So many people seem to be allergic to wheat gluten these days, including my sister, my sister-in-law and her sister (who's technically not related then I guess?). One of my aunt's best friends is even allergic--well she's allergic to wheat, not the gluten, but basically is gluten-free. There's even a couple gluten-free bakeries in New York right now, most famously the Babycakes Bakery, that's been featured in many publications and on TV. I don't have a problem with gluten-free baking and rather enjoy researching gluten-free recipes to accomodate my loved ones, and now that I'm living a more salubrious diet, I don't really miss the gluten despite my mom being a master baker and it's hard to resist a homemade challah when I come home to visit. However there's one problem that I've especially had to conquer: Many gluten-free desserts are very deceptively UNHEALTHY and caloric. In fact, if you look on Babycakes' website, one cupcake has over 300 calories! Therefore, I made it my mission to find a somewhat healthier but still tasty cupcake that my sister can still enjoy. Unlike Babycakes Bakery, mine aren't vegan, but they barely use any sugar and are still probably at least half the fat of one of their treats, even with the use of eggs. Just don't tell anyone the secret ingredient, which is chickpeas--people will seriously not know--and these cupcakes will not only be less caloric but they will have a substantial amount of protein as well! I got the base of this cupcake recipe from The Cupcake Project blog, and substituted some healthier ingredients in. Check it out:
Gluten-free, Dairy-free Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate-PeanutButter Hummus
Makes about 20-24 regular sized cupcakes
*Note: I used a special heart-shaped cupcake pan, which yielded about 18
1 3/8 c. garbanzo bean flour (I used Bob's Red Mill brand)
1 3/8 c. almond flour (again, I used Bob's Red Mill brand)
1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 c. stevia or stevia/sugar blend (I used Truvia brand of stevia)
2 heaping tbsp Better' n Peanut Butter (I got mine from Trader Joe's, and it has 85% less fat and 40% less calories than regular peanut butter, without any preservatives, trans fat or saturated fat, but you can use natural peanut butter with no additives if you want.)
1/2 c. light mayonnaise or Tofutti cream cheese or 0% Greek yogurt (if you're not lactose intolerant)
1/2 c. unsweetened almond milk
1 c. boiling water
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs or 1 banana, mashed (vegan alternative)
1/2 c. EVOO--Extra Virgin Olive Oil. *Note: A good substitute for baking with oil is applesauce if you'd like to try it.
Low-Fat Chocolate Peanutbutter "Nutella Hummus":
1 can of garbanzo beans (I used a 15. 5 oz can of the Goya brand) drained and rinsed several times
1 to 1 1/2 bars dark chocolate (70% or up--I like Lindt brand)
1/2 c. Better'n Peanut Butter or regular peanut butter
1/2 c. Toffuti sour cream or cream cheese
1/2 c. agave nectar (a low-glycemic natural plant sweetener used to make tequila, but feel free to use stevia instead)
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa + 3 packets of raw stevia (add more if you want it to be more chocolatey but then add more stevia or agave)
4 squares dark chocolate
1/8 c. unsweetened almond milk
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Spray muffin pan with Pam or if using normal-shaped muffin pans (I have heart shaped, dinosaur shaped, monster shaped besides the regular ones), line with aluminum cupcake liners and lightly spray liners.
3) Sift together flours, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.
4) Mix together mayonnaise or Tofutti cream cheese with the almond milk in a small bowl.
5) Add the eggs, peanut butter, olive oil, and beat until smooth before gradually adding dry ingredients.
6) Boil the water in the microwave and pour into the batter, covering the edges with a paper towel as you mix it in as it might splatter.
7) Pour into muffin tin and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until a small knife inserted comes out clean.
8) Remove from muffin tin and let cupcakes cool on a rack while the next batch bakes.
9) Meanwhile, melt chocolate with the peanut butter in a glass measuring cup in the microwave on high for about 1 minute, in two 30 second intervals, stirring the mixture together in between with a spoon until it's fully melted. *Can also melt in a double boiler if you have one.
10) Dump garbanzo beans with Tofutti sour cream and agave nectar into a food processor along with the melted chocolate-peanut butter mixture and grind until smooth and creamy (you don't want a grainy frosting with bits of beans in it).
11) Set aside in the refrigerator while rest of the cupcakes are baking.
12) After cupcakes are done, cool them off on a rack and frost them before serving.
13) For ganache, Heat chocolate almond milk for the ganache in the microwave on high in 30 second intervals for 1 minute (or melt in double boiler).
14) Spoon mixture into a small zip-lock bag.
15) Cut a small corner off of one side and close the bag. Garnish cupcakes with chocolate ganache and let the chocolate harden for a few minutes before serving.
Enjoy and Bon Appetit!