Cocoa Raspberry Protein Cupcakes … once more with feeling

Hey CCM, didn’t you recently post a recipe for raspberry chocolate brownies?

Yes, I did.

So, what gives?

Well, some people just LOVE chocolate and raspberries but are following some rather strict dietary rules.  Maybe they eat according to specific dietary principles as a way of life, or because they have set themselves fat loss and/or lean muscle gain targets as part of their fitness goals.  I am in the latter group although, heck it’s a hard slog sometimes.  Temptation lurks around every corner.  I got a few requests for a treat that fits with the low-fat and reasonably low carb treat that also provides some decent protein but has that universally loved combo of raspberries and chocolate.

Also, it’s chocolate … and raspberries.   Can you really have too much?   The universe says NO.

So, I’m revisiting raspberries and chocolate again … once more with feeling 😀

I’m also conscious that a considerable number of my posts have chocolate leanings.  Affiliations.  Bias, you might say.  Well, duh.  I love my chocolate.  But here’s the thing.  The next few posts are probably going to be chocolate free.  Not for health reasons, but just because I have a list of things I’d like to bake now that it’s springtime.  Run for the hills, chocolate lovers … but I digress.

WARNING:  awesome healthy protein snack alert!

My goal here was to make something that provided some decent protein without being too heavy on the carbs but, importantly, were low in fat and a light snack that won’t weigh you down.  The inspiration is flourless chocolate cupcakes that rise and fall when they bake and cool and have a gooey, moist centre with a rich chocolately flavour and the sweet-tart explosion of raspberry goodness.  I think I’ve succeeded here.

A big thank you to one of my trainers, Anna from Wild Fitness, for being my taste tester in this experiment 🙂

These are great on their own but I love them topped with protein fluff.  Berry protein fluff would make the most sense and probably the best fit but I had them with mango fluff and WOW, they were good.  The best part is you have the little crater at the top of each cake in which the protein fluff sits rather snugly in a little mound.  Also great with some yoghurt or whatever takes your fancy … more raspberries?  Excellent.  More chocolate in the form of a choc-hazelnut spread?  DIVINE.  I store them in the refrigerator and they are brilliant straight from the fridge – the texture is really like a flourless chocolate cake.

Anna made a great suggestion, and I agree:  how magnificent would they be with the addition of some cacao nibs or chopped chocolate?  Unbearably good, I imagine.  Might do that next time  😉

A word of warning for the sugar junkies … they are not very sweet.  If, like me, you have cacao running through your veins, this is bliss because it makes the chocolate flavour much more intense (and I love the tartness of raspberries).  Definitely one for the dedicated chocolate diehards.   But, if you’re addicted to sugar, add some more maple syrup or a little brown sugar or whatever sweetener takes your fancy.  Taste the batter before you fold in the egg whites and adjust accordingly.

Don’t they look kinda cool too?  Like proper little cakes.  I’m convinced that you don’t have to sacrifice flavour and good natural ingredients to accommodate treats in a healthy diet.

Just because it’s healthy, doesn’t mean it can’t also be downright civilised.  Enjoy the unbearable lightness of being chocolate! 😀

Makes 12 / Serves 6

1 egg
120 grams non-fat quark (< 0.1% fat)
95 grams non-fat plain or Greek style yoghurt
25 grams unsweetened cacao (dutch process or organic raw)
35 grams pea protein (unflavoured, vanilla, or chocolate)
15 grams coconut flour
30 millilitres (2 tablespoons) pure vanilla bean paste
40 grams 100% pure maple syrup*
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of sea salt
110 grams egg whites (about 3)
150 grams raspberries (fresh or frozen)

*I’ve used maple syrup as it is lower in carbohydrates than honey and most sugars.  It is also suitable for anyone for whom fructose might cause discomfort.  As mentioned above, if you like your snacks sweet, you might want to increase the amount or substitute your preferred sweetener.

Note also that I’ve used PEA PROTEIN again here.  I’ve had a few questions about pea protein and why I don’t use whey for baking.  I do use whey sometimes but always with pea protein.  This is because whey protein tends to dry baked goods out a good deal more and the resulting texture is usually not as good.  You can try substituting some of the pea protein with whey, but if you do, use a whey concentrate or a mix of whey and casein.  Do not use whey protein isolate as this will be even more drying and can add bitterness.  You really don’t want that.

Preheat the oven to 170℃.   Line a 12-muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.

Combine the egg, quark, yoghurt in a large bowl and whisk together until light and creamy.  Add the remaining ingredients, except for the egg whites.  Beat until the batter is smooth.

In a separate bowl, with clean beaters or whisk, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks.

Gently fold the raspberries into the cake batter, taking care not to break up the raspberries much.  You want to have whole pieces of fruit when you bite into the cakes.  Finally, gently fold through the beaten egg whites until no streaks remain.

Divide the batter among the prepared cupcake molds.

Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes.  I baked them for 20 minutes as I think this produces a better result with a slightly more gooey centre.  It will depend largely on your oven though.

Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.  Note, they will rise like the little troopers they are and then they will fall again in the centre when the cool.  Like little flourless chocolate cakes.  Gooey centre, check.  Moist, check.  Raspberry goodness explosions, check check check!

I store extras in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days.

Nutritional Profile

The following is based on the recipe above and shows that there is no great difference whether you use organic raw cacao or Dutch process.  For the record, I used Valrhona dutch process this time as I’m saving my raw cacao for smoothies.

I have not accounted for any added extras including extra sweeteners or chocolate chips, cacao nibs etc.

By | 2017-01-09T17:22:26+00:00 September 26th, 2011|All Recipe Posts, Chocolate, Fruit, Protein, Protein Cakes, Special Diet|Comments Off on Cocoa Raspberry Protein Cupcakes … once more with feeling