Quinoa. Gluten free, high protein, grain alternative sweetheart of the superfoodie set, but if you ask me it tastes like dirt and does nothing to dispel the myth that health food has to taste like dust and sadness. I’ve tried to like it, really I have, but clearly I’ve never been hungry or drunk enough for it to have any merit – until now that is.
Behold the magical powers of chocolate; today I discovered that when made into a rich, moist (yes moist, so very moissssst), dark cake, quinoa becomes imminently more acceptable. Delicious even. Who would’a thunk it?!
I’ve been making these on the regular as lunchbox treats for the small tyrants and they’ve passed their mercilessly critical reviews with flying colours.
As well as using my kids as guinea pigs I’ve also selflessly put my body on the line with some extensive quality testing and can confirm these little guys are pretty bloody impressive on their own, but in the name of research I also whipped up a batch of creamy chia chocolate mousse to whack on top. And frankly, it was a stroke of fucking genius – fluffy, chocolatey genius. Obviously the topping is optional but let’s be honest here, what is cake without icing? It’s wrong that’s what, and I would have serious misgivings about befriending one of those naked cake breed of people. Unless of course they were sitting next to me giving me their icing, in which case, we’re tight.
Get this stuff
FOR THE CUPCAKES
1C cold cooked quinoa – any colour, chocolate know no racial boundaries
1/3 C coconut oil, melted
1/3 C coconut sugar or 1/3 C rice malt syrup + 2 Tbl baking stevia (e.g. natvia) for low fructose option
1/4 C cacao or cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
FOR THE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE ICING
1/4 C chia seeds soaked in 1/2 C of milk of your choice
1/4 C cashews soaked in water for 4-6 hours or overnight
1/4 C coconut cream – full fat, not miserable watery coconut milk (I use Ayam brand as it’s straight up coconut with nothing added)
2 Tbl cocoa or cacao
1 Tbl sweetener of choice. e.g. baking stevia, rice malt syrup, pure maple syrup, honey
1 Tbl coconut oil
pinch of salt
Do this with it
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees fan bake or 180 standard oven and grease and/ or line your muffin pans. I like to use those pretty little frilly cupcakes liners because I am a lazy fucker and it cuts down on the effort washing up afterwards. Also something about looking cute but mostly the laziness.
Throw the eggs, vanilla and sugar (or rice malt syrup and stevia) in the kitchen whiz and blitz well to combine. With the motor running pour the melted coconut oil slowly through the feeding spout in the lid, this will stop the hot oil scrambling the eggs which, although may be a tasty brunch, is a bit shit in the case of cupcakes.
Add in the quinoa, cocoa, baking powder, soda, apple cider vinegar, salt and any other shit I’ve forgotten to mention – all the rest of the things in now.
Ramp up the blender speed and mix well for a good minute or two.
Pour the mixture into the cases and bake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool. Or eat them hot, please yourself, although if you can wait long enough to make and apply the mousse icing it’ll be well worth your superhuman patience.
To make the mousse, drain the cashews and then throw everything into the blender and crank it up to whip everything into a light, fluffy chocolate frenzy. You may need to stop and scrape the sides down along the way if shit gets too hectic in there.
If you’re feeling really Betty Crocker you can transfer the mousse into a piping bag and pipe it onto the muffins but I tend to opt for the large spoonful smeared on top application method. Refer to aforementioned lazy fuckery.
Whack them in the fridge for a wee while to let the mousse set then enjoy with an added side of smugness for the level of healthfulness hidden in your chocolate treat. Well done you.