Saturday, September 7, 2013

Matcha Pan Muffin Savage: Gluten-Free Muffins Packed with Punch!

Yesterday was pay-day and I splurged on a tin of Matcha Green Tea powder while I was picking up a Chirashi bowl for lunch at Maruta's in Georgetown where I work.  I always do a quick mental inventory of any Asian condiments that are needed to restock my fridge or pantry when walking around Maruta's, and Matcha Green Tea powder popped in my head.  Last February, I made some Green Tea cupcakes to impress my baking-diva vegetarian gardener friend Sarah for her birthday and had a terrible time finding the real-deal Matcha powder in the joe-schmo grocery stores around my neighborhood.  I ended up ripping the tea bags open from Republic of Tea's Double Green Matcha Tea to sub in that recipe.  It worked for the time being; there was a nice Matcha flavor, but the downside of using this was the gritty texture of the course green tea leaves partially mixed with the real Matcha powder.  When you bit into the cupcake, the inside of your mouth was covered in what felt like dried basil from a spice rack.  Mental note- next time use real Matcha powder!
So now that I got my Matcha, I perused the interwebs for some recipes.  Usually I just google the contents of what's currently in my pantry & fridge in my search.  I happened to have some almond flour left over from when I was on a gluten/sugar/dairy-fast last winter.  A foray in gluten-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free baking, I made this recipe for a blueberry lemon pound cake, and still had a number of left-over ingredients sitting in my cupboard.
After a bit of surfing, I stumbled upon this recipe from interior designer Kristopher Dukes' blog: Matcha Green Tea Almond Flour Mini-Muffins.  I had all of the recipe contents in my kitchen, so no special trip to the store was needed.  This morning I thought I'd treat myself to these muffins for breakfast and after a shot of espresso, went to town!

I fiddled around a little bit with the recipe since I also had some coconut flour and coconut oil in stock and knew that would up the flavor profile to another level of yumminess.  Since I read that you need to add more liquid when baking with coconut flour due to its absorbent properties, I though hmmm...what else do I have in my kitchen.  Oh yes, some extra eggs and heavy cream left over from making a batch of the Barefoot Contessa's Pecan Squares this past week for a co-worker's birthday.  Nothing like using up the kitchen's bounties for a recipe!!

Here's my modified version of Ms. Dukes recipe.  I call it--

Matcha Pan Muffin Savage:  Gluten-Free Muffins Packed with Punch!
(WWF aficionados and Children of the '80s take reference)

'The Tower of Power
Too Sweet to be Sour
Funky Like a Monkey
OOOOH- yeahhhhhh!'

2 cups finely ground almond flour 
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
2 tbs matcha green tea powder
1/4 cup cane sugar
3 eggs 
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/4 cup heavy cream

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. 
2. In a large bowl, whisk all dry ingredients together.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk all wet ingredients together.  Slowly pour the wet mixture into the large bowl of dry ingredients. 
4.  With an electric mixer, mix the liquid mixture and dry mixture together for a few minutes until all ingredients are well blended.  The consistency is going to look green and crunchy.
3. Take spoonfuls of this mixture and lop them into lined (or non-stick) mini muffin tins. 
4. Sprinkle sliced almonds on top. 
5. Bake for 22 minutes, or until the edges brown.  Stick a toothpick in and out of the middle of a muffin to check if the muffin has cooked all the way through.  If it's clean, it's done.
6)    Take out of the oven, let cool for 5 minutes.
7)    Remove muffins (still lined) from muffin tins and let cool on rack for a few minutes.  Bon Appetite!

Ok, so I've eaten 4 already, does that tell you anything??  The coconut & almond flavors marry well with the delicate matcha green tea flavor.  The texture is slightly moist, but dry enough so that the muffin still maintains its form and doesn't fall apart like a mashed up heap of nuts.  Trust me, I am always skeptical when I cook with all-purpose flour alternatives.  You never know what kind of level of crunchiness will turn out from your slave-to-the-kitchen pursuits.  

One more food porn pic-- up close and personal!  Chomp!
For Gluten-Free baking, this recipe is no flash in the pan. A champion in the ring, err kitchen, this is a keeper....DIG IT-Ooh Yeah!

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