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Recipe: Guilt Free Chocolate Cupcakes

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Courtney Rich is the blogger and baker behind Cake by Courtney. She is keeping everyone on target with their New Year's resolutions by sharing a completely guilt free cupcake recipe. You can find more great recipes from Courtney here. 

GUILT FREE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Guilt-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Yield: 21 cupcakes or 2-layer, 8-inch round cake
Ingredients
For the Chocolate Cupcakes or Cake

2 cups Quinoa, cooked and cooled (about 1/2 cup uncooked - and cook the Quinoa in water, not broth)

5 large eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup milk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup, plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I use dark cocoa powder)

1 1/2 cups coconut sugar (or granulated)

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 scoops IdealFit Chocolate Protein Powder (optional)

For Whipped Chocolate Ganache

2 cups dark chocolate chips

2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
Instructions

For the Chocolate Cupcakes or Cake

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line your cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Fill any empty cupcake spots with a little water. For the cake option, spray two 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Spray again. Set aside.

2. Using a blender or food processor (I used a Magic Bullet), grind your coconut sugar into a fine powder. Set aside. If using granulated sugar, DO NOT grind it.

3. In a blender or food processor, combine the cooked Quinoa, eggs, milk, vanilla and butter. Blend until the mixture is smooth and silky.

4. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the finely ground coconut sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and protein powder (if using). Mix the ingredients for about 30 seconds.

5. With the mixer on low speed, add the Quinoa mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Turn the mixer off, scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for another 30 seconds on low speed.

6. Fill your cupcake liners about 2/3 full with the batter. I like using a large cookie scoop to distribute the batter evenly. For the cake option, pour half of the batter into one pan and smooth out the batter with an offset spatula or spoon. Pour the rest of the batter into the second pan and evenly spread the batter.

7. Bake cupcakes for 12-14 minutes. Bake the cake layers for 20-25 minutes (check at 20 minutes with a toothpick).

8. Let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from the pans.

For the Whipped Chocolate Ganache

1. Heat the whipping cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it reaches a gentle simmer. Mean while, pour the chocolate chips into a medium bowl.

2. Once the cream reaches a simmer, pour it over the chocolate chips and let sit for about 5 minutes.

3. Whisk the cream and chocolate chips until glossy and smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 2-3 hours. (I sped this up and put the bowl in my freezer for about 30 minutes.)

4. When the chocolate ganache is chilled, use an electric mixer (handheld or stand) to whip the mixture into soft peaks.