Thursday, July 20, 2017

Savoury Avocado Muffins - #CIC

It's almost 2 am and I was getting ready for bed when an email popped up on my phone. It was  Pinterest notifying me that someone had posted to the Bundt Bakers board. (Side note, it's been way too long since I've participated in Bundt Bakers. Out of my control. Held hostage by a strange oven.) So I thought, "It's Bundt Bakers time already? What's today's date?" It's the 20th! And my post for CIC has not been written. Why oh why does the date always sneak up on me in some way? At least I'd already made these muffins.

So bedtime is delayed while I talk about these muffins. The winning combination for this month's Crazy Ingredient Challenge was avocado and cumin. Another non-crazy one but for some reason, I just could not think of anything to make. Salads aren't my thing.I thought of doing some sort of wrap but couldn't decide on a filling. Funny story - right after I made these muffins, I made some breakfast. I fried some breadfruit (my breakfast staple), tossed some cumin into an omelette and topped said omelette with avocado. Where was that idea when I was trying to think of things to make?!! The next day I tossed some cumin into a mock guacamole. Too easy, but again, that idea would have helped to jump start my thinking. I could have made burgers!

Avocado is usually suggested as a way to replace fat in baked goods. I'd never tried it before and it did work here. I want to try again with some other recipes but the truth is, during avocado season, we eat so many per day that it's hard to set aside one or two to bake with. I had to hide the one I used here. Yes, I hid it from myself. Hid it in the crisper with all the vegetables. I only open that drawer on Sundays. I don't dislike vegetables, I just don't eat them often. Don't judge me too harshly.

Remember to check out the links to the other CIC creations below!

Savoury Avocado Muffins 
Yield: ~ 10-12

240 grams flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
300 millilitres milk
100 grams avocado
1 egg


Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line or grease a muffin pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, cumin, salt, basil, and cayenne. In a separate bowl, mash the avocado and whisk in the milk and egg.
Gently stir the avocado mixture into the dry ingredients. Don't over mix - just stir until it has just come together. Alton Brown recommends ten strokes.
Scoop the mixture into the muffin pan.
Bake 15- 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Enjoy warm with a little butter!

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Monday, June 26, 2017

Mango Muffins - #MuffinMonday

Last month I mentioned that I tried to make mango muffins but they were horrible. Mango season only lasts so long so I thought I'd try again this month before all the mangoes were gone. And this time it worked perfectly! No more dense muffins. I started with the recipe that I used for plantain muffins and that is actually modified from Alton Brown's banana bread. Can't go wrong with Alton Brown. Once again I used Julie mangoes. Julie mangoes are a beautiful bright orange and are less fibrous than other varieties. Hayden or Bombay would have been great too.

Remember to scroll down for more Muffin Monday recipes!

Mango Muffins 
Yield: 12 muffins 

4 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons butter
360 grams mango pulp
200 grams brown sugar
120 millilitres oil
2 eggs
250 grams flour
1 tablespoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt


Grease or line a cupcake pan. Preheat oven to 350 F.

Topping: In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, and ginger. Cut in the butter and set aside.

Muffins: Blend together the mango and sugar until the mango is pureed. In a separate container, whisk the oil and eggs together and then add to the mango mixture. Whisk together.

Whisk the flour, ginger, baking soda, and salt.

Slowly combine the flour mixture and the mango mixture. Stir only until just combined being careful not to overmix.

Divide the batter among the cups and sprinkle each with scant two teaspoons of the topping mixture.

Bake for approximately 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Zucchini Nut Mini Bundts- Crazy Ingredient Challenge

The winning ingredients for this month's Crazy Ingredient Challenge were peanuts and zucchini. Simple enough. I thought of making some sort of salad since I told a friend that I'd try to have a raw meal one day soon. But eating cake always sounds better than eating a salad so I baked a cake instead.

There are people out there who will add zucchini to your desserts and then say, "You would never be able to tell that there's zucchini in here!" Those people are not telling the truth. Now I'll admit that I was not trying to hide the zucchini so I didn't grate it particularly fine. So you will definitely see lots of green in my cake. Even then, when you bite in, you can immediately tell that there's a little something green in there. It's not an overwhelming vegetable taste and you would not immediately go, "Is this zucchini? I taste zucchini!" But you would definitely say, "There's something in here. It tastes...hmm.... What is it?" It's far from unpleasant and since this is, at its base, a spice cake, there are lots of other flavours to tease out. Maybe if tiny shreds of zucchini are hidden in chocolate cake, those people might be telling the truth.

I don't know if I've ever mentioned Picky Nephew in a CIC post. Summary: Picky Nephew only willingly eats eggs and bread.  Everything else is a fight. And don't you dare try to get him to eat while he's watching TV or playing a game. He walked into the kitchen when I was baking, asked a few questions, and complained that I was baking with the peanuts instead of giving him them to eat. I guess he likes peanuts? One can never tell. When the cakes were finished, I offered cake to everyone except him. I hadn't frosted them yet and he will tell you that he likes cake but he will only eat the frosting. I wasn't going to waste my time. He actually looked up from his game and insisted on tasting it too. He knew about the zucchini and didn't mind.

Zucchini isn't easy to find here in Jamaica. It was quite the treasure hunt to find the one man in the market who grows zucchini. I can't wait to get my hands on some more so that I can jump on the zucchini bandwagon that rolls around every summer.

Zucchini Mini Bundt Cakes
Yield: 6 mini Bundt cakes or 12 cupcakes
adapted from Martha Stewart

180 grams flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
56 grams chopped peanuts
200 grams light brown sugar
88 millilitres oil
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
280 grams grated zucchini

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 6 one cup capacity mini Bundt pans or line a cupcake pan with liners.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and nutmeg. Stir in the chopped peanuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, egg, and almond extract until thoroughly combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until almost combined. Next, stir in the grated zucchini.

Divide into prepared pans. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

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