Here’s to Ten Years. Plus Oat Flour Carob Cupcakes with Carob Ganache

I said this last year, but it’s hard to believe Suki is turning ten. It feels like I was just picking her up yesterday, but also that she’s never not been a part of my life. The scan is tiny, but here’s the obligatory puppy photo.

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A decade. It seems weird to be able to say that. I could get all sappy, write long paragraphs, but I’m not going to. Dogs don’t understand English, at least not in full sentences, so let’s move on to Suki’s favourite part: The cake.

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I think this might be the best one yet. I cheated a bit and reused the carob cake recipe from last year, but it’s a damn good recipe so just roll with it. And yes, Suki got to lick the bowl clean this year too.

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Last year I tried to achieve a buttercream without using sugar, which is fine, but this year I wanted something really cake-y. Something that wouldn’t look out of place on a human cupcake stand. This year I went with carob ganache. Smooth, decadent ganache. Scoop it with a spoon and eat it like truffles ganache. I’ve eaten myself ill on it, someone please stop me I have no self control ganache.

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The ganache is super easy to make too. Just whisk everything together in a double boiler. Seriously. And if you don’t have a double boiler you can easily jury-rig one using a saucepan and a mixing bowl. As long as the mixing bowl is small enough to fit in the saucepan but large enough to remain suspended over the water, you’re good to go.

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I was shocked. It’s not chocolate, but it’s good. I expected it to be good by dog treat standards, but this stuff actually holds up well by general cupcake standards. If you like really sweet stuff it probably won’t be to your tastes, but if you’re a fan of bitter espresso and dark chocolate you’ll probably wolf these down and set to work making another batch. It’s the canine verdict that really counts here though. So how did it rate on Suki’s scale?

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Major success.

So here’s to you, bud. My monster. My sawed-off shepherd. You’re a highlight in my life, and everything is brighter with you in it.

Carob Ganache

1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil
1/2 cup carob powder
1/2 cup half and half

1. Melt coconut oil in a double boiler.
2. Remove from heat and whisk carob powder into coconut oil.
3. Add cream and continue whisking until smooth.
4. Pour over cooled cupcakes and let set before serving.

Oatflour Carob Cupcakes
Makes 1 dozen + 1 tester and some extra batter to compensate for what you’ll inevitably eat raw.

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup carob powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
2 large eggs (or 4 bantam eggs)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk

1. Preheat oven 175°C (350°F).
2. Pour rolled oats into a blender and grind until a fine powdered consistency.
3. Add the oat flour, carob powder, baking soda, and salt to a medium bowl and whisk together.
4. Melt coconut oil and honey together, then add remaining wet ingredients and beat together.
5. Slowly add dry ingredients and beat until just combined.
6. Fill cupcake forms 3/4 full.
7. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean (there may be a few crumbs stuck to the toothpick).

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