01 October 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes and Book Review - 100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes

Chocolate cupcakes (or fairy cakes, as they are sometimes called in the UK) are sooo good. I was going to make some from my own wheat flour recipe, but then found this great gluten-free recipe. When 100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes by Carol Fenster arrived in the mail for review, the first thing I looked for was chocolate cupcakes. And there they were! Like I said before: Cupcakes - In or Out, Trendy or Passé, Who Cares? I was ready for some more!

Carol Fenster is an internationally recognized expert on gluten-free cooking and is the founder and president of Savory Palate, Inc., a company that provides information for the gluten-free lifestyle.

"The recipes in this book were selected from my award-winning 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes
, the largest gluten-free cookbook ever published. My goal for this smaller, very useful book," says Fenster, "is to give home cooks the 'must-have' recipes, the dishes people ask me for again and again, along with just-what-you-need-to-know information to make the book a go-to guide for people living the gluten-free life."

This book has delicious recipes in every category. I'm going to start with chewy granola bars, sun-dried tomato quiche, banana bread, chicken noodle soup, macaroni and cheese and basic pastry crust. After all, I am all about classic comfort food! 

A lot of the recipes call for a blend of gluten-free flours (I used all Bob's Red Mill products) that you can combine in quantity and then measure out for recipes.

Carol's Sorghum Blend

(Makes 4 cups)

1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups potato starch or cornstarch (I used potato starch)
1 cup tapioca flour
Whisk the ingredients together until well blended. Store, tightly covered, in a dark, dry place for up to 3 months. You may refrigerate or freeze the blend, but bring to room temperature before using. You may double or triple the recipe.
(The cupcake recipe below is written out a little differently from the book; for example, not offering the ingredient options that I didn't use or the layer cake directions. And, since I was using the oil rather than the butter option, I mixed the sugar with the oil and eggs rather than with the dry ingredients.)

Devil's Food Layer Cake

(Makes 16 or 17 cupcakes)
1 1/2 cups Carol's Sorghum Blend
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Milk to measure 1 cup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs, room temperature

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put 2½-inch paper bake cups in one 12-cup and one 6-cup standard muffin tin; one or two cups will be empty.

2 In medium bowl, whisk together the flour blend, cocoa, xanthan gum, salt and soda; set aside. In glass measure, combine vinegar and milk; let stand 10 minutes to thicken slightly, and stir in vanilla extract.

3 In large bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat sugar and oil. Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

4 Using a 1/4-cup measure, fill the bake cups with a scant 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350 degrees for about 18 to 20 minutes or until they test done with a toothpick.

5 Immediately remove from pans and cool on wire rack for an hour. They must be thoroughly cool before frosting.

(Recipes for Carol's Sorghum Blend and Devil's Food Layer Cake from 100 Best Gluten-Free Recipesby Carol Fenster - Wiley; August 2010; hardover/$16.95)

My Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound powdered sugar, unsifted
1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk (I used rice milk)
In bowl of stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar, cocoa, espresso powder and salt. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and milk; beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. You will likely have to add the liquid ingredients before adding all the powdered sugar.

With a pastry bag fitted with a 2D (sometimes I use a 1M) tip, pipe frosting on cupcakes in a classic swirl.


Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

I agree - who caress about whether cupcakes are trendy?! They are timeless and tasty. I've never had one that was gluten free but they look GREAT.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Emily. I hope you'll give them a try. My husband has not always been a fan of gluten-free recipes I've tried, but he LOVES these cupcakes.

Peter Bryenton said...

They're only true fairy cakes when they have a pair of wings, ideally cut from the top "crust".

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Peter. There seems to be a lot of controversy about that! (But I certainly don't intend to cut wings--I can barely be bothered to frost them!)

Priscilla - She's Cookin' said...

Learn something new every day! Why are they called fairy cakes in the UK? They look delicious whether they're In or they're Out! I use Bob's Red Mill products, too. Did you see my post about gluten free pasta made from cabernet flour made from grape seeds and skins? Eat your Wine! http://shescookin.com/2010/09/29/blackmarket-bakery/

Unknown said...

Fairy cakes or cupcakes...whatever you call them.. I love them!! YUM!
Looking forward to what's in the future too...mmmmmm....banana bread, mac and cheese.....!!!!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jenn! I'm looking forward to cooler weather (cooking weather).

Cranberry Morning said...

Jean, those look amazing! And GF too. Thanks also for the tip on Carol's book. I think that needs to be on my shelf!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Judy! I think I'll be making good use of the book. Great variety. And I like the way it's laid out.

Mary @Delightful Bitefuls said...

OH this sound (and look!) so great! This has been bookmarked!

Great site; so happy I found you!

Mary xo
Delightful Bitefuls

Grant said...

Hey Jean, these certainly look delicious and thanks for the great book review, I've passed it on to some of my friends who have gluten intolerance challenges.

cheers, Grant

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Grant! It seems gluten sensitivity is becoming more and more common. Glad I don't have it, but great books like this make it much easier to deal with.

~ Chef Louise said...

hi there Jean, lovely post- so many gluten free recipes wow! i have so many friends who are sufferening nice to know they can still treat themselves to something yummy.
~Chef Louise

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Louise. I'm pretty picky about my gluten-free recipes--they must taste good to non-GF people as well!

Daniel Hilliard said...

Genius, pure genius

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Daniel. I was really impressed with the sorghum flour and will be working on developing other recipes with it.

Rashmi said...

Hi Jean,

I just did a post about this gluten free cupcakes for my readers. Check it out:


Thanks for letting me know about it. I am sure my readers who have kids with allergies will love it.

Rashmi from yumkid.com

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Hi Rashmi, that's wonderful! Hope lots of kids with gluten-sensitivity will enjoy the cupcakes.

Taylor said...

Looks great! I have a couple of family members with gluten allergies.

Thanks for stopping by and for the encouragement! Nice to meet you!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Taylor! You have a lovely family.

Sanjeeta kk said...

Good clicks, for a very chocolaty cup cake!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sanjeeta, thanks for stopping by. I keep meaning to start an exploration of Indian food but haven't quite managed to do so yet. Soon!

Molly said...

These look fabulous! Well done. Thanks for your comments and the re-tweet of my blog post. I haven't been posting much lately due to a broken oven. Your comments are always lovely and very much appreciated.
Stay Well.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Well, stop by again, Molly. When I can't cook for some reason, I HAVE to at least read about it. Can't imagine having a broken stove!

Joie de vivre said...

Yum, yum! These look so good.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, I really enjoyed them, and I'm not even a chocolate fan most of the time.

Anonymous said...

Can I just say these are requested by all my friends and family for every birthday, holiday, shower or any party in general! I make the traditional recipes frosting with cracked sea salt on top! Amazing!!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much! Even my non-GF friends love these. No one notices anything "different" about them. The cracked sea salt is a nice addition!