Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Book club baking 2012: Vegan lemon tart and chocolate cupcakes

Last year when I hosted book club, I entertained myself with vegetable-based desserts: chocolate beetroot brownies, apple and rhubarb pie, apple zucchini slice, and a rogue non-vegetable (and non-vegan) contribution in the form of chocolate marshmallow truffles.

This year, slightly fewer people could make it along, I had slightly less time in the lead up to the day, and I was slightly lacking in confidence after my recent experience with sub-optimal pear and raspberry muffins. Thus, I made two desserts instead of four, and both were made exactly to a recipe. Most unlike me!

One was a lemon tart from Kris Holechek's The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes. I have adapted and posted many of the recipes from this book, but as this tart had no adaptations I won't share the recipe here. I will say, though, that it was easier than I anticipated and made for an impressive end result. I was also so taken with the lemon filling that I am already thinking of ways to adapt and use it again.


I would possibly change two things in future, both minor: one would be baking the base for slightly longer as it was quite a cakey base and a little softer than I would have liked, and the other would be putting the tart in the freezer for 10 minutes or so before serving. It set fine in the fridge, but softened relatively quickly at room temperature.

Even with those things, I was very happy with this and almost found it hard to believe myself that it was egg and dairy free. 


Base post-cooking and pre-filling; not altogether attractive

Filled tart; still not altogether attractive

That's better (albeit with different lighting...)

Set and sliced


The second dessert consisted of vegan chocolate cupcakes made using the recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and colleagues' Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. It is available online here. I am always keen to try new vegan cupcake variations and this recipe was particularly appealing because the vanilla recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World is my 'go to' favourite.

The result?


Very good...but I think I still like vanilla best.



These ended up looking almost identical to the chocolate mint cupcakes I made last year, and I think I also preferred the mint twist to these slightly plainer versions. However, that comment comes from someone who doesn't much like chocolate cake, so it is possible I'm not a fair judge. They were certainly enjoyable (even for a non-chocolate cake lover), beautifully fluffy, and very well received.

What recipes have you made recently? And do you have a favourite cupcake base? There is something wonderful about fluffy vanilla bit it does seem like a boring favourite to have!


For those who are interested, our book club book was Zeitoun, which is listed on my books page :)

26 comments:

  1. These are on my must bake soon list.

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    1. The lemon tart was on my 'to make' list for quite a while :)

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  2. dang girl, i'd read just about any book if those were offered up at that meetings...hehe! :) i'd say my top pick would be the chocolate muffins there, in fact i may try to smuggle them all away while everyone else was actually discussing the book. ;)

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    1. A couple of people did actually take one (but with permission :P) for their partners! The food is a big part of our book club, that is for sure!

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  3. I made a kataifi pastry base with a mastic tears flavoured thick custard and covered in cream. I'm sinful, I know. I will follow your blog more closely and do things better. :)

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    1. Wow! Impressive - I'd say you're already ahead of me ;)

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  4. I can say without any doubt that I would far prefer the chocolate cupcakes over the lemon tart - have always loved the former and disliked the latter. Though I am intrigued about what was in the filling to give it the eggy flavour and to make it set - and wonder if I would like a vegan lemon tart better than a regular one

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    1. Interestingly, I hardly had lemon things before branching into vegan desserts but now I love them. There is no eggy flavour here - just lots of lemon so you do need to like that! - so perhaps it would be different? The filling is rather magical and consists of flour, cornstarch, sugar (plenty!), lemon juice, lemon zest, grated ginger, and water. Not even any fat!

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  5. I love the look of the chocolate cupcakes. They look so moist and dark and tempting. xx

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    1. They are rather tempting. A bit too much so as the leftovers have been hard to ration!

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  6. I'm a sucker for citrus flavoured sweets so your lemon tart sounds very appealing to me. Both of these sweets do look fantastic!

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    1. Thanks Mel :) If you like citrus, I think the tart would be a winner.

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  7. Those both look amazing!! I would try the lemon, I love tart things and nowadays I feel like cupcakes are everywhere---but if I was at your book club I probably would have had both!

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    1. And that is indeed what most people did :-)

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  8. Those desserts look amazing!!!! I just made GF banana bread last night and it is so good!

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  9. We seem to be pretty stuck on the same recipes all the time at the moment, you are inspiring me to get out the cookbooks. Time to try some new things I think.

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    1. It can be a while between my cookbook recipes. They are worth digging out sometimes though - new discoveries are always fun.

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  10. These look amazing Kari! :) I baked some oat/chocolate chip cookies a couple of weekends ago and they turned out pretty good. :)

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    1. I remember your cookies I think - they did turn out well :)

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  11. Yesterday I made honey oat biscuits and used nuttelex margarine so they would classify as being vegan perhaps - or is honey considered an animal by product? Cupcakes look great!

    PS - I'm addicted to LIndt coconut chocolate thanks to you :)

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    1. Your biscuits sound delicious! Strictly honey is an animal by product but it's one of those things where some people are flexible. I am :)

      Happy to hear I've put you on to Lindt coconut!!

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  12. I have that book on my to-read list! was it good? These look like the perfect desserts to have for book club!

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    1. It was! Very, very good in fact - I highly recommend it :) And thank you!

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  13. These are two fine looking desserts - I adore lemon tart, so I think it would be great to have a vegan version in my repertoire.

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    1. I would certainly recommend this one :)

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