My husband doesn’t have a sweet tooth and rarely will eat cake – but since we have 2 daughters that take after mum he will never have a cake-free birthday again! Given he loves vanilla bean ice cream we thought he might appreciate these this year…Soft cup cakes speckled with real Tahitian vanilla bean and dark chocolate ganache to mess up his fingers. We even made extra small ones for him just in case us girls would, dear oh dear, have to finish them for him!
Vanilla Bean Cup Cakes
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 ¼ cups plain flour (I used spelt flour, which makes the cakes a little more dense)
¼ cup cornflour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
⅓ cup olive oil
¾ cup raw sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla bean paste plus vanilla bean scraped from 1 whole vanilla bean
Dark Chocolate Ganache
⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk
100g dark chocolate (I use 52% cacao)
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
For the cup cakes, preheat oven to 180C or 150 C if fan-forced. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
Whisk the almond milk, vinegar and chia seeds in a small measuring jug and set aside for 10 minutes to make “chia egg replacer”.
Transfer the “chia egg replacer”, oil, sugar, vanilla bean paste and vanilla bean into a large mixing bowl. Beat together (I use an electric mixer set to “beat”) until all combined. Slowly add in the flour mixture and continue to mix (medium speed) until no large lumps remain.
Fill cupcake liners two-thirds of the way and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
In a small sauce pan, bring the milk to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer and add the chocolate and syrup. Stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate has almost melted. Turn the heat off and continue stirring until the chocolate is fully melted, the consistency should be smooth. Allow ganache cool for 10 minutes.
To ice the cup cakes, dip the top of each cooled cake into the ganache and set them on the serving platter. Spoon drizzle the remainder of the ganache over cupcakes. Let the ganache set at room temperature for at least an hour if you can wait that long, or place in the fridge to set. If you can’t possibly wait and don’t mind messing up your fingers and face, serve them immediately to equally messy but happy beings!