Easter Cupcakes…with Garbanzo Bean Flour!

20200412_124752Easter denotes goodies, aka chocolate and candy! That meant I needed to see what I had available in my cupboards, so off I took in adventurous mode through the fridge to see what I could find.

What if I used garbanzo bean flour in cupcakes? What would that taste like? I took a risk in mixing one cup of garbanzo flour with all purpose flour, including the regular baking powder and baking soda, salt, and decided to use 3/4 cup of Swerve, a sugar replacement that measures like sugar, instead of white sugar.

I found I had 1/2 papaya and 2 pieces of mango, which I liquified with a cup of water. In a separate bowl, 3 eggs were beaten with the Swerve, and about 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil.  I added the fruit mixture and mixed well. Then the dry ingredients were beaten in 3 separate batches with the wet ingredients until everything was well integrated.  The cupcake molds were filled with a large heaping tablespoon of the mixture, and in they went in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.  When I heard the timer, I rushed to the kitchen and took them out of the oven.

They glowed in their toasty exterior. I waited till they weren’t piping hot before taking one out and cutting it to see how they baked. And took a bite. Waited a second, took another bite, and thought….these are good! They are not overly sweet, and the garbanzo bean flour definitely adds lots of fiber – had I just used the garbanzo bean flour, the cupcakes would have been gluten free! Check out Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground Garbanzo Bean Flour in your local supermarket. I found mine in my neighborhood Publix. The 1 lb bag was very inexpensive, and a great buy. Swerve is also available in Publix and at Whole Foods.

I wasn’t planning on making chocolate ganache, but because the cupcakes were not very sweet, I melted a large dark chocolate bar and a bag of Trader Joe’s chocolate chips in 1/3 cup of almond milk.  And voila! After finding green and pink sprinkles and a few chocolate covered almonds, used them in a fun presentation as this year’s Easter Cupcakes! And yes, they were delicious…..I think I might still have one left to enjoy today.

A Memorable Brunch – enjoying the additional last day of February 29th, 2020

I love inviting people to join me in a good meal.  Something good happens when you put great people together around a table for a meal.  There is laughter, encouragement, stories, pictures, and even fashion shows….yes, it was an Event of all Events….brunch started at 11 and guests didn’t depart till almost 7pm….the Brunch of all Brunches! And so much fun, enjoying my friends, some of which I have known for over 25 years….that’s the best part.

And the food….yes, I woke up early, so I could pop the scones in the oven…made three different kinds – blueberry-lemon, 3 cheese, and almond-pistachio scones…..I give a huge shout out to Sally’s Baking Addiction! (www.sallysbakingaddiction.com) I had not made scones in a while and ended up using one of her suggestions to Grate Frozen Butter! Yes, I did not understand that concept until I used it, and tried the scones and me, oh, my…it makes a Huge Difference! Though I did end up using almond milk instead of heavy cream and they still turned out pretty good.

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I took 2 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s organic Superfruit spread and beat it with one 8 oz. package of cream cheese, and that became a way to elevate the taste of the scones, as I did not add much sugar to them – I actually used Swerve instead, so they were not uber sweet. The cream cheese mix just added a layer of sweetness to the scones, and that really made the cheese scones shine, as they were sliced in half, with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese in the middle and a dollop of the cream cheese – talk about scone sandwich heaven! Delish.

But there was more than just scones to share….I made two different kinds of quiches – a spinach quiche and a veggie quiche.  Out of the two, I adore the spinach quiche, as it’s about 1 1/2 lbs of spinach!

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Why do I love quiche? Let me count the ways! You can have quiche for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All you need to do is heat it up and in less than a minute, accompanied by a green salad or fruit salad or a croissant, or a scone, you have a quick delicious meal that satisfies.

This is a crust-less quiche – I started making quiches without crust a few years ago, as it helps to decrease the amount of calories. Here’s the recipe for my spinach quiche:

Chop one medium onion, and cook on stovetop till translucent. Use a dash or two of sea salt and freshly grated black peppercorn as per your taste; I added a heaping tablespoon of real bacon bits. When I drained the spinach, I mixed those ingredients together.  In a separate bowl, I used 5 eggs mixed with almond milk, and an estimated two tablespoons of heavy cream, alongside 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.  Mixed all the ingredients together, placed in the ceramic pie plate, and into the oven it went for 1 hour and 15/20 minutes at 350.  You will want to not open the oven during this time, so save this for last, as typically I will bake everything first, and put the quiche to bake last.

This was so yummy….I love spinach!

You can use the same basic ingredients and then add whatever veggies you have – for the other two quiches, I used a pint of chopped portabella mushrooms, onions, bacon, and fresh broccoli, as well as shredded 3 kinds of different cheeses.   The quiches were accompanied by a green veggie salad and a fruit salad.

