Monday, April 23, 2012

Blackcurrant vanilla muffins (vegan version)


This recipe survived in my kitchen for a year and I thought it really is worth sharing. These are the simplest muffins from what I bake. After lots of trials with other muffin flavors I have to say they also taste the best to me. They are something I don't forget and keep coming back to, like these oatmeal cookies and this banana bread.

The push to finally publishing it was a recent class I gave on muffin baking at PIR gastronomic fair in Moscow. I could see how much the guests liked them and how much they were surprised that vegan muffins can taste so good.


It turned out quite a lot of fun to give a class at a food festival and not just visit it as a guest, as I always did before. I got this chance thanks to Elena Spirina and Gastronom food magazine and I'm very grateful. I remember when I visited Afisha Eda food festival last autumn, I could just dream about it. Hearing what some of the guests said after the class I see it went not badly at all for the first time. Thanks to my mom and dad I also have some nice pictures of the event.


Coming back to muffins, for myself I bake vegan (eggless and butterless) muffins only for quite a long time already. It started from some of my dietary requirements, but now I can say they actually taste better. Classic muffins based on eggs and butter often taste like not so good cupcakes and that's because in fact, they are.


It turned out that using vegetable oils in muffins makes them more moist and soft, which is exactly what I'm after. They also keep quite well for a few days and do not go stale. I'm not even talking about how good, light and comfortable it feels after you eat them. It is one of those recipes you can through together in 10 minutes, stick into the oven and have amazing breakfast 15 minutes after.

Blackcurrant vanilla muffins (vegan version) (recipe veganized from the Joy of Cooking)

makes 12 standard muffins

250 g (2 cups) all purpose flour
1.5 table spoons of baking powder (I mean table spoons, you need quite a lot, because the recipe is eggless)
1/2 tea spoon salt
1/4 tea spoon ground nutmeg
10 g of natural vanilla sugar or 1 tea spoon of liquid vanilla

160 - 240 g (2/3 - 1 cup) light brown or white sugar
110 g (1/2 cup) flavorless vegetable oil
340 g (1 and 1/2 cup) soya or liquid coconut milk
150 g (1 cup) blackcurrant, fresh or frozen (if using frozen, do not unfreeze it)

Combine the dry ingredients and mix them well to make sure the baking powder is spread evenly. Add soya milk and oil. Mix till the flour just gets wet. Add in the blackcurrant and mix gently till there are no more big lumps of dry flour. Do not over-mix the batter. This can easily make the muffins too dense in texture.


Fill the oiled muffin cups to 3/4 of their hight and bake at 200C for 15 - 17 minutes (add 2 minutes of baking time if using frozen berries). Check with a toothpick - should come out clean if inserted into the center of a muffin. Let cool on a rack for 2 minutes and take out of the muffin cups.


The muffins are great when just baked. In case you need to store them - they keep well in an airtight container or plastic bag in a fridge for 2-3 days. For longer time they perfectly freeze. I love this ability of them. I can just take a muffin out of the freezer, put it in a microwave and get it back fresh as if just baked in 30 seconds.


Related:

Basil and olive oil muffins (vegan version)

Food feast of Afisha Eda (Афиша: Праздник Еды)

London food: a personal guide