*This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze. All opinions are my own.*
I know, I know. Almond Joy again.
But the combination of chocolate, coconut and almond is just one of my favorites.
And since I was privileged enough to be given some Almond Breeze almond milk to create some recipes with, I thought I would try to make a dessert that was as allergy-friendly as possible.
Going gluten or dairy free isn’t something I’d given much thought until recently. I feel like that’s the way it is for most people.
It seems like you hear of more and more people these days who have gluten or dairy allergies, or who choose to go gluten and/or dairy free. And I think that’s totally awesome.
As for myself, I just don’t think I could do it. Not quite yet anyways.
However, I think there are definitely health benefits to eating gluten or dairy free at least occasionally, and because these allergies or preferences are becoming more widespread these days, it’s nice to have some different options for serving dessert.
Now, when I made these, they weren’t completely dairy free. This is because I don’t have dairy free chocolate or butter substitute/dairy free margarine/coconut oil.
But because those would be easy swaps that won’t change the texture, bake time or measurements, I like to count these as a win in the gluten-free, dairy-free department. If you are someone who eats dairy-free, because of an allergy or by choice, these are likely swaps you’re going to have made in your own pantry already anyways. If you’re baking these for someone who has allergies, just be sure your butter/margarine and chocolate is gluten and dairy free.
The cupcakes have the taste and dense, fudgy texture of a flourless chocolate cake. The flavour is rich, dark chocolate, so if this isn’t your thing, try using a sweeter chocolate or increasing the sugar a bit. They will puff up when baking, and then sink down a bit as a flourless chocolate cake would, but they will be incredible rich and fudgy.
I tried baking two ways: in paper liners and in greased and floured muffin tins. Both worked, and the cupcakes came out extremely easily. The cupcakes in liners stayed a little taller, whereas the ones in muffin tins were slightly shorter and wider. You can see the difference in the photos.
- 1 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (gluten-free & dairy free)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or dairy-free margarine or coconut oil
- 1⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
- 6 eggs
- 1½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ½ cup unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze
- 4 large egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup corn starch
- pinch of salt
- 1½ cups unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze
- ¼ cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (dairy free)
- 1 tbsp butter or dairy-free margarine or coconut oil
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk, refrigerated 16-24 hours
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½-2/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- toasted coconut
- toasted almonds
- chocolate sprinkles
- I recommend making the pastry cream first because it will take the longest to chill and set.
- In a medium pot, combined egg yolks, sugar, corn starch and salt with a whisk. Whisk in Almond Breeze.
- Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until thickened (2-4 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in chocolate and butter or margarine.
- Pour into a bowl and press a piece of wax paper onto the top of the pastry cream, so it is totally covered. Refrigerate at least 3-4 hours or overnight.
- In a large bowl, add chocolate and butter or margarine. Microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until butter is melted. Whisk until chocolate is also melted. Stir in brown sugar. Set aside 5-10 minutes to cool to room temperature.
- Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Add cocoa, extracts and almond milk and whisk until smooth.
- Spoon into 18 muffin cups, either lined with paper liners or sprayed with non stick and dusted with flour. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes, until tops are set (there shouldn't be a shiny spot in the middle).
- Set aside to cool. (I found the liners easiest to remove before they were totally cool, around the 10 minute mark).
- When cool, scoop out the middle of the cupcakes using a small spoon, being sure to leave at least ½" all the way around intact. (I save the middles to eat with the remaining pastry cream!)
- Make sure your cans of coconut milk have chilled at least overnight or for a full 24 hours.
- Move your cans to the counter, being careful not to overturn them or shake them. Open them carefully and see that the coconut water and coconut cream have separated.
- *I did my research, and most tutorials will say that the coconut cream will be at the top and the water at the bottom. When I opened my cans, I found the water at the top and the cream at the bottom. My cans were upside down, and I'm not sure if this is why. I slowly poured out the water and scooped out the cream with a metal spoon.
- Add coconut cream to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until smooth and incorporated. It should hold stiff peaks. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Spoon pastry cream into a piping bag or ziploc bag. Cut the corner off and pipe a small amount into the middle of the cupcakes.
- Spoon whipped coconut cream onto filled cupcakes (I used a piping bag and a large round tip).
- Garnish as desired.
- Refrigerate up to 3-4 days after making, if they last that long!
Ready for whipped coconut cream!
Cupcake recipe adapted from The Kitchen Paper.
Pastry cream recipe adapted from Real Simple.