Every fall, here in New England, I make it my business to bake with seasonal ingredients like pumpkin and cranberries and squash. This year, inspired by a new gluten free blogger friend, I decided to try my own hand at what I once might’ve considered an unorthodox combination – pumpkin and chocolate.
One of the things that I love about blogging is communicating with other bloggers who are as passionate as I am about gluten free cooking and baking. I recently had the good fortune to meet one of my gluten free buddies in person! Linsey writes a wonderful blog called Cake and Commerce. If you haven’t met her yet, please visit her blog – you’ll be so glad you did.
I arrived at our meeting place only to find that Linsey brought me a just-baked gluten free treat – Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes. Though I’m almost never at a loss for words, after taking one bite, I was speechless.
We talked, we chatted, we laughed, we drank coffee, we ate, we swooned over the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes. It was good. Very good.
I left our meeting place feeling very content. Not only did I have a new friend, but I was inspired to continue baking with more nutritious ingredients (code: leave out as much of the white gluten free flours/starches as possible and replace with high protein healthy flours/starches).
I went home and began thinking about how to replicate the taste of Linsey’s cupcake, partly inspired by Linsey, partly inspired by a new mini-bundt pan that I recently purchased at William-Sonoma, and partly inspired by a book I recently took out of the library. I must, alas, return the book, but you can be certain that I will be buying a copy of my own. The book is called Ratio and is written by Michael Ruhlman. In a nutshell, Ruhlman disects baking ingredients and their amounts used in recipes. He gives you templates which you can use almost like a blank canvas.
Soon after we met, Linsey posted the recipe for the delicious Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes she’d made for me. However, before I saw her post, I decided to try my hand at creating a similar cupcake. When we met, Linsey told me the flours/starches she used in making the cupcake, but I hadn’t written down any amounts. So, that was one piece of the puzzle that I needed to figure out.
I sat down at my kitchen counter, surrounded by several of the many gluten free and vegan cookbooks in my growing collection. I looked at one recipe after another, comparing ingredients and their amounts. What are the necessary ingredients in a cupcake or muffin? What are the ingredients that can be varied from one recipe to another?
After lots of scribbling, I decided to put on my apron. The result: the recipe I came up with includes five flours/starches – 3 of them fall into the healthy category and two of them fall into the white category (not so healthy). Mission accomplished! And it got the thumbs up sign from my husband. Make sure you visit Linsey’s blog to see the recipe that inspired today’s post on my blog.
They can be prepared iced or left without icing. Either way, step outside with a cup of joe or tea and one of these beauties, grab a chair, and enjoy the beautiful fall weather (wherever you live!).
1/3 cup millet flour
1/3 cup teff flour
1/3 cup buckwheat flour (I used light)
1/3 cup sweet rice flour (I used white)
1/3 cup tapioca starch
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/3 tsp cloves (optional)
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs (or egg replacement powder)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup vegetable oil ( used canola)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp molasses
3/4 – 1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup confectionary sugar
2 tbsp soy creamer (or soy milk or milk of choice)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp light corn syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease muffin tin (12 muffins) or mini-bundt pan (6 mini cakes).
Using a whisk, mix all dry ingredients from millet through salt in a large mixing bowl until well-blended. If there are any lumps, use your fingers to break them up.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix all of the wet ingredients together from the eggs through molasses.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Blend everything together, though be careful not to overmix the batter.
Add the chocolate chips and blend into the batter. Start with 3/4 cup of chips and add the remaining 1/4 cup if desired.
Please note that your batter will be fairly thick.
Scoop into prepared mini-bundt pan or muffin tin.
Bake 350 degrees – 28 – 30 minutes for mini-bundt pan or 20 – 25 minutes for muffins until an toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the mini-cakes or muffins can be removed without any trace of batter. Remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool. Be certain that the cakes/muffins are thoroughly cool before icing.
Measure confectionary sugar into a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the soy creamer (or milk of choice), blending with whisk to remove all lumps. Add vanilla and corn syrup. Blend well. Drizzle over cooled cakes/muffins.