On this Foodie Friday, I wanted to make a simple sweet for a friend’s birthday. I am loving baking with cacao of late, so apologies, here is another chocolatey recipe!! Mmm mmm!

I love adding walnuts into baked treats. They add an amazing taste and texture, and have many healthy benefits. They have good quantities of omega 3 fats, protein and fibre, and melatonin (which helps regulate sleep). They contain antioxidants and vitamins for healthy hair and skin, and are good for heart and brain health, decreasing your risk of cancer, and can destroy harmful free radical chemicals. Pregnant women can reduce their baby’s risk of allergies by eating the fatty acids, and men’s fertility can even be boosted by the little walnut! All these sound to me like awesome reasons to throw a few walnuts into your baking!

Chocolate walnut muffins

4 flaxseed eggs (4 tbsps flaxseed soaked in 12 tbsps water for >10 minutes)
2 tbsp brown sugar (optional)
1/2 – 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup rice syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup dextrose (optional)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup raw cacao powder
1 1/2 cup GF flour
1/2 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup dairy free milk (if needed)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease muffin trays or use muffin paper liners.
Put the brown sugar in a small skillet, add the walnuts and over a low heat, stir gently til caramelised.
Add melted coconut oil, flax eggs, rice syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, dextrose, baking powder, soda and cacao into a large bowl. Whisk til combined.
Stir in the flour and mix well.
If the mixture is dry, add a few splashes of milk until it is moist.
Stir in the nuts.
Place a small amount of mix into the muffin trays to cover the bottom. Place the chocolate chunks in, and then cover with more mixture. Do not overfill the trays. Sprinkle with coconut.
Bake for 15-20 mins, or until an inserted skewer comes out dry (not including the melted chocolatey middle!)

I initially made the mixture up without the dextrose, but decided that it was not sweet enough. If you want to add more rice syrup instead of the sugar, you could add another 1/4 – 1/2 cup of rice syrup, instead of the dextrose, til you have the desired sweetness.
Alternatively, you could add in a mashed banana instead of the dextrose or extra rice syrup, as this will help with the sweetness naturally.
I found that my mix was dry, so added a few splashes of dairy free milk (I used coconut milk), but if you use extra rice syrup, you may feel you do not need this.

Feel free to skip caramelising the walnuts. I would not normally use brown sugar, but wanted to try something different for friends. You could leave the brown sugar out, and just toast the walnuts, or leave them raw.
You could also leave out the dark chocolate, and sprinkle the top with raw cacao nibs and coconut for a healthier hit!
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3 Comments on Glimpse into chocolate walnut muffins – Foodie Friday week 19

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