I wasn’t going to bake anything for the Movember morning tea. I mean, really – I’ve donated to all the Mo Bros on my floor, and surely, surely in the name of men’s health the boys can take a turn at baking?*
Well, it turns out that some of them can, but not enough for our purposes. And when it comes down to it, faced with a conflict between ‘really, why should the women be baking for all the men’s health days *and* all the women’s health days too?’ and ‘but what if there isn’t enough food?’, well, there really can be only one answer in the land of Cate.
Besides, I bet none of the boys were going to bring anything that was vegan. And I have friends who are vegan. So there.
Anyway, having not intended to bake, I then certainly didn’t intend to post a recipe, largely because I really wasn’t in a cooking mood (yes, it’s true I baked a fruitcake today, and made a hot lunch, and made dinner for tonight *and* started dinner for tomorrow, but most of this was about the fact that our heating has been broken and baking keeps the house warm), and also because I didn’t plan to do anything fancy. Aside from using the passionfruit powder I ordered from TasteBom and have been looking for a use for.
Also, when I did start making these cupcakes, I swapped them around in the oven too early, so most of them sank in the middle.
Also, the icing came out beige. And when I went to fix it, it wound up mustard-coloured. Which probably is a masculine colour, at least. Most of the ugly ones seem to be, if you believe the clothing shops.
And yet… the crumbs of cake that were stuck to the tin were *amazing*. Properly tangy and full of passionfruit flavour. And then, the ugly, ugly icing is rich and lemony and smooth with a coconut creaminess to it… and altogether, my ugly duckling cupcakes… taste like swans? Only vegan. And not kind of tough and unpleasant-tasting, which I gather swan meat is. And that right there, folks, is why some people shouldn’t be licensed to use metaphors. Especially the clichéd kind, though I don’t think anyone can claim it was still a cliché by the time I was done with it. Unappetising, yes. Cliché, no.
Have I put you off yet? I hope not. These really are delicious cupcakes. And you can’t see how ugly they are once they are in your mouth…
(Even that came out sounding vaguely unappetising. I think I’d better stop with the describing and just give you the recipe)
(Also, unsurprisingly, there are very few photos, and they aren’t that good – this is because I wasn’t documenting as I went, and the light in the kitchen is bad…)
* I strongly suspect that the appeal of Movember has nothing to do with men’s health and everything to do with growing the most gross moustache one can. And I say this as someone who is actually mildly in favour of facial hair. But some of the shrubbery currently to be seen in our lab should really not be encouraged.
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1 1/3 cups caster sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
400 ml (1 standard tin) light coconut milk
40 g freeze-dried passionfruit powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 – 2 1/3 cups raw icing sugar
90 g virgin coconut oil, melted (you want the virgin stuff because it has a strong coconut taste – the refined version is too neutral here)