Most of the time I reserve this sort of post to talk about the ‘secrets’ behind a scene from my novel, but today I’m going to show you behind the scenes into my life. I normally keep things pretty private and keep my blog posts to things about writing, marketing, sales and well, being an author. Today, I’m going to give you some insight into my life with Celiac Disease. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the disease, it is a hereditary autoimmune disease where the body attacks itself when gluten is consumed. The body sees gluten as it would see a virus, and when it attack it–it attacks itself. The only known treatment for Celiac Disease is a gluten free diet. This means I have to abstain from consuming wheat, barley and rye–and because I have the disease and not an intolerance or allergy, I can’t even use products like shampoo, lotion or anti-bacterial rubs that contain gluten. YES! Those things do have gluten in them–usually wheat germ or protein, because it’s supposed to help the skin or something. It doesn’t help me! I was diagnosed with the disease at 17, but we are still not sure who in our family I inherited it from. The diagnosis of the disease has become more common as more and more research is performed–this is probably why we have no clue where I got it from. I can’t tell you how many people think it absolutely sucks to be gluten free–but for me it’s an absolute need. It also means that because of the things I don’t eat I am usually lacking in vitamins, so I have to take special care of that sort of thing. I haven’t eaten gluten (purposely) since the day the doctor confirmed his suspicions. I have to say NOT eating it is a lot better than eating it. After being sick for over a year, losing a massive amount of weight, and feeling half-dead, I was fine with it. Yes, I was only sick for a year. The symptoms can lay dormant until a high period of stress…aka being a teenager for me. Let me say this, Celiac Disease presents itself in many different ways, and I am by no means an expert. If you are experiencing symptoms, PLEASE contact a doctor before starting a gluten free diet. It is NOT a weight loss diet or a fad–it is a medical diet. While some with celiac or gluten intolerance may lose weight because their symptoms include weight gain–mine did not, and the GF diet made me explode like a swollen tick. Maybe barely eating once a day and then eating three meals, plus a good helping of reeses did it! GF has come a long way since I was diagnosed, but the items are still pricey. A cupcake from a trendy shop will cost you $3-5 dollars– ONE cupcake. So I’ve been dabbling in cupcakery for a bit now, and boy is it fun! Just be sure to eat these with a balance diet and exercise, because otherwise, hello tickism!
Blueberry Bash Cupcakes
Chocolate Cupcake with fresh blueberry white chocolate truffle filling and lemon-bluberry buttercream frosting
1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp water
White Chocolate Truffle Filling
4.5 oz White Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup blueberry puree
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter, softened
5 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1/4 blueberry puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon zest
Pinch of salt
Bob’s Red Mill GF Chocolate Cake Mix – Made as Directed
First, you will want to make your blueberry puree. To do this combine all ingredients in a blender until somewhat smooth. Your mixture will not be completely smooth. This makes 1 cup of puree, enough for the truffle, frosting and a bit of garnish.
Now you will make the Truffle filling. Place your chocolate in a heat safe bowl. Then boil the rest of your ingredients and pour over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit 5 minutes before stirring until smooth. Place in refrigerator to chill along with the puree.
Make your cupcakes as directed by the package. I personally love Bob’s Red Mill, because while the batter isn’t tasty uncooked–it’s amazingly moist when it is. It keeps the texture that most GF mixes don’t. I’ve tried King Arthur, Betty Crocker’s GF mixes, Glutino and Tinkankato and this one remains my favorite. It is also MUCH cheaper when you get it at the local Ocean State. I paid $2.95 for the bag that made 12 generous sized cupcakes and then had some batter left over (which I threw out, because we did NOT need more than 12 cupcakes for 6 people!). The other two mentioned companies run $5-6 for a box that makes the same amount, if not less. Once your cupcakes are complete, let them cool and then core out the middle. I used a large piping tip, flipped upside down to do this.
Take your Truffle filling, now cooled and stir. It will seem a little bit watery, and be sure you are prepared for it to run out of the tip of your piping back! Place it in the piping bag and pipe into the centers. The truffle filling will be great and less liquidy once in the cupcake and covered with OMG frosting.
Now onto the best frosting on the face of the planet (any excess you can freeze and then use for future adventures…or pancakes…). Cream your butter in a mixer on high. Then add your blueberry puree, vanilla, lemon zest, and salt. Mix on low until thoroughly combined. Now add the sugar, one cup at a time on low speed. The reason I say this is, if you don’t mix on low speed to combine, you will be covered in sugar. I usually am by the end of it, anyways! Once the sugar is combined, beat on high speed for 5 minutes until light and fluffy!
Place in your piping bag, and frost to your heart’s desire! I used a bit of leftover puree and a blueberry as a garnish. Place this in a refrigerator until consumption! Now, I am the ONLY GF person in the group of people who were at our house last night, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed these cupcakes–even my husband who admittedly, isn’t a “fruity” kind of food person. Next week the request is for Salted Caramel Cupcakes! Who wants to see that recipe?!