Chocolate cake

Sometimes even when you’re trying to be healthy you just need chocolate cake.

Chocolate bundt cake

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Beetroot & Cardamom muffin

 beetroot and cardamom muffin

Cardamom is an underused spice in my repertoire. Since I discovered it as a flavour I’ve been incorporating it into many recipes in ground form. But that can be fiddly so when I spotted cardamom essence in my local deli I knew I’d found an easier way to explore. When asked about my plan  for it I couldn’t give a definitive answer because of the many ideas running through my head. So be warned it’s bound to appear again and then who knows which flavour essence will be next.

Beetroot is considered a safe food when eating the eczema diet. Although my initial enthusiasm for the diet has worn off as being too immediately restrictive to my circumstances, I am attempting to eat and learn more about the safe ingredients. I’m thinking baby steps.

Personally I really enjoyed the great big chunks of beetroot in these muffins but I think I was alone. Grating would perhaps hide the vegetable better for its lesser fans. The red contrasts beautifully against the stark white of the cardamom flavoured icing which gives an extra warmth to the already earthy beetroot.

beetroot chunk

Beetroot muffins with cardamom drizzle

  • 3 beetroot bulbs, peeled and chopped or grated
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 60ml hot water
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125ml rice milk
  • 60ml rice bran oil
  • 225g (1 1/2 cups) spelt flour, sifted
  • Icing sugar
  • cardamom essence

Chop the beetroot into chunks (or grate). Add the hot water to the cocoa powder to make a smooth paste. Beat in the sugar and eggs. Then add in the beetroot.

Mix together the milk and oil in a jug and then alternate adding half the flour and then half the oil/milk to the beetroot mixture.

Divide into prepared muffin tins and bake for 25 mins at 200C. Leave to cool in the tray for 5 mins before turning out onto a wire rack.

Prepare the icing by mixing together a little icing sugar with a drop of essence and making up to quite a runny paste with water. Drizzle the icing on however you like.

Chocolate muffin (again)

This chocolate muffin recipe turned out so well I decided to make it again. But this time as well as egg-free I wanted to make it dairy free! Ambitious? Yes but also a great success. I substituted crunchy peanut butter for the normal butter and almond milk for the cow’s milk and the results were again delicious. The little morsels of peanut added an extra dimension to the softness of the muffin.

peanut morsel

Even the non-peanut fan in the family enjoyed them. I’m also pretty sure that you could use almond butter instead to keep the consistency with the almond milk.

Chocolate peanut muffinAnyway if you haven’t tried these yet what are you waiting for, give them a go!

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Chocolate Muffin

Chocolate Muffin Stack

I love a challenge and when one of my readers suggested creating muffins for special diets I happily accepted. These chocolate muffins are egg free. This one is close to my heart as from a really early age my niece was diagnosed with a severe egg allergy. Over time she has got slightly better and is now able to eat cooked egg.  With age she has also got fussier to the point where she has decided she no longer likes cake. Chocolate is her thing so these muffins are for her (even although she’ll not be partaking).

Half eaten chocolate muffinIt looks and feels like a muffin but the taste and texture in your mouth is more like a brownie. All I can say is yum! I will definitely be making more of these.

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6: Chocolate and pear

With a bunch of over ripe pears to use up from my last experiment I turned to the fail safe flavour combination of chocolate and pear. Comments from my blue cheese and pear muffins lead me to believe that I needed something to soak up some pear juice. Research suggested oats and it worked a treat!

  • 140g soft brown sugar
  • 230g self raising flour
  • 70g oatmeal
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 85g margarine, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml milk
  • 4 pears, peeled and chopped

Heat the oven to 200C. Mix the dry ingredients together. Mix the wet ingredients together. Add the wet to the dry then fold in the pears. Spoon the mixture into cases and bake for 16 minutes until golden and firm.