My dear friend Elizabeth (confusing, right?) loves chai, she even has this habit of ordering a "dirty chai" at coffee houses, which is a chai latte with one shot of espresso. It sounds really disgusting, but its pretty good and does the trick when you need that burst of caffeine. When I came upon a recipe for chai latte cupcakes at the blog loveandoliveoil I knew that I had to make them. Not only is the recipe full of the delicious spices that make chai tea so wonderful, but it is also vegan! I have never made a vegan cake before so I was actually pretty excited to see how it turned out. Its actually really simple and is sort of like making a devil's food cake in that it uses vinegar and (soy) milk to create extreme moisture. The cakes also rose up really nicely creating great little domes! I was extremely happy with the results. Plus, they really taste like chai.
The icing is a Swiss Buttercream, which is a smoother, lighter variation of traditional buttercream. I've had mixed results with it in the past, but this time it worked great and even has a hint of cinnamon and vanilla, complimenting the chai cake and making it seem even more like a cup of tea topped by whipped cream. This particular buttercream is not vegan, but it could easily be made so by substituting margarine or another non-dairy spread for butter. With the success of these vegan cupcakes I am even more excited to try more of the recipes from loveandoliveoil.
Elizabeth's not coming over until tomorrow to sample her cupcakes, but I don't know how many will be here by then. We've already finished off two and I am seriously contemplating going back for a second as we speak (edit: three gone).
In other news, the first week of school went pretty well! Next Tuesday I start teaching my discusson sections (I teach three every week), which I am really excited about. Other than that, I just keep reading and writing, the show goes on.