Baking has become a bit more difficult for me lately, as I was having some issues and had to start following a very restrictive diet. This diet is slowly coming to an end (thank god!) so I can enjoy more and more delicious things 🙂 And these muffins are one of them (or two… or twelve, haha). I was craving chocolate for months and now the time has come!
Surprisingly, these muffins contain NO SUGAR. Sugar is unfortunately the last thing I will be adding to my diet so I will still have to wait a bit. My fruit intake is also very limited so I cannot use fruit to sweeten my life a bit. But fortunately, there is a solution for that. The solution is called ERYTHRITOL which is a natural sweetener.
I don’t want this to be an article about erythritol because there are plenty of them out there, and if you wish to get detailed information, feel free to do a research. For now, I will just explain shortly: despite of the scary name, erythritol is a natural sugar alcohol. It can be naturally found in some fruits and other foods (like corn, for example). The advantage of erythritol is that it’s natural and it doesn’t affect the level of blood sugar, so it’s a suitable sweetener if you cannot eat sugar at all.
And for me, the biggest advantage is that in baking it behaves pretty much like sugar and it doesn’t leave any aftertaste. Great, isn’t it? 🙂
Can I just use sugar?
If you don’t have any dietary restrictions regarding sugar, feel free to use it. Just bear in mind that erythritol is a bit less sweet (it’s between 60% and 80% of sweetness of sugar) so if you decide to use sugar, put a bit less.
Ingredients for 12 big guys
70 g brown rice flour
60 g buckwheat flour
70 g ground walnuts
2 tea spoons of baking powder
120 g erythritol (or a bit less sugar)
50 g cocoa powder
80 g vegetable oil
320 g white yogurt
110 g – 120 g courgette, grated and squeezed
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
How to bake them (super easy)
Line a muffin tin with paper cups and start preheating your oven (170°C).
Peel a courgette, grate it and squeeze excessive water out of it. It should now have about 110 g – 120 g. The weight of the courgette before this depends on how juicy it is; I used slightly more than half of a medium sized courgette.
In one bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.
In another bowl, mix eggs, oil and yogurt and then incorporate the grated courgette.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ones and mix all together (just with a spoon is enough).
Divide the batter evenly into prepared muffin cups and place in the preheated oven.
Bake at 170°C cca 30 minutes (that might vary slightly depending on your oven). You can use a toothpick to see if it comes out clean.
Eat. Or maybe wait until they cool down a bit (that applies for all food. You don’t want to burn your tongue like somebody who is definitely not me).
If you want to use different flour, I think this recipe is open to experiments, so if you have a favourite gluten free mix and you want to use it, go for it. Just be careful about the amount in case it absorbs more liquid.
Decorate them with yogurt to turn them into beautiful, healthy cupcakes! Mix white yogurt with some ground walnuts and ground chia seeds. Let it sit for a while until it thickens and you can decorate! I count with about 40 g of yogurt for a cupcake but the amount of chia seeds would be very individual because it basically depends on thickness of the yogurt you are using.
Recently I’ve been working on easy, simple recipes. I wanted to create something you can make within reasonable time, quite easily without going crazy gathering lots of ingredients you don’t normally have at home. Also, haven’t you been ever disappointed when you found a recipe for something you really wanted to eat, but it turned out it had to be prepared a day ahead?
Of course, sometimes it’s necessary. And in those cases it’s normally worth it. But sometimes we need the dessert for this afternoon, for whatever the reason is. That’s why I like muffins (and cupcakes) because they don’t require a lot of difficult preparations and they are baked in 25 minutes.
So I came up with this recipe for chocolate chip muffins. I call them triple chocolate because they contain cocoa and then dark chocolate chips and ruby chocolate chips. Ruby chocolate is quite new and it’s really delicious, but don’t worry if you don’t have it, you can simply use white or milk chocolate. Or any kind of chocolate you prefer.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 25 minutes
For 12 muffins we need
3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup ground walnuts
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 table spoons of cocoa powder
1/4 teaspon xanthan (optional)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 (not completely full) cup milk or yoghurt
chocolate chips of your choice
I normally use my walnut rule, like for example in this recipe. Here I increased the amount of walnuts to be the same as the amount of flour. I did it to balance the presence of cocoa powder in the batter.
If you are looking at the picture of the ingredients and have a feeling it’s different from the recipe, it’s because I was making smaller amount of muffins, so don’t get confused please 🙂
I put xanthan gum as “glue” but if for example you cannot eat it, just omit it.
The amount of chocolate chips depends on you. I used approx. a handfull of chocolate chips (in total) for 8 muffins.
How to bake it
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Prepare muffin liners in the muffin tin.
