I am having a hard time listening to my own voice lately. Â The words are all the same … “Eat over your plate, please. Do not get in the pool until your sunscreen is on. Â Why did you just get in the pool without sunscreen? It’s not too hot. It’s summer. Â Don’t come back inside. Â You are not bored. Â No, we can’t get donuts. Â Get along. Â I have no idea what we’re having for dinner. Â And I don’t know when it will be ready. Â Clean up the Playmobil or I’m throwing it away. Hang up your towel. Â Hang up your bathing suit. Â No, we are not watching TV. Â If that little asshole spraying us with the water cannon doesn’t stop, I’m going to lose my shit.”
Well maybe I just *thought* the last one. Â OK, I actually said it out loud just yesterday, but it was under my breath.
But I’m doing this all without beer, people. Â Because, once again, I am not eating/drinking gluten and wheat (with the exception of a few I couldn’t turn down). Â And it’s working — miraculously, or perhaps, predictably — and my sinuses and ears have never felt better. Â I won’t bore you with the boring details though.
I haven’t done much gluten-free baking and was a little overwhelmed with the combination of flours and ingredients that one must use in order to approximate wheat flour. Â Sorghum, potato, corn, xanthan gum … just not your normal pantry ingredients. Â I’m starting to stock up, but I really liked the idea of a one flour, whole grain solution when I saw a chocolate cupcake recipe on the back of the Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa Flour. Â I’m sure I’ll get into the science experiments eventually (when I have Â a huge pantry), but for now I’m going to try to keep it simple.
Beyond, I’d prefer to take a more whole foods approach to gluten-free. Â As much as I like some of the substitute products, some of the ingredient lists are terrifying. Â The cookies might be good, but I think we learned our lesson with Snackwells, didn’t we? Â These cupcakes utilize only quinoa flour, which is a complete protein and closer to a vegetable than a grain. Â I’ve modified the recipe to include chocolate chips and frosted them with a sunbutter mousse frosting. Â The texture is great and I think the quinoa flavor (which can be somewhat stronger than normal flour) is tamed by the chocolate.
And I do appreciate the irony of discussing healthy foods as I type up a recipe for cupcakes with chocolate, butter, cream cheese, sunbutter, and sugar. Â It’s still not every day food — but it’s an improvement. And forgive me, a girl needs a good chocolate treat when she’s not drinking beer.
Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Sunbutter Mousse Frosting
Cupcake recipe modified from Bob’s Red Mill
Makes one dozen with some leftover frosting
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups quinoa flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup of chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1-8 ounce package of light cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
6 T butter, softened
1/2 cup Sunbutter (or other nut butter of your choice)
1 t vanilla extract
1. Â Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Â Line a muffin or cupcake tin with twelve paper liners (or grease well).
2. Â In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and water over medium heat, stirring until melted together. Â Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder.
3. Â In a large bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar, quinoa flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Â Add in the cocoa mixture along with the two egg yolks, the vanilla, and the sour cream. Â Mix batter until combined well. Â Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Â In a separate medium bowl, beat the two egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Â Fold the beaten egg whites into the cupcake batter with a rubber spatula. Â You want it to be well combined, but you don’t want the egg whites to deflate too much.
5. Â Pour batter into prepared cupcake liners, making each cupcake about 2/3 full. Â Bake for about 15 minutes until nicely puffed and crackly on top.
6. Â While cupcakes are baking and/or cooling, make the frosting by creaming together the butter, sunbutter, and cream cheese until well mixed using an electric mixer. Â Add in the powdered sugar and mix slowly until incorporated and then turn up to high and mix until very light and fluffy. Â Mix in vanilla extract. Â Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.