Okay so I normally don’t say this (yes I do) but, these cupcakes are the best thing I’ve ever made. Ever. I may have said that last week about the Paleo Twix Bar Tarts, which at the time was true, but then…these happened. I was super craving Rocky Road ice cream this week. It used to be my favorite flavor as a kid, when I had a less refined grown-up palate. Now I like pretentious ice cream flavors like Salted Caramel and Goat Cheese Cabernet. A little CEWADM trivia: my favorite ice cream flavor of all time is Baskin Robbins Peanut Butter and Chocolate. That’s not pretentious, that’s delicious.
So I whipped these up yesterday all quick like for Mother’s Day and handed them out to all the Mom’s in my life and they FLIPPED OUT. You guys, not even like regular Mom flip out (“of course I like them, you made them!”) but like flipped out flipped out. Like might have cut a bitch for seconds flip out. Brad even flipped out. I made him try a bite and he exclaimed, “WOW! These are the best thing you’ve ever made!” See I told you. So that long winded self-indulgent explanation was just to convince you to make these because they are that ridiculous and you need these in your life. I’m also very proud of my chocolate buttercream frosting. It was my first time making a buttercream, and I literally threw stuff into a bowl and mixed it together and it worked. That’s what we in the business like to call, “Lucking Out”. Phew.
So what else is new besides these cupcakes? Have you guys seen any good movies lately? I want to see that chick flick with Cameron Diaz, The Other Woman I think it’s called. I could Google it right now but that seems like a lot of effort. I just love chick flicks. They’re my fave. That and Sci-Fi. Weird right? I love Sci-Fi. I blame my Father…and Star Trek: The Next Generation because it infiltrated my young developing mind in the early 90’s. I was impressionable. “Dessert, the final Paleo frontier. These are the voyages of Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind. Its continuing mission: to explore delicous new desserts, to seek out new life in classic recipes, to boldly go where no Paleo dessert has gone before.” Please tell me you aren’t still reading this. Stop geeking out with me and go cupcake.
I wanted to take a quick second to address the Palm Shortening ingredient in this recipe. I get a lot of questions regarding sustainability and whether or not the ingredient is healthy. First let me start by saying this is a vegetable shortening but not made from vegetable oil. Palm Shortening is derived from palm oil, a natural oil extracted from the fruit of palm trees. When people see the word ‘shortening’ they immediately think Crisco which is loaded with trans-fats in the form of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Crisco is BAD NEWS. Palm shortening isn’t. It works similarly to Crisco though in the fact that it’s stable at high temperatures and is a light flavorless fat that is great for baking and frying and does NOT require hydrogenation. The only ingredient in Palm Shortening is Palm Oil. Also be sure to only buy Palm Shortening from SUSTAINABLE sources like Tropical Traditions or Spectrum. Both companies source their ingredients from from small scale family farms. These farmers are certified by ProForest, which ensures that they meet strict social, environmental and technical criteria.
After eating one (three) of these Paleo Rocky Road Cupcakes I’m in love. Deeply. In fact I got a birthday request from my “Mom In-Law” to make these for her birthday. Brad thinks I should make an actual two layer cake out of it. I think that scares me. What do you guys think? Can it be done? What are you looking at? Do I have marshmallow fluff on my face still? I thought I got it all off. #paleorockyroadcupcakeproblems
Oh guess what else? I did my first Podcast on Friday! It was so fun! I’ll let you guys know all the details as soon as I have them. And then you can hear me talk for 30 minutes. Like you aren’t sick enough of reading my blog posts already. I’m scared to listen to it because I hate how my voice sounds on recordings. Do you guys feel like that too? Why do our voices sound so different? What if they don’t and that’s how we really sound all the time? Ugh. I hate it. See how much I love you and all the things I go through for you. Like eating cupcakes and talking about myself. It’s really rough guys. Just kidding love you long time.
