Chocolate-Rye Banana Muffins

One-of-a-kind 100% Rye Muffin, No Sugar Added

Happy New Year, fellow bakers and friends! The first bake of 2015 has to set the tone for the rest of the year: get out of the comfort zone and be foolish.

“When you try hard at everything you do, even if it feels utterly foolish to do so, you’re opening up future doors and possibilities that you might not be seeing in the moment,” Ed Helms said in his Cornell’s 2014 convocation speech. I totally buy into his idea that those “foolish diversions” are the real nectar of life.

How foolish or bold can you get with muffins? A lot. First, there were no white flour or sugar to speak of. Second, there was chipotle chile pepper in there to really wake up the senses in your mouth. Third, there was low-fat diary. I reconstituted liquid buttermilk by mixing water with a dry cultured buttermilk blend powder. Muffins don’t have to be boring.

More than a few changes have been made to the double chocolate chips banana muffin recipe from Scientifically Sweet that ABC bakers are supposed to bake for the January’s challenge. Please see the cheat sheet below for details. The changes are highlighted in red. Instead of all-purpose flour called for in the recipe, I used 100% rye flour in my bake. (I know I was pushing the limit here.) For those who look for gluten-free alternatives, use buckwheat flour instead. I would have used buckwheat flour but I had a difficult time finding them in the local food stores. For those who desire a conventional lighter texture in their muffins, use 50% pastry flour together with 50% rye flour as outlined in the cheat sheet.

Knock-your-socks-off moist chocolaty spicy bite

 

Granulated sugar was completely eliminated in this recipe. Honey and dates were used as sweeteners, supplementing the natural sweetness of ripe bananas and 72% cacao dark chocolate used in the muffins. Generally, honey and dates make successful sugar substitutes in baking quick breads.

You’d find a column of weight (in grams) measurements I have converted from and, in addition to, the volume measurements in the cheat sheet. I do not use volume measurements because it is nearly impossible to achieve the accuracy and precision needed in baking, and cooking, when you measure the ingredients by cups and teaspoons. How finely the food is chopped, how firmly it is packed, how rounding is done to get to the nearest common fraction can routinely throw off volume measurements by up to 15%, enough to diminish the quality of the recipes.

Maybe it is foolhardy to be a stickler for precision in the kitchen?

Darkest brown muffins wrapped in brightest red liners

 

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Dos Gatos Baking
    January 2, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Big changes! Not foolish, but daring. So how did they taste? I am a little confused about one thing… you said there was no dairy, but you used buttermilk. Was it some sort of non-dairy buttermilk replacement?

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    January 2, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    I made a correction to say: low-fat dairy. The buttermilk powder I used is a blend of sweet cream, churned buttermilk and whey protein. I added water to the dry buttermilk powder to reconstitute the amount of liquid buttermilk needed. It is not a non-dairy replacement. Sorry for the confusion. The muffins tasted as good as any muffins I've eaten, but denser in texture, as you'd expect from any rye bread.

  • Reply
    Hanaâ
    January 4, 2015 at 5:05 am

    Wow, I love how you experimented with this recipe and made it your own. Good to know that rye flour is a good substitute for AP flour (I tend to gravitate towards whole wheat flour because of the low protein in rye flour). Will definitely remember that. Also like your sugar substitution. I love honey and dates!! Your muffins look so pretty with that red parchment paper. Great job!!

  • Reply
    Hanaâ
    January 4, 2015 at 5:07 am

    And a very happy new year to you, my friend!! :o)

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    January 4, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Rye and chocolate work well together. I'm surprised they are not showing up in recipes more often. I took it to the extreme and it worked. Moderated uses of rye with chocolate will undoubtedly shine. Thanks for your kind words. All the best in the new year!

  • Reply
    Dos Gatos Baking
    January 4, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Oh, I see. Thanks for the explanation.

  • Reply
    Virginia Taylors
    January 5, 2015 at 12:56 am

    "Maybe it is foolhardy to be a stickler for precision in the kitchen?" You have me really thinking..I am such a stick to the recipe person. I rarely get adventurous with recipes perhaps this is the year for a little diversion. Love your photos and your thought provoking write up. Happy New Year.

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    January 5, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Virginia, there are no rules in the kitchen, only aspirations. Do what works for you, happy baking!

  • Reply
    Karen Kerr
    January 9, 2015 at 6:52 am

    Wow you really pushed the envelope with rye!

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    January 9, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    I'm glad I did it and happy with the new knowledge that I can

  • Reply
    sunita rohira
    January 12, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Really gutsy to use rye flour. I would never have thought about that. Feeling inspired. About the red chillies…..did the taste come through?
    Liked the use of honey and dates in place of sugar.

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    January 12, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Yes, the taste of chili was front and center. I you like anything spicy, this muffin would provide an unexpected punch, in a good sense.

  • Reply
    Judy's Bakery & Test Kitchen
    January 14, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Great muffins. Love the adventure of the rye!! Love your tulip papers, too.

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    January 14, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    Thanks, Judy. I don't know what's more exciting; experiment with rye or the red tulip paper.

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