 

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Last but not least, I made chocolate cupcakes, using coconut oil, Swerve and maca in this outrageously light and fluffy concoction that paired with a hot cup of coffee made my tummy happy!

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I dipped the chocolate cupcakes into a hot bowl of chocolate ganache, using Venezuelan and Colombian dark chocolate, alongside a bag of Trader Joe’s chocolate chips and using almond milk to melt it all together. After visiting Whole Foods last week, a small packet of Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut and Almond Butter caught my eye, and as I was looking to take the ganache to a different level, I added it in and made sure it was well incorporated. I sprinkled a little bit of organic coconut sugar on top…..I had one this morning and it was really delicious with a hot cup of Café Bustelo.

I love brunch, as there are innumerous options of what to make that can later become easy meals to put together.  What did you do on February 29th?

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Pineapple-Rum Cupcakes dusted with Maple Sugar

ImageSomeone did a wondrous favor for me so I decided to make the most portable gift food…cupcakes!

Wanting to create something new, I took pineapple tidbits and pureed them with their natural juice and about a third of a cup of rum.  I incorporated that into my dry ingredients, as well as 3 eggs, one stick of melted unsalted butter, and half a cup of fine sugar.  Last but not least, I used about a third cup of carbonated water…..mixed that till it was well incorporated and placed them in a 350 degree oven for 17 minutes.

For frosting, I let 8 oz. of Neufchatel cheese come to room temperature and mixed it with 3 tablespoons of fresh pineapple juice and 1 cup and a half of powdered sugar.  Frosted the cupcakes lightly and then just put a little dusting of maple sugar.

Of course I tried one….just had to…and it was good…..

 

 

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes….without sugar!

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This is the second attempt to create yummy cupcakes without sugar and I think this one is a definite winner! I found myself devouring two cupcakes…..I should have stopped with one but they are so delicious…..I used agave syrup instead of a cup of sugar – used just a little bit more than half a cup as well as one cup of purred peaches….and that added all the sweetness that this amazing chocolate cupcake needed.  Talk about light, fluffy deliciousness…..at the last minute I decided to drop some dark chocolate chips on top so that they would bake into the cupcake…..in just 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven these were done!

Mother’s Day Low-sugar Cointreau Orange-Cranberry Cupcakes with Agave Syrup!

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I have to admit that this second attempt at using agave syrup turned out quite delicious….I cannot tell that I did not use any sugar whatsoever in these cupcakes (except for the frosting).  And yes, when they came out of the oven, I was so eager to try them, that I almost burnt my tongue!  Quite delicious….I could even contemplate waiting for these to cool and then serve them with Greek yogurt for a fun, delicious and nutritious dessert to bypass the frosting…maybe include some strawberries as well!

So how did these cupcakes came to be? I opted to not use any sugar, so instead I used about 3/4 cup of agave syrup and approximately 2 tablespoons of honey, as well as a cup of pureed peaches.

Here’s what I did:

Dry Ingredients:

2 cups of all purpose flour, sifted with two teaspoons of baking soda and baking powder

Wet ingredients:

3 eggs

1 stick of unsalted butter, melted

1 cup of pureed peaches

3/4 cup of agave syrup

2 tablespoons of honey

zest of one orange

3 tablespoons of Cointreau

1/3 cup dried cranberries

In one bowl I placed the eggs, syrup, butter, honey and one cup of the pureed peaches and mixed it well.  Then in batches, the flour mixture was poured in and well mixed.  After mixing all the ingredients together, I also used about a 1/3 cup of carbonated water and mixed it in as well.

I took the dried cranberries with two tablespoons of Cointreau and placed it in the microwave and heated it for just 10 seconds.  This was poured into the bowl with all the ingredients and just mixed in with a spoon.

I had two pans lined with cupcake liners and filled them in 3/4 of the way, which were placed in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.  The trick is to make sure that the oven is at 350 when you put in the cupcakes so that they cook evenly.

After just 15 minutes, I was really interested in seeing how these cupcakes would turn out.

In the meantime, I had taken out one 8 oz. container of Neufchatel cream cheese, letting it come to room temperature, as well as one cup and a half of powdered sugar, and another 2 tablespoons of Cointreau and about one tablespoon of orange zest and beat it well – this became the frosting.

This cupcake turned out to be one of the most delicious and healthiest ones that I have ever made. 

Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all Mothers everywhere!

Psalm 128

How joyful are those who fear the Lord – all who follow His ways!
You will enjoy the fruit of your labors. How joyful and prosperous you will be!
Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home.
Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table.
That is the Lord’s blessing for those who fear him.

May the Lord continually bless you from Zion. May you see Jerusalem prosper as long as you live.
May you live to enjoy your grandchildren.
May Israel have peace!

