Celebration Amidst Unrest
This Ramadan has been an interesting one for Muslims in America and throughout the world. It’s been difficult for those of us here to watch the political upheaval occurring in countries throughout the Middle East with revolutions and uprising that we all hope will spark positive, lasting results for everyday people.
Back here in the U.S. we’ve seen a surge of interest in Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims everywhere; and of ‘Eid-ul-Fitr, or the three-day long celebration marking the end of fasting.
Corporations Taking Notice
Companies such as Whole Foods Market engaged in a campaign to recognize their halal consumers by publishing an article explaining Ramadan and one on halal, or Islamic dietary guidelines, on the company’s official blog, The Whole Story.
Whole Foods also co-hosted a series of giveaways on my food blog, My Halal Kitchen, with their branding partner during the month, Saffron Road Foods (a brand of the American Halal Co.). Saffron Road produces healthy halal frozen entrees, chicken products and the first of its kind halal broths, all of which are available at Whole Foods Markets.
Saffron Road is enjoying a great deal of positive feedback from Muslim and mainstream consumers for offering healthy, certified humane, some gluten-free and all halal products, as well as for being a socially conscious company. They’re actively engaged with consumers in a dialogue about the farm-to-table process that they take to bring the best of halal foods into the market, something quite novel in the halal industry, but timely and welcomed by halal consumers and those who are simply concerned about what’s in their food.
Sweets For ‘Eid
Home chefs like me will be making a variety of foods to share with friends and family on ‘Eid. Sweets will surely be a part of the festivities, and this year I’m putting a healthy twist on anything that’s halal, even cupcakes.
It’s a unique time for everyone to celebrate halal and celebrate ‘Eid, and fortunately we’ve got some great resources at our fingertips to make both of those easier.
Whole Wheat Orange Cupcakes With Vanilla Mascarpone Frosting
Yield: Makes 24 cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups 100% stone ground whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup raw cane sugar or evaporated cane juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons orange oil (replace with grape seed or vegetable oil if you don’t have orange oil)
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 eggs
- 8 ounces mascarpone frosting
- 1/4 cup raw cane sugar or evaporated can juice
- 1 teaspoon no-alcohol vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest (fresh or dried)
- sugared pearls or cupcake sprinkles (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- In a medium bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients (oil, eggs and heavy cream) to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until there are no more lumps in the mixture.
- Pour two large spoons full of the mixture into each cupcake liner placed in a cupcake or muffin tin.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, watching carefully that they do not burn or become too hard. Use a sharp knife or cake tester to see if the cakes are done (the tester should come out clean).
- Place on a cooling rack or remove from muffin tins. Let cool before frosting.
- For the frosting, in a small bowl, mix all frosting ingredients well. Keep at room temperature before frosting. When cupcakes are completely cool, spread on top of each cupcake generously then wrap the cupcakes with cupcake liners, if using those.