Chocolate Chestnut Cupcakes with Chocolate Coconut Frosting

Chestnut flour is my new favorite baking ingredient. It has more starch than most things I currently eat but it makes for a light and fluffy grain free cupcake.

I’ve made the cupcake recipe as written and also by replacing the grapeseed oil with homemade plum sauce (like apple sauce only made with plums). It’s good both ways but the nutrition is increased with the fruit and the calories are decreased.

It took me years to work up a good dairy free and sugar free frosting recipe. The tricks turned out to be coconut butter and erythritol powdered in a coffee/spice grinder. Melting the erythritol or powdering it in a food processor didn’t work.

The amount of oil in the coconut butter changes the need for coconut milk. The first batch I made from the top of the jar of coconut butter only needed 5 tablespoons of coconut milk. The second batch I made needed more since it was from the middle of the jar and contained less oil. Use your own judgement.

Chocolate Chestnut Cupcakes

1 cup chestnut flour
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup erythritol
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp stevia extract (powder or liquid)

Preheat oven at 350*F. Prepare cupcake tin with 10 cupcake papers or oil a nonstick tin with coconut oil. In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, oil, almond milk, stevia, vanilla and erythritol and mix either by hand or with an electric mixer. In a small bowl, add chestnut flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Stir until well combined. Add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients a little at a time until thoroughly combined. Fill cupcake papers about half full. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. The tops will crack but that’s normal with chestnut flour. Allow to cool before frosting.

Chocolate Coconut Frosting

1/2 cup coconut butter
1/4 cup erythritol, powdered
5 Tbs cocoa powder
5 to 7 Tbs coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp stevia extract

Powder erythritol in a coffee/spice grinder for 30-60 seconds. Let the powder settle before opening the grinder. Warm coconut butter in a bowl of hot water or the microwave for a minute before measuring for best results. In a small mixing bowl, cream coconut butter, erythritol and stevia together with an electric mixer. Add cocoa powder and coconut milk one tablespoon at a time, blending well in between each addition. Add coconut milk until the frosting has the right consistency. Use immediately or save for later. If refrigerated, allow to warm up to room temperature before using.

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Roasted Garlic Sauce

This is an updated version of an old recipe from “A Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook.” The original recipe called for two heads of pureed elephant garlic and one head of regular garlic. I’ve changed it to use more readily available and less bitter regular garlic and roasted it to bring out the sweet notes. It’s supposed to be a soup but I think it’d be much better as a cheese sauce over steamed or roasted veggies like cauliflower or broccoli.

Use rice flour to make it gluten free and almond milk and nondairy “cheese” to make it dairy free.

Roast the garlic in advance since it needs to cool before use.

1 lb garlic (10-12 heads)
1/4 cup olive oil
6 stalks celery, minced
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken stock
3 Tbs flour
3 Tbs butter

Preheat oven to 400*F. Put heads of garlic in a baking dish, root side down. Pour olive oil over the top of the garlic. Cover the dish tightly with tin foil. Bake for 45 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Cut the tops off the garlic heads once cool and squeeze out the garlic cloves, making sure to remove any garlic paper. In a medium sauce pot, saute the celery in butter until the celery is soft. Add the flour to form a paste. Stir in the milk and chicken stock a little at a time until smooth and well combined. Add the garlic and cheese. Stir until the cheese is completely melted.

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Chestnut Gingerbread

I made this at Christmas and I love how it turned out. It’s very close in flavor and texture to its wheat flour kin. I did use molasses despite my inflammation issues with sugar but some things are worth it.

Originally I added a 1/4 cup granulated erythritol to the recipe but it was too sweet for my taste so I left it out.

1 cup chestnut flour
1/2 cup date sugar
1/2 cup apple sauce
2/3 cup almond milk
1/4 cup molasses
2 Tbs golden flax seed meal
1 tsp baking power
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamon
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400*F. Prepare a 9×9 baking dish by oiling it well. In a large mixing bowl add chestnut flour, date sugar, flax seed meal, baking powder, salt and spices. Mix well. Add apple sauce, molasses, and almond milk. Stir until well combined. Pour the batter into the baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before cutting. Refrigerate leftovers.

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Almond Hazelnut Yogurt Bread

I’ve been adding small quantities of lactose free dairy back into my diet with mixed results. Unfortunately I react to yogurt if I eat more than 6oz in a week. I had two 6oz containers of plain yogurt in my fridge that I needed to do something with so I added them to grain free bread. I love the moisture it imparted and now need to replicate that in a dairy free version.

I ran out of almond flour when making this so used hazelnut flour as a replacement for half of it. I imagine two cups of almond flour would work just as well though I like the extra layer of flavor the hazelnuts impart.

I used a few tips I learned in Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain cookbook for this recipe. I baked it low and slow at 300*F with a small dish of water in the oven to create steam.

