Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

You can make these with any chocolate cupcake recipe, and add peanut butter frosting on top. This recipe uses my favourite cupcake base, but check out my cupcake page for other chocolate cupcake options.

Gluten-free vegan option: Make these GF/V by combining the basic GF/V chocolate cupcake recipe with the vegan peanut butter frosting listed on my buttercream post. 

Ingredients – cupcakes:

• 3 eggs
• 180g sugar
• 250g peeled and finely grated carrot
• 2 tablespoons strong coffee
• 120g rice flour
• 50g almond flour
• 40g cocoa
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• Pinch of salt
• 100g chocolate chips

Ingredients – icing:

• 100g butter, softened
• 65g smooth peanut butter
• 3 cups / 360g icing sugar
• 3 tablespoons 45ml milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 100g dark chocolate, melted

Method – cupcakes:

• In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar for five minutes until the mixture is quadrupled in volume and extremely fluffy.
• Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
• Whisk the carrot and coffee into the mixture.
• When they are fully incorporated, add the flour, ground almonds, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Beat with an electric whisk or fold with a wooden spoon until well combined.
• Fold in the chocolate chips.
• Spoon into prepared muffin trays lined with paper cases, so the mixture reaches four fifths of the way up the sides.
• Bake for 25 minutes.
• Leave to cool in the tin for ten minutes, then at room temperature for at least half an hour before icing. Make the icing while you wait.

Method – icing:

• Using an electric beater, whisk the butter until pale and softened.
• Add the icing sugar, milk and vanilla, and beat until smooth.

• Pipe melted chocolate into shapes onto a tray lined with baking paper. Leave to set, then garnish the cupcakes. Alternative options include drizzling melted chocolate over the icing, or sprinkling with dark chocolate chips.

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Pita Croutons

Pita Croutons

Make or buy pita pockets (GF vegan recipe here). Cut in half horizontally, then cut each half into six triangles. Brush with olive oil, and bake for ten minutes at 200°/400°F. Flip over and bake for another five minutes.

Let cool, then serve with your favourite dip (I like hummus!) and veggie sticks.

Millefeuille

Millefeuille

From Bake, a neat recipe book divided by various regions of the world. This is obviously from the (very substantial) French section. The name means “thousand leaves”, and consists of layers of puff pastry between vanilla cream. Prep time is 1 ¾ hours, with 45 minutes cooking time.

INGREDIENTS:

• 1kg / 2lb 4 oz puff-pastry
• Flour, for dusting

• Crème pâtissière:

– 2 tablespoons cornflour
– 125g / 4 ½ oz caster sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 500ml / 18 fl oz milk
– 2 egg yolks

• Icing:

– 2 egg whites
– 350g / 12oz icing sugar
– 100g / 3 ½ plain chocolate, broken into pieces

METHOD:

• Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Divide the pastry into 3 pieces on a work surface lightly dusted with flour. Roll out a piece to 5mm / ¼ in thick square. Transfer to the prepared tray, prick all over with a fork, then place another try on top to prevent the pastry rising.
• Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove the top tray, then return to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining pastry. Leave to cool, then cut each pastry square in half to make 2 rectangles.
• To make the crème pâtissière, put the cornflour, caster sugar and vanilla extract into a saucepan over medium heat. Add the milk and egg yolks and cook, stirring, until the mixture comes to the boil and thickens. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
• Place a piece of pastry on a wire rack, spread with one fifth of the crème pâtissière, then place another piece of pastry on top. Spread with another fifth of the crème pâtissière and top with another piece of pastry; repeat until you have used all of the crème pâtissière, then top with the final piece of pastry.
• To make the icing, put the egg whites and icing sugar into a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water and beat with an electric whisk for 5 minutes until thick. Pour over the top piece of pastry.
• Melt the chocolate and pour into a piping bag fitted with a fine nozzle, and use it to draw wavy lines on the icing.
• Using the tip of a knife, draw perpendicular lines through the chocolate, from top to bottom then alternating bottom to top. Use a sharp knife to trim the edges of the millefeuille.
• Cut the millefeuille into 12 rectangles, chill in the refrigerator and serve cold.

