Category Archives: Cake & Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

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Sometimes I’ll make a recipe for the first time and it’ll be perfect.

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Other times I’ll make a recipe and I can’t stop myself from playing with it. Case in point: these chocolate cupcakes from Elana Amsterdam’s Gluten-Free Cupcakes. It began as a simple affair, with mixing wet and dry ingredients together. The cupcakes, as they stand in the original recipe, are already great. I just couldn’t resist putting my own spin on it.

So I began to play with the recipe.

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I had used butter and melted it instead of grapeseed oil, because that’s what I had on hand. Then I read that using melted butter in a cake recipe can give it a muffin texture and that it’s better to cream to the butter, as the pockets of fat are distributed and melt while baking – resulting in a fluffy crumb. Well, the cupcakes with the melted butter were soft but were also kind of dense. Point proven.

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chocolate olive oil madeleines with almond or pecan flour

Chocolate Olive Oil Madeleines with Almond or Pecan Flour

chocolate olive oil madeleines with almond or pecan flour

I’m going to be the first to admit that I’ve never eaten a traditionally made madeleine. I make mention of this since I was recently asked in a comment on one of my previous madeleine recipes if they tasted like “real” madelienes.

The only madeleines I’ve eaten are the ones I’ve made and that I’ve posted here before. The only wheat-laden madeleines I’ve seen around here are at Starbucks, sealed in a plastic package and sold in threes, by the tip jar and I’ve never tried them simply because – truth be told – I like mine. (I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a snob!)

It’s almost a month since I last posted a chocolate recipe, so I hope it isn’t too soon to be posting another.

This recipe I’d actually marked down a long time ago – cough, two years ago – and only made it just this month. No time like the present, right? Everyone here has loved them and I’ve made them several times already. Using either almond flour or pecan flour doesn’t seem to make a noticeable difference in flavour, so use what you have on hand or prefer. They’re soft and moist, almost on the plush side. The olive oil works nicely with the cocoa and can be tasted even after baking (usually an issue when baking with olive oil), so be sure to use a good, quality oil.

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Shirley’s Perfect for All Occasions Pound Cake

As may be evident by my recent posts, I’ve baked hardly a thing this summer. It’s been lovely and blissful, in its own way, to not turn the oven on. Instead I’ve thrown all that energy I would for baking into making ice cream and other frozen treats. (I have one more frozen treat recipe to share, for now.) One of the last things I baked before the summer heat settled in was Shirley’s perfect pound cake.

It’s a tall order to call something perfect and this pound cake is just so. In a chat on Twitter that I had with Shirley the first time I made her recipe, she told me that one of her readers had used it to make a birthday cake. So not only is it a perfect pound cake, but also perfect for all occasions as it is flexible. Like many gluten-free folks, Shirley uses a custom-made, gluten-free flour blend. I’ve yet to use a gluten-free flour blend – whether one made from scratch with someone’s recipe or my own, or store-bought – so I converted the amount with an equal ratio of cornstarch and brown rice flour (the only kind of rice flour I had on hand at the time), based on Shirley’s flour blend, and it worked really well.

Every time I’ve made it, the pound cake has been finished within one or two days (usually only making it to the second day if I’ve saved some and hidden it away).

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