I'm coming up to a year now since I gave up eating gluten and cow's milk (turns out, they were not my friend!) and it's taken me that long to - I think - finally master the gluten- and dairy-free cupcake.
When I still ate wheat and milk, I made a mean limoncello cupcake. It wasn't all that surprising then that I decided to try and figure out how to make a gluten- and dairy-free alternative when I changed my diet.
But it wasn't nearly as easy as I thought it would be. I looked up recipes and they were all so complicated! No more just throwing things into a bowl, mixing it up and VOILA!
The first thing I discovered - even after finding a gluten-free flour that had all these fancy extras built in - was that gluten-free food is so much drier than gluten-full food. You have to counteract it with a sizeable dash of milk (which, as I no longer used it, had to be almond milk). These cupcakes also require a lot more elbow grease. They had weird little bubbles in them if I didn't whisk the pre-flour mixture into submission.
Then, just when I thought I had cracked it, I found one more ingredient that really completed the cupcake: Cacao. Chocolate in its purest form and entirely free of dairy.
So, after all this trial and error, here's my recipe for my gluten- and dairy-free marble limoncello cupcakes.
150g Doves Farm Gluten-free White self-raising flour blend
150g dairy-free margarine
150g caster sugar
(Approx) 3 tablespoons of almond milk (or a non-dairy alternative if you have a nut allergy!)
A dash of vanilla essence (a teaspoon should be enough)
A sprinkling of Cacao powder
For the decoration:
1. Mix the margarine and sugar together with a wooden spoon.
2. Whisk the eggs then add slowly to the batter, mixing as you go.
3. Add a dash of vanilla essence and the milk and mix in.
4. Whisk this all together for a minute to make sure that all lumps have gone.
5. Add the flour and fold it in slowly with a metal spoon.
6. Spoon a little of the mixture into cupcake cases, leaving room for more to be added.
7. With the remaining mixture, sprinkle on the Cacao powder - be careful not to add too much as the mixture then becomes too thick. You want just enough to make it turn light brown.
8. Add another dollop of this batter to the cupcakes, causing the marble effect.
9. Bake in the oven at Gas Mark 6 for around 15 minutes, checking to make sure they are not burnt. Do not open the oven before the fifteen minute mark as they are likely to sink!
10. When they are ready, take them out and place them on a plate or chopping board to cool.
11. When they have cooled, stab each of them in the middle with a fork and then, using a spoon, dribble on a little of the limoncello, letting it seep through into the sponge.
12. Add icing. (If you want to make these really boozy then use limoncello, not water, to make up the icing too!)
So there you have it: a bit of elbow grease, a touch of chocolate and a hint of alcoholic lemons and you have yourself a delicious gluten- and dairy-free cupcake!
Do let me know if you give them a try!