Sunday, 21 August 2011

Year of the Cupcake #2 - Gluten Free Rose and Pistachio Cupcakes

Well, it's August and it's time for my next installment of -


Mum began to suspect quite recently that she is actually gluten intolerant. Testing has shown that she does not suffer from Coeliacs but has nonetheless been alleviated of many, many health problems ranging from stomach cramps to joint swelling, insomnia and exacerbated back pain (it's already screwed, but it had been getting worse, and suddenly, it's good again!)) in the fortnight she has not been eating glutinous foods.

So, thoughtful daughter that I am, I opted to make this month's cupcakes gluten free, as well as last month's. Mainly thoughtful about my own waistline, truth be told, because if I'd made them with wheaten flour then I would have been doomed to consume the entire batch more or less on my own, which would really have set me back on this whole weight loss thing. I gained weight this week anyway. Boo. Imagine how bad it **could** have been, though! Oh, my, it would probably have been something akin to this:

homer simpson eats donuts in hell more more more 300x225 6 Devil ish Foods That Everyone In Lincoln Should Know Will Wreck Havoc In Your Weight Loss Goals in Lincoln Ne.

(replace Homer with me, the doughnuts with cupcakes, and the Devil with... yeah, okay, the Devil. The Devil made me do it! Ahh, personal responsibility: threatening weight loss since [insert arbitrary date in the mid to late nineteen hundreds, when weight gain hit popular culture as being a growing health problem (and beauty problem) for society]!)

Anyway, to the recipe:

1c canola oil (I used olive oil cos it's all we had, and I think this made it denser and richer)
1 1/2c castor sugar
2 eggs
1c (280g) natural yoghurt
2c self-raising, gluten free flour, sifted (as I do with regular flour, I used plain GF flour with baking powder added - 2 tsp per cup of flour, and be sure to use a baking powder without gluten! I think the Ward one is fine, but Anchor is not)
1tbsp + 1tsp rosewater (I used rosewater essence. Add 1tbsp first and then add more to your taste)
1/2 tsp Xanthan gum

250g butter (room temperature)
500g pure icing sugar, sifted
3tbsp chopped pistachios
green food colouring

Preheat oven to 200oC. Put 18 cupcake wrappers out in cupcake/muffin tray. Beat oil, castor sugar and eggs in a bowl using an electric mixer until well combined.

Looks yum already, doesn't it! And I wasn't tempted to stick my finger in and eat the mixture as I usually am at this stage (maybe because it has oil and not butter. Nowhere near as fun!)

Add yoghurt, followed by flour (in several batches - mix xanthan gum and baking powder (if you're using it) into the flour first to distribute it more evenly) and then the rosewater.

Divide amongst cupcake wrappers (about 2 soup spoons' worth each will divide it amongst 18 wrappers).

Bake for five minutes at 200oC then turn it down to 180oC and bake for another ten to fifteen minutes or so before beginning to check. Cakes are done when a skewer comes out clean (moist crumbs is okay, wet batter is not). Cool.

The cupcakes will be quite flat because that's how GF baked goods tend to turn out (and also why you crank the oven for the first five minutes - apparently the heat gives it a boost and makes it rise faster in the beginning so that it doesn't fall as badly in the end).

Beat the butter with the sifted icing sugar until all nice and whipped and pretty. Meanwhile chop the pistachios to about this size, so that they don't come as a nasty surprise when someone bites into the cupcake:

Add the pistachios to the mix, then gloat over your new Americolor food colourings.

I ordered this student colour kit online from Baking Pleasures. I'm addicted to these sorts of stores. It's dangerous.

So many pretty colours! As I look at this lineup, I'm dreaming of making macarons in all the colours of the rainbow. I dream about such things at very odd moments. I may order more of their colours at a later date...

I ordered these because a) I'm doing a lot of baking in Melbourne now, and mum only has her old liquid colours, and b) because I heard that they were the amongst the best gel colours on the market, oh and c) I'm a grot, and the fact they come in a squeeze bottle and don't require you messing about scooping the gel out of a tub like you have to with the Wilton colours really appealed to me.

I still managed to get it on my hands, mind you, but it happened when I was pulling the seal off the bottle and not when I was using it. So there.

Anyway, add a drop or two to the icing and beat it in, then pipe the icing onto the cakes using a super-fat nozzle.

Et, voila! (<-- me pretending to speak French. I don't. Except for asking for chocolate bread or coffee or whether anyone speaks English. Yep, I'm one of those tourists. In France, at least)

They're quite sweet and quite rich (might be the frosting contributing to it, but the cake is pretty rich on its own) but if you're a fan of rose flavouring then give these a whirl. All guinea pigs so far have approved.

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