Tag Archives: chocolate

Chocolate Cupcakes

18 Nov

Another weekend, another birthday party. November babies are taking over the world! Ok, well at least my social calendar. I don’t mind one bit though, it gives we the chance to celebrate my friends and make delicious treats.  I made these cupcakes for my own birthday a couple weeks ago – it was partially my way of avoiding a cake and candles and a group of people singing to me. That just makes this introvert feel awkward.  But of course, I also wanted to have a birthday treat with no gluten.

I was delightfully surprised by how light and fluffy these cupcakes are. The texture reminds me of the chocolate cake my mother used to make when I was a kid. My mother’s chocolate cake was very popular and was even featured at my wedding. Yes, my mom made my wedding cake. No regular wedding cake either – a steampunk cake. You rock mom! Anyway, back on track.  I haven’t had a delicious light and fluffy cake in a long time. Prior to going gluten free I was using spelt flour, which made a denser cake. So these delicious delicate little cupcakes were a long time coming and a great reward for learning to bake gluten free.

The original recipe calls for one cup of coffee. Since I have a handy dandy fully automatic espresso maker, I didn’t mind this at all. But upon making these for a second time, I have come to the conclusion that the coffee doesn’t really add to the flavor. With the cost of organic fair trade coffee being what it is, I think I’ll substitute the coffee for milk or soy milk next time. I will likely warm the milk ahead of time so it will blend well with the cocoa. Who knows, I might even switch it up and prepare this cake in a pot on the stove, the way my mother’s cake is made. I will update as experiments continue. The November birthday rush is coming to a close, which winds down my experimenting opportunities for cupcakes. But I wanted to post this recipe sooner rather than later, which is why you’re not getting the final recipe here. Still this is a darn good recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hot coffee (or warmed milk, see above note)
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups of rice flour
  • 3/4 cups corn starch
  • 3/4 cups tapioca starch
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, starches, baking soda, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum in a medium bowl. Sifting if necessary,  which I almost never find it is. Set aside.

Stir hot coffee (or warmed milk), cocoa powder and hot water together until smooth. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

Stir in the eggs one at a time. Once your eggs are added and fully mixed in, add your vanilla.

Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the cocoa mixture to your butter mixture finishing withthe cocoa mixture.

Once all your ingredients are added, scrape down your bowl then mix on medium high for 2 minutes or until smooth.

Let the batter stand for 10-15 minutes while you prepare your baking pans* and tidy your workspace.

Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup or a disher scoop fill your muffin tins to about full.

Bake at 350° for 20-22 minutes. Note: that is the cooking time required for mini-cupcakes. The original recipe calls for cooking cakes for approximately 40 minutes for 8-9″ cake pans. Either way, the cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool these for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. If you let them cool too long, they may stick to the pan, too little time and they may break apart.

Yield: 3, 8-9″ cakes or approximately 60 mini cupcakes.**

Notes

*When making cakes, I like to line my pan with parchment paper and then grease the paper. I also use a little grease directly on the pan to make positioning the paper easier (it gives the paper something to stick to). I do not flour the parchment after greasing it, though I do know some that do. If you are not using parchment, always grease your pans and then dust them with flour so they will not stick. Note: for extra decadence try dusting your cake with cocoa rather than flour. For cupcakes use paper muffin liners, I do not find it necessary to grease my non-stick muffin tray on top of using the liners.

**Yah, 60 is a lot!! This recipe can be halved. I currently have a bunch in the freezer because I cannot transport them all to my friend’s birthday party. I will write back to let you know how they are after being frozen.

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Chocolate Buttercream Icing

12 Nov

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of salted butter at room temperature (if you’ve forgotten to take our your butter you can warm it in the microwave on 4 second intervals – do not melt the butter)
  • 2 cups of sifted icing sugar
  • 1 cup of sifted cocoa
  • 2 tsp vanilla (or more to taste)
  • 1 – 4 Tbs milk, heavy cream, soy milk, almond milk etc. The amount will depend on how thick you want your icing.

Instructions

Cream the butter

Add the icing sugar and cocoa with your mixer on low. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of your bowl to make sure that all of the dry ingredients are blended well.

Add your vanilla and then add your milk/milk substitute 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency of your frosting. If you add too much liquid you can add more icing sugar to thicken it up.

Yield: Enough to decorate a 8″ layer cake or a batch of cupcakes/mini-cupcakes.

Notes

I have not tried this yet but I believe this icing would taste pretty darn good if made with coconut oil rather than butter for those that cannot have dairy.
For more variations on buttercream frosting see my post here.

Cake on Demand

12 Nov

This weekend I was co-hosting a party that happened to fall on a friend’s birthday. I wanted to bake him a cake. His preference is cookies but to me, nothing says “Happy Birthday” like a cake. As  I do nowadays, I asked Mr. Google for some gluten free recipes and found one that I thought would work well. Of course, I did not follow the original recipe exactly because that is just not what I do. So the recipe below is the altered version.

The cake got rave reviews and some people didn’t realize it was gluten free. Success! In fact, the reason that this is the first post and the reason for the post title is because a friend really wants the recipe. In my opinion, this cake was a bit dense. I would have liked it to be lighter and fluffier, like the cupcakes I made for my birthday last week but that’s a whole other topic.

I think this cake turned out very pretty considering I’ve not decorated a cake in a very long time.

Melly’s Version

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup white rice four
  • 1/4 cup of corn starch
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (gluten free)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare your pans. I used two 8×8 square pans, that I lined with parchment paper, then lightly greased using coconut oil. I find fitting the parchment to the pans difficult so I use a little oil on the pan so the parchment has something to stick to.

Sift together or whisk together your dry ingredients and set aside.

Beat the oil, eggs, water, and vanilla together until well mixed, preferably with a stand mixer but a hand mixer will do the trick.

Gently mix in the dry ingredients adding them to the wet ingredients one cup at at time. Mix for 1 minute between each cup of dry ingredients.

When all the ingredients are combined, scrape down your bowl then mix on medium-high for 2 minutes.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans. This batter is quite thick so you will want to smooth it out before baking it.

Bake the cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool a bit in the pan  before you put them on cooling racks.

Yield: two 8″ or 9″ round layers or 2 8×8 square cakes.

Chocolate Butter Cream Icing

  • 1 cup of salted butter at room tempurature (if you’ve forgotten to take our your butter you can warm it in the micorowave on 4 second intervals – do not melt the butter)
  • 2 cups of sifted icing sugar
  • 1 cup of sifted cocoa
  • 2 tsp vanilla (or more to taste)
  • 1-4 TBS milk, heavy cream, soy milk, almond etc.  The amount will depend on how thick you want your icing.

Cream the butter

Add the icing sugar and cocoa with your mixer on low. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of your bowl to make sure that all of the dry ingredients are blended well.

Add your vanilla and then add your milk/milk substitute 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency of your frosting. If you add too much liquid you can add more icing sugar to thicken it up.

Note: I have not tried this yet but I believe this icing would taste pretty darn good if made with coconut oil rather than butter for those that cannot have dairy.

Yield: Enough to decorate the cake as I did in the photo above, with a pretty decent layer between the cakes 🙂