Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chocolate cupcakes - gluten free, dairy free, nut free and cane sugar free!

Wow, it's been another big break from this blog. I've had a huge health change which has really impacted my relationship with cooking, baking and food. About two weeks after my birthday I was diagnosed with a chronic auto-immune disease which means I now really have to change my diet. For the next few months, I'm avoiding gluten, dairy, cane-sugar, nuts, preservatives, colourings, dried fruit and the list goes on. At first you can imagine how this put me off baking. But I've finally gotten back to feeling positive and found a delicious chocolate cupcake recipe to satisfy my sweet tooth.  They're sweetened with natural agave (look for it in health food stores) and contain no gluten or dairy.   The good thing is they actually taste perfectly normal! I was dreading tasting them, but honestly they taste just as yummy as regular cupcakes!

Please note, that from now on I will be more consistent with blogging. I will also be posting regular recipes too because my family still loves their buttercream, chocolate, nuts and general deliciousness..

Ingredients (which you can find at grocery stores and health food stores)
5 tablespoons dairy free butter (ie. margarine, nuttlex)
2/3 cup light organic agave syrup
30g unsweetened vegan chocolate (or chocolate sweetened with agave)
2 organic eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (ensure it doesn't contain sucrose)
1/2 cup gluten free self-raising flour
1/2 cup organic unsweetened gluten-free cocoa

Method
Preheat oven to 170 degrees (fan-forced).  Prepare 12 hole muffin tray.  In a saucepan on low heat, melt the butter and chocolate together.  Remove from heat and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and cocoa together.  Add agave to the melted butter mixture, followed by the eggs which you can whisk in; then add to the dry ingredients.  Mix together well and spoon into muffin tray.  Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cool, spread some unsweetened organic chocolate on top cupcakes for icing.

QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS POST:
What chocolate do I use?
For general eating, I love the chocolate from an Australia company called "Conscious Chocolate."  Even though it's incredibly expensive, the texture and taste makes it worth it! I also used their chocolate for the icing on these cupcakes.  For baking, however, I use the chocolate from "Loving Earth"   simply because it's cheaper and the texture is better for baking.  

What is agave and where can I find it? What brand do you use? 
Agave is a nectar from an agave plant.  It doesn't have a strong, identifiable taste in baking unlike honey or syrup.  Whilst it is a natural product and from a plant, it still has calories and does affect your blood sugar levels. I bought it at an organic/health shop.  Look for your closest one via the internet.  I use light agave syrup from "Loving Earth" .  

What gluten-free flour do you use?
I use a shop-bought flour from the "Gluten Free Company" which contains potato starch, white rice flour, and some raising agent.

Will you post more gluten-free, dairy free, cane-sugar free, organic recipes?
Yes I am required to eat like this for the next 3 months or more.  If you want me to find a recipe suitable for your allergy/health, simply leave a comment below.

Will you still post regular recipes like before?
Yes! My family loves regular recipes which contain normal flour, cane sugar, nuts, cream etc etc! Also I will be able to eat these ingredients again one day.


28 comments:

  1. Brittany I am sorry about your chronic auto-immune disease but I am quite sure you will successfully overcome it. This recipe sounds quite delicious and just shows what can be done despite not being able to eat many things. Good luck and I hope that you soon feel fighting fit again. Diane

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  2. Brittany, sorry to hear about your chronic auto-immune disease. You are right about feeling positive. Hopefully you will recover from it soon.
    The cupcake looks wonderful and yummy! Look forward to more bakes from you. Take care!

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  3. Sorry to hear about that and hopefully with changing the diet you will feel better. Nice to see you posting. That cupcake looks moist and tasty.

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  4. These do look delicious! Good luck on your quest to better health. We could probably all improve our diets a bit!

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  5. I'm sorry to hear about your dietary challenges, but it sounds like you're tackling them with a good nature. Looking forward to your future posts!

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  6. For being GF they sure do look moist and delicious! It stinks that there are so many people developing intolerances and allergies nowadays. I really think it is due to GMO's leading to much higher gluten levels in wheat and also processed foods.

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  7. Really fabulous and looks tempting! Hope you'll soon overcome this dietary challenge....

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  8. I would lovwe to sink my teeth into one of these lush cupcakes - yum!

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  9. Wow these look delicious!http://missbbobochic.blogspot.com/

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  10. These cupcakes look really delicious, gluten free or not! I'm saving the recipe to make for a good friend- she has had wonderful results from a gluten free diet for her auto immune problems. I hope the change does wonders for you as well. :)

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  11. It's great to see you again Brittany. So sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Sounds like you are tackling it well. This cupcake looks amazing. Look forward to reading what you come up with next. Have a great weekend :)

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  12. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving a lovely comment!

    http://missbbobochic.blogspot.com/

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  13. Im happy you come back dear Britatny, I really miss you, and so sorry about your health hope you feeling better soon!! :) gloria

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  14. For a guilt free cupcake this looks awesome! Great work

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  15. Glad you're back - I've missed your sunny updates. Hope you're getting back on track with your health

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  16. I've heard people say gluten free is missing something - I absolutely don't see anything missing in these lovely cupcakes.

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  17. I'm sorry to hear about your health issues! Your cupcakes look so positively delicious despite all your restrictions. You're doing a great job adapting!

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  18. These cupcakes look delicious and I am glad you found something satisfying on a very restrictive diet. I hope you are well!

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  19. Nice to hear from you again! I'm sorry for your new imposed diet, but your cooking is still gret even with the restrictions!

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  20. I've heard of agave but have not use it before. This recipe is indeed a great recipe. It will be handy if I need to serve a cake to a guest that needs a restrictive diet.

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  21. you have to avoid so much--i'm not sure i'd survive it! :) the good news is that there are so many alternative options these days, you'll be able to change your diet with a little more ease than those in the past. stay strong! :)

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  22. You are an amazing young woman with a great attitude. I think that this is a case of life giving you lemons and you developing recipes for lemonaid!

    These look delicious... best wishes to you, mon amie~

    Bises,
    Genie

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  23. Oh no, Brittany, I'm so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Recently, one of my colleague has also obtained the same diagnosis. I have been helping him in suggesting dishes according to his restrictions. Glad to see you back and stay strong, see it as a new culinary challenge, creating delicious food with a restrictive diet. It is feasible, several food blogs manage to do it, you can do it.

    Cheers,
    - Victor

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  24. With all that "free" stuff, what's in those cupcakes........plastique? HA
    V

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  25. Sorry to hear about that diagnosis. I'm glad you're feeling more positive now and are back to baking. Your allergen-free cupcake looks delicious. I'm glad it tasted good as well.

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  26. Sorry to hear that you have not been well, that seems like such a restrictive diet but I guess from a positive view you are creative and I'm sure you will manage to come up with some delicious alternatives.

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  27. Gee, sorry to hear about your autoimmune issue! I guess we'll be commiserating together what with my Hashimoto's! I am still missing gluten goodies. Hope your restriction doesn't have to be lifelong! Though I'm sure you'd more than meet the challenge to bake yummy desserts that meet your restrictions!

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