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Double Chocolate Banana Muffins (Dairy Free) June 06 2018, 0 Comments

These are quite possibly the lightest, most tender chocolate muffins ever. At the same time they taste incredibly rich with the help of a double dose of chocolate and sweet, overripe bananas. The addition of finely ground almond meal and a pinch of nutmeg add depth and nuttiness. Honestly, I don't even miss the browned butter I usually use in my chocolate muffins. 

THIS RECIPE MAKES 12 BIG TOP MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (Bob's Red Mill)

1/2 cup finely ground almond meal 

3/4 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened baking cocoa)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (Oaktown Spice Shop)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup caster or granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)

1 cup chocolate chips 

1 cup almond milk 

3 large egg whites 

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (Braggs)

2 large overripe bananas 

1/2 cup canola oil (feel free to use your favorite baking oil)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (Oaktown Spice Shop)

METHOD:

Preheat your oven to 350F/180C and grease a 12 hole cupcake/muffin tin.

In a large bowl, sift together your flour, baking soda and powder, nutmeg, salt and cocoa powder, then stir in your almond meal and sugars. 

In a medium bowl, mash your bananas with a fork until smooth, then mix in your egg whites, vanilla and oil. Stir in your almond milk and apple cider vinegar. 

Make a well in your flour mixture and add your banana mixture. Stir until just combined, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl with each turn. Gently fold in your chocolate chips. About four folds should do it. Be careful not to over mix or you will lose the lovely airy texture. 

Scoop your batter into your muffin tin, filling them nearly to the top. This will give you that big bakery style muffin. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until your cake tester or a tooth pick inserted into the center of your muffin comes out clean. Transfer the tin to a rack and allow to cool for at least 15 to 20 minutes before removing. These muffins are incredibly light and tender. Giving them time to cool will keep them from crumbling when you take them out of your tin. 

You can enjoy these muffins for three to five days after baking or freeze them for up to two months. They are perfect with a cup of hot coffee or large glass of milk. 


Blood Orange & Dark Chocolate Marble Bread March 06 2015, 0 Comments

When bright, beautiful blood oranges make their way into our local market it is a wonderful omen.

Winter is coming to an end.

Don't get me wrong, I love waking up to a sparkling, snowy wonderland and drinking cinnamon tea in the evenings under a cozy blanket, but I enthusiastically welcome the inaugural flowers of spring and the warm sun on my formerly golden face. Normally the first bundle of blood oranges are made into a batch of our blood orange and ginger pirouettes. However, this morning I was craving chocolate and thought a twist on the classic combination of dark chocolate and orange would do the trick. 

 Blood Orange & Dark Chocolate Marble Bread

DRY INGREDIENTS:

2 cups organic wholemeal flour

3/4 cup organic sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup organic cocoa powder

WET INGREDIENTS:

3 large organic blood oranges

3 tablespoons organic coconut oil (melted) plus a bit more to grease your pan

2 egg whites

 

METHOD:

 

 1. Preheat your oven to 350F (170C) and grease your bread pan.

 

2. Zest and juice your blood oranges into your stand mixer or large bowl. You should have about a cup of juice. 

 

3. Add your melted coconut oil to your orange juice and mix well to combine. Then add your egg whites and mix thoroughly. 

 

3. In a medium bowl, sift your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Then add your sugar and whisk to combine.

 

4.  Add your flour mixture to your blood orange juice mixture and mix until just combined. Scrape the sides of your bowl and stir in any bits that haven't made it into your mixture. Then transfer a little over half of your batter into a small bowl.

 

5. Add your cocoa powder to the batter in your mixer and mix to combine.

 

Make sure to read this next step carefully.

6. Using a soup spoon or tablespoon, drop heaping spoonfuls of batter into your bread pan, rotating your batter in a checkerboard pattern. One drop light batter, one drop dark batter, making three drops across and five or six drops down. Using a cake tester or toothpick, swirl your batter until it looks marbleised. Take care not to over stir. 

 

7. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until your cake tester comes out clean and your bread is pulling away at the edges slightly.

  

8. Remove your bread from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 15 to 20 minutes, then tip over to remove and leave on a rack until cool completely.

