Today is not just #MeatlessMonday here at Peru Delights. Today we raise the bar even higher and go all the way to vegan, courtesy of the lovely and talented Valentina Cordero, owner and chef of The House of V bakery, in Miami, Florida. I met Valentina a few years ago when she was living in LA, and had just finished a gig working in Napa Valley at Chef Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery. Since then she has embraced a vegan lifestyle, and has adapted her French cuisine training to vegan ingredients “that are both healthier and better for the planet,” as she describes it. In her bakery only all-natural and organic ingredients are used, and they also cater to special needs such as gluten free, nut free and wheat free.
As soon as I saw her scrumptious works of art on Facebook, I asked Valentina if she would create something for our readers. And it turned out being my lucky day, as she had just purchased a bag of lucuma flour and was wondering what to do with it. Thus, these cute karma-free cupcakes were created.
For those of you who don’t know, Lucuma is a sweet creamy fruit from Peru that is used to prepare many desserts. Its flavor is the favorite of many when it comes to ice creams, cheesecakes, mousses, and even dulce de leche. I used to make a lucuma tres leches that was to die for, and my friend Andrea sent me a picture of a lucuma suspiro a la limena last night that looked insanely tempting, and almost made me lick the screen. Peruvians (including moi) just can’t get enough of the unique earthy flavor of this fruit.
Living in the States, however, it’s very hard to find a fresh sample of this delicious ingredient. I have seen lucuma powder in many health stores, and it was quite a surprise to read the labels for the first time and realize it actually has a lot of powerful health benefits too. The truth is, Peruvians eat lucuma for its taste, not for its status as a superfood. I wish everyone could learn to enjoy it the way we do, and not just blindly add the lucuma powder to a morning shake hoping to boost it up with antioxidants and vitamins. Hopefully, after trying this recipe, more people will understand our love for it. I myself CANNOT wait to try them!
- 2 cups flour
- 1¾ cup non dairy milk
- ½ cup unsweetened passion fruit juice
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup non dairy butter
- 1½ teaspoon Ener-G egg replacer
- 1½ cup granulated vegan sugar
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup lucuma flour
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1½ cup vegan butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- Turn the oven to 350-375 F.
- Mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Beat the egg replacer with the water, and add milk and passionfruit, stirring well.
- In a mixer, beat the sugar and butter until creamy. Then add the milk and flour in small portions, alternating until you've added all.
- Add vanilla at the end, and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- *The baking time can vary from oven to oven, so check the cupcakes after 10 minutes. If a knife comes out clean after you stick it in one of the cupcakes, it means they are ready. If not, keep baking, and check every 5 minutes until done.
- For the frosting:
- Mix the vegan butter in a mixer, until creamy, and start adding lucuma flour and sugar little by little. Add the vanilla and mix well to incorporate.