A few weeks ago I was asked to take part in a Cupcake Throwdown competition. As soon as I heard about it I knew I wanted to do participate, there had never been a competition in Vancouver like this before. The best thing about this Throwdown was that all the money raised went to charity, an organization called H.A.V.E that teaches homeless people how to cook so they can get jobs in restaurants.
I searched recipes for a long time. When it comes to cupcakes there are endless flavour combinations. There was one recipe, as soon as I saw it I wanted to make it: Mexican Hot Chocolate from the book "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World" . When I read the title I instantly thought of when I was in Mexico on vacation, out of all the interesting foods and flavours I tried when I was down there, what I remembered best was drinking Mayan Coffee every night. Mayan coffee is made with coffee beans, nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne, milk and dark chocolate.
So, imagining what this cupcake tasted like, and that fact that it was vegan, and the competition was being held at the vegetarian restaurant Cafe Deux Soleil, which is on Commercial Drive, where they have held the famous Parade of Lost Souls, which got me thinking of the day of the dead which led me back to Mexican theme, I decided that this cupcake defiantly was the one.
I experimented with this recipe quiet a bit. I remember the first time I made it I could barely wait to try it. I ended up smothering the still warm cupcake in icing and shoving it in my mouth and turning to my boyfriend with a mouth full of cupcake and saying "This tastes exactly like mexican hot chocolate!!!". However, I did end up tweaking the recipe a bit for a little added kick. First I decided change the icing to a straight up vegan creamcheese icing, and also ended up filling the cupcakes with a chili and spice "ganache" made from coconut milk.
I decided to finish the cupcakes with a day of the dead inspired fondant topper. Most fondant is not vegan, but the brand Virgin Ice is.
*Photo's by Cherry Vega