Foodie Fridays: Do You Know The Muffin Man?
Ah another Foodie Friday is upon us, and today’s focus is…muffins. Yup, those little on-the-go breakfast treats that are a tiny bit sinful (a friend once described them as ‘cupcakes without the frosting’) but also packed with a virtual pantry’s worth of goodness (fibre, protein, and you know, yumminess, can all be found in your standard muffin). Of course, not all muffins are right for all people. If you eat a vegan diet (like I mostly do), they’re landmines packed with milk, eggs, butter and gasp, regular people sugar. I kid because I love. Alternatively if you eat a gluten-free diet, they might feel simply unobtainable for your everyday diet when you factor out flour…but I’m here to tell you that just isn’t true anymore, thanks to cookbook author Camilla Saulsbury, who recently released two new titles that offer 150 muffin options for those trying their hand at a gluten-free or a vegan diet either by necessity or choice – 150 Best Vegan Muffin Recipes and 150 Best Gluten-Free Muffin Recipes.
The good news? The recipes are shockingly simple. If you’re intimidated by the prospect of cooking with limitations, Saulsbury makes it easy peasey with handy intro guides and simple substitutions – many of which you either already have in your pantry or can easily pick up at your local grocer or natural foods store. The nifty thing about muffins is that they’re really a pretty basic recipe – mix together your dry, mix together your wet, mix ‘em both together, fold in any extras, scoop, cook, serve. Once you’ve got the hang of it, Saulsbury’s recipes become that much simpler. If that weren’t enough, she also packs nearly every recipe with a handy tip or two that simplifies the prep or teaches you some valuable tricks of the muffin-making trade that’ll result in a tastier finished product.
Now you may be asking yourself – 150 muffins? How on earth can one have so many recipes on a single food item? Why would anyone need that many muffin recipes? The truth is, Saulsbury steps up to the challenge in both books. From gourmet-style ‘coffeehouse favourites’ like Mango Muffins with Cardamom Crumble (VG) and Sour Cream Peach (GF) to savoury dinner muffins like Chickpea Muffins with Indian Spices (VG) and Smoked Gouda Chive Muffins (GF), there are plenty of options to stock your table with based on your personal preferences and meal needs. That being said, I strongly encourage you to branch out and try a few of the more exotic offerings, particularly those found in the Global Muffins section of each book, like Mexican Aztec Chocolate Muffins (GF) or Algerian Orange Flower Water Muffins (VG).
I’ve actually given a couple of the recipes a go myself including, super simple gluten-free Strawberry muffins (packed with juicy slivers of fresh strawberry and a must-have summer treat) and vegan Pumpkin Spice muffins (super moist and chewy thanks to the addition of molasses), but I’d like to share this one with you guys: Dark Chocolate Muffins. A cure for any drowsy morning, I promise you’ll be singing hallelujah with just one bite! To make ‘em yourselves:
Dark Chocolate Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
A double dose of decadent chocolate renders these muffins irresistible. They’re amazing plain, but try them with a spread of peanut butter or raspberry jam, too.
• Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)
• 12-cup muffin pan, greased
11⁄2 cups all-purpose flour 375 mL
1⁄2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 125 mL
(not Dutch process)
11⁄2 tsp baking powder 7 mL
1⁄4 tsp baking soda 1 mL
1⁄4 tsp salt 1 mL
3⁄4 cup vegan granulated sugar or 175 mL evaporated cane juice
1 cup plain non-dairy milk 280 mL
+ 2 tbsp (soy, almond, rice, hemp)
1⁄4 cup vegetable oil 60 mL
1 tbsp cider vinegar 15 mL
1 tsp vanilla extract 5 mL
3 oz vegan bittersweet chocolate, 90 g chopped
1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, milk, oil, vinegar and vanilla until well blended.
3. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Gently fold in chocolate.
4. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 3 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool.
Tip: To chop chocolate bars in no time, lightly loosen the wrapper, then whack the bar in several places with a rolling pin. Unwrap the chocolate to check your progress. If you need smaller pieces, just rewrap the bar and continue hitting it with the rolling pin.
If your tummy is rumbling and you believe Friday the 13th is actually your lucky day, you’re in luck. I’m giving away a copy of these two cookbooks to one lucky reader. To enter, just follow these four simple rules:
1) Leave a comment on this post by April 28th at midnight, with the recipe that sounds the yummiest to you that’s highlighted in this post.
2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around May April 29th to select the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible to participate in this promotion.
4) Bonus Entry: If you’re on Pinterest (it’s free & stupidly addictive), pin the Dark Chocolate Muffins recipe to one of your pinboards and drop me a link back to it.
Love prizes? Check out what else you can win through the Canadian Gift Guide by visiting the Winner’s Circle.