Intro: Darkly Decadent Flourless Cupcakes (With Cream Cheese Frosting!)
These rich, luxurious little things are an amazing alternative to traditional cupcakes for anyone with a gluten allergy, or anyone who just loves sinfully, darkly delicious chocolate. Cream cheese frosting gives them an even silkier texture. I would eat them all if they weren't so rich that I had to stop at one. I did eat at least 2 cupcakes worth of batter and frosting, though....
I made these to enjoy with my partner; they marry my gluten allergy and his slightly unhealthy obsession with cream cheese. Not to mention, we both love chocolate to the ends of the earth. They are dark enough that the frosting doesn't make them too sweet. They are my own recipe that I tweaked from a couple others, and I hope you enjoy them!
Step 1: Ingredients!
These lovely things require:
4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1 stick of butter (4 ounces)
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
The frosting consists of:
1/2 package of cream cheese (4 ounces)
1 stick of butter (4 ounces)
2 cups of powdered sugar
Step 2: Mixing Batter
I admit that this step is severely lacking in pictures; I got a bit carried away and just sped through everything. I will give detailed instructions, however!
(preheat oven to 375 degrees F)
1. Melt chocolate and butter in the microwave. This took about a minute and a half total but DON'T do it all at once. Do this at 15 second intervals and stir in between. When this is silky smooth...
2. Pour into your handy dandy electric mixer and mix in the sugar. Feel free to mix this on obnoxiously high speeds, it makes it super fluffy.
3. While mixer is on a 2 or 3 level speed, add eggs one by one. Turn mixer up to warp speed after they're combined for about 30 seconds, fluffiness is just around the corner.
4. TURN OFF MIXER and add cocoa powder, to avoid cocoa dust covering your entire kitchen as it did mine. Switch to a level 1 speed until mostly combined, then mix to oblivion for another 20-30 seconds or so.
5. Bing! The batter should be almost like chocolate mousse, and very tempting to eat. Sneak a spoonful if you're not scared of raw eggs.
Step 3: Baking Batter
Smear butter all over the muffin tins you have selected for this journey. Or use cupcake cups, which I deemed a useless expense (you don't need them, though, they pop out super easily if you butter well). A heaping spoonful and a half was perfect to fill each cup; leave them about a centimeter from the top of the tin. Try your damnedest, but they will not lie flat, thanks to our marvelous mixing skills. They will be lumpy but try to give them some space at the top.
Bake these for 12 minutes and turn them around halfway through. When little cracks start forming but they still give easily to slight pressure you know they're ready.
Step 4: Removing Cakes
Beep! Take out those sweet chunks of awesome and set them somewhere that won't catch on fire, like a stove that's turned off. After about 5 minutes you can grab a pan and gingerly turn it upside down very close to a wire rack. Give it a wiggle and at least 3 should fall right out. Keep tapping the bottom and they should all cooperate. Keep them top-down because the bottoms are still warm and too soft to sit on the wire without crumbling easily.
Step 5: Making Frosting
While the little cakes are cooling, make some awesome frosting.
1. Spoon out half the cream cheese packet into your magical mixer (who's bowl you have cleaned, I hope) and then cut up the butter into 5 or so pieces so it's easy to mix in. Slowly raise the speed to tornado level because we are impatient.
2. PLEASE TURN OFF the mixer and add one cup of the powdered sugar. Raise speed to snail level because powdered sugar has a gross habit of getting in the air and thus your sinuses and lungs. Once mostly combined, add the second cup. Snail level. Wait a bit until you're pretty sure your lungs are safe and turn up to warp speed.
3. Voila! Cream cheese frosting. Sample your creation.
4. Put your desired decorating tip in a frosting bag (or don't, and just use a plastic baggie,) and glop all that delicious into the bag. If using a baggie, cut the tip off smaller than you think you'll need it. Trust me.
Step 6: Being Artistic
If using a special fancy bag + decorating tip:
Do your thing. Decorate and whatnot. Dye it if you want. Try different things and experiment with the effects you can make with your chosen tip. I found that almost entirely covering the (sadly uneven) top of the cupcake made it look much nicer.
If using a slightly less fancy but just as special plastic baggie:
Do a test cupcake to see if you should cut the tip bigger. Always err on the side of too small because it's annoying and wasteful to scoop it out into a new bag and start over after you've cut it too big. Of course, if you aren't going for fancy, just do whatever you want and smear some cupcakes. Or be fancy and pretend you have a shmancy decorating kit and attempt some roses.
Step 7: Being a Nice Person
I put my favorites in a tupperware, prepared for travel to my partner's house tomorrow. Including one for his mom because moms are rad; me and Karen are tight. The rest went in my pretty cake stand, awaiting my parent's return home. My brother stole one in the process but it was ugly so I didn't mind. I donated my lovely cupcakes to my family and wallowed on the couch with my belly full of frosting and batter. A job well done, I believe.
P.S: Clean your mess, sir.