Today, I have been adding more back links to the posts I have written on my blog as well as a few other changes to my website and blog setup. Whilst looking back at previous posts, I found a post all about a muffin recipe which I had originally shared on my website but I have not added it back on my website yet so I am going to do that today. Back when I wrote about this recipe I also wrote about the different changes which can be made to the recipe. These muffins were flavoured with pumpkin and chocolate chips and my family really enjoyed them. To start with I was going to add walnuts to the recipe but I knew my children wouldn’t like them so I decided to include the chocolate chips instead. I made these pumpkin muffins around Halloween time and I can’t wait for that time of year again to try them out . There is nothing to say that these muffins should only been eaten at Halloween, a bit like fruit cake I think. My husband would eat fruit cake all year round if he had his way.
- 250g plain flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 50g soft spread (melted)
- 75g soft brown sugar
- 175g dark chocolate chips/ 75g chopped walnuts
- 1tsp mixed spice
- 75g pumpkin (cooked)
- 2 eggs
- 1tsp vanilla essence
- 250ml milk
- Preheat the oven to gas 6.
- Prepare twelve muffins cases with muffin liners.
- Weigh out the ingredients into a bowl and mix together to form a roughly mixed batter.
- Do not over mix.
- Spoon into the liners.
- Bake for 25 - 30 minutes till well risen and golden brown.
From my basic recipe for muffins, I changed the recipe to suit the addition of the other ingredients, i.e., pumpkin. The first ingredient which I changed was the sugar. Originally, I used caster sugar but when I made them again I used brown sugar as I feel that it gives a fuller flavour to the product and it is not as sweet.
In the original recipe, I used oil in the mixture, but this time, I have melted the soft spread before adding it to the mixture. Melting the soft spread makes it resemble the oil, which kept the texture of the muffin as light and more dough like as possible unlike a standard cake. I tend to use oil when using a vegetable in my products, such as carrot, pumpkin and courgette.The oil prevents the sponge drying out quickly , i.e., retains moisture. The oil keeps the flavour neutral so that all the other ingredients can be tasted together in the baked muffin. It is thought that oil makes a drier cake sponge in general, but I feel the other ingredients in the recipe help to retain the moisture just like in a carrot cake. I used soft spread which I melted beforehand because I did not have enough oil in the kitchen to use in the recipe and the soft spread is quite neutral in flavour. It is a good substitute for vegetable oil.
As plain flour is used, the leavening agents in the recipe would have to remain to help the muffins to rise. I have used plain flour in the muffin recipe as I feel the plain flour gives a more stable structure to the product. Rather like Pound Cake or Madeira Cake recipes.
Also, I changed the cinnamon for mixed spice which contains a mixture of several spices including ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. This would give a warm mouthfeel to the product , very homely and autumnal.
Another change to the recipe would be to remove the chocolate chips and replace with roughly, chopped walnuts . I think that the nuts with the small amount of salt in the recipe would compliment the sweetness of the pumpkin.
I used chocolate chips in the original recipe so as to make the muffin more tempting for my children as I thought the chocolate would mask the pumpkin flavour slightly. As it was the pumpkin gave a similar flavour as carrot to the recipe , if not slightly blander. My children enjoyed them very much. This is one way of getting my children to eat one of their “five-a-day” into their diet without them realising it.
To replace the eggs in the recipe , of which there are only two, the cheapest option would be to use banana and apple sauce. These two ingredients would alter the flavour of the product to some degree but do retain the moistness of the muffins. If the flavour is not wanting to be compromised then an egg substitute would need to be used. The most availabe is Ener-G which is readily available egg replacer found in health stores.
If I had more time, I would decorate the finished product if it lasted long enough, but as of yet I am not sure what with. I think I would make a cinnamon flavoured butter cream , but not too sweet, or maybe a meringue topping as an alternative topping , if these were for a special occasion. Next time I will decorate these muffins before the family have a chance of eating them.
There are many other aspects of this recipe which I can change but this recipe is perfect as it is. It is dairy free so already suits some diets. It can be adapted to be made diabetic friendly, gluten free and vegan friendly.