Monday, 9 July 2012

Cute Cupcakes - Healthier and Gluten-Free

You can make amazing cakes suitable for anyone on a special diet or allergies with a bit of imagination and sense of adventure in the kitchen. Gluten-free and dairy/milk-free cakes can be a bit of a challenge to make tasty without loading them up with fat and sugar, which isn't going to help anyone's arthritis, so it takes a bit of creativity to get the texture and flavour right. One book that really shook up my approach to baking is Harry Eastwood's 'Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache' which is full of inspiring cake recipes made with vegetables! This recipe is adapted from one of hers and it is a great, fool-proof cupcake recipe. Try topping it with my 'World Arthritis Day Red Velvet Cake' frosting or simply serve with some fresh seasonal berries.

150g peeled and finely grated courgette/zuchinni
90g gluten free flour
1 medium free-range egg
15g ground almonds (if you want to make nut free just omit)
75g sugar (I used soft brown for a moister cake or if you want a fluffier cake, use caster sugar)
1tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla extract
Makes 6 cupcakes - easily doubled

Beat the egg and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric whisk for 3-5 minutes until pale and frothy. Add the flour, courgette, almonds (if using) vanilla and baking power and beat again until well-combined. Pour into cases and bake for about 20 minutes at 180c/350f until risen and lightly golden.

Chocolate cupcakes - use 20g cocoa powder and only 70g flour
Lemon - add the grated zest of one lemon

Arthritis diet notes
This is a pretty light cupcake recipe and much lower in saturated fat than most yet still tastes rich and fluffy. Grating the courgettes can be a bit of a pain if your hands hurt so you could use a food processor. I use a hand held electric whisk but again a stand mixer will make these much easier on than hands and wrists. Serve these with fresh fruit and yoghurt for a tasty, healthier dessert. 

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