Thursday, 2 August 2018

Gluten free polenta cherry cupcakes.

Getting back into the swing of things with my baking, I've been trying out some tasty new treats whilst re-finding my baking mojo as it were. These yummy gluten free polenta cherry cupcakes are the result of mixing up a couple of recipes and trying something new.

I've already praised the tasty joys of adding polenta to gluten free cakes and this tasty bake is no exception. With a tasty bit of crunch added to the cupcakes, alongside a yummy hidden cherry center.

They are a little time consuming, but worth it. Admittedly, trying this new recipe out did somewhat floor me at one point – looks like I've still got a long way to getting my health back on track – so I'll be taking it easy for a while before trying any out more adventurous new recipes!

It's been worth the effort though, as the end result is a truly scrumptious batch of cupcakes. The cupcake base itself works great for a basic gluten free cupcake too! 

Ingredients (make 12 cupcakes)
150g dairy free margarine
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
120ml dairy free buttermilk*
150g gluten free self raising flour
50g fine polenta
1/4 tsp xanthan gum

For the cherry filling
100g fresh cherries (de-stoned weight)
80g honey
4 tbsp lemon juice

For the frosting
120g dairy free margarine
240g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
fresh cherries to top


Pre heat your oven to 190c/180c fan/gas mark 5. Line a cupcake tray with cases. 

Cream together the dairy free margarine and caster sugar till pale and fluffy, then add in the eggs one at a time and mix.

Sift in the gluten free self raising flour a little at a time and blend, adding the xanthan gum and polenta in to mix.

Finish off by adding the dairy free buttermilk* - to make this simply add 1 tsp of lemon juice to 120ml of dairy free milk prior to baking and mix then set aside till needed. Stir well to mix.

Spoon the mixture into the cupcakes cases and bake for 20-25 minutes till risen and golden – in my fan oven these took 20 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before placing on a wire rack to cool down.


Whilst the cupcakes cool make the tasty cherry filling for your cupcakes. It's a little like a tasty cherry and honey jam that will sit in the center of your cupcakes.

Slice the cherries into halves once de-stoned and place in a small pan with the honey and lemon juice. Stir to mix, then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  
Turn the heat up and bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally to stop the mixture from sticking to the pan – the mixture will start to form into bubbles, turning darker and glossier when it's ready.

Take the pan off the heat and pour the jam into a dish, set it aside to cool down before placing in the cupcakes.


Once the tasty cherry jam filing has cooled down start to cut out a section on each cupcake to place this inside. A simple cupcake corer will work perfectly, if you don't have one of these though you can use a knife to cut out a small section from the center of the cupcake. You'll want it to be large enough that a tsp of filling will fit inside (see above picture). 

Place a tsp of filling inside the cored section of each cupcake, and place the cored out cupcake section back on top.

Once filled, set aside whilst you make your frosting to top each cupcake.
Whisk together the dairy free margarine with half of the icing sugar till fully blended. Then sift in the remaining icing sugar and whisk well.

Add the vanilla extract, then whisk for 2-3 minutes till blended. If you find the frosting a little too stiff at this stage, simply add 1 tsp of dairy free milk to loosen and whisk.
  
Place a nozzle inside a piping bag (this can be any you prefer), then fill with your frosting. Pipe swirls on top of each cupcake – to create the effect on mine I piped one full swirl covering the top, then a smaller swirl in the center on top of this.

Finish off with a cherry – this can be whole or a half, whichever you prefer!

Credit where credits due:
Cupcake base recipe adapted from Phil Vickery's “Essential gluten-free”.
Filling adapted from Texanerin Baking.