Monday, January 19, 2009

Spicy Double-Chocolate Muffins


Another success in the vegan baking department. :)
I have today off work (hence all the blog updates) so I decided to try out some new recipes. I made these and another (equally yummy) batch of muffins that I'll blog in a little bit.

These are nice and light with just enough spiciness (I actually might add just a drop more of each one next time). I didn't really notice the cayenne in the muffin I taste-tested but then again, I am one of those who loves spicy pepper with dark chocolate (mmm... mole sauce). If anything, it probably works to bring out the chocolate flavour (as would a bit of espresso or other strong coffee). The cayenne is optional so if you're a bit sketchy about hot pepper and chocolate combinations, you can leave it out. :)
The nuts and chocolate chips are a nice surprise (especially when the chips are still melty!)

This will make anywhere from 12-18 muffins
(I halved a recipe that supposedly yields 12 and got 8... I seem to have that problem with vegan baking recipes! The amounts listed below are based on the whole [yields 12 muffins] recipe).

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/8 cup agave nectar
6 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (check the label to make sure it is non-dairy)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (you know you want to try it!)
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. freshly-ground flax seeds (buy them whole and grind them using a coffee grinder)
6 tbsp. water
1 cup low-fat almond milk (or other non-dairy milk: soy, hemp, rice, etc.)
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated, non-dairy butter, melted (I always like original Earth Balance)
1/2 cup non-dairy semi-sweet chocolate chips (most semi-sweet chocolate chips are dairy-free but do a quick label check to be sure)
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Method:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with unbleached cupcake papers (or lightly grease the cups with non-dairy spread or canola oil spray).

1. Sift together the flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Add the baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, cayenne, and salt.

2. Whisk the ground flax and water together in a small bowl (a fork or mini whisk will do the trick). The mixture should be light and creamy.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together the flax and water mixture, almond milk, melted butter, and agave nectar. Add this combination to the dry mixture and stir until they are just combined (see those ugly pointy tops on my muffins? Those are the result of over-mixing! I'm always guilty...)
Gently stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.

4. Spoon the mixture into the muffin pan cups (it will be runny). The cups should be about 3/4 of the way full of muffin mix. Bake about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Reference:
Based on the recipe Hearty Spicy Cocoa Muffins from The Joy of Vegan Baking.
I made these my own by subbing agave nectar for granulated sugar and ground flaxseed and water for the Ener-G egg replacer and water (flax adds healthy omega-3 fats and is a more "whole" ingredient than commercial egg replacer). I also used both pecans and walnuts (as opposed to just one or the other).
I'll try adding some dried fruit next time!

2 comments:

Joelen said...

That addition of cayenne sounds great! I've been seeing a lot of chocolate/cayenne recipes and I think its a nice combo!

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