Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Very Vanilla Cupcakes

If you're wondering what to make for the next birthday party, here ya go! This is from "The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook" by Elana Amsterdam. Make sure to read my note at the bottom about where to buy this wonderful, super nutritious, high protein, low glycemic ingredient: blanched almond flour. This was my only challenge... I had a hard time finding it in stores.*

VERY VANILLA CUPCAKES (makes 10 cupcakes)
2 large eggs, separated
1/4 c. grapeseed oil (I accidentally omitted the oil once, and it still turned out well.)
1/2 c. agave nectar
1 TBSP. vanilla extract
1 TBSP. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 and 1/2 c. blanched almond flour (packed down)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350. Line 10 muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk wet ingredients, except for egg whites. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold into wet ingredients. In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Fill up muffin cups with batter. Bake for 20-30 min. or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (My gas oven took 28 min. ~ Amy) Let cupcakes cool for 30 min. The center will sink just a bit - this is normal. Frost if desired with chocolate frosting below (also from Elana Amerstam's cookbook). It's excellent!

CHOCOLATE FROSTING ...which is deliciously fluffy, dark, and vegan!
1 c. coarsely chopped dark chocolate 73% cocao (like Dagon or Green and Black's Organic)
1/2 c. grapeseed oil
2 TBSP. agave nectar
1 TBSP. vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

Melt chocolate and oil in saucepan over low heat until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients. Place in freezer for 10-15 min. Whip with hand mixer until thick and fluffy, 1-2 min. Frost your cupcakes.

* I'm finding that the recipes in Elana's cookbook are absolutely delicious and extremely simple. The only challenge is simply finding blanched almond flour in stores. Bob's Redmill is easy to find, but it's not recommended for these recipes because it's not milled finely enough. It's worth ordering exactly what you need on-line. I just bought some great blanched almond flour from www.honeyvillegrain.com and it was $29.99 for a 5 lb. bag of this nutritious high protein and low glycemic ingredient. Shipping fees were minimal from this company ($4.95 for my order of 4 bags). Although the almond flour is more expensive than wheat flour, I figured out that my cupcakes used about 50 cents of almond flour per cupcake. Have fun!

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