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updated: 4/26/2011 12:48 PM

Strawberry Cupcakes

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cup coconut flour

1 tablespoon arrowroot powder

teaspoon sea salt

teaspoon baking soda

4 large eggs

cup agave nectar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

cup finely chopped fresh strawberries

Strawberry Meringue Frosting

cup agave nectar

2 egg whites

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh strawberries

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 8 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, arrowroot powder, salt and baking soda.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, agave nectar and vanilla extract. Blend the wet ingredients into the coconut flour mixture with a handheld mixer until thoroughly combined, then fold in the strawberries.

Scoop cup of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 1 hour, then frost and serve.

For the frosting: In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the agave nectar to a boil, stirring constantly. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 6-10 minutes, watching constantly and stirring occasionally, until the agave nectar darkens slightly from its original amber color, then remove from the heat and set aside.

In a deep bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks using a handheld mixer. Be sure to push the beaters around the bowl to incorporate air into the whites. This step is important; if your egg whites are not whipped to stiff peaks, the recipe won't work. Stop whipping as soon as the egg whites are stiff; overwhipping will result in egg whites that are dry and grainy. The foam of the whites will be stiff enough to stand up in well-defined, unwavering peaks.

Drizzle the warm agave nectar very slowly into the egg whites, while whipping with a handheld mixer, to keep the peaks stiff. The meringue will become pearlescent and shiny. Allow to cool to room temperature, then fold the strawberries into the meringue. Use right away.

Serves eight.

"Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour" by Elana Amsterdam (2011 Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press)

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