Saturday, February 22, 2014

Double-Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake Muffins - vegan

Double-Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake Muffins - vegan

If you were looking for Valentine inspiration, I'm about a week and half late with these. Bad blogger. If you are looking for easy, chocolate deliciousness, then I'm right on time. Good blogger.

Double-Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake Muffin - vegan

Side note: Are you a blogger who also has a day job? Can you tell me how you do it? How do you keep yourself organized and so on top of things - like holidays - that you can have appropriate posts up just when your readers are looking for ideas? Because I haven't figured it out yet, and I'd really like to. If I was awesome, I would have given these to you more than a week and a half ago, and I would have given you several other delicious desserts, drinks, and main courses to choose from. Really, how do you do it?

Aside from being tardy, these muffins/cupcakes are great. They were originally billed as muffins, but I really can't justify calling them that. There's no hint of hearty or healthy. They're delicate, sweet, and (I can hardly believe I'm saying this) don't need frosting to make them perfect for dessert. The chocolate chips gift your palette concentrated richness, while the raspberries shower your mouth in juicy goodness.

These guys are also really easy, come together quickly, and if you don't count measuring cups and spoons, are a one bowl wonder. I first made these for Valentine's Day, but we ate them so quickly I didn't have time to photograph them, so I just had to make them again. Tough job, but someone's gotta do it.

Valentine flowers

Through the magic of weird scheduling, I have a three day weekend starting today, and I can't wait to catch up on my cooking magazine reading, run the dog, lounge on the couch, clean up the backyard a bit (guys! Spring is springing!), catch up on some correspondence, walk along the water, and read as many books as I can. Perhaps even plan a vacation and limit my cupcake intake to just a couple.

vegan Double-Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake Muffins

On the other hand, if I call them muffins, then they are breakfast-appropriate.

Double-Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake Muffins - vegan
adapted from How About Orange

So, here's the thing. It's February and fresh raspberries are very dear, so I only used frozen when I made these. I deliberately left the bake time loose because I believe that if you use fresh, they'll bake completely in 20-22 minutes, but with the juices released from frozen berries, mine took almost 30 minutes each time. I added the frozen raspberries to the batter still frozen rather than thawing+draining them.

These are great as is. However, if you want to dress them up with frosting, I recommend something like light like coconut whipped cream. In fact, that was my plan, and I even have several cans of coconut milk in the fridge, but I found it was unnecessary.

Makes 18-20 muffins. I successfully halved the recipe. The only weird measure to divide is the flour, and I've included my math below.

2 1/3 C all purpose flour (half is 1 C + 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp) (I used white whole wheat)
1½ C sugar (I used sucanat)
½ C unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ tsp baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¾ tsp canola or other neutral flavored vegetable oil
½ tsp distilled white vinegar (I used my raspberry vinegar, but any will do, as will lemon juice)
1½ C water
2 tsp vanilla extract
¾ C dairy free semisweet chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli)
1½ C fresh or frozen raspberries (see note)
sparkling sugar (optional) or frosting (see note)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350˚F. Line one (or two if you've got them) 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. If the mixture is very lumpy, you can pass it through a sieve or sifter, but I didn't find I needed to. In a medium bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water. Make a well in the flour mixture and gradually pour in the oil mixture, whisking as you go. Fold in the chocolate chips and about two-thirds of the raspberries. Spoon into prepared muffin pans; fill each about 3/4 full. Garnish with the remaining raspberries and sugar if you'd like.

Bake until the tops spring back when pressed lightly in the center with a fingertip, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for a few minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan and allow to cool or serve warm. These are best when eaten the day within a day or two of being baked. I haven't tried freezing them, but I don't see why you couldn't.

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