Recipe: flourless chocolate hazelnut cupcakes
I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks on behalf of my family and myself for the tremendous outpouring of support here on the blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, via email, and snail mail. Thank you.
a rose garden in san jose that my grandmother enjoyed
I have a white silk flower in my hair that I will wear for 100 days. I noticed my mom was wearing hers too when I got her from the airport on Monday. My parents are in town this week to close on their property in Boulder. They were supposed to come last week, but… we were all in California instead.
the family visited in her honor last week
Being home is good despite the backlog of work that is piling up. The weather is all Crazytown over here. It’s nearly June and yet our mountain weather thinks it’s early April. The afternoon thunderstorms are rolling in too. When we picked Kaweah up from the kennel this weekend, they told us there had been a thunderstorm Friday afternoon. One of the dogs was freaking out and they noticed that Kaweah was totally calm – chilling out as if nothing was going on (sometimes you have to wonder if anything is really going on inside that little brain of hers). They put the freak out dog with Kaweah and the other dog calmed down right away, cuing off of our pup. I’m so proud of her – doing nothing actually helped someone else!
the do nothing dog
So my friend, Elana, is a gluten-free superstar as well as a local Boulder food blogger. Her latest book arrived in my mailbox just days before we left for Hawai’i and I couldn’t wait to try some of the recipes when I got back. It’s all about cupcakes. Gluten-free and butter-free at that. Now I know what you’re thinking… the name of my blog is use real butter and yet she doesn’t use butter in her baking? My point isn’t that food has to have butter, just don’t use the fake crap. That’s what I’m talking about – don’t use fake butter or fake anything for that matter – live life for real. Blagh blagh blagh. Get the point?
back to the cupcakes
Elana uses all natural ingredients in her baking, relying on almond and coconut flours instead of regular flour, and agave nectar instead of sugar. She offers vegan and dairy-free recipes too, because Elana wants to make sure there is something for EVERYONE. She’s awesome like that. There is even a section with savory treats. What I really liked about the recipe I chose (because it sounded so damn good!) is that nothing is a substitution. Seriously, have a look!
hazelnuts, chocolate chips, vanilla extract, agave nectar, salt, eggs
pulse the hazelnuts and chocolate chips together
It was also ridiculously easy to make because it dirties one bowl (your food processor bowl), and takes a total of two minutes to prepare the batter. How sweet is that? Actually, it wasn’t all that sweet which is another reason I loved this recipe. Anyone can make sugary sweet taste good, but Elana emphasizes the dark chocolate and hazelnut flavors of this cupcake. It really shines when you taste it.
add eggs and agave nectar
pulse until batter is blended
The batter is on the thick side and this yielded exactly ten cupcakes. My greatest fear when baking at my elevation is that cakes will rise too quickly and crater just as quickly. These are the best-behaved cupcakes I have EVER made at high-altitude. I’m all for stability and not tearing my hair out over failed baking endeavors. Once the cupcakes cooled, I topped them with freshly whipped cream.
fill the cupcake papers to just shy of full
frost and serve
The texture is a little dense compared to regular cupcakes, but I like that rich chocolate and nutty bite. Jeremy ate two… no three and a half of them. I delivered the other six to our neighbors because it was just too dangerous to keep them around the house. They are THAT good. I’m looking forward to trying many other cupcake recipes from Elana’s book. I’ve dog-eared several which means I’m going to have to ramp up the Ass Reduction Plan.
perfect with a good cup of coffee
Full Disclosure: I received a free copy of Gluten-Free Cupcakes from Ten Speed Press without any obligation.
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (73% cacao)
1 cup hazelnuts
3 large eggs
1/4 cup (2.75 oz.) agave nectar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line ten muffin tins with paper liners. Combine the chocolate chips and hazelnuts in a food processor and process until they have the consistency of coarse sand. Add the eggs and agave nector and pulse for ten seconds until combined. Add vanilla extract and sea salt and pulse for another ten seconds. Scoop 1/4 cup of the batter into each muffin tin. I filled mine just over 3/4 full and they didn’t spill over (they rise a little bit, but nothing crazy). Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for about an hour. Frost (I used whipped cream), then serve. Makes 10 cupcakes. (Sweetness is low).