Call them muffins if you prefer (they don’t have icing). Either way, these cupcakes are the ultimate snack. Packed with protein – thank you almonds and eggs – and with a lovely zing from the orange (which you can leave out if you prefer), they’re the perfect full-of-goodness treat.
When buying butter, go for a grass-fed, preferably organic brand and you can rest assured it’ll be the most nutrient dense choice, packed with vitamins A, E, D and K. As for the dark chocolate, if you don’t mind the bitterness, go for a higher cocoa content (70% at least) and you’ll be skipping a whole lot of sugar.
150g butter, cubed
200g dark chocolate 70% or darker (check gluten-free if needed), broken into pieces
140g (2/3 cup) brown sugar (or you can use rapadura sugar or coconut sugar – they won’t be as sweet)
Finely grated rind of 1 orange (optional – omit if preferred)
¼ cup fresh orange juice (or you can use your preferred milk)
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
220g (2 cups) almond meal (or you can use ground hazelnuts or cashews)
½ tsp baking powder (check gluten-free if needed)
Preheat oven to 170C (150C fan). Line a 12-hole (80 ml capacity) muffin tin with paper cases.
Gently melt butter and chocolate (either in a heavy-based saucepan over stovetop or in a microwave-proof bowl in the microwave), stirring occasionally, until just melted and smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, orange rind (optional), orange juice (or milk) and vanilla until combined. Add reserved melted chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add almond meal and baking powder and stir until just combined.
Pour mixture into prepared tin. Bake for about 20 minutes or until just cooked through (cupcakes will appear slightly soft in the centre). Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Thermomix version: if you have a Thermomix, you can mill the almonds from scratch to make almond meal. Simply chop 10 sec/speed 8 and set aside. You can also melt the chocolate and butter straight in the mixing bowl. Grate the chocolate first 20 sec/speed 8, then add the butter and melt 2 min/80C/speed 1 (or until melted). Add remaining ingredients, as well as reserved almond meal, and stir about 15 sec/speed 4 or until mixture is combined.