Thursday, 15 September 2016

Chocolate Muffins with Cream Cheese Icing (Wheat Free with Dairy Free Option)

I hope everyone has been keeping well in my absence! I moved to Galway recently to return to university, and unfortunately where I live I once again have no oven!

Luckily for me, my lovely companion allows me to use his oven and his kitchen for baking projects, and he's also started getting involved himself. He's come to rather enjoy baking, which is great: I always love introducing people to it.

I showed him how to make chocolate chip cookies, ginger cake, and American style pancakes, and the other day he said it'd be nice to try making some chocolate cakes with cream cheese icing. I was happy to oblige.

Using this as an excuse, I decided to have a bit of experiment: I decided to try a different style of chocolate cake, using a melted mixture rather than a whipped mixture. However, the result was a little dense for my liking, so I thought I would alter it a little to make it a beaten mixture with a few flourishes.

☑ Soya (check for soya lecithin)
☑ Yeast
☑ Wheat
☑ Nuts

☒ Eggs
☒ Dairy (dairy substitutes can be found in italics)
☒ Gluten
☒ Cocoa products
☒ Refined sugar products


For 12 standard fairy cakes
  • 7 ounces (200 grammes) white spelt flour
  • 1 ounce (30 grammes) cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 4 ounces (115 grammes) butter, or margarine
  • 4 ounces (115 grammes) golden syrup
  • 4 ounces (115 grammes) caster sugar
  • 4 fluid ounces (120 millilitres) water

For the icing:
  • 3 ounces (85 grammes) butter, softened or margarine
  • 3 ounces (85 grammes) cream cheese, room temperature, or lactose free cream cheese
  • 12 ounces (340 grammes) icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) vanilla essence
  • Chocolate sprinkles, chocolate shavings, or cocoa powder, for decoration


First off, make the cakes
  • Preheat your oven to 170ºC (325ºF/Gas Mk. 3), and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cake cases.
  • In a saucepan, heat together the syrup, cocoa powder and water. Once the mixture is fully blended and there are no lumps of cocoa left, bring it to a simmer then immediately remove it from the heat. Allow to cool.
  • In a mixing bowl, cream the soft butter and the sugar together until very light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure that the first egg is fully mixed in before adding the second.
  • Mix the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in another bowl, and sieve half this mixture into the butter mixture. Fold through gently.
  • Add in the cooled cocoa syrup, fold in thoroughly, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Fold gently until fully combined.
  • Divide among the 12 cake cases and bake in the centre of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until risen and springy to the touch.
  • Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before icing.

Now, make the icing
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together well with a wooden spoon. Do not be tempted to use an electric mixer for this because you'll get icing soup.
  • Once the butter and cream cheese are smoothly blended together, add in the sifted icing sugar about a third at a time, folding in a mixing with the wooden spoon between additions until nice and smooth.
  • Spread the icing on top of the cakes, or you can pipe it on too.
  • Sprinkle on the topping of your choice.

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