My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!

 

 


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free

 

Entries in cupcakes (5)

Sunday
May222011

how nutty

I’ve been browsing around for gluten free dessert recipes for a few days now.  I wanted to keep things simple, so I didn’t have to buy 4 new bags of GF flour while at my parents house.  I know there are GF all-purpose flour blends, but I didn’t want to go that route either.  Not too long ago, I found Elana’s Pantry.  I’m not quite sure how it took me so long to find this amazing blog.  One of Elana’s main baking ingredients is almond flour.  Blanched almond flour to be exact. 

I did some reading on baking with almond flour and people specifically said not to use the Trader Joes Almond Meal as an almond flour sub.  You really need to use blanched almond flour when baking.  Blanched almonds have the skins removed which makes a nice, light flour.  Elana also mentioned that she has not had any luck with Bob’s Red Mill almond flour.  She said it produced a runny result.  She links to this brand in all of her recipes, and purchases it online. 

For today, I made blanched almond flour, and it didn’t turn out half bad!  I did some googling to find out a method and found that a coffee grinder works best, and a blender is your next best bet.  My parents don’t have a coffee grinder but they did have a decent blender.  It’s tricky to not over process and turn it into nut butter or not process enough which will give you almond meal.  I pulsed and scraped the blender down numerous times and only ground about 1c of blanched slivered almonds at a time.  It worked pretty well!  There were very small bits of almonds that didn’t get ground, but all in all it was a pretty soft + smooth cupcake!  You can always pass the flour through the sifter and re-grind the small pieces, but I didn’t have a sifter.

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While I found loads of good recipes + information at Elana’s blog, I decided on a recipe from Roost blog.  Such an amazingly gorgeous blog! 

Orange Blossom Cupcakes with Cashew Cream Frosting

Frosting made from cashews?  I could hardly believe it either!

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I prepared tonight’s dessert first and then got working on dinner.  My mom and I went shopping for pizza night at Whole Foods.  We bought a few of their whole wheat crusts [which I found very easy to work with], peppers, mushrooms, sausage, pepperoni, mozzerella, San Marzano pizza sauce, etc.  We were planning on grilling the pizzas because it’s so quick + causes less heat in the house.  I was the pizza maker, and my dad + I both worked the grill.

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I tore the dough in half and made a total of 6 pizzas.  Tonight, I stayed away from the gluten.  It was extremely difficult to pass up on this delicious, fresh pizza!

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The family loved it, which made me forget I couldn’t eat it. :)

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Dessert was up, and I was nervous to test this out on everyone!  My family is always really open to trying out anything I am willing to make, which makes things really fun. 

I really had no idea what to expect with this cupcake!  It looked like they baked properly, and the frosting was nice and thick, so I crossed my fingers and served them up!

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I’ve never had an almond flour baked good before, and wow is it delicious.  This was the softest, doughiest, cupcake I’ve ever eaten.  There was no lack of moisture here!  But it was in no way soggy.

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The frosting was extremely thick.  A little goes a long way!  Everyone thought it was really fun and unique and they couldn’t believe it was made from cashews. 

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You can tell how thick and moist this cupcake is.  It had a great crumb!

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I followed the recipe almost exactly, except for these few modifications:

cupcakes:

  • zest of 1 lemon, instead of orange
  • 1/2T orange juice

frosting:

  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4c honey
  • made this in a heavy-duty food processor, not a blender and worked perfectly

Since I was making this for a crowd, I wanted to sweeten up the frosting a bit.  The 1/4c of honey made it just barely sweet.  I felt it was slightly too tangy + tart from only using dates for the sweetener. 

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The flavors were perfect.  The lemon was not overpowering.  It was definitely a fun cupcake to make for my first GF baking adventure.  Also a huge success with my non-GF family!

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It’s still crazy to me that almonds can be made into flour and then made into cupcakes.  Same goes for cashews as frosting.  I can’t wait to do more experimenting!

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Time to catch some zzZZzzz’s….