Limoncello Cupcakes with Ghirardelli Chocolate Dusted Whipped Cream

ImageI finally made the time to make a different version of my Limoncello cake…into cupcakes!

Decided to not frost them, so I made a whipped cream, incorporating 3 tablespoons of Limoncello with half a cup of powdered sugar, and then dusting it with Ghirardelli powdered chocolate….can I say yum, yum, severely yummy dessert?

Let me share with you how I made these cupcakes:

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 stick of unsalted butter

3 eggs

1 cup of sugar

3 lemons, juiced and grated

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup Limoncello

1/2 cup carbonated water

Sift the flour with the baking soda and powder in one bowl for the dry ingredients.

In another bowl, place the eggs, sugar, melted butter, Limoncello, freshly grated lemon peel and juice, and carbonated water and beat until well incorporated.  In batches, place the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat it.  If it is too dry, use a little bit more of the carbonated water so that all the ingredients blend well together.

 

Place in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes and enjoy!!! I have a cream cheese frosting that I make the same way that I made the whipped cream…..8 oz. of Neufchatel cheese, at room temperature, beaten with one cup and a half of powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons of Limoncello and one heaping tablespoon of grated lemon peel.

Oh, what a day! And I mean last Saturday, March 24th at Tart & Berry

I had such a Great Time!  Talk about intense baking…..last Friday I ran home from work and made quite a few goodies:

  • Nespresso/Chocolate Mini-cupcakes
  • Strawberry Mini-cupcakes with fresh Strawberry/Neufchatel Cheese Frosting
  • Lemon/Key Lime Mini-Cupcakes with fresh juice
  • Chocolate & Peanut Butter Mini-cupcakes, with a hint of orange
  • Banana and Dulce de Leche Mini-cupcakes

And on the savory side

  • Parmesan, olive and sundried tomato mini-mini biscuits, and last but not least
  • Corn and black bean mini-muffins!

I had a grand time baking and what fun it was to meet so many people!  We had quite a few hundred that stopped by to taste mini-baked goodies made by yours truly, as well as try the numerous yummy yogurts and awesome paninis and salads that Tart & Berry sells!

Make sure to stop by Tart & Berry and try out their Tiramisu yogurt…..talk about severe yum factor!!!!

Was it the Limoncello Lemon-Lime or the Banana & Dulce de Leche mini cupcakes that opened the door???

It was overcast last Friday afternoon.   By the time that I made it to West Kendall, I wanted to get some yogurt.  I had seen advertisements for Tart & Berry’s, but had never stopped in, so once I arrived at Kendall and 122nd, I made a right, another right and followed the signs to the Cafe.   Soon after I arrived, it began to pour! Talk about a rain shower.  I decided to hang out at the cafe for a while until it abated.

So what did I choose to do? Chat with one of the owners, Rosy.  We had a great conversation and I found out that not only do they have some awesome tasting yogurts, including pistachio (one of my favorites), strawberry, tiramisu, cheesecake and many others, they also have chicken pesto paninis, salads and wraps!  I felt compelled to share all about my new cooking ventures and healthier way of cooking and she shared that they also sell baked goods.  That was when I felt that I had to offer something different….and she was open to having a weekend taste test with some of my mini cupcakes!!!!

I was soooo excited I could hardly contain myself.  Practically running home, I went through my cupboards and decided to make some mini dulce de leche and banana cupcakes and then came up with a new recipe…..the Limoncello Lemon-Lime Mini cupcake!!! Talk about delicious…..tart and sweet at the same time, with that hint of Limoncello.  Yum….severe yum factor. 

The good thing about these is that they are MINI cupcakes.  I do believe in moderation, and yes, I struggle at times myself in stopping before eating way more than I need, so in making these small cupcakes, it allows you to make better decisions regarding just how much dessert to have!

In one of my cooking segments on www.doerstv.com/Ch12 I mention that portion control is important and that one basic size cupcake is enough, but some people told me that one is not enough!  It is a decision for every one to make but with the mini cupcakes, you can have two and not feel like you are falling off your diet.  You won’t be. 

These Limoncello Lemon-Lime Mini Cupcakes are worth their calories (approximately 100 calories)!  They do not have a lot of sugar – they are not the typical cupcake.  When we did the taste test, Isabel shared with me that customers found that they enjoyed the taste but that they did not find them as sweet as they thought that they would be.

When I bake, I opt to use pureed fruit as that sweet quotient.  I also use cake flour. It’s that mixture of using fresh lemon juice with  lime and the awesome Limoncello that adds that added “zing” that make these mini cupcakes worth the drive to Tart & Berry’s, located at 8711 SW 124th Avenue (at the shopping center where the Regal Cinemas is located right across from the Barnes & Nobles).

Be sure to go to Tart & Berry’s this weekend and try out the Limoncello Lemon-Lime Mini Cupcakes, and let me know what you think!!!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Gabi