Chocolate is amazing. Coffee is almost as amazing. Hazelnuts are third most amazing. So it didn't take too much contemplation on my part when faced with the task of creating a chocolate cupcake to put all three flavors together in one neat package. One word: amazing.
You might be surprised at some of the other flavors hiding in these cupcakes--almond flavor, cherry cola, and applesauce, for instance. These all serve the sacrificial purpose of deepening the chocolate and coffee flavors, however--you won't detect their individual flavors in the final product.
I based this recipe off of the "Blue Ribbon Chocolate Cake" from The Gluten-Free Gourmet Makes Dessert by Bette Hagman.
Measure out the dry ingredients...
...and whisk them together well. (I love my silicone whisk for dry ingredients! It's so much more...grabbier. There. Isn't my vocabulary impressive?)
Then cream together the fats and sugar.
Melt the chocolate and mix in the espresso powder. I could eat this bitter combination just like this.
This is Modern Art Exhibit A. Notice the beautiful spatters.
And this is beautiful compromise right here: applesauce makes these cupcakes healthy and balances out the cherry cola (which is the secret leavening ingredient that keeps these gluten free cupcakes light and airy).
This recipe was adapted from the aforementioned cookbook--emphasis on adapted. All those notes and scribbles are my changes, additions, and mathematics along the way. Thanks, Mama, for making me do my math!
While your cupcakes cool, make the frosting (taken from here). It's as simple as assembling the ingredients and...
...whipping them together! Yum! (Modern Art Exhibit B, by the way.)
Spoon the frosting into a decorator's bag and start piping! I bought the biggest round tip I could find and still didn't think it was big enough. When I took the tip off and used the utilitarian coupler (meant to attach the bag to the tip), I found that it gave me exactly the look I was going for!
Sprinkle the cupcakes with toasted hazelnuts and coffee beans.
Joel and I really enjoyed these cupcakes. We both found them to be light (not at all dense as some gluten free baked goods and even some regular homemade cakes can be) and very flavorful. They have a rich chocolate flavor and a definite, though not overwhelming, coffee flavor with a hint of hazelnut. Joel thought they were slightly bitter, which I attribute to his lack of appreciation for coffee. If you're not as much of a coffee fan, however, you might want to decrease the amount in this recipe. We both thought they were a little dry and crumbly on the first day (a weakness of gluten free foods), but actually much improved on the second day! I'd recommend making these the day before, frosting them, and then simply letting them sit out until you're ready to consume them the following day. The dryness is almost completely gone. The frosting was incredible; it's flavor and texture was delicious, and adds the perfect touch to these cupcakes. I can't wait to make this recipe again!
Hazelnut Mocha Cupcakes1 3/4 cups white rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted, or butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 eggs plus 2 egg whites
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cherry-flavored cola
1 cup unsweetened and plain applesauce
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup hazelnut spread
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1-2 tsp. heavy cream or milk
Optional: toasted hazelnuts and coffee beans
- Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake pan with paper liners and spray with vegetable oil.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Set aside.
- Melt the unsweetened chocolate; stir in espresso powder. In the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter, oil, and sugar; add the chocolate mixture. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and add the flavoring.
- Combine the cola and applesauce and add alternately with the dry ingredients in the bowl of your mixer using the paddle attachment. Beat on medium; do not overbeat. The batter should be thick but not stiff. Add water if necessary.
- Spoon into cups, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Remove from pan and let cupcakes cool completely on a cooling rack.
- To make the frosting: Beat butter and hazelnut spread together until combined. Slowly add powdered sugar and continue mixing until combined. Add vanilla and cream, mixing until smooth.
- To decorate, fill a decorator bag fitted with coupler (and a decorating tip if desired) with frosting and pipe swirls on top of cupcakes. Sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts and coffee beans.
Have you made cupcakes recently and blogged about it? Leave the link in the comments below!
Cupcake Party: Chocolate EditionDouble Peanut Butter Chocolate
Chocolate Chunk Lava Fudge