Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Vegan MoFo #21: Ginger, Pear and Chocolate Chip Muffins
Ginger is one of the best tastes and smells in the world: simultaneously warm, spicy, light and fresh. I use it a lot, in all kinds of things, and there's really no substitute for fresh ginger in a recipe (besides which, grating it is another of those excellent jobs to delegate to the person or people hanging out in the kitchen while you cook). I originally conceived of what turned out to be these muffins as a veganized, pear-centric update of an apple "brownie" recipe that my sister gave me ages ago. When I looked up the recipe, however, I decided that my eggless, butterless adaptation would be better suited to muffins than something that needed to be sliced. I've sung the praises of muffins before, but one of the greatest things about them is their portability: if there's a basket of muffins sitting on the kitchen table, there's a good chance people will just grab one or two as they walk by, as opposed to something they need to--GASP!--take out, uncover, cut or otherwise meddle with. These muffins are sweet, but not too sweet, and made a nice snack with the mid-afternoon cup of tea I find so salutary these days!
Ginger, Pear and Chocolate Chip Muffins
~ 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
~ 1 tbsp. baking powder
~ 1 tsp. each: cinnamon, ground ginger
~ 1/2 tsp. each: nutmeg, allspice, salt
~ 3/4 cups (vegan) dark chocolate chips
~ 3 Bosc pears, diced (3 cups; any variety of pear would do)
~ 1/2 cup applesauce
~ 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
~ 1 tbsp. canola oil
~ 2 tbsp. freshly grated ginger root
~ Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
~ In a mixing bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together, then add the chocolate chips and stir to coat them with the flour mixture.
~ In a separate bowl, combine all remaining ingredients (from the pears through the grated ginger root) and stir thoroughly.
~ Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture. Stir well to combine.
~ Coat a muffin tin with cooking spray, then spoon the batter into the cups; this is a pretty generous batch and should fill them all right to the top.
~ Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, until a knife or toothpick comes out clean.
~ Allow to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes more before turning out and eating, ideally warm.