Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chocolate Treat Day: Chocolate-Almond Cupcakes (Wheat and Wheat-Free versions)

Hello, Wing-a-lings! Long time no see! I didn't mean to disappear for so long, but I was searching for the Stone of Tears when I was ambushed and killed by a Mord Sith. But then another Mord Sith gave me the Breath of Life, and then I distracted her with yummy cupcakes and escaped! Can you tell I've been watching Legend of the Seeker on my Netflix streaming? :)

Chocolate-Almond Cupcakes
Tasty enough to distract a Mord Sith!

Remember that soy-free, all-chocolate eCookbook I mentioned before? You were supposed to get that for Christmas, but between the mean-reds and some annoying health issues, well, the cookbook just didn't happen. It pains me to say this, but I've had to make some drastic diet changes for the sake of my health. I tried making other changes first, but deep down I knew what I had to do. I didn't want to, believe me. But in order to keep my body happier, I decided to... give up caffeine! Mwahahaha! What did you think I was going to say? Mwahahahaha *snort snort* :P

Oh, what a dork. Anyway, instead of putting together one single eCookbook, I decided to slowly release the recipes into the wild. I will treat myself to chocolate goodies once every four or five weeks, and I will share my treats with you along the way. Deal? Mkay. Here's the first installment of my Chocolate Treat Day posts, which just happens to be a double treat with a wheat and a wheatless version of these yummy Chocolate-Almond Cupcakes.

Chocolate-Almond Cupcakes

Chocolate-Almond Cupcakes (Wheat Version)

3/4 cup almond or rice milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour, sifted
1/4 cup almond flour, sifted
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with liners and lightly spray them with cooking spray.

2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, extracts, and sugar.

3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk or stir together the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and without overmixing, fold until just combined.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake pan, filling each cavity just over half way full. The batter should be fairly thin, but not totally liquid.

6. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a cooling rack and let them cool completely.

7. Spread a generous amount of Chocolate-Almond Ganache (recipe below) on top of each cupcake and decorate with sliced or ground almonds.

Makes 12 cupcakes.


Chocolate-Almond Cupcakes
Quick! Take the picture! We're running out of light!

Chocolate-Almond Cupcakes (Buckwheat Version)

3 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 to 1 cup almond or rice milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup buckwheat flour, sifted
1/3 cup almond flour, sifted
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with liners and lightly spray them with cooking spray.

2. In a small mixing bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in a little bit of milk. Stir in the rest of the milk, oil, extracts, and sugar. It's best to start with 3/4 cup of milk, and then add more later if needed.

3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk or stir together the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir until smooth. The batter should be quite thin, a little thinner than wheat cupcakes, so if you might need to add a little milk until it's *just* thinner than wheat cupcakes.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake pan, filling each cavity just over half way full.

6. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a cooling rack and let them cool completely.

7. Spread a generous amount of Chocolate-Almond Ganache (recipe below) on top of each cupcake and decorate with sliced or ground almonds.

Makes 12 cupcakes.


Buckwheat Chocolate-Almond Cupcakes

Chocolate-Almond Ganache

3 ounces unsweetened 100% cacao baking bar, chopped*
1/3 to 1/2 cup almond or rice milk
3 tbsp smooth almond butter
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 to 1 tsp almond extract

1. Combine the chopped chocolate, 1/3 cup of milk, almond butter, and sugar in a medium sized saucepan and melt over medium-low heat. It will only take a minute or two, so keep an eye on it and stir constantly! It shouldn't boil, if it starts to boil remove from heat for a minute, lower the heat and try again.

2. When everything is melted and a smooth chocolate cream forms (thanks to your diligent whisking) stir in the almond extract and more milk, if necessary. The ganache shouldn't be runny, it will be quite thick.

3. Taste it for sweetness and almondness and add more sugar and extract if needed. This is plenty sweet for me, but normal people might enjoy a little more sweetness. If you do need to add more sugar, stir vigorously until it dissolves completely. It's OK if you need to warm it up a little again. Let it cool at room temperature and top your cuppies! :)

Makes enough for 12 cupcakes.

* The only reason I use a 100% cacao bar is because it's the only type of baking chocolate I can find that doesn't have any soy lecithin. If you don't have a problem with soy, go ahead and use a semi-sweet bar instead, or even semi-sweet chocolate chips - just remember to skip the sugar or it will be too sweet!


I have made about elebenty batches of these cupcakes (both wheat and buckwheat versions) and I never get tired of them. I *think* I like the buckwheat cuppies better, but don't quote me on that.

Buckwheat Chocolate-Almond Cupcakes
See how flat they are on top?
The batter has to be fairly thin for that to happen!

