T his recipe was done in honor of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council’s Blueberry Blogger competition and for the fact that I had some blueberries leftover in my fridge. Since it tis the season for berries, it is cheaper to purchase blueberries fresh as opposed to frozen – $2.99 for 18 oz, yes, 18 oz! And that’s all locally grown. Blueberries are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. Those who suffer from diverticulitis can even enjoy these violet berries considering their seeds are next to nothing in contrast to strawberries, where I occasionally have complications consuming. I am, thankfully, slowly digesting strawberries better but they have to be cut and fresh. Frozen strawberries have the flesh defrosted where that’s all mushy for easier digestion, but, the seeds are too prominent and my stomach isn’t happy. Blackberries and raspberries are another story but can easily be substituted for the blueberries in this recipe. As I said, this recipe was for the blueberry competition presented by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council as they are the main ingredient.
Not only is this recipe semi-healthy – it is cake after all! – the fat content is next to nothing. Because I used blueberry puree, the oil is deemed unnecessary. Why? Because vegetable and fruit purees (especially bananas and pumpkin) can provide enough moisture for the recipe to the point where a fat isn’t necessary. Now, you can also use a sugar substitute but that may take away the color from the cake since sugar, as it bakes, helps to provide that tantalizing crust. I suggest to use either erythrol or stevia, my favorite guys. Why not Splenda? There are many reasons which I have pointed out beforehand, but, I shall state again because I like to inform everyone about the horrendous aspects of Splenda. Splenda, for one, has measurement issues. It is lighter than sugar and, in my opinion, requires an additional amount in the baked good. It also needs an additional agent in the baked good to provide that light brown crust, which is why nonfat milk powder is often called for in a Splenda famed recipe. Another disapproving characteristic is that extra oomph is needed because Splenda doesn’t have that chemical reaction with the dough as normal sugar does. It doesn’t help anything either if the flour happens to not even contain gluten as a whole.
There really isn’t a need to use Splenda in a baked good as, now on the market, there are so many natural sugar substitutes. Even if it seems like a lot of money, remember that Splenda isn’t all that cheap either.
The reason why I am unable to sample these cupcakes is due to the filling. Not every celiac is lactose intolerant so I like to cater to everyone and, yes, I could have used the mock cream cheese but it is expensive and considering others were to enjoy my creation, I opted towards the real stuff. Not to mention that the Tofutti Cream Cheese is $2.49 a tub and the Philadelphia Neufchatel was on sale for 1.29. Reality check. Good company + good product + good price = use it. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this cheese, it is considered to be half the fat of regular cream cheese with the same taste and texture. Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m pretty sure that mascarpone cheese would also make a delightful filling..but again only if you can afford it. This, as most of my recipes, is adjustable according to taste, preference, and product availability. I just know they’re good because the first bite my fiancé took, he blurted out, “Oh my god these are fantastic!” So I guess I’m entering the recipe. Wish me luck and enjoy!
Midnight Snowflake Cupcakes 6 oz of brown rice flour 4 oz of potato starch 4 oz of tapioca starch ¾ cup sugar ¼ tsp baking soda ½ tsp baking powder ½ tsp xanthan gum ½ tsp cream of tartar ½ cup pureed blueberries 1/3 cup water 1 tsp vanilla
Filling 8 oz neufchatel or cream cheese, room temperature 1/3 cup sugar 1 egg, room temperature ½ tsp vanilla
In one bowl, cream the cheese and sugar together. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Set aside for later use.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In another bowl, combine all your flours, starches, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar and xanthan gum. Once the dry ingredients are well stirred together, add the liquid and stir well until a pudding-like consistency is achieved.
Spoon the mixture into greased and/or lined 12 large cupcake tins or 18 mini cupcake tins 2/3 of the way full. Drop one tablespoon of the filling into the center of each cupcake, or, for the mini ones, use 1 to 2 teaspoons.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes and then enjoy with, in my opinion, a big tall glass of chocolate milk. Trust me, the combination of chocolate and blueberries is phenomenal.