I adapted a recipe from the Primrose Bakery book to make these flour-less cupcakes for my mother in law's birthday. She is gluten intolerant – like many people these days – so I began searching for gluten free recipes. Rather than attempting mid-week experiments with gluten free flour I took a recipe for a flour-less chocolate cake and twisted it up. The results were really good – like extremely light chocolate brownies with a lovely orange note. The cakes collapse when they cool but this is meant to happen and any imperfection can be covered by a dollop of creme fraiche and orange pieces. Also, they don't turn out of the cupcake cases and have to be eaten with a spoon.
The recipe makes 10 cup cakes and is as follows:
Gluten Free Chocolate & Orange Cupcakes adapted from FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE from “The Primrose Bakery Book”
100g good-quality dark chocolate flavoured with orange (at least 70 percent cocoa solids), broken into small pieces – I used spiced orange dark chocolate
100g unsalted butter, plus more for greasing tin
Granted rind of 1 orange
2 large eggs, free-range or organic, separated
110g golden caster sugar
Segments of 1 orange and creme fraiche to top the cupcakes
Icing sugar, sifted, for dusting (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Line a cupcake tin with 10 cupcake cases.
Melt the chocolate pieces and the butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring continually. In another large bowl, beat the egg yolks with half of the caster sugar, using an electric hand mixer. Add the grated orange rind. Then fold in the melted chocolate and butter to the sugar mixture until well combined.
In a separate, clean bowl and using a whisk or an electric hand mixer, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and beat in the remaining sugar (so the egg whites will be stiff once the sugar is added). Fold this mixture into the first bowl with the other ingredients, being careful not to overmix otherwise you will knock too much air out of the mixture. Pour the batter into the cup cake cases and bake in the centre of the oven for about 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
When the cupcakes are cool and you are ready to serve top them with creme fraiche and slices of orange and dust with icing sugar. The cakes keep well for a couple of days if stored in an air tight box.