Sometimes there is nothing better than baking something delicious on a lazy weekend afternoon. The light shines through my big kitchen windows, I put on an album I've been meaning to listen to, and get to enjoy the lovely smell (and taste) of some sweet treats!
Baking is very therapeutic to me because it is both creative and calculated. Some measurements, especially in gluten-free baking are extremely important to produce a stable product, but the flavor combinations and aesthetics are all up to the creator. Here's what this Saturday looked like:
Gluten-free Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Amaretto Cream Cheese Frosting and Blackberries
Makes nine cupcakes
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup honey
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line nine muffin cups with paper liners. If you have a twelve muffin pan, fill the remaining three cups half-way with water to prevent burning. In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, butter, and honey. Blend the wet ingredients into the coconut flour mixture with a handheld mixer until thoroughly combined. Fill baking cups up about half way.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. If you're like me and have no toothpicks handy, the old school way to do this is to pluck a piece of straw from a broomstick (make sure your broom is made out of real straw, not plastic or nylon) and wash it and dry it before inserting it into the cupcake. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for one hour, then frost and serve.
Makes two cups
8 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup of amaretto liquor
Sprinkle of powdered sugar (optional)
While you're gathering up your materials, throw your bowl and beaters in the freezer. The chill will help to produce a more stable whipped cream. In a deep bowl, whip the cream with a handheld mixer until stiff peaks form. In a separate larger bowl, whip the cream cheese and amaretto until well combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese. If sweeter frosting is desired, sprinkle some sifted powdered sugar and blend. Use immediately or store in a tightly sealed container for up to two days.