1 cup almond flour
1 cup hazelnut flour
1/2 cup golden flax seed meal
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
4 eggs, separated
1 Tbs coconut flour
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 300*F. On the bottom rack place a small baking dish with a cup of water in it. Oil a bread pan and put a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of it. In a large mixing bowl combine almond flour, hazelnut flour, flax seed meal, coconut flour, and baking powder. Stir well. Whip egg whites in a separate bowl until soft peaks occur. In a medium bowl, combine egg yolks, yogurt, and vinegar. Stir well. Add the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined. Fold in the egg whites, being careful not to over mix. Pour the batter into the prepared bread pan and bake for 50-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into it comes out clean. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before removing it from the pan and another 30 minutes before cutting it.

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Almond Flax Tortillas

I’ve made these twice in the past two days, using slightly different techniques, and both times I loved the end results. I used the tortilla press I got for Christmas to flatten them but a rolling pin would work as well. I baked them rather than fried them because it’s easier and they’re a little delicate. For tacos I recommend using an oven safe mold to get them the perfect shape. They don’t roll well once cooked but make fantastic baked tortilla chips or crackers. I haven’t tried making enchiladas with these but I imagine that filling the raw tortillas before baking would work well.

1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup golden flaxseed meal
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400*F. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper if baking them flat. Combine flaxseed meal, salt, and water in mixing bowl, stir well. Let sit at least 5 minutes to allow the flaxseed meal to absorb the water before adding the almond flour. Mix well with a fork. Form the crumbly dough into a ball by hand. Divide the ball into quarters and roll each piece into a small ball. Prepare tortilla press with plastic wrap. Press each ball of dough between two pieces of parchment paper. They will stick to the plastic wrap without the paper. Transfer each tortilla onto the baking sheet or mold. If making chips, cut each tortilla into quarters before baking. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges are lightly brown. Makes 4 tortillas.

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Grain Free Cinnamon Rolls

My cousin and his wife posted photos of the cinnamon rolls they made before Christmas and it inspired me to make a grain free version. Yeast works well with grain free dough as long as it has enough starch to feed on. I used arrowroot because it was handy but I suspect tapioca flour to work just as well. This recipe has more carbs than my body needs but is okay for a treat once in awhile.

This was the first recipe I made using chestnut flour and I love it. The texture is fine and silky like wheat flour.

I sweetened mine with a combination of granulated erythritol and date sugar and made a powdered erythritol glaze for over the top. Soon I’m switching to Swerve brand sweetener. It’s a combination of erythritol and oligosaccharides and is more readily available than pure erythritol plus comes in granulated and powdered forms.

Dough:
2 cups almond flour
1 cup chestnut flour (plus extra for pastry board)
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/4 cup arrowroot
1/4 cup warm water
4 eggs
1 Tbs coconut flour
2 1/4 tsp quick acting yeast (1 packet)
1 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp salt

Filling:
1/2 cup coconut margarine, softened
1/3 cup erythritol
1/4 cup date sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Glaze:
1/4 cup powdered erythritol
3 Tbs almond milk

In a small bowl, combine warm water, agave nectar and yeast. Let sit at least 5 minutes until the yeast is frothy. In a large mixing bowl, add dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Beat eggs in a separate bowl, add eggs and yeast mixture to the dry ingredients. Knead until dough is combined and holds together well. Cover with a floursack towel and let rise for at least an hour in a warm, dry place (I use my oven). Once the dough has risen, dust a clean pastry board or a sheet of parchment paper with the extra chestnut flour. Pour dough out on the board and knead until the dough is no longer sticky. Dust rolling pin with chestnut flour and roll out the dough into a rectangle about 12″x14″. Combine the ingredients for the filling in a medium bowl and mix until smooth. Spread the mixture evenly across the dough. Cut the dough in 12 one inch strips and roll each strip individually. Grease an 9 inch round baking dish and arrange the rolls in it. Let rise for another 30-45 minutes before baking at 350*F for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven. Mix up the glaze in a small bowl, heating it for a minute in the microwave to melt the erythritol if necessary. Drizzle glaze over the top of the rolls and let sit for five minutes before serving.

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Grain Free Chocolate Hazelnut Pie Crust

This idea came to me a few weeks ago when I made chocolate hazelnut cookies. I thought it’d be a great crust for dairy free pumpkin pie. I replaced corn starch with coconut flour, date sugar with the sugar alcohol erythritol and used vegan coconut margarine. Table sugar can be used in place of erythritol though you may want to use less of it since erythritol is only 70% as sweet as sugar and butter in place of coconut margarine. This can be easily made in a food processor instead of a bowl.

1 1/2 cups hazelnut meal
1/3 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup erythritol
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1-2 Tbs water
1/2 tsp salt

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Stir until well mixed. Add margarine and cut into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry cutter until it resembles course meal. Add water one tablespoon at a time if necessary and pour out onto a pastry board or parchment paper and form into a disk. Wrap in parchment paper or plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes. After resting, roll out the crust between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Expect the crust to be crumbly when transferring it into the pie pan. Pat the crust into the pie pan with your fingers. Bake pie according to the recipe.

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