Chinese Five Spice Chocolate Cupcakes

It's day 3 of Vegan Mofo and thus far I'm managing to keep up with posting! My theme this year is My Spice Rack. I've got so many spices piled up in my kitchen that I thought I had better start thinking of ways to use them all up! Yesterday I posted a Spicy Chickpea Salad with Olive Hummus Dressing which used 4 spices from my shelf. Today, only one, but it's an interesting one!

Chinese Five Spice
Chinese Five Spice is a blend of star anise, fennel seeds, cassia, black pepper and cloves. It is used in many Asian recipes but usually in combination with meat, although it can be added to stir fried vegetables. In place of the meat, it could be used as a rub or a marinade for tofu or other meat substitutes. But I wanted to do something a bit different with it. So I made dessert, a bit unusual! The zing of the Five Spice gives these Chocolate Cupcakes something pretty special and a couple of my friends went pretty crazy over these babies. Start of adding just a 1/2 tsp of five spice to the mix and then taste it. If you can't really taste the Chinese Five Spice then add some more and taste again. I ended up using a whole teaspoon, but it's something you can make to taste.

Reference: Hemphill, 2006
For my month of spices I'm using Spice Notes and Recipes by Ian Hemphill as my reference tool to learn about spices and for all the information above. Thanks Ian for writing such a great and informative book! 

Chinese Five Spice Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup oat milk (or soy milk)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup wholemeal plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice (or to taste)

To Make
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
2. In a large bowl whisk together the oat milk, sugar, canola oil and vanilla extract.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until all combined.
4. Fill your cupcake baking tray with liners and fill them 3/4 full of batter.
5. Bake for 23 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
6. Allow to cool. To serve, dust with icing sugar or ice with a chocolate buttercream icing or a chocolate ganache - whatever you feel like!

Makes 12 cupcakes.

Chinese Five Spice Chocolate Cupcakes pictured here with my

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