Cheat Day [cheet dey] – noun: The one day of the week where diet minded fitness freaks throw caution to the wind and indulge only on the most tantalizing, ridiculously calorie dense foods known to man. Often associated with the term, “carb hangover,” which occurs the morning after a particularly fruitful cheat day. Synonyms: Free Day, Fun Day, Fat Day

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes

So Happy (belated) Fourth of July!  So like pretty much every other holiday or special event that crosses my path, I somehow managed to make this about food.  Fireworks schmireworks- the only thing I care about blowing up are the seams to my patriotic red, white and blue bikini.

Ok, I didn't actually buy one of those bikinis- but I saw them at Walmart today and I was seriously tempted.  What says "I love my country" like cutting up a flag and covering up your naughty bits with it.  Yay America!

Nor do I really want to gain enough weight to blow the seams out of my clothing. 

Moving on.  My family for some reason decided to rent a pontoon boat to celebrate. This is actually pretty laughable.  With the key exception of my husband, the only one of us who actually know hows to drive a boat, we aren't so much "sit on a boat eating hotdogs and drinking beer" kind of people.  We are more "sit in the air conditioning eating scones and drinking mimosas" kind of people.  Regardless- we have a boat, and I need to make boat food.

Problem: I want to make flourless chocolate cake.  1.  It's delicious, 2. I had it when I went out to eat for my anniversary and now I can't get it out of my mind 3. It doesn't have flour- so it's already half way to being Atkins friendly for my sister (I'll tell you more about my sugar free attempt below.)

...But flourless chocolate cake isn't boat foot.

Solution: Make it into cupcakes!

Flourless Chocolate Cake 
This recipe is so simple- one of the main reasons it's so freaking fabulous.  It sounds all fancy, but it was really quick to whip up!

After preheating your oven to 375, start off by cutting up two sticks of butter.  Place that in your double boiler with 10.5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate.  Stir until melted, and take off the heat.

Butter and chocolate.  So far so good!

Next, cream your sugar with your eggs and egg yolks.  Slowly pour in about 1/4 of your mixture, as well as the rest of the ingredients, and fold it into the eggs.  Add in the rest of the choco-butter mix and fold in until combined. 

Pour into 12 muffin tins and bake.  Voila!

Daw- aren't the flowerdy cupcake wrappers adorable!  One of many cake related anniversary gifts from my hubbers.  He knows me so well.

You can do all sorts of filling and frosting with these babies.  I did caramel and pecan topping, strawberry filling, ganache and whipped cream frosting.  All sorts of fun stuff!

Verdict?  These were pretty great!  Honestly, I feel like flourless chocolate cake loses something in cupcake form.  I would have much rather had a small slice with the raspberry drizzled over, but that's just me.  This is very a dense, very rich, almost brownie like cupcake.  Love it!

Ok- so, remember how I said one of the reasons why I wanted to make these is because I have a sister doing Atkins?  Yeah, I thought to myself- well, it's already half way there- no flour!  Just get rid of the sugar and this will be a fabulous Atkins friendly treat.

Um, I'm going to do with a no on that one.  Picture dense, dry, black, shriveled cakes literally floating in all the butter that oozed out of them during the baking process.  Apparently the sugar in this recipe did a whole lot more than sweeten the cakes- it is a structural component, not to be replaced with splenda.  It was awful.  I guess today baking really is a science...

So what was my solution to this?  Make Atkins friendly truffles using my ganache recipe!  Woot!

(Make the ganache recipe below, chill until hard, scoop into balls, and roll in cocoa)

Flourless Chocolate Cake
Recipe From:

10 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
4 eggs
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa powder (Or whatever you have on hand- I used dark cocoa powder)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 and line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.

Put the chocolate and butter in a double boiler and stir until completely melted. Set aside to cool.

In large bowl, cream the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer. Gently fold in 1/4 of the melted chocolate and remaining ingredients.  Add the reamining chocolate and butter and blend.

Spoon the batter into the cups. Bake for 20 minutes. 

Dark Chocolate Ganache Filling (Top with Whipped Cream frosting, below)
Taken exactly from:

I did not change this recipe, so you can follow the instructions here.  I do not add the optional rum. For these, I let this filling cool for about 45 min and then spooned it into the cored cupcakes. 

Raspberry Filling (Top with Whipped Cream frosting, below)
Taken exactly from:

Whipped Cream Frosting
Taken exactly from:

I did not change this recipe, so you can follow the instructions here.

Turtle Topping
Top cupcakes with chopped pecans and caramel (I used the same recipe that I did for the shortbread bars.)

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