Birthday Quickie

January 31, 2013

Ha!  You thought this was going to be something salacious, didn’t you?  Get your mind out of the gutter; this is a wholesome, family-friendly post.  Literally, actually, since it was my mom’s birthday the other day, and I’ve only just gotten around to posting pictures.

Since the birth-flower for January is the carnation, I snapped up this mini-kit when I saw it at my local needlework shop a few months ago, figuring it was a card just waiting to happen:

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The corally-pink card, although not exactly a match for the flowers, matches almost exactly the top I bought her.  She claims this was a deliberate theme; I claim coincidence.

But what’s a birthday without cake?  After all, you don’t really care for someone if you don’t bake them a birthday cake, yadda yadda, you’ve heard this before.  After drooling over pretty much all the cakes in Kris Holechek’s Have Your Cake and Vegan Too, I decided on the Almond Mocha Cake.  It’s like an almond mochaccino in cake form!

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Layers of moist almond cake with a rich chocolate ganache in between, and topped off with a coffee buttercream?  Yes, please!

We started the day with banana-split French toast, but that disappeared before I could get my camera…

And now, I’m off for a piece of cake…

…store-bought snack cakes!” – Marge Simpson, Homer’s Phobia

Seriously, whyyyyy did it take me so long to try making mock-Hostess/Fauxtess/cream-filled chocolate cupcakes?

Answer: because I had seen the recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance ages ago, and decided it looked like way too much work.  But it really wasn’t!  Okay, so I skipped a step and had my filling do double-duty as the squiggle medium as well, but even the coring, filling, and ganache-ing of the cupcakes wasn’t particularly onerous.

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The cupcake recipe is pretty much identical to the one in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, moist and chocolatey and wonderful, and I made a basic vanilla buttercream for inside and on top.  (For some reason, the Fluffy White Icing prescribed in VwaV didn’t taste like much to me, although my dad seemed to like it.  Weird.)

These came together really quickly, multiple steps considered, and taste way better than any chemical-filled Hostess special ever could.

And for the record: leftover cupcake cores dotted with frosting and dunked in ganache are a midafternoon snack to die for.