Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nut-Free Gluten-Free School Birthday Party. Sounds fun, huh? (It can be!)


My son just turned three. Tomorrow he gets to celebrate at his pre-school, which means I'm supposed to send in some treats. His teacher suggested something "fun and not too messy, like Oreos." Well, that wasn't going to happen. The first and second ingredients in Oreos are sugar and partially hydrogenated oils. So I would have to make something (even though I'm still exhausted from all the prepping, baking, cleaning, shopping, and organizing I did for the birthday party we had at home this weekend). Sigh.


My son's school, like so many, is a nut-free zone to protect any children with allergies. That meant I couldn't go to my usual healthy baking bag-o-tricks, such as increasing nutrition by replacing half the flour in every recipe with almond meal. So I decided to make my adaptation of this flourless chocolate cake recipe that uses chickpeas, which are high in fiber and protein. It's an elegant dessert to serve in cake form at a dinner party--as I have--but fun for the kiddies in cupcake form. Then again, what isn't fun in cupcake form?
The secret ingredient makes these cupcakes super moist and nutritious.
These cupcakes are also flourless and require only a blender and a microwave-safe bowl: perfect for when you're feeling lazy and don't want to sift ingredients or wash lots of dishes.


I also made some dark-chocolate-dipped strawberries for the school party. They're so easy a three-year-old can make them. And did (see below for proof)!
Ingredients
(yields 48 mini-cupcakes)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate)
  • 2 cups chickpeas, preferably from a BPA-free can
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3c prunes
  • 2/3c Sucanat
  • 3T greek yogurt
  • 1/2t baking powder
  • powdered sugar (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Drain and rinse the chickpeas very well. Put chickpeas and eggs in blender and puree until smooth.

Prunes add sweetness and moisture to this recipe, and are great in chocolate recipes. Add them to the blender and puree until smooth. You will see little specks of the prunes, but there shouldn't be any chunks.
Melt the chocolate in your microwave until smooth and glossy. Stir well.
Add Sucanat, yogurt, baking powder and melted chocolate to blender. Puree again until fully combined.
 
Grease cupcake pan or use paper liners and fill cups about 3/4 full with batter.


Bake for 20-22 minutes; insert a toothpick in the middle of a cupcake to check doneness. Cool on a rack.
If you'd like, dust with powdered sugar. It does look really nice...


As for the strawberries, just wash your berries (organic, please: conventional strawberries have a very high amount of pesticide residue) and dry them well. 



 Melt about an ounce of dark chocolate. 


Dip the berries, covering them in as much or as little chocolate as you'd like. 


Place them on a plate covered in wax paper and chill in the fridge until the chocolate hardens.
My son helped me make them. He had a ball and, hey, less work for tired mama!

 


Each kid will get one mini-cupcake and one chocolate-covered strawberry. Beans and berries -- not the worst birthday party snack, am I right?
What do you make for your kid's school birthday parties?

13 comments:

  1. Yay, so glad you got a chance to make them! Thanks for posting your review, too, really appreciate it :-)

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  2. WOW! I can't believe I waited so long to make these! They seriously melt in your mouth, but without the overly sweet richness of so many chocolate cake or brownie type recipes. I will definitely be making more to spread the love! So good! 

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  3. I'm so thrilled you like them, Madame Professional Baker! And thanks so much for sharing our site with other people - word of mouth, and all ;-)

    I'll eat your share of the onion and goat cheese recipes!

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  4. I cannot tell you HOW AMAZING these are! I've shared this recipe with several friends who've shared with their friends and so on! I love your creativity - keep the recipes coming (sans onions and goat cheese :-))

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  5. A friend of a friend tried the cupcake recipe and emailed (to our mutual friend) her review: "I made the cupcakes yesterday for our cookout and they are AMAZING. They are a little dense but Bethany loved them. Even my very picky gourmet friend and very picky husband loved them. Thanks so much for sending me the recipe. -Susan"

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  6. Yum. This pics are amazing. Feels like I'm right there with the deliciousness! 

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  7. Justine, I have some friends would could use this recipe. Where can I find Sucanat? - Jen Koller

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  8. Jen - You can find it at any health food store or Whole Foods. It is basically unrefined dried sugar cane juice with its natural molasses intact, which means it at least offers a bit of nutrition. Succanat is still sugar, of course, so I did cut the amount from the original recipe. Regular sugar can be substituted.

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  9. This is AWESOME! I am forwarding the link to some of my nut and gluten freen friends. They will LOVE this!

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  10. Thanks for sharing! Let me know if you try it :-)

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  11. Jen - You can find it at any health food store or Whole Foods. It is basically unrefined dried sugar cane juice with its natural molasses intact, which means it at least offers a bit of nutrition. Succanat is still sugar, of course, so I did cut the amount from the original recipe. Regular sugar can be substituted.

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  12. Saw your link via Sue Ann Gleason (chocolate for breakfast) and was intrigued by her "teaser" re: your secret ingredient in the cupcakes.  More proof that healthy can be tasty!  Your lil' one looks so happy to help -- that's the best part!

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  13. It is the best part, Kimby - he's the cutest sous chef ever ;-)

    Thanks for checking us out!

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