If you having been keeping tabs on The Kale Project, you know that I don’t really bake – although I will admit I’m becoming more and more excited about making healthy muffins for cold winter mornings. Maybe there is something to be said about all this baking business?
So why all the baking? This weekend was Cupcake Camp Paris III and I was very happy to be a part of the great event where all proceeds when to the Make A Wish foundation. Basically a bunch of people, both French and expats, baked dozens of cupcakes and then there were crowds (yes, long lines outside the door) who then paid per cupcake to take home their own boxes of beautifully decorated cupcakes!
Since I was asked to bake as The Kale Project, I knew I would have to go all out and make an effort to bake a healthy cupcake, which then basically means I baked muffins and put icing on top. And it was not just any icing, in fact it was coconut cream icing with vanilla extract and agave syrup. Truly healthy!
While my cupcakes were by far the least attractive and the least sweet, I was proud with how they held up amongst all of the professional cupcakes in the room. Were there a lot of raised eyebrows (especially French eyebrows)? Yes, but I do think that it was a great event to further awareness about our beloved leafy green. And even better, Cupcake Camp Paris raised over 5,500€ for charity – a real success if you ask me.
While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the icing. I found it difficult to obtain the perfect “icing” consistency with coconut cream, but the thought that it is vegan icing kept me going. If you are able to gather enough of the “fat” from top of the coconut cream, add a desired amount of vanilla extract and agave syrup to sweeten.
**For an additional topping, I baked a few pieces of kale in the oven (lightly drizzled in olive oil), crushed them and added brown sugar to sprinkle on top. Kale sprinkles!
A few notes about specific ingredients…
In place of processed sugar, I chose to experiment with Rapadura, which is created when sugar cane is juiced and then dehydrated – no other processing involved. In reading many vegan websites, people rave about using Rapadura for all baking needs. Here is a link to more information about sugar alternatives.
3 leaves kale, de-stemmed and very finely chopped
1 3/4 cup of flour
1/4 cup raw cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder (this is a difficult ingredient to find in France and when I made them the first time, I did not have it on hand and the cupcakes turned out fine)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup of Rapadura (you can find this at Naturalia)
1 large beet, steamed, de-skinned and chopped into smaller pieces
1 tablespoon Chia seeds (Chia seeds are hard to find in France due to a shortage from the main supplier; you can use Flax seeds as a substitute)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons cold-pressed coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons chocolate extract (hard to find in France, if you do not use, just increase the vanilla extract to 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Coconut “fat” from 2 containers of coconut cream (I would buy 3-4 just incase one of the containers has not settled with the fat at the top)
2-3 teaspoons of vanilla extract
3 teaspoons of agave syrup (this depends on how sweet you would like the icing to be)
1. While the beet is steaming, add all the wet ingredients together in a blender. If you are using Chia seeds, it is helpful for them to sit in the wet mixture and “plumpen” to help them soften.
2. De-stem and finely chop the kale.
3. When beet is steamed (around 30 minutes), de-skin and chop into small pieces and add to blender. Blend the mix until it is one texture.
4. Add together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, add the kale and then add the beet mixture and mix all ingredients together.
5. Once mixed, place into cupcake trays and bake for 25 minutes at 110 degrees C.