Thursday, September 19, 2013

Royal Spiced Cupcakes (Gluten Free) for National Cupcake Week & the 10 Most Expensive Desserts in the World!

Happy National Cupcake Week y'all!
I decided to make this decadent looking cupcake after reading an article about the 10 Most Expensive Desserts in the World on the Priority One Jets website. Click on the article, it's astounding. 

One of the featured desserts, served up at the restaurant Serendipity right here in NYC, is an ice cream sundae shrouded in 24 carat gold leaf, served in a crystal goblet with a golden spoon. Oh, and don't forget the caviar, which they use in place of a cherry. So much for dipping potato chips in your Häagen-Dazs for that salty-sweet fix. 

The most expensive dessert the article features is a simple bowl of marinated strawberries over vanilla ice cream garnished with an antique diamond ring worth $3.95 million smackers! It's sold at Arnaud’s in New Orleans where, apparently, it really is all about the Benjamins. For comparison's sake, according to Wikipedia the GDP of Germany last year was $3.6 million. You go, Arnaud's!

I never buy cupcakes when I'm out-and-about because they often don't have any particular flavor I can discern. They just taste sweet, or else they're so rich that they just taste sweet and fatty. Lucky for you (and me!), these perfectly moist, tender, fluffy, gluten-free cupcakes are off the charts both in aspect and flavor but they are as affordable as can be. Plus the icing is made with bourbon vanilla, so there's a nice spiked flavor to accompany the warmth of the cinnamon and cardamom. 

This recipe is adapted from one I found at the excellent blog, Gluten-Free Goddess. I will definitely be using her site as my gluten-free jumping off point from now on because these came out marvelous!
Adapted from Gluten-Free Goddess, Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes with Mocha Icing
Yield: 48 mini cupcakes
1 cup brown rice flour 
1 cup tapioca starch 
1/2 teaspoon table salt 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon xanthan gum 
3/4 cup sugar 
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup coconut milk 
1 large egg
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract 
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice 

Preheat your oven to 350ºF.  Prep two mini-cupcake tins with liners. I used silver and gold for a more royal feeling!

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together. Combine the wet and dry gently with a spoon or spatula until just combined.
Fill the liners about 1/2 full (I overfilled mine, as you can see in these photos) and bake on the center rack of your preheated oven until firm. About 10 minutes. If you decide to make regular sized cupcakes, check for firmness at 14 minutes.

Allow the cupcakes to set-up and cool the pan briefly, then finish cooling them on a rack. 

While they're cooling, mix a batch of icing. Be sure to add the liquid slowly so you don't end up with runny icing.

Quick Icing
1 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 Tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract (use lemon juice for a more tangy flavor)
2 Tablespoons coconut milk or any liquid (add in small increments just until the icing is glossy and viscous like very thick molasses).

Once the cupcakes are fully cool, use a serrated blade to saw off the tops so they are very flat (see uses for the cupcake tops below). Top each with icing starting in the center and pushing out toward the edges. Decorate with whatever you have on hand, lemon or orange zest and/or a pinch of sugar would look beautiful if you don't have sprinkles or sugar pearls. 

As for the cupcake tops, don't toss 'em, instead, break them up and eat them with some whipped cream OR crumble them up very finely and store them in a baggie or tupperware in the freezer for later use sprinkled over ice cream, patted over icing for an elegant finish to your next cake project, or smushed and rolled up to form cake pops!

If you prefer to try to simulate one of the actual 10 Most Expensive Desserts in the World, try this recipe for Decadence D'or Inspired Cupcake courtesy of, Priority One Jets. Click on either link for a photo of the original.