575. Date Chai Muffins- #BreadBakers
Date and Chai Muffins#BreadBakers
While browsing on Facebook one night, I saw a message from Stacy the initiator of Bread Bakers group, requesting members to host the coming months. Quickly, she found hosts for August to December 2016.The only month left was July! For a long time I wanted to host but what put me off was the too technical sounding google documents and htmls and all those alien technological terms. There are files explaining how to go about it, but a mental block was making the whole task sound just too difficult. Knowing that in July I would be spending time with my son in Montreal, I quickly
“whatsapped” him asking if he will help to create the document. “Of course mum,” he replied. So, I decided to ‘jump into the deep end knowing that I don’t know how to swim’.
The next step was to go through the previous themes and decide on one. Natural Sweeteners came to mind and I wrote to Stacy that I will be the host for July. Natural Sweeteners just popped into my head at that time. After doing a bit of research, its amazing how many natural sweeteners are available. Honey and maple syrup are the fore runners. Then add sweet fruits, dried without added sugar like dates, raisins, sultanas, prunes, apricots, figs,strawberries,raspberries,goji, cherries etc. Fresh fruits like mangoes, bananas, sweet apples are widely used to add sweetness to bakes. Pumpkins, sweet potato are widely used to add natural sweetness too. You may say that sugar is natural, made from sugar cane juice. I challenged the participants not use use any processed or centrifuged sugars or high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. This included no brown, demerara, turbinado, muscovado etc as they all go through some stage of centrifuging and processing. Natural occurring sweeteners that are widely used in Indian cooking are jaggery and palm sugar. With all the hype about coconut being good for health, coconut sugar is quickly becoming a popular natural sweetener. Do scroll down and check out how fellow bakers have used natural sweeteners in their bakes.
My plan was to use jaggery in my bake but I forgot to carry the jaggery from home. Searched for jaggery in Montreal and was not really happy with the quality so I had to think of an alternate recipe.
Our stopover from Nairobi was Doha just under 2 hours, before we flew to Montreal. I bought some dates at the airport thinking my son may enjoy snacking on them. 2 weeks and the tin was not opened. I decided to use them to make muffins. This will be my 10th bake for Bread Bakers group and till date except for the buckwheat pancakes I’ve baked with yeast. Decided to make something without yeast for a change.
Hope you like my Date and Chai muffins. They tasted like Christmas cake, fruity and spicy. Hubby was really happy that he could enjoy muffins that had no sugar added. He is diabetic, but that did not mean he could gorge on them. Dried fruits without added sugar have low to moderate Glycemic Index and are a rich source of fiber, valuable nutrients and anti oxidants.
P.S. Making the google document and html links was not difficult at all. I’ve learnt something new and feel great. Thanks to my son Neel for his guidance and to fellow member Renee Dobbs(Magnolia Days) for assisting me.
Date and Chai Muffins
1 cup(lightly packed) pitted dates
½ cup raisins
½ cup prunes or apricots or any dried fruit
1 cup water
¼ cup (approx 50g) butter
¼ tsp salt
½ cup wheat flour (atta)
½ cup plain flour(all purpose flour)
1 tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
½ tsp baking powder
½ cup chopped nuts of your choice (I used walnuts)
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp chai(tea) masala*
- Put pitted dates, raisins, prunes(or any other dried fruit you use) and water in a saucepan.
- Heat it over medium low heat till the mixture becomes a thick paste. Total cooking time was about 5 minutes.
- Let the mixture cool down completely. Transfer the mixture to a big bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Line a muffin tray with cake cups or grease it lightly with butter.
- Sift the flours, chai masala, salt, baking powder and soda bicarbonate together. Add nuts and mix.
- Beat the eggs lightly. Add it to the date mixture.
- Add butter, vanilla extract and orange juice to the date mixture and mix well.
- Add the flour mixture and mix just enough to get the flour wet. Don’t over mix.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tray.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes till the tops are light golden brown. Insert a skewer or toothpick into the middle of one of the muffins. If it comes out clean, the muffins are done.
- Remove the muffins from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
- Serve with some spicy tea, coffee or with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
- * I make my own tea or chai masala (powder). Ready made chai masala is available in most stores or Indian stores.
- I chopped the apricots and prunes into big pieces after measuring them.
- Use sultanas, currants, dried blueberries instead of raisins.
- Make sure your fruits do not have added sugar to make these muffins totally without processed sugar. Most dried cranberries available in the stores have added sugar.
- I used dates that did not have any sugar syrup. They should be dry and not wet when you touch them.
- You can make them using wholewheat flour only. I added ½cup plain flour as I didn’t have enough wheat flour.
You may want to check out what other bakers have made using natural sweeteners:
- Blackberries and Honey Bread by Kidsandchic
- Cheddar Honey Flowers by Ambrosia
- Date and Chai Muffins by Mayuri’s Jikoni
- Date Sweetened Banana Bread by Herbivore Cucina
- Eggless Banana Chocochip Bread with Cranberries and Coconut Sugar by Sizzling Tastebuds
- Eggless Carrot Coconut Quick Bread by Gayathri’s Cook Spot
- Eggless Wholewheat Maple Banana Oat Muffins by Spill the Spices
- Einkorn Drop Biscuits with Peaches and Blueberries by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- English Granary-Style No Knead Bread by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Grape Bread by The Bread She Bakes
- Healthy Banana & Blueberry Bread by Baking in Pyjamas
- Honey Almond Banana Muffins by Baking Yummies
- Honey Cider Quick Loaf by Food Lust People Love
- Honey Cornbread by Magnolia Days
- Honey Oat Pain de Mie by Hostess At Heart
- Honey Pineapple Pull-Apart Rolls by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Jackfruit Honey Bread by The Schizo Chef
- Jackfruit Semolina Muffins with Jaggery by My Cooking Journey
- Mangalore Buns by Sneha’s Recipe
- Maple Bacon Cheddar & Pickle Pull-Apart Bread by A Shaggy Dough Story
- Maple Pecan Scones by Cook’s Hideout
- Maple Oatmeal Bread by A Baker’s House
- Pain au Levian avec Banane by What Smells So Good?
- Tangerine Honey White Bread by A Day in the Life on the Farm
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.