Chocolate Chip Cup Cake

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Wow! What an amazing alliterated title! haha

This is an easy I-gotta-eat-cake-now recipe.  No need to take out your electric beater.  Just one pot, one hand whisk and a plastic scraper to scrap off every last bit of batter.

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Chocolate Chip Cup Cake (makes 8 )

185 g or about 1.5 stick butter (unsalted)

150 g sugar

3 eggs

175 g plain flour

3 Tbsp flax seed meal (optional)

1.5 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Melt butter in a medium or large pot.  Leave till cool. Add in everything except chocolate chips and mix with a hand whisk till combined. Fold in chocolate chips.  Leave for about up to 30 min for the flour to absorb the liquid before baking.

Bake in a lined muffin pan, in a preheated oven of about 180c. Bake between 20-25 min or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

It’s buttery, moist, not too sweet.

 

 

 

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Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

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Today and tomorrow is my DS’s birthday.  Puzzling?  It’s hardly a great mystery but it tickles me every year. Haha.  My DS was born in Michigan on July 27, 10 pm.  At the same time, it was July 28, 10 am in Singapore.  Isn’t that brilliant? haha. Happy birthday, my dear BB.

School reopens today.  So I got to baking again.  Hearty, low GI-ish stuffs that will sustain The Kids longer as they don’t get home for lunch till about 2.30.  I don’t like that our school kids are having lunch at past 2.30 when everyone else is already having their afternoon kopi (coffee) by then. So I try and make their breakfast and recess count.

The muffins are quite moist and tender.  They are not too sweet, just right for me. In this blueberry muffin recipe, I used dried blueberries instead of fresh ones.  I find them easier to use and store, so I always have those on hand.  They puff up when hydrated in the batter, so you get nice puffy blueberries and nobody will suspect that you didn’t use fresh ones. The flax seed meal and almond flour adds heartiness to the muffin.  You may leave out the flax seed meal and sub the almond flour with plain flour if you don’t have almond flour.  Or you can replace the plain flour with wholemeal flour.  This is a rather versatile recipe.  The key is this: Just keep to the amount and switch around. i.e. 1/4 cup of coconut oil can be replaced with 1/4 cup vege oil or melted butter etc.  I love this recipe for that. Oh and also coz at the end, I only have to wash one bowl and one spoon.

 

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Blueberry Yogurt Muffins (makes 7)

3/4 cup plain flour

1/4 cup almond flour

1/8 cup flax seed meal

1.5 tsp baking powder

1 large egg

1/2 cup plain yogurt (no added sugar)

1/4 cup virgin coconut oil

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

3 handfuls of dried blueberries (dusted with 2 tsp cornflour to prevent sinking)

Mix everything together, adding in the blueberries last.  Do not over mix, otherwise you will overdevelop the gluten in the flour and the muffin will be rubbery.

Pour into 7 muffin cups and bake at 180c for about 20 min or until cooked.

 

 

 

 

 

Healthier Muffins II

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In case nobody’s noticed yet, I love chocolate.

Oh wait, I think they noticed….Since last Christmas, I have received chocolate from 7 friends. I told my DD yesterday as we were opening up a humongous bar of Whitaker that “He who has friends will never run out of chocolate” (say it in a sagely manner).

Every few days, I would bake something for The Kids to bring to school the next day for recess.  It’s usually either bread or muffins. We are all in a chocolate mood (coz every time we open the fridge, there it is).  So I was inspired to use the Healthier Muffin recipe and tweak it into Healthier Chocolate Muffins.

It’s not difficult to tweak.  Let me first establish that I always always use cocoa powder because it’s easier to store a large amount of cocoa powder than chocolate (which needs to be refrigerated in our climate).  And you know I buy them by the kilo.  Also cocoa powder is more chocolatey than chocolate.  Just read the list of ingredients on your chocolate bar.

