Breakfast Muffins: Spiced Plum & Quinoa

Breakfast Muffins: Spiced Plum & Quinoa

Hello Everyone! I hope the week has been good to all. Tonight will be the last of my Muffin Making Monday series on Amcarmen’s Kitchen and I will be back to sharing recipes with y’all on my usual Wednesday night uploads. I’ll still be continuing the overall theme for the year of Breakfast Foods, but next week I’ll be sharing a completely new sub-theme on the blog so stay tuned for that!

Yesterday was such a tiring day overall that I think I crashed in bed right after dinner and probably had one of the best sleeps that night – it would’ve been even better if I hadn’t had to wake up so early for work. We held a garage sale yesterday morning from 7am to (officially) 10am, but people still kept coming by the house past 11am that morning. The night before we invited our close friends to the house so that they could have the first choice in picking out what they wanted before we sold our stuff to others the following morning. We made almost $500 that night and morning for all our small items such as clothes, jewellery, bags, accessories, toys, etc. and about $1000 more on our large furnitures. After a tiring morning of turning our unwanted things into money, I spent the afternoon catching up with friends and food at one of our friend’s open house. That was my day in a nutshell.

Breakfast Muffins: Spiced Plum & Quinoa

Moving on, plums are extremely nutritious, offering a wide variety of health benefits. They contain over 15 different vitamins and minerals, and in addition, fibre and antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of several chronic diseases. To have a further read on the health benefits of Plums (and Prunes), head on over to Health Line. Moving on, in addition to the many vitamins and minerals packed into these breakfast muffins, quinoa also gives them a major protein boost. Check out the original recipe from The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen.

Breakfast Muffins: Spiced Plum & Quinoa Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 15-20 MINS | SERVES 12 MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 & 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup full-fat plain yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup honey, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/3 cup raw white quinoa
  • 113g unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 2 plums, 1 roughly chopped and 1 sliced, thinly
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F or gas mark 6). Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases. Set aside.
  2. In large mixing bowl, whisk the flours, quinoa, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and salt together.
    In another mixing bowl, medium-sized, whisk the eggs, yoghurt, melted butter, and honey together. Gently fold the egg mixture into flour mixture until just combined; then stir in the chopped plum.
  3. Divide the batter equally among the prepared muffin cases (about 1/4 cup each) and top each with a couple of plum slices.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centres of the muffins comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool down completely.
  5. Drizzle with honey, if desired, before serving and enjoy!

Breakfast Muffins: Spiced Plum & Quinoa

Breakfast Muffins: Spiced Plum & Quinoa

Breakfast Muffins: Spiced Plum & Quinoa

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

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Breakfast Muffins: Brownie, Salted Caramel & Avocado Gelato

Breakfast Muffins: Brownie, Salted Caramel & Avocado Gelato

Hello Everyone! The title of this post already sounds super enticing doesn’t it? Well brace yourselves, for tonight I will be sharing a cheekily sweet breakfast muffin that borderlines dessert. Who says you can’t have dessert for breakfast though? If anyone says that you can’t, unfriend them because you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life EVER. For those of you that are just tuning in, I usually upload a recipe to Amcarmen’s Kitchen on Wednesday nights. However, yes I am aware that it is a Monday night (in Brunei that is, for some it may be just the morning of), and the reason for the switch up for this month only is because Muffin Making Monday has returned!

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this in a post before, but I’ll say it again anyway, I am NOT a huge fan of chocolate. I can already see a few jaws dropping upon reading the previous sentence in pure disbelief. But yes it’s true. I can’t sit down and eat a whole bar of chocolate even if I wanted to. I’d probably get sick after just one bite. Don’t fret guys for there is a however – a slice (or two, maybe more) of a dark, rich, dense, and fudgy with a deep to-die-for chocolate flavour brownie is my exception. Oh and of course, how could I forget my love for the beautiful marriage between dark chocolate and avocado!

Breakfast Muffins: Brownie, Salted Caramel & Avocado Gelato

Therefore behold the Brownie Muffin – combining my Breakfast Muffin series with a favourite dessert of mine! I was going to call this hybrid a ‘Bruffin’ like how Brookies are for Brownie Cookies. Alas, I was disappointed to find that the term Bruffin has already been registered and trademarked for a light and flaky, brioche-like pastry in the form of a muffin! So should I call these Broffins? Sounds less cool than Bruffin *sad face* so I guess I’ll just stick with Brownie Muffins instead of a portmanteau of the two. Check out the original recipe by Shiran over on Pretty. Simple. Sweet.

