Chocolate Muffins

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I had some cocoa that was expiring soon.  I needed to make something for an afternoon snack.  And I realised I didn’t have much time left before my daughter came home.  So I decided quickly to make chocolate muffins that would be ready within one hour.  Muffins are easy to make because you just have to mix dry and wet ingredients together.  They are good for breakfast and a snack to go.  I am not a fan of muffins.  I’d rather go for a chiffon cake.  But after I tried these chocolate muffins, I was sure I would make them again.  When they were baking, the house was filled with the aroma of chocolate.  My senses brought me to those times when I walk by the Famous Amos cookie store.  When I finally had time to try one, I was happy that the taste didn’t disappoint.  It tasted so wonderful, thanks to the cocoa and the coconut oil.

I decided at the last minute to use coconut oil for these muffins.  Baking with coconut oil is great.  The bakes always turn out so aromatic and fragrant.  Coconut oil is also a healthier option than melted butter and vegetable oil.  Coconut oil is high in natural saturated fats. Saturated fats not only increase the healthy cholesterol (known as HDL cholesterol) in your body, but also help convert the LDL “bad” cholesterol into good cholesterols.  By increasing the HDL in the body, it helps promote heart health and lower the risk of heart disease.

The amount of coconut oil used in this recipe doesn’t leave the muffins with a strong coconut taste.  In fact, it is so subtle you can’t really taste it and it blends so well with the cocoa.  I love taking a whiff out of the coconut oil jar.  It’s such a natural fragrance!  This recipe works well with vegetable oil if you don’t have coconut oil.  You can use any light tasting vegetable oil.   The result will be great as well.  You can top this with semi-sweet chocolate chips if you want to up the level of chocolate.  This recipe is really great if you are in a hurry.  I had these done in 45 minutes.  So busy moms, this is for you.

Ingredients (for 6 muffins)

Dry ingredients:

  • 100g all-purpose flour
  • 20g unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt

Wet ingredients:

  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 50ml milk
  • 40ml coconut oil/vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees celcius.
  2. Fill muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  3. Sift dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt) into a bowl.  Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk egg and brown sugar together till light and fluffy.
  5. Add milk and continue whisking.  Next, add in vanilla and coconut oil and whisk them together till well incorporated.
  6. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients with a spatula.
  7. Pour in wet ingredients into the well.  Fold wet ingredients and dry ingredients till well incorporated with no traces of flour.  Make light and quick folds and do not over-fold as this will result in tough muffins.
  8. Spoon batter into cupcake liners till 2/3 full.
  9. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
  10. Allow the muffins to cool and then enjoy!

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Easy tuna puffs

I love to have some frozen puff pastry in my freezer.  It makes whipping up a snack really convenient.  These tuna puffs were done and ready to eat in an hour.  Freshly made and crispy, everyone just had to reach out for one.

I had a can of tuna flakes in my pantry so it was a perfect time to make some tuna puffs.  I used two sheets of pastry, cut each into fours, filled them with tuna flakes and sent them to bake.  Really simple and straightforward.  The filling can be sweet or savoury.  Nutella, blueberry, apple, curry chicken are some options that will be on my to-do list.

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Ingredients:

(makes 8 pieces)

2 sheets of puff pastry

1 can tuna

beaten egg (for sealing the pastry and egg wash)

Directions:

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Thaw frozen puff pastry.  Once thawed, cut into 4 equal squares.
  3. Brush egg wash on the sides of each square.
  4. Spoon tuna fish (or filling of your choice) onto the centre of the square.
  5. Fold pastry into triangles/rectangles and press the sides gently to seal.
  6. Use a fork to press the sides of each puff to make a striped pattern.
  7. Place on parchment paper.
  8. Brush egg wash on each puff.
  9. Bake in preheated 170 deg celcius oven for 20 minutes or till puffs turn golden brown.

 

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