I think that as Middle-Easterners we are often self-critical and disparaging of our fellow countrymen. That’s why it is so refreshing to see people like Maxime Shaaya. The first Arab and Lebanese man to conquer Mt. Everest, the South Pole and last week the North Pole, how wonderful, how uplifting! Thanks to him, Lebanon is the third country in the globe to have achieve the seven summits! So I am celebrating with my favorite thing to eat: chocolate; lite and deliciously moist for the inveterate chocoholic. At under 200 calories I don’t feel like I have to follow Maxime’s footsteps up the steepest and most dangerous summits in the world! Just enjoy and reflect on how our Phoenician past is still defining our future.
P.S: One of the bonuses here is that you can prepare the cupcakes in a couple bowls and mix the batter by hand. Time required is about 5 minutes once the ingredients are gathered. Once baked, their aroma will make your guests help themselves before dinner starts, so watch out!
Recipe adapted from: Perfect Light Desserts from Nick Malgieri and David Joachim
INGREDIENTS: Yield is 18 cupcakes
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 cup boiling water
2 Large eggs
1/3 cup oil (or melted unsalted butter)
2 teaspoons vanilla (or any flavoring of your choice)
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream or yoghurt
- Prepare the muffin tins by lining them up with paper liners or greasing and flouring them
- Set 2 bowls side by side: one for the dry ingredients, one for the wet ingredients. Preheat the oven at 350F (180C) and sift the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in one of the bowls. Mix the dry ingredients well with a whisk.
- Put the chocolate (cut up in little pieces) into the other bowl and drop the boiling water on it. Whisk it when the chocolate starts to melt, after a few minutes. Whisk in the eggs, oil or butter, flavoring and sour cream or yoghurt.
- Drop the dry bowl into the wet bowl and whisk all the ingredients until the batter is smooth.
- Drop the batter evenly into the cupcake liners and bake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes depending on your oven. Unmold them after a 5 minute cooling period.
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