Hello good people! So, once again, it has been AGES since I have posted anything here on FHC. This poor little blog of mine has been sadly neglected. I have been missing having time to bake & being here too, but life has a way of getting in the way, making this space less frequented, but definitely not forgotten. That said, I did get some precious time this week to play in my little kitchen haven with my daughter to make these AMAZING cupcakes that I just had to share. If you get the chance, you simply must make them, MUST, I tell you. They will fulfill all your chocolate-y cravings & leave you so satisfied & satiated, all without the bloat, ’cause, you know, no gluten! Plus, pretty, so what’s not to love!
I have been heavily focused on my IRL business, Let them eat Crepe over past months. Almost 12 months in & the business is finding it’s feet & making a mark in the local community. I am happy with how things are going, I could not have anticipated where would be at this point & while we have a ways to go, the business in on track to success & I am so proud of what we are achieving. If you’d asked me 5 years ago what I would be doing now, this would not have even been on my radar, but, life has a way of changing dramatically when you least expect it, so I say, just ride the wave & see where you land – it could be the best thing that ever happens to you!
Anyways, back to cake! My love of baking has not waned while I have been away, I get into the kitchen when I can & am experimenting with recipes I might be able to use as my business grows as well. This particular recipe is a stand out I must say. The cake is light & fluffy, with enough moisture to melt in your mouth & just the right amount of chocolate flavour to make your taste buds sing with delight. Add the rich fudgy frosting & the sweetness hits you & leaves you with a happy chocolate filled grin only the best frosting can deliver.
There is quite a lot of butter in this recipe, which my not suit everyone with intolerance. I am fortunate that I can tolerate it without any issues these days. If it is an issue for you, you can replace the butter with either ghee or coconut oil. Just be aware that the taste & texture will change, particularly if you use coconut oil. It is a brilliant sub for butter, it is however, different, so play with the quantities to suit your needs.
The other things you can do with these beauties is to dress them up in any way you fancy. I love adding toasted nuts like pistachios & almonds to anything with chocolate in it – they add great taste & a lovely crunchy texture. This also goes for toasted or fresh shredded coconut – it adds contract & crispness & tasted divine with the richness of the frosting. Another great addition is fruit – strawberries, raspberries, figs even orange wedges work a treat, especially if you mix them with the nuts or coconut, or even add a burst of freshness with herbs such as mint or lemon thyme.
So many options … all inspiring & so, so delicious.
Here is how they come together;
- ½ cup lactose free milk*
- juice from half a lemon
- 2 cups gluten-free flour blend or your preferred mix
- 1 xanthan gum (omit if using a flour blend that contains xanthan)
- 2 cups unrefined sugar - (I use Rapadura)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch sea salt
- 250 grams unsalted butter**, chopped into small cubes
- ⅓ cup cacao or cocoa powder
- 1 cup water
- 2 eggs (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 125 grams cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup cacao or cocoa powder
- 3 cups icing sugar
- 6 tablespoons lactose free milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (non fan forced)
- Line a 12 cup muffin tray with patty pans / cupcake liners.
- Measure out ½ cup lactose free milk, then squeeze in lemon juice. Stand for at least 10 minutes to allow the mix to curdle. This is the easiest lactose free 'buttermilk' you can make!
- Using a stand mixer with large bowl whisk flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder on low speed until well combined.
- Using a medium saucepan over medium high heat, melt butter with cocoa & water.
- Whisking constantly, bring to just boiling.
- Remove from heat and add to dry ingredients, beating on low speed until combined.
- Add 'buttermilk', eggs, & vanilla, beating for one minute on low speed until well combined.
- Transfer batter into patty pans. I use an ice cream scoop dipped in hot water.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Leave cupcakes in tray until cooled slightly - about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before adding any frosting.
- In a medium heatproof / microwave safe jug or bowl, zap butter in 30 second bursts until metled - (about 60 - 90 seconds should do it).
- Whisk in cacao powder until well combined, then heat for 1 minute.
- Add about ⅓ of the icing sugar, whisking until smooth.
- Add 2 tablespoons milk, whisking until smooth.
- Repeat the icing sugar & milk steps until all in & mixture is smooth & creamy.
- Add vanilla & mix in well.
- Transfer the frosting into a piping bag (optional) with a closed star nozzle (or similar) & pipe cakes in a circular motion, outwards like a spiral.
- Alternatively, you can just use a flat spatula & spread the frosting over the cake. Whatever is easier for you.
- Add some toasted nuts, or coconut, or fresh fruit or sprinkles. Got to town - they will look & taste amazing!
** - If you are intolerant to butter, you could make these using coconut oil. The thing I find with this however, is it changes the taste & texture slightly. It works really well, but don't expect the same result, coconut oil melts & sets differently to butter.
So there you have it, scrumptious, easy to make & divine to eat gluten & lactose free chocolate cupcakes. I hope you like them as much as we do!
What do you like to decorate your cakes with?
Cook! Eat! Enjoy!