There is always a cake for you! – Gluten free dairy free chocolate cupcakes with ganache topping

Can you imagine sitting in a room with 30 other people indulging themselves with home made cupcakes, and all you could do is watching them enjoying these beautiful little cakes? I certainly can, but I would be so deeply depressed!

So a couple of days before a charity children party organised by Birthdays with Love, and thanks to my good friend and mentor Three Thrum Mum, I had a little experiment with some gluten free and dairy free chocolate cupcakes. They do taste just like what you would expect – luxurious, heavenly chocolaty, melts in your mouth – as a good chocolate cupcake should be!

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This is how I made them (12 standard cupcakes):

Ingredients for the chocolate cupcakes (gluten free and dairy free):

120 g of gluten free flour (1/3 corn starch, 1/3 rice flour, 1/3 sweet potato flour)

1 tsp of gluten free baking powder

1/4 tsp of xanthan gum

1/4 tsp of kosher salt

40 g of good quality unsweetend cocoa powder

Mix the above dry ingredients and sieve once

2 medium size eggs

60 g of unrefined cane sugar/ light brown sugar

60 g inverted sugar (this is the magic ingredient to keep the cakes moist for longer)

70 g of grape seed oil (I prefer this to coconut oil for it would not affect the taste of the final product)

50 g of soy milk or water

Step 1 – Pre-heat your oven to 180 degree C

Step 2 – Whisk the eggs together with the sugar until its fluffy and pale (hand held mixer or stand mixer)

Step 3 – Sieve in/ pour in the dry ingredients, the inverted sugar, the oil and the soy milk into the egg mixture. You can either turn on the stand mixer just for a a few seconds or by hand folding in the ingredients until blended

**Please note the batter is very liquid but it would make some lovely light fluffy and round cupcakes

Step 4 – Pour roughly around 35 g of the batter in each of the cupcake cases and bake them in the oven at 180 degrees C for around 15 minutes

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Ingredients for the dark chocolate ganache (dairy free):

100 g of good quality dark chocolate (chopped to small pieces and 70% would be the best option)

100 g of soy milk

a dash of vanilla essence

Step 1 – Bring the soy milk to boil. Pour onto the dark chocolate.

Step 2 – Let it sit for a minute or two, and then stir with a spatula until all melted and glossy

Step 3 – Use it however way you like it! I just simply hold the cakes upside down and drown them into this chocolate bath!

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What is next? EAT THEM!

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The best gift for my parents for Christmas. Congratulations to my sister! (a simple macaron tower with hand made mini cupcakes)

How wonderful to see my sister getting married to her loved one. And even better it is just before Christmas! This is certainly the best gift for my dear parents. My dad, despite fighting against a rare illness and a quiet gentleman, he was over the moon. I cannot put into words how happy we were as a family. It was truly an amazing day and many memorable moments.

To celebrate this big day for my lovely sister and brother in law, I had a lot of help from my in laws. As a team we made 80 Lemon Drizzle & Poppy Seeds Cupcakes, 80 Ginger & Cinnamon Cupcakes and close to 300 Macarons of combinations of Rum, Rose and Orange Chocolate.   And yes all these were created in my kitchen and in less than 3 days. That was really a lot of work from putting together the flowers for the macaron tower to the last minute assembly of the dessert table. Well, at least for us amateurs it was a challenge.

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It was my father in law who made the cupcakes. I am no expert in cupcakes, and in fact I have probably only made a few dozens in my cooking life. We followed a very simple recipe from the BBC website. The magic for the lemon poppy seeds was to inject drops of lemon syrup into the warm cupcakes (use a small knife to make a small cut in each of the cupcakes to soak in the drizzle). And of course a good amount of lemon juice and lemon rind into the frosting. You cannot skip the lemon rind. The oil from the rind is the core of the amazing lemon aroma and flavour. I use 1 part butter, 1 part icing sugar, and very generous amount of fresh lemon juice and rind. Do taste it as you go along and get to the taste that you like.

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Th ginger ones were basically of the same recipe, but this time we added candied ginger and a pinch of cinnamon in it.

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Now moving onto the macarons, I thought it would be good to use a macaron display shelf instead of making a tower with a polystyrene cone (see my post on how to make a macaron tower). I was a little worried that people might mistaken a cone as backdrop and not eating the macarons. Silly thought it might be, the display shelf has been proved to be an excellent idea! I got mine from http://www.aliexpress.com and I think I paid around USD 30 for one.

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The assembly was very smooth and it only took minutes to set the whole thing up. I highly recommend this macaron display shelf for any home bakers. Excellent way to show your macarons with minimum effort.

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It worked really well!

Okay shall I share one filling’s recipe with you? Shall we see how I made the Rum Macaron Filling?

Here you go:

100g 35% or above White Chocolate (buttons or chopped into small pieces)

100g Whipping Cream

10g Dark Rum (I think I used more than this …..)

Step 1 – Bring the cream to boil and then pour into the white chocolate. Set aside for a minute or two, and then stir it slowly to melt all the white chocolate.

Step 2 – Add the rum a few drops at a time and gently fold into the ganache. Taste it until you get the strength of the rum you like. Remember to do this very slowly or the ganache would curdle.

Step 3 – Once cooled, put that into the fridge overnight.

Step 4 – Next day, use an electric mixer to whisk the ganache until fluffy and light. This is now ready for piping!

Once again, congratulations to my sister and my brother in law! And big thanks to my in laws for all of your help!