Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mini Spelt Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

I used to only bake chocolate goodies for Elliot for school but now with Gabi no longer at day care I can make some chocolate treats they both can have. (Gabi’s day care banned chocolate).

I happen to think that a bit of chocolate at school will trigger some good endorphins so I hope that having a little chocolate cupcake will be something that makes them feel happy for the rest of the day.

Last year I introduced more organic produce into our diet, and this year I am trying to incorporate more whole foods into our lifestyle. I use one of the best priced organic companies in Brisbane for my products at if I had not found this company I may not have made the switch so easily as their produce is competitively priced.

I have used whole grains and organic products in this recipe because of our life style changes. I like to bake treats rather than buy them because you know what’s in it and there are no preservatives and those rules should apply whether you use organic products or not.

If you are not able to use organic or spelt products, then use white flour instead.

I think you could replace the spelt with either self-raising flour or plain flour with 1 teaspoon of baking powder – they will be lighter than these ones made with spelt. This recipe is an adaptation of my cupcake recipe – but I made some changes in order to work with the density of the spelt flour.

Mini Spelt Chocolate chip cupcakes

125 grams butter

½ cup organic raw sugar (or caster sugar)

2 organic-free range eggs

¼ cup *Cacao powder

1 and ¼ cups spelt flour

2 tablespoons sour cream

Dash of milk

120grams chocolate chips

Pre- heat oven to 170 (my oven is hot so I cooked about 150 degrees and used the middle rack)

Cream butter and sugar till white and light in texture (approximately 5 minutes). Add one egg at a time beating thoroughly after each one.

Mix through cacao powder and spelt flour. Add sour cream. The texture will be quite thick a this stage, so you need to add the sour cream and then the dash of milk to thin it out a little. I was aiming for texture that was not runny so that if you take a spoonful of the mixture it will not run off the spoon but fall off slowly and require a little assistance.

Line a 12 cup mini muffin pan with mini cupcake papers.

Place teaspoons full into paper liner – filling right to top and a tiny bit extra of the mixture on top as this flour will not rise.

Leave in oven for up to 20 mins but check around 15 mins – use wooden skewer and if it comes out clean they are ready. I think mine took about 18 mins

Makes approximately 30 mini muffins.

My experiences with spelt flour: it is quite a dense flour so this time I decided not to add any baking powder. I previously made some normal sized cupcakes and used a bit more sugar (3/4 cup) and baking powder (1 teaspoon). When I made it with the extra additions it took me ages to be sure the cake was cooked in the middle and the top had risen cracked then formed a hard shell – so they didn’t look as attractive as these little mini ones.

I also decided to reduce the sugar to ½ cup to make them a bit healthier as the aim was to provide a treat for the children but not go too heavy on the sugar as the chocolate should be the highlight here.

* I chose to use cacao powder rather than cocoa as part of our lifestyle changes as cacao is said to have more anti-oxidants than regular cocoa. Again if you are unable to use cacao – then cocoa can be used instead.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My spiced mango chutney

Well Blogger is decidedly odd, I have tried several times over the past couple of weeks to upload a post of our Christmas lunch, but it just isn't happening. So I thought I would try ploading this photograph (even though I have already posted it to Lifestyle food's website) something new when blogger gets me down.

I don't think my Christmas lunch will be posted here so instead I am going to move on with this recipe:

  • 2 large RE2E Mangoes (or 4 small mangoes) preferably not quite ripe
  • 4 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 1 small white onion finely diced
  • 1 red chillie seeds removed finely diced
  • 3cm piece of ginger finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic smashed
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 400mls white or malt vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 whole cardomum
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • 2 star anise
  • ground pepper
  • salt
  • Cut mangoes into large dice.
  • Grind the cardomum, mustard seeds and fennel seeds in a pestle or mortar.
  • In a saucepan, saute shallots, onion, chillie, ginger and garlic in some sunflower oil for about 10 mins till onion is softened.
  • Add the mangoes, ground spices and star anise and stir in throughly. Next add sugar and mix till dissolved. Finally add the vinegar, pepper and salt to taste. Leave to simmer for up to 45mins. Stop cooking early if the pieces of mango start to lose its shape too much - you want the chutney to have some chunkiness to it and not became a jam.
  • I bought some glass jars from Coles/Woolies and washed them out thoroughly then filled them with some boiled water to sterilise them . Remove water and let dry naturally.
  • I made quite a bit of chutney, so much so I was able to give one bottle away as part of a birthday gift and another to a friend who was envious of my birthday friend receiving a bottle. Both friends said they loved the chutney. In fact so did I - I will never buy mango chutney from a shop again!
Notes And Tips

One word of warning, one of my jars cracked when adding the boiling water, I think that I should have washed them in very warm water first to heat up the glass and reduce the chance of it cracking when under heat. Ways to serve as a side dish for Indian curry, on a turkey sandwich, on a lentil burger, with some grilled fish or chicken.

About Me

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Mother of two with one of each. Wife of one.Dogless. Busy working five days a week, baking and cooking when time allows. Writing rarely these days. Wishing I had time to read more often.