My good friend Chemese’s birthday was last week, and she requested a little something different from your typical chocolate cake. She asked for me to make a savory snack that would fit with her Vegan lifestyle – cucumber “cupcakes” with hummus “frosting.”
For the cupcake part, I just peeled organic cucumbers and cut the ends off, then cut each cucumber into four even pieces. If I do this again, I’ll hollow out part of the cucumber with a spoon to allow more room for hummus. This worked well enough, though, and was super easy to do. When we ate these, we just cut them up into pieces.
For the hummus, I made it from scratch. It takes some time and prep, but is a fairly easy process overall. Chemese had chickpeas on hand, and she soaked them, then gave them to me. After the soaking, it’s important to boil the chickpeas until they’re tender, which took about an hour. I boiled them the night before, then stuck them in the fridge so they were cold and ready to use the next day. Of course, you could also use canned chickpeas if you don’t have the time to do the soaking and boiling.
Here are the ingredients for the hummus:
- 4 cups chickpeas, cooked or canned, drained
- 4 cloves of garlic
- lemon juice
- olive oil
You’ll notice I didn’t list amounts for the salt, tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice – that’s because I think it’s crucial that you add these a bit at a time until you get the taste and consistency you’re looking for. I believe I ended up using 4 tablespoons of tahini, the juice of 1/2 a lemon, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Here’s the process, which is pretty simple:
- In a food processor, put in your chickpeas and pulse to get them started blending. Add a little bit of water if you need to loosen things up a bit. Then add your garlic, and blend, adding olive oil in until you get the mixture at your desired consistency. As you can see in the photo, mine was about the consistency of buttercream frosting.
- Next add in your tahini, one tablespoon at a time. It’s important to do this before adding your salt, because tahini has some saltiness to it. Blend between tablespoons, and taste after each one! Next, add your salt, again a little at a time.
- Last of all, add the lemon juice. You’ll be amazed at the brightness this adds to the flavor profile, but you want to make sure and not end up with something that’s just plain sour, so again – add a little at a time.
- Voila! You’ve got homemade hummus, which is lighter and airier than anything store-bought I’ve tried.
To finish my cupcakes, I just put the hummus in a parchment bag with an icing tip, and then topped the hummus with finely chopped carrots. I love the way they turned out! Our 4-year-old liked them so much that he asked me to make him for his next birthday. :)
Most importantly, though, Chemese liked her birthday treat, and we had a great time celebrating with her!