After all the anxiety I’ve endured since getting my first mammogram in July, seeing the spots, getting a second opinion, and then having them removed with a stereotactic biopsy last Thursday, hearing the news that all were benign (!!) has put me in a happy place. 🙂 Not only were all the spots benign, but they’re all gone now anyway, and the recovery has been smooth and easy, thanks to my homeopathic remedies and pharmaceuticals.
A celebration like this calls for cupcakes!
We’ve been doing a food elimination experiment this summer and have been going almost completely wheat-free, so when I saw this recipe for gluten-free chocolate cupcakes made with coconut flour from food blogger Elana’s Pantry, I was inspired.
My problem isn’t necessarily that I live a mile high (though I should probably give that more credence when baking than I do), but it’s that I have a hard time following directions to the T. It’s my rebellious nature: don’t tell me what I can or can’t do!
I like to substitute, enhance, embellish, create, and while that works fabulously in Glorious One-Pot Meals, straying from the recipe doesn’t always work out well when baking.
Of course, that doesn’t stop me from doing it.
Amazingly, I had everything called for in the gluten-free cupcake recipe already in the house, except for the eggs. Yep, we’ve been an egg-free house this summer, too. Instead of the 3 eggs I substituted a smashed banana, 2 Tablespoons of ground flax seeds, and 6 Tablespoons of water.
I also didn’t have Dagoba chocolate powder – wish I did, LOVE Dagoba! – so I ground up some Nestle’s baking chocolate bars in a food processor instead.
I followed the rest of the instructions (doubled, of course, because if I’m going to go through the effort of baking I want to end up with a good haul!), except they needed to bake maybe ten more minutes than expected. And we were already late, so they got pulled out a wee bit early. No harm, I figured, since there aren’t any raw animal products in there that could make us sick, did it really matter?
I brought them with us to a dinner party and whipped up Elana’s vegan chocolate frosting there. They were a big hit, though a little gooey. Not that there’s anything bad about a gooey chocolate dessert in my book! Don’t for a minute think I would turn my back on anything chocolate, even if it calls for a spoon. In fact, better if it calls for a spoon, sometimes. Though maybe not so much when you’re calling them cupcakes. Theses ones reminded more of these amazing “lava” cakes that my friend’s chocolatier husband once made for us… Spoonfuls of heaven.
But next time I make these cupcakes – and I will certainly make them again! – I think I’ll skip the banana and stick to the ratio of one egg equals 1 Tablespoon flax seed and 3 Tablespoons of water. I think that would make them more cake-like. My friend Alyson assures me that if I go all flax seed and no banana I’ll actually get light and fluffy egg-free pastries. It feels counter-intuitive, but I’m going to give it a try.
It might also be helpful if there weren’t kids running through the kitchen like a herd of elephants during the entire duration of baking. Sigh. Details.
Here are the recipes right off of Elana’s blog, not including my egg-free substitutions. 🙂
Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ cup dagoba cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup grapeseed oil
½ cup agave nectar
1. In a medium bowl, combine coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda
2. In a large bowl, blend together eggs, oil and agave
3. Blend dry ingredients into wet thoroughly
4. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners and scoop a scant 1/4 cup into each
5. Bake at 375° for 20-22 minutes
6. Cool and cover with vegan “buttercream” chocolate frosting
Vegan Chocolate Frosting
1 cup dark chocolate 73%
½ cup grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
pinch celtic sea salt
1. In a small saucepan over very low heat, melt chocolate and grapeseed oil
2. Stir in agave, vanilla and salt
3. Place frosting in freezer for 15 minutes to chill and thicken
4. Remove from freezer and whip frosting with a hand blender until it is thick and fluffy
5. Frost over cake, cupcakes or between cookies