Best Ever Chocolate Muffins

best ever chocolate muffins || cityhippyfarmgirl

“Mama these are the BEST EVER CHOCOLATE MUFFINS!”

The pint sized food critique didn’t have a whole lot of chocolate muffin eating experience to go on, but I ran with her bold statement and have therefore named these, one egg- not crazy chocolatey- not super rich- easy peasy- lunch box muffins to be….the Best Ever Chocolate Muffins (some things in life you don’t need to argue about.)

Arguing against licking the spoon is also pointless, it’s a birth right for who ever is home with me when cakey kind of good things are being made.

best ever chocolate muffins || cityhippyfarmgirlbest ever chocolate muffins || cityhippyfarmgirl

Best Ever Chocolate Muffins

1 egg

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

100mls grape seed oil

2 tsp vanilla

3 tbls cocoa powder

1/2 cup natural full fat yogurt

1/3 cup milk

300g (2 cups) self raising flour

In a mixer add egg and sugar. (If using an Assistent Original, medium speed for four minutes.) While mixing slowly drizzle the grape seed oil. Add vanilla, cocoa, yogurt and milk (low speed for one minute.) Add self raising flour and gently fold in.

Divide mixture into muffin trays and bake at 180C for approximately 25 minutes.

Eat with enthusiasm.

Advertisements

Purple Carrot Cake

purple carrot cake purple

Purple isn’t a colour that holds a strong part in my life. It seems to come up in flicks and flecks and then disappears again.

When I think of purple I think of the purple cabbage dish my mum used to make as a child…oh how I used to shudder knowing that was going on to my plate. Any offers of her to make it again as an adult have been politely refused as really…you can’t fight history.

Purple, and I think of the beautifully scented lavander that sits outside my front door. A heady large bush that seems to have a constant stream of buzzing bees dancing on it’s purple flowered heads. Brush past it with your hand just after rain shower and you are rewarded with a heady scented smell that clings to finger tips.

I once had an oversized costume jewellery ring with a purple stone centred in the middle. An old flatmate had given it to me on my birthday. It wasn’t a considered birthday present, it was more the fact that I appeared in the room at the same time as he unveiled the ring. We used to joke that he had got it off someones dying finger….given that he used to keep a large axe in his room, and periods of ridiculously erratic behaviour… probably not a joke I would find quite so funny now.

Purple was on my leg recently. A peach sized bruise that I didn’t have the foggiest idea of how it got there. For two weeks I was reminded of the fact that I didn’t remember how something so big and sore had got there in the first place. (What is it about bruises that make you prod it routinely to make sure it still hurts?)

Purple is also the colour of an old brooch that has sat in a small wooden of mine box for a very long time. I’ve never actually worn it, so it still sits in little drawer surrounded by a purple ribbon, ready and waiting for that one day.

So what does purple have to do with my carrot cake? Well clearly I’ve used purple carrots. Those carrots with the deepest darkest of colour. Carrots that stain your fingers when you peel them, and carrots that scream out to be made into a cake. Not just any cake though. I had played with my carrot cake recipe before, using the purple carrots and all I got was dark coloured flecks through out. Where was the purple? (Like in this sourdough.) I needed to somehow let the carrot cough up its colour without becoming a stodgy lump by cooking it too much. I also didn’t want to put any vegetable oil, or sugar in there. Raising your eyebrows a little? Nope, stick with me.

Local honey and sultanas for sweetness. Pecans and wholemeal spelt for flavour. Carrots for well, purple. And voila, purple carrot cakeMaybe purple is going to hold a bigger part in my life now after all.

Purple Carrot Cake

400g grated local purple carrots

100g melted butter

150g local honey

3 beaten free range eggs

1 tsp cinnamon

50g roughly chopped pesticide free pecans

50g natural sultanas

150g wholemeal spelt flour

150g s/r flour

Grate carrots and melt just the butter just a little with them either in a pot or microwave. Just enough to melt the butter- which also releases the purple colour. Mix through remainder of the ingredients, leaving the flours until last, then folding them through too.

Bake at 180C for approximately 45 minutes, in a greased and lined tin.

new discoveries


DSC_0038 copy

choc agave balls

DSC_0030 copy

DSC_0052 copy

New discoveries…

New legs to walk on, and walk she does. At ten months and four days she said, whoooshka! Lets go, lets get busy…and hasn’t looked back.

New magnifying glasses for the boys, show little critters can become big critters at the right angle. There are a lot of new little things to discover.

Holiday time and park mornings are spent exploring. It can be hard work and they need lots of healthy energy giving snacks.

I’ve posted these balls before (here) but have changed around the ingredients a little. My new discovery of the deliciousness of dark agave nectar, was a lovely surprise. I would use it sparingly due to the food miles on it, but it is a wonderful alternative to sugar or honey.

