Not that you’ve ever known me to be modest about my cooking but this time I really don’t mind saying that these are stupid-crazy good. These little gems are intensely chocolatey, dense without being heavy, pack a creamy, cheesecakey tang with every bite and as a bonus, they’re gluten-free and packed with super foods like chia, cacao and coconut oil. The recipe is inspired by muffins I ate when I was a growing up in Edmonton. Newly single, my mom went back to university and so I spent a lot of time reading Little House on The Prarie books in the University of Alberta’s Hub mall. It was sort of a worn-out place but bright thanks to domed 70′s skylights. There was a huge and serious record store and a vintage shop called Divine Decadence where my mom let me buy batik harem pants and gold curled-toe shoes. Bobby Wacowich hit me over the head with a binder for wearing clothes like that to school but that’s another story. Gotten around to that ‘Free To Be….You and Me’ re-read yet, Bobby?
Next to Divine Decadence, the place I loved best in Hub Mall was a gourmet coffee shop called Java Jive. Hard to believe in our post-Starbucks world but a finer coffee counter was a rare, bohemian phenomenon in 80′s Edmonton. Java Jive had cadaverously pale black-clad staff that I wanted to be exactly like and dark chocolate muffins the size of boxing gloves liberally studded with knobs of caramelized cream cheese.
I’ve been dying to re-create the Java Jive muffin for years and am particularly satisfied with my version because along withit’s being gluten-free, it’s also free of the gums, xanthan and guar. The gums are food additives which are often used, quite unsuccessfully in my opinion to create texture in gluten-free baked goods. And they just aren’t very good for us.
Gum-free, GF flour was made possible by the excellent work of fellow blogger Gluten Free Girl. Through meticulous trial and error, she and her chef husband discovered that the gums are entirely unnecessary if you use seven parts whole grain flour to three parts starchy flour. You can find the GFG’s post on that here. GFG advises making up a bunch of flour mix to use for a few projects but I didn’t want to make that kind of commitment till I’d tested out the system and figured you might not want to either. So, I just mixed enough flour to make this recipe. If you want to use a pre-made blend or a traditional whole grain flour just substitute two cups of flour for the buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, white rice flour and tapioca starch. I also chose to use goat cheese rather than cream cheese because goat’s milk is a lot easier to digest than cow’s milk and also because this particular chèvre is just so darn yummy.
I give you what may be the most delicious muffin you have ever eaten.
If you liked this post and want to see more I would be absolutely delighted to send you an email every time I post. Sign up using the box on the right had side of the screen and please share this post with your favourite people. xo
GF Chocolate, Chia and Honeyed Goat Cheese Muffin
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup plus two tablespoons white rice flour
3 tablespoons tapioca flour
1 cup unrefined sugar No matter what colour it is, if the label doesn’t say ‘unrefined’, it’s refined.
3/4 cup cacao powder You can substitute cocoa but I find cacao has a better flavour
1 teaspoon ground vanilla beans You can substitute the same amount of vanilla extract; just add it to the wet ingredients instead of the dry
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon of aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
2 cups light coconut milk or nut milk
4 tablespoons of chia seed, plus 1/2 cup hot water for soaking
1/2 cup of coconut oil, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
1/4 cup warm water
About half a cup of Trader Joe’s Chèvre with Honey*
* If as I do, you know the heartbreak of not living near a Trader Joe’s (I got my Chèvre with Honey on a recent trip to Bellingham) simply allow half a cup of ordinary goat cheese to soften, mix in about a teaspoon and a half of liquid honey and re-chill till ready to use.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chia seed in a bowl, pour in half a cup of hot water, stir and allow to stand. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin with coconut oil. Combine buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, white rice flour and tapioca flour, sea salt, baking soda, baking powder, cacao and vanilla powder, if using, mix well with a whisk.
In another large bowl place milk, water and vanilla extract if using. Whisk in chia mixture and combine well. Pour coconut oil in to milk mixture in a thin stream and combine well.
Fold wet mixture into dry mixture and combine with a wooden spoon until no floury texture remains. Fill muffin tins 1/4 full. Break up 1/2 teaspoons of honey chèvre into chunks and place on top of batter. Fill muffin tins almost to the top and then break up 1 teaspoonfuls of chèvre into the muffin cups, ensuring that some chunks are right on the muffins’ surfaces. Place muffin tin in oven and bake 25-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely, preferably overnight. Enjoy!!xo