Rainbow cupcakes with raspberry buttercream

A really nice coworker made me “cupcakes” for my birthday:

So of course I had to try to top her and make something even more awesome for the next person’s birthday. I went with rainbow cupcakes with raspberry buttercream.

I used version II of the white cake recipe from “The Joy of Cooking” as my cupcake recipe. I wouldn’t suggest using this recipe. You lose some of the loft from handling the batter so much for these cupcakes. Now I know.

Here’s what the plain batter looks like:

I used standard food dye to make the colors:

And you can be damn straight that I put the colored batters in the right order:

The buttercream. The person who actually had the birthday told me that she liked raspberry. So I made raspberry buttercream.

Raspberry Buttercream
1. In a small sauce pan cook down about 12 ounces of berries. I didn’t have 12 full ounces of raspberries, so I put some blueberries and blackberries in too. You want to cook this until it’s pretty thick. The directions I followed suggest down to 1/4 cup, but I lost patience and stopped before then. Let it cool.

2. Sift/filter (what word am I looking for?!?) out the seeds.

3. Cream 1 stick of butter.

4. As the mixer is going, add in batches, 2 cups powdered sugar, the sauce, and 1/2 tsp lemon juice. Blend until smooth.

5. Add another 1.5 cups powdered sugar, or to taste and desired consistency.

Yellow gluten free cake in a cup

If something here doesn’t make sense, please ask. I’m tired. But for whatever reason, resisting going to bed. There weren’t too many versions of this online that actually looked good that I’m not going to link to any of them. But I did have an ‘ah ha’ moment when I remembered this post from Gluten Free Gobsmacked the other day. Ratios. I’m not crazy keen on the idea of baking my ratios. I’m sure it works better. I’ve got other things that are more important to me. And sifting and weighing my flours does not fall on that list. So I modded her recipe the best I could, basing it on what I’d see in some gluten-containing cake in cup recipes, and came up with the below. This was much better than my first attempt which is currently sitting in the melted garbage bag in the trash can (yes, I super cooked it so much {it didn’t look like it was cooking right?!?} that five min after taking it out of the microwave, it was still bubbling hot and melted the garbage bag when I put it in the trash, oh well). I may have overcooked this a bit, so be careful of the cooking times. But the taste was good and it’s all gone. I liked this much better than the chocolate cake in a cup that I made a while back. So much for low carb.

Gluten free yellow cake in a cup
1. Melt 4 T of butter in a large mug.
2. Add 4 T sugar and mix well.
3. Add one large egg and whisk as best you can with a fork.
4. Add 1/2 t vanilla.
5. Add the following flours, one or so at a time:
1 T potato starch
1 T brown rice flour
2 T sweet rice flour
2 T white rice flour
Mix well between each addition.
6. Add 1/8 t baking powder and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
7. Microwave in bursts, assessing how done your cake is between each. Each microwave cooks different, and I’m sure the mug you use will also affect timing. Mine was something like 45 seconds, 45s, 25s. I do wish after the first microwaving that I’d added chocolate chips in (not at the start, because they’ll just all sink). But I forgot. So after I turned the cake out into a bowl I just sprinkled on chocolate chips. Either way, it’s all gone now and I’m feeling guilty for the amount of refined carbs I just ate.

Chocolate Bark

Eating paleo/primal has been going as well as I expected it would, and I’m really not struggling with it. I know I’m not hitting it 100%, but I’m ok with that, and I’m ok with the teaspoon or so of sugar in my morning coffee. I’m sure I’ll be back to eating rice, potatoes, and some corn when the ManBeast gets back and returns to his role of cooking the majority of our evening meals. But honestly, I’m not sure it will make much of a difference either way. I don’t eat many carbs to begin with. We’ll see, always things to think about.

Made Elana’s chocolate bark Sunday night to bring with me to a practice talk Monday night. It went over well and I’m almost finished with the few pieces that were left over. I however think that I’m starting to lose some of my sweet tooth. I used to be able to down all kinds of candy, and actually enjoy them. These days, I don’t crave it nearly as much. And I’ve gotten even more snobbish with my chocolate. In an effort to cut down on how much sweets I was eating in the evening a few months ago I decided to try the suggestion of having a few pieces of high quality super dark chocolate instead. Well, I settled on 88% dark chocolate from Endangered Species, and frankly, anything less just tastes like milk chocolate to me now. *sigh* I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not.

So in making the chocolate bark I used a combination of chocolates so that I could use up some of the bars I had bought but knew I didn’t want to eat by themselves. This is reflected below.

Chocolate Bark
1. Shell 1/3 c pistachios and set aside (mine were salted). Combine with 1/3 c sweetened dried cranberries.
2. 2 cups dark chocolate chips/chunks – for me this was almost two bars of 80% plus dark chocolate broken into pieces, filling out the two cups with semisweet Ghirardelli chocolate chips. Place this is a small but wide-ish pot and melt over low heat, stirring regularly.
3. While the chocolate is melting, line a 8×8″ glass baking dish with parchment paper. And yes, you really do want to use parchment paper here.
4. When the chocolate is fully melted, carefully pour it into the parchment paper lined dish and flatten out as best you reasonably can with a spatula.
5. Sprinkle with the pistachios and cranberries and smear it around with the spatula to work them into the chocolate a little bit.
6. Sprinkle with sea salt, less (.5 tsp) (likely) if you used salted pistachios, more (1 tsp) if you didn’t.
7. Patiently let it sit and solidify for at least a few hours.
8. Because you used parchment paper, the whole shebang will come right out of the dish, and with a sharp chefs knife, cut it into chunks.
9. Nom.

GF grainless chocolate chip pumpkin brownies

That title is way too long. I think these should be renamed light and fluffy awesome bars.

This Primal Life provided the base recipe. I took some of the comments, combined them, and made the recipe my own. This recipe comes out shockingly light and fluffy. It’s definitely going in the make again pile. The only change will be to up the spice mixture to likely 2 tsp total.

0. Preheat oven to 350. If you don’t have an oven thermometer, you should get one. Our oven is at least 50 degrees off, but not consistently across the temperature range.
1. Mix well in a medium bowl
1 c almond butter (I used MaraNatha no stir chunky)
3/4 c canned pumpkin
1 egg
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 oz Baker’s semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 oz Baker’s unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2. Pour into a greased 8 x 8 in pan.
3. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a knife/toothpick inserted comes out clean. (Mine took 35 min)
Serves 8 16.

According to DailyBurn, the nutrition breakdown is (corrected 9/27/10 for cutting into 16 pieces as I did for mine):
148 calories
10.5 g fat
15 mg cholesterol
45 mg sodium
12 g carbohydrate
4 g protein
If you’d like to know more, please feel free to ask. It’s saved on DailyBurn as GF grainfree pumpkin brownies.