Chocolate Muffins

I always get cravings for baked goods but I tend to avoid buying them from cafes and other places because I have no clue what’s in them. I also just love baking so baking something myself is much more satisfying. There was a bit of experimentation with these in getting the wet to dry ingredient ratio right. I feel pretty good about how they turned out!

So here we go, my chocolate muffins which I made dairy free because of bod and there’s no eggs either because we hadn’t done the groceries yet! Alas, subbed in apple sauce (random but great) to fill in for the eggs. Also mixed a bunch of dark chocolate through these for an extra chocolatey hit!

Chocolate Muffins (yields 6)

What you’re going to need

1 1/2 cups self raising flour

1/4 cup cacao powder

1/4 cup apple sauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup Nutellex (or any dairy free spread), melted

1/4 cup rice milk (or any other non dairy milk)

1/4 cup maple syrup

50 grams dairy free dark chocolate (70% and above), roughly chopped

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Grease a muffin tray with cooking spray.
  2. Sift the flour and cacao powder into a large bowl. Add all the other ingredients except the dark chocolate and mix well.
  3. Add in the chocolate and make sure it is evenly distributed through the mixture.
  4. Place even amounts in each muffin tin until all batter is used.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Cool on a wire rack and then store in a container until they all disappear!

 

Chocolate Muffins

Banana Raspberry Muffins

Bananas and raspberries are my two current fruit obsessions! I have recently started full time work so I am desperately trying to whip up stuff to take to work to avoid spending all my money on for the most part, mediocre pastries and desserts. So here were born these delectable banana and raspberry muffins!

It’s kind of freaky when you’re out at a canteen or smallish shop and you see packaged baked goods with over a week’s expiry on them. Who really knows the extra stuff they’re putting in to preserve them. Homemade is always best and even though we live in a such a crazy busy and sometimes overly hectic society, it’s always nice to take some time out to be more aware of the things you are consuming because at the end of the day, it will help your body perform so much better.

Okay so enough life inspo talk for today…onward to the recipe! This recipe only contains 7 ingredients! Most of them are standard pantry staples so hopefully you have everything you need to whip these up! Kept these dairy free because of bod so here we go!

Banana Raspberry Muffins (yields 6)

What you’re going to need

1 cup self raising flour

1/4 cup non dairy milk (rice, oat, soy)

2 tablespoons Nuttelex (or other non dairy butter substitute)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

2 overripe bananas, mashed

1/3 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
  2. In a bowl, sift the flour and then mix in the sugar.
  3. Combine all wet ingredients (egg, butter, milk) in a small bowl. Pour in with the dry ingredients and add mashed bananas.
  4. Mix well and ensure mix is completely uniform before adding raspberries.
  5. In a muffin tray (sprayed with cooking spray or use patty pans), add even amounts of mixture into each spot. (I like my muffin quite big but you could spread the mix to make 8-10 smaller muffins)
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave in the tray for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

Banana Raspberry Muffins

Stuffed Eggplant

I am eggplant (aubergine) obsessed! It has been so long since I’ve had it and so led to today’s delightful creation.

The filling is a rich, flavoursome tomato based sauce filled with vegetables to make it super healthy and most importantly, satisfying that hunger!

Eggplant prices have been a bit steep in some areas, so shop around for yours. This meal in total cost approximately $2 I believe. So really no excuses for preparing fresh, healthy food in your own home.

This dish is conveniently dairy free, meat free and can be made low fodmaps by omitting the garlic and bread topping.

