Chocolate & Walnut Mud Cupcakes (gluten free)

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Finally! I found a chocolate cupcake that satisfies my chocolate-loving teenage daughter.  She tends to prefer rich chocolate desserts such as ganache, fudge, or french hot chocolate.  She usually feels short-changed by chocolate cupcakes because they have a chocolate flavor but are not “real chocolate.”  If you can relate to this taste preference, I highly suggest trying these cupcakes.  However, these cupcakes need to come with a warning: Seriously Rich Cupcakes – don’t even try consuming more than one at a single sitting.

Cupcakes

Ingredients:

2 c  dark chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate)*

3/4 c butter

6 eggs

1  c brown sugar

1/4 c maple syrup

1 c ground walnuts

1/3 c chopped walnuts

Directions (makes 23-24 cupcakes):

Pre-heat oven to 325 F

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler over simmering water.  Remove from heat.

Whisk the eggs, brown sugar, maple syrup, ground walnuts, and chopped walnuts.

Pour in the melted chocolate and butter and stir until fully combined.

Fill cupcake papers 3/4 full.  Bake for 27 minutes or until slightly firm to the touch.  Remove from pan immediately and allow to cool completely.

* I used Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips.  They are rich and melted quite well.  With a recipe like this, using a good quality chocolate is essential to the flavor of the cupcake.

Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients:

6 c powdered sugar

1/2 c Crisco (shortening)

2/3 c milk

pinch salt

3 tsp vanilla

1 c cocoa

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a blender.  Be sure to start on a very slow setting and increase the rate as the ingredients begin to combine.

Decorating

Don’t forget that cupcakes should look great as well taste great.  I covered these cupcakes with mini chocolate chips.  To do this, I frosted the cupcakes then immediately turned the cupcake upside down and dipped them in the chips.  I needed to use my hand to help form a nice mound and sprinkled with a few more chips to help fill in the gaps.  Because the cupcakes include nuts, I added a walnut half on top to clearly indicate that the cupcakes contain nuts.  I would never want someone with a nut allergy to accidentally have a bad reaction to my baked goods.

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Snickers Cupcakes 

 Snickers Cupcakes

Oreo Cupcakes

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HAPPY BAKING!

 

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Cookie Dough Frosting (gluten free)

My daughter and I went on a cookie dough binge following my birthday when I decided to have cookie dough for my birthday instead of a normal birthday cake.

From cookie dough, we launched into the land of cookie dough frosting.  It was so good when we used it in the chocolate cupcakes that we followed up with whoopie pies stuffed with cookie dough frosting.

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Of course, I like to eat the frosting by the spoonful.

Cookie Dough Frosting Recipe

Ingredients:

10 Tbls. butter, softened

1/2 c brown sugar

1/2 c almond flour

1 1/4 c powered sugar

3 Tbls. almond milk

1 tsp. vanilla

1 c chocolate chips

Directions:

Beat sugar and butter until fluffy.  Incorporate the rest of the ingredients. Beat until perfect consistency.

See Related:

See BirthdayPost: (recipe for gluten free cookie dough included)

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Whoopie Pies Are For All Occasions

red and green whoopie pies

HAPPY BAKING!

 

 

What’s your opinion: Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies or Cookie Dough? (gluten free recipe included)

cookie dough cookie dough

OR

warm cookies warm cookies

VOTE HERE… 

This debate in my house started on my birthday.  I made cookie dough for my birthday.  On that same day, my son baked standard chocolate chip cookies for his Latin class.  This resulted in a household debate:

I.  Which is better gluten free cookie dough or standard chocolate chip cookie dough?

The house was split, but this was more of a factor of what types of chips were used and the fact that I added pecans to gluten free dough.

II.  Which is better cookie dough or warm chocolate chip cookies?

Again, the house was split.

It’s my birthday – I’ll eat what I want to.

A birthday is definitely a day to indulge in life’s guilty pleasures!

Who says you have to have a cake for a birthday.  This year, I abandoned tradition and made myself something that I was simply craving.  It’s not that I don’t like cake.  In years past, I’ve made my flour-less chocolate cake with cinnamon whipped cream.  About six months ago,  I even found a fantastic gluten free carrot cake recipe, but I wasn’t in the mood.  This year, I wanted COOKIE DOUGH!

I love cookie dough!  It’s not pretty looking, but it is pretty delicious.  I had absolutely no intentions of baking any of this dough.  Thus, I was able to leave out the eggs and baking soda.  Also, I used almond flour that has a great taste but doesn’t bake very well.

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GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH

Here’s my recipe (not meant to be baked in oven):

Ingredients:

1/2 c butter

1/2 c light brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 Tbsp milk

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c almond flour

1/2 c rice flour

1 c chocolate chips (I used a mix of milk chocolate and peanut butter chips)

1/2 c chopped pecans.

Directions:

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.  Blend in vanilla, milk, and salt.   Slowly add and mix-in both flours.  Mix until fully incorporated.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts..

