I would call this recipe of choco-walnut muffins as multi-celebratory. There are certain times when multiple celebrations fall on the same day and you fail to give it a specific name. Today was one such day.
One of my very close friend, sister and house helper for last two years is a person I have learnt a lot from. She works exclusively for me and is a science graduate who has been helping me around with my housework for last two years to be able to sustain her studies and build a good respectable life for herself. She has had a big share of hardships in her life and I admire her for being able to fight all the adversities and follow her dreams. Last month she got a job in a good company nearby and today was the day she got her first salary. I really wanted to make her feel special and proud of what she had achieved. And hence decided to bake something for her.
The other reason was the independence day celebrations in Zoey’s school. She was so excited for it and wanted her mom to bake some muffins for her friends and teacher. She also wanted me to bake for her friend in the neighborhood. She had called her friend for a play-date to home and wanted to have a small tea-time party with her friend. The look on their faces would have made me stand and get on work even if I was dead tired. I just love their innocence sometimes.
The recipe is gluten-free made with the most common alternative flour lying around in almost everyone’s house, the regular chickpea flour (besan). Baking with chickpea flour has been on my mind for a long time and with all the reasons to bake, I decided to pick up this recipe and give it a try. The muffins are sweetened with brown sugar which is unrefined and has more minerals than the regular refined sugar.
Chickpea flour makes a good alternative if you’re following a wheat-free or gluten-free diet. Chickpea flour has double the amount of protein than whole-wheat flour and six times more than all-purpose flour. It’s an excellent source of folate, containing seven times more folate than whole-wheat flour. It also provides vitamin B-6, iron, magnesium and potassium.
Cocoa powder, which comes from the cocoa bean, is highly nutritious, and it can provide numerous health benefits. Cocoa contains the substance phenethylamine, which is a neurotransmitter found in the brain that acts as a mood elevator and natural antidepressant. Cocoa also contains powerful antioxidants. Cocoa may lower LDL cholesterol, reduce the risk of blood clots, increase blood flow to the arteries, lower high blood pressure, boost cognitive performance and provide essential minerals such as calcium and potassium.
Brown sugar is made by allowing some of the sugary molasses to remain in its structure, thus enriching leaving final product in a more natural state that is not enriched with industrial additives. Molasses is a good source of dietary potassium and provides small amounts of calcium, magnesium and B vitamins. Potassium in molasses helps in relaxing the uterine muscles and eases contractions that occur during menstruation. People suffering from respiratory tract problems like asthma are advised to replace white sugar with brown sugar. Brown sugar also helps in improving the digestive system.
Like all nuts, walnuts contain good fats and are also a good source of the essential fatty acid omega-3. They also contain iron, selenium, calcium, zinc, vitamin E and some B vitamins. Walnuts are one of the healthiest foods for the cardiovascular system. Walnuts also reduce the risk of high blood pressure. Type-II diabetes patients can safely consume walnuts almost every day without any side effects.
The muffins turned out yummy and moist. They were perfect for any chocolate lover like both my kids. Nobody could wait to gobble them up till I take pictures of them so I was only able to capture my little innocent Elina. And none of the people who tried them could make out what the muffins were made of. The best thing about chickpea flour recipes for cakes or muffins is that the top turns out to be shiny and smooth giving it a good look. I resist myself from frosting these recipes most of the times just for the look of them. The texture and taste was amazing.
My friend/ house helper felt overwhelmed seeing the bakes especially made for her. Zoey relished and happily distributed the muffins to neighbors and her play-date friend. The recipe yielded twelve muffins and she was only left with two of them to be able to take to school. Thankfully, she agreed and settled for the two left ones for school. I got one to taste and definitely was craving for more. This recipe is going in my oven again very soon for sure.
I hope all you will give this recipe a try. Will be eagerly waiting for the feedback. Happy Baking and a very Happy Independence Day to all of you.
RECIPE FOR EGGLESS GLUTEN-FREE CHOCO-WALNUT MUFFINS WITH CHICKPEA FLOUR
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
3/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp regular salt
1 cup curd (at room temperature)
¼ cup + 1 tbsp milk
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 170ºC. Prepare the muffin liners by applying oil and arranging in the muffin pan.
- In a large bowl, sieve the chickpea flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt 2-3 times.
- In a separate bowl add curd, oil, brown sugar and vanilla extract.
- Vigorously whisk until brown sugar completely mixes with the other ingredients.
- Fold in the dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three parts. Add milk as needed to get a cake batter consistency. Do not overmix.
- Add chopped walnuts to the batter and mix well.
- Pour the batter in the prepared muffin liners.
- Bake the muffins for 20 minutes or until the skewer comes clean.
- Let the muffins cool on wire rack for 5 min and take them out.
- You may enjoy the muffins as it is or frost them with the frosting of your choice before serving.
- The muffins are dark chocolate flavor. If you do not like the taste of dark chocolate, reduce the amount of cocoa powder to half. Accordingly, adjust the milk quantity to maintain the consistency of the batter.
- For the recipe, you may use any flavorless vegetable oil. I have used olive oil but it is not necessary to use the same.
- The recipe yielded 12 standard size muffins in my case. The number may vary depending on the size of the liners you use for baking. If using large muffin liners, you may have to also increase the baking time by 5 minutes. Similarly for smaller muffin size, reduce the baking time by 5 minutes. Always do the skewer test before taking out the muffins out from the oven.