Stuffed Eggplant

What you’re going to need

1 medium eggplant, cut in half longways

1 400ml bottle Passata tomato sauce (or tin tomatoes blended will work too)

1 small zucchini, finely grated

1 small carrot, finely grated

1-2 cloves garlic (to your taste preferences), minced/grated with a microplane

olive oil

salt and pepper to season

fresh thyme and basil

1 slice stale bread, blended into a coarse crumb (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius.
  2. In a fry pan, heat up 1 tablespoon olive oil on a medium heat. Add the garlic, carrot and zucchini. Stir to get a decent coating with the oil and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Whilst the fry pan contents is cooking, spoon out the insides of each half of the eggplant leaving around 1cm of flesh still attached to the skin to give it shape and stability. Place eggplant halves in the oven for 20 minutes to start the cooking process.
  4. Roughly chop the scooped out filling and add to the fry pan with the other ingredients. Mix until well combined then reduce heat to a simmer. Add the tomatoes and make sure everything is coated with the liquid. Leave to simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove eggplants from the oven and turn off the tomato sauce. Using a spoon, add the mixture into the eggplant halves. Top with bread crumbs and thyme.
  6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until bread crumbs are golden. (If you’re not using breadcrumbs, the eggplant will still require baking for 15 minutes or so)
  7. Serve immediately with fresh basil!

stuffed aubergine

Mushroom and Prosciutto Triangles

It was just one of those days where I had the most odd combination of ingredients in my kitchen fridge and pantry. There were 3 mushrooms, a few slices of prosciutto, 1 tablespoon worth of chicken gravy powder and some sheets of puff pastry. This all lead to a fairly effortless dish but most definitely a tasty one. I decided to cook the mushrooms in a bit of Nuttelex, mix through the prosciutto and then bring it all together in a sauce resembling gravy. Turned out pretty delicious.

This is also the first time I have ever really worked with puff pastry. What a great invention! The super crispy texture of the pastry pairs perfectly with the succulent filling. Lunch was done right today!

These are conveniently dairy free and will take you around 20-30 minutes to make!

Mushroom and Prosciutto Triangles

What you’re going to need

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed

3 mushrooms, roughly diced

2 small slices prosciutto roughly chopped

50-100 mls gravy (I used Gravox chicken gravy)

1 tablespoon Nuttelex

pepper to season

olive oil (for coating)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius.
  2. In a small saucepan, cook the prosciutto until crispy. Set aside.
  3. Melt the Nuttelex in the same saucepan and then cook the mushrooms for 1-2 minutes. Add the gravy and simmer on a low heat until thick. Season with pepper.
  4. Cut the puff pastry into 4 equal squares with a sharp knife. Place a spoonful of the mushroom mixture in the centre of the square and then top with prosciutto. Fold over the pastry so it forms a triangle shape and the filling is securely inside. Seal the edge with a fork. Repeat until all 4 triangles are complete.
  5. Place triangles on a lined baking tray. Brush each one with a thin layer of oil in order to get them golden. Cook in the oven until pastry has gone golden and flaky. (around 15-20 minutes)
  6. Serve while hot!

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Homemade “Wagon Wheels”

I’ve been eating Wagon Wheels since I was a kid. I remember ages ago when they used to come in a pack of 4 and they were huge! Now, they have downsized them and they now come in a more “convenient” pack of 8 which just leads them to be eaten twice as quick as the large ones… So, they no longer make the grocery list at our house for this reason…as they last about 5 minutes.

However, this led to today’s recipe creation! Not exactly the traditional method of forming these, but they taste so delicious! I made my own thin biscuits and covered them in melted dark chocolate, then spread a little bit of strawberry jam followed by the almost impossible layer, the “marshmallow”. I really wanted to make my own marshmallow from scratch, but I’ll save that for another time so decided to set some coconut cream with gelatine creating a spongy white layer!

This recipe is 100% dairy free! It can easily be made vegan friendly by omitting the gelatine and using another stabilising agent such as agar.

Homemade “Wagon Wheels” (makes 5)

What you’re going to need

Marshmallow” (for ease, you could use packet marshmallows for authentic marshmallow flavour) 

1/4 cup coconut cream

1 teaspoon gelatine

Biscuits

1/2 plain flour

1 tablespoon castor sugar

pinch baking powder

pinch salt

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1-2 tablespoons water (may not need all of it)

