Thursday, April 12, 2012

Flourless Chocolate and Hazelnut cupcakes

Sometimes a regular cupcake just won't do.  Sometime, you  need it to be more like a fancy chocolate, decadent, rich, moist and full of sinful pleasures from top to bottom.  Sometimes, you just need an excuse to make the most chocolatey gooey cupcakes.  This day came, when I decided to make a gluten free cupcake for a chocoholic friend.  What better excuse to make a flour-less cupcake?  

Flourless cakes are my favourite.  I can't go past a small slice of moist, dense cake.  Putting them into cupcake form was a great idea.  These cakes are not the kind of cakes you just keep on eating.  They are very rich!  I made them into fairy cake size, which is halfway between a mini cupcake/muffin size, and a "normal" cupcake (muffin) size.  I would say this is ideal, they are a decent hit of chocolatey goodness, and yet, you could probably have 2 and get away with it ;)  I will not judge you if you had to eat more than that! 

Don't be fooled by the light colour, under the delicate crust lies a dark, moist chocolate experience
Because of the high sugar (and no flour) content, the cake remains dense and moist inside, whilst forming a delicate, lighter sugary crust on top.  

If you can't find ready ground hazelnuts, just throw a whole bunch of raw hazelnuts in a food processor until finely ground.  If you're doing this, you might leave about 30 grams of them slightly less ground, to provide texture :) 

WARNING! Just because they contain no flour does not make them low carb.  They contain plenty of sugar and chocolate.
Made about 25 fairy cake sized cupcakes.

200g dark chocolate, chopped
150g butter, chopped
6 eggs, separated
170g caster sugar
150g hazelnut meal (ground hazelnuts - see above note)

Preheat oven to 170°C (don’t use fan force). Arrange the cupcake liners into a muffin tray.

Combine chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until melted. Set aside to cool slightly

Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and creamy. Add chocolate mixture and beat to combine:

Beat in the hazelnut meal:

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Stir one-third of egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Gently fold the remainder through chocolate mixture:

Spoon into prepared pans and bake for about 20 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre has moist crumbs clinging. Allow to cool completely before icing.

I topped these with a dark chocolate ganache that I whipped to make a lovely chocolate mousse – recipe to follow.


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