I’ve had requests from a lot of people for some stuff that’s a bit “different”. Well, that’s not really the right word. To sum it up I’m going to do a series of bakes to fit into a “free from” range. Once a month I will do something that could be classed as “free from” i.e. Vegan, gluten free, diabetes friendly etc. To kick things off I’ve gone for a double whammy, which is Gluten Free Diabetic Friendly White Chocolate and Pecan Brownies. I told my friend Steph ages ago that I’d do her some diabetic friendly bakes so this one took priority. This is the first time I’ve tried my hand at an intentionally gluten free recipe. But damn, it’s good. The brownies are wonderfully chewy and flavourful. The white chocolate (despite being a fairly small amount in comparison to many brownie recipes) comes through well as do the pecans. This is the first time I’ve baked with rice flour. It’s also the first time I’ve baked with just plain margarine instead of butter/oil for ages.
It took me a couple of tries to get these just right and a couple of points I’m going to raise now are these. You *have* to line the bottom of the tray to make sure that you can get these out without them sticking to the bottom. Also, they will look like they are done after about 20 minutes, but make sure you bake them for the full 30 minutes!
Gluten Free White Chocolate and Pecan Brownies (Diabetic Friendly)
Update time! At last! It’s been a couple of weeks since my last proper update. And well, it’s been a very busy few weeks. From bank holiday shenanigans, to all sorts of gigs and hangs, to a trip to Belgium for Groezrock and jaunts to various bits of the country. Groezrock was the most fun I think I’ve had at a festival ever. And I’ve been to about 20 or something silly like that. It included some of my favourite bands, some of my closest friends and very long (7 years!) overdue Myspace meet-up (HI STEPH. Yup, those are still a thing, even though I deleted mine about 4 years ago).
However, the baking as still continued, even if the blogging hasn’t. So it’s past time that I actually uploaded a recipe. I’ve got a couple more to come soon (I hope). I’m going to start doing a gluten free/diabetes themed bake once a month and the first of those will be up later this week (White chocolate and pecan gluten free blondies). The recipe that I’m uploading now however, is Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes. These were done on request for the American lady at work. It was her birthday and she requested a full Boston Cream Pie, which to take in to work and divide out amongst workmates would have just been too awkward/messy. So I decided on individual cupcakes. The key with these is the cream filling, which needs to be properly thick and creamy. Not just your standard whipped cream. Then the topping needs to be a proper chocolate ganache.
These went down a storm and I earned a few brownie points along the way. I found the recipe here. I also have cup measurers now, so as I’m feeling ultra lazy I’m not going to convert from them (for now) sorry! I may at a later date.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 2 pieces
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Cupcakes:
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into 12 pieces
¾ cup whole milk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Glaze:
¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup light corn syrup
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Start with the Pastry Cream. Heat the cream in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Bring it to a gentle simmer stirring frequently.
Meanwhile beat together the yolks, salt and sugar. Add the cornstarch and whisk until it’s yellow and thick.
When the cream has reached its full simmer whisk in the yolk mixture. Returning it to the heat and whisking constantly for about 1 to 2 minutes until it’s thick and glossy.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla extract until the butter is completely melted. Pour in to a bowl and push clingfilm onto the top of it. Place in the fridge to set. This will take at least 2 hours.
For the cupcakes. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Line a muffin tray with cases.
In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar baking powder and salt. Add the butter one small piece at a time and continue to mix on a low speed until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
Add the eggs one at a time. Beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides after each one.
Add the milk and vanilla, increasing the speed of your mixer to medium and beat until it’s light and fluffy (around 3 minutes). There should be no lumps remaining.
Fill the cases ¾ full and place in the middle of the pre-heated oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes. A tooth pick inserted into the middle should come out clean. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the Ganache. Combine the cream, corn syrup, chocolate and vanilla in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stirring constantly to prevent it from catching. Mix until the mixture is completely smooth. Set aside and allow to cool/thicken at room temperature, at least 30 minutes.
Assembling the cakes. Using a small knife cut a small circle from the middle of the cake, about half way down into the cake. Carefully take this cone out and cut away most of the base so it just has a “lid” left. Using a piping bag/syringe with no nozzle, pipe the cream mixture into the centre of the cake before returning the lid and pushing down to make the top of the cake flat again.
Spoon the ganache over the top of the cakes and place in the fridge them to set.