Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes

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Chocolate cupcakes made with quinoa? Yes. They are really good: moist, fluffy and intensely chocolate.

This is an adaption of a recipe from a 2009 cookbook called Quinoa 365, by Patrica Green and Carolyn Hemming. It also appears on the authors’ website, Patricia & Carolyn. This recipe has been making the rounds on the internet, appearing on quite a number of food blogs, all with rave reviews.

Cake on the Brain had the idea of making the batter into cupcakes to make the cake more sturdy and less squidgy. I thought this was an excellent idea and copied it. I don’t have the jumbo muffin pan that Cake on the Brain apparently possesses, so instead of getting 12 large cupcakes, I got 15 normal cupcakes.

I made very few changes to the original recipe. To make the recipe pareve, I replaced the butter with oil and the milk with coffee.

The recipe calls for either 2 cups of cooked quinoa or 2/3 cup dry quinoa cooked with 1 1/3 cups water. If you are making quinoa pilaf or salad, just make extra quinoa. I made a whole 12 ounce bag of quinoa (2 cups dried), which, when cooked, was enough for a quinoa salad plus this recipe.

Bonus: Patricia & Carolyn also have a recipe for Quinoa Lasagna that looks fantastic and would be great for Pesach.

Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes
Adapted from Quinoa 365, with an assist from Cake on the Brain.

2 packed cups of cooked and cooled quinoa (or 2⁄3 cup quinoa cooked with 1 1⁄3 cups water)
1⁄3 cup coffee
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3⁄4 cup safflower oil
11⁄2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa
1 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
1⁄2 tsp. baking soda
1⁄2 tsp.  salt

Combine the coffee, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Add the quinoa and blend until smooth.

Combine the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix in the pureed quinoa mixture. Mix everything together very well.

Divide the batter between 15 lined muffin cups. Bake the cupcakes for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Quinoa 365 authors Patricia and Carolyn recommend either freezing the cake or storing it in the fridge.

If you want to frost these cupcakes, you can glaze them with melted chocolate, ganache or cocoa whipped cream. This post about my favorite Pesach chocolate cake has the recipes for the cocoa whipped cream and different chocolate glazes (scroll all the way to the bottom for the frosting and glazes).

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