Ashley

Monday
Aug092010

vegan vanillaness

Today was extremely productive!  I have so much to get done [or that I want to get done] before leaving on Thursday for the Healthy Living Summit.

Here are some blog updates:

  • recipes are current
  • page tab names are all 1 word [trying to look cleaner!]
  • popular is a new page
  • “spot me” has been renamed to spotted and is updated
  • “things I dig” has been renamed to “kitchen” because it includes all of the products + food I have in my kitchen!
  • “barefoot running” –> “barefooting”
  • you can now subscribe to the blog by email [left sidebar]
  • I took a few widgets out of the sidebars as it was looking too busy!

I still need to update my FAQ page.  Any questions you want answered? :)

Breakfast.Yum.

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Chia Stuffed Oat Bran

  • 2/3c water
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 1T chia seeds
  • 1/3c oat bran
  • 1/4c milk of choice
  1. Boil water.
  2. Add sliced half banana, cinnamon and milk.  Boil for ~1min breaking up the banana.
  3. Stir in oat bran + chia, reduce heat to simmer.
  4. Cook 3-4min, until desired consistency is reached.

Topped with fresh fruit + walnuts.  Can you believe I’m OUT of nutbutter.  Like, completely out.  I have piles of nuts but haven’t had time to make any.

I took a stab at vegan cupcakes today, and I must say, I was blown away.

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These are the best tasting vanilla cupcakes I have ever eaten.  The texture was thick, moist + cake like.  There were no crumbs left behind with these!

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They may have baked up a little funny, but don’t let that fool you.  Anyone ever have cupcakes bake like this?  There was one that turned out normal, with no weird lip around the edge.

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Oh.  And I’m working on a vegan coconut milk frosting that will knock your socks off.  The flavor was great but I couldn’t get the right consistency yet.

Frosting ingredients:

  • full fat coconut milk
  • organic powdered sugar
  • vanilla bean paste
  • coconut oil

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I demolished two of these and plenty of batter.  Chris loved them too!

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They were in the oven in 15min flat.  Easy.  Promise.

Vegan Vanilla Bean Cupcakes [adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World]

  • 1c hemp milk
  • 1t apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4c unbleached organic all-purpose flour
  • 2T arrowroot starch [Bob’s Red Mill]
  • 3/4t baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1/2c + 2T organic pure cane sugar
  • 1/3c safflower oil [or other light oil]
  • 2t vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1/4t almond extract
  1. Heat oven to 350* and line muffin pans with liner or spray with oil/flour spray.
  2. Stir milk + apple cider vinegar together and let sit for about 5-10min.  This creates a vegan buttermilk.  It should curdle a bit.  You can use a non-dairy milk that has protein in it [almond + rice milk would not work as well].  I recommend hemp milk, oat, or soy milk.
  3. Sift together flour, starch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Beat together the oil, sugar, vanilla, almond, and milk mixture in a large bowl.
  5. Pour in the dry to the wet and beat until there are no lumps.  Be careful not to over beat.
  6. Pour batter into the muffin tins 2/3 of the way full.  You should get 10-12 muffins.
  7. Bake for 20-22min.  Toothpick test.
  8. Take out of the oven and set on a cooling rack.  After 10-15min set muffins directly on cooling rack.

*If you don’t have arrowroot starch or can’t find it, you can use corn starch instead. 

The tiny amount of almond extract really brought out a lot of flavor.  I might try a little lemon extract next time for a fun twist.  Seriously, these were so cakey + delicious.  The most flavorful vanilla cupcake I’ve ever eaten.  It’s funny because I’ve had fancy cupcakes around here in Denver.  Cupcake shops that are supposed to be the cream of the crop.  And I can definitely say, this was better.  I’m not taking credit for it, but I’m so glad I found it! 

I wanted to give these a try before trying to health them up at all.  I did knock down the sugar by 2T and they were definitely still sweet enough.  I wonder what a little whole wheat pastry flour and applesauce would do to these? :)

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I think I might just stick to the real deal.

Night!

Ashley