
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut milk (recommended: So Delicious)
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon liquid red food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar (recommended: apple cider vinegar)
  • Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

For cream cheese frosting:

  • 1 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (recommended: Earth Balance)
  • 12 ounces non-hydrogenated vegan cream cheese (recommended: Tofutti), softened
  • 4 1/2 cups (1 pound, 4 ounces) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 to 4 drops lemon oil, to taste

Preparation

Velvet is a given if you follow this recipe to a T, but red is another story. Red intensity depends on the strength of your food color. We like to use as little as possible because no one likes red tongues. Natural coloring is a great choice as well, but the colors will not be as bright as the unnatural stuff . The type of cocoa powder you use can aff ect the color, too. Red cocoa powder (Dutched, 24% cocoa butter) is all the rage right now. Try it!

The cream cheese icing is my husband, Peter’s, favorite frosting. Every year for his birthday he asks for the frosting before the cake fl avor. He’ll take it with any cake: red velvet cake, chocolate whiskey cake, coconut cake, or strawberry cake.

These may not all sound like good combinations, but in fact they are are heavenly. My husband is a cream cheese frosting connoisseur.

For frosting:

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the shortening until smooth.
  • Add the cream cheese and beat until well combined.
  • Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon oil and beat just until smooth. (The frosting can be made in advance, covered and refrigerated; let stand at room temperature to soften before using.)

For cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper, or lightly oil and dust with flour.
  • Whisk the fl our, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Set the bowl aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the water, soymilk, coconut milk, oil, lemon juice, vanilla and red food coloring.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until just incorporated.
  • Fold in the vinegar until you begin to see streaks. Do not overmix the batter.
  • Distribute the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cakes spring back to the touch.
  • Place the pans on a cooling rack to cool completely, then run a knife or plastic dough scraper around the edges of the pans to loosen the cakes from the sides. Turn the pans upside down to remove the cakes.
  • If you are making cupcakes, fill 18 lined cupcake cups three-quarters full and bake for 16 to 19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the cupcake tins on a cooling rack to cool completely, then turn the pans upside down to remove the cupcakes.
  • Top with the cream cheese frosting.

Tips for cupcakes: fill lined cupcake tin 3/4 full and bake for 16 to 19 minutes at 350F or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serving Size: Makes one 9-inch round two-layer cake or 18 cupcakes

3. Vegan Champagne cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (recommended: Earth Balance)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons egg replacer (recommended: Ener-G)
  • 3/4 cup soymilk
  • 3/4 cup champagne or sparkling white wine
  • 2 pints fresh raspberries
  • Passion Fruit Frosting (recipe follows)

For frosting:

  • 1 1/4 cups non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (recommended: Earth Balance)
  • 3/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (recommended: Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 cup passion fruit concentrate or puree
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preparation

Cheers! The bubbles from the champagne in this cake will make you giggle with glee when you take your first bite. The subtle white wine flavor is delicate and divine; the raspberries give it a bit of pomp and circumstance. And the frosting takes this cake over the top. I had never tasted passion fruit before. I mean, maybe in the form of a Tropical Skittle or the like, but never in the flesh. Not until we were filming for “Cupcake Wars” and Jenny, Sticky Fingers’ head baker and my right-hand lady, cut a fruit open and spooned the innards into my mouth. What happened next? I will let you know this—it didn’t make it past the edits.

For frosting:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the shortening and margarine and whip until completely combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure that all ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
  • Add the passion fruit concentrate or puree and mix until incorporated. Scrape the bottom of the bowl. On low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar a little at a time.
  • Scrape the bottom of the bowl and mix on medium-high speed until all the ingredients are combined and the frosting is fluffy, about 2 minutes.

For cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
  • Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Set the bowl aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the sugar and margarine, and cream together with the whisk attachment, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure that the ingredients are incorporated.
  • In a small bowl or cup, combine the egg replacer, vanilla, and soymilk and stir to dissolve the egg replacer.
  • Add the champagne to the soymilk mixture and mix until combined.
  • Turn the mixer speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients and soymilk mixture, alternating between the two and ending with the dry ingredients.
  • Gently fold in the raspberries by hand, being careful not to break them.
  • Distribute the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or the cake springs back to the touch.
  • Place the pans on a cooling rack to cool completely, then run a knife or plastic dough scraper around the edges of the pans to loosen the cakes from the sides. Turn the pans upside down to remove the cakes.
  • If you are making cupcakes, fill 18 lined cupcake cups three-quarters full and insert 1 raspberry in the center of each cupcake, making sure the batter covers the top of the raspberry. Bake for 16 to 19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Place the cupcake tins on a cooling rack to cool completely, then turn the tins upside down to remove the cupcakes.
  • Frost with the passion fruit frosting. Top with fresh raspberries.

Tips for cupcakes: fill lined cupcake tin 3/4 full and bake for 16 to 19 minutes at 350F or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serving Size: Makes one 9-inch round two-layer cake or 18 cupcakes

More Today Food: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/46284329/ns/today-food/t/brownie-smores-cupcakes-more-vegan-desserts/#.Tzmf6uXcpNz

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