Monday, January 25, 2016

Orange Muffins - #MuffinMonday

Orange Muffins - Passion Kneaded

Some months ago, a Food52 article appeared in my Facebook feed. It had the typical click-bait headline ( "Magical New Egg Replacement!") and I almost skipped over it. But then I became curious. From time to time, I do bake eggless treats and I have a friend who is allergic to eggs (sometimes) so I thought I'd check it out, if only to share the information with her.

"... the watery dregs from cans of chickpeas are the incredible, edible egg replacement we've been looking for."

Say what now?! We're not even blending up the chickpeas? Just pouring off the liquid and using that?! Is it April Fools Day? I kept digging and digging and there were more and more articles and an entire Facebook group dedicated to this "miracle". I spent a long time reading and it did not seem to be a joke. I did remember that the liquid from cooking chickpeas can become a bit gelatinous after refrigeration so perhaps these people were only slightly crazy. They were making meringues and pavlova with the stuff though - not just throwing it into a muffin.

The next time I cooked a batch of chickpeas in my slow cooker, I saved the liquid. (Oh, I should use the term that they use - aquafaba. Chickpea liquid, chickpea brine...those don't have a nice enough ring - this is aquafaba.) I just never had time to whip the stuff or bake with it so I eventually threw it away and never thought of aquafaba again.

Orange Muffins - Passion Kneaded
Nice tops!
I remembered aquafaba again when I was trying to figure out what to make for my chickpea fudge post. I almost used the aquafaba then but decided to save aquafaba's debut (on my blog, that is) for Muffin Monday. Between you and me, I think I was still a little hesitant to whip the stuff into some honey butter. Yes! They do make butter from this stuff. And "mayo" too. It is indeed miraculous.

I kept things simple with an orange muffin. Do you know how hard it was to find an exemplar recipe? Almost every orange muffin recipe had another major ingredient added in. Orange + cranberries were pretty popular but I wanted the oranges to shine. I don't (can't) eat oranges often so they weren't going to share the stage with anything else in my muffins - except for the aquafaba, of course. But I assure you, if I didn't tell you there was chickpea liquid in these muffins, you'd have no idea. I'm still reeling from black bean brownies that tasted like black beans so I wouldn't lie to you. I am assured that it is the same with the meringues and buttercreams that people have made. I promise to do more experimenting and report soon. For now, enjoy these lovely muffins and be sure to check out the other #MuffinMonday muffins after the recipe.

Orange Muffins - Passion Kneaded

Orange Muffins Recipe by: Kelly   
Yield: ~8 muffins

3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 cups (240g) all purpose flour 
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons orange zest
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk 
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons aquafaba (chickpea water/brine)

Preheat oven to 425 F. Grease the wells of a muffin pan or line with cupcake liners.

For the topping, rub together the sugar and orange zest for a few minutes then set aside. 
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, rub together the sugar and orange zest for several minutes to release the oils. Next whisk in milk, oil, orange juice and the aquafaba, 
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently fold until just mixed. I try not to do more than 10 stirs. 
Divide the batter among the muffin wells. I got 8 muffins filling my wells almost to the top. 
Sprinkle the topping on each muffin. 
Bake for 5 minutes then lower the oven temperature to 375F. Bake for another 10-13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. 

  • One fairly large orange gave me 3 tablespoons of zest so I needed two oranges to get enough for the topping as well.
  • Be gentle! Don't overmix.   

 #MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Black Pepper and Red Wine Bundt Cake - #BundtBakers

It has been so long that I participated in Bundt Bakers that I feel like a newbie. I'm checking the to-do list not just twice but thrice. And I am still sure that I have forgotten something. I almost skipped this month also since things were even more uncertain in my life. However, a couple weeks ago I was visiting a friend and she insisted that I do some baking. I went through the list of themes for upcoming group posts and decided to tackle this one.

June of How to Philosophize Cake challenged us to bake a cake with an unusual flavour combination that though seemingly strange, tasted great. This is a really fun theme but it was really difficult choosing a pairing. I kept thinking of flavours that just were not that strange. Eventually,  I asked my friend to pick an ingredient - she chose red wine - and I then looked for an unexpected complement. Red wine and black pepper is actually not that unusual. It's just very unlikely to see both show up in cake.

