There’s something funny about muffins. I don’t know exactly why, but muffins are THE most perfect food for when I’m stressed. The idea of creating some interesting combination, popping little individual bundles of love into the oven, then having a warm treat within the hour just makes me happy!
Probably the best part of the muffin experience is that they go really well with coffee. When I’m studying for hours and hours and hours, it’s this perfect ratio of one muffin per coffee that really keeps me going. And, the batch today makes eight muffins, so if you have 8 cups of coffee, nothing matters because even though you can’t control life, you can control your proportions of caffeinated-muffin goodness. (Control makes me happy, even if I can only have it in the most bizarre situations.)
Can’t sleep after consuming Ethiopia’s entire export of coffee for the month of October? No worries, just bake more muffins till you’re tired!
No. I’m not completely off my hinges from coffee and/or stress, I’m typically like this. Don’t panic.
The idea for the muffins today was 100% inspired from this recipe on the blog “Reclaiming Provincial”.
I completely re-did the pumpkin muffin recipe to make it vegan, but I kept the home-made nutella filling! Well… almost, but we will get to that later.
Pumpkin muffins – What you need:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 ¼ cup pumpkin purée
- ¼ cup oil
- ¼ cup apple sauce
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
Pumpkin muffins – What you do:
Preheat your oven to 180c.
((Honestly, when I made these guys I was exhausted and ended up only using one bowl. If you want to be “proper” in your baking, grab two large bowls and sift all of the dry ingredients in one, then mix all of the wet ingredients in the other with an electric beater. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and combine well. However, what I did is noted below!))
With an electric beater, mix the pumpkin, oil, applesauce, and vinegar together for 2-3 minutes, or until really creamy.
Continue with the beater, and add in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and sugar, beating until the mixture is well combined.
Scoop two tablespoons of muffin batter into each mould. Add one heaping teaspoon of nutella (recipe below) to each muffin cup.
Top everything off with another tablespoon of muffin batter. Smooth over the tops of each muffin to seal in the nutella surprise!
Bake at 180c for 25 minutes.
Homemade nutella – What you need:
- 1 cup of hazelnuts, skins removed
- ¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Van Houten)
- ½ cup of sifted powdered sugar
- ¾ teaspoons of vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 teaspoons hazelnut oil (In the originally recipe, 4 tablespoons of coconut oil was used, but I couldn’t find this at my grocery store!)
Homemade nutella – What you do:
Remove the skins from the hazelnuts. You can do this by roasting them for 10-15 minutes on a low heat in your oven, then rubbing the skins off, or you can boil them for 3 minutes with 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda added into the water, then immerse the hazelnuts into cold water to remove the skins. I tried the boiling method!
Add the hazelnuts to the food processor, and blend until they are finely ground (3 to 5 minutes). Add the remaining ingredients and blend until creamy.
My nutella looks slightly more like a paste than the one from Reclaiming Provincial, so if you’re REALLY after a creamy vibe, try the coconut oil!
This stuff is addictive! My best friend and I always used to term pastes or creams “crack” if we became helpless when faced with a jar of the magic and a spoon. The spicy roasted red pepper dip that was constantly being whipped up (and still is) was coined “pepper crack”, this amazing white bean-almond hummus type thing her mom makes is called “bean crack”, and so on. Thus, today, you are warned: this “homemade nutella” should actually be called “chocolate-hazelnut crack”. It’s delicious. Hide your spoons!
Baking Soundtrack - Tunes to inspire your inner baker:
Okok, so my friend runs "Cityscape Sessions", and I really recommend that you follow this amazing podcast every month. It's free on iTunes, so there's no excuse not to check it out! There is one podcast in particular that I'm crazy about: number 44! I can listen to it over and over, and I've been doing just that since it came out last December. Minutes 26-29 kill me every time! So much goodness packed into one hour. And, p.s., isn't his voice steamy?