Our tribe is like most families, we really enjoy our sweets, especially chocolate. During the holiday season we are often tempted with a multitude of goodies and bonbons, many of them lovingly prepared by our neighbors and friends. Sugar cookies, truffles, Buche de Noel, chocolate mousse, peppermint bark and more. By the time Christmas day arrives, I’ve gained an extra layer of cushioning and feel more like a sugarplum!
This year, rather than being a scrooge with dessert, I’m making Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes. The cake recipe, an adaptation of French Acadian Chocolate Cake, uses buckwheat, which is grown by the Bouchard Family Farm in Fort Kent. Buckwheat flour is traditionally used to make ployes, a delicious thin pancake that was often eaten at most French Acadian I meals.
Buckwheat is available in supermarkets and health food stores. I was interested to learn that it is a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel, not a grain. Suitable for folks on a gluten-free diet, buckwheat can be used in a variety of baked goods. The Bouchard family has an interesting cookbook full of recipes and a background on the history of ployes.
Because these cupcakes store well in the freezer, I will make them several days in advance and then assemble on Christmas Day. Whipped cream, lightly sweetened with maple syrup or a raspberry-flavored liqueur, is used to fill and frost the cakes. Fresh raspberries, a true luxury in December, complete the treat.
At less than 200 calories per creation, this is the perfect way to indulge and eat cake. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!
RASPBERRY CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
- 1½ cup light buckwheat flour
- 1¾ cup cane sugar
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup Melted butter
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar maples syrup or raspberry liqueur
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- White chocolate for garnishing
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter 24 muffin cups.
- In a large bowl, combined the buckwheat flour, cane sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. Mix well. Add the melted butter, applesauce and eggs, stirring well to combine.
- Spoon the mixture into the buttered muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cakes rest in pan for 10 minutes, then cool on a rack. Cakes may be tightly wrapped and stored for 2 days before assembling.
- To assemble, whip the cream until peaks form. Whip in the sweetener of your choice.
- Slice cupcake in half and spread with cream. Spoon the cream on top of the cupcakes, add raspberries to the top and shave white chocolate over each.