Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Kumquat Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe sounds a little funky, right? But before you think I've lost it... let me explain.

G and I are on the Daniel fast for 21 days. (Feel free to ask us if we're sticking to it.) This means only fruits and vegetables. Thousands of people are taking part in this physical and spiritual fast from January 10-31. Regardless of your belief system, I think we can all agree that cleansing is a very good thing inside and out!

Although I don't practice lent, I've always loved to hear the old stories of households splurging before it begins. And I kind of did the same thing before we began the fruit and vegetable frenzy. I went a little wild baking multiple items and had some kumquats from the organic market waiting to be used. My original plan was to make the frosting for a gluten-free cinnamon roll but they were kind of a flop. Edible but not perfect. With a birthday party the next day, I wanted to use the base for my frosting and decided to just give it a little try with the chocolate cupcake and it was quite a success. The subtle sweetness of the kumquat just adds a little something special to the already delectable nature of cream cheese frosting.

The kumquat is an interesting little citrus friend. Being raised in Florida made me a bit of a citrus snoot, if you will. But I've found that not many people know much about this tiny citrus fruit. I have fond visions of my Grandmother's kumquat tree. Did you know you're supposed to eat the skin? It's the sweet part with the flesh being mostly tart. Wash them well and enjoy them whole, candied or zested into a dessert like this. Kumquat is a winter citrus, find them fresh now and eat within three days and you're in for a treat!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes
makes 12-16

1.5 c oat flour, sifted if lumpy
3/4 c brown rice flour
1/2 c cocoa
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
4 eggs
1.25 c sugar
2/3 c buttermilk
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 c half and half
2 tsp vanilla

- Preheat oven to 350. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a smaller bowl then blend into the dry. Pour into lined or greased muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Kumquat Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 c salted butter, softened (1/2 stick!)
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp kumquat zest (from about 4-6)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs lemon juice
5 c powdered sugar

- Combine first five ingredients in stand mixer until smooth and slowly add powdered sugar until combined.