Birthdays and Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes-Heaven on Earth (Kind of a Recipe)

Some of you may have already heard that yesterday was my birthday. Life is good-I received many birthday wishes on Facebook, Twitter, and my friend Kim at Gluten Free is Life, gave me a birthday shout out on her blog. Yesterday was Kim’s (and her mom’s!) birthday as well. I had a wonderful day, and I thank everyone for all their good wishes. It means so much to me that you took the time to wish me well. Here’s to another year!

Earlier this week Heidi at Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom (my brussel sprout buddy) had posted an amazing recipe for Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes. When I saaw it, I thought to myself “Self-you should make these for your birthday!” And so I did. And they were good. Really good.

Please check out Heidi’s blog for the original recipe, as I did make some changes according to what I had on hand. A definite part of my cooking philosophy is that if I want to make something and I don’t quite have the ingredients as listed-do I have something I can substitute? I am a firm believer that you need to make your cooking work for you, and not have to run out every time you don’t have something. Hence my affection for the “method” way of cooking instead of strict recipes. That is why now I’m titling my “recipes” as “not really a recipe” or “kind of a recipe.” Consider it a guideline as opposed to-written in stone you must do this or you will explode!

On to the good stuff!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:

- 2 TBSP Butter

-.5 cup water

-.25 cup cocoa/cacao powder

-1 cup sugar or sugar substitute (I used .5 cups Splenda Brown Sugar and .5 cup Splenda granular)

-.75 cups oat flour and .75 cup coconut flour (the original recipe called for 1.25 c quinoa flour, which I didn’t have. I had coconut flour, and I had my Creamhill gluten free oatmeal which I love, so I threw some oatmeal into the Magic Bullet and processed it into flour. Viola! Multi-functional ingredients. I chose the oat flour to give a little texture and nutrition.)

-.5 tsp baking powder

-.5 tsp baking soda

-2 eggs separated

-1 tsp vanilla

-1/2 cup greek yogurt

-1 container of baby food puree apples/prunes (I like to use this to add moisture without fat, and also because in chocolate items it’s brown and doesn’t disturb the rich chocolate color.)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 deg F
  • Melt butter and water in small saucepan over medium heat, remove from heat and whisk in cocoa.
  • Combine in a bowl the sugar/substitute, flours, baking powder/soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. I didn’t sift because I’m lazy like that.
  • Add the egg yolk, vanilla, yogurt and fruit puree to the dry ingredients along with the cocoa/butter/water mixture.
  • Combine well, I did by hand. Beat egg white to stiff-ish and fold in. I got impatient so they weren’t quite stiff.
  • Spoon into 12 cupcake molds.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes. (Mine was 15 m in a convection oven.)

    Here’s the cupcake sans icing.

    Mmmm...chocolate

    But a cupcake without icing isn’t so “treat”-like. So-I used Elena’s at Elena’s Pantry Vegan Chocolate Icing recipe for inspiration. Again, I didn’t have exactly what the recipe called for so I improvised! Check out her blog for the original recipe. Here’s my riff on it.

    Chocolate Icing

    -3/4 cup of coarsely chopped whatever chocolate you have in the house (I had a little bit of 70% cacao, a couple squares of 88% cacao, and made up the remainder with Baker’s semisweet at 54% cacao. Worked great.)

    -1 TBSP agave nectar (I dropped the amount of agave since the semi-sweet chocolate had a bit more sugar.)

    -1/4 c Enova oil. (I didn’t have grapeseed.)

    -pinch sea salt

    From Elena’s directions:
    1-In a small saucepan over very low heat, melt chocolate and oil
    2- Stir in agave, vanilla and salt
    3- Place frosting in freezer for 15 minutes to chill and thicken (This seemed too long for me-the frosting was frozen when I took it out, and I had to re-melt a little bit to be able to blend it.)
    4- Remove from freezer and whip frosting with a hand blender until it is thick and fluffy

    Here is the finished product!

    Mmmm...CHOCOLATE!!

    The cupcakes were a HUGE hit! They tasted fantastic, were nice and moist, and received rave reviews from Jeff. Being a non-celiac he has a very recent memory of glutinous cakes, and he said that they were really good. I have to admit that I made these midday yesterday, and by midnight we had each eaten 6-and they were gone. Birthday splurge!

    My tweaks did make these a bit more “diet-friendly” but I would consider them a treat nonetheless.

    Enjoy-let me know if you try them and what you think in the comments!

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