Monday, September 27, 2010

Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes


We are having a blast with our out of town visitors and I apologize for my lack of commenting on other blogs but I will be back full force once my visitors leave in early October. For all of my Foodbuzz friends, rest assured I'm still keeping up as much as possible on the challenges and will be voting for all of you! 
My post today was inspired by my little sister who is here visiting from Germany. My sister was diagnosed with Celiac disease almost 10 years ago. In case you haven't heard of it, it is a autoimmune disorder which causes her to not be able to eat anything containing gluten (this includes wheat, barley, oats etc.) Considering that I don't usually have to cook gluten free, it is quite a challenge to cook for someone like this. Luckily, a lot of my day to day meals are already gluten free or can be made gluten free by a few substitutions. So far we have had my Ragu alla Bolognese (she used special noodles), my Tandoori Chicken, Taco Salad,  and a few other things she thoroughly enjoyed. I'm convinced that cooking meals from scratch helps a lot since you can control what is put into a dish. 

Unfortunately, things get a little bit harder when it comes to dessert. If I lived closer to my sister I would most definitely use and experiment with different gluten free flours, but since she is only visiting for a short time I needed to find a fuss-free recipe that would work for her and be equally tasty for everyone else eating it. Looking through a few of my books I remembered seeing a recipe for flourless chocolate cupcakes in Martha Stewart's cupcakes book. The recipe is truly super easy, requires only a handful of ingredients and turns out an amazing flavor experience. The original makes 22 cupcakes but I went with half the amount since the recipe states they are best eaten the same day and by doing so I was rewarded with exactly 12 cupcakes. Butter and bittersweet chocolate are melted in a double boiler and slightly cooled down before adding the egg yolks. Meanwhile egg whites and sugar are whisked stiff and then folded into the melted chocolate mixture. That's it! The batter is divided into paper lined muffin tins and baked at a very low temperature for about 25 minutes or until the middle is set.

The cupcakes once baked are not show pieces. In fact, they are quite ugly. At first, taken out of the oven they look like pretty little souffles but once they cool down their tops start to sink and they crack everywhere and forget about getting them out of the tin perfect looking. That's why even in the book their tops are disguised with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, which is how I served them as well. Crunchy tops, tasting like meringue with a wonderful fluffy and rich interior. This was a fantastic dessert that all of us enjoyed. It especially made me feel good that I was able to produce such a great tasting cupcake my sister could eat. She was in love with this recipe and already copied it down so she can fix it for everyone back in Germany when she gets home.

Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes
(makes 22)
Ingredients:

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips)
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
Ice Cream, for serving (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Melt butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water. Stir to combine, then remove bowl from heat and let cool slightly. Whisk in egg yolks.

With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until peaks are stiff and glossy but not dry (do not overbeat). Whisk one quarter of the beaten egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten; gently fold mixture into remaining whites.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until cupcakes are just set in centers, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.( their centers will sink). Cupcakes are best eaten the same day they are baked; keep at room temperature until ready to serve, topped with scoops of ice cream, if desired.

27 comments:

  1. Susi - I'm glad to hear that you have lots of visitors right now. Sounds like you and your family are having a wonderful time. Sorry to hear that your sister has celiac disease. My 3 year old son doesn't have celiac disease, but is allergic to flour; eggs; all nuts, beans and legumes, soy, beef, turkey, and pork. I know how hard it can be to find meals that everyone can eat and it can certainly be frustrating for the person who has to follow a certain diet. I think I know the special noodles that your sister uses and my son loves them as well. Sometimes we eat quite a bit of Mexican themed meals as my son can have corn tortillas and rice. I'm so glad that you were able to find this fabulous chocolate dessert that everyone could enjoy! If all else fails, there is always ice cream and popsicles. I bet your sister, and the rest of your family, would love some of your homemade ice cream :)

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  2. Woo hoo! Anything involving the word "flourless" and "chocolate" in the same sentence is going to be delicious :) Even for those of us who love flour, these seem like a decadent treat!