In a bigger bowl, mix all the dry ingredients: flour, ground walnuts, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder and xanthan (if you’re using it).
In another bowl, whisk wet ingredients: first eggs and milk (or yoghurt) and then add the oil and combine.
Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon or spatula until you create smooth batter.
Add chocolate chips and combine all together.
Using a spoon, divide the batter into the muffin forms and bake for about 25 minutes.
That’s how easy it is! The best is to eat them fresh, when the chocolate chunks are still a bit melted. But they are really good anyhow 🙂 With an afternoon cup of coffee or tea or as a sweet breakfast. Enjoy!
I’ll be happy to hear any feedback from you, if you decide to bake them or if you have any questions. Just leave a comment!
Oh my god, it’s green! 🙂 It’s green, fluffy and full of fruit… and spinach. Yes, spinach. I wouldn’t expect spinach to be a part of a cake, but when you think about it, why not? When we can use carrots, beetroot, courgettes, pumpkins… why couldn’t we use spinach? So the cake is called forest moss because it looks like fairies from a forest made it 😀 I was planning it for a while, but I kept postponing it for a perfect moment. I wanted wild berries from the forest. You can of course use any kind of fruit, but if you have a chance, don’t hesitate to use wild blueberries, because the taste and the colour are exceptional 🙂
Just to let you know, I had to go for a hike to obtain the berries. It’s more than 2 hours walking up the hill (picking raspberries on the way), then 2 hours of picking blueberries (fighting flies, wasps, ants and other dangerous animals) and going back. This year I completely underestimated the situation, because although it wasn’t sunny, the sun found a way through the clouds and I came back with sunburns. I also forgot I am not 20 anymore and that I spent last 4 months at home in lockdown 😀
But the cake definitely made me feel better 🙂 Here’s how you make it:
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 70 minutes + decorating
120g fresh spinach
5 eggs – divided
120ml vegetable oil
200g granulated sugar
130g gluten free flour (I used Doves Farm)
130g almond flour
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
For the cream:
300ml fresh cream
Before you start baking
This amount is for 22 cm cake form. The final cake will be smaller though – the beauty of this cake is in the green colour and that’s visible only when you cut off the edges. So I baked it in the the form of 22 cm and then used a slightly smaller form to cut the cake. Keep the edges to make small crumbs for the top.
I used quite a lot of cream and mascarpone because I love the cream and I also decided to make some extra decorating for the top. If you prefer only small layer of cream, you don’t have to go that crazy 🙂
Berries – as I said, I used the ones I got in the forest. They are not as sweet so there is a contrast with the cream and cake. They also have more colour. But whatever fruit you use, I’m sure it’s gonna fit beautifully.
Let’s bake it!
First wash the spinach a let it dry (or help the drying process using a kitchen towel).
Preheat the oven to 180°C and prepare the cake form – line the bottom of it with baking parchment.
Place spinach and half of the oil into a food processor and mix it until smooth.
Divide eggs into yolks and whites. Beat the egg yolks with half of the sugar until pale and fluffy.
Add the other half of oil, vanilla extract and then gradually whisk in the dry ingredients – flour with baking powder and almond flour.
Now it’s spinach time – pour the spinach paste into the mixture and combine. It’s gonna have a fresh green colour 🙂
In another bowl, start whipping the egg whites. First on lower speed, and when it becomes “foamy”, gradually add the other half of sugar, increase the speed and whip until firm.
With a spatula, gently and carefully combine the two mixtures together. The result will be a light green colour batter. Pour the batter into the cake form, even the surface and place in the preheated oven.
Bake 20 minutes, than lower the temperature to 160°C and bake for about 50 minutes more, depending on your oven. The cake will rise and will be slightly brown/golden on the top.
Let the cake cool down on a cooling rack and cut it in two slices. The colour really surprised me, it really didn’t look green at all on the top! It made me so happy 😀 You also have to cut off the edges of the cake, so it looks green from the sides, and you might need to level the top too.
When the cake cools down completely, prepare the cream and fruit. Put the berries in a bowl and mash them a bit. Not completely, just a bit so they release some juice.
In another bowl, beat mascarpone, cream and few spoons of sugar (depending on your taste). Spread the cream on the first half of the cake, add berries and cover with the other half of the cake.
Spread more cream over the top of the cake. Sprinkle evenly with cake crumbs made of the parts you had cut off. It’s gonna resemble forest moss 🙂 Decorate with berries.
