This past summer, I picked up a bottle each of rosewater and orange blossom water just to have on hand. And for a work potluck, I decided to put them to good use. I adapted the Pistachio Rosewater Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World to make pistachio-free rosewater and - separately - orange blossom water cupcakes. The results were fantastic.
1/2 cup vanilla soy yogurt (I didn't have yogurt, but I did have some Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, which I used instead. But to which I added 1 tsp of rosewater to thin it a little.)
2/3 cup soy milk/rice milk
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 to 2 tbsp rosewater (I used two)
1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
generous pinch cardamom
(As another adaptation, I added 1 tsp or so of vanilla extract.)
1. Recipe makes 12 cupcakes. Preheat over to 350F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together yogurt, soy milk, oil, sugar and rosewater. Sift in flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom and salt. Fill liners three-quarters of the way. Bake 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer to a cooking rack and let cool completely before icing.
To make the orange blossom water cupcakes, I used the exact same recipe, but adding orange blossom water instead of rosewater.
To ice the cupcakes, I made a single recipe of Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting, also from VCTOTW.
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated margarine
3.5 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup soy milk or creamer
Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and soy milk, beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy.
At this point, I divided the icing mixture into two roughly equal amounts in separate bowls. To the one bowl, I added 1 tsp of rosewater and, to the other, I added 1 tsp of orange blossom water. This thinned the icing mixtures a bit, so I added a bit more icing sugar to thicken it up. And once the cupcakes were cool, I iced each cupcake with its respective icing. I had edible lavender flowers on hand as an optional garnish. (One of my colleagues is allergic to lavender, which must be so sad for her. Just think of all the Lush products she can't use! Plus, lavender is simply divine.)
The cupcakes were really delicate. The rosewater was more subtle than the orange blossom water, but they were both excellent. While cupcakes are so North American, the rosewater and orange blossom water added a lovely Middle Eastern flare. And the lavender complemented both cupcakes wonderfully, adding a lovely southern France/Mediterranean touch.
(I snagged this recipe from vegweb.com and have adapted it ever so slightly.)
1.75 cups flour (I used whole wheat, which worked fine and added a nice texture.)
1.5 cups sugar (I only used 1 cup and it was still plenty sweet, particularly since I added vegan chocolate chips.)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup mashed bananas (takes 2-3 bananas)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
equivalent of 2 or 3 eggs (I can't find Ener-G where I live, but Planet Organic, the grocery store I frequent, carries a mixed starch mixture, which is a vegan egg substitute. Which is what I used.)
1/3 cup soy-buttermilk (to make buttermilk, combine 1 cup soymilk with 1 tbsp of vinegar. This can be used on a 1:1 ratio with buttermilk, so 1/3 cup of this is equal to 1/3 cup buttermilk.)
1. Preheat over to 325F.
2. Mix flour, vegan sugar, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.
3. Mix bananas, oil and buttermilk in a medium mixing bowl.
4. Combine the banana mixture with the large bowl containing the dry ingredients and stir well. Add the egg replacer in now and stir well again.
I actually doubled the recipe, so as to make 2 loaves. At this point, I added just over a cup of vegan chocolate chips, which was plenty for two loaves.
5. Pour into a greased 9x5 inch bread pan.
6. Bake in 325F over for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick in the middle comes out clean.
And in time for the winter holiday season, I'm about to make Figgy Pudding. A friend of mine gave me the recipe, which I adapted to make it vegan. I'm not certain where she found it, but I believe it was online somewhere. I'm going to get the necessary ingredients soonish for preparation in early November, which should give the recipe enough time to sit and develop (in the freezer, of course).
1 cup dried black figs
1.5 to 2 cups dried fruit (raisins, prunes, apricots)
1.25 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar
vegan egg substitute for 2 eggs (I used the above-mentioned starch mixture.)
1 cup grated raw carrot
1 cup grated raw potato
1. Cover the figs with boiling water and let stand about ten minutes.
2. Drain and chop the fruit.
3. Chop the other dried fruit in small pieces and combine.
4. Combine the flour with the soda and spices.
5. Add 1/2 cup of flour mixture to the dried fruits and mix.
6. Beat the applesauce and brown sugar together.
7. Beat in the egg substitute.
8. Add the grated vegetables.
9. Gradually stir in the flour, beating until smooth.
10. Mix in the dried fruits.
11. Fill in a large-sized pudding bowl to two-thirds full and cover with a lid or foil.
12. At this point, many people choose to let their pudding sit for a few weeks to a month. This allows the flavours to mingle and develop.
13. An Irish alternative is to hang the pudding dough in cheesecloth in the shed. After two weeks of hanging, the pudding is taken down and put in a bowl.
14. When it comes time to serve the pudding, stand the bowl on a rack or metal trivet in an inch of boiling water in a pot with a tight cover.
15. Steam for two hours, adding more water if necessary. Serve hot, with white sauce inundated with brandy or rum. (I served with Soy Delicious vanilla ice cream. So good.)