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  3. I want to reach in and pick off a piece of that crunchy top. Those little cakes look good! It sounds like you are a very gracious hostess. Have fun.

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  4. Susi, these turned out beautifully. I'm sure your sister appreciates your care and concern. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  5. Nice post. I have some food allergies myself so I can appreciate how people like your sister must feel. It's really great to see some allergy-free recipe post.

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  6. The melting ice cream just makes it looks even better and how interesting..no flour! looks awesome! I'm sure your guests enjoyed the food your prepared.

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  7. I once went gluten free for six months - it was real hard to find desserts that tasted good. But these look wonderful Susi! They have lots of character. I like the idea of serving them with ice cream too.

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  8. These are perfect for a kids party! May have to try these for my son's birthday party at kindergarten :) Happy your sister is having a great time, who wouldn't with a great host like you. Can I come visit, too?

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  9. These cupcakes look yumm! I love the scoop of ice cream on top:) Your sister is lucky to have such a caring sister:)

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  10. Schoen, dass Deine Schwester zu Besuch ist. Ich freue mich auch immer ueber Besuch von daheim. Also, als ugly wuerde ich Deine Cupcakes nun nicht bezeichnen. Hautscahe sie haben geschmeckt!
    Probier doch auch mal diesen Schokokuchen, solange Deine Schwester noch das ist. Der ist super koestlich und geht ganz schnell.

    http://thecastlerockincook.blogspot.com/2010/04/flourless-chocolate-cake-with-almonds.html

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  11. I bet these are great! A friend of mine is gluten free and I'm always looking for treats I can make that she can share. Thanks!

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  12. I thought you might like to know that there is a group called French Fridays with Dorie that is cooking their way through Dorie's new book. I remember reading that you loved the book. The group starts posting this Friday with gourgeres.

    http://www.frenchfridayswithdorie.com/

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  13. thank God for a sister like you! even though the cupcakes look wonky, after the way you just described them I want one in each hand and snack away! the ice cream is just a bonus! great job Susi. I love your blog!

    P.s. I started laughing when I read your comment! I had so much fun with the kids this morning. They, of course, had to have their own pirate moustaches and then my son looks up at me and says, "mommy, you look funny". funny as "weird" funny. oh, my, they are realizing the truth.

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  14. What a great idea to use a recipe that's flourless instead of having to purchase gluten-free flour for a short-term solution so that everyone could enjoy the same dessert too.

    You're what sisters are supposed to be all about. :)

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  15. I am not celiac, but I like GF recipes because I can then modify them to make them low carb. This one's a keeper, thanks for sharing!

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  16. ice cream topped chocolate cupcake.....mmm. few things are better.

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  17. I like the scoop of ice cream on top;) This is a great way to serve flourless chocolate cake in a perfectly portioned serving- a cupcake, nice recipe, thanks for sharing.

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  18. Thanks for this recipe Susi. I especially love the scoop of ice cream on top.

    Joanne

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  19. Love the flourless cupcakes. Enjoy your sister and all your visitors. It's wonderful to spend time with family and feed them too!

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  20. These look amazing, enjoy your company & look forward to ur next culinary adventure!!

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  21. Celiacs is definitely not dessert friendly :( My boyfriends father suffers from the disease so I'm always looking for good flourless desserts! Thanks for sharing :)

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  22. These cupcakes look awesome, esp. that one with the ice cream atop!

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  23. How sweet of you to make flourless chocolate cupcakes for your sister! I can't even imagine how hard it must be to have Celiac. Thank goodness for a wonderful sister like you.

    I think they look absolutely delicious. I'd be ready to dig into one (or two dozen) of those delicious cupcakes with ice cream. YUM!

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  24. Oh my...these look delightful! I love flourless cake...so rich and yummy!

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  25. I think they look fabulous, and that scoop of ice cream just puts it over the top!!

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  26. Cupcake. Chocolate. Enough said for me! These look great. KG

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