Friday, April 2, 2010

Carrot Muffins: Passover and Not

A few weeks ago I made some carrot muffins for a meal I hosted in my apartment. They were a hit. Today I thought I could try them out for Passover - substituting a combination of matzah meal and potato starch for the flour. They were...interesting.

The ones with flour were cute and delicious - moist without being too heavy, and just enough carrots that you felt they may have some redeeming nutritional value aside from being cake.
They were smaller than I thought - the recipe called for 18, but I could certainly make 12 or 14 slightly larger ones, and adjust the baking time.
The ones without were not so cute, and definitely not as delicious. But they weren't bad. They were not so cute because they didn't spread at all, or even out, so they had funny, lumpy shapes.
They weren't as delicious, because, well, let's face it - they weren't made with flour. I definitely wouldn't say they were bad. - quite decent for Passover muffins - maybe could do with an upping of the sugar or cinnamon content, but overall pretty OK. I know, a resounding compliment.
In addition to having to substitute the flour, my baking powder was a special Passover mix made with potato starch instead of corn starch. I also had a problem with the milk. Normally I use soy milk to keep my baked goods dairy free. Soy is one of those things that Ashkenazi (of Eastern European descent) Jews cannot have on Passover, and I couldn't find any coconut milk. So I used orange juice. And I used about an extra 1/4 cup to add some moistness.
Anyway - if I have to pick which one was better, obviously the flour-based version wins by a landslide. But the Passover ones are pretty good for what I have to work with.

Tip of the Day: In this recipe - and in all - I measured the oil out first in the 1/2 cup, then the honey, which enabled the honey to slide right out.

Recipe: (adapted from RecipeZaar)
1 1/2 cups flour (OR 1 cup cake meal plus 1/2 cup potato starch)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/3 cup oil
1 egg
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup milk (OR soy milk or coconut milk or orange juice)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups grated carrots

Mix together the dry ingredients - flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
Make a well in the center and add in the wet ingredients - oil, egg, honey, milk, vanilla and carrots.
Stir together until all ingredients are moistened.
Divide among 14 to 18 muffin cups and bake on 400 F for approximately 15 minutes.

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