Everyday Small Things


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Face ya Food: Chocolate peanut butter cupcake bites with peanut butter frosting

These cupcakes are based on the cake recipe that started me off on bean baking (baking with legumous beans as a gluten free, high protein alternative)– I’ve played it straight, messed with quantities, gone Black Forest, chillified it, red-velvet-and-cream-cheesed it, made it as muffins… it’s never failed me and it’s spectacularly easy.

Today being Independence Day, peanut butter cups seemed appropriate. Packed with fibre, protein and good fats, and super-cute to boot. Love.

peanut butter cupcakes

Chocolate peanut butter cupcake bites with peanut butter frosting

Makes: 40-50 cupcake bites

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20-40 minutes  – oven or cupcake maker

Dietary: Gluten and dairy free, contain eggs.

Before you start: These cupcakes are super-easy if you have a food processor, a bit harder if you’re using a blender, and can’t be done with a stick blender (or no blender at all). I adapted them, over several stages, from a cake recipe on another blog; I’ve made the cake several times as a layer cake and also as muffins and it’s always amazing. I’ve halved the quantities for these mini-mini cupcakes but just ask if you want the muffin/cake recipe.

These really are bite-size – the mini cupcake cases I got were so small I think they probably held half the capacity of my (brand-new-had-to-use-immediately) mini-cupcake maker’s pockets – if you find bigger mini-muffin cases they’ll easily be twice the size (though still dinky) and of course make half the quantity. For the sake of your sanity, do, do use cases.

Ingredients

Cupcake mix

  • 1 cup cooked OR ¾ can black bean, drained and rinsed very well
  • 3 small eggs
  • ½ Tbsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 3 Tbsps coconut oil
  • ¼ + 1/8 cup maple syrup, honey or agave nectar
  • 4 Tbsps cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsps natural peanut butter
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ Tbsp water

Peanut butter frosting

  • 80gm natural peanut butter
  • 80gm coconut oil
  • 100gm unrefined cane powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Tiny pinch sea salt
  • ½ Tbsp liquid – soy milk and/or lemon juice (I like a bit of lemon juice to make it a bit tangy)

 Directions

Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/170°C OR turn your mini cupcake maker on. Line mini cupcake trays or lay out cases beside cupcake maker.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine all cupcake ingredients.
  • Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.  The batter may seem thin, but that’s okay. Taste-test it before pouring:  add a bit more cocoa or a bit of extra black beans to your taste.
  • Use a teaspoon to carefully fill cupcake cases two thirds full and:
    • Oven: bake for 7-10 minutes on the middle rack until the tops are springy. Check them at 5 minutes in case your oven cooks fast. (Note: If your oven has a top element, place a tray or sheet of baking paper on the rack above them after 4 minutes to stop the tops from overcooking). Remove the cupcakes from the oven, cool for 5 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely before decorating.
    • Cupcake maker: carefully but quickly place a filled cupcake case in each pocket; close lid and cook for seven minutes, until tender and springy. Remove quickly with a silicone spoon and leave to cool, fill up the machine again and repeat until you run out of cupcakes.

Frosting

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Beat with an electric beater for five minutes then leave in the fridge until cupcakes are cool. Whip again quickly with a spoon to soften before frosting.
  • Decorate each cupcake with a small blob of frosting (blob, scoop, swirl or pipe it on!) – you don’t need much as the frosting is very sweet and not entirely necessary – they’re pretty tasty plain. If you prefer, just dust with a bit of icing sugar before service. Store in the fridge overnight. Note: you can also frost just before serving.

Please try these out and let us know if you think they are as fabulous as we do!

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(Cook) Book Review: Gweneth Paltrow’s “It’s all good” is really ALL GOOD

imageCookbook Gweneth Paltrow 3

Eight reasons why I would recommend this book:

1.  Healthy & Clean food

All the food in this book is exactly the type that I like to eat.  Clean.  Fresh.  Seasonal.  Low GI.  High Protein.  Not highly processed.  Lots of low-gluten options.  And most of all really tasty!!!  Gwyneth and her friend/co-author Julia Turshen must have really tried and tested these recipes-Thanks G & J.

2.  Normal, easy to find ingredients

So far I have known every ingredient and can also buy them all in my local supermarket!  Necessity!
3.  Never-fail basic recipes 

I’ve found as I have been introducing new ingredients such as quinoa into my diet I have had a lot of mishaps.  Lets just say there has been a lot of uneaten quinoa that has landed in the bin!  But they have included detailed recipes to make ‘perfect’ versions.  Simple and easy to follow too.  The most useful to me, in case you hadn’t guessed, is the Quinoa recipe.  I actually like the stuff now 😉

Other basic recipes include:  Stocks, Go-to recipes like tomato sauce, Soaking almonds and goji berries, pickles, sauces and cooking eggs three ways – among a few other recipes.

4.  Covers everything

There is a recipe for almost every occasion.  Dinners during the week.  Celebrations.  Food for kids.  Drinks.

The chapters are well organised into morning time, salads, soups, birds and meat, fish, vegetables, grains, drinks, kids’, sweets.  And as you’ll see below these fit well into the weekly menu plans!

There are comments and explanations on how to convert to metric too!

5.  Foreword by an actual expert

Sometimes in these celebrity cookbooks, the foreword is by another celebrity friend about how great they all are.  But alongside the forewords by Gweneth and Julia there is one by Dr Habib Sadeghi and Osteopathic physician.  OK so that doesn’t necessarily make him the most expert of dietary experts but he does provide a clear and useful explanation as to the benefits of this type of diet.  He links the scientific medical understanding of modern diets with different religious views of food.  Personally my views of food  have been changing from a love/hate relationship with this stuff that can make me fat/skinny to a more holistic view of food fuelling and empowering my body to be happy, healthy and strong.  This links in with the spiritual idea the doctor discusses.  So I learned a few new things and appreciated having some background information from a real scientific expert.

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6.  Weekly Menu Plans

There are four weekly menu plans linked to recipes in the book.  They include a body-builder, detox, family-friendly and a vegan week.  I love a menu plan I must admit.  I really search for inspiration during the week.  Also I try to get my food organised on a weekend and these plans can just save so much time.  Additionally for some reason I find I am more likely to try cooking something I wouldn’t otherwise… and this is the best way to find new favourite meals!  Yay and we all love a favourite meal!

7.  Suitable for different dietary needs

If you have specific dietary needs then they have tried to help by clearly labelling each recipe with little icons to identify each recipe as suitable for an elimination diet, vegan diet or as a protein-packed meal.
8.  Looks great!

The book has a really great feel.  Some funny, random photos of Gwyneth don’t seem to stick out like a sore thumb somehow.  The food looks delicious and inviting and the recipes are easy to follow!

Overall I really recommend this read.  I didn’t really want to like the book as much as I did,  but it is getting a lot of cooktop time at the moment so it really is all good!

What is your favourite cookbook?  Why?