The fluffiest Healthy Chocolate Banana Muffins (dairy-free + refined sugar free)

Having school drag on for so long has been pretty tough if I’m completely honest; there have been many days where I have been wanting something sweet as a little pick me up… So I guess one day once I got back home I went straight into making these dairy free chocolate banana muffins which are pretty darn good even if I say so myself. It’s nice to know that I can be satisfied without having to turn to ‘bad’ foods pumped with unnecessary sugars that will undoubtedly give me a crash and essentially make me feel even worse than I did at the start.

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Drizzling almond or peanut butter on top is a personal favourite

I’ve done a little research into the some of the ingredients that I chose to use in this recipe so if you’re interested then please feel free to read along.

Spelt flour:

This is a excellent source of calcium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, iron, and manganese. It has vitamin E and B-complex vitamins (especially niacin). In terms of taste I find that it has a mellower, nuttier taste than ordinary flour and can be easily used as a substitute for recipes requiring all-purpose flour. Here are some facts about its health benefits:

  • Aids Circulation. The copper and iron present in spelt flour allows this grain to aid blood circulation.
  • Builds Strong Bones. 
  • Boosts Immune System.
  • Aids Digestive Function.
  • Decreases Cholesterol. 
  • Reduces High Blood Pressure. 
  • Lowers Blood Sugar Levels. 
  • High Source of Manganese.

Coconut sugar:

has a lower glycemic level (than refined white sugar) of around 35 due to the presence of the fibre inulin which slows glucose absorption. It contains minerals ironzinccalcium and potassium, along with some short-chain fatty acids like polyphenols and antioxidants.

Raw Cacao powder:

It’s essentially the natural un-processed form of ‘cocoa powder’. It has a lighter colour and contains flavonoids, which act as natural antioxidants. Here are a some fun facts about its benefits-

  • >40 Times the Antioxidants of Blueberries.
  • Highest Plant-Based Source of Iron.
  • Full of Magnesium for a Healthy Heart & Brain.
  • More Calcium Than Cow’s Milk.
  • A Natural Mood Elevator and Anti-Depressant.

Aaandd finally Walnuts:

A good source of the essential fatty acid omega-3 that also contain iron, selenium, calcium, zinc, vitamin E and some B vitamins which are thought to improve brain health, prevent heart disease and certain cancers. NOTE- It’s recommended to consume up to 7 walnuts a day because as much as they beneficial to health, an excessive amount will result in weight gain. Just FYI

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Right I know some of you have just scrolled down right down to this bit but I don’t blame you really. I could say that even though these muffins don’t contain any dairy or refined sugars, they are probably one of the fluffiest, tastiest muffins I have ever made- it probably just beats my Banana Walnut Muffins which are insanely good as well.

Anyway enough typing let’s get to the recipe

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Look how insanely fluffy they are insideee

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar *
  • 3 large mashed bananas (1 1/2 cups approx.)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup **
  • optional: 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or dark chocolate chips

*If you don’t have coconut sugar then you can substitute it with brown sugar. It will just lose some of it’s health benefits

** any other liquid sweetener is fine like agave, honey

METHOD

  1. In a large bowl sieve in the spelt flour, cacao powder, baking soda, cinnamon before whisking in the coconut sugar and salt. Set aside.
  2. In separate medium sized bowl, mash the banana with a back of a fork until fine. Then whisk in the almond milk, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla,
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and using a spatula fold everything together. When there’s still streaks of flour fold in your chosen add ins e.g. chopped walnuts or chocolate to prevent over mixing.
  4. Fill the muffin cases 3/4 of the way full and decorate each muffin with extra nuts or chocolate chips.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven of 175C for 19-22 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  6. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
The 1kg tub of pip and nut was on sale so no judging…

I have another muffin recipe coming up soon that has a slightly unusual ingredient (at least for non-koreans)- I will keep you all updated on my insta (@sweetbakingwell) when it is up.

Hope those who have already broken up from school/uni are having a great time.

Hayeon X

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Raisin, Walnut Bread Rolls

Okayyy so I know I haven’t been doing well in terms of posting recently…but I completely forgot that I had written this post as a draft from last month when my gran came to visit us. So I guess when you read this just imagine that this is a few weeks back from today 🙂

Here it is

The other week my mum surprised me by telling me that my gran was visiting from Korea. Despite it being exam season, study leave has saved me an extra couple hours from travelling back and forth to school from home. Sooo I guess I had some spare time to bake some bread rolls.

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The process itself isn’t actually that long or complicated. It’s just a matter of waiting for the dough to rise after kneading all the ingredients together. It’s kinda handy actually because you can make the dough within 15 minutes, go revise for the next hour whilst it rises, come back again to shape the rise, go revise while it rises etc. Plus there isn’t that much washing up to do afterwards so I guess that’s a plus too!