I added some more cream decorations on the top. The same way I made strawberry cream for strawberry cupcakes, I made blueberry cream for this cake. I processed freeze dried blueberries in food processor to create blueberry powder and I mixed it in the mascarpone cream. It was delicious 🙂
Another good thing about this cake is that it’s suitable for any occasion. It could be really good even as a birthday cake or unusual wedding cake. You can check a short video on my instagram, it shows how nicely fluffy the sponge is.
I’d be really happy to hear any feedback or questions! 🙂
Strawberry season is on and every year I want to bake all the strawberry desserts and cakes I think of. This year I discovered these cupcakes and I already made them twice (and honestly I think I might bake them once more before strawberries are gone). The award for the biggest surprise of this strawberry season definitely goes to them.
And I wouldn’t be probably thinking about making them if I could just get all purpose gluten free flour in a store as always. But a few weeks ago all gluten free flour just disappeared from stores and all I found was the last bag of brown rice flour. I got it not being sure how I am going to use it and then I found it. Strawberry muffins. I adjusted the recipe and decided to promote them to cupcakes.
Preparation time: 15 min
Baking time: 25 min
What you need for a dozen cupcakes:
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup ground walnuts
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tea spoons baking powder
1/4 tea spoon xanthan (optional)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 (not completely full) cup milk or yoghurt
cca 150g fresh strawberries
For the cream:
Before you start
I really like the brown rice flour here. But if you want to replace it with white rice flour, I think it would also work.
I use the flour- walnut rule like in the carrot cake. That means if you want to use less walnuts (or none), add more flour and vice versa. Just make sure it makes 1 cup and a half together. Also I don’t recommend to use more walnuts than flour.
I put xanthan as a “glue”. It’s not absolutely necessary.
You can either use milk or yoghurt or mix it together “half-half” as I did 🙂
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Prepare cupcake form and line it with cupcake liners.
Prepare the strawberries: cut them into small pieces.
In one bowl, whisk wet ingredients together: first eggs and milk/yoghurt and then add the oil. It doesn’t have to be absolutely smooth, just until the ingredients are combined.
In a bigger bowl, mix all the dry ingredients: flour, walnuts, sugar, baking powder, xanthan.
Now pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones. Mix together with a spoon or a spatula until you have smooth batter.
Add the strawberry pieces and slightly mix them into the batter.
With a spoon, divide the batter into the cupcake forms.
Bake about 25-30 minutes, depending on your oven. They should grow and be nicely golden on the top 🙂
When they cool down a bit, remove them from the tray and transfer them on a cooling rack.
When they cool down, prepare the cream: in a bowl beat mascarpone and fresh cream together with sugar using electric mixer. Transfer the cream in a piping bag and decorate your cupcakes 🙂
If you omit the cream, they are delicious as breakfast muffins.
The second time I made them I decided to put some strawberry flavour into the cream. I used freeze dried strawberries for that: I simply threw them into a food processor and blended them into a powder and then I added a few tea spoons of it in the cream. It worked magically. The cream was light pink and actually it tasted like artificial flavouring but it was real 😀 Highly recommended 🙂
Cheesecake, the classic of classics 🙂 However, in my country, it doesn’t really have any tradition. Especially older generations don’t really trust in a cake made of cheese. My grandmother was kind of the same. She used to bake amazing stuff (and I have a lot of recipes from her) but everything modern looked a bit “suspicious” to her. When she got sick, she stopped feeling like eating desserts; that was a big change because until that point she had a habit of “coffee and dessert” every afternoon.
One day I was going to visit her, and because I just had baked a cheesecake, I packed few pieces for her, just in case. She opened the box and tasted a bit. She liked it that much that she kept eating until she finished one piece, eating it straight from the box 😀 So this cake can do wonders! My grandmother fell in love with cheesecake and so did everybody else who tried it.
This time I decided to add some lime and combine it with blackberries. It worked so well together!
I recommend to bake the cake in water bath, same like the black beast cake. That means wrapping the cake form in aluminium foil and baking it in another baking dish filled with water. This is to prevent the cake from cracking. Another option is to just put a baking dish to the bottom of the oven, it will evaporate and create steamy environment. You can try what works better for you. Sometimes it’s alchemy and the cake cracks anyway… 🙂
The cake needs some time to set in the fridge, so it’s better to prepare it the day before you want to eat it. I know all the waiting sucks, but in this case it’s really worth it 🙂
Let’s bake it!
First prepare the cake form. Grease it with butter and wrap it around outside with aluminium foil, in several layers, so the water cannot go through to the cake.
Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Melt butter. Put the biscuits into a food processor and mix them into small crumbles. Add the melted butter and mix together. I also like to add a spoon of cocoa, but that’s optional.
Press the mixture onto the bottom of the cake from.
Bake the crust about 10 minutes, take it out of the oven and let it cool.