Whenever you use cocoa powder, do take note of 3 things. Firstly, heating up the cocoa powder gives it a more full-bodied flavor.  You can do that by adding the cocoa powder to hot melted butter.  The heat helps to ‘unlock’ the chocolate flavor and makes it more fragrant and rich.

Secondly, do bear in mind that cocoa is a bit more drying than flour.  You can replace the moisture by increasing the sugar or add a bit more liquid.

Thirdly, coffee, somehow, deepens the chocolate flavor.  I usually add in about 1/2 tsp of instant coffee.  Not enough to be able to taste the coffee or keep me awake at night but it brings a little something to the party.  If you are sensitive to caffeine, you can use decaf. Or not. It’s optional.

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Healthier Chocolate Muffins (makes 12)

1 1/2 stick butter (melted)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

rounded 1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup almond flour

1/4 cup flaxseed meal

1/4 cup milk

3 large eggs

1/4 cup white wholemeal flour

1/4 cup plain flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp instant coffee (optional)

2 big handfuls of chocolate chips/nuts

Melt butter in a big pot.  Let it cool slightly. Add in the ingredients according to the way it is listed, stirring with a whisk with each addition.

Scoop out onto lined muffin pan and bake at about 180c for about 18-20 min.

This recipe is not too sweet and yet rich, chocolatey and moist. No one can tell that there are flaxseed, almond, coconut flour and only 1/4 cup plain white flour in it.  It just tastes like a regular rich chocolate muffin cake. Except better.

Healthier Muffins

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Recently while I was baking bread using all white flour, it suddenly occurred to me that whilst my bread has no preservatives, it doesn’t have any beneficial additives like vitamins either. Commercial loaf bread usually has added calcium and vitamins to up the nutritive value of the bread. Since my kids usually pack food for recess in school, I really should be more diligent and pay more attention to the ingredients I use. Thus I was prompted to dig deep into my freezer for my temporarily forgotten flax seed meal, wholemeal flour, almond flour etc to replace some of the white flour. Totally white flour food should be reserved for fun snack food.

With this in mind, I dug out my muffin recipe and swapped some white flour out for coconut flour, almond flour, flax seed meal and whole meal flour. Of course that changed the recipe.  This is usually how I come up with new recipes. Armed with an attitude that with a bit of common sense, nothing can go wrong.

Healthier Muffins

1 1/2 stick melted butter

1/4 cup milk/water/almond milk etc

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup almond flour

1/4 cup flaxseed meal

3 large eggs

1/4 cup white wholemeal flour

1/2 cup plain flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 handfuls of dried cranberries/currants/ nuts/good quality chocolate chips etc

1 tsp vanilla essence

Melt butter in a large pot.  Cool it till you can touch without seriously burning yourself. Add in the ingredients, one at a time, according to the way it is listed in my recipe.

Using a whisk, stir until it combines together.  Divide evenly into 12 muffin cups.  I usually use paper cases to line my muffin pan.  It’s so much easier this way for prepping, portioning and cleaning up.

Preheat oven to about 180c.  Bake for about 20 min or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

The texture of the muffin tastes just like a regular muffin, a little coarse, not fine like cake.  It’s not too sweet but I compensated by adding in more cranberries.  The nuts and seeds make it more hearty and more nutritious.  Definitely better as a recess food than white bread and butter with sugar.  Just as yummy.

 

 

Coconut Chocolate Muffins

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Usually I would take a recipe and hack it beyond recognition. I usually do it to save time, and coz I-wonder-if-I-can-do-it-this-way, and coz I always feel that MY way is the better way coz it’s the short cut faster way. “Softened butter? Let’s melt it. That should be soft enough!”; “That sounds like a lot of sugar. Let’s save some money and half the sugar. Haha!”;”Cream the butter and sugar together? Let’s cut short and cream everything in one go!”;”I think I shall use oil instead of butter.” Etc etc. Then I wonder why it turned out different. As my friend Shanice said, “Sure will turn out. Only whether good or bad.” Haha. *What, pray tell, can go wrong with anything CHOCOLATE??

