Irish Daily Mail - YOU

Gluten-free chocolate orange polenta cupcakes


Finding decent substitute­s for wheat flour is a challenge and I have come to accept that the texture of gluten- free baked goods will always be slightly different. Often used for savoury dishes, polenta can make lovely moist cupcakes when you bake it like this. MAKES 12 220g butter, softened (I use salted) 220g soft light brown sugar 3 medium eggs 200g ground almonds 2 tbsp cocoa powder 100g fine polenta 1 tsp baking powder (gluten-free) zest and juice of 1 large orange 50g dark chocolate chips 12 mandarin or satsuma segments, pith removed EQUIPMENT 12-hole cupcake tin mechanical ice-cream scoop (optional) 1 Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C/350F/gas 4) and line the muffin tin with 12 paper cases. 2 Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together using a wooden spoon until it is light and fluffy. Once the mixture is really light, add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. The mixture can sometimes look a little curdled at this stage but it will come good. Fold in the ground almonds, cocoa powder, polenta, baking powder, orange zest and juice, and then finally fold in the chocolate chips, stirring as little as possible. 3 Using a large spoon or a mechanical ice-cream scoop, divide the mixture among the cupcake cases. Then place a mandarin or satsuma segment on the top of each cupcake and push it down slightly. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown. To check that they are cooked, insert a skewer in the centre of a cupcake – it should come out clean. 4 Once the cupcakes are baked, remove the tin from the oven and serve warm or cold.

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