Sometimes you just need cupcakes, right? But sometimes you don’t want to throw all your good intentions out the window. These little gems are a great mid-ground, they are still sweet but are made with fantastic whole food ingredients and are filling enough that you can stop at one (if, like, self control is a thing you have a handle on). They remind me of those delicious hazelnut gluten free cupcakes with the white chocolate icing and nut brittle that many Melbourne cafes stock. Except these use much less sugar, and are a mixture of buckwheat flour and hazelnut which ups the nutty taste. Fraser believes the pralined nuts on top make these ones, I think it’s the light but creamy vanilla, ricotta and cream cheese icing. Either way they are a delicious indulgence.
The hazelnuts keep these babies chock full of those good fats you want in your life, which more than make up for the slightly lower sugar content in terms of flavour and give you that satisfied feeling that you’re after from a little bit of indulgence. Plus, hazelnuts are seriously yum.
You could also make these cupcakes as one bigger cake but would need to adjust the cooking time appropriately. The sour cherries can be replaced with any dried fruit, cranberries or apricots would work really well. You can either roast and grind your own hazelnuts (don’t forget to peel them) or just purchase hazelnut meal from your local supermarket if you can’t be bothered and can find it. The time that I couldn’t find it and did it myself made them taste delicious but a relatively simple recipe became way more time consuming so you choose!
I mention a mythical creature in this recipe, the ‘piping bag’. I don’t actual have one in my kitchen, thus the mythical nature. I just use a ziplock bag, fill it, then snip a corner off. You can just cut the corner to your desired size and squeeze.
Makes 10 cupcakes.
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup hazelnut meal
6 egg whites
40g melted butter, cooled slightly
1/4 tsp white vinegar
1/2 cup coconut sugar (or sugar of your choice)
1/2 cup sour cherries roughly chopped
For the icing
1/2 a vanilla pod
125g cream cheese
1/4 cup ricotta
1.5 Tbs Maple syrup
For the topping
1/4 cup hazelnuts
1/2 Tbs maple syrup
1 Tbs sour cherries
Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius. Place 10 cupcake liners in a muffin tray.
Mix the flour and hazelnut meal together in a medium bowl. In a different, larger bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the vinegar and then add the sugar 1 Tablespoon at a time until completely combined and the meringue is stiff and glossy.
Fold through the buckwheat/hazelnut meal mix, melted butter and the sour cherries until just combined. Use a spring loaded ice cream scoop or a spoon to evenly divide the mix between 10 cup cake liners. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until just golden on top. Cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, make the icing and toppings.
Topping: Chop hazelnuts roughly and toss in maple syrup. Place on a lined tray in the oven for 5 -10 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and scatter the sour cherries over the still warm nuts, leave to cool in the tray.
Icing: Beat together cream cheese, ricotta and the seeds from the vanilla pod. Add 1 Tablespoon of the maple syrup, taste and then add more maple syrup if you think it needs it. Spoon into a piping bag. Place in fridge until ready to use.
Once cooled ice the cupcakes and sprinkle nut mixture on top. I removed the cupcake liners before icing. Enjoy!