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Wednesday, December 22, 2010
GF Sof'ella Cupcakes with Domino's Sugar Buttercream Frosting
Did you ever bake a gluten-free dessert for the gluten-eaters that was a HUGE hit? I did, it was Sof'ella Gourmet Natural Foods Chocolate cupcakes with Domino's Sugar Buttercream Frosting.

Sof'ella Gourmet Natural Foods contacted me back in November after reading one of my comments on the LA Times article called Celiac Disease Resources. I am always excited when companies that are new to me find me and my blog. Ahhh, the power of the internet!

Sof'ella produces a gluten-free chocolate cake mix as well as an all-purpose gluten-free baking mix. I opted for a sample of the Gluten-Free Chocolate cake mix since the ingredients were good for me and for my nieces who have multiple allergies besides being gluten-free. The ingredients of the chocolate cake mix are: sugar, white rice flour, cocoa powder, navy bean flour, tapioca starch, cornstarch, baking soda, vanilla powder, baking powder, sea salt and guar gum.

When I asked Sof'ella Gourmet Natural Foods how they avoid cross-contamination in their production facility, they gave me a very thorough answer.
Our processing procedures begin with thorough sanitation after a 24-hour idle period; This means that the producion facility is shut down for 24 hrs to allow all the dust to settle prior to a complete sanitation of the machines and the facility. Production takes place at the start of a work week and prior to non-GF runs. We verify proper sanitation through sensory/visual inspection, AccuClean swabs on food-contact surfaces to detect residual protein and simple sugars, and finalize with gluten tests on food-contact surfaces and the end product to ensure gluten levels comply with regulations for “gluten-free” foods.

I don't usually bake for myself, but I decided this Sof'ella Gmix would be perfect to use to make cupcakes for my office holiday party last Thursday. I have a soft spot for really decadent and sweet buttercream frosting, so I used the recipe found on the side of the Domino's Confectioners Sugar box.

When I contacted Domino's about their sugar, here was their prompt response:
None of our sugars contain gluten. Our Powdered Sugar contains 3% corn starch as an anti-caking agent, and this product may contain a very minuscule amount (less than 0.01%) of corn gluten, which is not harmful to gluten-sensitive enteropathy patients. Starch from sources other than corn, such as wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, or triticale, is never used. Except for corn starch, no ingredients other than cane sugar are used in any of our consumer products. They contain no additives or preservatives.

Although many producers of brown sugars use added caramel color, which may contain gluten, no caramel color is ever used in Domino Sugar Brown Sugars.

I made the Sof'ella Chocolate Cake into cupcakes by following the directions on the box to a T. The recipe yielded approximately 17 cupcakes, although my pouring skills probably made for the various sizes in cupcakes and a different number from the box. After making the buttercream frosting, I reserved about two separate half cups to add food coloring to decorate. I am no Martha Stewart, but I had a lot of fun decorating these cupcakes in holiday colors. My apartment is really hot, so the frosting kind of melted but the thought and heart was still there. :-)  Considering I was using Ziploc bags with the corners cut off, I think my red and green icing piping came out pretty well!

All I have to say is these cupcakes were very popular. I usually don't like telling people when I bake something that is gluten-free. I feel like people are reluctant to try anything that is labeled gluten-free. I noticed a few people trying them to be nice but then realizing that these cupcakes were really good. The Sof'ella gluten-free chocolate cupcakes were moist with a delicious chocolate flavor. The buttercream frosting was a nice balance with the chocolate, but I could have definitely eaten the cupcake alone.

We had our party on Thursday and I noticed 6 cupcakes left on Friday. Monday I was planning on eating the last one, but it was gone! Not only were the cupcakes delicious, but they had a really good shelf life in a Tupperware container kept in the fridge the entire weekend.

If you get a chance to try the Sof'ella Gluten-Free mixes, I highly recommend them! They were delicious and a big hit with both the gluten-free (me) and gluten-eating crowd.

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