Monday, 27 April 2015

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cup Brownies with Whipped Peanut Butter Mousse (gluten free)


A while back, I was sent a lovely selection of Delicious Alchemy gluten free bread, cake and porridge mixes to try. The box included a lovely Vanilla Sponge Mix, which was put through its paces making a Vanilla-Blueberry Cake with Meringue Cream and a Brown Bread Mix which was enjoyed as a batch of Walnut & Sultana Rolls.

There were still a couple of mixes left, and my daughter had been nagging me for a while to test the Chocolate Brownies. We've been a bit chocolated-out on account of Easter, but as she had a friend round for a sleepover, I thought it would be a good opportunity to give in to the badgering and bring out the mixing bowl.


As with the previous Delicious Alchemy mixes, the Brownie blend was very straight forward to use...... Clear instructions and requiring only the addition of some butter/spread and a couple of large eggs. It was good to hear the clonk of a goodly portion of chocolate chips landing in the bowl as I tipped out the contents, which lead to the hopeful promise of an appropriately chocolatey end result!

I had been hankering to make a brownie with some sort of peanutty addition for a while, so used the opportunity to throw in a handful of mini Reece's Peanut Butter Cups for good measure. I chopped and froze the PBC's in advance of adding them to the mix as this can help to retain the structure of the sweet a little better, rather than have it completely melt and blend in as it cooks.


The Brownie mix produced a bake with a good texture...... firm, but sticky, with (as hoped) a good chocolate hit. My gripe is that it was incredibly sweet......... way too sweet for me. If anything, the sugar high was quite sickly, which seemed unnecessary in what was otherwise a great bake. My daughter and her friend on the other hand were grateful recipients and announced that they really liked it, although it was notable that once the slices with the peanut mousse had gone (I kept a few back without it), it sat for a quite a while in the tin.


The PBC's were a great addition and gave the brownie a lovely peanut, slightly salty 'kick'. I made sure they were well distributed through the tray so that all brownies received an equal surprise....

I was quite glad that I had decided to make the Peanut Butter Mousse to accompany the brownie, as its creaminess and mildly savoury peanut element tempered the sweetness of the brownie slightly. It was scarily moreish on its own however and the extra portions which I held aside (rather than use on all the brownies), somehow kept finding themselves on a spoon heading for my mouth, each time I passed the fridge. Needless to say, I think another time, the mousse might become the dessert in itself!


Although I made the brownie with a Delicious Alchemy mix, there is no reason why you couldn't make the bake with your favourite brownie recipe and add some chopped Reece's PBC's before baking. Or try using my recipe for Toblerone Brownie, substituting straight plain chocolate instead of Toblerone in the main mix and leaving out the addition of chopped Toblerone as this will be replaced by the PBC's.


I am sharing some of my Peanut Mousse topped Brownies with the following :


Simply Eggcellent with Dom of Belleau Kitchen fame. Crucially, the brownie mix that I was testing required 2 eggs..... large ones..... free range of course.... April's theme for the challenge is 'chocolate', so the boxes are happily ticked!


April's Biscuit Barrel Challenge with The Lass In The Apron on behalf of I'd Much Rather Bake Than... This month's theme is 'candy'...... It must have been a very candy-filled month in our house, because this is my second entry! The Reece's PBC's definitely add something extra to the bake.


Cook Blog Share with Lucy at Supergolden Bakes.


Bake of the Week with Casa Costello.



Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cup Brownies with Whipped Peanut Butter Mousse

Ingredients

Brownie :
Use you favourite basic brownie recipe (or brownie mix) - enough for an 8 inch/20 cm square baking tin.
100g Reece's mini Peanut Butter Cups (cut into quarters and frozen) 

