Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Night of Improv

The only thing I can think of that could be worse than your oven breaking during VeganMoFo is your oven breaking during VeganMoFo when you have a birthday cake due in about a week*. So far, no one has been able to repair our oven and I have no idea when we'll be getting a new one. Just as I was about to give up hope, I had a brainfart: Try the toaster oven! Improvise!**

So I did:

I didn't plan on making cupcakes that night, so I wasn't sure what I had all the ingredients to make. Turns out I was able to make the Sexy Low-Fat Vanilla cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, substituting strawberry yogurt for plain.

As you can see, they came out quite well. The only difference I noticed between these and the ones I made in the regular oven is the ones in the back started to brown before the ones in the front did, so I'll rotate the pan halfway through next time. I might also leave them in a couple of extra minutes, since if you look at the cupcake on the left, you can see the paper stuck a bit and ripped a chunk out of the cake.

Here's a close up of the texture:

I wasn't able to try one (detoxing), but they smelled amazing. So amazing, that I think I'm going to use flavored yogurt in these more often. Maybe even with a matching flavored apple sauce (and probably decreasing the sugar a bit).

My next improvisation of the evening was my new DIY lightbox:

This was my first time taking pictures with it and I think they came out a bit better than they usually do, but still not really good. I'm going to need to experiment with the height of the light (which I only did a bit today) and I think I'm going to pick up a second lamp for the other side. Hopefully, by the end of MoFo, this blog will no longer have the worst pictures of all the participants (which seems to be the case right now).

* OK, lots of things are worse than this, but stick with me, OK?

** The birthday girl is on an improv team, so I'm kind of milking the joke a bit. Sorry.


Jeni Treehugger said...

Good improvisation skills. I'm imagining an American toaster oven is completely different to an English toaster 'cos there ain't no way you could do cupcakes in an English toaster!!
I don't think your photos are bad at all but I can understand you wanting to improve them. I might have to try the light box idea seeing as all my main cooking is done at night time and the light is never good.

Diana said...

Oh my word. Must be something in the air - we also had our oven kick it at the end of last week. Thankfully, it turned out to be a fuse problem not an appliance problem and we're back on deck now. Phew!
By the way, thanks for the idea about coconut-mango muffins - I have a feeling they would, indeed, be a hit with the little person.

Seitan Said Dance said...

Thanks, Jenni. We have toasters (that have the slots for bread in the top) and toaster ovens here. The toaster ovens are almost like mini ovens. So far, the light box is working pretty well, especially now that I've added another lamp and have started fixing my pictures a little (VERY little) in Photoshop, too.

I'm glad you were able to get your oven working again so quickly, Diana. Good luck with the muffins!

Neta said...

I made a lighting box last week too! It's much more fun, isn't it? I'm setting another lamp tonight. Haven't had a chance to photograph food in it yet.

By the way, we don't have an oven and I found out you can bake almost everything in a toaster oven, even bread.