31 March 2011

Gluten-Free Recipe: Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes

One of my favorite things about my social life is the book club I started with some girlfriends in Fall 2009. After spending an evening with my friends Michelle and Emily eating frozen yogurt, drinking wine and discussing books and boys, I suggested we make it a more regular, formal activity. Over a year and a half later, we're still going strong! It's been so much fun to meet friends of friends from other areas of their life. Not everyone makes every meeting, not everyone finishes every book, but there is always plenty of food, wine and conversation at the Beantown Book Club.

For our March BBC meeting, Emily had her heart set on baking fellow Boston bloggers We Are Not Martha recipe for Red Wine Cupcakes. Being the thoughtful dear she is, she contacted me to ask how difficult it would be to make them gluten-free. At this point, I have basically mastered the art of modifying traditional recipes to be gluten-free, but I've had nearly a year of practice and invested in expensive ingredients. Emily was also very busy so I offered to make the cupcakes, frosting them with my leftover birthday cake frosting (which Michelle was obsessed with). The results were a huge hit! I loved the dark chocolate combined with the very sweet, fruity Shiraz and tangy raspberry frosting. As Michelle and I learned the hard way the next day, these cupcakes do not keep well. I am not a chemist or food scientist, but something about the wine must cause the cake to spoil. So these delicious cupcakes unfortunately cannot be made ahead of time.

Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes
(yields 12 cupcakes)

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
1/3 cup chocolate chips (I used 60% bittersweet)
1/3 cup boiling water
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 red wine  (I used Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz 2009)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a heatproof bowl, combine the cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Slowly add the boiling water, whisking until chocolate is melted completely.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt.

In a electric stand mixer or large bowl, cream butter and sugar until combined. Beat in each egg one at a time. Slowly add flour mixture, stirring constantly. Alternate adding the chocolate and red wine to the batter, until entirely combined. Scoop batter into papered muffin tins, filling nearly to the top. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely then frost with your frosting of choice.

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