My oldest daughter, who we fondly call the Princess, is getting all excited about Halloween.  She's 10, but this is really the first year that she's seemed to get the whole concept in advance.  Since she's on the Autism Spectrum, and doesn't talk a lot, it can be difficult to explain such complex ideas as the whole Halloween holiday.  In fact, the first year I took her Trick-or-Treating, the whole thing was just an alien concept.  We went to the first door, and our neighbor held out a bowl of candy.  Princess selected a Tootsie-pop, and we moved on to the next house.  There, the next neighbor held out HER bowl of candy.  Princess placed her Tootsie-pop in the bowl.  My neighbor and I laughed, took the Tootsie-pop back out, and had her select yet another piece to put in her bag.  Repeat this procedure around the block, to the amusement of the neighborhood.  Finally, we came around to our next-door neighbor, and this time, Princess carrying her own Trick-or-Treat bag.  Stephanie, who lived next door, knelt down and held out her candy bowl.  Princess emptied her whole Trick-or-Treat bag into it.

Needless to say, seven years later, Princess DOES understand candy and won't be trying to bestow her largesse on the Peasants.  However, since she's on a gluten-free diet, I have to sort through her candy before she may have it.  Likewise, her classroom can't really have candy as most of the kids are on a gluten-free diet.  So this year, both to send to school and to use to distract her while I sort her candy, I'm planning some cupcakes.  I haven't gotten the details of the decorations worked out yet, but I'll share the cake recipe with you, now.  It took me some experimenting, but I finally managed to work out a Chocolate Malt Cupcake recipe - that doesn't use barley malt, which contains gluten.  Instead, it uses some rice malt syrup.  This mellows out the chocolate flavor and makes the cakes less bitter.  The dry milk granules tend to form little "malt chips" in the batter for a bit of texture.

Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled to room temp

¼ c. millet flour
¼ c. sweet rice flour
¼ c. + 2 Tbsp white rice flour
2 Tbsp tapioca starch
1/4 c. dry milk
½ tsp xanthan gum
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

5 ½ Tbsp unsalted butter
¾ c. + 1 Tbsp vanilla sugar

1 egg + 1 egg white

1 tsp of vinegar + enough cream to make ¼ c. stirred together
2 oz rice malt syrup

1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put cupcake papers in standard cupcake pan.  
Sift together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Set aside.
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and egg white and beat well, scraping down sides.  Add vinegar/cream mixture and malt syrup and beat well again.  Add dry ingredients and milk alternately in several additions.  Beat until combined and then beat 30 seconds more.  Batter will be somewhat lumpy.  Spoon batter into cupcake papers (a 2 oz. disher makes this task much easier and the cupcakes more even).  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.



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