I am finally starting to emerge from the school holiday rabbit hole that I fell down many weeks ago. Today was the first day back to school for my older child
thank the lord. I was worried that we would show up this morning to an empty school and find out we were a day too early. But we were greeted by many other rambunctious children and their very desperate happy parents. And what better way to celebrate this joyous occasion than to bake. Something I haven’t managed to do for much of the holidays due to having such hot and stunning weather. Weather which I am grateful for and that begged for ice blocks and sangrias, rather than cakes and tea.
Today is windy and rainy and a perfect day for spiced muffins and a hot cup of tea (although I think it is still about 22 degrees Celsius outside – not bad for Wellington). These muffins are more like cupcakes in texture, but they are far more nutritious than a typical cupcake. They are egg, gluten and dairy free and should be a great baked treat for nearly everyone. This recipe is actually one I created for the new magazine Clementine. I am writing the food section and the first issue should be out next month. I made a cake version for the magazine but thought some muffins were in order for the blog. Oh and, by the way, they go rather well with maple whipped coconut cream!
Pear Gingerbread Muffins (Egg + Gluten + Dairy Free)
*The potato starch and tapioca starch can be substituted for buckwheat flour or brown rice flour (buckwheat is yum!). I haven’t tried this recipe with all purpose flour or spelt flour, but I reckon it should work and by all means post comments if you decide to try one of these alternatives. The texture will vary slightly depending on your flour choice, but will be delicious.
1 cup (160g) brown rice flour
2/3 cup (125g) potato starch* See note above
1/3 cup (40g) tapioca starch/flour* See note above
¼ cup ground flax or chia seed
1 ½ tsp baking soda
pinch of sea salt
2 TBLS ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of ground cardamom
400g ripe pears – peeled and cored (or 400g tinned, including juice)
1/3 cup muscovado sugar (or coconut sugar or unrefined brown sugar)
½ cup (125g) coconut oil – melted (or butter or ghee if dairy okay)
2/3 cup coconut milk (or other milk of choice)
1 TBLS apple cider vinegar
3 TBLS blackstrap molasses
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease or line muffin tins or a large bundt tin or a 25cm spring form cake tin.
- In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients and mix well.
- In a food processor, or using an immersion blender, combine pears and remaining wet ingredients including brown sugar and blend until a smooth puree (oil your measuring spoon before measuring the molasses and it will slip out of the spoon with ease!).
- Pour wet ingredients mixture into dry ingredients and mix thoroughly to combine. Pour into the prepared muffin tins or cake tin.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes for muffins or 30-35 minutes for a cake or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 5 minutes before removing. Allow to cool completely before topping with whipped coconut cream or whipped cream.
- Serve with whipped coconut cream sweetened with maple syrup or honey or with a nice dollop of greek yogurt or whipped cream if dairy is okay.
For whipped coconut cream I use the Fia Fia brand (because it works every time).
- Place a tin of coconut cream in the fridge for at least 6 hours (or ideally overnight).
- Open the tin and scoop out all of the firm coconut cream and place in a mixing bowl, leaving any coconut water/liquid in the tin (this stuff is great to reserve for smoothies).
- Add 1-3 TBLS maple syrup (depending on preference) or honey and whip the coconut cream until smooth. You can use a hand whisk or electric beaters. Serve with the cooled muffins or cake. Refrigerate
hideany leftover whipped coconut cream for up to 2 days.