With Valentine’s Day coming up I was in the mood to create something decadent…and pink! These Dark Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes definitely fit the bill. They’re completely grain, gluten and refined sugar-free so you can indulge without any of the guilt. Sweetened only with a bit of honey, they’re the perfect treat to have with a cup of coffee or after dinner and they wont leave you with a sugar crash!When making the Dark Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes, the first step is to preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Then line a muffin tin with cupcake cases. For this recipe I found Freeze Dried Cherries so the next step was to grind these up in a pestle and mortar until you have a fine powder. (You can omit this ingredient altogether if you can’t find it. I just think it gives a lovely flavour to the spongy bit of the cupcake).
Next, chop up the 100% Cacao Chocolate and the dried cherries into small pieces. This is my favourite brand but I have a list of suitable chocolate on my Food Products page, most of which are available in supermarkets. It just needs to not have any milk or sugars in it. Also, make sure the dried cherries don’t have any sugar in them too. This brand, Urban Fruit, is a great one.Next, add the almond flour, eggs, melted coconut oil, vanilla essence, honey and cherry powder to a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Stir through the chocolate chunks and dried cherries to ensure they are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
Once everything is mixed well, add the bicarbonate of soda and mix again. Fill the cupcake cases about 2/3 full with the mixture. This recipe makes 12 smallish cupcakes or 8 larger muffin sized ones. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean after it’s been inserted. Keep an eye on the cupcakes while they’re baking. Almond flour tends to burn quite easily. If the tops look like they are starting to brown too much, cover them with a piece of tin foil.
When the cupcakes are cooked, remove from the muffin tin and let them cool on a wire rack. You can stop at this point and I promise you they will still be delicious. However I decided that I’d try to make these cupcakes even more decadent! I’ve made plenty of other cupcakes before. My Lemon & Poppyseed ones are a personal favorite, but I’ve never tried making frosting before so I thought I’d experiment with that too.
Frosting is easy when you can eat sugar but honey doesn’t react in the same way so I’d have to have a re-think. I decided to try two different methods…at least one had to work! The first icing that I tried to make was a Cream Cheese Frosting. This was fairly simple as I just mixed 100g cream cheese with 2 tsps honey. (You could use dripped yoghurt if you’re on the SCD diet). I can’t believe I’ve never tried this before and now I can’t wait to use it on my Carrot Cake & Date Muffins. It was absolutely delicious.
The second frosting I decided to try was an Italian Meringue version. This was a bit more involved than the Cream Cheese Frosting. I boiled 1/4 cup honey over a medium heat until it changed from pale yellow to a golden colour. Then I whipped up two egg whites with 1/2 tsp lemon juice. When the egg whites had nearly reached the stiff peak stage I drizzled in the hot honey slowly, while the whisk was still going. Then, I added the rest of the freeze dried cherry powder to give it a pink colour.
I then popped both mixtures in separate piping bags. I topped half of the Dark Chocolate Cherry Muffins with the Cream Cheese Frosting and half with the Italian Meringue Frosting. Both worked well and piped beautifully but my preference was for the Cream Cheese Frosting. The Italian Meringue Frosting also fell flat after a few hours. Due to the nature of the whipped eggs whites, they will lose the air after a while and deflate. Make sure you frost the cupcakes close to the time you will eat them if you choose this version.
I promise there’s a Frosting post coming soon that goes into more depth about how to make each version…and a few other versions too!
Preheat oven to 180C (350F) and line a muffin tin with cupcake cases.
Grind up the freeze dried cherries in a pestle and mortar until you have a fine powder.
Chop up the chocolate and the dried cherries into small pieces.
Add the almond flour, eggs, melted coconut oil, vanilla essence, honey and cherry powder to a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.
Stir through the chocolate chunks and dried cherries to ensure they are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
Add the bicarbonate of soda and mix again.
Fill the cupcake cases about 2/3 full with the mixture.
Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean after it's been inserted. Keep an eye on the muffins as almond flour tends to burn quite easily. If the tops look like they are starting to brown too much, cover with a piece of tin foil.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Frost if desired. I chose to frost half of mine with my Cream Cheese Frosting and half with my Italian Meringue Frosting. I then topped them with grated chocolate, freeze dried cherry powder and a freeze dried cherry.
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Allergy & Dietary Information for Dark Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
This recipe for Dark Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes is Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Refined-Sugar Free & Dairy-Free. It’s also suitable for Vegetarian & Paleo Diets.
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