When Diane of The W.H.O.L.E. Gang announced she was hosting Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free, with the theme Scared Silly: food that we were scared to try, but really had no reason to as soon as we tried it (and liked it), I wasn’t sure. To my knowledge, I’ve never been afraid to try anything; add to that, there’s hardly a food I don’t like. It’s effort to think of foods I don’t like. But when I started thinking of food that I like or love, in an unfamiliar context, then I started to think. The first thing that came to mind was avocado in chocolate: while I’ve expressed enthusiasm to try it many a time, warming to the idea of using it as a replacement for cream in recipes, I just didn’t do it. So far it was just all talk, but no walk – I decided to change that.
So, with an avocado in hand, I went out to make frosting for cupcakes that I had made the day before. My family loves these cupcakes – to me, they’re a good, gluten-free version of a standard vanilla cake or cupcake you could find anywhere. How did I do with the frosting? Well, everyone who has tried it so far has liked it – the only thing I don’t do is tell anyone there’s avocado in it until they try, unless I know they’re the adventurous type.
And with that said, make this my Halloween post for the year.
Chocolate Cream Icing
Adapted from The Crazy Kitchen
2 ripe avocados
1/2 cup honey
4 tbsp. cocoa powder, natural or Dutched/alkalized
A dollop or two of coconut milk
Scoop out the flesh of the avocado, throwing away the skin and pit (unless you want to try to grow an avocado tree…?) and puree with the honey and cocoa powder in a food processor. Add coconut milk and puree again to mix. If necessary, adjust the sweetening to your taste. You could also do this by hand, mashing the avocado until it’s a smooth paste and mixing with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
I would also like to try making these cupcakes with millet flour, though I haven’t done so yet. I would use 1/2 cup of the rice flour, 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, and 1/3 cup millet flour. When I do, I’ll report back and tweak the recipe as necessary. Personally, I like the cupcakes with the custard better (cupcake on the left in the photo above), though the one made without the custard rises a little more and is domed – you can also observe a chemical reaction in the batter, too, so it makes it great for making with kids. (My brother loves to watch chemical reactions in baking or cooking.)
Makes 7 or 8 cupcakes (I double this recipe to get a more substantial amount for my troupe)
1/2 cup white or sweet rice flour
2/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup dairy-free custard (optional, see head notes and instructions)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
6 tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a standard muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
Version #1: (with custard) Blend the rice flour and cornstarch together in a bowl. Form a well in the centre of the flour with your hands. Crack the eggs into the well and whisk with a fork to break up the yolks with the whites. Add coconut milk, custard, extracts, and honey, mixing while drawing in the flour blend until all the ingredients are completely mixed. Add salt and baking soda. This batter will be similar to a very thick custard in consistency.
Version #2: (without custard) Blend the rice flour and cornstarch together in a bowl. Form a well in the centre of flour with your hands. Crack the eggs into the well and whisk with a form to break up the yolks with the whites. Add coconut milk, extracts, and honey, mixing while drawing in the flour blend until all the ingredients are completely mixed. Add the salt and baking soda. Bubbles will start forming on the surface, unlike the version with the custard. The consistency will be a thick, smooth consistency.
Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling halfway full. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to let cool completely. Once room temperature, ice with the chocolate cream icing if you choose to. Enjoy!