Thursday, 10 February 2011

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Muffins

Every month or so I have cake duty for SPLAT! at St Ebbes, a play group for toddlers where mummies can enjoy a slice of cake, hear about Jesus and just socialise.  I get the special dietary requirements duty and I've had some good results and some not so good results when trying to produce cakes and biscuits which contained no wheat, milk, butter, oats.... apart from the Tunisian orange cake and layered chocolate cake, the rest tend to either go stale immediately or taste powdery and dry, or worst: taste and feel disgusting, so much so I feel bad handing them over!

My birthday was in December and amongst my wish list was a dinky little book written by Jennifer Katzinger, founder of the Flying Apron Bakery based in Seattle.  Apart from type errors regarding number of muffin cups to pour batter into, it is a very good read and the recipes work beautifully - well the two that I've tried.  I won't lie, the batter looked unpromising, but the result was magic.  There's no other word for it when I think about what goes into your typical muffin: flour, butter, sugar, eggs.... all of which are absent from these deliciously soft muffins.  If you're intolerant to gluten or dairy, or just vegan, this book is amazing.  Naturally the honey is easily interchanged with agave nectar or maple syrup.  Below, I'll leave you with two recipes adapted from my beloved copy of the flying apron's gluten-free and vegan baking book.

Carrot Muffins
(Makes 16)

Ingredients:
  • 1C Rice Flour
  • 1/2C + 1/8C Gram Flour
  • 0.75 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 0.75 tsp Ground Cinnamon 
  • 1/2C Groundnut Oil
  • 1C Water
  • 1C Honey
  • 3 Sm Carrots, Finely grated
  • 1C Unsweetened Dessicated Coconut
  • 1C Chopped Mixed Nuts
  • 1/2C Mixed Dried Fruit
Method:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to GM4/180C/350F
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, water and honey.  In another bowl mix together the carrots, nuts, fruit and coconut, and in a final bowl, mix together the rice and gram flours, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda.
  3. Whisk the flour mix into the wet mixture until well combined.  Fold in the carrot mixture until just combined and divide among muffin cases.
  4. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the tops are  golden and firm to the touch.


Lemon & Poppy Seed Muffins
(Makes 14)

Ingredients:
  • 1.5C Rice Flour
  • 3/4C Gram flour
  • 1.5 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1/2C Olive Oil
  • 1C Water
  • 1/2tsp Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2C Maple Syrup
  • 1/2C Golden Syrup
  • Zest of 2 Lemons
  • 1/3C Poppy Seeds 
Method:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to GM5/190C/375F
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, water, vinegar, golden and maple syrup.  In another bowl, whisk the rice flour, gram flour, bicarbonate of soda, poppy seeds and lemon zest together well.
  3. Whisk the dry mixture into the wet mixture until well combined.  
  4. Pour the batter evenly between about 14 muffin cases and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and firm to the touch.

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