Veggies on the counter

Carrot and Tahini Muffins

Posted in baked goods, desserts by veggies on the counter on March 11, 2013

muffin

Some of my culinary experiments don’t turn out as well as I thought they would, either by lacking flavour and/or photographic charisma. Lately, there were at least three dishes I conceptualized, took notes of and photographed, but ended up not posting up here because, well, they weren’t good enough. A weird tasting celeriac and roasted garlic soup, a watery korma, some herb crusted tempeh that turned out too dry after being baked… I’m well familiar with failure and I’m not defeated by it, as I try to evaluate what went wrong, what could have I done better, and so on – the worst part is, I guess, to actually eat those not so well succeeded attempts.

muffins

So, when things go wrong, I turn to what I know it’s good – and I’m here talking about these carrot and tahini muffins. I have a (healthy) obsession with tahini. I just love it. I always keep a jar of it in the fridge and another one in the pantry. I have the nasty habit of opening up the tahini jar, take a teaspoon of it, top it up with a few drops of agave nectar, and in it goes. These muffins are dense and nutty in flavour, punctuated by shreds of carrot and toasted sesame seeds. They’re the perfect accompaniment for a cup of tea in the mid-afternoon when, sometimes, that sugar cravings just start to pike up.

muffin collage

Carrot and Tahini Muffins

(for 8 muffins)

Dry mix:

1 cup / 140 g buckwheat flour

1 cup / 120 g brown rice flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

wet mix:

1 tablespoon flax seed meal mixed with 5 tablespoons water

1 cup / 250 ml unsweetened nut milk (I used almond milk)

½ cup / 135 g dark tahini

¾ cup /  185 ml agave nectar

1 cup / 108 g shredded carrots (about 1 large carrot)

melted coconut oil or sunflower oil to grease the muffin tins

1. Pre-heat the oven to 175º/350ºF. Grease with sunflower oil or melted coconut oil 8 muffin tins.

2. In a large bowl, sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the sesame seeds and stir well to combine.

3. In another bowl, whisk together the flax seed mixture, nut milk, tahini and agave nectar, until well incorporated.

4. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients stirring well to combine. Finally, add the grated carrots.

5. Pour the mixture into the greased muffin tins. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes (mine took exactly 23 minutes). Let the muffins cool a bit in the tins before unmolding and transferring them to a cooling rack. Eat!

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Gluten-Free Corn and Broccoli Muffins

Posted in baked goods by veggies on the counter on November 29, 2010

I’ve decided, a couple weeks ago, to start experimenting with gluten-free recipes, specially baked goods. I’ve been reading a lot on how to work with different gluten-free flours, and started having fun experimenting with them. Vegan baking is, by itself, a challenge; but baking vegan and gluten-free goodies can be even more challenging, specially when you realize, after some reading, that even rye and spelt flours have gluten on them (until a few days ago, I was convinced they didn’t). But the thing is: once you get succeeded at baking vegan and gluten-free, you know that everybody – vegans, non vegans, and people with food allergies – can happily enjoy what you’ve prepared, and that’s the great thing about it.

So, on saturday, I’ve spent the whole afternoon in the kitchen baking gluten-free muffins and cakes, and was really surprised on how good everything has turned out. These corn and broccoli muffins is the very first gluten-free baked good I’m posting on Veggies on the Counter (and many others will come in the future), and they are/were surprisingly fluffly and tasty – give me them toasted with a little butter, along with a steamy soup, and I’m in heaven. The recipe can be easily adapted too: you can substitute the broccoli for corn kernels, or simply ommit those add-ons, for a simpler, but not less tasty, version. And if you’re not concerned with gluten-free baking at all, just substitute the white rice flour for unbleached all-purpose.

Gluten Free Corn and Broccoli Muffins

(Makes 6 muffins)

100 grams broccoli, cut very finely, plus 6 medium-sized broccoli florets

130 grams (1 cup) white rice flour

140 grams (1 cup) fine cornmeal

3 tablespoons melted vegan butter

2 teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

1 cup (250 ml) soy milk, plus 5 tablespoons

80 grams tofu, crumbled

1 tablespoon agave nectar

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180º. Oil 6 muffins cups or a 6 muffin pan.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.

3. In the bowl of a food processor, add the crumbled tofu and 5 tablespoons of soy milk. Process until smooth and transfer the mixture to another bowl.

4. Add the butter, soy milk, agave nectar, and the finely cut broccoli to the tofu mixture. Mix well to incorporate.

5. Slowly fold the wet ingredients over the dry, being careful not to overmix. The batter will be thick, but that’s how it’s supposed to be.

6. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. When you’re done, insert one medium-sized broccoli floret in the center of each muffin (see pictures above).

7. Bake the muffins for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let them cool on the pan/cups for 10 minutes before unmolding and serving.