Chocolate Nut Muffins

Chocolate Nut Muffins

Today is snow. Heavy snow. I’m kind of over snow to be honest. It’s very pretty but, you know, COLD. I learned a new word today (thanks Twitter!): the Icelandic term: GLUGGAVEÐUR  or “window weather.” Weather that looks lovely from inside your house but is horrible to be outside in. I think that sums it up quite nicely. Our household is the kind of household that is stocked with good coffee and organic food at all times, but lacks things like a working boiler or any kind of insulation. So I am sitting and shivering here at the laptop wearing an insane amount of clothes, but with a full and warm belly.

I wasn’t planning to blog anything today but I promised Sas from the awesome Courage & Spice podcast (have a listen – it’s just lovely) a recipe for these gluten and dairy free muffins so here we are! If you’ve got the ingredients in stock you could be warming your own belly with these in under forty minutes – are you ready? GO!

Preheat the oven to 180c while you combine 200g cashew butter (you can use peanut butter if that’s what you have in), two eggs, 75g soft dark sugar and 50g chopped dark chocolate. Then stir in 200ml of nut milk (yep – dairy milk works fine here too – I just had some almond milk to use up.)

Combine 280g self-raising gluten-free flour with a teaspoon of baking powder and then lightly stir it into the gloopy cashew nut butter mixture. Don’t over stir or you’ll end up with rubbery muffins. Eew!

Put generous dollops of mixture into 12 muffin cases or silicon moulds and bake for 25 minutes. By the time you’ve washed up, cleaned up and made a pot of coffee they’ll be all steamily warm and delicious. You might even get to remove just one of your jumpers. Maybe…

 

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Apple Cinnamon Donut Muffins

The drop in temperature recently has left me with some carb cravings that can’t be ignored. I have honestly tried but it just makes me miserable so hey! This evening I was in desperate need of a quick fix after a busy day and also wanted to use up some apple sauce I’d made with cider at the weekend. Inspiration hit and these lovelies were hot from the oven within half an hour.

I mixed 300g self raising flour with 150g sugar and half a teaspoon of cinnamon in a bowl. Then whisked 50g melted butter with an egg and 250mls soya milk (dairy would be fine) thickened for five minutes with half a teaspoon of lemon juice. Then very lightly mixed the wet and dry ingredients together.

Half the batter went in the muffin tins (I’ve got medium sized silicon jobs, you may need to grease trays or use paper inserts) then a teaspoon of the apple sauce went in each heap of mixture, followed by the rest of the batter before baking in a preheated 200c oven for 20 minutes.

Once they were golden and crispy on top they just needed the tops brushing with melted butter and sprinkling with a mixture of castor sugar and cinnamon. Then we just had to restrain ourselves from not eating them so fast we burned our tongues. Ok – I failed at this, but the recipe was a success so I still win!

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Mocha Muffins

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I have two types of cake I can knock up in a hurry, without really thinking about it, and with a 99% chance of the right ingredients already residing in my kitchen cupboard. The first is a tray of brownies, the second is a batch of muffins. Both are adaptable, can be on the table in about forty minutes and, above all, are guaranteed crowd pleasers. I’ve already “done” brownies this week so when my gorgeous sister-in-law offered to pop by this afternoon with my baby nephew I decided to go the muffin route. Half an hour later the house was filled with the fragrance of coffee and chocolate; which is always a Good Thing!

Should you require a “little something” at short notice, you could do worse than these babies. They are adapted from a recipe of Susannah Blake’s in Muffin Magic. Please note that you can substitute gluten-free flour and/or non-dairy milk without any problems, I’ve done both.

In a big bowl mix 300g self-raising flour, 120g caster sugar, two teaspoons each of cocoa powder and instant espresso powder and 50g chopped dark chocolate.

In a jug beat 200ml milk, two tablespoons yoghurt, 1 egg and 85g melted butter; and then pour into the bowl of dry ingredients. Lightly and barely mix. If you under-combine with streaks of flour mixture still present you’ll get lovely light muffins. If you mix thoroughly, as you would a cake batter, your muffins will be rubbery. You don’t want that!

Spoon the mixture into twelve medium sized muffin moulds (I have two six-hole, silicon muffin trays. If you aren’t using silicon you’ll need to line with paper cases) and pop into a preheated 200C oven for twenty minutes.

Plump the cushions, hide that pile of paperwork, stick the kettle on and then hope your guests arrive before the muffins go cold. If they do cool too much remove from the tins/trays and stick in a hot oven for about three minutes. IF there’s any left you can do this for breakfast the next morning too, but don’t count on it…