To take it to the next level, I’ve filled these Brownie Muffins with a sticky and salty caramel sauce so that you’re hit with an oozy gooey treat when you bite (or cut) into them! And of course, you need to complete this breakfast (dessert) with a generous serving of avocado gelato! I sourced mine from my favourite gelato place in Brunei known as Rumah Gelato! Whenever I want my fix of dark chocolate AND avocado gelato, this is where I’m at. I bought a large tub of just the avocado gelato to pair with this recipe, and of course extra to just indulge in happily for the next couple of days.

Breakfast Muffins: Brownie, Salted Caramel & Avocado Gelato Ingredients

Rumah Gelato's Bravo Avocado

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 6 MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

For the brownie muffin batter

  • 113g (4oz) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 113g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt

For the salted caramel sauce

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 170g unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces
  • 1 cup double cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp sea salt rocks
  • Avocado Gelato or any of your favourite flavours that tickle your tastebuds

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Grease a 6 hole muffin pan with butter. Set aside.
  2. Brownie Muffin Batter: Place the chopped chocolate and unsalted butter cubes into a medium-sized heatproof bowl. Heat in the microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until melted. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl sift the plain flour, cocoa powder, salt, and set aside.
  4. Using an electric handheld mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and sugar on high speed until thick and pale, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed down to low and slowly add in chocolate and butter mixture, whisking until just incorporated.
  5. Using a spatula, fold in the flour mixture until just combined. Do not over-mix.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan, filling each case to about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 13-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out with moist crumbs and not dry.
  7. Once done, transfer to a wire rack and let them cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Allow muffins to cool completely on the wire rack.
  8. Salted Caramel Sauce: In a small saucepan, melt the sugar over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Once all the sugar has melted, watch your caramel carefully, swirling the pan occasionally.
  9. As soon as the sugar turns amber in colour add the butter and whisk vigorously until all the butter has melted.
  10. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the cream while whisking vigorously until the cream is incorporated well, and then whisk in the sea salt rocks.
  11. Fill a piping bag fitted with a small decorating tip with the caramel sauce. Insert the tip into the top of the muffin, pushing about an inch into the muffin. Squeeze the filling into the muffin. If the filling starts to leak outside of the hole, stop.
  12. Serve with ice-cream or gelato with the flavour of your choice, and drizzle more of the salted caramel sauce atop. Enjoy!

Breakfast Muffins: Brownie, Salted Caramel & Avocado Gelato

Breakfast Muffins: Brownie, Salted Caramel & Avocado Gelato

You can store these Brownie Muffins in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Make sure to let them reach back to room temperature before serving. I personally would prefer to warm them up in a steamer (the oven or microwave usually dries it out even more) because I’d rather have a warm, fudgy, and gooey muffin than a room temperature one *cheeky grin* but like I said, it’s just my personal preference.

Before I wrap up tonight’s recipe, here’s a key extract from Shiran:

Timing is everything: The right baking time is always the most crucial part of making brownies. It only takes a couple of minutes to turn them from rich fudge brownies to a dry chocolate cake. When done, brownies should appear baked on the outside, but the center should still be soft. You’ll need to bake them only until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with very moist crumbs, not dry.
— Shiran from Pretty. Simple. Sweet.

Breakfast Muffins: Brownie, Salted Caramel & Avocado Gelato

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Beetroot Brownies with Chocolate Chunk Beet Ice Cream

Beetroot Brownies with Chocolate Chunk Beet Ice Cream

Hello Everyone! Firstly, I’d like to apologise to the moon and back to all my friends and followers for not posting in what seems like (or quite frankly has been) forever! A lot of things have been going on for the past few months, both in my personal and work life that I found it difficult to balance alongside with keeping up with Amcarmen’s Kitchen. The truth is, I haven’t had the time to write, or let’s just say that I did have the time, but I was either using my time unproductively or for something else instead of sitting down and getting back on track with posting. So yes, I am very sorry for the lack of consistency of posting on the blog in the recent months, but I’m planning on getting back on board with this for the remaining 3 months of 2017 (hopefully). It will however be a little scattered in a sense that you won’t see a set theme for the month just because I still have an archive of recipes that never got posted from the previous months.

