I’m off to Food Wine Conference today so things are all a bit busy but I didn’t want to go without sharing a recipe and this one I have been keeping to share at a good time seems kind of appropriate given the various recipe challenges for the conference – for these muffins I challenged myself to use a new ingredient!ere’s a bit of me that definitely seems to like to try things just for the sake of the challenge. While we don’t have any gluten intolerance in our house, I do like trying out different flours, as you might have noticed. I use the plainer ones like rice flour a bit, especially as part of a blend, but particularly like nut flours as they give their own distinct flavor. I have used almond flour in a few different things like lemon-almond cupcakes, a fruity galette, chocolate zucchini muffins and sweet potato brownies, and have incorporated chestnut flour in cupcakes and pancakes and plan to try it a bit more as well. Coconut flour is one I have seen used a little bit but for whatever reason I had held back. I think it seemed more of a trend and I naturally keep away from them a bit, but then when a few things I read said to be careful using it as it reacts quite differently from other flours, in a weird way it became tempting to try. I also had some delicious vegan coconut, pecan and banana muffins at a local cafe that I suspected used coconut flour. These vegan chocolate, banana and coconut muffins are not a recreation of those ones in the cafe, as you can probably guess from the name – I am still working on my variation on them – but they are delicious and definitely worth a try, whether you are looking for vegan, healthier and/or gluten free baking or not. Yes, these are all of those, but no, they don’t taste of nothing or take forever to make.
Some of the things I read basically said don’t experiment with coconut flour, just use recipes as it doesn’t react like ‘normal’ flours. This, to me, is like laying down a challenge, so experiment I had to do. I think the thing is to be aware of how it is different and work around that – for example the amount of liquid you need using coconut flour is quite different from what you might expect from using other flours. However once you keep those things in mind (and the packet gives you an overview), it’s fine to have a bit of a play around, just as with all baking, don’t expect everything to work first time.
These vegan chocolate, banana and coconut muffins did work out first time, I’m glad to say (to me at least), but I would give a couple of slight warnings – they are relatively dense and you have to like coconut, but if you do they’re great. They have a lovely soft, moist texture and the coconut undertone, along with the banana and chocolate is delicious. They are really easy to make too – you just warm some almond milk, mix in some cocoa powder, blend in the dates and banana then add this mixture to the dry ingredients. You’ll need to flatten out the top of the mixture in your casings before you bake as they don’t really rise, but they hold together really well and go gently brown.
These vegan chocolate, banana and coconut muffins have a lovely flavor to them that you definitely don’t need to be vegan to enjoy. The chocolately drizzle (which is what I used to dip my strawberry truffles in) on top definitely makes them even tastier to give a great mix of chocolate, coconut and banana in each bite. It also means you kind of forget how healthy they are. But when you remember, it gives a great excuse to have another. And in no time you’ll be needing to make some more. I’m going to be sharing a few with Fiesta Friday co-hosted this week by Ahila @ A Taste of Sri Lankan Cuisine and Diann @ Of Goats and Greens, Throwback Thursday and Foodie FriDIY.
- ¾ cup almond milk, divided
- 1tbsp cocoa powder
- 2oz/55g dates
- 3.5oz/100g (1) banana
- ½cup/56g coconut flour
- ¼cup/27g almond flour
- 1tbsp flax seeds
- ½tbsp baking powder
- chocolate drizzle - see truffle recipe
- Preheat the oven to 350F/175C.
- Warm ¼cup almond milk so it is warm but not boiling and mix through the cocoa powder.
- Blend the dates and banana with cocoa powder mix until fairly smooth.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, add the banana mixture then the rest of the almond milk.
- Spoon the mixture into lined or greased muffin tins, flattening off the tops of each one.
- Bake for approx 20-25 minutes.