Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Healthy(er) Double-Chocolate Cupcake!

OK, I just had to get back to baking; after all, this is the Adirondack Baker! For those looking for a healthy(er) dessert option, here's a recipe for a double-chocolate cupcake that can provide a sweet ending or snack without undermining your efforts at eating well.

This recipe is one I adapted from Cooking Light. Their version uses all-purpose flour, butter and granulated sugar. I decided to healthify (is that a word?) this recipe to another level by using whole white flour, brown sugar, and canola oil. I chose to melt the additional dark chocolate rather than give it a fine chop, and I also added a teaspoon of cinnamon because Shannon, my nutritionist, tells me that cinnamon is a wonderful spice to add to any diet, that it's great for the bloodstream. It compliments chocolate in a very simpatico way (like my south-of-the-border reference?).

Since I'm still in carb-detox mode, I won't be enjoying these cupcakes just yet, but my family will.  This recipe makes 1 dozen cupcakes, just enough for a big family dinner or for making your co-workers very happy! One or two might make it to my freezer, for that time when I am able to handle an occasional (and healthier) treat!

HEALTHY(ER) DOUBLE-CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE
12-cup standard muffin pan, with paper liners
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit

Ingredients:
1 cup whole white flour (I use King Arthur), MINUS two tablespoons (whole white absorbs more moisture than AP flour)
1/3 cup cocoa powder (I use Ghiradelli)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup brown sugar, light or dark, firmly packed
1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup egg substitute (I used 1 large home-grown egg, and 1 egg white)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 oz. dark chocolate, melted in microwave

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk (I use Battenkill low-fat milk and 1 tablespoon vinegar - let sit for a minute or two)

Directions:
In medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, mix brown sugar and canola oil very well, until there are no lumps left.  Add egg and beat well (if using real eggs, beat well after each addition).  Add vanilla extract and melted chocolate, and mix very well.  Beat this mixture at high speed for a good minute.

With mixer at lowest speed, add flour mixture alternately with milk, 1/3 each at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Then beat for one more minute.  Scrape bowl to make sure you got it all incorporated.

Fill muffin cups 1/2 to 2/3 full, using all the batter for 12 cupcakes.

Bake for 18 minutes or until cupcakes test done (toothpick comes out clean, or cake bounces back when gently pressed in the center).  I always use the "press" test.

Sift a little confectioners sugar over top, or frost as desired.  OR (!) frost with a chocolate ganache, also made healthier with eliminating the cream and melting the chocolate with just a tablespoon of canola oil.

HEALTHY DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE

6 oz. dark chocolate, chopped (or use dark chocolate chips - I used Hershey's)
1 tablespoon canola oil

In microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate with canola oil for 1 minute.  Remove (carefully - my bowl got hot) and stir with fork until all the chocolate has melted.  Mine took just one minute, if you need to put it back in the microwave, try another 20 seconds.

With a tablespoon, stream ganache over center of cupcake and let it spread, but not all the way to the edges.  You want some of that pretty cake to show through!


OK, now who gets them?!!!



17 comments:

  1. Those look pretty good Jeanne. I might have to give them a try. Thanks for the post!

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    1. Well, if Henry and Peter can be trusted as judges, it's four thumbs up for these cupcakes! They loved them!

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  2. These look absolutely delicious, I will definitely give them a try, thanks for sharing!!!!

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    1. Toni, they are pretty, delicious, and as good for you as a cupcake could be! Let me know how you like the recipe!

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  3. Hey Jeanne, I use all the same "healthier" techniques in my baking but never thought there could be a way to make the ganache healthier. Thanks for the huge tip!

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    1. Hi Fran, I researched low-fat versions of ganache, and the most successful technique seems to use canola oil. For a thinner consistency, you could add some evaporated skim milk. It can also be whipped into a frosting once it cools enough, not yet solid.

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  4. These look really decadent, Jeannie! If Henry and Peter give them 4 thumbs up, that's good enough for me! ;} I actually think I even like just the powdered sugar on top, just as much as the ganache!

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    1. Me, too, Carol. Love the simplicity of that. The cupcakes themselves are moist and very chocolately, and the ganach is there for anyone who wants to take this over the top!

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  5. My mouth is watering as I read..keep loosing my place because I keep looking at the photos ! I think I would like mine with a little whip cream on top ! MMM CKJ

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    1. 'whipped cream would be perfect with these, Cindy!

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  6. you are making me hungry !!! these look incedible ! Sharron Eddy Cataldo

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    1. I hope I do make you hungry, and inspired to make what you see here! That's my goal, Sharron! Thank you!

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  7. Those cupcakes look Yummy as usual. I wish I enjoyed baking as much as I do being creative on the savory side of a meal.

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  8. These look fantastic! Do you have to do anything different with whole wheat flour (vs. just regular all purpose flour)? Are they interchangable in this recipe (I know the all purpose isn't as healthy, but not whole wheat on hand --I am assuming you mean whole wheat and not whole white...if so, what is whole white? I need a cooking class!)

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    1. and a spelling class--interchangeable!

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    2. Marla, I do mean whole WHITE flour - King Arthur makes it and I buy it in Hannaford. It's lighter in texture and flavor than whole wheat with all the nutritional benefits. Kids like it. The package indicates how much whole white you should exchange for a recipe with all-purpose, it's not measure for measure the same.

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  9. Hi Jeannie, these cupcakes look delicious. My father is a chocolate lover and can never seem to get enough of it. I'll have to try these sometime!

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