Why do I do it? I buy ingredients with absolutely no recipe in mind so they stay in the back of my cupboard for months. Anyone for evaporated milk, Dulce de Leche, sugar paste - anyone ............... anyone at all? It was the same with a packet of quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah or ke-NO-ah, but I guess you knew that already!). I didn't buy the quinoa for any particular recipe, and to be honest I didn't even know if it was a baking or a cooking ingredient (like I said before, I don't get out much!). I just figured it would be a nice addition to my already jam packed baking cupboard.
I read in a New York Times article that quinoa could be used in baking, perfect for using my quinoa - I'd have to wait another while to get rid of my packets of red and blue of sugar paste! Quinoa is a seed that can be used in place of rice in your diet. It has a very high protein and iron content and is high in magnesium, phosphorous, copper and manganese. It seems to be fast becoming the new super food and from a quick trawl of the internet, it's journey into the baking world has been relatively recent.
Quinoa seeds have oil in them so they can be substituted for part of the butter in a recipe, while the germ part of the seed replaces some or all of the flour. For my first time baking with quinoa I wanted to bake something simple so that if it turned out horribly wrong, at least I wouldn't be wasting ingredients and time making it all. So I picked Chocolate and Peanut Butter Muffins. The cooked quinoa replaced all the flour and the butter content is very low (only a total of 60g, including the peanut butter).
Overall, I was really happy with these muffins. I could probably have cooked the quinoa for a little longer as the overall texture of the muffin was a little bit too crunchy - I'll know next time. Also, they didn't rise as well as flour based muffins. But they were perfectly cooked inside and tasted exactly as you would expect Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins to taste.
If you can get your hands on these Peanut Butter Chips, then grab them all. They really change an ordinary peanut butter muffin, biscuit, brownie etc into something amazing. I got these in Fallon & Byrne in Dublin but you can also get them on-line
Quinoa Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins (extremely) loosely based on a Mary Berry recipe for American Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes 10 muffins30g butter, softened
30g crunchy peanut butter
75g caster sugar
2 large eggs
200g of cooked quinoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
150g plain chocolate, roughly chopped
50g peanut butter chips
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease and line 10 muffin holes or line with paper cases.
Beat the butter and peanut butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the quinoa and vanilla, then add the cocoa powder and baking powder together. Ensure that it is well incoroprated into the mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips and peanut butter chips.
The mixture will be much thiner than a normal muffin mixture but persevere and it'll turn out fine!
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
These still tasted great 3 days after they were baked.