Sweet, Savory, Decadent, Healthful - All occasion baking with Mani Niall
I have to admit to a fondness for muffins. They typically can be made at a moments notice without a lot of fancy equipment like mixers or food processors. Just about anything can be folded into the batter – from fruit to nuts to chocolate. Plus, there is almost always something seasonal that will work—try dried fruit or grated sweet potatoes in winter.
These days I am working on recipes for my new bakery, Sweet Bar Bakery, set to open later this year in downtown Oakland, California. If you would like to know more about it, click here for a promotional video on Kickstarter.com (http://kck.st/sweetbar ).
And if you have followed my columns and baking style, you’ll know that I don’t leave anyone out, so there are always choices for specific diets such as gluten free and vegan. Muffins are a great way to incorporate whole grains into your diet, also.
So I can’t just make any old muffins. I need the full range of choices—and that always includes decadent and delectable, something whole grain, plus one or two gluten free and vegan. They all have to taste good for everyone, not just for the people on special diets. So I have a challenge to test and poke and prod and figure out the best way to make every muffin taste great.
Banana Walnut Muffins-gluten free
Adding a moist, ripe banana puree to muffin batter is a great way to overcome the occasional graininess of gluten free flours. I especially like the texture of the muffin when baked in a heavy-duty metal or cast iron pan.
Double Chocolate Raspberry Muffins - vegan
These are so cute my guests called them cupcakes! I adapted an old World War II recipe that did not call for eggs or butter, when these were in short supply. Voila, my vegan friends were thrilled and no one was the wiser with this rich, delectable and classic combination of chocolate and tart raspberries. Feel free to use frozen raspberries if fresh are unavailable.
Honey Oatmeal Streusel Muffins
This is like a bowl of oatmeal, baked with all my favorite toppings—cinnamon, honey and crunchy topping. Made entirely with whole grains, and as tasty as coffeecake.
Important tip, pay attention to the directions! The first 5 dry ingredients are mixed, a small amount is reserved (1/2 cup) then the leavenings are added before the recipe is completed.