- 1 cup (92 g) sifted fine-ground blanched almond flour
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (7 ounces/200 g) dark chocolate (63% to 72% cacao) or semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup (120 ml) canned full-fat coconut milk, room temperature
- ¼ cup (55 g) palm shortening
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (7 ounces/200 g) chocolate chips
- 16 tablespoons (227 g) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup (75 g) coconut sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup (240 ml) cold water, divided
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) light-colored raw honey
- ¼ cup (32 g) maple sugar
- ¼ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 2 tablespoons, or 2 (¼-ounce/7-g) envelopes, unflavored gelatin (225 bloom strength)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-well cupcake pan with paper baking cups; set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients—almond flour, coconut sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon—and stir together using a fork until combined; set aside.
- Melt the chocolate chips and coconut milk together in a double boiler over simmering water. Stir together until smooth and combined. (Another method is to place the chocolate chips and coconut milk in a large (3-quart/2.8-liter) heatproof glass or metal mixing bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water). Stir intermittently, using a rubber spatula, until the chocolate is completely melted and combined with the coconut milk. Then add the palm shortening and stir it into the mixture as it melts, until completely combined. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
- Stir the vanilla and eggs into the melted chocolate mixture. If you used a double boiler to melt the chocolate rather than a large mixing bowl set over water, transfer the melted chocolate and egg mixture to a large mixing bowl.
- Gently fold the dry ingredients into the melted chocolate mixture and stir using a rubber spatula or whisk until just combined. Over mixing could cause the middles of the cupcakes to sink.
- Use a small cookie dough scoop (1 tablespoon) or a large spoon to transfer batter into the cupcake liners, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove from pan to cool completely before frosting.
- Prepare the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, then pipe it onto the cupcakes, using a piping bag fitted with desired tip or use a small offset spatula. (A Wilton 1M tip was used to frost the cupcakes shown in the photo, opposite.) Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrapped well in plastic for up to 2 days.
- Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler over low heat or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir frequently, using a rubber spatula, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer set to medium-high until the butter is light and fluffy and the sugar is incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and continue to beat until mixed. Then add the melted chocolate to the butter mixture in three additions beating well after each. Make sure the chocolate has cooled enough so it doesn’t melt the butter when combined. Continue to beat until smooth.
- Use an offset spatula to spread or transfer to a piping bag fitted with desired tip. Store any remaining in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 2 days. Do not place in the refrigerator; the cold temperature will cause the butter to harden.
- In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine ½ cup (120 ml) of the water with the honey, maple sugar, and salt. Whisk together and heat over medium-high heat while you prepare the gelatin.
- Pour the remaining ½ cup (120 ml) of water into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water, then pour in the vanilla. Lightly stir using a spoon until the mixture resembles applesauce; set aside and tend to the honey mixture.
- The honey mixture will start to bubble vigorously and rise in the pan; whisk intermittently. Boil until the mixture reaches 240°F (116°C) on a candy thermometer, 10 to 12 minutes. Once it reaches temperature remove from the heat.
- With an electric hand mixer or the stand mixer (with the whisk attachment inserted) set to low, very slowly pour the hot honey mixture down the side of the mixing bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once all the mixture has been poured in, increase the speed to high and continue to beat until the mixture turns white, thickens, and ribbons start to form. Use immediately; the mixture will continue to thicken as is sits and become too firm to use easily. If the mixture starts to firm up, beat again on high until the mixture becomes smooth again. If the mixture sits out too long and firms up too much, it may not be salvageable.
- Be sure to sift the coconut sugar in the frosting recipe. Coconut sugar is very granular; sifting it will break down the grain and help the sugar to incorporate into the butter. If you skip this step the frosting may be slightly gritty. If the chocolate wasn't cooled enough it will soften the butter. If this happens, place it in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes to firm up, then beat again with an electric mixer.
- Subs: Maple syrup in place of maple sugar in the marshmallow creme.