Enjoy immediately or chill in the fridge.  The chilled dough can be rolled into balls for snacking purposes and kept in refrigerator or freezer.  Cookie dough doesn’t last long in my house – there’s no need to freeze it.

 

Gluten Free Christmas Treats

Gluten Free Christmas Treats.jpg

Light Meringue Cookies 

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These are a truly light meringue cookie as compared to almost every other meringue recipe that I’ve ever tried.  Most meringue cookies are very solid throughout and have a powdery taste.  These, on the other hand have a lot of air throughout the cookie and the chocolate chips and nuts add a lot of flavor.  This is a recipe that has been in my family for a long time, but I’ve decided that it must be shared.  Too many people are seeking gluten free desserts and this is one of the best.

Ingredients: 3 egg whites , 1 1/8 cups sugar, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla, 12 oz chocolate chips (I used colored chips for the holidays), 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350.  Cover two cookie sheets with aluminum foil.  Whip egg whites until fluffy, keep whipping and SLOWLY add sugar (I pour it so that it appears to be a slow constant rain of sugar – should take a couple of minutes to add sugar), add vanilla and whip until incorporated.  Stir in pecans and chocolate chips by hand.  Drop by spoonfuls onto prepared cookies sheets.  TURN OFF OVEN! Place cookie sheets in the oven for at least 10 hours (I usually keep it in overnight)  DO NOT OPEN OVEN!  Gently remove from cookie sheets.

Note:  I only make these cookies during the winter when the humidity is low.

Chocolate Peppermint Bark

IMG_0275This isn’t a fancy dessert, but it tastes delicious and  is festive looking for the holidays.  Whether or not someone is gluten free, they are sure to enjoy the flavor.

 

Ingredients: 2 lbs of chopped chocolate, 1 tsp of peppermint (not mint) extract, 1 1/2 cups of chopped peppermint candy canes,

Directions:  Place wax paper over a jelly roll size cookie sheet.  Melt chocolate in the microwave, stir in peppermint extract, mix in 1 cup of chopped candy canes, spread onto prepared cookie sheet, sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of chopped candy canes.  Chill at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.  Break into serving pieces and enjoy.  As long as you live in a cool area, the bark can be kept at room temperature.

See Related Post:

Gluten Free Halloween Treats

Gluten Free Halloween Treats

HAPPY BAKING!

Frozen Hot Chocolate Meringue Cake (gluten free)

Hot Chocolate Merengue Cake

Fabulously light, gluten free cake that can be flavored any way you like.

This is a very different kind of cake.  Instead of actual or traditional cake, there are two layers of baked meringue.  There is a layer of whipped cream between the rings of meringue and frosted on the top and outside with more whipped cream.  The entire cake is then placed in the freezer.  After one day, the meringue softens a bit and has an amazing texture.

This is the second time I made a version of this cake.  For the chocolate whipped cream I used: 2 cups of heavy cream, 6 Tbls. of Ghirardelli hot chocolate mix, and 6 Tbls. of powered sugar.  I had to go to a few stores to find this kind of hot chocolate mix, but as I have mentioned before using top notch chocolate ingredients is essential to obtaining the best flavors.

Essentially, this cake could be done using an flavor whipped creme that one desires.  The options are endless.

Note:  The top Happy Birthday decorating was done in dark chocolate.  I allowed the whipped cream to harden first before placing the lettering on top.

Original Recipe: (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/frozen-meringue-cake-recipe.html)

Frozen Meringue Cake
Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients
Meringue:
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup superfine baker’s sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cream:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (6 ounces)
Syrup:
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (6 ounces)
1 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup fresh raspberries, for garnish, optional
Special equipment: One piping bag fitted with a plain 1/2-inch tip

Directions

For the meringue: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a pencil, trace two 8-inch-diameter circles, side-by-side, on the parchment paper.

Beat the egg whites until fluffy in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Gradually add the superfine sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, with the machine running on medium-low speed, until the mixture holds soft peaks. Beat in the cream of tartar and salt. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is thick and holds stiff peaks, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Place the meringue in the piping bag. Pipe the meringue into two 8-inch circles on the prepared baking sheet using the traced circles as a guide. Bake until crisp, 2 hours. Turn off the oven and allow the meringues to cool completely while still in the oven, about 2 hours.

For the cream: Beat the cream on high speed until thick using an electric hand mixer. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Continue to beat on high speed until the cream holds stiff peaks. Add the raspberries and beat until incorporated into the cream.

Spread one-third of the cream over each meringue circle. Place 1 circle on top of the other to create 2 layers. Spread the remaining cream on the sides of the cake. Garnish with fresh raspberries if using, and freeze the cake until firm, 3 hours.

For the syrup: Mix the raspberries, vinegar and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Lightly mash the raspberries using a fork. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until thick, 25 to 30 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and allow to cool.

To serve: Allow the cake to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Cut the cake into wedges and place on serving plates. Drizzle with the syrup and serve.

