April 28, 2011

Molasses & Manuka Muffins –Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free & All the Rest

Since I was struck down with my crazy food allergy blood test result I have been spending more and more time in the kitchen trying to satisfy my taste buds’ high demands. I don’t consider myself to be an amazing cook or baker but I do have a general understanding of the way it works and every now and then I strike gold… A few weeks ago, in a moment of craving mixed with a bout of domesticity I found myself in the kitchen mixing and sifting everything I could find that seemed like it might hit the spot while keeping to my food allergy free regime and… Voilà! My very own (brilliant) muffin creation which just happens to be:

- Dairy free
- Egg free
- Gluten free
- Wheat free
- Corn free
- Soya free
- Potato free
- Free from refined sugar (but obviously contains molasses & Manuka honey!)
- Vegetarian

These little cakes of joy turned out to match my personal muffin preferences to perfection! They are super soft on the inside with crispy edges on the top. I’m not sure if the tops of muffins are traditionally supposed to crack as much as these do but it’s my favourite part whether it’s ideal or not! My only word of warning is that due to their extreme softness be sure to use a toothpick to ensure they are baked all the way through and let them cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing them… and do be gentle.

Taste best on the same day of baking. I especially love them when they are still warm from the oven!

Molasses & Manuka Muffins
Yield: 12

¼ cup Pure Sunflower oil (use a good quality brand to avoid overriding flavours)
¼ cup Ground Flax seeds
¾ tsp Vanilla
1 cup Rice flour
¾ cup Tapioca flour
1 cup Ground Almonds
¾ tsp Baking Soda
¾ tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
½ cup Blackstrap Molasses
1 – 1½ heaped tbsp Manuka Honey (‘heaping’ honey is difficult so just be really generous!)
¾ cup Rice Milk

Preheat the oven to about 180C.
In a small bowl mix the sunflower oil, flax seeds and vanilla and set aside.
In a medium sized bowl combine the rice flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and ground almonds together.
Add the molasses, Manuka honey, rice milk and the flax, oil & vanilla mixture and stir thoroughly until all ingredients are well combined.
Line a muffin tray with muffin papers and pour the mixture evenly between the cups filling to just under the rim of the paper liners.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Test with a toothpick to ensure that the muffins are fully baked, (bake for longer if necessary - until the toothpick comes out clean). The muffins should rise above the papers and crack on the tops forming crispy edges.
When fully baked remove from the oven and let stand for about 5 minutes before removing them from the pan. I find it best to gently twist and then lift them out with the aid of a butter knife.

Eat as soon as they are cool enough to not burn your tongue! –Best enjoyed on the day of baking, but if you can’t eat all 12 in one go, store in a dry airtight container once fully cooled.

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