"if you wish to be glamorous, become a cake baker" -The Joy of Cooking

Friday, January 11, 2013

Guilt-free Chocolate Muffins!!!!

After all the large festive family meals, sinful rich indulgences and generally the butter, sugar and fat filled fest that is christmas (and rightly so, that is what christmas and the holidays are all about!)

January is (usually) all about starting the year off on the lighter and health minded note.  I think this rather  welcome after the heaviness of the holidays and whether or not we keep up with the resolution to eat right and lose weight is another topic altogether...however we shall try!!

Trying to keep this motivation going can be a struggle.  Especially for me since I love baking! Saying I have a sweet tooth is a little bit of an understatement.

Although I've made a commitment to eat more healthy and exercise, I still want to bake and blog, so I was super excited when I came across this fabulous recipe in this months issue of Chatelaine.  The recipe is called Super-Awesome Chocolate Muffins.  However, with no butter, oil, sugar or flour I was very intrigued.  That doesn't sound like it will taste very super or awesome.

Right?   How can it?

How can something taste good without any of the things i'm used to baking with?  I'm happy to say that I was very pleasantly surprised.  These muffins really are awesome, fudgy and chocolaty you forget that they are actually very good for you.  168 calories, 6g of protein, 4g fibre and only 6g of fat!!  They contain healthy, booty- friendly ingredients like flax meal, unsweetened apple sauce and greek yogurt.

Just from the oven.  Since the batter will stick to muffin papers its suggested you use silicone muffin liners or I just oiled my muffin pan so they wouldn't stick.
Look how rich and delicious these look.  The recipe calls for cocoa powder and dark chocolate.  Dark chocolate is very high in anti-oxidants so make sure that you use the highest quality cocoa and dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa that you can find.  Your muffins will only be as good as the ingredients you use 

Here is the cocoa I used, available from Williams-Sonoma.  Lindt 70% is my favourite dark chocolate to bake with

So delicious : ) and guilt free which really is super awesome!!

Here is the recipe:

Super-Awesome Chocolate Muffins (Chatelaine, January 2013)

1 3/4 cups Large flake oats
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup ground flax meal ( I used Bob's Red Mill brand)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup 2% greek yogourt 
1/3 cup Agave syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup hot water
100g pkg Dark chocolate (70-85%) very finely chopped

Line the muffin pan with silicone liners or oil the pan with vegetable oil.

Pour oats into a food processor and whirl until they are very finely ground.  Add cocoa, flax meal, baking powder and baking soda and salt.  Whirl again until combined, about 1min

Whisk the egg whites, applesauce, yogurt, agave and vanilla in a large bowl until combined.
Add to food processor with the hot water.  Whirl until combined about 1 min.  Scrape back into the bowl.  The batter will be very runny.  Let it sit for about 20min until thickened (it kinda ends up like the consistency of oatmeal).

Preheat oven to 350.  Stir in the chocolate and scoop into your muffin pan.  Bake for 25-27min.  The muffins will have risen and when a tooth pick is inserted it will come out slightly sticky but not wet.  Let the muffins cool for 15 mins in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to let cool completely.  

You can also turn these muffins into yummy cupcakes! with this vanilla marshmallow frosting:

2/3 cup agave syrup
2 tsp vanilla
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3 tbsp dark chocolate finely grated

Combine agave, 2tbsp water and vanilla in a small sauce pan and bring to boil.  Remove from heat.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until soft peaks form about 1min.  Slowly pour in the hot syrup down the side of the bowl and keep beating until stiff peaks form.  

Spread frosting on muffins and sprinkle with chocolate and voila...you've got cupcakes that won't ruin your new healthy start to the new year :)

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