This week we had a family birthday, so that meant that there would definitely be cake on the menu. These occasions often fill me with a bit of panic, as cake more often than not means sugar, dairy, and wheat. All of which we as a family try to avoid for differing reasons. So whilst I was busy baking the requested full butter, sugar and wheat filled Madeira cake (and trying my best not to dive into the mixture!), I decided to make an extra few muffins to allow us to share in the celebrations, whilst avoiding the cake that does our health no favours.
I often make cakes without eggs, it is force of habit from my Happy Kitchen days, but I decided as I had so many in the kitchen that I would treat Mr D and Macy to a cake that would really compare in terms of texture to its Madeira rival. The addition of eggs in any free-from cake recipe adds such a wonderful texture, similar to that of regular cake, and it also helps the cake to hold itself together as the gluten has been removed. Once again I opted to use coconut oil, but this time mixed with cold pressed, unrefined sunflower or olive oil (both work fine but impart slightly different flavours). You can read about the benefits of coconut oil here from a previous post.
It is important when choosing oils to opt for cold pressed, unrefined oils as these oils have not been through the same intense, heat treating processing as refined oils. Cold pressed oils retain their vitamin E content (a natural antioxidant). Refinement of oils damages fats and makes the oil very unstable and prone to turning rancid. The processes refined oils are put through can be read about here. Rancid oils are detrimental to your health as they introduce free radicles into your body, and as the natural vitamin E content has been removed (due to the refining process), this helpful antioxidant is not present to protect agains the free radicles. Health food shops tend to have the biggest ranges of unrefined, cold pressed oils. You can sometimes find them in the supermarkets if you are lucky!
I had little miss Macy as my baking assistant, doing all the important jobs like making more mess than even I can manage, and being chief taster and spoon licking extraordinaire. She loves getting involved in any kitchen action. This fills me with joy as I hope that she too will be inspired and as passionate about cooking and baking weird and wonderful concoctions as I am.
I must say that eating this mixture raw, was as satisfying as eating “normal” cake mixture! It was so light and fluffy and beautifully sweet. Macy’s eyes lit up when she was passed a spoon and the empty bowl to feast on.
So now for the recipe….
Gluten, Dairy & Sugar Free Chocolate Muffins
Makes 12-14 muffins (depending on how much cake mix you eat before getting them into the oven) Preheat oven to 180°c.
75g coconut oil
75g sunflower oil / olive oil (I used cold pressed, organic oil)
2 organic eggs
1 tsp baking powder (gluten free)
125g gluten free flour mix
25g cocoa powder
3 Tbsp milk of choice (rice, coconut, soya, almond)
The coconut oil needs to be room temperature or slightly warmer. It is best if it is slightly soft. if it is a little cold cutting it into small pieces should do the trick.
I made this using an electric mixer, a hand held mixer should work just as well, failing that a whisk and some strong muscles will do just fine!
Place the coconut oil and sunflower oil into the bowl and whisk until well combined. Add the xylitol and keep on whisking until the mixture is white and fluffy looking.
Crack the eggs into a jug and gently whisk. Add a tablespoon or so of the eggs and whisk after each addition until all the eggs have been mixed in. The mixture should be fluffy and look something like this…
Sift in the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder and fold in with the milk.
The mixture should be pale and fluffy, and look remarkably similar to normal cake mix, hooray!
Once the flour is mixed in its time to spoon the mixture into paper cases (We chose to make our own paper cases as we had none in the cupboards). Fill the cases with a heaped tablespoon of the mixture.
Once all the mixture has been used, place the tray into the oven and bake for 12-15 mins at 180°c or until slightly springy to touch.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack (and attempt not to devour them all before they fully cool)
The cake will store in an air tight container for a few days if you can make them last that long. I have a few left from my first batch but I have a feeling they won’t stay around for too much longer.
Can you think of anyone in need of some gluten, sugar or dairy free chocolate muffins? Please feel free to share this recipe if you do. Maybe you could bake them and fool your friends into thinking they are “naughty” cakes and surprise them with the wonderful news that they are in fact much more friendly to the body and the waist line! These are perfect for little ones too as they contain no refined sugar. I know I will be making these for some kiddy parties sometime soon.
Whatever you do, please make sure you make it a priority to get in the kitchen and get creating! There is just too much fun to be had.