For someone obsessed by all things chocolate and patisserie related, I can be extremely odd at times. Most of the time. Pretty much all the time, without exception, in point of fact.
This weekend, I took my mother out for a spot of grocery shopping. As is our wont, we stopped off at a favourite Italian patisserie, Brunetti. As usual, I ordered a coffee. Just coffee. In the midst of a dizzying array of continental pastries of all shapes, sizes, and variety. Yup. But I always spend some quality time inspecting the display cabinets, for research. It’s what I do. It is not as though I never sample anything but I do have to be careful because, of course, there are many pastries I simply should not try with my fructose intolerance. But I do sample from time to time, for research, you understand. Mostly, I just order coffee.
Brunetti always seems like a vortex of chaos on a weekend. People everywhere, jostling for tables, bar perches, orders, or simply angling for a better view of the displays to make the most impossible choice of what to have with my coffee? It was even worse this weekend, which struck me as odd, given we are smack in the middle of the school holiday period … do families no longer go away for holidays? It seemed as though most of Melbourne had stayed home and decided to hit cafes this weekend. I’m not good in large crowds …
Me: What is it with all the humans here this morning? It’s school holidays. Shouldn’t they all be off somewhere that’s not here, doing school holiday stuff? I want them to go away. (Turn to mum) Make the humans go away.
Me: OK that probably sounded a little strange …
Mum: Beh, forse, mah … (Well, yes, but …)
I’ll leave it there, shall I? You get the picture. Entropy and I are not comfortable companions
Perhaps it was because I had been happily cooped up in a kitchen in a French Entremets class for the two days prior. Being thrust back into the fray after that tends to bring out my inner Sheldon :p
On a positive note, the product of our labours at patisserie school was rather sensational. Here is a sneak peek …
Pretty, yes? Also rather delicious. You can view more photos and a peak inside these lovely gals on the Facebook page. After a few days of making and being surrounded by decadent pastries, I felt the need to make something light and healthy to have for breakfast or an anytime snack.
Muffins are quick and easy and I had all the good ingredients set to go. Now, you can use fresh ginger in these but frankly, I would recommend ground ginger as it is warm and not as sharp. The ginger is entirely optional and these muffins are superb sans spice but I like to add a tiny bit just to spike them. These muffins provide a decent hit of protein without the need to resort to using protein powders in the mix.
The recipe is a variation of my standard almond flour muffins. I used lupin flour as it is high in protein and fibre and gives the muffins a lovely golden colour and wonderful light texture. It also lowers the fat content considerably. I would highly recommend it, but you can substitute your preferred flour (wheat or gluten-free alternative) or use almond flour entirely.
These muffins are gluten, sugar and dairy free and full of fresh fruity flavour. If you have fructose intolerance and react to pears, substitute another fruit that you tolerate well. For some reason, a small quantity of fresh pear does not give me any symptoms so a serving of one muffin is OK for me, but we are all different.
I have included the macros for this recipe for anyone who is tracking that sort of thing, as I am wont to do.
I promise they won’t make you a total weirdo. That’s entirely up to you
Of course, I’m sitting here with my “Physics … Doesn’t BOHR Me” t-shirt on so …
This recipe is based on my standard almond flour muffins. If you don't want to use lupin flour, substitute whole wheat flour or your favourite gluten-free flour. You can also substitute almond flour for an all almond muffin.
You can use more or less ground ginger in this recipe, according to your preference. You can omit it if you do not like ginger. I like to go easy on the ginger as it can overpower other flavours, which I did not want. It's up to you. I used 1.25 grams or slightly less.
I recommend William or Packham pears for these muffins as their flavour goes so well with the lemon.
These muffins are delicious on their own or split open and spread with a little unsalted butter or filled with greek yoghurt and walnuts.
- 125 grams almond flour
- 125 grams lupin flour (or substitute almond or other flour)
- 90 grams granulated stevia sweetener (e.g. Natvia, or preferred sweetener or sugar)
- 10 grams (2 level teaspoons) gluten-free baking powder
- pinch sea salt
- zest of 1 medium meyer lemon
- 1.25 - 2.5 grams ground ginger (or to taste, it is optional)
- 52 grams whole egg (59 grams in the shell)
- 65 millilitres fresh lemon juice
- 200 millilitres unsweetened coconut milk (or almond milk)
- 150 grams diced pear
Preheat oven to 180℃. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.
In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients and whisk together.
Add the diced pear to the dry ingredient mixture and toss to coat.
Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture. Pour in the wet mixture to the dry mixture. Use a fork to lightly mix together. The mixture will still be a bit lumpy. Do not overmix your muffins to insure they will be light.
Divide the batter between the muffin liners. Bake for 20 minutes or until risen and golden.
Remove from the oven and cool slightly on a wire rack before serving. They are best served warm, as all muffins are.
The muffins can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. They can also be frozen for longer storage. Simply thaw and reheat in the microwave before serving.
I have included macros as per the recipe above, for anyone who is tracking their intake.