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Sneaky Mini Cupcakes

23 May

Sometimes I like to make things that look normal, and taste normal, but actually aren’t. Mom likes to do this too with her black bean brownies. These cupcakes are super moist…which is odd for gluten free stuff and really rich. I’m going to attribute this to the fact that there’s a whole avocado in them. They’re also vegan (until I added the orange buttercream frosting), because I made them with coconut dream instead of regular milk. There’s no xanthan gum, no eggs and they don’t crumble to bits. I think I’m in love.

Anyways, I modified slightly the recipe from Un Petit Oiseau (http://bonjourpetitoiseau.blogspot.ca/2009/08/gluten-free-chocolate-avocado-cupcakes.html)

 

Chocolate Avocado Gluten-Free mini Cupcakes

1 1/2 c gluten free flour blend – I use  a mix of white and brown rice flour, potato starch, cornstarch and soy flour

3/4 c cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 avocado, pitted and peeled

1 1/4 c sugar – I didn’t have agave, or honey

3/4 c coconut dream beverage

1/3 c canola oil

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 c chocolate chips

I threw the avocado, sugar, coconut drink, canola oil and vanilla in a food processor until its a green mush. It should be pretty smooth so you’ll need to scrape the sides down a bit to get all the avocado pureed. I then mixed all the dry ingredients in a bowl, stirred in the avocado mixture and tossed in the chocolate chips. I then popped the bowl of batter in the fridge for an hour to let the flour soak up the liquids. I find this helps keep the mix moist and not so crumbly. I then scooped spoonfuls of the batter into mini muffin tins and baked at 350F for 18-20 minutes. They’ll feel really soft when they come out, but that’s the nature of the cupcake, trust me, it’s cooked.

I let them cool and whipped up a little orange buttercream frosting. I don’t have a recipe for this. Martha would cry if she knew most of my baking involves not a whole lot of exact measuring. So I  mixed up some butter, lots of icing sugar, orange zest and the juice of half an orange. BAM! buttercream.

These have been brother approved. He has no idea what’s in them and he still likes them.

You only live once,

Karla

falling off the wagon

30 Apr

Finish exams and stuff my face sums up my week. Not only was it my momma’s birthday this week, but I also went back to work at the grocery store. Paycheck = great, constant supply of unhealthy snacks = not good. I can’t resist a good sour jujube or caramel corn, or anything dipped in sugar, especially when I hit the afternoon slump. There was just no discipline this week. At all. I did get all my workouts in and I’m up to 6km as I train for an 8k run on the May long weekend. However, I undid all of that with the ridiculous amount of crap I ate. Starting today, I’m writing down everything I eat. Lots more discipline. No more snacks at work unless I bring something from home or it’s a fruit or a veggie.Done.

Anywho, for momma K’s birthday I made her a normal vanilla cake with lemon curd (my fave!) and a whipped cream frosting topped with lots of yummy berries. I use the joy of baking recipes for all of these items, but I wasn’t so impressed with the cake. It was really dense. I was looking for something that would stand up to the lemon curd and not get soggy, but I didn’t want something I could build a house on top of either. Not impressed, still on the lookout for a great cake recipe for my non-g-free family and friends.

I also made a pavlova, just for me 🙂 Well, I did share, but I could have eaten the whole thing. It was beautiful, and perfect, all marshmallow-y with a crispy crust. Topped with whipped cream and berries! If you’ve never made pavlova it can be super tricky. And it’s best to make it on a day that isn’t humid or rainy so it doesn’t get sticky.

Pavlova:

3 egg whites

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tbsp cornstarch

Preheat oven to 250. Line a pan with parchment paper

Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the sugar by tablespoon as you continue to beat until the egg whites form stiff peaks. Beat in the vanilla. Sprinkle vinegar and cornstarch on top of the eggs and gently fold in (I use a whisk to do this so that I don’t kill the lift in my egg whites). Spread egg whites over parchment paper in a circle with a little bit of a well in the middle to hold the whipped cream and fruit.

Bake in oven at 250 for 60-75 minutes, until a very light brown colour. Turn off the oven and leave the door open a bit until the Pavlova cools. Store in an airtight container on the parchment until ready to serve.

Top with whipped cream and your choice of fruit!

“They don’t taste gluten free at all”

21 Apr

I love chocolate. In any form. At any time. Especially during final exams.

With the advent of 2 exams back to back my craving for chocolate had peaked. One problem. We actually have bare bones food in my house right now. Moving out means eating everything you have so you don’t have to throw it out or take it home. So I was left with 1 cup of gluten free flour and one ounce of bittersweet chocolate. I spent probably an hour searching for a recipe for chocolate gluten free cookies when I stumbled upon this one: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.ca/2011/04/gluten-free-chocolate-cookies-with.html

I was afraid it wouldn’t taste right without the chocolate chips — gluten free stuff is weird like that. Leave one ingredient out and bam, nasty cookie. Also, the gluten free flour blend I bought in bulk isn’t the greatest. I kept forgetting my good mix at home so I thought I’d make do with an all purpose blend. Yeah, not so much. It’s great for texture, but if whatever you’re making isn’t super chocolatey or strong flavoured, it has a really off-putting flavour.

Anyways, I made a half batch. Added a little more cocoa than I needed and chopped up that bittersweet chocolate and added it to the mix. I also used regular skim milk and shortening. They turned out pretty good actually. A little dry if anything. But they were tested by my normal food eating roommate and she said “they don’t taste gluten free at all”. Success.

Of course success is much better with frosting, so I whipped up a quick cream cheese icing for these. Not even close to having a recipe for this. Basically just softened some cream cheese, added a splash of milk and a ton of icing sugar. Tah Dah. Just what I needed!

You only live once,

Karla