Contrary to popular belief, vegans love cupcakes. In fact, we probably love cupcakes more than the average omnivore.
We go months on end conscientiously filling our plates with leafy greens, quinoa, tofu, and vibrant seasonal fruits. We stopped bothering to look at dessert menus at traditional restaurants ages ago. We see boxes of Entenmann's or Tasty Kakes in Publix or Walgreens, and our minds react as if we were looking at folding chairs --- they're just objects we don't eat.
But when someone mentions the words "vegan cupcake," wells of pent up dessert desires rise in our otherwise disciplined bodies. Salivation kicks in, reminding us that when it comes to eating, we may be principled, but we are also human.
Enter Vanessa Dejanovic, better known as "Vani," co-chef at Govinda's vegetarian and vegan dining club behind the Hare Krishna temple in Coconut Grove. Besides serving up inventive and inexpensive vegetarian dishes at the understated and lovely cafe five days a week, Vani has recently taken to offering her delights at the Coconut Grove Farmer's Market that's held Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
This week, her debut week at the market, she baked and sold vegan cupcakes that harbored tasty hidden surprises.
The vanilla cake was moist and fluffy, with a bit of a banana flavor. The icing was light and creamy. So far so good.
Then we bit into the bottom of the treat to reveal the best part of all: a layer of chocolate with a single hazelnut plunged into the middle. And yes, ladies and gentleman, all this ooey-gooey goodness was achieved without a trace of eggs or milk.
Vani says she'll be selling samosas at the market next week, since her cakes suffered a little in the Miami heat this time around. If we all call Govinda's and beg her, though, maybe we can convince her to bake another batch of these babies too.