These ingredients are just a rough guide, use whatever you have on hand and like to add to the mix.

choc energy balls copy

Chocolate Agave Energy Balls

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup linseed meal
1/2 cup sunflower kernals
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup honey (use extra agave if you want to make it completely vegan)
2 tbls of unhulled tahini
1 tsp vanilla
sesame seeds/ or extra coconut
Mix all ingredients together, add a tablespoon or two of water if needed to bind ingredients together and roll into balls. Roll again in sesame seeds or coconut.
DSC_0086 copy
This post is going to We Should Cocoa @ Chocolate Log Blog– for a sugar free chocolate combo this month.

sweeping the flour off

the 'flour' after it had been swept...

I’m just sweeping the flour off mama.

It’s a line like that, that stops a girl in her tracks. Stops her right dead in her tracks. Eyebrows fly up and mouth forms a perfectly formed silent O.

Ohh…really little one? Hoping that my first thought after hearing that one little line was wrong… really wrong.

He clarified it for me, by repeating the gesture. See, mama… this how I sweep off allll the flour.

The dirty old house broom gets raised once again, to sweep off the icing sugar delicately dusted over my newly baked Pan de Mallorca.

Nooo!!… Startled and quite surprised he’s the one that now stops dead in his tracks.

I think that’s fine little one, oh, yes…quite enough sweeping I think. Gently prising the broom handle from his Little Monkey paws.

I was only gone five minutes. That three year old is a quick one to tidy.

'flourless' pan de mallorca

I made these last weekend, and again this weekend. I wanted something easy, Monkey friendly and something I could whack in the freezer, ready to be pulled out for standby Monkey Boy school lunches and Little Monkey at home lunches when things were looking just a bit too crazy in the mornings for much else. They both loved them, which is lucky as the crazy mornings happened quite a bit last week.

Pan De Mallorca

(adapted from SBS Feast Magazine March edition)

(and very similar to the Pan de Leche that I’ve made before)

1 tsp dried yeast

100g melted butter

1/4 cup (55g) sugar

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup (125mls) milk

3 cups (450g) flour

3/4 tsp salt

100-150g sourdough starter *

extra brown sugar and cinnamon (or a cooked up diced apple tastes great too.)

In a bowl, add dried yeast, sugar, sourdough starter and 60mls tepid water. Stir to dissolve and set aside for 5 minutes until mixture begins to bubble. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface for a quick knead. Mixture should look smooth and elastic.

Pop back in the bowl and cover, leaving to prove for about an hour. Turn out on to lightly floured surface again, rolling dough out into a rectangle shape. Sprinkle several spoonfuls of brown sugar and a little cinnamon onto dough and roll up, (from the long side.) Cut dough into circles and place on a tray. Cover and prove again for about 30-60 mins, bake at 180C for 25 minutes.

Dust with ‘flour’, (icing sugar)

* If you don’t have a sourdough starter, using just the dried yeast is fine, take out half a cup of the flour from the mixture to adjust the recipe.

(This post submitted to yeastspotting)

Chewy coconut biscuits

“Mama these are the best biscuits in the whole world!”

Big contented sigh from me. I smile at Monkey Boy.

“Thanks little fella… you my dear, may have another”.

I’m easily satisfied with minimal effort on the kitchen front and happy taste sensations going on when you bite into a biscuit. Monkey Boy is easily happy when something just tastes good. No more words necessary.

Except when you forget the sugar, and you’ve just made a double batch of The Monkeys new favourite biscuits. Little Monkey took a bite and confidently handed the biscuit back. Monkey Boy said they tasted a bit old, and not really like last time. A visiting foodie friend wrinkled her nose up and handed the remaining biscuit to a quietly pouting baker. Baking ego quietly deflating.

What to do with rather a lot of sugarless coconut biscuits?

Yes, I could have eaten them, it didn’t bother me there was no sugar in them. But probably not the wisest idea, having 50 biscuits just for me.

What do? How to sugar them up?…Spoon jam in between them? Dunk them in chocolate? What about covering them in lime icing?

Hmmm, lime icing eh?…that should do the trick.

Much better. Eaten once again with gusto.

“Mama, these are the best biscuits in the world!”

Baking ego restored.

Chewy Coconut Biscuits

125g softened butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup desiccated coconut

1 cup plain flour

1/2 cup raw sugar

1/4 cup milk

Mix together and spoon into some cling wrap. Roll in to a log shape roll. Pop in to the fridge for a while, until the mixture firms up and roll again to get a smoother log shape. Cut into biscuit rounds with a serrated knife. Bake at 180 for about 15-20 minutes. Longer of you like them crunchy.