Easter Holidays are over! Chocolate Fruit & Nut Muffins


Baking away the end of Easter holiday blues!

Hmmm time to hit the kitchen and do some treat baking to cheer us all up but what to choose… my recent obsession with macaroons has been slightly appeased by finally baking a beautiful pink batch for Great Nanny’s Easter present so I think I’d best choose something else. 

Difficult choice driven I think by the fact that we have just been away and the cupboards are full of almost empty packets!  Lets see… Ground Almonds, couple of eggs, flour, sugar, oats, left over easter chocolate, veg oil and some questionable looking sultanas.  (Aaaah the macaroons are calling me).  Oooooh I know The Littlest Peachicks Chocolate Fruit & Nut Oaty Muffins!   

Perfect for lunchboxes, breakfast, afternoon tea, picnics alike these are soft, moist and full of things that are good for you like almonds, oats & sultanas.  Made with vegetable oil instead of butter makes them dairy/soya free and much lower in fat. Sadly I think the addition of the melted chocolate over the top probably cancels all that out but you could just leave it off.  Then again…!  


Ingredients 

                     

2oz Oats

1 egg

4oz sultanas

1/2 oz cocoa powder 

2 1/2 oz Vitalite

1oz vegetable oil

2oz sugar

2oz ground almonds plus (1tsp baking powder)

2oz self raising flour

1tsp vanilla extract.


Handful of chopped nuts or dark chocolate chunks/chips (optional)



Method


Put the Oats in a heatproof bowl and add just enough boiling water to cover them.  Leave them to soak up the water and cool down a little.  Around 5-10minutes.

Next cream the Vitalite, vegetable oil and sugar together in a bowl.  It doesn’t look like there is a lot of mixture at this stage but I promise it will be enough to make 10 small muffins!

Add the cocoa powder and whole egg to the bowl and mix well.  I find that adding the cocoa powder at the same time as the egg stops the mixture splitting.

Sift in the flour, almonds and baking powder and stir gently.  When just about mixed in add the rest of the ingredients (soaked oats, sultanas & chocolate chunks/nuts) and once again stir until just combined. 


Finally half fill (10ish) muffin cases and pop in oven for 20-25mins at 160 C

My oven is a little tempermental with its temperatures so your cakes may take a little over or under the time just keep checking them.  A skewer should come out clean from the middle of the muffin aside from any melted chocolate from chunks/chips you threw in!

And here are the little beauties, decorated by the Peachicks themselves with melted chocolate & sprinkles!



Who can resist little Easter chick feet cupcakes?
I know what your thinking… that doesn’t look like dark chocolate… call the allergy police…

Well I have to confess you’d be right.  The Peachicks snaffled the dark chocolate meant for the

tops of their cakes but I managed to scrape together enough milk chocolate to decorate these 3!



I should just add we do have the luxury of being able to use regular dark chocolate that is labelled as dairy/soya free recipe but that may contain traces of milk/soya.  If you can’t use it just leave off the chocolate from the top and replace the chunks with dried cherries!



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