Beetroot Brownies with Chocolate Chunk Beet Ice Cream

Back in July I started to hero beetroot in my cooking, and I shall continue that for the next two weeks (I think) before I share other recipes that still stick with the theme for 2017 which is Blood Pressure Friendly foods. Before I jump onto the recipe, I’d like to thank my friends Simon Swadling and Jialing Mew for contributing their recipes for this year’s Auguest – and yes, another thing that I did not plan properly for with everything going on so I apologise that I could only round up these amazing two friends for you!

Anyway, so somewhere down the path of whipping up this batch of beetroot brownies, which by the way includes Whittaker’s (New Zealand) Kaitaia Fire Chili Pepper Spice Dark Chocolate, I made the realisation that I basically just made red velvet brownies *cheeky grin* but of course, what makes a nice warm slice of heaven without ice cream? Specifically Chocolate Chunk Beet Ice Cream? Even MORE specifically, chunks of chocolate from Whittaker’s (New Zealand) Hawke’s Bay Black Doris Plum and Roasted Almonds Dark Chocolate? I think I just drooled. Cold ice cream with a kick of spice in it to really heighten the flavours atop a chocolatey, chewy, and moist brownie drizzled with a vibrant beetroot icing glaze? I’ll have the whole batch please thank you very much.

The original recipe to the brownies can be found over on BBC Good Food, and the original recipe to the beetroot ice cream can be found on Vegan Heaven.

PREP TIME 25 MINS | COOKING TIME 45 MINS | SERVES 12 SLICES

Note: Make the ice cream either the day before or a few hours (4-5 hours) to allow for freezing time before baking your brownies.

INGREDIENTS

Beetroot Brownies Ingredients

For the brownies

  • 500g whole raw beetroot, washed
  • 250g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped*
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 1 & 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the beetroot icing glaze

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp beetroot juice

Chocolate Chunk Beet Ice Cream Ingredients

For the ice cream

  • 500g whole raw beetroot, washed
  • 1 cup thick full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons chopped dark chocolate (Whittaker’s (New Zealand) Hawke’s Bay Black Doris Plum and Roasted Almonds)
  • 1 piece thumb-sized ginger, grated

*As mentioned earlier, I used Whittaker’s (New Zealand) Kaitaia Fire Chili Pepper Spice Dark Chocolate. But since I only had 100g of this, I used regular dark chocolate for the brownies and added half of the Whittaker’s chocolate to the mix, while the other half sprinkled on top of the baked brownies.

METHOD

  1. Boil the beetroots for both for the brownies and ice cream, in a pan of boiling salted water for 15-20 mins or until tender. Drain and leave to cool before peeling (wear clean rubber gloves to peel if you want to avoid beet-stained hands).
  2. Chocolate Chunk Beet Ice Cream: Roughly chop the cooked beets into small chunks and place them together with the coconut milk, honey, and the grated ginger in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Transfer the beetroot-coconut mixture in a freezer-safe container, stir in the chococalte chunks and freeze for about 4-5 hours, whisking slightly every 20-30 minutes to avoid it getting too icy.
  4. Beetroot Brownies: Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4) and grease a 10cm x 25cm baking dish. Chop a third of the cooked beetroots into small cubes and blitz the remainder in a blender or food processor to a paste. Sit the paste in a sieve over a bowl – just until you have collected 1-2 tbsp juice. Save the juice for the icing, and mix the olive oil into the beetroot paste. Set both aside.
  5. Bring a pan of water to a bare simmer and place a heatproof bowl with the chopped chocolate. Lightly stir until the chocolate had melted then set aside to cool slightly.
  6. Use an electric whisk to beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl until light, fluffy, and tripled in size. Carefully fold the eggs into the beetroot and olive oil mixture, followed by the melted chocolate. Fold in the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder, then add macadamia nuts and the chopped beetroot.
  7. Pour the mixture into your prepared baking dish and bake for 20-25 mins. The brownies should still be slightly gooey in the middle. Set aside to allow to cool slightly. While cooling, you can thaw your beetroot ice cream for 5-10 minutes before scooping and serving
  8. Mix enough reserved beetroot juice with the icing sugar to get a runny icing – dilute with water if you need. Remove brownies from the tin, drizzle with the icing and cut into squares.
  9. Enjoy a sinful slice or two, or more (who’s gonna stop you?) with family and/or friends, or you know, just by yourself *cheeky grin*.

