Keep Calm and Eat a Cupcake...

So today is an exciting one of my cupcakes is being featured on The Cupcake Blog!Check it out!

The cupcake that is featured is a s'more cupcake with a toasted marshmallow frosting. Yeah, it is just as good as it sounds.  I had seen some s'more cupcakes on the internet and the thought of them was enough to make me crave them for days.  So I set out to make gluten-free and dairy free s'more cupcakes.  The task a bit more daunting than I anticipated.

First off, I would need gluten-free graham crackers (This is something I need to make soon; the store bought are decent but nothing special).

Then I would need to figure out how to bake cupcakes without xanthan gum.  Xanthan gum is a processed gum that adds binding and structure to gluten-free baked goodies - basically it helps mimic gluten.  I've used this for a long time in my baking but recently noticed it would cause my stomach to hurt and just left me feeling heavy.  So I decided to bake without it.  I had read some things saying it wasn't really necessary for gluten-free baking and you can mimic the binding properties with other things (that will be another post!).

Then, I would need to make it gluten-free.   This was the fairly easy part for me as I have been working with a flour mix (inspired from some web research) that I have grown to love.  I recommend doing some research on flour mixes online before making one yourself and tailor it to your tastes.  For example, I love sorghum and dislike white rice flour (I think it's gritty and nutritionally less than stellar) so my mix contains sorghum and brown rice flour instead.  I also dislike arrowroot starch, so I tend not to use it and use other starches like potato, tapioca, and corn instead.  Basically, figure out what you like, follow some ratios (I use different ratios depending on what I bake), throw it in an container, shake, and viola - gluten-free flour mix!  We will talk more about that later.*

*An upcoming post will be about different gluten-free flours and some of their characteristics.

Anyways...back to the cupcakes....

I was really excited about these cupcakes because 1.) I love cupcakes - they are the daisies of the baked goods world and can always brighten your days, 2.) I was experimenting with a new ratio of flour mix, 3.) S'more. Enough said.

Alright, enough rambling. Time for the recipe.

S'more Cupcake with Marshmallow Frosting Adapted from Martha Stewart. These take some time and effort, but are worth it in the end. Makes 2 dozen cupcakes (or a little less of jumbo sized cupcakes) Graham Cracker Crust: 1 1/2 cups of gluten-free graham cracker crumbs (Throw some graham crackers in a food processor, whirl them around a bit, and done.  Or, place whole graham crackers in a sealed bag, grab something heavy, and get out some aggression) 2 Tbsp butter (or oil) 1 Tbsp sugar (I didn't need as much, my graham crackers were already sweet enough)

Chocolate Cupcake Batter: 1 cup sugar 1 cup brown sugar 260grams gluten-free all-purpose flour* 3/4 cocoa powder (not Dutch-process kind) 1 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 1/2 tsp baking powder pinch of salt (seriously, use salt) 2 eggs 1 cup chocolate almond milk (or whichever non-dairy or dairy chocolate milk you like) 1/2 vegetable oil (I think coconut oil would be great too) 2 tsp. vanilla extract 1 cup boiling water

Marshmallow Frosting: 6 egg whites 2 cups powdered sugar (I usually don't measure out the sugar when I make this frosting  - I add until it tastes good, some days it is more, some days it is less - use your judgment and taste buds) 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar 2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350degress F. Sift dry ingredients together (If you don't have a sifter, whirl them together in a stand mixer for a few minutes to aerate and make them come together).

This would be a good time to boil some water (Remember: boil slightly more than the recipe calls for since some will evaporate).

In a separate bowl, mix together eggs + milk + vanilla + oil.  Add to dry ingredients and mix together in a stand mixer until incorporated.

Slowly and carefully add the boiling water to the batter - mix it slowly just until incorporated.

Set the batter aside - time to make some graham cracker crusts.

Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, the oil or butter, and 2 Tbsp of sugar. Press about one tablespoon worth of crumbs into the bottom of liners with your fingers or back of a spoon (add more if you want thicker or less - just make sure the bottom is covered) Once you're finished - put the pan in the over an bake for about 5-8 minutes until golden brown.

Take the crusts out and let them cool a bit. Then fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter.  It is liquidy batter - I recommend pouring from a big liquid measuring cup.  Put those in the over for 18-20 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.  Rotate the pan half way through.

While the cupcakes are baking - whip up some marshmallow fluff!

Set up a double boiler (Fill a pot with a small layer of water, let that water simmer violently.  Next, place a glass bowl on top of said pot - make sure it doesn't touch the water!).  Heat your egg whites and sugar in double boiler until egg whites are warmed through and sugar is dissolved (careful not to whip them too much while stirring).  Next, break out the hand mixer or transfer bowl to stand mixer and whip egg whites until they form stiff peaks.  Add vanilla and whip again until they have stiff glossy peaks. Bang - marshmallow fluff. Cool, right?

After your cupcakes cool completely (this is important, otherwise you will have marshmallow goo everywhere!) put fluff into a piping bag or a Ziploc bag with a tiny hole cut out of the side.  Frost cupcakes.  For the toasted effect - break out the kitchen torch and lightly brulee the tops! (I recommend doing this at an angle as to not light the paper on fire!).

Now, dig in to that delicious cupcake.



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