Now the cheesecake part: Mix cream cheese, sour cream and sugar in a bowl and beat it with electric mixer until creamy and smooth. Zest the lime and squeeze the juice and add both to the mixture.
Add the cornstarch and incorporate it into the batter.
Add eggs gradually; make sure the egg is well blended before adding the next one.
Pour the mixture over the crust, move it a bit to make it flat and even.
Place the form in another baking dish and fill the dish with water halfway up the cake. Bake at 170°C for about 55 minutes. If you see the cake is raising too much or is about to crack, lower the temperature to 160°C. Turn the oven off when you see the cake is golden on the top but still a bit wobbly in the middle. Open the door of the oven, but leave the cake still there until it cools down a bit.
Remove the cake from the oven, be careful with the water. Remove the aluminium foil and let the cake cool down completely, ideally overnight.
When the cake is cold, it’s time for the blackberry sauce! Put fresh or frozen blackberries in a small saucepan, add sugar and warm it over low heat, stirring occasionally. The amount of sugar depends on you. Add one spoon first and then you can add more if you feel it’s not sweet enough. I had frozen blackberries I had picked in the forest last year, and some of them were a bit sour 🙂
The blackberries will start releasing the juice. Boil them a bit (about 2 minutes or until they are completely defrosted) and then transfer them into a food processor to blend them.
Pour the blended blackberries through a strainer to eliminate the seeds. Put the sauce back to the saucepan. Now it’s time to add the cornstarch: take one teaspoon of cornstarch and mix it with 2 tablespoons of water in a glass. Warm the sauce over low heat, add cornstarch mixture and bring to boil, whisking the sauce slowly. Boil shortly, 1 or 2 minutes and then remove from the heat.
The cornstarch will make the sauce thicken and it will also thicken a bit when it cools down, but it will still remain soft.
Spread the sauce over the top of the cake. You can also decorate it with some fresh berries.
Last step: eat it 🙂
More tips: Store the cake in the fridge, but leave it at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.
Me, straight after baking the cake: “The cake is too big, we will have to share with somebody.”
Also me (two days later, after not sharing with anybody, eating the last piece): “I wish the cake was bigger…”
Have you baked the cake? Let me know if you liked it!
This is the ultimate chocolate cake. It is probably the most chocolate thing besides chocolate itself 😀 The name is French and it means “Black Beast”. The advantage of this cake is that it’s completely flourless. The disadvantage is… oh, wait, there is none 🙂
If you are a chocolate lover, you must try it. It’s very rich, but your tastebuds will appreciate every single bite.
Preparation time: 30 min
Baking time: 50 min (+ chill)
Here’s what you need:
For the cake:
450g dark chocolate
1 cup of water (200ml)
3/4 cup of sugar
For chocolate ganache:
200ml whipping cream
Before you start baking:
The result depends on the chocolate you use. I recommend chocolate with about 70% of cocoa, and the better quality, the better cake. You can use dark chocolate also for that ganache, but I like to use sweeter one (about 40%-50% of cocoa).
This cake is baked in water bath. That means putting the cake form in another baking dish with water.
First prepare the cake form. Line the bottom of the form with baking paper and butter the paper and the sides of the form. Now get some aluminium foil and wrap it around outside the form, in several layers. The purpose of this is to avoid water getting to the cake.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
In a small saucepan, combine a cup of water and sugar – this will create sugar syrup. Bring to boil and slowly simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Cut chocolate and butter into pieces and place them into a bowl. Put the bowl over another saucepan with water – the bottom of the bowl shouldn’t touch the water! Heat it up, slowly. The chocolate-butter mixture will start melting. Stir it occasionally until it’s smooth.
Whisk the sugar syrup into the chocolate mixture.
Let the mixture cool down a bit and then gradually add eggs, one after another, until they are fully incorporated in the batter.
Pour the mixture into the cake form, place the form in another baking dish and fill the dish with water, halfway up the cake form.
Bake about 50 minutes. The cake is ready when the centre no longer moves when you shake the baking pan.
Transfer the cake to a cooling rack. Be very careful removing the cake from the boiling water!
When the cake cools down completely, it’s time for chocolate ganache. Pour the cream into a sauce pan and bring almost to boil – then remove from the heat and add chocolate pieces. Mix until smooth. You can pour it over the cake while it’s still in the form, I decided to take the cake out to have it also on the sides 🙂
The ganache needs to set in the fridge, that should take about 2 hours. You can also leave it overnight, if you manage not to eat it straight 🙂
The cake is absolutely amazing with a bit of whipped cream and fresh fruit. Also, it should be stored in the fridge but served at room temperature.