This is my third post here for this year. Oops! Friends and colleagues have been asking me, “Are you still baking?” Of course I am! No matter how crazy work gets, I need an outlet after browsing all the delicious recipes online and in cookbooks 😉
In the past few months I’ve been up to the usual, testing recipes and dabbling in making bread, just for a while – bread for me it’s one of those things I never seem to be able to get right. Or maybe I just don’t have the patience for it… For now.
Just recently I’ve just stepped into the whole new wonderful world of alternative flours. Favour Flours by Alice Medrich is sitting in my Amazon cart waiting to be ordered, but in the meantime I’ve played around with a few recipes that involved buckwheat, spelt and coconut flours. It’s a little like discovering how to bake again, because every flour is different in terms of flavour, texture and how they react with the other ingredients.
One of my recent successful trial bakes are these yummy chocolate coconut cupcakes, using coconut flour. Coconut flour is dried coconut meat, after the milk has been extracted from it, that finely ground into a powder. It does impart a coconut flavour in your baked goods, so if you’re a coconut fan this is definitely for you. If you would love to experiment this flour, it goes particularly well with chocolate, bananas, almonds, honey, lychees, pineapples (the tropical fruits!), rum…
The wonderful benefits of coconut flour is that it is packed with fibre and protein, and because of its high fibre and low carbohydrate content, this flour also helps to regulate blood sugar levels. It is also gluten free 😉
One thing to note when using coconut flour is that it’s almost like a sponge when absorbing liquids. If you browse coconut flour recipes, you’ll notice that there will be a high ratio of liquids e.g eggs, liquid sweeteners, in order for the final product to have be moist and have a light texture.
A general guideline I found really useful from comfybelly.com when baking with coconut flour is:
- 1/2 cup of coconut flour
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup of liquid sweetener
In Singapore, speciality flours like coconut flour can be found in NTUC Finest, Cold Storage and Market Place by Jasons. It can get a bit pricey though. If you’re looking for a more reasonable priced sources, do check out Nuts.com – they have a range of wholesome food from nuts, to flours, dried fruits, herbs and spices, chocolates and even a whole range of coffees and teas.
Adapted from The Healthy Chef's Naked Chocolate Cake
- 1/4 cup (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup (30g) coconut flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/4 cup oil (use a flavourless oil like canola), and additional 2 tsp oil for the chocolate frosting
- 1 cup (150g) chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 175°C / 350°F.
2. Mix together cocoa powder, coconut flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, combine together eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, and oil.
4. Combine both by adding the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well. Leave the mixture to rest for about 5 minutes - the mixture will become thicker as it sits.
5. Mix in about 1/3 cup (50g) of chocolate chips into the batter.
6. Scoop the batter into into your cupcake pan, filling each until about 3/4 full. It does not rise too much so do not worry about it overflowing 🙂
6. Bake the cupcakes for about 15 - 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes with with moist crumbs.
7. Leave to cool in cupcake pan for about 1 - 2 minutes, before removing them from the pan to cool completely.
8. In a separately bowl, heat the remaining chocolate chips in the microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring in between each interval, until they're completely melted and smooth. Stir in the 2 tsps of oil. Top your cupcakes with this chocolate goodness and enjoy!