Ok, so it took a few batches to perfect these delicious little muffins, but I assure you, it was SO worth it!
They are moist, chocolaty, sweet enough to satisfy without being sickly, and best of all, pretty much guilt free! Packed with whole grains, good oils and vitamin & mineral rich coconut palm sugar, as well as being dairy free, these are a treat you can really feel good about. You can use either raw coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil in this recipe, I like it best with olive oil as the result is lighter in texture, but you actually get a nice brownie effect using coconut oil so it's a personal preference thing.....
I topped them with a raw cashew frosting, that is also dairy and refined sugar free keeping up with the healthy theme of this muffin, it also tastes really delicious and creamy.
Always on the look out for ethical products, I was super chuffed when I saw these muffin cases in the health store. Made by 'If you care', they are the Eco friendly answer to regular muffin cases as they are unbleached, toxin free and compost-able to boot! This really makes these muffins extra virtuous in my opinion, and I think the natural shade of beige is quite complimentary to the browns of the muffin and frosting, giving them a real 'earthy' look.
Virtuous chocolate muffins (makes 10- 12)
2 cups wholemeal spelt or kamut* (if you can't find these flours then use a regular fine wholemeal flour)
2/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/4 cups (310ml) of oat, nut or hemp milk
1/2 cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil, or melted virgin coconut oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp of fine sea salt
1 tsp sugar and alcohol free vanilla extract
1 tsp chicory granules dissolved in 1 tbsp water (totally optional, to give a slight mocha flavour to the muffin)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
In a large bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients until well combined.
Add all the wet ingredients to a jug and whisk them together.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well (pretty simple recipe this!)
Fill each muffin case about 3/4 full, pop them in the oven and bake for around 15 mins, you'll know they're ready when a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Cool on a rack ready for frosting!
Raw cashew frosting ingredients:
1 cup of cashews
1/4 cup (60ml) of maple syrup
4 tbsp melted coconut oil
The seeds of a vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp alcohol & sugar free vanilla extract
1/2 cup (125ml) filtered water
1 tbsp cocoa powder
To make the frosting:
Throw all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until as smooth as possible- this may take 5 mins of blending and stopping to scrape down the sides of the jug if you don't have a high speed blender, but be patient it is worth it! Pour out into a bowl and pop in the fridge to firm up a little before piping or spreading over the muffins. Top with sprinkles of sesame seeds, goji berries, cacao nibs or dried flower petals.
* Different flours absorb more or less moisture so this will have an effect on the result of your muffin. For kamut flour the liquid ratio is perfect, for whole spelt I recommend using slightly less milk, maybe a cup plus 2 tbsp, I haven't tested with regular wholemeal so experiment with it, the batter should be thick enough so that it doesn't pour easily off a spoon, but not so thick you could stand a spoon up in it!