Gluten-Free Choco-Fudge Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

GF Fudge Cakes with DL Icing 20

I hadn’t baked anything since before we left for NYC so I was kind of jonesing for some cupcakes, and these were a perfect match. They actually came straight off the package of Bob’s Red Mill quinoa flour that I was using. As far as gluten-free flours go, quinoa flour is probably one of the closest you can get, consistency-wise, to real wheat flour. When you bake with quinoa flour you end up with lovely fluffy sponge-y cakes. They do, however, taste like quinoa. So if you’re cool with that, then have at her.

GF Fudge Cakes with DL Icing 4

Start by preheating your oven to 375°F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a medium pot, melt 1/4 cup butter with 1/2 cup water and bring that to a low boil.

GF Fudge Cakes with DL Icing 10

Whisk in 1/4 cup cocoa and remove it from the heat. Let it cool down from molten temperatures.

GF Fudge Cakes with DL Icing 11

Sift 1 cup sugar, 1 1/4 cup quinoa flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda into a bowl.

GF Fudge Cakes with DL Icing 12

Add in the slightly cooled cocoa mixture and mix that around.

GF Fudge Cakes with DL Icing 14

Separate yourself 2 eggs. Leave the whites to come to room temperature, and mix the yolks together with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 cup sour cream. Mix those into the cocoa mixture (make sure it’s not too hot so you don’t curdle your yolks).

GF Fudge Cakes with DL Icing 13

Now, whip up those egg whites until stiff and foamy and then fold them into the mixture.

GF Fudge Cakes with DL Icing 15

Drop that into your prepared baking cups and bake for  20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the centre cupcake comes out clean. Let those cool completely on a wire rack.

GF Fudge Cakes with DL Icing 16

While that’s baking, why not start with your icing?  I pulled this from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

GF Fudge Cakes with DL Icing 17

Melt 1/2 cup butter in a medium pot over medium heat.

GF Fudge Cakes with DL Icing 1

Add in  1 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup heavy (whipping) cream and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

GF Fudge Cakes with DL Icing 2

Add in 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt and stir that in. Stirring occasionally, let the whole thing come to a bubble, and stay at a bubble for about 2 minutes, then remove it from the heat and let it cool enough that you won’t burn yourself on it. Because being burned by hot sugar is bad.

GF Fudge Cakes with DL Icing 3

GF Fudge Cakes with DL Icing 5

Beat in about 2-3 cups icing sugar, a little at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. If you find you’ve added too much, don’t freak out – just add a bit more cream and you’re all set.

GF Fudge Cakes with DL Icing 8

GF Fudge Cakes with DL Icing 9

Slather the icing all over your cupcakes. I tried to pipe mine but it was too thick so I went with slathering, but you can pipe it if you want. Giv’er!

GF Fudge Cakes with DL Icing 18

Fruity Oat Muffins (Gluten-Free!)

Fruity Oat Muffins 20

Fussellette sent me this gorgeous recipe from the CBC and I had to try it out after listening to her rave about the results.

Fruity Oat Muffins 2

The best part about this recipe is that it’s flexible — you can change the flavours around by changing up the fruit you’re using, even using fruit-flavoured yogurt if that’s what you have on hand.  I’d also like to play with the flours a bit, maybe swapping in some coconut or almond flour if appropriate.

Fruity Oat Muffins 3

Preheat your oven to 375°F and spray or line a muffin tin with paper cups. I recommend paper cups for these, because gluten-free baked goods tend to like to stick to what they’re baked in.

Take 1 cup oats (if you have a sensitivity, make sure they’re gluten-free), and pulse in a food processor until they’re all fine and powdery.  Plop that in a large bowl.

Fruity Oat Muffins 4

Add to that 1/3 cup brown rice flour, 1/3 cup tapioca flour, 1/3 cup corn starch, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.  Whisk that all together.