Ambrosia

Ambrosia

An easy and delicious dessert, I recently brought ambrosia to a shared morning tea by putting spoonfuls into little plastic shot-cups, with a small plastic spoon. Who knew ambrosia could make such good finger-food?

I make ambrosia using a ratio of 300ml whipped cream to 1 litre of flavoured yoghurt, and whatever additions you like. The ones in the photo have cut up pineapple lumps, marshmallows (I used mini marshmallows to fit into the shot-cups), white chocolate chips, and blueberries.

Ambrosia 2

Chocolate Peanut Butter Easter Cupcakes (GF/V)

Easter

I made vanilla Easter cupcakes a couple of years ago, and this year I followed the same theory to create these gluten-free vegan Easter cupcakes.

Base = GF/V chocolate cupcakes

Icing = Vegan peanut butter frosting:

• ½ cup / 112g vegan butter, softened
• ¼ cup / 65g smooth peanut butter
• 3 cups / 360g icing sugar
• 3 tablespoons / 45ml non-dairy milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bake the cupcakes according to the recipe, leave to cool, then ice with a thick layer of the frosting (just use a knife to smooth it over).
Then dip the cupcake in grated dark chocolate, and top with a mini-egg and a chick (found in craft stores like Spotlight). You can use melted dark chocolate or peanut butter to get the decorations to stay on.

Easter 2

Basic Gluten-Free/Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Another winner from Cara Reed, this is just the chocolate cupcake base. I’ll be referring to it in future recipes for various GF/V cupcake creations, or you can combine it with your own choice of toppings and decorations. This recipe makes a dozen cupcakes.

DRY:

• 1 ½ C / 250g gluten-free flour blend
• ¾ C / 66g cocoa powder
• ½ / 73g brown sugar
• ½ c / 100g granulated sugar
• 2 teaspoons / 7.5g baking powder
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon xantham gum
• ½ teaspoon salt

WET:

• 1 C / 240 ml non-dairy milk
• ½ C / 120ml hot water
• ½ C / 120ml vegetable oil
• 2 tablespoons / 14g flaxseed meal plus 6 tablespoons / 90ml water – thickened for 5 minutes
• 1 tablespoon / 15ml apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
• ½ teaspoon vanilla essence

METHOD:

• Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F. Grease or line a muffin pan.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
• In a medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients together until well mixed.
• Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.
• Pour in the muffin tin and bake for 17-20 minutes.
• Allow to cool, then decorate as desired.

Lemon Cupcakes (gluten-free, vegan)

Lemon Cupcakes

From the ever-wonderful Cara Reed, author of “Decadent Gluten-free and Vegan Baking” and creator of Fork and Beans. These cupcakes are ridiculously moist and delicious, and also super-easy!

Ingredients:

DRY:

• 2 ½ cups / 200g gluten-free flour mix (make sure you get one with guar gum)
• 1 cup / 200g granulated sugar
• 2 teaspoon / 7.5g baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon salt

WET:

• 1 ½ cups / 398ml canned coconut milk
• 6 tablespoons / 90g applesauce
• ¼ cup / 60ml hot water
• 1 tablespoon / 15ml lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
• 1 tablespoon / 13g lemon zest
• 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

VEGAN LEMON FROSTING:

• 1 cup / 24g vegan butter, softened (I used Olivani)
• 3 cup / 360g powdered sugar
• 2 teaspoon / 10ml lemon juice
• ¼ teaspoon vanilla essence
• 3 teaspoons / 9.5g lemon zest

Method:

• Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine the wet until well mixed. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and then stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.
• Pour into a muffin pan and bake for 17-20 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack. As you wait, make the frosting.
• With an electric mixer, cream the vegan butter on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add in the powered sugar and then beat in the lemon juice, vanilla and zest until light and fluffy.
• Pipe the frosting over the cooled cupcakes.