Wednesday, 13 November 2013

CHOCOLATE + PEANUT MUFFINS

My idea of quality late-night TV is watching one cooking show after another. Sad but true. Over the summer, I couldn't get enough of 'Cupcake Wars' on the Food Network. Some of the flavour combinations were craazzyy - they even put some of mine to shame. Who would ever think to add black pepper to a sweet cupcake? Or better (or worse) still, spinach and olive oil? Why? 

And yet and yet and yet, there was always that other 'crazy cook' side of me that nodded along and swore to give some of the recipes a try at some point. Just giving you a heads up.

These choc and peanut muffins are not so crazy.  In fact, they are arguably a big improvement on the chocolate cupcakes I made back in February (when I was still trying to find my feet with vegan baking). I dreamt these up when trying to figure out how to use up a bag of peanuts I'd tossed to the back of the cupboard. The addition of crushed peanuts certainly gives an extra depth of flavour and texture. I think you'll also agree that these look slightly more attractive.



Ingredients
- 2 cups self-raising flour
- 1/4 cup crushed peanuts
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract 

Place the flour, cocoa powder and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

Place the crushed peanuts, almond milk, vanilla essence and coconut oil in a blender and whiz for a minute or two until the ingredients are well combined (this goes a long way in ensuring a more even texture).

Mix the dry and wet ingredients together. Be careful not to over mix the cake batter.  

Divide the mixture into individual muffin cases.

Bake in a pre-heated oven, gas mark 5, for 20-25 minutes until well risen and cooked all the way through (you can check by using a small toothpick. If it comes out clean, then you're good to go).

Leave to cool on a wire rack and dust with some extra cocoa powder and any other arty garnishes you feel like using.


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