Once cool, slice and serve. 

We love this bread as a weekend brunch treat with fresh berries and COYO natural yoghurt or for dessert, drizzled with melted dark chocolate and topped with Booja-Booja vanilla ice cream. 


10 Minute Organic Banana Cranberry Breakfast Oats February 23 2015, 0 Comments

Occasionally our weekday breakfasts start to feel a bit boring. It's difficult to take as much pleasure in boiled eggs and toasted bread as you would a fried egg sandwich or blueberry pancakes. We started experimenting with quick and healthy breakfast recipes for mornings when a green smoothie just won't suffice.

This is a gluten-free and vegan recipe, full of protein, fibre, omega 3 and antioxidants.

Serves 2 in 10 minutes with 3 easy steps.

Ingredients:

2 slightly green, organic bananas

1 cup organic rolled oats (we use Bob's Red Mill pure, traditional rolled oats)

1/2 cup organic cranberries (no sugar added)

1/4 cup organic sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon milled organic seeds (we use a mix of 50% flax, 25% pumpkin and 25% sunflower)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon Grade A maple syrup 

1 cup organic, unsweetened almond milk 

Method:

1. Place a small pot on your stove over medium heat. Into your pot, cut your bananas lengthwise down the middle and then into bite size pieces. Pour in your maple syrup and stir to caramelise your bananas. 

2. In the same pot, add your almond milk, oats, cranberries, cinnamon, ginger and stir. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until your oats have absorbed must of the moisture from the almond milk. 

3. Last, add your milled seeds and sunflower seeds. Stir to combine and serve. 


Gluten-free Dairy Free Banana Date Bread February 09 2015, 0 Comments

On Sunday afternoon we had friends over for lunch. If you're a friend of ours, you know a meal in our home will always end with something sweet, fresh from the oven. This recipe was thought up Sunday morning for our dairy-free and gluten-free party people. 

 

Dry Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (we use Doves Farm gluten and wheat free plain white flour blend)

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder 

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 heaping teaspoon cassava starch or xanthan gum (we use isabel's baking fix or Doves Farm)

1/3 cup organic dark brown sugar (we use Tate & Lyle sugars in all of our recipes)

1/3 cup organic caster sugar

 

Wet Ingredients:

1/2 cup organic coconut oil (we use Biona cuisine oil) and a little extra to grease your bread tin

3 overripe medium organic bananas 

10-15 organic Mejdool dates 

1 organic large egg

1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar (we use Biona unfiltered)

3 tablespoons organic almond milk 

 

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and grease your bread tin.

2. In a medium bowl, sift your flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and your cassava starch or xanthan gum.

3. In a small bowl, mash your banana with a fork. Do not over mash. Leaving some larger pieces will give your bread a better texture.

4. Pit your dates and cut into small pieces, about the size or your thumb nail and add them to your mashed banana along with your vanilla extract, almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir to mix.

5. In your electric mixer or large bowl with a hand mixer, cream your coconut oil until light and fluffy.

6. Add your sugars to your coconut oil and mix throughly. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides of your bowl to ensure your ingredients are well blended. Make sure to do this after each addition. Leaving flour or oil on the sides of your mixing bowl can effect the consistency of your bread. 

7. Add your egg to the sugar and oil and mix until well combined.

8. Add half of your flour mixture to your mixing bowl, stirring until just combined. Then add your banana mixture, also stirring until just combined.

9. Now add the last of your flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Be sure to scrape the sides of your bowl with your spatula to ensure all the ingredients are well blended. 

10. Pour your batter into your greased bread tin and put in the oven to bake for 35-45 minutes. When your bread is ready, it will be a deep golden brown and starting to pull away from the sides of your baking tin. 

11. Cool your bread in the tin for about 15 minutes, then turn over to remove and transfer to a cooling rack. Once cooled, slice and enjoy.

This bread makes a lovely treat on its own for brunch with friends and family, but we like it best served slightly warm with a drizzle of dairy-free salted caramel sauce and a scoop of Co Yo coconut milk yoghurt. 