Jam

1 tablespoon strawberry jam

Method

  1. Place the coconut cream and gelatine (according to packet instructions) in a flat tray or container so that it creates a flat even layer. Pop in the fridge to set
  2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Line a baking tray and set aside
  3. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, sugar and baking powder. Add all other ingredients except the water. Mix with a spatula until the mix comes together and will hold together when pressed between fingers.
  4. Add water until dough comes together but is not sticky. On a floured bench, roll out the dough until desired biscuit thickness is achieved (aim for about 1/2 centimetre)
  5. Using a cookie cutter, cut out the dough and place evenly spread on the baking tray. Poke each with a fork before baking in the oven for about 10 minutes. Once cooked, set aside to cool.
  6. Melt chocolate using your preferred method. Using a spoon, spoon the melted chocolate over each biscuit and spread evenly. (You could dip them into the chocolate mixture but this will increase chances of them breaking). Place in the fridge until chocolate has set.
  7. Once the coconut cream has set or if you decide to use marshmallows, this is the assembly stage. Using a smaller cookie cutter, cut the set coconut cream, lift out with a spoon and place on the underside of the chocolate coated biscuit. Repeat 4 more times.
  8. On the underside of the other 5 biscuits, put an even amount of jam in the middle. Once completed, place the jam side on top of the coconut cream side and voila!

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Dairy Free PB Cacao Cookies

These are a variation of my earlier creation of Peanut Butter and Macadamia Cookies! I am a serious chocoholic and was having some cravings today and so got myself baking and created these! If you want to make them too, here is what you do.

PB Cacao Cookies

What you’re going to need

1/2 cup Nuttelex (or any dairy free spread)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg (or flax egg for vegan option)

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup plain flour

1/2 cup Mayvers PB Cacao Spread

50 grams 85% dark chocolate, chopped

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius

2. Beat butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Once combined, add the egg and vanilla extract and beat again until combined.

3. Sift in flour  and baking soda and mix with a wooden spoon until dough comes together.

4. Mix through the Mayvers Spread and chopped chocolate.

5. Pop the mixture in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Whilst the dough is cooling, line two baking trays and grab your cookie cutter of choice!

6. On a flat surface, flatten out the dough until it is about 1cm thick. With your cutter, cut your dough into shapes and place even spaced apart on the baking tray.

7.  Bake for about 10 minutes (once the cookies are out of the oven they will continue to cook for a little bit. I wanted mine to stay pretty soft but feel free to bake them longer)

8. Allow to completely cool on a cooling rack before putting in a container for storage!

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Peanut Butter and Macadamia Cookies

So I’ve finished off university, am now unemployed eagerly waiting to jump on a plane to Europe…what to do with all the spare time? Bake cookies of course! Since I haven’t completely perfected the art of creating baked goods recipes from scratch…decided to use inspiration from one of my favourite food bloggers. I’m sure most foodies and foodbloggers have heard of Minimalist Baker so I used one of their cookie recipes as a base for measurement purposes and then changed up a couple of things to make them my own! I added some of my favourite healthy spread from Mayver’s Food just to add a bigger hit of peanut and also a subtle cacao flavour too! These are an absolutely perfect snack for morning, noon and night as I have discovered since there is only one left and I baked them yesterday! This recipe is dairy free to cater for my dietary needs.

Peanut Butter and Macadamia Cookies

What you’re going to need

1/2 cup Nuttelex (or any dairy free spread)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup plain flour

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

100g macadamias (about 1 cup)

1/4 cup Mayvers PB Cacao spread (optional)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius

2. Beat butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Once combined, add the egg and vanilla extract and beat again until combined.

3. Sift in flour  and baking soda and mix with a wooden spoon until dough comes together.

4. Mix through the peanut butter and macadamias.

5. Pop the mixture in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Whilst the dough is cooling, line two baking trays and grab your cookie cutter of choice!

6. On a flat surface, flatten out the dough until it is about 1cm thick. With your cutter, cut your dough into shapes and place even spaced apart on the baking tray.

7.  Bake for about 10 minutes (once the cookies are out of the oven they will continue to cook for a little bit. I wanted mine to stay pretty soft but feel free to bake them longer)

8. Allow to completely cool on a cooling rack before putting in a container for storage!

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For more amazing food inspo, check out http://minimalistbaker.com/