cacao cupcakes

with ricotta maple frosting

  • ¾ cup (90g) almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 1 cup (160g) rapadura sugar
  • ½ cup (80g) wholemeal (whole-wheat) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • ½ cup (50g) raw cacao or cocoa powder+
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of (baking) soda
  • 125g unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup (180ml) buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

ricotta maple frosting

  • 1 cup (240g) fresh firm ricotta 
  • ¼ cup (60ml) maple syrup, plus extra to serve (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (25g) raw cacao or cocoa powder+
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Line 12 x ½-cup-capacity (125ml) cupcake tins with paper cases. Place the almond meal, sugar, flour, cacao, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, butter, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 1–2 minutes or until smooth. Spoon into the tins and bake for 22–25 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Place on a wire rack to cool completely. 
  2. To make the ricotta maple frosting, place the ricotta, maple syrup, vanilla and cacao in a food processor and process for 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until smooth and glossy. 
  3. Spread the frosting over the cooled cupcakes and refrigerate until ready to serve. Drizzle with extra maple syrup to serve. Makes 12

+ Available in nibs and powder form, raw cacao comes from the same tropical cacao beans as regular cocoa, but is derived via cold pressing. This means it can retain more antioxidants and enzymes. Rich, dark and pleasantly bitter, find raw cacao in supermarkets and health food stores. 

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