Saturday, 19 May 2012

Book Review - 150 Best Vegan Muffin Recipes

Little known fact - the initial idea I had for Vegan Bake Sale was a muffin book - not too unlike this one - with familiar muffins, savoury muffins, and also some around the world and taste bud challenging muffins. This is almost the book I never wrote! Could I have done it better? We will never know.......

I made 5 muffins recipes from this book - not a huge number I know but I am trying to limit the amount of baking I do these days. I found all the recipes easy to follow, with simple steps and they are well laid out. I had a small issue with one of them but it was an easy fix (and more on that later). The recipes I chose had easy to find ingredients (most already in my kitchen). The only negative thing I found with the recipes on offer (for me and where I live - it may not apply to you) is that a large number of them used vegan yogurt, and for me this is a special trip to buy. Not a big negative by any stretch, and if I wanted to make one of those recipes I could have easily make a thick buttermilk, or blended silken tofu, sub.
Recommended? if you're a muffin fan - for sure!

The recipes I made - in page number order, as always -
Page 27 Cranberry Orange Muffins
I subbed Hazelnuts as I didn;t have Walnuts or Pecans. These were lovely muffins. Burst of bright tartness from the cranberries went well with the orange and texturally different nuts.

Page 40  Gingerbread Muffins
Would be lovely around the holidays for breakfast these ones. Not super spiced, but nicely warming. Great with coffee.

Page 42 Dark Chocolate Muffins
mmmm. Chocolate with chocolate and chocolate...... need I say more??

Page 59 Banana Blueberry Muffins
A favourite combination of R's so I had to make them for her. Enjoyed? but of course. Nice fruity balance.

Page 99 Carrot Cake Muffins
Like carrot cake, but not as pretty! You could make some cream cheese frosting if you wanted to make them a little more cake like.

Page 157 Rum and Coconut Muffins
This one I did have to add a bit more liquid to get a muffin like batter, but all worked out in the end and these tasted so very good!
I also have the recipe from one of these muffins I tried to share too - and the "official" photo. Please enjoy with the compliments of the publisher -

Dark Chocolate Muffins (page 42)
Makes 12 muffins

A double dose of decadent chocolate renders these muffins irresistible. They're amazing plain, but try them with a spread of peanut butter or raspberry jam, too.

•    Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)
•    12-cup muffin pan, greased
11⁄2 cups all-purpose flour  375 mL
1⁄2 cup   unsweetened cocoa powder     125 mL
     (not Dutch process)
11⁄2 tsp  baking powder 7 mL
1⁄4 tsp   baking soda   1 mL
1⁄4 tsp   salt 1 mL
3⁄4 cup   vegan granulated sugar or    175 mL
     evaporated cane juice
1 cup     plain non-dairy milk    280 mL
+ 2 tbsp  (soy, almond, rice, hemp)
1⁄4 cup   vegetable oil 60 mL
1 tbsp    cider vinegar 15 mL
1 tsp     vanilla extract    5 mL
3 oz vegan bittersweet chocolate,      90 g

1.   In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2.   In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, milk, oil, vinegar and vanilla until well blended.
3.   Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Gently fold in chocolate.
4.   Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups.
5.   Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 3 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool.

Tip: To chop chocolate bars in no time, lightly loosen the wrapper, then whack the bar in several places with a rolling pin. Unwrap the chocolate to check your progress. If you need smaller pieces, just rewrap the bar and continue hitting it with the rolling pin.

Excerpted from 150 Best Vegan Muffin Recipes by Camilla V. Saulsbury © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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