Thursday, December 15, 2011

Quite Convenient Cupcakes

Apparently, today is National Cupcake Day. Clever, situating a holiday around one of the cutest (and ome would say sneakiest) delivery devices of fat and sugar on the planet. I also find it slightly ironic that a day as decadent as this one is right smack dab in the middle of the "stuff your face" season, where really we should all be trying to keep our diets in check (or at least practicing moderation!).
 
Then again, when have I been one to eschew the goodness and happiness a baked good can bring to the world? Thankfully, I didn't have to make yet another sweet treat to share with the blogosphere - I had a recipe in my files I had been meaning to post for ages and now had the opportunity to bust it out! Remember back when I was busy waxing poetic about this year's Autism gala cake, packing any fora I had available with step by step, "new parent"-esque photos? Well, somewhere in the middle of all that kerfuffle I managed to squeeze out a dozen of these gluten and casein free goodies for donation as well.
 
Why gluten and casein free? Well, although it is not a cure for the anomaly (I hesitate to call it a "disorder" or "disease" as I know many individuals who are fully capable of independent and contributory living), numerous research reports have detailed the benefits of excluding these proteins from the autistic diet. Given that my standard cake contribution to the event is anything but GF/CF, and knowing that a good portion of that evening's attendees were relatives (if not parents) and caregivers of autistic individuals, I wanted to donate something that they could bid on and take home for their entire family to enjoy without worry.

Sadly, these deliciously orange-packed cakelets are not entirely a creation of my own design. That honour goes to the Gluten Free Goddess Karina, who's blog I spent many an hour paging through looking for a goodie that would be simple enough to pull off and elegant enough to dress up for a gala performance. When I saw her exquisitely detailed recipe for Frosted Orange Creme Cupcakes I knew I had my star. A couple mini-tweaks and a piping bag later the cupcakes were done, frosted and sparkling in their monotonal orange glory. The lack of colour differential was no mistake on my part either. One of the things I picked up over my year at holistic nutrition college was that many people who fall on the Spectrum of autism related disorders have issues with overstimulation from external triggers, not the least being the food on their plate. Last year, a group of food bloggers held an awareness event to that effect, so you can check out the associated blogs for more info if you're interested.

So enjoy these fruity, sweet, tangy cupcakes - regardless of whether you're in need of the modifications or not. Their flavour is perfect for any season and you don't need a special occasion to dig in!

Orange Cr̬me Cupcakes РGFCF
Makes 12
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp honey (or agave nectar)
juice of 2 oranges
1 tbsp Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with ¼ cup warm water
1 tbsp pure vanilla
½ cup sorghum flour
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ cup potato starch (not potato flour!)
½ cup arrowroot starch
½ cup sugar
3 packets stevia
¼ tsp sea salt
pinch nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp guar gum
zest of 1 orange

Frosting
¼ cup shortening
1 tbsp Southern Comfort
zest of ½ orange
3 drops natural yellow food colour (optional)
2 drops natural red food colour (optional)
2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp orange juice (as needed)
Orange sprinkles or sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a twelve cupcake/muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. With electric beaters, beat oil, honey, orange juice, egg replacer and vanilla until well blended.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and beat on medium speed for two minutes.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (I found 20 to be perfect), until slightly tender but not squishy.
  5. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes and cool on a wire rack. 
Frosting:
  1. Beat shortening, Southern Comfort, orange zest, and food colour (if using) on medium high until smooth.
  2. Sift in the sugar slowly until incorporated. Add orange juice as needed to make the frosting smooth and creamy.
  3. Pipe frosting on cupcakes and sprinkle with decorations.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 251.6
Total Fat: 6.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 1.2 mg
Total Carbs: 47.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.4 g
Protein: 1.2 g