Chocolate chip caramel muffins (v)

A vegan, mostly whole foods muffin that has mellow hints of caramel and a generous supply of dark chocolate chips.

Makes 12 muffins.


Food processor or high-speed blender required for blitzing the cashews and dates.

15 - 30 minute soaking time required for the cashews and dates.


Author: Bite-sized thoughts.


Original post (with pictures) here.


Ingredients:

65g (1/2 metric cup) raw cashews

65g (1/2 metric cup) medjool or deglet noor dates

15 ml (1 tbsp) apple cider vinegar

235ml (1 metric cup minus 1 tbsp) non-dairy milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond)

195g (1-1/2 metric cups) plain flour or spelt flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp coconut sugar

1 tbsp lucuma powder (omit or use extra coconut sugar if you don't have lucuma)

5ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence

65g (1/2 metric cup) dark dairy-free chocolate chips


Chocolate chips, extra, for sprinkling, if desired


Method:

1. Combine the cashews and dates in a large heat-proof bowl or saucepan and cover with boiling water. Set aside to soak for 15 to 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 175'C (350'F) and prepare a 12-pan muffin tray.

Combine the apple cider vinegar and non-dairy milk and set aside. (I usually do this by adding 1 tbsp of vinegar to the bottom of a 1 cup measure and then filling it with milk.)

2. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, coconut sugar and lucuma powder in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

3. Drain the soaked cashews and dates and add to a food processor or high-speed blender along with the vanilla. Process until fairly smooth, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add about 1/4 of the vinegar-milk mix and process just to loosen the date mixture.

4. Add the cashew-date mixture and remaining milk to the flour mix. Stir well to combine. Add the chocolate chips and stir through.

5. Use a dessertspoon to divide the batter across 12 muffin pans. Sprinkle with extra chocolate chips if desired.

6. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.


Allow to cool before serving and beware of hot chocolate chips if you're impatient!


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