Buckwheat Chocolate-Almond Cupcakes
See how they sank a little on top? I made this batch way too runny
and the cupcakes had a thumbprint on top.
I had to mask my blooper with white chocolate stars!

Buckwheat Chocolate-Almond Cupcakes
This was my favorite batch! I made them in a brownie pop mold.
That's vegan white chocolate melted on top,
along with tiny raspberries and mint leaves.

Speaking of Flakemas, I need to show you a few gifts I received from some crafty fellow bloggers, but I'm going to have to leave you with that cliffhanger because this post is already way too long!

PS: I did manage to finish my Happy Post, so if you're ever in need of some silliness, check it out! :)

29 comments :

  1. Hahahahaha! That was funny! (you scared me for a minute. I thought oh no, not another one!).

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  2. Wow, just wow. I hope that someday my desserts look a gorgeous as yours! I really can't wait to try your ganche recipe, the texture looks perfect!

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  3. I could lick the screen, these look so moist and yummy!!!

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  4. Those look super good! I freaking love chocolate! Are you going soy free as well?

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  5. You're back!! And with cupcakes, no less. you must love us.

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  6. Yummy looking chocolate goodies. I gave up coffee a couple of years ago, I occasionally have a cup of instant but that stuff doesn't count in my book.

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  7. My initial response was the exact same as that first anonymous commenter's! I was thinking "please just eggs and/or dairy, please!" These look great though, I'll have to find some almond flour and make them! I just made your Eureka! Brownies again last night and they were amazing! Big crowd pleaser.

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  8. Oooohhh myyyy. Those look fantastic.

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  9. First of all, I so so so approve of Chocolate treat day (though I wish it were every day...)! I'm also loving the buckwheat chocolate almondyness of these cupcakes--c'est perfect!

    Good luck with the caffeine! I managed to hold off for a seven months last year--not sure why I started drinking again, but I did. I'd go back to no coffee, but the withdrawl I had last time was something I do *not* want to repeat. Keep us posted on how it goes!!

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  10. Wow, as usualy these cupcakes look so delicious. I think I am totally making the buckwheat version! Welcome back!

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  11. I love the use of almond slivers for decoration!

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  12. Ah, you're back! Even though you release the recipes slowly, I STILL think you should make the book. Yeah. The cupcakes look so moist and chocolaty — I will have to buy more almond flour so I can make them. (And very funny intro about giving up (something) for your health.)

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  13. Cupcakes... ahh sweet cupcakes. These look marvelous! What a great recipe offering wheat and no wheat versions!

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  14. I'm trying to cut back on sugar, your post is not helping me! You had me scared for a second when I read your intro! I'm also cutting back on caffeine for the next few weeks.

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    Replies
    1. These are the cutest carrots EVER and made out of cheese….well even better!

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  15. Happy to see you and your delicious treats again! These look like the most moist, rich chocolate cakes ever- This recipe is definitely a keeper. :)

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  16. Happy New Year! Dude, I don't know how, but I wasn't following this blog until today. Oh well, remedied NOW. Those cupcakes look AMAZING! You are a baking wizard. I will have to check out that series, good fantasy always leaves me with a warm happy feeling and quite daydreamy :)

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  17. You are a riot! :D And I would like one of each type of cupcake, please (oh, forgot--I can't have either--because of the things I've had to give up in my diet--grrr!!). And this is what I get for being too slow in sending my "thanks for my turkey" gift to you--it is full of chocolate!! Maybe I will send it anyway so you can dole it out for your chocolate posts. Or just put it in the freezer. Or give it to charity. Anyway, a little package is onits way to you! :)

    Wishing you and Mr. Wing-It the best 2011 possible--and hoping those dietary changes do the trick!

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  18. Hmmm... if you aren't sure which one is your favourite, you had better try some more. ;)

    I love the cute happy post. So many cute kittehs.

    I finished my Gilmore Girl's rewatch last night, so much love!

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  19. You scared me, too! Good luck with giving up caffeine. Those cupcakes are gorgeous! I love that you use buckwheat flour for the wheat free versions.

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  20. Don't worry us like that chica! Cruel ... just cruel :)

    Glad you are well and I think we can all deal with randomly released chocolate recipes!

    This one looks so great! My husband can't have almonds, so I keep trying to find a nut that will grind and work close to the same. No luck yet.

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  21. River! Your photos are all just stunning - I don't know how you do it...and you do it without coffee! I know you can do it, and it might help keep those mean reds away.
    Beautiful!

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  22. Cookbook or no cookbook, send those chocolate recipes my way! Your cupcakes look to-die-for.

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  23. Gauri Radha गौरी राधाFebruary 17, 2011 at 11:49 PM

    These cupcakes look splendid :-)

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  24. Holy wow! Those look so decadent and delicious!

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  25. Your blog amazes me. Pisces are the best creatives in the kitchen.

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