Sunday, July 08, 2012

Black Forest Cupcakes: Guest Post from Against All Grain

Today you have the pleasure of hearing from my friend & neighbor, the incredibly talented Danielle from Against All Grain. I have the joy of getting to taste test several treats as Danielle is in various stages of recipe development. It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it. In search of the perfect grain-free birthday dessert, I have to say, her black forest cupcakes are pretty hard to top.

Danielle Walker is the author and creator of 
the grain-free recipe blog, Against All Grain ( She is first and foremost a devoted wife and loving mom to her wonderful husband and rambunctious toddler, but finds joy in her spare time developing tasty recipes for those on restricted diets.  Using grain-free flours such as coconut and almond flour, she creates familiar comfort foods that leave people 
with food allergies feeling satisfied rather than deprived.  Her passion is to share with everyone that eating a diet of real, healthy foods does not mean living in a world of bland and uneventfulfood. All of the recipes on Against All Grain are grain-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and low to minimal dairy.

black forest cupcakes with whipped cream frosting

You may remember the great cupcake vs muffin debate we had on Facebook a few weeks ago. I asked you which recipe you’d like to see first and it was a pretty even split, but muffins won by just a hair. I posted the recipe for my Cherry Chocolate Muffins first, and now it’s your moment cupcake lovers!
You’re probably asking yourself what the difference is between a muffin and cupcake. They are both cake like baked goods that come in a small single serving wrapper right? I’d say the biggest distinction between the two is frosting or no frosting. Muffins are also generally a little more dense than a cupcake and typically less sweet (although there are SO many exceptions to that rule!).
While I was developing this recipe, I came out with a few batches that were meant to be muffins but were just too sweet and a little too fluffy to feel like a fulfilling breakfast bread. So instead of forcing them into one category or another, I just made recipes for both!
The cupcakes use coconut oil while the muffins use cacao butter, and the cupcakes have a cherry compote filling and then are topped with a sweet whipped cream. These do fall in the center a little more than the muffins, so don’t be alarmed if they sink a bit after you’ve removed them from the oven. You’ll be filling the center and covering it up with frosting anyways!
Two little treats that seem alike, but have such different flavor profiles!
And lastly, here’s a funny little difference I read: “If you threw a cupcake against the wall, you would hear something of a ‘poof!’ If you threw a muffin, you would hear a ‘thud!’

Ingredients (yields 1 dozen)
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life for soy, dairy, and gluten free)
1/2 cup red cherries, pitted
2 cups whipped cream (either coconut or raw dairy cream)
Cherry Compote Filling
3/4 cup red cherries, chopped
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon bourbon (optional but makes it really good!)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
In a food processor, process the eggs, melted coconut oil, honey, vanilla and coconut milk until fully combined.
Add the coconut flour, almond flour, cacao powder, baking soda, and salt and process again until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then pulse a few more times to make sure everything is mixed well.
Add the whole cherries and pulse once or twice until they are roughly chopped. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup to 3/4 full.
Bake for 12-15 minutes. These are dark so it’s hard to tell when they are done by sight, but a toothpick should come out clean and the cake should bounce back when you press your finger gently into the top.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make your cherry compote by combining all of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer for 15 minutes until the cherries are soft and much of the liquid has evaporated. It will still be pretty thin, but as it cools it will turn into a thicker syrup.
Using an apple corer or just a pairing knife, remove a quarter size piece from the top of the cupcake. Be careful not to cut too deep or you’ll cut through the bottom and the filling will seep out.
Fill each cupcake with a tablespoon of the cherry filling, then pipe or spread the whipped cream over top.
*I used raw dairy cream for the photos but we’ve had them with coconut whipped cream and love them just as much. Coconut whipped cream doesn’t hold up for very long after being whipped, so try to frost the cakes no more than 30 minutes prior to serving. 
Two giveaways going on through July 9th! Enter to win: 1) two grain-free cookbooks for all your birthday (and everyday) baking needs; 2) a birthday party giveaway to Mel's shop including an invite design, 25 invites w/envelopes, 25 cupcake toppers and 25 favor tags or stickers. Two lucky winners! 

Leave a comment on this post in order to be considered. Answer the following question: cupcake or muffin?

1 comment:

Jeymmy and Jason said...

That's a tuff one, but I will go with cupcakes! :)