Valentines Day Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting
1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup plain nondairy milk
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups pure maple syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar [u]Frosting[/u]:
3 tablespoons vegan margarine
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup crushed strawberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract [u]Garnish[/u]:
1/2 (12-ounce) bag chocolate chips
12 whole strawberries
1. Cake: In a bowl, combine all-purpose flour, pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, and teaspoon salt.
2. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, add the nondairy milk; heat until just beginning to simmer. Add the cocoa powder; whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat.
3. In another bowl, combine maple syrup, canola oil, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar; whisk well. Mix in the milk-cocoa mixture. Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients. Fill muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray 3/4 full.
4. Bake in oven at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick/butter knife comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
5. Frosting: In a bowl, blend margarine and salt. Alternately blend in confectioners' sugar and crushed strawberries, then mix in vanilla.
6. Garnish: Melt chocolate chips. Dip each strawberry into melted chocolate, carefully holding on to the leaves. Put on wax paper and let set in refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
7. Assembly: Frost cupcakes with strawberry frosting and top with each with one chocolate-covered strawberry. For extra Valentine's Day points, cut off tops of strawberries to make them look like hearts.