Gluten Free Chocolate and Black Cherry Cupcakes

A little joyous seasonal goodwill to all

Well I never!! Could this nearly be the stuff of dreams??? Those good people over at Sugar and Crumbs do seem to put some great flavoured icing sugars together!  This Black Cherry flavoured icing sugar brings a whole new life to any cupcakes. And no they didn’t give me the ingredients, I actually bought this flavour at the recent Cake and Bake Show at Event City near Manchester.

The range is fantastic and can be used to swop out traditional caster sugar in cupcakes and sponges, but also to swop out icing sugar in macrons and buttercream for example – see their website for further details – http://www.sugarandcrumbs.co.uk

I also used Food Thoughts cocoa – because I find it tastes better.  This is available in Sainsbury’s and is making a show in some Waitrose stores.

Preheat the oven the gas 4, 180c, 160c fan and line a 12 hole cupcake tray with cases.

The keen-eyed may notice that I have reduced the amounts of ingredients used for 12 cupcakes. Well done and very observant, mainly to have a more balanced eat, but also to potentially reduce costs.  There is also no need to look at a filling for these either, there is enough taste per bite 🙂

  • 110g soft butter
  • 50g Sugar and Crumbs Black Cherry Icing Sugar
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 30g Food Thoughts Cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 90g gluten free self raising flour
  • splash of milk

Beat the butter and sugars until they are light and fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time until fully beaten in. Then tip in the dry ingredients, stir in well to create and lovely mixture.  You may need to add a splash of milk at this stage if the mixture feels a little ‘heavy’.

Evenly fill the cupcake cases, then bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool before removing the cupcakes from the tin and transferring to a wire rack before piping.

For the buttercream;

  • 110g soft butter
  • 40g Food Thoughts Cocoa
  • 80g Sugar and Crumbs Black Cherry Icing
  • 80g Icing Sugar
  • splash of milk

Beat the butter (I used a hand-held electric whisk – for both the batter mix and the buttercream) until light and fluffy.  Stir in the sugars to combine with the butter before finishing with the electric whisk. |Overall, roughly 5 minutes of beating should give you a light and fluffy buttercream. You may need to add the splash of milk to get a lovely smooth, pipeable mixture.

The thing with the Sugar and Crumbs Icing is that you could use the full amount of icing to butter ration, in a buttercream mix.  It al depends on how flavoured you like you mix.  I prefer a light, subtle flavour, rather than the full on hit.  You are free to flavour as you so wish.  With less flavoured icing in the recipe you are able to make it go further.

Pipe onto your cooled cupcakes and decorate as you see fit.  I used these without gluten Christmas Sprinkles.

 

 

 

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Gluten Free Chocolate and Raspberry Torte

Before we all get side tracked into watching the new series of the Great British Bake Off and perhaps going a little off-piste with our baking, a little Torte to share with you.

The lovely people at Food Thoughts sent me a tub of their Natural Cacao Powder for baking, it’s also a Fairtrade product. Considered a natural and healthy product, with this much sugar in the recipe it might not be….but perhaps there is room to develop a healthier version? Ummmmm that’ll get me thinking.

If you can leave the Torte unsliced overnight, or for a few hours, the juice from the raspberries will seep out into the Torte and make it even more moist. If you can’t wait that long, a spoonful of half fat, creme fraiche or yoghurt (keeping it healthy) or a dollop of cream will do no harm either.

Relatively easy to make, you’ll need a couple of mixing bowls, one larger than the other, and pre heat the oven Gas 2, 160c, 155c fan. Line an 8″ deep cake tin, base and sides, with greaseproof.

5 eggs – separated

200g caster sugar

160g ground almonds

40g Food Thoughts Cacao Powder 

1 teaspoon Almond essence

100g fresh raspberries

Mix the ground almonds and cacao together and put to one side.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks, using a stand mixer or electric hand-held whisk. Then pour in 50g of the caster sugar and continue to whisk until you have a soft sheen – not too dissimilar to making a meringue. This is where you get the air into the cake, so ensure you use fresh eggs and don’t rush this bit.

Using the same beaters (saving on washing up and it makes little or no difference) and in another larger bowl, beat the egg yolks, remaining 150g of sugar and the Almond essence until light in colour, roughly 50% more in volume and the mix thickens to get that ‘ribbon stage’ – if you pull the whisk out, it leaves a ribbon. Pour into this the almonds and cacao mix and mix well. This will be a stiff paste.

Fold into this a third of the meringue mix, this first third will lose some of the volume, but it’s important to mix well to loosen up the yolk and Almond mix and ensure any pockets of egg whites are dispersed. Fold in the next third, folding gently so as not to knock out the air. Fold in the final third, folding slowly and ensuring all the paste is evenly mixed.

Pour into your prepared cake tin and gently push the raspberries into the top of the mix. There is no need to push them fully down, just enough as you can see in the photo, they don’t sink. But don’t need to.

Bake for 40 – 45 mins.  An inserted skewer will come out with a little of the finished Torte, so you will need to judge for yourself how much is too much cake (on the skewer).