You can find our recipe for dairy-free, cane sugar-free caramel sauce here: www.megpies.co.uk/blogs/megpies-blog/17096176-dairy-free-coconut-sugar-salted-caramel-sauce


Dairy Free Cane Sugar Free Salted Caramel Sauce February 09 2015, 0 Comments

Not too sweet and slightly salty, this rich salted caramel sauce goes well with just about everything.

You only need five natural ingredients to make delicious dairy-free and cane sugar-free caramel. This recipe makes a little over a 1/2 cup of caramel, but will not be quite as thick as traditional dairy and cane sugar caramel. 

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup organic coconut palm sugar (we use Biona)

4 tablespoons water

1 cup coconut milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

2 healthy pinches of sea salt 

 

Method:

1. Add your coconut sugar and water to a small sauce pan and bring to a slow boil, whisking occasionally to melt your sugar. 

2. Once your mixture has reached a boil, whisk in your coconut milk, vanilla extract and salt.

3. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes. Watch your mixture carefully to ensure it does not burn or boil over. 

4. Once your caramel is a rich golden brown colour and has thickened slightly, remove from heat and allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Your caramel will keep in the fridge for a week (if you can stop yourself from eating it all in one go!) in an airtight container and can be served cool or warm. 

We like to put this caramel on almost anything. Try it drizzled over banana bread, farm fresh green apples, sticky toffee pudding or ice cream. 

Organic coconut sugar is unrefined and made from the liquid nectar of the coconut blossom. Coconut palm sugar is a low GI sweetener with a glycemic value of 35, compared to regular cane sugar, which is typically GI 68. 


Chouquettes October 22 2013, 0 Comments

For me, these sweet little choux pastry puffs bring back the loveliest memories of Paris. Staying in a flat above a boulangerie-pâtissière meant waking up every morning to the smell of warm butter and flaky pastries. My husband and I couldn't resist filling a paper bag with crisp, airy and dangerously easy to eat chouquettes to snack on while we wandered the city. 

 

This recipe makes about 20-25 chouquettes

240ml (1 cup) water

1/2 teaspoon salt (We use Himalayan Rose Pink Salt)

2 teaspoons sugar (We use Tate & Lyle golden caster sugar)

90g (6 tablespoons) organic unsalted butter, cut into small pats
140g (1 cup) sifted organic AP flour

4 large organic eggs at room temperature. Separate one egg. You will use the yolk for your wash and the white for your dough

See note above: 1 egg yolk, whisked with 1 teaspoon of almond milk (or your favourite milk) to make a wash

sucre perlé (Pearl or Nib sugar) for sprinkling. You can find this coarse sugar at most specialty food stores or French markets

     

    Method:

    1. Preheat the oven your oven to 220c (200 fan or 425f) and line a baking sheet with your silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

    2. In a medium saucepan heat your water, salt, sugar, and butter. Stir occasionally until the butter is melted and your liquid is nearing a boil.

    3. Do not remove from heat. Pour all of the flour into your pan and stir rapidly using a wooden spoon, until the mixture is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat.

    4. Allow your dough to cool in a mixing bowl for about two minutes or until lukewarm to the touch.

    5. One at a time, vigorously stir in the 3 eggs and 1 egg white with your wooden spoon until smooth and shiny.

    4. Using a pastry bag, pipe walnut size mounds of dough onto your baking sheet. Flicking the bag at the end will help to keep your chouquettes from having a pointed top.

    5. Brush the tops of each mound with your egg wash then sprinkle your coarse sugar on top. Be generous with your sugar, as it will give a sweet crunch and appealing look to your pastries. 

    6. Bake for 35 minutes or until puffed and well-browned. If your oven browns one side of your pan faster than the other, you can turn half way through. HOWEVER, resist the urge to peek! Opening your oven door can cause the chouquettes to deflate due to the drop in temperature. 

    If you would like to fill them with cream, simply poke a small hole in the side of your chouquettes after you take them out of the oven to let the steam escape and to keep them crispy enough to hold your filling. Using a piping bag and small tip, pierce the bottom of you chouquette and fill.

    Chouquettes are most delicious right out of the oven and best eaten the day they are made.