Thursday, April 5, 2012

Gluten-Free Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes

I recently started experimenting with gluten-free baking because I have several friends who can't eat my regular cupcakes.   One of the things I have really enjoyed about my baking adventure this past year is how much I have learned along the way by reading baking blogs and websites, so I started my search for gluten-free recipes the same way. I found websites such as this one, offering tips for gluten-free baking success, as well as numerous recipes to try.  I started with a flourless chocolate cupcake  that I topped with lightly sweetened whipped cream and a strawberry, and that was pretty scrumptious, but not very cake-like.  It was more like eating a rich, decadent truffle!  Nothing wrong with that! But I was still looking for something more like my regular cupcakes. 

I found a couple of recipes that sounded good, and actually combined and tweaked parts of them until I came up with this recipe.  It is moist, fluffy, and chocolate-y, perfectly complemented by the smooth espresso buttercream! 

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream

1 c. Gluten-free flour blend ( King Arthur )
½ c.  brown sugar
½ c. sugar
½ c. Dutch-process cocoa powder ( Callebaut )
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
 ½ tsp.xanthum gum 
2 eggs
½ c. milk 
½ c. canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ c. hot coffee

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.   Line muffin tin with 16 paper cupcake liners.

In large mixing bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, white sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and xanthum gum.  

 In another bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla.   With mixer on low, add to the dry ingredients and blend for 1 minute, until thoroughly combined.   Pour in hot coffee and continue to mix for another minute. Scrape sides of bowl with spatula and give a few good stirs to mix together.

Scoop into cupcake liners, filling no more than ¾  full.  Bake for 16-18 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool slightly, and remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Espresso Buttercream

2 sticks ( 1 c ) unsalted butter, room temp.
4 c. sifted powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. instant espresso powder ( or instant coffee)
1/4 c. milk or water

Dissolve espresso powder in milk or water. Set aside. In lg mixing bowl, beat the butter until fluffy.  Add powdered sugar and salt, and mix on low speed until combined.  With mixer still on low, add the vanilla and the coffee liquid and mix thoroughly.  Increase speed to high and beat frosting for 2-3 minutes, until smooth and fluffy.   Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.
*Top with a chocolate covered espresso bean.  :-)


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