Peanut Mousse :
300 ml double cream
130g Mascarpone cream cheese
120g smooth peanut butter
65g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste

chopped dark chocolate to decorate

Method

  1. Base-line a 20 cm/8 inch square baking tin with baking paper and pre-heat the oven to the temperature required for your brownie recipe.
  2. Make one quantity of your favourite base brownie batter. Whilst still in the bowl, add and mix in the chopped, frozen Reece's Peanut Butter Cups until evenly distributed.
  3. Pour the brownie batter into the baking tin and bake according to your recipe instructions until done. 
  4. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
  5. Whilst the brownie is cooling, make the peanut butter mousse : Whip the double cream in a bowl until it is stiff enough to form peaks which hold their shape well. 
  6. In a separate large bowl, combine the cream cheese, peanut butter, icing sugar and vanilla paste until well mixed, smooth and even.
  7. Add about a quarter of the whipped cream to the peanut butter mixture and stir through to loosen the consistency slightly.
  8. Add the remaining cream about half at a time and gently fold into the peanut mixture, trying to keep as airy as possible, until the mousse is evenly blended.
  9. Remove the brownie from the tin and cut into portion squares.
  10. Pipe or spoon a generous blob of mousse onto the top of each brownie portion.
  11. Sprinkle with a little chopped dark chocolate and serve.
With thanks to the Delicious Alchemy team for sending me the samples to try. I was not required to write a review and all views expressed here are my own.

Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-15 unless otherwise indicated

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Citrus (Lemon, Orange & Lime) Curd


I am increasingly becoming a fan of making curds and jams when there is a surplus of fruit. They are surprisingly quick and fun to cook and you are rewarded with jars of deliciousness which way surpass your average shop-bought preserves.

My other favourite makes to prevent waste are compotes and coulis which I store in the freezer ready for an impromptu pudding or fruity sauce (or just to pour straight over ice cream). You will find some of my fruity 'experiments' here :

Berry Compote for Lemon & Berry Trifle
Raspberry Coulis
Blackberry & Apple compote for an Oatie Crumble Slice
Fruit Coulis for Strawberry Trifle Cake
Pineapple, Mango & Strawberry Filling or Apple & Raspberry Filling for a crumble tray bake
Roasted Strawberries (used in all sorts of things!)
Chunky Cherry Sauce for black forest trifle
Cherry Sauce to drizzle over Chocolate Torte
Honeyed Raspberry Syrup to ripple through ice cream
Apple & Blackberry Curd
Mixed Berry & Apple Jam
Rhubarb Curd......


When I was mooching in the fridge a while back, I found a half-used bag of unwaxed lemons and a couple of limes which were calling out for creation before they reached the point of being fit for compost only. It is a while since I made curd and it seemed a fitting purpose for my hopeful-looking citrus fruit. There were a couple of oranges (including a blood orange) loitering in the fruit bowl as well, which sealed the deal!

I actually made the curd just before Easter..... It was wonderful with my Apple, Cherry & Sultana Hot Cross Buns.


Providing you are willing to be endlessly patient with the stirring process (which often feels like it is taking forever), curd is amazingly easy to make. I remember making lemon curd at school when I was about 13 and thinking 'really? Is that all there is to it?'.

Citrus curd (and specifically lemon curd) is probably the mother of all curds. Lusciously creamy, yet tangy and tart, it has an irresistible pull with a versatility to match. Use it in anything from ice creams and fools, to tarts, cheesecakes and even on meats, a jar can find its way into a whole array of dishes. It is also (of course) amazing spread 'neat' on bread and toast. I remember a particular fascination I had as a teenager with coming home from school to an empty house, taking 2 slices of white bread, removing the crusts, slathering with curd as a sandwich and then rolling flat with a rolling pin...... it was a strange but very tempting snack....... doughy lemony bread heaven...... Ok..... I know it was a strange concept, but it made me happy!


Anyway..... This particular curd recipe for me is curd loveliness.... It has a fantastic balance of tart and sweet..... is divinely smooth and creamy...... has a wonderful rich colour..... and no one fruit outweighs or overshadows the others..... You can close your eyes and pick out the individual citrus flavours as the curd washes over your palate. I can (and do) sit with just a small bowl of curd.... on its own.... nothing added.... and savour small spoonfuls, just to get the full impact. It is that good!

It is also amazing swirled into thick Greek yoghurt and sprinkled with chopped pistachios.... Great for breakfast as well as a fresh dessert.


