And in the middle of watching my universe spin around me and follow my every order and wish, I have Son, with his numerous allergies and restrictions throwing a monkey wrench into the normal continuous revolution of my universe. For where he is concerned in terms of food, what I want doesn't go. The other day, we went out to dinner and after asking the waiter several in a series of questions about the preparation of certain foods such as, "Does the calamari have any breading? Is it soaked in milk?" to "Is the spinach sauteed in butter or garlic?" and "Can we substitute french fries for the mashed potatoes" I ended up ordering a ribeye steak, french fries with sauteed spinach for Son and me to eat....only I REALLY wanted to eat the chicken canneloni that looked and sounded simply delicious. But no go, no way, and the steak was pretty good, but just not the cheesy deliciousness I wanted.
Then Son mentioned that for his birthday he wanted CAKE. He wanted to eat his own cupcake. And as my mind rapidly went over all the permutations of what that could POSSIBLY look like, I fell out of the center of my revolving universe. For it I had my way, I'd make him a beautiful vanilla bean cupcake with cream cheese vanilla frosting...but doing what I want will pretty much secure my line in the waiting room of a nearby emergency room. Putting my own desires and will aside, I decided to make Son a egg-free, dairy free vanilla cake with a simple dairy free chocolate ganache.
I followed the recipes of Chef Chloe, who was the winner of Food Network's cupcake wars. The more amazing thing about that is she won as a VEGAN baker....no eggs, no dairy, no animal products whatsoever. (her use of nut milks and alcohol make me pause a bit where Son is concerned, but not the basics itself.) I decided to use her basic vanilla cake recipe and combine it with a chocolate ganache I saw in another one of her recipes. The result was a simple vanilla cake with chocolate ganache that tasted surprisingly good! (The bad part of this story is that I think Son is allergic to chocolate as he much preferred the plain, unfrosted cake after complaining that the chocolate one made his tongue itchy.) There was another young friend of Son's that is also unable to eat dairy and egg and he was thrilled to be eating a cupcake after never having had one that he could consume. The final guest who enjoyed it was friend LC, who discovered that her breastfeeding son is also allergic to dairy, so she also got to enjoy a cupcake. It was her comments that made me happy because she said they tasted REALLY good and the only thing that made it noticeably different was the spongy chewy quality cake - which is missing in a vegan cupcake. Daughters begged to eat one as well, so they also enjoyed a few of them...which made me realize that I could just make the vegan ones if ever I needed to....and my universe can continue revolving around me.
Egg-Free, Dairy-Free Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache (VEGAN)
Adapted from Chef Chloe
Makes 12 cupcakes
1 ½ cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut milk or other non-dairy milk
½ cup canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 350.
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the coconut milk, oil, vanilla, and vinegar. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk until well combined.
Distribute batter into lined cupcake baking pan, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
1 cup chocolate chips (Guittard and Trader Joe's Semi Sweet Chocolate chips both do not contain dairy.)
1/4 cup coconut milk
In a double boiler (a bowl over a pot of boiling water) melt chocolate and coconut milk together. Whisk together until smooth.
Carefully dip each cupcake into the ganache and flip it so that the chocolate has a chance to set.