Spelt Berry Muffins

I received a bowl of lingonberries from a friend yesterday, and decided to bake a batch of muffins with our evening tea. Heikki had been working the whole day, and really needed a break.

Spelt Berry Muffins

This was my first time experimenting with organic spelt flour from a local farmer, and the muffins turned out very moist and delicious. The recipe is inspired by the Carrot Spice Muffins from Susan at the Fatfree Vegan Kitchen, but in the end I actually had replaced most of the ingredients. I used regular sugar, since Finnish sugar is made from sugar beets, and is always vegan. And my muffins are definitely not fat free, although there is less oil than in some recipes. Susan’s batter was supposed to be quite thick, but mine was pretty fluid. The berry batter was pink before baking, but when the muffins came out of the oven, they had turned brown.

The measurements are not totally accurate, since I did the replacing as I proceeded with the baking, but this is more or less what I used:

Dry ingredients:

  • 3,5 dl (or 1 ¾ cups) spelt flour
  • 1,2 dl (or half a cup) granulated sugar
  • 2,5 teaspoons egg replacer (potato or corn starch could do as well)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:

  • 0,4 dl (or 1/6 cups) canola oil
  • 1 dl (or 1/3 cups) crushed fresh lingonberries (or cranberries, even blueberries could do)
  • 2,5 dl (or 1 cup) soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • a few drops of rum extract (totally optional)

Add:

  • 1,5 dl (a little more than ½ a cup) frozen raspberries, in smaller pieces

On top:

  • 1 dl (or ½ a cup) crushed, toasted cashews
  • 2 tablespoons raw cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable margarine
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder

First, put the oven on at 175° celsius, which is more or less 350° Fahrenheit. While it was heating up, I prepared the batter.

The batter is really easy to prepare. My lingonberries were already crushed coarsely, like this:

Crushed Lingonberries

To make the batter, I just mixed the dry and the wet ingredients in separate bowls, and then poured wet into dry. I mixed them together until the batter was smooth, but no more than necessary. Then I folded in frozen raspberries. Now, the batter was relatively fluid, such that it could be poured into the muffin pan, rather than spooned.

Next, I prepared the muffin pan. I never use paper liners, because it is such a waste. Instead, I rub a little margarine in the muffin pan with a piece of baking parchment, and then add some bread crumbs to cover the margarine. At least with these muffins this worked very well.

I think there was a little bit too much batter for 12 muffins, since they ended up looking a little bit like mushrooms. This amount of batter fills the muffin pan compartments completely before baking, and next time I would probably fill them only ¾ full to make the muffins prettier. Well, now we got bigger muffins, so we weren’t complaining.

Before baking, I mixed the topping ingredients and crumbled some of the cashew mixture on top of each muffin. The topping can be left out, but it adds some decadence to these otherwise relatively healthy muffins.

I baked the muffins for about 20 minutes, when a toothpick inserted in one muffin should have come out clean. To be honest, I used a match, and it wasn’t completely clean. But the muffins started to brown a little bit, so I thought they were done. And they were, so following my instinct was the way to go.

After baking, I let the muffins cool by the window for five minutes, and used a knife to detach the top of each muffin from the sides of the little compartments in the pan. Then I just turned the pan upside down above the kitchen table I had just lined with baking parchment. I knocked on the bottom of the pan, and the muffins just popped out one by one!

Spelt flour makes the texture of these muffins really nice, but mine was quite coarse, even more so than whole wheat flour, so it was necessary to add some kind of thickening agent in the batter. My muffins didn’t fall apart one bit, but I think it was the liberal use of egg replacer that made this happen.

Spelt Flour

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