I am sharing this delicious Citrus Curd with the following challenges :

The No Waste Food Challenge with Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. Curds are a lovely way to make fruit go further and this one has done me proud on the citrus front.









Credit Crunch Munch with Utterly Scrummy, Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food 4 All. Not only did this recipe use up a load of fruit, but it is cheaper and (in my view) tastes way better than shop-bought curds.


Cook Blog Share with Lucy at Supergolden Bakes











Recipe of the Week with Emily at A Mummy Too









Tasty Tuesdays - This week with Le Coin de Mel on Behalf of Honest Mum.









Citrus Curd (Lemon, Orange & Lime) (makes 4 jars)

Ingredients

300 ml citrus juice (I used 2 lemons, 2 limes & 2 oranges) - use more fruit if you don't get 300 ml
230g unsalted butter
460g caster sugar
4 large eggs - beaten

Method

  1. Sterilise your jars (and a metal tea strainer) whilst you are making your curd by placing clean jars and their lids into a cold oven on a baking tray and turn to 130 degrees Centigrade. Leave for at least 20 minutes. 
  2. Grate the zest from 1 lemon, 1 lime and 1 orange and juice all the fruit.
  3. Place the zest, juice, butter and sugar into a large glass bowl and place on top of a saucepan of simmering water.
  4. Heat, stirring until the butter is melted and the sugar is completely dissolved.
  5. Remove from the heat and whisk in the eggs until smooth and completely incorporated.
  6. Return the bowl to sit over the simmering water on low to medium heat and with a wooden or silicone spoon, stir continually whilst heating until the curd is thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon (about 20 to 25 minutes).
  7. When ready, strain the curd through the sterile tea strainer straight into the warm, sterile jars and seal immediately with the lid.
  8. Allow to cool completely and then store in the fridge.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-15 unless otherwise indicated

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Nutella Trifle - gluten free (or not if you prefer)


Left over chocolate cake in the freezer? Want to impress your guests with a dessert you can knock up in half an hour? This one is for you!

I have been wanting to make a chocolate-hazelnut trifle and have had ideas whizzing round my head of different ways to do it for ages. The classic combination of chocolate and hazelnut has been immortalised in Nutella, a chocolate hazelnut spread which was first brought to the world in jar form in 1964. So Nutella seemed the perfect place to start my trifle-building.


I had a load of chocolate cake which I put in the freezer at Christmas in case of emergencies (if you have an emergency, chocolate cake is a must!), but I have been trying to clear things down for a while in preparation for the growing season, so it seemed the right time to start using it. And what better use than trifle?


A good grown up trifle should have an ample amount of booze......  and in keeping with the chocolate-hazelnut theme, I gave the cake a good soaking of hazelnut liqueur. There are many different brands out there, with Frangelico being probably the best known. As I couldn't find any Frangelico however, I had to search out an alternative....... Waitrose came up trumps with an amazing bottle of Fratello...... a deliciously addictive infusion of Italian hazelnuts, Madagasgan vanilla, cocoa and honey. Beware.... it is amazing on ice and the bottle may be drained very quickly!


If you need to make a child-friendly version, get hold of a non-alcoholic bottle of hazelnut syrup, now available in many supermarkets, bought mostly to add to coffee and cocktails. Monin is a popular make, although I used Teisseire, a French brand, as that is what I had in the larder.

The boozy cake is sprinkled with crunchy toasted hazelnuts and drizzled with Nutella, which gives an amazing gooey, slightly chewy, rich, chocolate-hazelnut surprise to the trifle experience. Topped with cool, vanilla-laced liquid custard and a final layer of lightly whipped cream shot through with an extra hint of Nutella, this trifle will bring a smile to your face and a satisfied whimper.


It has to be one of the easiest trifles I have ever made, yet the delight of eating it is sublime. Spongy, crunchy, liquid, creamy, gooey, chewy textural heaven.......... Alcohol-laced, chocolatey, hazelnutty, vanilla-sweet deliciousness. It will make you look like you have slaved for hours, yet it can be thrown together with so little effort......

Serve it in clear glasses or bowls to do justice to the full layered effect. The advantage of individual portions is that if you have kids, you can make some servings alcoholic and some not. I have served mine in some beautiful hand-blown wine glasses that were given to us as a thank you gift by friends at the end of their stay with us. Aren't they gorgeous? I think it makes the experience of eating the contents that much more special.....


I am sharing these amazingly decadent and very tempting Nutella Trifles as widely as possible.......... They are that heavenly, I want as many people to know about them as possible.....

We Should Cocoa with Choclette at Tin & Thyme. This month's theme is 'No Bake'. Providing you have access to chocolate cake (bought or pre-made), this requires minimal preparation and there was no baking involved on the day! Ok...... so I made the cake originally...... but that was months ago, so I think it counts!


Tea Time Treats with Karen at Lavender & Lovage. This is my second entry to April's 'Chocolate'-themed linky party.


Recipe of the Week with Emily at A Mummy Too.

The No Waste Food Challenge with Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. Trifles are the perfect way to use up left over cake.....



Treat Petite with Kat at The Baking Explorer (and Cakeyboi). This month's theme is 'Hello Spring'. Spring is the time I always try to clear down the freezer a little, in preparation for the fruit and growing seasons and this trifle helped to off-load some of that freezer-stored cake.






Nutella Trifle (to make 4 servings)

Ingredients

left over chocolate cake sponge (about 4 to 5 cupcakes worth)
hazelnut liqueur (about 8 tablespoons depending on how boozy you want it) - or substitute with hazelnut syrup, slightly watered down for children
toasted chopped hazelnuts (about 2 tablespoons)
Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread) - approx 5 heaped tablespoons
vanilla custard - approx 300 ml good quality, fresh (shop-bought or home made) 
double cream - approx 300 ml
To decorate :
finely chopped or grated dark chocolate
toasted chopped hazelnuts

Method

  1. Cut the chocolate sponge into smallish chunks and place randomly as a layer in the bottom of your chosen serving dish(es).
  2. Drizzle about two tablespoons (or to taste) of hazelnut liqueur per portion over the chocolate sponge and allow to soak in.
  3. Sprinkle a few chopped hazelnuts over the sponge.
  4. Spoon about 4 heaped tablespoons Nutella or chocolate hazelnut spread into a small glass bowl and heat in the microwave on medium in short 20 to 30 second bursts, stirring between each until the spread is runnier and more drizzleable. (If you don't have a microwave, gently heat over a small saucepan of simmering water, stirring frequently).
  5. Drizzle the chocolate hazelnut spread over the sponge so that it is evenly shared per portion.
  6. Spoon the custard over the top, again evenly distributing between portions, so that you have a good, thick layer.
  7. Whip the double cream with the remaining heaped tablespoon of Nutella/spread until you have soft, but firm peaks.
  8. Spoon and spread the cream over the custard.
  9. Decorate with a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts and some grated or finely chopped chocolate.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-15 unless otherwise indicated

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Newburn Bakehouse have gone Gluten Free Artisan! (and they are holding a competition too)


It's a busy week this week fitting in work with school holidays...... juggling child care with spending time with the kids and trying to get out into the sunshine which has finally arrived in abundance.... Yay!

But I wanted to put the word out about a new product launch from Newburn Bakehouse and to let you know about a competition they are holding to design their next loaf. Yes.... really.... they are asking us to tell them what we want them to make.

Now I don't know about you, but I am frankly frustrated when I try to find decent gluten free bread. In my old wheat-eating days, I would go to the supermarket and was spoilt for choice...... brown loaves, white loaves, sliced loaves, artisan bread, cobs, rustic looking bread and rolls, tomato bread, onion bread, scones, baps, burger buns, bagels, seeded breads, soda bread, focaccia, ciabatta.......... the list goes on and on...... The shelves went on and on........


The smell that wafted round the supermarket of freshly baked bread and doughnuts was tantalisingly tempting (good marketing, I say!) and often made me head straight for the bread counter. These days, it is a reminder of what I can't eat....... I look at the gluten free shelf (usually crammed into a small space like we are the undeserving odd people) to find a small number of GF sliced loaves, one or two brands of basic white or brown rolls, and if the store is larger, the chance of a solid-feeling bagel, a rock hard crumpet or a muffin. A lot of the time, the shelves still lack even the basics and if you factor in those rare occasions when the supermarket is doing a BOGOF or offer, then you will be lucky if you see any GF bread at all (such is the cost that it then flies off the shelves to be stashed in people's freezers).

The only answer to this conundrum in my house is to make most of my own bread...... Although not a major problem, it is nonetheless time consuming and means that I have less time for baking and cooking other stuff. So if there is a chance of a better, tastier, fresher traditional loaf option that I can buy, I am all for it!


So...... I was very excited to receive an e-mail from Newburn Bakehouse a couple of days back telling me about their new product launch of exclusive artisan loaves...... Two of them! A Classic White Artisan Loaf and a White Sourdough Artisan Cob. I haven't tried them yet (they were only launched, in Sainsbury's on Sunday 12th April - currently 121 stores, exclusively for 3 months), but they look good! Is that the possibility of a crispy crust I see there? Did someone say hand-moulded?

Dave Mulvey, Product Developer at Newburn Bakehouse says, “Each loaf is baked using traditional artisan processes and every stage is completed with the utmost attention to detail. All the ingredients are hand selected and weighed in order to ensure that every loaf is of the highest quality. The ingredients are then hand moulded into individual cobs or tins, proved and then placed into small deck ovens before being cooled, hand-packed and sealed by the bakers.” 



Now.... that is beginning to sound like proper bread! Fingers Crossed it tastes as good as it sounds.... I'm looking forward to getting my hands on some....


Alongside the product launch, Newburn Bakehouse are also holding a #launchyourloaf competition to celebrate. They are asking us to put forward creative ideas for a new loaf or bread that they can make and add to their gluten free range. You can find details of the competition here, but the idea is simple..... Dream up the loaf you most want to have made, describe it tantalisingly to the guys at Newburn Bakehouse using their competition form on the website and if your idea is picked as one of the best 3 by the judges, your bread will go out to public vote. The big prize is getting to be a unique part of designing a product which will ultimately be enjoyed by millions, but if you win, you also get a fantastic trip to River Cottage to attend a gluten free cookery course. But be quick! The competition is a short-run thing and closes on 19th April 2015.

With thanks to Warburtons Newburton Bakehouse who provided the photographs and relevant detail for this post.

I was not required to write this post and other than where quoted, all views and text are my own. I have not been paid or received any recompense for publishing the material.

Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-15 unless otherwise indicated

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Slow Cooked Chicken Casserole


I love my slow cooker! It has revolutionised meal times, particularly (and unexpectedly) at weekends.
You can have dinner prepared first thing in the morning, go play all day and know you will be well fed in the evening. No fuss..... just good, healthy sustenance.

I knew it would be a boon on weekdays........ although I confess, I am not great first thing in the morning and managing to get myself up at the crack of dawn and before I have to leave the house for work, to make a meal for when I get in is not something I have actually achieved more than twice. The weekday benefit comes from having a sizeable Crock Pot big enough to feed a family of 6 to 8, which means if we fill it, we have food for another couple of dinners at least, especially if we factor in a couple of baked potatoes to make it go further.....


We have also discovered how fab it is when you have guests. Last weekend, we had the pleasure of having people stay with us....... The Crock Pot was up and running before they arrived in preparation for tea........ How impressed were they when we didn't have to interrupt our time with them to prepare a meal from scratch...... Sausage & Bean Casserole (effectively the filling from this pie with a little extra liquid), served with rice and all ready to feed 7 hungry mouths!

The Chicken Casserole recipe I have made here is another very tasty addition to my growing slow-cook repertoire. The moist meat and skin of the thighs has been rubbed with honey, paprika and seasoning and lightly fried to seal before it hits the pot, giving it a rich, flavoursome start to the process. Enhanced by several hours of cooking (carefully keeping the skin just above the surface of the casserole liquid), it falls away from the bone and melts in the mouth.


The meat is accompanied by plenty of slow cooked veg..... onions, baby carrots, parsnips and mushrooms, most of which is locally grown and sourced. It is additionally flavoured with some smoky, meaty bacon, and plenty of fresh oregano and thyme...... Simple, tasty and good for you....

For those of us who need to avoid gluten, be extra careful to make sure your stock contains no hidden nasties...... Stock cubes can be risky little things, as they often hide a hidden dose of wheat flour, ready to sneak up and bite you! I usually use either Knorr or Kallo brands as they are certified gluten free.

I am linking my casserole with the following challenges this month :


The Slow Cooked Challenge with Farmersgirl Kitchen - anything goes this month.


Cooking with Herbs with Lavender & Lovage. No theme here this month either.


Extra Veg with Jo's Kitchen hosting this month on behalf of Fuss Free Flavours and Utterly Scrummy.


Simple & in Season with Fuss Free Flavours on behalf of Ren Behan. Most of the veg and the thyme are seasonal and local.


Cook Blog Share with Lucy at Supergolden Bakes.



Slow-Cooked Chicken Casserole

Ingredients

8 to 10 chicken thighs (skin on)
2 tablespoons runny honey
salt and pepper - to taste
ground paprika (I used Hungarian paprika)
8 rashers back bacon
2½ tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion - cut into sixths
2 large white onions (1 x chopped; 1 x cut into sixths)
200g baby carrots (washed and trimmed)
1 large parsnip - peeled and cut into short lengths
200g button or closed cup mushrooms (left whole or halved dependent on size)
fresh oregano - to taste (finely chopped)
fresh thyme - to taste (finely chopped) and reserve some sprigs for the top.
200 ml strong GF vegetable stock (I used 2 cubes)

Method

  1. Rub the honey, salt, pepper and a sprinkle of paprika into the chicken skin.
  2. Heat the oil to medium-high in the casserole for the slow cooker if it can be used on the hob (or in a large skillet if it can't) and gently seal and brown the outside of the seasoned chicken (should take about 5 to 8 minutes), turning frequently. Set aside.
  3. Using the same pan, sauté the bacon and onions for about 5 minutes until softening.
  4. Add the carrots, parsnip, and mushrooms and sauté for a further 5 to 10 minutes to brown slightly.
  5. Add the chopped herbs and stir through.
  6. If you are using a pan separate from the slow cooker, transfer the vegetable-bacon mix to the slow cooker at this point.
  7. Pour the stock over the vegetables and lay the chicken on the top, skin side up.
  8. Place some sprigs of fresh thyme across the surface and slow cook according to the manufacturer's instructions for about 3 hours (high) or 6 hours (low).
  9. Enjoy with potatoes or rice.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-15 unless otherwise indicated

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Creme Egg Cup Cakes - gluten free


Easter is over already........ Have you had your fill of chocolate yet? Loads left over? Need to find a way to use some of it up?

If your house is anything like ours, you'll be tripping over the stuff. It doesn't matter how much we cut back as parents, there are always the gifted eggs which add to the pile and this year, my daughter managed to win an additional stash of several eggs (and a very large fluffy duck) at the school Easter fair. She has the luck of the gods!


These little cupcakes are perfect for using up any left over small eggs...... They are made with Cadbury's mini Creme Eggs, but you could equally use caramel-filled eggs, Daim eggs, mini solid chocolate eggs or anything else you have to hand.


I made them to sell at the school Easter fair to raise funds for the PFA, wanting to be sure there was at least one gluten free offering available for my daughter and the other gluten free children at school. Kids with food intolerances can frequently be left feeling excluded from event cake stalls....... Although I feel guilty when I don't make my contribution gluten and dairy free, these cakes were already planned around mini Creme Eggs, so the GF-only decision had been made. (Sorry to all the DF kids...... maybe next time!)


As it happened, my daughter's class was out a couple of minutes late and by the time she got to the cake stall, there were only 3 left. I was told they had been snaffled in a flash....... kids and Creme Eggs eh?

