Vegan chocolate-raspberry cupcakes

I was going on a Cupcake Wars binge on YouTube the other day and I was watching arguably the best episode in the series, the Tournament of Roses episode. It featured four returning winners competing again, including the very baker who inspired me to bake, Chloe Coscarelli. Seeing her gorgeous vegan creations again made me want to try re-creating some of her recipes from this episode, but in different iterations. For her chocolate mousse cupcake with raspberry, I went with a fully vegan recipe, but for the mocha almond fudge cupcake, I’m planning on making that one gluten-free.

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For the recipe, it features a chocolate cake, raspberry coulis filling, chocolate mousse, a fresh raspberry, and edible flower petals. For my version, I garnished my cake with marigold petals, while my mousse recipe is slightly different as well, just because I attempted her recipe and my original mousse came out as a liquid ganache, so that was a huge no-no. I used agar to stabilize mine, making it a fool-proof vegan chocolate mousse. Emphasis on the fool-proof.

For the cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup soy milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso
a pinch of salt
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
2 tablespoons black vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup canola oil

Combine ingredients. Pour into a lined 12-cupcake tin. Bake at 350 degrees F for 18 minutes. Cool completely before removing.

For the coulis:
1 cup raspberries
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Bring ingredients to a simmer. Once the raspberries are broken down, strain out the solids, pressing against the strainer to extract all of the pectin, then continue to reduce until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Cool completely before using.

For the mousse:
1 14 oz. can chilled coconut milk
1 cup dark chocolate chips
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup soy milk
1 tablespoon agar agar
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Remove only the solidified fat from the coconut milk can then whip for 10 minutes. Reduce sugar, milk, and agar together. Pour over chocolate chips and salt. Whisk until fully combined and at room temperature. Fold into the whipped coconut fat. Transfer to a piping bag then refrigerate for 10-20 minutes.

To garnish:
marigold petals
fresh raspberries

Core out the cupcakes, fill with the coulis, then frost with the mousse. Garnish with the petals and raspberries.

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