So the Great South African Bake-Off is upon us (finally, technical issues aside). Obviously no one can replace Paul Hollywood, and I am not yet as committed to this series as I am to the British version, but it is early days still. I decided that I must bake an item every week inspired by the South African Bake Off, and that the recipe has to come from this fabulous new book “Flourless” (more on the book later). So let us begin on page 66 with gluten-free chocolate soufflé cupcakes.
- 170 grams dark chocolate
- 6 tbsp/85 grams unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 6 tbsp/50grams granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Dark chocolate frosting
- ½ cup/115 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 115 grams chocolate, melted
- 1 cup/100 grams confectioners (icing) sugar
Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a 12 cup cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
Put the chocolate and butter in a heavy saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring, until fully melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and cool to lukewarm (alternatively I used a double boiler).
In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture is very thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Beat in the chocolate, salt and vanilla. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed with an electric mixer until medium-firm peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in three additions, folding until no white streaks remain.
Divide the batter among the cups, filling each about three-quarters of the way. Bake until the tops are puffed and dry to the touch and a tester inserted into the centre comes out mostly clean, with some moist crumbs attached, 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let sit in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter on high speed until light and fluffy, then add the melted chocolate, Add the icing sugar, a little at a time, until well blended. When ready, spread each cupcake with a generous amount of frosting.
The verdict? These are just great and the frosting alone is rather wonderful. In the original recipe the cupcakes are topped with salted caramel buttercream. I thought it might be a little too rich (even for me) and so I switched to the dark chocolate frosting… but the salted caramel buttercream is just shrieking out to be made! I actually want to try and bake these cupcakes in mini spring form tins, as I think they could form part of an impressive individual chocolate trio dinner party dessert, if it works of course (#maketime).
And to the book “Flourless” by Nicole Spiridakis. What attracted me to this book is that every recipe is naturally gluten-free, using eggs, nut flours and other gluten-free ingredients. Nothing is made with gluten-free flour (which I prefer not to bake with), and apart from the odd recipe with oats (I cannot tolerate oats, gluten-free certified or not), every page is a recipe that needs to be, and shall be, baked.