Don't Take My Chestnut Muffins...



After listening to me whingeing on about how I don't get on with the usual pre mixed gluten free flours - and how these flours were both stifling my creativity and giving me wind; my local health food shop obligingly trawled through their suppliers list of gluten free grains and ordered what they could to keep me quiet and get me out the shop quick. They came up with, chestnut flour, hemp flour and amaranth grains, that I intend to try popping in a hot pan for breakfast, like Shauna does. I found tapioca flour in another town, but still no joy on the sorghum - anyone know of any UK sources?

So this morning I got down my bags of flour and thought, hmm, chestnut flour muffins. Now because I hadn't used it before I wanted to taste the chestnut for itself, so I mixed it up with some brown rice flour, a little honey to sweeten and yogurt to make it light and moist. The result? A tender crumbed, fluffy, bread-like muffin with an indefinable yeasty taste, which comes I guess from the combination of chestnut, yogurt and honey?

'Ooh!' said Nick, when I allowed him to sample the merest chunk of mine, they've got a brioche like quality to them'. Finley put his arm around the plate in case Nick got ideas about sampling his share of the five muffins I had produced.

We happened to have some un-pasteurised organic cream in the fridge (yes, I don't know how it got there!) and we scooped some of that on too, thick and yellow and, um, creamy. I'm telling you it was like manna, just calling out for a spoonful of Seville marmalade or some high fruit conserve. Mmmm, mmmmm, mmm!

The honey I used was French sunflower honey that has a very beeswaxy taste - I think this contributed to the breadiness too. Try to use a honey that has a definite taste, not one of those bland, blended runny ones.


Again with the American Cup Measures, so sue me! Oy Vey....

Chestnut Muffins (makes 10-12)

3-4 heaped tsp Delicious Honey
1/2 cup butter, melted or coconut oil melted
2 large Free Range Eggs
1 cup Live Wholemilk Yogurt (I used sheep's)
2 tsp Vanilla extract
1 cup Chestnut Flour
1 cup Brown Rice Flour (or buckwheat flour for a darker muffin)
2 level tsp Cream of Tartar/2 tsp vinegar
1 level tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 tsp gelatine powder (or 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum) optional - but helps retain the bready quality

Preheat the oven to 180C (fan assisted) and fill a 12 bun muffin tin with cases.

If the honey is thick, put it in a small pan and heat very gently until it becomes runny. Cool the bottom of the pan by putting it in some cold water and mix in the melted.

Add the rest of the wet ingredients, eggs, yogurt, gelatine powder and vanilla and beat till smooth.

Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ones and mix just until the lumps of flour disappear. Spoon into the waiting cases (10 if you want them overflowingly plump, 12 if you are feeling a little less generous) and bake for 15-18 minutes, until risen, firm to the touch and with little patches of gold on the crusty tops.

Cool until warm and enjoy as above with the jam of your choice (and maybe a dollop of the best cream you can buy...)