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g wholemeal strong flour (aka bread flour)
  • 100g white strong flour
  • 170-190ml warm water
  • 3g instant yeast
  • 4g salt
  • 30g raisin/dried cranberries
  • 30g walnuts
  • 20g oil

NOTE- I think next time I would double the quantities for dried fruit and walnuts for a more sweeter version.

METHOD

  1. In a large bowl combine the flours, yeast and salt (mix the yeast into the flour before adding the salt in. Using a stand mixer with the dough hook attach combine the flours together, gradually adding in the warm water. Knead for 5 minutes until a dough forms.
  2. Add the oil and knead for another 5-10 minutes until a smooth elastic dough forms. Use the window pane test to see if the gluten strings have developed enough.
  3. Add in the fruit and nuts and knead until it is evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  4. Cover with a damp tea towel or cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1-1.5 hrs until doubled in size.
  5. Roll the dough into a log and using a bench scraper/ knife cut the log into 9 equal pieces.
  6. Roll each piece into balls, cover and leave to rise for 15 minutes.
  7. Re-roll the dough and place into a non stick square baking dish. Cover and leave to rise for a further 35-45 minutes until the dough has risen to fill the whole tin.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven of 180C for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Another way to test is to tap the rolls; if it makes a hollow sound your bread is done.
  9. If you want you can glaze you rolls with apricot or orange jam but this isn’t essential. It just makes your bread rolls look shiny.
  10. Leave to cool around 5 minutes before digging into the first roll- be careful though it will still be hot from the oven.
  11. Once cooled cover and consume within 2 days (it just tastes better fresh!)

So that’s how you make bread rolls. Trust me they were sososo good especially when they just came out from the oven and it’s actually quite satisfying when you rip off a roll. They’re gran-approved so I guess they weren’t that bad eh?

 

Hayeon X

‘Icecream’ Scoop Cookies/ 스쿱 쿠키

‘Extremely useful in the winter,’ said Mr Wonka, rushing on. ‘Hot ice cream warms you up no end in freezing weather….’

‘…an ice cream that would never melt, even in the hottest sun…’

I don’t know about you, but as an 8 year old reading Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, I always wondered how Willy Wonka could’ve possibly made ‘hot’ AND ‘never-melting’ icecream. After 8 years, I think I’ve finally got the answer:

Icecream scoop cookies.

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Orange and Cranberry Chiffon Cake

It’s finally 2018- which to many would mean new years resolutions; a fresh start….annnd in my case a cake to celebrate the occasion. I know Christmas is over now and everything, but just to keep back some of the magical winter wonderland scenes that we all dreamt of whilst listening to Michael Buble (come on, I know you did), I thought I would go on a little forage…

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-for Sugared cranberries. Honestly whoever thought of using these natural jewels to decorate christmas/ winter cakes were a pure genius. With the thin layer of sugar and burst of scarlet from underneath, it could easily mistake someone for frozen berries that have been picked straight from the woods! What’s more the harmonious combination of cranberries with orange only meant that I had to adorn my orange chiffon cake with these beauties.

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Ombre Giant Cupcake & Joint 17th Bday Celebration!

It’s been a while since I got my hands on my giant cupcake silicon mould,  which if some of you can remember, I used to make this Giant Cupcake! with a couple friends a while back. WELL, here is another version of one in all it’s glory!

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As you can probably see I went for an alternative method in terms of decorating and piping compared to my previous giant cupcake. Instead of the simple and classic double toned piped rosettes, I went for a scalloped ombre effect. What’s more I covered the entire bottom section with a rim of dark chocolate kitkats PLUS did a hidden chocolate “pinata” surprise inside! Honestly it’s what my mum would call a Heart attack in one giant cupcake (in korean she would say 대빵칼로리! hehe).

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Lemon loaf cake + small life update

So… a LOT of things have happened in my life recently- both good and bad. I guess that’s how I find myself writing posts like this to get my mind off the ‘bad’ things. I’m currently sitting down at my desk; typing away with my window wide open. The cool breeze that’s coming through feels refreshing and somehow calming…like a breather I guess.

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There are 2 big things coming up soon:

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Vegan Applesauce Chocolate Banana Cake (One-Bowl!)

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To those who have read my previous post on (Vegan, Gluten-free) Banana Bread Breakfast Oat Bars you will pretty well know that I have some ripe bananas that need using up. With the breakfast bars gone within a single sitting and some leftover homemade applesauce, there was no other excuse for me to not bake a batch of what my mum calls: ‘brownie like cakes that aren’t as sweet and are incredibly soft and fluffy!’- in short terms she really liked them. In fact she enjoyed them so much that she suggested using this recipe as a base for a normal chocolate birthday cake! Seeming as this banana cake has no eggs, butters/oils, refined-sugars or milk, I think that is saying something!

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As I have mentioned above, this chocolate cake has none of the normal ingredients that people associate with cake.  I have been pleasantly surprised AGAIN by another vegan recipe which I’m sure I will be using a LOT in the future. Having tried out a few vegan recipes now, I have come to realise just how easy it is to substitute ingredients to make them vegan-friendly. In this recipe I have used:

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