Spicy pumpkin muffins with almonds and dark chocolate

spicy pumpkin muffins with dark chocolate and almonds

Yes, we’re not even close to Halloween, but I saw the first pumpkins in the store this week and I just couldn’t resist… Since any hearty pumpkin dish screamed way to much ‘summer’s gone!’ for my taste, I raided my pantry for any inspirational ingredients for something sweet, and this is the result! Pumpkin and dark chocolate always make a great combination, and the ground and flaked almonds add just a hint of marzipan flavour to it. To jazz things up a little bit, I also added some cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg to the batter. The muffins came out absolutely delicious, with just the right blend of chocolate and pumpkin flavour. Admittedly, this is not a low calorie treat, though I did try to make them a little more ‘healthy’ by using mostly wholemeal flour. If you don’t trust your self control to not eat them all in one go (they are tasty enough for this), they also freeze really well, so just put them in a freezer bag and have a nice, delicious snack for you ready at anytime!

You need:

  • 200 g pumpkin flesh, peeled if necessary (raw)
  • 100 g grated dark chocolate
  • 150 g wholemeal flour
  • 100 g plain wheat flour
  • 50 g ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons egg replacer, dissolved in 80 ml water
  • 150 g margarine
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 250 ml plain soy (or other plant) milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of ground ginger
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 50 g dark chocolate (optional, for topping)
  • flaked almonds (optional, for topping)

Finely grate the pumkin flesh and mix with the soy milk to prevent it from drying out. Place the margarine in a large bowl and beat until fluffy. Add sugar, dissolved egg replacer and the soy milk pumpkin mixture and stir well. In a second bowl, combine all the “dry” ingredients, i.e. flour, baking powder and baking soda, ground almonds and spices. Mix well and combine with the wet ingredients in the large bowl. Don’t beat the batter to long or your muffins will end up very dense! Add the chocolate last and start preheating the oven. Spoon batter in a greased muffin tin (or use paper muffin cases) and bake at 180 ° C for about 17 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the muffin tin and place on a cooling rack. Once the muffins have cooled down, melt the chocolate and gently brush on the muffins. Top with some flaked almonds. Enjoy!

Note: I always use the remaining heat of the oven to melt chocolate – just place the chocolate in a oven-proof bowl and wait  – it will take longer than in the microwave, but is much more environmental friendly – and you have to wait for the muffins to cool down anyway. 😉

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