Thursday, January 7, 2010

Chai Berry Muffins: Vegan

The other night I was watching a new Food Network show called Cupcake Wars. The show wasn't really as exciting as it originally sounded to me but one of the judges seemed really cool. She is covered in tattoos, loves punk rock, and loves to bake-especially cupcakes. Seemed like a strange combination to me, but I loved it, so I grabbed my computer and looked up her blog. It's awesome! It's called Bake and Destroy; I put it on my list of blogs on the side of the page but here it is again just in case: My favorite part is her tagline- the food blog equivalent to a punch in the throat. I love the attitude!

I wasn't really looking for another cupcake recipe because I've made a lot of them recently but she does other things as well, including muffins. I saw one that immediately caught my eye. Vegan Berry Chai Muffins- Yum.

I was intrigued by the fact that they are vegan since I feel like more and more people in my life are discovering their food allergies. I love cooking and baking for people so I am currently exploring ways to omit some of these allergens. Thats why I decided to take it a step further and make them both vegan and gluten-free.

First I made the original recipe but didn't like them, partly because simply substituting gluten-free flour made them too crumbly and partly because they had a little too much spice for my taste so I cut out the cloves and cut back on some of the other spices plus added xanthum gum as an additional binding agent for the gluten-free flour. I really liked how the second batch turned out, so here is the revised recipe:

Chai Berry Muffins
2 bags Earl Grey tea
3/4 cup soy milk
1 3/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
2/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch white pepper
1/3 cup canola oil
2 1/2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
3 tablespoons water
1 cup frozen berries *I used blackberries and blueberries from my Papa's farm :)
Start by heating the soy milk over the stove until just before boiling. Remove from the heat and and step the tea bags in it for 4 minutes. Then remove the tea bags and let the milk cool.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, xanthum gum, baking powder, sugar, spices, salt and pepper. Then, add in the frozen berries.
In a separate, small bowl, whisk together the flaxseed meal and water making a paste. Add this to the dry ingredients along with the milk and oil. Stir just until mixed. The batter will be somewhat lumpy. Now, pour the batter into 12 lined muffin cups.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Let cool for at least a minute before removing from the pan. Then enjoy :) I could be wrong, but even though they don't have any dairy or gluten I think they taste good on normal muffin standards.

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