I've really been missing my vegan buttercream. Really bad. Whenever I've made cuppies or bday cakes, I've resorted to making an avocado chocolate mousse topping. But I really don't feel like giving Kyson chocolate or anything with caffeine given that his sleep stinks. And besides - dark chocolate icing doesn't lend to adding fun colours and such that Ash looks forward to. So I had to put my thinking cap on.
Earth Balance is out for several reasons, like sunflower, safflower and flax to name a few. Palm has been giving us issues, so that too is added to the list of no-no's. My usual coconut oil won't work either since Kyson is allergic to that too. Then I got a brilliant idea to use the nearly-expired bag of raw cocoa butter that I bought solely due to sheer excitement that I could make white chocolate. I never thought of actually using it for any other purpose! So I melted it to a softened state, and added icing sugar. It was quite stiff - in went a few tablespoons of rice milk and it seemed to curdle. I then broke my hand mixer. I couldn't resort to my Kitchenaid since there didn't seem to be enough quantity for the whisk attachment to do anything. So I pulled out my supertool - the Braun hand mixer. Beating it up, my hand was cramping and the mixer seemed to get warm. In the end, it actually mixed to something smooth! Now I should have iced some cuppies then and there while the frosting was soft, but given that I decided to make the frosting on a whim, I then had to whip up a batch of the Basic Vanilla Cupcakes from VCTOTW. By the time they baked and cooled, my frosting was pretty stiff. The end result isn't super pretty:
But man, they were darn good! They tasted like white chocolate! (Although that shouldn't be such a shocker, but it is when it looks like regular buttercream).
So I started thinking - how to make the cocoa butter more pliable? Enter Mattie's vegan butter solution. He lists a number of options - many using the preferred soymilk and coconut oil ingredients. He goes into a great explanation of the makeup of butter and how to scientifically produce a vegan version, which is interesting and like the vegan version of Good Eats. The best part - in there was a white chocolate version that uses cocoa butter! Hooray! I decided to sub extra xanthan gum to make up for using soy or sunflower lecithin and use the second choice of curdled hemp milk. I'm shocked at the results - I doubled the batch (risky since I had never made it before and was sacrificing about $13 of cocoa butter!) and I used a silicone muffin pan to create 1 tablespoon measures of the 'butter'. Had lots leftover and while still soft, spread it on bread.