Baking is my kind of therapy. A peaceful silence settling into the kitchen, broken only by music on the radio – yes, we have a radio, and it plays old school tunes because mum picks the channel – the hum of the oven and the gentle whir of the fan. Outside, Joey our dog happily barks at nothing in particular, except for maybe a stray bee, or else he’ll be snapping at a fly. Inside, there’s only me in socked feet, the cracking of eggs, the sifting of flour and the creaming of butter and sugar. Then I move on to beating in the dry ingredients, stirring in the milk and oil, folding in any sneaky additions – chocolate chips yes please!
Methodical. Precise. Therapeutic. Therapy was exactly what I needed (looming semester 1 year 12 exams = peaking stress levels) so baking was exactly what I did. What did I bake? Gluten free chocolate ganache filled cinnamon cupcakes.
Did you catch that? Do I need to say it again?
Gluten free chocolate ganache filled cinnamon cupcakes.
Once more for effect? Gluten free chocolate ganache filled cinnamon cupcakes.
I don’t want to do a lot of babbling today. What I do want is for you to have a baking therapy session of your own, and whip (and beat and melt and spoon and pipe) up a batch of these cupcakes.
Beware: incoming extreme cupcake close up >>>
Love your author who smeared buttercream all over her camera, Rosie.
- 100g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 125ml thickened cream
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar
- 175g brown rice flour
- 95g potato starch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 95g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 125ml milk
- 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 150g icing sugar
- 125g reserved ganache
- + sprinkles!
- Add all the ganache ingredients to a glass bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir, then microwave for another 15 seconds. Stir until smooth. Cool for 5 minutes then refrigerate for 30 minutes until thick. Weigh out 125g of ganache and set aside for the buttercream.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and fill a twelve-hole muffin pan with paper cases.
- Whisk together brown rice flour, potato starch, baking powder, spices, xanthan gum and salt, and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg whites and whip on high until foamy.
- With the motor running, add one-quarter of the flour mixture. Next add one-third of the milk. Continue adding alternate flour mixture and milk in this way until all the ingredients have been added. Scrape down the bowl and beaters, and beat again until well combined.
- Add one tablespoon of batter to each case and create an indent in the centre, spreading mixture up the sides slightly. Spoon some ganache into each hole.
- Divide remaining batter among cases, and spread mixture using the back of a spoon to cover ganache.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes until pale golden and firm to touch. Cool in tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Using an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add icing sugar and ganache and beat until smooth. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe buttercream onto cooled cakes. Decorate with sprinkles if desired.