Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Polenta Lemon and Poppy Seed Cupcakes

I got this recipe from Lucullian Delights. They happen to be gluten-free, though I admit that was not part of my motivation in making them! The crumb was really nice, though, and I liked the end result. What threw me a bit was the frosting. It wasn’t stable at all and seemed to melt away as soon as I piped it on the cupcakes (all the more frustrating because I actually bothered with the piping this time). You can see the progression in the pictures below. The cupcakes had cooled to room temperature, so that wasn’t an issue. The frosting did set up really nicely later, regardless of whether the cupcakes were stored in the fridge or at room temperature, and the smooth top actually looks quite nice. I’d work with it next time, instead of trying to achieve cute piping like in the original recipe! I got 11 cupcakes, though I suppose the recipe makes a dozen. I’ve changed the order of a few steps below. Also, please note that while the baking powder probably isn’t necessary (since there’s no gluten), the rounded tops of the cupcakes do suggest that it’s at work, so I’m leaving it in the ingredients.

For the cupcakes
100 g./3.5 oz. polenta flour, the finest grind (or cornmeal ground really finely; it should feel like normal flour)
50 g./1.25 oz. corn starch
1 tsp. baking powder
100 g./3.5 oz. almond flour
3 eggs
100 g./3.5 oz. sugar
100 ml./7 Tbsp. rice oil or canola oil
1.5 Tbsp. poppy seeds
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
the grated zest of ½ a lemon

For the frosting
2 egg whites
350 g./12.35 oz. confectioners’ sugar
2-3 Tbsp. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 °F and grease a muffin tin.

In a medium bowl, sift polenta flour, cornstarch and baking powder; add the almond flour and whisk until it has all blended well.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and sugar fluffy; add oil, poppy seeds, the juice and zest of the lemon and stir well. Add dry ingredients and stir until blended, a minute or two.

Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 10-15 minutes. Leave on a rack to cool down.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, whisk the ingredients for the frosting with an electrical whisk for 3-4 minutes. Pipe or spread the frosting over the cupcakes and leave to set for a while before serving.

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