Cake Liberation Front, and as last time I had failed to bake anything, this month I determined to put my baker's hat on and get to it!
First, a little run-down of what it's all about. The CLF is based in Manchester, and is a group started by a small splinter cell of vegan bakers and cake-eaters to promote and eat vegan cake. Free cake from animal ingredients is the general idea. You don't have to be vegan to come along, just willing to eat and/or bake vegan cake! I can assure you that any doubts you may have had about the credentials of vegan sweets will be immediately be assuaged. It's held every two months at the Friends Meeting House behind Central Library, and it's £1 to get in if you bring cake, £2 if you don't. That's a pretty small price to pay for the best selection of cakes and other baked goods that you're likely to find in Manchester, not to mention that all the drinks are free! All the info you need is on the CLF website though, so I won't run on any more - let's get to the recipes.
Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I suppose I ought not to post the recipe due to copyright and all that jazz, but frankly if you haven't got a copy of this life-enhancing book yet, you deserve to be duly tantalised until you crack and go and order it.
I'm not generally a fan of icing, so instead (normally I leave them plain but this was a special occasion) I thought up something a bit different. The cakes have quite an almondy slant to them already, so I decided on a creamy-custardy-almondy thing, being as for my next batch I would also require a custardy thing, and as I'm making it already, etc. And I also used another apparently 'patented' Isa trick (though I've been slicing the tops off cupcakes and dolloping icing in the middle since I was old enough to hold a wooden spoon - it's just that we called them fairy cakes back then) to get the custard in: digging out/slicing off a circle of cake, filling it up with as much custardy cream as possible, then popping the little hat back on top.
For the topping, I made up a batch of custard (recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking, but any custard recipe will do, as long as you make it quite thick), then to give it extra body and toppingyness, I mixed it together with a tub of soya whipping cream, using an electric hand mixer to make sure it was good and whippy. I split the batch (it made tons) and flavoured half just with vanilla extract, and half with some vanilla and some almond.
My second batch was rather more experimental, and requires a bit of tweaking, so I won't post a recipe just yet. Rhubarb and custard cupcakes. Yes, that's right. How have I never thought of this before? I adapted one of Isa's more fruit-based cupcakes recipes for this, but my method lacked a little something. Basically, I need it to be more rhubarby, and more custardy! Plus I stewed the rhubarb for a bit too long - I would have liked some little chunks of fruit in the cakes. And Next time I think I might push the boat out and put real vanilla seeds in the custard.
Here it is.
Also, if you're wondering about the baking parchment 'cases' - I only did it because I'd run out of cupcake cases, but they look quite good! I just cut some baking parchment into squares and then gently smushed and folded them into the tray. They did get in a way a bit when dolloping the batter in, and more than one became a bit black and burnt around the top where I'd removed rogue splodges!