Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and I guess this is my “something pink”. Because, (1) I love cupcakes and (2) I know you guys do, too. And, you are in for a special treat, as I’ve partnered with some of my favorite blogs to bring you 4 easy & delicious desserts in one post. So make sure you check them out, too. Aaaand, here’s a funny and vulnerable post on a certain Valentine’s Day a long time ago… Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!
I joke that I don’t need an excuse to eat chocolate. So…I was never one to giddily embrace all the Valentine’s Day pomp & hoopla. I had a really bad breakup during college that gave me a very cynical & pragmatic approach towards relationships. I turned down dates, focused on myself, got a second job at the campus library & upped my work ethic. Valentine’s Day couldn’t bring me back down- even if it tried.
That particular Valentine’s Day- (my first one single in a while) I watched a string of mostly (bad) chick flicks and indulged in copious amount of frozen hot chocolate-there’s such a thing in Canadian coffee shops; of all places, right? Frozen hot chocolate tastes like a slushy chocolate smoothie and is SO addictive! I vividly remember freezing my hands in the heart of winter, walking back to my dorm room with the drink in hand; which I eerily referred to as “the precious”. I would sometimes ask for two and get a tray to carry them back, and sorta pretend to the barista that one was for a friend.
I also stuffed my face with sea salt truffles & licked cupcake icing in every shade of pink. I was a total sugar monster. The movie loop usually went from: The Notebook, to Love Actually, to Legally Blonde and then back to the Notebook. It’s almost as if I had a need to “ugly cry” and then to laugh and be uplifted. The order in which they were played was very telling of where I was in my life.
Looking back, I needed that “pity party” and time to digest what had just happened. I went back to the dating pool and met a much nicer boyfriend. p.s. I introduced him to frozen hot chocolate and it became our thing. Funny how the universe works, right? I also baked him an absurd amount of fudgy chocolate cake, his favorite. It was the first time I resumed baking since arriving to Toronto. Once I did, it never went away. The baking bug was back!
Well, fast forward a few years and this girl gave up white, refined sugars. My favorite cupcake back then was a moist and fudgy chocolate with pink icing. Oh gosh, I lived for that stuff! I’ve recreated it using fresh raspberries to “tint” the icing instead of chemical-laden food coloring. Not only are they a color-win, I love the subtle raspberry taste in the icing. You could also whip this up with strawberries, for that matter!
These babies are dairy-free, they are also gluten-free and paleo as they’re made with almond flour.They are also refined-sugar free as I used coconut sugar, which is way healthier for you and much lower on the glycemic index. Our bodies process it way differently than they would absorb white, refined sugar. You gotta try these! But first, here’s 3 BONUS chocolate posts from three awesome ladies I follow and love!
This Italian beauty will reintroduce you to hearty, real food ingredients that as she likes to say: “Nourish the body and soul. Kale for my body, lasagna for my soul”. Doesn’t get any better than that!
Everything she touches, is magic. Her mindful approach to healthy eating has shown me that good for you food can taste great, too. You will love!
Lindsay knows what’s good and shares amazing low-carb recipes, among other delicious things. Her drool-worthy desserts will make you want to reach into your phone/computer screens. For real.
And now…onto my recipe! FUDGY & moist paleo chocolate cupcakes!
Almond Flour Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Coconut Cream
- 3/4 cup almond flour (or almond meal)
- 3/4 cup raw cacao OR good quality cocoa powder.
- 1/2 cup of coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup organic, unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 cup of organic coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp of sea salt
- 1 tbsp of pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder
- 3 free run eggs, for best results- always at room temperature
- For the Frosting
- 1 can of full fat coconut milk * I used Thai Kitchen
- an electric mixer
- pure maple or rice malt syrup to taste, to sweeten the coconut whipped cream
- 1/2 cup of frozen raspberries or strawberries turned into liquid (I blended mine) * if you want your frosting a darker, redish color use 1 cup)
Notes: If you don’t want to use coconut oil, you could sub in with 1/2 cup of melted, grass-fed butter or ghee.
- Preheat your oven to 350F and line 2 cupcake molds with liners (total of 12 cupcakes)
- Whisk all the dry ingredients in a bowl together: almond flour, cacao powder, coconut sugar, sea salt, and gluten free baking powder.
- Mix all the wet ingredients ingredients in a separate bowl: coconut oil, apple sauce, eggs, and vanilla. I like to integrate one egg at a time and whisk as I go.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredient bowl and stir well to integrate.
- Pour the batter onto the molds and bake anywhere from 22-28 minutes. All ovens vary. Insert a toothpick into the center of one of the cupcakes to check for readiness.
- It’s OK for the toothpick to come up with a few crumbs. This makes for the best cupcakes. When toothpicks come out clean, you’ve over-baked your goodies. I used to be guilty of over-baking ALL the time. So this a great tip!
For the Frosting: Raspberry Coconut Whipped Cream
- Place the can of coconut milk in your fridge overnight to separate the liquid from the fat. The fat will naturally harden.
- In the morning, dump the liquid or milk (or use for juicing). Throw the hardened good fat into a bowl.
- Use a hand-held mixer and whip for about 30-35 seconds. I start on low for the first 10 sec and then go on high. If it distills liquid, drain it. Keep on beating until smooth & creamy, should look just like dairy whipped cream. Sweeten to taste. Mix in the liquid raspberries or strawberries to give it that nice pink shade.
- Store in the fridge inside a container for 1-2 days tops.
By: Aleyda |The Dish On Healthy