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Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

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Although I’m not vegan, I have dear friends who are. I’m also always looking for recipes that can accommodate family and friends with food allergies or food intolerance issues. When I read on food 52 about Joanne Chang’s cupcakes, I saw a winner. Joanne, who owns Flour Bakery in Boston, has created a recipe that is moist, deeply flavorful, and fully satisfies the craving for chocolate and the desire for a rich, moist cake or cupcake — vegan or otherwise!

I have made a few changes in this recipe — nothing dramatic, but different enough to reflect my personal taste. If you want Joanne’s original recipe do visit Food 52.

Because I’m allergic to wheat, I bake gluten-free though I usually post my recipes as including wheat flour. However, Bob’s Red Mill has come out with a new gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour that is exactly that. No adjustments necessary. I highly recommend this product (and there is no fava bean flour so no aftertaste). I also recommend Guittard’s Akoma Extra Semisweet chocolate chips that are 55% cacao or their Bittersweet chips at 60% cacao. They contain no dairy.

Finally, because I’ve worked in the natural foods industry, I’m very particular about the oils I use. I personally don’t use canola oil — even organic canola oil — because it must be heavily processed to remove the toxins in rape seed. Despite its rep as a healthy oil, it isn’t. I personally like Spectrum oils and I use Spectrum’s walnut oil, which is mild in flavor and high in Omega 3’s. That said, you may use whatever vegetable oil you prefer.

The best part about these cupcakes is that they are just as good without frosting as with. I gave them a sprinkle of powdered sugar and called it a day, though you can certainly make a ganache with dairy or coconut milk and the rest of the chocolate chips you didn’t use making the cupcakes.

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Patricia Rain
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Patricia Rain

is an author, educator, culinary historian, and owner of The Vanilla Company (www.vanillaqueen.com), a socially conscious, product-driven information and education site dedicated to the promotion of pure, natural vanilla, and the support of vanilla farmers worldwide. She also does culinary presentations for food professionals, cooking schools, trade shows, food fairs, and private groups, and is a regular radio and TV guest.
Patricia Rain
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