Fruity Oat Muffins 5

Then add in 1/2 cup each dried cherries, dried cranberries, and golden raisins.  I had this multi-pack with all those in it already, so I chucked that in, together with some chopped dried apricots.

Fruity Oat Muffins 1

Fruity Oat Muffins 7

In another bowl, rub 2 teaspoons orange zest and 2 teaspoons lemon zest (I used 4 teaspoons orange because I had no lemons) into 1/2 cup granulated sugar.

Fruity Oat Muffins 8

Fruity Oat Muffins 9

Fruity Oat Muffins 10

Whisk in 2 large eggs, then 1 1/4 cups Balkan-style plain yogurt1/3 cup light olive oil or vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and 1 teaspoon cider vinegar.

Fruity Oat Muffins 11

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir only until just combined.  It will seem lumpy but don’t fret.  If you stir it too much you’ll end up with flat muffins, which, especially in gluten-free recipes, is the opposite of what we want to happen.

Fruity Oat Muffins 12

Spoon into your muffin tin (it should make 12 regular-sized muffins or 6-7 super large ones).

Fruity Oat Muffins 13

If you end up with some empty space in your muffin tin, add a bit of water into the empty cups — it will ensure that your muffins bake evenly.

Fruity Oat Muffins 14

Sprinkle some more whole oats and maybe some brown sugar on the top of each muffin.

Fruity Oat Muffins 15

Bake for about 25 minutes, until the tops are firm to the touch.  Allow to solidify in the pan for about five minutes after removal from the oven.  Use a fork to transfer the muffins to a rack to cool completely.  As with most gluten-free material, they won’t last long, so make sure to eat them or freeze them within a couple of days.

Fruity Oat Muffins 17

My new favourite Gluten-Free Pecan Brownies

Gluten-Free Pecan Brownies

I don’t know what it is about chocolate, but it just lends itself so well to gluten-free cooking. This recipe I pulled from the most recent issue of EDF and I think it’s the best brownie recipe I’ve found in a long while (Frugal, I know you think you’ve made enough, but this one is worth a try!).

Gluten-Free Pecan Brownies

I made a triple batch for a friend’s bake sale, so ignore the massive quantities in my photos.  If you follow the recipe below you’ll end up with a single pan of ooey-gooey nutty brownies.

Gluten-Free Pecan Brownies

Preheat your oven to 350°F and butter a baking dish (remember that the smaller the dish, the thicker your brownies will be).  Lay some parchment paper in there as well, to make it easy for you to remove the brownies when they’re done.

Gluten-Free Pecan Brownies

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup cornstarch1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon fine salt.

Gluten-Free Pecan Brownies

In a larger, metal bowl, chop 12 oz chocolate (I used a mix of milk and dark).  You can use chocolate chips and melt the whole thing in the microwave if you want, but I’m picky.  Add in 6 tablespoons butter and melt until smooth and glossy.  Remove from the heat.

Gluten-Free Pecan Brownies

Add 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla to the chocolate mixture and then 3 eggs, added one at a time.

Gluten-Free Pecan Brownies

Add in your cocoa mixture and stir it as vigorously as you can until the mixture takes on a sort of cohesiveness that has it following the spoon around the bowl as you go.

Gluten-Free Pecan Brownies

Then you can stir in 1 cup chopped pecans if you like.  I prefer pecans to the more bitter walnuts, but you could also add almonds or hazelnuts or even white chocolate chips — whatever floats your boat.

Gluten-Free Pecan Brownies

Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top.  Bake for about 35 minutes, or until set and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with only a few moist crumbs.  Put the pan on a wire rack to cool completely.

Gluten-Free Pecan Brownies

When it’s all cool, you can cut it up and eat it.

Gluten-Free Pecan Brownies

It was extremely difficult to cut all these brownies, which filled the house with the scent of butter and chocolate, and then wrap them all in little baggies and seal them in a box to be eaten by other people.  Ah well, it’s all for a good cause, right?  I just may have to make them again very soon.

Gluten-Free Pecan Brownies

%d bloggers like this: