Thursday, May 30, 2013

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Meringue Frosting

Okay, again, it's been too long since I last updated my blog.  A lot has been going on in my life, but I'm not going to bore you with the details.  I'm finished with classes for the summer, well, I have one, it's on-line though.  I don't have a summer job (yet, but I'm hoping somebody will get back to me), so I will probably be updating this blog a lot. 

I made these cupcakes yesterday since I had a lot of strawberries that were probably going to go bad soon, so I wanted to use them for something.  This recipe comes from Gluten-Free Cupcakes by Elana Amsterdam.  It's the first recipe I've made from this book and they turned out great.  The frosting was a little too sweet for my taste, but the cupcakes weren't overly sweet at all, so it was balanced out.  The only bad thing about this recipe was it only makes 8 cupcakes, so if you're making them for an event, you might want to double or triple the recipe, same goes for the frosting.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
Here's what you'll need for the frosting:
  •  1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh stawberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line 8 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, arrowroot, salt, and baking soda.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, agave, and vanilla.
 Blend the wet ingredients into the coconut flour mixture with a handheld mixer until thoroughly combined, then fold in the strawberries.
Scoop a few tablespoons of batter into each prepared muffin cup.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.  Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 1 hour, then frost and serve.

Now onto the frosting:  In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the agave to a boil, stirring constantly.  Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 6 to 10 minutes, stirring on occasion, until the agave darkens slightly from its original amber color.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a deep bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks using a handheld mixer.  Stop whipping as soon as the egg whites are stiff.
Could have been stiffer.
Drizzle the warm agave very slowly into the egg whites, while whipping with a handheld mixer, to keep the peaks stiff.  Allow to cool to room temperature, then fold the strawberries into the meringue.  Use right away.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mexican Chocolate Cookies (for Cinco de Mayo)

So I originally made these cookies on May 4 as a snack to eat with my friend while he drove us to a CT Roller Derby bout.  They needed help at the last minute, so I volunteered to go as well.  However, after the cookies came out of the oven and I had left the kitchen, I heard this bang of pans hit the floor.  I don't know how or why my cookie sheets fell but I was extremely angry since they were now unedible.  I was going to make them again on Sunday but I was out all day and really didn't want to bake at 10:00 p.m. 

So yesterday is when they were finally made, and they turned out delicious!  The recipe comes from my Cookinglight Everyday Baking book.  It was an easy and quick recipe and I highly recommend them.  They have an extra kick in them that goes well with the chocolate.  I can't stop eating them and even though I saved some for my friend, he might not get them tomorrow. 

Here's what you'll need:

  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped 
  • 3.3 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash of ground red pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring until smooth.  Cool to room temperature.
Weigh or spoon flour into dry measuring cups, level with a knife.  Combine the flour and the next 5 ingredients stirring with a whisk. 
Place sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended, about 5 minutes.  Add in the egg and beat well.  Add the cooled chocolate and vanilla and beat just until blended.  Add flour mixture and beat just until moist.
Drop dough a tablespoon at a time onto a coated cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until almost set.  Remove from oven and cool for 2 minutes on pans.  Then cool completely on wire rack.