Chocolate Rum & Raisin Muffins (for me!) and mini Cheezly Muffins (for Mini-M)

The other night I decided I was going to make Mini-M some muffins, as a variation on the pancake theme. I figured they might be a good foil for hiding some "Cheezly" (fake dairy free soya cheese - hiding it definitely helps its edibility...) and veggies.

But whilst flicking through books looking for a savoury muffin recipe, I found one for chocolate rum and raisin muffins, which sounded quite a lot more fun to make!

So I made them both. I made up the "Cheezly" recipe as I went along, and it worked out just fine, and I modified the Chocolate Rum & Raisin one from the Australian Womens Weekly 'Muffins' mini book to make it Dairy Free. I also modified it to save on the washing up - you end up mixing it all in one big pan.

It is completely undetectable, and really hard to believe that these are dairy free. In fact, I took them in to work, and I don't think anyone there suspected...

So here are my recipes.

First up the exciting chocolate ones :o)

Chocolate Rum & Raisin Muffins

  • Makes 12 large (or in my case 6 large and 12 small)
  • 170g raisins
  • 60ml dark rum
  • 375g self raising flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 150g dark (dairy free) chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 125g margarine (dairy free)
  • 125ml Oatly oat cream (if you can't find it, just use another 125ml soya yoghurt)
  • 125ml plain soya yoghurt
  • 2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 180C (170C fan) and line your muffin tin(s) with paper cases.
Put the raisins and rum in a large saucepan, bring to a gentle simmer and allow to cook over a really low heat for about 5 mins, then take the heat off, add the margarine and let them steep for another 5 - the residual heat will melt the margarine for you.
Once your raisins have cooled a bit, add the sugar, chocolate, flour, and cocoa powder. Resist the temptation to mix it just yet!
Next pour in the oat cream and soya yoghurt, and crack your eggs on top of it all.
Give the eggs a quick swirl with a fork to break up the yolks, then get stuck in with your wooden spoon and mix it really well - the last thing you want to find when you bite into a muffin is a big lump of unmixed flour! If you think your flour is prone to being lumpy, then by all means sieve it in, but I went unsieved and had no problems.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins, and bake for about 20 mins until they are crackly on the top, and springy to the touch.
Cool on a wire rack, then enjoy!

If you're not having to be dairy free, then you can easily substitute butter for margarine, be a lot less fussy about your chocolate choice (white chocolate chips would be fantastic in this too I think!), and use 250ml of buttermilk instead of the oat cream / soya yoghurt combo.

Next up - Mini-M's Cheezly muffins. For those of you uninitiated in these matters, Cheezly is a soya based cheese substitute. It does kind of melt, it is kind of like cheese, just not quite. On the plus side, Mini-M has never actually had real cheese to compare it to, but as she is going through a fussy phase, it is still treated with skepticism.

Pancakes have got a very firm thumbs up from her - regardless of what I add into them, she seems happy to wolf them down. Cheezly and ham pancakes have already been consumed with abandon (OK that is a slight exaggeration - abandon is really only reserved for pancakes that have raisins in, but they were eaten happily without being flung around the living room which is, you know, quite nice.). But I am a bit fed up of making pancakes, so I decide to give mini muffins a shot.

Cheezly, Carrot and Apple Muffins
(Makes 36 tiny muffins, 12 small or 6 large)

  • 150g self raising flour
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 60ml sunflower oil
  • 150ml plain soya yoghurt
  • 50ml soya milk
  • 25g finely grated Cheezly
  • 25g finely grated carrot and apple (I used 1 tiny apple, and 1/3 of a regular carrot)
  • 1 pinch bicarbonate of soda

Preheat the oven to 180C (170C fan) and line your tins with paper cases.
Sieve the flours and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl (or if you're lazy like me, don't sieve, live life on the edge and risk the lumpy floury consequences - happily avoided this time!).
Measure the oil, yoghurt and soya milk into a jug.
Add the egg and beat it all together lightly.
Then add the Cheezly, carrot and apple and give it another quick mix.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix well - use some extra elbow grease if you've not sieved the flour.
Spoon into the prepared tins and bake until golden and springy. If you're making tiny ones, this will be about 10 mins - large ones about 20 - small ones somewhere in between.

Mini-M's verdict seems to be that the aren't quite as tasty as pancakes. Thankfully still edible, but definitely more naturally missile shaped when she gets bored of eating....