This coconut chocolate muffin is one of my hacks. I changed the method and ingredients and viola! A brand new recipe is born.

Coconut Chocolate Muffins (makes 8-9)

1/3 of a block of 250g salted butter, melted. (Just eyeball it)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

Scant 1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup coconut milk (from packet so it’s quite thick)

1/4 water

3/4 cup flour (plain flour or white whole wheat)

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 tsp instant coffee (this enhances the chocolate flavor)

Melt and brown butter slightly. When butter is still hot, add in cocoa powder. This will “open” up the chocolate flavor. Let it cool down (a little warm is ok). Then in goes everything else. Stir with a whisk to blend everything together.  Leave it to rest for a little while (up to 30 min). Scoop into muffin cases. Bake at 180c for about 20 min or until when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

Enjoy. It’s chocolate.

*once I doubled the recipe but forgot to double the sugar. So it was pretty tasteless. Even then I managed to salvage it by making a simple sweet milky sauce for it. My friend Susan happened to stop by and I served  that to her. To this day, she still raves about it. See? It’s chocolate! Nothing can go wrong. Haha. 

Poofier Muffins

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Same batch of batter but different sizes. Hmm. The one on the left was the first one into the oven. The loftier one is after about 25 minutes of resting. Speaks for itself. If you rest your batter for a little while, it will allow the flour to absorb the liquid more fully and thus you will get a poofier muffin. Can you wait so long? Usually I can’t. But if I wait, I sort of get more muffins to eat, ya? 😁

Banana Muffins


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My dear friend, Shirleen, a non-baker, non-cook, sort of invented this easy recipe.

Some time back, Shirleen moved into a new home and she bought a shiny brand new oven.  Never having baked before, she asked me for a very easy egg-free muffin recipe.  I gave her a banana muffin recipe that requires only a bowl and a spoon. No whisking or creaming needed. If you can stir, I told her, you can make.

She eagerly acquired all the ingredients and set off on her maiden bake. It was an instant hit with her kids and she managed to save the last muffin for me. No need, I said. I know how my muffins taste like. Regardless, she sent her obliging husband over to my home with that one solo muffin! Lol. When I looked at it, I realised that  it looked nothing like mine.  I was puzzled. When I bit into it, it tasted yummier! Later, I realised we had a different understanding of the meaning of the word “cup”. In baking terms, “cup” refers to the standard measuring cup (+- a bit in different countries). To her, a cup is anything that is… well… a cup. So happened, she chose a rice cup (the one that comes with the rice cooker). By using that rice cup, she had effectively cut down the amount of flour from 1.5 cups to 1 cup! It resulted in a muffin that had a lovely deep banana flavor! It was really good.

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Ang Ba Jio                                Pang Jio

There are 2 varieties  of bananas that I usually use for eating and baking. I only know the names in Chinese dialect :  Ang Ba Jio and Pang Jio.  They are both smallish bananas compared to the Del Monte variety.  And they are very sweet and flavorful.  The more ripe, the sweeter they are.  So you may want to cut down on the sugar if yours is very ripe.  I find it quite sweet even when I use 100g of sugar and I always regret not cutting down on the sugar.

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Vegan Banana Muffins

250g ripe bananas, skinned and mashed (about 4)

75g-100g sugar

1/3 cup virgin coconut oil or vegetable oil or melted unsalted butter

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup plain flour (about 150g)

Just lightly stir everything together.  Pour into muffin cups. At this point, I would go and turn on the oven and allow the muffins to rest for a few minutes whilst waiting for oven to heat up.  This gives the flour time to hydrate further and raising agents to work their magic.  The muffins will be puffier.

Bake at 180c for about 20 min.

*Variation: if you really really like to add an egg into the muffin, simply remove one banana. Or keep the bananas and increase the flour to 1.5 cups. If you choose to do that, don’t forget to increase the baking powder by 1/2 tsp.

So, what did I tell ya about easy banana muffin recipe? Even when it went wrong, it still turned out good!  Well, this is how new recipes are invented.