The cakes were actually damn good..... soft, spongy chocolate cake, baked with a mini creme egg hidden inside, piped with richly vanilla'd butter frosting (coloured yellow to match the fondant filling of the Creme Eggs) and topped with an extra half an egg.


I used Kat at The Baking Explorer's tip of freezing the chocolate eggs first to try and help them to hold their shape and substance better in the heat of the oven. Having made lots of cakes previously with hidden chocolate sweets (which haven't been frozen), I reckon that it did make a difference and I will definitely use the same technique for future bakes...... The Creme Eggs retained some yellowness of fondant filling and there was still a good chunky chocolate bite to surprise those unsuspecting little mouths. Smiles all round..........


With all the left-over eggs at home, I may just have to make these again...... Did someone say Mini Eggs?

I am sharing some Easter cupcakes with the following challenges this month :


Simply Eggcellent with Dom over at Belleau Kitchen. This month's theme is a very Eastery 'Chocolate'..... These little babies are made with 3 large free range eggs and a basketful of the chocolate variety too.


Tea Time Treats with Karen at Lavender & Lovage and Janie at The Hedgecombers, who also celebrate chocolate this month.


Love Cake with Ness at Jibber Jabber, who is Stepping into Spring for April. Easter is synonymous with the start of Spring in my head..... daffodils are opening, blossom is on the trees, the grass gets its first cut of the year and of course....... chocolate is devoured as if it was going out of fashion.


No Waste Food Challenge with Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. Cakes which squirrel chocolate inside are a fab and appealing way to get rid of the Easter excess quickly and effectively. Just because it is chocolate, doesn't mean there isn't a shelf-life, so share them with friends and neighbours...... It's better for the waistline and they'll love you for it!


Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too.


The Biscuit Barrel Challenge with The Lass in the Apron (on behalf of I'd Much Rather Bake than...). Alexandra has made things a little easier this month with the theme of Candy. These cupcakes certainly contain plenty of that!


#FoodYearLinkup with Charlotte at My Recipe Book..... This month marking Easter amongst its dates and celebrations.



Creme Egg Cup Cakes (makes approx 28 large cupcakes)

Ingredients

350g gluten free plain flour blend (I used mix A from this post)
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1½ teaspoons GF baking powder
1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
480g unsalted butter 
250 ml water
40g cocoa powder
400g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
200 ml plain yoghurt
28 mini Cadburys Creme Eggs

Frosting :
150g unsalted butter - softened
450g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
yellow food colouring

14 mini creme eggs for decoration

Method

  1. Unwrap and freeze the 28 mini eggs overnight (this will help them retain their Creme Egg qualities when being baked).
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4 and prepare your cupcake cases in cupcake trays.
  3. Weigh and mix together the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, making sure any lumps are completely broken down. Set aside.
  4. Place the butter, water and cocoa powder in either a saucepan and melt over a low heat, stirring, or in a glass bowl and melt in the microwave on 30 second bursts (stirring between each). Ensure all the ingredients are evenly blended.
  5. Once melted, transfer to a large bowl, add the sugar and whisk for about five minutes until airy and cool.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking thoroughly between each.
  7. Add the yoghurt and whisk again.
  8. Gently fold in the flour mix with a large spoon until just blended. Be careful not to over-mix.
  9. Spoon into the cupcake cases (about two-thirds full) and push an unwrapped mini Creme Egg into the centre of each cake batter. 
  10. Using the back of a knife, gently push a little cake batter over the top to cover the egg.  
  11. Bake for about 20 minutes until the sponge springs back to the touch.
  12. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
  13. Whilst the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. Beat the butter until soft and then gradually add the icing sugar, vanilla extract and milk (a little at a time) until the desired consistency is reached. 
  14. Divide the frosting into two bowls and add a little yellow food colour to one half to make it egg-yolk yellow. Gently swirl the two colours of frosting together so that you get an uneven blend.
  15. When the cakes are completely cold, pipe or spread the frosting on the top of each one. Top with a little grated chocolate. Cut the remaining mini Creme Eggs in half and place on top of the cupcakes to decorate.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-15 unless otherwise indicated