Sunday, September 4, 2011

Babycakes Vanilla Cupcakes

I borrowed Babycakes from the library. It couldn't have come at a better time. Last night I dined with my closest girlfriends to farewell one who's off on a fabulous working adventure for the next two years. Between them they are gluten, wheat, dairy and sugar free. It threw up a few challenges. But I was determined to succeed.

The book really is lovely in terms of it's design and photography. And I wanted to believe everything would work. Alas I read some reviews and a lot of people seemed to have had quite a few issues with the results. Given the ingredients aren't overly cheap and can be difficult to source. I did a whole lot of reading prior to measuring and this is what I came up with.

Firstly you can find the cupcake recipe
here. Health food it isn't!

Notes for the cupcakes:

• I used canola oil instead of coconut oil and dark agave nectar/syrup instead of light.

• I made my own apple sauce, just by chopping apples and cooking them on the stove top until soft. I absorbed additional moisture by placing the 3/4 cup applesauce on paper towel prior to folding into batter. A lot of commercial sauces I looked at had sugar added.

• I believe you can substitute one cup of the besan (chickpea) flour for 1 cup of rice flour. I didn't, but will try it next time.

• I reduced the temp from 190C to 170C and baked for 22min. I also tried 165C for 25min. Both worked, though the lower and longer cooking time resulted in fewer cupcakes sinking in the middle.

Babycakes (Vanilla) Frosting:

Enough to cover 24 cupcakes

• 1 1/2 cups soy milk
• 3/4 cup rice or soy milk powder*
• 1 tablespoon coconut flour
• 1/4 cup agave nectar
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 cup liquid coconut oil • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
I used my kitchen aid and wouldn't do it any other way.
I added the powdered ingredients first and slowly added the wet.

However, once I added the additional 1/2 cup of coconut oil it turned into a curdled disaster, so I added

• 1 tsp xantham gum

It's an emulsifier and smoothed everything out.

The flavour was heavily soy based, so while the consistency was right, the flavour just wasn't, so I added
• 1/2 cup cocoa powder

I think I added more agave nectar to kick up the sweetness.

Next time I would:
• Use coconut or rice milk to minimise the soy flavour
• Only use 1 cup of coconut oil

The icing/frosting is quite forgiving once you get it right. For an even smoother consistency I placed the kitchen aid mixing bowl in a bowl of hot water to melt the coconut oil as it has a tendency to bead. I then beat it again until smooth.

The girls could detect a slightly different flavour, initially thinking it was ginger. But when I asked if it was 'beany' they nodded in agreement. It was commented that the cupcakes themselves were a lot less sweet, and far lighter than most gluten free treats. A thumbs up for those who do have dietary restrictions!

* I could only find soy milk powder, sourced from Sunnybrook Health Store.

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