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!

Advertisement

Tahini Cookies

Posted in baked goods, cookies by veggies on the counter on September 3, 2010

These tahini cookies might be one of my favorite cookies right now. As I’ve told in a previous post, I like my cookies with not too much added  fat and sugar, and I guess these ones fit the bill just right. They have tahini in there, which is their main source of fat, but at least it’s that of a good and healthy type. The taste of these cookies is quite nutty and dense, and the fact that they are coated in muscavado sugar and sesame seeds, adds crunchiness and extra flavor to them. I encourage you to use organic, dark tahini in here, as it is the variety that packs more flavor – the white one is usually a bit mild and bitter. An extra bonus: the cookies are also gluten free.

Tahini Cookies

(makes about 18)

1 and ¼ cups (125 grams) spelt flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup (60 grams) plus 1/3 cup light muscavado sugar

1/3 cup sesame seeds

½ cup (115 grams) dark organic tahini

1/3 cup (75 grams) apple purée

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1. In a large bowl, and with the help of an electric mixer, combine the tahini, apple purée, ½ cup of muscavado sugar and the sesame oil, until you have a smooth batter.

2. Sift the flour into another large bowl. Add the baking soda and salt and mix well.

3. Slowly pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture, mixing everything with a spatula as you go, until you have a soft dough. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap it tightly in plastic, and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour.

4. Preheat the oven to 180ºC – racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. In a bowl, mix the sesame seeds with the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar.

6. Cut two rectangles of parchment paper. Place one of the sheets of paper on a clean surface and evenly spread half of the sesame seeds and sugar mixture over it.

7. Unwrap the dough and place it in the center of the sheet of parchement paper in which you’ve spread out the sesame seeds and sugar. Now, you want to use the other sheet of parchment paper, and roll out the dough between the two sheets, to a rough circle 24 centimeters in diameter.

8. Spread the remaining sesame seeds and sugar over the circle of dough, and gently press it down with your hands to make them stick to the dough.

9. With a cookie cutter, stamp out rounds of dough and place them in the prepared baking sheets. The cookies won’t spread out that much while baking, so you can put them close together.

10. Bake the cookies for 10 to 11 minutes. Don’t overbake them, or they’ll get dry.

11. Let them cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. The cookies will keep, stored in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.