While shopping at Nature’s Pantry, I noticed gluten-free ice cream cones. I bought a box and tried making cupcakes baked in ice cream cones.
The cake portion of this recipe is delicious. I used what was leftover to make cake pops and they were tasty (still not pretty…failed attempt #2 with cake pops). The frosting, made with Nutella, was so creamy, not too sweet and perfect with chocolate cake. The ice cream cones, however, were not well suited to this project.
I asked friends who had made similar cupcakes with “regular” ice cream cones (not gluten-free) and they said the cones remained crunchy after baking. These cones did not. Whether that was due to the content of the cake recipe or the cones, I don’t know. The cones were soggy, chewy and within a couple of hours, some of them became leaning towers of cake, slowly falling to one side. The cones weren’t tasty, with that icky flavor some gluten-free products have. I still don’t know what it is that causes that funny flavor that I can only compare to baby formula but I don’t like it. Perhaps that funky flavor isn’t as prevalent if the cones are eaten as intended, directly out of the box, and became stronger during baking. Next time I will make a sheet cake and cut small circles of cake to insert into the cones, alternating with layers of frosting, to see if the concept would work better than it did this time.
All of that said, every single one of these was devoured. Yes, it required a fork, but they were tasty without the cone. Here’s the recipe:
1 3/4 cups of my favorite gluten-free flour blend
3/4 cup Askinosie cocoa powder
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
1 1/2 t. baking soda
3 large eggs
3/4 cup lukewarm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 T. canola oil
1 T. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl.
Add eggs, water, buttermilk, oil and vanilla to dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.
Place ice cream cones in muffin pan. I made rings of aluminum foil around the base of each cone to steady it, however if you have steady hands you might not need to do this. Fill the cones 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 T. milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 cup Nutella at room temperature
Mix butter and sugar together, slowly add in Nutella and vanilla. Add milk one tablespoon at a time until frosting reaching the consistency you prefer. I mixed this frosting for approximately 3 minutes to get a nice fluffy texture.
This week’s Sweet Friend is Dena. She lives at the opposite end of the state from me, which means I don’t get to see her often. We share the same profession which means we have lots of friends in common but more importantly we share a love of cooking, baking and gardening!
I met Dena a long, long time ago…I can’t even remember how many years ago it was. She was new to her profession and attended a workshop I produced. We didn’t talk much about our shared profession at that workshop, we talked mostly about soup recipes.
I recently went on a tour of the Askinosie Chocolate Factory in Springfield, Missouri and Dena joined me. We talked chocolate, ate chocolate, bought chocolate…and then I baked and baked and baked with that chocolate. When planning this week’s sweet, I made sure it contained something from the Askinosie factory. I chose to frost the cupcakes with Nutella because Dena was hand-delivering a sweet treat to me: two jars of the new Chocolate Hazelnut Spread from Askinosie. When I found out Dena was coming to town, I asked her to bring some of this much-talked-about new product from Askinosie so we could do a side-by-side comparison. We tried Nutella in frosting and then tried both Nutella and the Askinosie chocolate hazelnut spread on fresh berries. Both are good, but I understand now why famed chef Rick Bayless tweeted, “Don’t even compare it to Nutella.” There is no comparison. It is rich, chocolate-y goodness with slightly smoky hazelnut flavor and cocoa nibs. So not Nutella. It’s thinner, richer, more flavorful. And it’s also about 7 times the price of Nutella. Worth. Every. Penny.
While Dena was here visiting, we also had Baked French Toast with Udi’s Gluten Free white sandwich bread. This time I changed up the recipe a bit and used this recipe for Buttermilk Syrup shared by Kristen at Dine and Dish. I thought this Baked French Toast recipe was already really good. Now it’s really, really, really good. I made the syrup the day before and refrigerated it overnight along with the french toast. In the morning, instead of mixing up the maple syrup/butter concoction in my original recipe, I spooned the buttermilk syrup over the top and put it in the oven. I served it with more of this perfectly sweet and oh-so-buttery syrup and fresh berries. It was the perfect breakfast to share with friends!