By admin | January 4, 2012

BY AINE CARLIN

What exactly is the difference between a muffin and a cupcake? Well, as far I’m concerned a muffin is comparable to bread whereas a cupcake belongs to the, yep you guessed it, the cake family. Now, it has been argued that a muffin is merely a cupcake without the frosting but I really do beg to differ. The texture of a muffin is and should be vastly different to that of a cupcake and should absolutely not be as sweet.

I’d happily chow down on a muffin for breakfast but the same could not be said for a frosted cupcake (ick!). Of course, muffins shouldn’t be an everyday occurrence but they don’t fall into the same category as a cupcake – a very occasional treat.

The secret to a great muffin is to ensure not to overwork the batter; lightly fold and get them into the oven as quick as you can. This particular batter is quite runny but should yield a light, moist muffin that is just the right sweetness so that it can be enjoyed anytime of the day.

In this recipe I’ve gone with some soaked flaxseed meal, which will act as the egg element and instead of cow’s milk I’ve included some glorious coconut milk (the carton kind, not the canned stuff) but soy milk would also work. The results speak for themselves.

Another bonus with these muffins is that they are virtually fat-free with no added butter or oil. While they’re not entirely guilt-free, they aren’t far off and they taste pretty darn fantastic. I also like to save on paper waste by using silicon muffin cases (it all counts) but you could also use a greased muffin tin, it’s up to you.

Vegan Plum Muffins Recipe

Ingredients:
3/4 cup/170 grams spelt flour
1/4 cup/ 58 grams light brown sugar
Pinch salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp flaxseed meal
1/2 cup/115 grams coconut milk (or soy milk)
1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 peeled chopped plums

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/400 degrees Fahrenheit.Place the muffin cases in a muffin tin.
  2. Mix the flaxseed meal with 3 tablespoons of water. Set aside for at least 10 minutes or until it becomes glue like.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
  4. Put the coconut milk, vanilla extract and cider vinegar in smaller bowl.
  5. Wash and halve the plums and remove stone. Carefully peel and chop into medium sized pieces.
  6. Pour the milk mixture and soaked flaxseed into the dry ingredients and carefully mix. Lightly fold in the chopped plums. Remember not to overwork the batter.
  7. Divide the batter between the muffin cases – you should get up to eight small muffins – and place in oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Insert a skewer into the centre of one of the muffins, if it comes out clean they are ready.
  8. Allow to cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes and then transfer each muffin to a cooling rack. Can be eaten warm or cold and will keep for several days in an airtight container.

Photos: Aine Carlin

Aine Carlin is a vegan blogger who specializes in vegan recipes. She also has a keen interest in vegan fashion and is currently training to be a stylist where she hopes to promote cruelty-free clothing and beauty. You can find more of her vegan recipes and vegan friendly fashion over at www.peasoupeats.com

For more great recipes from Aine, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)

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