Beetroot Brownies with Chocolate Chunk Beet Ice Cream

Beetroot Brownies with Chocolate Chunk Beet Ice Cream

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Double Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Cookies

Double Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Cookies

Hello Everyone! Before I dive into today’s recipe, I just want to let you know that I may not be posting up a recipe next week Tuesday as I will be away from Saturday to Tuesday evening (I say ‘may’ only because depending if I can write up a post in advanced or even write one the night I get back, but may be to tired for that). This also means that Jialing and I won’t be having our fortnightly Muffin Making Monday because well, Monday I will be on a road trip back to base camp. I will be heading to the Red Centre of Australia exploring the rugged outback beauty and taking in all the richness in Aboriginal culture. For a person who loves adventure but hates camping, it’s going to be an experience, and I don’t know whether I am looking forward to or will regret looking forward to a weekend of 38-42 degree celsius weather over at Alice Springs/Uluru…

Double Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Cookies

Anyway, you’ll probably hear more of that on next week’s post I presume, so let’s get back to the point of tonight’s post. So as you know from my previous post, Jialing’s actual birthday was on Tuesday. On Monday she came over and baked herself some birthday cupcakes, gluten free chocolate cupcakes I believe. Anyway, as usual, I didn’t want to just sit around and watch her bake, so I decided to bake too! Just something simple to kill time and something that I could easily take to work because I wasn’t keen on having them all to myself – and so I decided on baking some cookies. I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to make at first, until I stumbled upon Martha Stewart’s recipe for Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies. It was so convenient because I practically had every ingredient in my pantry, except of course the chocolate and I was a little short on cocoa powder as well. When I got to the chocolate/lollies section at Coles, I was unsure of what chocolate to get for the cookies. The original recipe uses milk chocolate, but I personally don’t really like milk chocolate – I like them dark… Just like my men (just kidding)! If you know me, I never fail to finish a sentence, be it my own or a friend’s, like that! Just as how I finish a sentence breaking out into a song if the first part resembles lyrics to a song I know. Anyway, got side tracked there, as I was browsing through the dark chocolates, I came across Lindt’s Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate. I knew instantly that these bad babies are going into my cookies. And I’m glad I got them! They did not overpower the double chocolate flavour of the cookies, but instead they gave just a subtle hit of saltiness and oozy gooey caramel. Soft and moist on the inside, crunchy on the outside. I am actually salivating now just typing that!

Double Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Cookies Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | MAKES 15 COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 200g Lindt Sea Salt Caramel dark chocolate (or any other kind of chocolate), 100g coarsely chopped, 100g cut into chunks
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt (optional)*

*The original recipe adds 1/2 tsp of salt, but because I am using a chocolate that already has sea salt in it, I lessened the amount of salt a little bit – or I guess depending you can ignore the salt completely. My cookies did not turn out to be very salty in the end anyway.

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 160C.
  2. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk together until combined. Set aside.
  3. Melt coarsely chopped chocolate together with the butter in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds. Stir to combine the mixture.
  4. In a large bowl, add the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and the chocolate mixture. Using a handheld electric mixer, mix on medium speed until well combined combined. Then reduce the speed to low and gradually mix in the flour mixture. Once combined, fold in chocolate chunks using a spatula.
  5. Scoop the batter onto a baking tray lined with baking paper (as Martha’s recipe goes, I used an ice cream scooper to measure out my cookie batter). Leave about a 2-cm gap between the cookies as they will flatten out while baking in the oven.
  6. Bake until cookies are flat and the surfaces begin to crack (about 15 minutes). Once done, remove from the oven, lift the baking paper from the tray and transfer the cookies to a wire rack. When you remove the cookies from the oven, you will notice that they are a bit soft – this is normal as they will start to firm up when they cool down. So be careful to not assume they are underdone and risk over-baking them.
  7. Let them cool for about 5-10 minutes. Cookies can then be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Double Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Cookies

Double Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Cookies

I mean, just look at that caramel goodness trying to peak through the cracks! As I mentioned above, I brought these bad boys into work the next day and they were a crowd pleaser! My boss Max (who by the way, just got back from Bali that day and said he’d have half because he’s on a “diet”), had a whole cookie to himself and was practically having foodgasms. I don’t blame him, they were THAT good. Everyone in the office loved it, but not enough for a second helping, or maybe because they were just so sinful, they couldn’t bring themselves to have another – except for my community manager James. He was quick to ask for another cookie before he stepped into a meeting, and before I left for the day.

If you want to attempt making these cookies – I HIGHLY recommend the sea salt caramel by Lindt! Even if it’s just eating them on their own. Too good!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com