Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Sugar free bitter chocolate cupcakes

Since embarking on my quest to fill a blog with recipes that have some vital ingredient missing I have had a couple of friends ask me if I have ever made a cake that doesn’t contain any sugar. One particular friend wanted to find a recipe suitable for a diabetic colleague to indulge in. According to Diabetes UK it is a myth that people with diabetes have to eliminate sugar from their diet completely, but it is important to follow a balanced diet that is generally low in fat and includes carbohydrates that have a low glycaemic index so that the consumption of these won’t affect blood glucose levels too much. But I was still open to the challenge of making a sugar free cake (well a no added sugar cake) and set about making these mini chocolate cupcakes that rely on the natural sugars found in fruit to provide a little sweetness. The cakes themselves are quite bitter but if you are a fan of dark chocolate you will love these, and the icing (which can easily be made suitable for a vegan diet) gives a slightly sweeter kick to cut through the bitterness of the cake.


120g butter
250g of sugar free jam (I used St. Dalfour’s ‘Rhapsodie de Fruit’ jam which just contains fruit and uses grape juice concentrate as a natural sweetener)

200g self-raising flour
120g cocoa
120g ground almonds
4 eggs

Makes approximately 40 mini cupcakes

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degC or 350 deg F

Place the jam and butter into a small saucepan and gently heat until melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Sieve the flour and cocoa into a large bowl, add the ground almonds and stir until combined.

Add the melted butter and jam to the bowl and mix well until the ingredients are well combined. Then add the beaten eggs and continue to stir until quite a thick cake batter is formed.

Line a mini muffin tin with mini muffin cake cases (you can make larger cupcakes but because this mixture produces quite bitter little cakes I found mini cupcakes provided the perfect bitesize portion!). Divide the mixture between the cake cases and then place into the oven for 10-12 minutes until the cakes are firm and a skewer placed into a cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

For the icing
250g pitted dates
150ml apple juice
50g cocoa
1-2 tablespoons milk

Chop the dates into small pieces and place in a small saucepan with the apple juice.

Gently heat the contents of the saucepan until the dates begin to soften and the apple juice is absorbed into the mixture. Then remove from the heat and transfer to a food processor, blitzing until well combined.

Add the cocoa to the mixture and blend again until all of the ingredients are mixed together well and a smooth paste is formed. If the mixture becomes a little stiff and dry add a tablespoon or two of milk to loosen (or to keep the icing as a vegan recipe swap the milk for a non-dairy alternative, or add a little more apple juice).

Finally spread the mix onto the top of the cooled cupcakes.

Cake recipe adapted from the Rich Chocolate Cake recipe on Sugar Free Recipes

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