Something unexpected happened at Easter. Actually, several things. The gluten eating husband bought me an Easter Egg (pig) for the first time! (After even more hinting than usual). He then went one better and found a dairy free one for Baby A (now 16 months old). In fact, a few folks were kind enough to track down special free from treats for both of us – we’re very lucky to have such thoughtful family and friends (and A’s nursery!).
When we started weaning Baby A I was somewhat militant about not giving her refined sugar. I’ve since reevaluated a bit and now take a more moderate approach. I don’t want her not being allowed things to be an issue – I don’t want her to grow up with an idea of some foods as contraband (and therefore to be craved and gorged on when mummy’s not looking!). Nor do I want to deny her things we don’t need to when she’s already off dairy, eggs & soya (pending results of allergy testing). I’ve also moderated this approach to my own diet – allowing myself the sweet stuff instead of trying to forgo it completely, but trying to make it much more of an occasional thing, something to be savoured and enjoyed (rather than regularly gorging on ‘healthier’ versions that don’t hit the spot!). Hopefully this is more sustainable.
Anyhow, Baby A hadn’t really had chocolate before and I was a little bit excited about seeing her reaction. At first she loved the shiny foil wrappers and boxes, but didn’t have the foggiest there was food inside. I broke her off a little bit. She examined it…
looked at me…
looked at the chocolate and laughed.
Then promptly threw it on the floor piece by piece. She doesn’t like chocolate! I didn’t foresee that one! Not even the white chocolate Choices bunny rabbit will tempt her! So what on earth to do with several dairy free Easter Eggs?!
The answer arrived from Udi’s who kindly sent us some of their products to try. Baby A is partial to a spot of homemade cake – let’s see if she likes a chocolate one. I adapted the Udi’s mix recipe to be dairy, egg and soya free – using her favourite bananas (“nong-nongs”) to bind the mix – the most heavenly combo with chocolate. I then used the Easter eggs in a simple dairy free frosting. As always, the best thing about cakes with no eggs is you can lick the spoon :) I hope you enjoy it!
Chocolate & Banana Fudgey Frosted Cupcakes – free from gluten, dairy, eggs & soya
Makes 12 large cupcakes
- 1 box of Udi’s Gluten Free Chocolate Flavour Cake Mix (available at Asda & Tesco)
- 5 tbsp dairy free spread (we used Pure Sunflower)
- 2 small mashed bananas
- 200g coconut yogurt (we used 2 pots of Pudology)
For the frosting (adapted from Oh She Glows)
- 3 broken dark chocolate Easter Eggs (about 200-250g)
- The cream from 2 cans of coconut milk (we use biona, chilled in the fridge and then opened upside down to drain the water)
- A few drops of caramel essence (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180ºc and line a muffin pan with cases
- Beat the dairy free spread briefly to loosen it.
- Add in the cake mix and beat until it forms crumbs.
- Add the mashed banana and beat again.
- Finally, add in the coconut yogurt and beat thoroughly.
- Divide into the cupcake cases, and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- When cool, frost and decorate – we used this 2 ingredient chocolate fudge frosting from Oh She Glows, I recommend storing them in the fridge.
The cakes worked a treat! Unlike many of my other banana-based concoctions these were incredibly light, yet not dry. I credit this to the predominantly starch-based mix, which does make the mouthfeel a little pasty, but the flavour is rich, without being overpowering. The perfect vehicle for an bitter chocolatey topping – it’s quite a grown-up cake, would be lovely warm with a scoop of banana icecream for after dinner.
What did Baby A think though? I’ll let these sticky fingers do the talking. Maybe she does like chocolate after all!
(Don’t worry I didn’t give her a whole one, we’re not that relaxed about sugar yet ;))