I had no idea how this would turn out and several times thought that maybe I should make something else and avoid wasting the wine. But my friend encouraged me to go for it. Neither of us drink much alcohol but we really love alcohol in desserts. If I hadn't used the wine in the cake, then the wine would have just sat there untouched for a very long time. That would have been wasting it.  When I tasted the batter, I realised it wouldn't be a waste of ingredients afterall. It was really good. In the final product, you taste a lovely wine flavour when you first bite into the cake, you almost forget that there should be black pepper but then it hits at the end. The heat lingering in your tongue for a bit.

Be sure to check out all the other strange but good Bundts below and a huge thank you to our host, June at How to Philosophize with Cake!

Black Pepper and Red Wine Bundt
Recipe by: Kelly   Adapted from: Baked Element's Triple Rum and Black Pepper Bundt
Yield: 1 standard Bundt cake

3 cups flour
3 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 yolk 
1 cup milk 
3/4 cup red wine

1/2 cup butter 
1/3 cup sugar 
1/4 cup red wine

1 cup confectioner's sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons red wine

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and  flour a 10 - 12 cup Bundt pan thoroughly.
Whisk together flour, black pepper, baking soda, baking powder and salt. 
In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the whole eggs and yolk one at a time beating for about ten seconds after each addition. Scrape down the bowl then beat again for another ten seconds. 
Whisk together milk and wine. 
Alternate adding the flour and wine mixture to the butter mixture. Start and end with flour. Mix for about ten seconds after each addition.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for another ten seconds. 
Pour into prepared Bundt pan and bake for 50 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes then remove and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. 

When the cake has cooled, make the syrup. 

Gently stir together butter, sugar, and 3 tablespoons of water over medium heat. Keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. Increase the heat to high and let the mixture boil for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat if the mixture starts to reach the top of the pan. Remove from heat and whisk in the wine. Whisk thoroughly. 

Return the cake to the Bundt pan and use a long skewer to poke several holes into the cake. Slowly drizzle the wine syrup over the cake. Let sit in Bundt pan for at least three hours then invert onto a plate. 

Whisk together confectioner's sugar, melted butter and wine. Pour over cake. 


#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers can be found on our home page.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Chickpea Fudge - Crazy Ingredient Challenge

The winning ingredients for this month's Crazy Ingredients Challenge are chickpeas and honey. My personal challenge with this  group is to always try to make something different from the standard fare or relatively unexpected with the ingredients. That doesn't always happen of course as all I often want to make is bread. I fought that urge this month and decided on this fudge.

Fudge made with chickpeas just sounds a bit "wrong" doesn't it? I actually made chocolate chip cookies years ago that had chickpeas instead of flour. I don't think I liked it so I'm not sure why I jumped on the fudge bandwagon. While a chickpea fudge may sound unusual to me, it's pretty standard fare in Indian cuisine. They combine chickpea flour with sugar and ghee . I've also seen condensed milk.

The fudge is surprisingly good. You definitely do not taste the chickpeas at all. I thought it needed to be a little sweeter - we're calling this fudge after all - but I stopped myself from adding a lot of extra honey or even sugar. You don't have to show the same restraint. Some chocolate chips would be a great addition too. That would add an extra sweet touch. I haven't crunched the numbers but I think with all the chickpeas and nuts included here, this may work well as a protein snack after a gym session.

Be sure to check out the other chickpeas and honey recipes from the other CIC bloggers below. Additionally, I'll be sharing a really unusual use for chickpeas next week. Look out for that!

Chickpea Fudge

1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chopped walnuts

Line a 9" x 5" pan with plastic wrap.
Blend all the ingredients except the walnuts together until it is smooth. Taste and add extra sweetener or spices, if desired. Stir in the walnuts then scoop into the prepared pan. Freeze for at least 5 hours then cut into small squares to serve.

Keep frozen.

Crazy Ingredient Challenge

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