Back in January during the Tasty and Healthy New Year Challenge, I made some “cupcakes” starring chocolate and ginger for the dessert phase. I was ready to post the recipe when Virtual Potluck rock star GrooVy Foody created a sensation with her Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes. Not wanting to compete with that, I saved this recipe for Valentine’s Day and I made Lemon Loaf with Almonds for the challenge instead. But now it’s Valentine’s Day and I’m ready for some chocolate. How about you?
I’m usually more interested in how food tastes than how it looks. For some reason, I decided to get a little bit creative when decorating. I cut a heart out of some heavy paper and stuck a T pin through it so I could easily remove the heart after sprinkling the muffin cakes with powdered sugar. (I must admit that the needle part was The Grillmaster’s idea.)
A few tips if you make these muffin cakes:
- They dry out pretty fast. Eat them within a couple of days, give some away or freeze them. If you freeze them, they make a quick breakfast on a busy morning.
- A muffin cake that’s past its prime still tastes good if you top it with a mixture of yogurt and blackberry all-fruit.
- Dice the crystallized ginger as finely as you can. It’s nice to get hit with the gingery zing, but too big a chunk can be overpowering.
- If you sprinkle all of the muffin cakes with powdered sugar and then store them covered, the sugar will absorb into the cake and you’ll lose your design. They’ll still taste fine, they just won’t look as pretty.
- If you have a muffin whisk, use it to avoid overbeating the batter.
The burning question: muffin or cupcake? The original recipe called it a cupcake, but I thought it was more of a muffin. I think of cupcakes as being fluffy and overly sweet, this was more dense and savory – sort of like a savory chocolate gingerbread. Some say if it has icing, it’s a cupcake; otherwise, it’s a muffin. Michael Ruhlman, author of Ratio, says if it’s a muffin it should have 2 parts flour to 2 parts liquid to 1 part eggs to 1 part butter.
What do you think? Muffin or cupcake?
Chocolate-Ginger Muffin Cakes
Adapted from Diabetic Living
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
1¼ cups buttermilk OR 5 tablespoons dry buttermilk plus 1¼ cup water
1 cup sugar
½ cup olive oil
½ cup egg substitute (or 2 eggs)
1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 18 standard sized (2½-inch) muffin cups with liners.
In a large bowl, combine both flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger and salt. (If you are using dry buttermilk, add it here and add the water in the next step.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk (or water), sugar, olive oil, egg substitute (or eggs), crystallized ginger and vanilla. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir until just moistened (don’t overmix or your muffin cakes will be tough).
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
Makes 18 servings
Per serving: 168 calories, 7g fat (1g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 135mg sodium, 25g carb, 2g fiber, 12g sugar, 3g protein