See Related Post:

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Frozen meringue cake with Bailey’s Vanilla Cinnamon Whipped Cream

For this version of the whipped cream I used: 2 cups of whipped cream, 1/4 cup of powered sugar, and 1/4 cup of Bailey’s Vanilla Cinnamon Irish Creme.

HAPPY BAKING!

 

Chocolate Loaded Cake (gluten free)

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I aim to please when making birthday cakes for family and friends.  This cake is dedicated to my daughter that believes chocolate cake lacks enough chocolate.

The bottom layer is a flourless chocolate cake.  The middle layer is chocolate mouse.  And the outside is chocolate ganache.  This cake is absolutely not lacking chocolate!

Flourless Chocolate Cake

  • 1/3 c water
  • 1/3 sugar
  • 1 stick butter (cut up into pieces)
  • 12 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/3 c coffee
  • 2 Tbls dark rum
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven 325
  2. Butter 8 in round cake pan and line with aluminum foil
  3. In medium saucepan heat water and sugar over medium heat until simmer.  Add butter and heat until melted
  4. Remove from heat and add chocolate.  Make sure chocolate is submerged.  Let stand for one minute.  Whisk until smooth
  5. In mixer with whisk attachment, beat eggs, coffee, rum and cinnamon until well incorporated
  6. Slowly add chocolate and whisk until well combined.
  7. Pour into prepared pan
  8. Create a water bath for cake pan.  Put cake pan in a larger pan and add enough water to larger pan to reach halfway up side of cake pan.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes or until slightly firm to the touch
  10. Place in refrigerator until cold and ready to proceed with chocolate mouse
  11. To remove from pan, run a knife along edge.  Place pan on hot stove for 7 seconds.  Invert cake and remove foil.

Chocolate Mouse

  • 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (Do not use chocolate chips)
  • 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar
  1. Chill a bowl and whisk in the freezer for a few hours.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler until smooth.
  3. In the chilled bowl, whip the cream and sugar until it holds its shape.
  4. Fold half of the cream into the chocolate until incorporated.
  5. Fold the chocolate and cream mixture into the remaining whipped cream, incorporating thoroughly.
  6. Spread on top of flourless chocolate cake.
  7. Freeze for about 15 minutes and shape the mouse on top of cake – repeat again if necessary
  8. Freeze for about 1 hour so that the mouse will hold its shape before ganache is poured on top

Chocolate Ganache

  • 16 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped (use good quality chocolate – it is the essence of the flavor)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. Place chocolate in a bowl.
  2. Heat cream over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it starts to simmer.
  3. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until well-incorporated.  It should be thick enough that it doesn’t just run down the sides.  Allow to cool a little if not thick enough
  4. Pour warm ganache over the cake
  5. Put in refrigerator for 15 minutes.  Reshape the ganache coating so all the sides and top are smooth.

Keep cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

HAPPY BAKING!

Gluten Free Halloween Treats

Gluten Free Halloween Treats

Meringue Cookies in the shape of candy corn and ghosts

(recipe found at http://makebakecelebrate.com/candy-corn-week-candy-corn-meringues-printable-and-round-up/)

Ingredients
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 1 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 TSP Salt
  • 1/4 TSP Cream of Tarter
  • Orange Gel Coloring
  • Yellow Coloring
  • Parchment Paper
  • Pipping Bag
  • Large Round Tip

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 150-170 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer separate egg yolks from egg whites. Let the eggs come to room temp.
  2. Beat eggs until white and foamy. Mix in 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp cream of tarter until soft peaks form.Set timer for 7 minutes. Slowly add in sugar a bit at a time taking the entire 7 minutes to do so.
  3. Divide into three bowl. To make the most meringues put a little more in the orange bowl, and the most in the yellow bowl because you will use the most of these colors.
  4. Add orange to your middle bowl and yellow to the bowl with the most meringue.
  5. Fill piping bags with meringue using a large round tip (I used Wilton #2A). If you only have one tip or one bag just start with yellow and wash in between of course.
  6. On a parchment paper lined cookie sheet pipe yellow dots of meringue about an inch across. Holding the icing bag vertical. Just press gently until you get a nice shape release pressure then pull up. I have found that these bake best when they are no bigger then and inch wide and an inch tall.
  7. Layer an orange dot on top slightly smaller, remember to keep the icing bag vertical it will help loads!
  8. Layer a smaller white dot on top. Pull up as you release pressure to get a nice little tip.
  9. Now bake at a very low heat (about 150-170) for about two hours to two and a half hours until they are nice and crisp. I just checked on mine every so often to make sure they haven’t started to brown. Every oven is different. I have found in the past that a low temp for a much longer time is far better then a higher temp with a risk of browning.
  10. With any left over white batter: swirl and add a couple of mini chips for eyes

Chocolate Coated Marshmallows with sprinkles with gluten free Snyder’s Pretzel handle

This is pretty self explanatory and incredibly easy to make.  They are festive looking and very fun to eat!  The chocolate cools and hardens quickly so it can even be done as a last minute dessert.

HAPPY BAKING!