Heading back to more familiar stomping grounds, I decided to play around with the rest of the Chobani Greek yoghurt I was sent by baking it into some lovely muffins. I dug some almond meal out from the back of the pantry, added some delicious cherry conserves I bought on my birthday, et voilà!
Almond-Cherry Greek Yoghurt Muffins (or Cake)
Makes 12 muffins, or 1 small cake
20 minutes preparation time, 30-50 minutes baking time
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (can replace up to 1/2 cup with almond or other nut meal)
2 tsp baking powder (if using almond meal, add 1/2 tsp baking soda)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup Greek yogurt (exactly one container of Chobani Plain Fat-Free Yoghurt, 170 grams)
1/2 cup neutral oil (I used rice bran oil)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup cherry conserves (or other fruit jam)
1/3 cup slivered almonds (or matching nuts)
2 mixing bowls
Muffin trays or cake tin
Whisk and spatula
Preheat your oven to 180C.
Place all of the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix to combine.
The original recipe (and my usual lemon-yoghurt cake recipe, which I don’t seem to have blogged yet) uses just normal flour. Since I’m in a “let’s use everything up!” mood, I dug around in the pantry and found some almond meal (probably for macarons) and slivered almonds (definitely for protein bars). After googling a bit, I found that almond meal is a common replacement for normal wheat flour in gluten-free or high-protein cooking. You can substitute it one-for-one, but need to add “more leavening” to make up for the lack of gluten.
I’ve been having the most terrible time as a baker, I keep forgetting that sugar is a “wet” ingredient. SO embarrassing. I didn’t forget this time, so don’t you go doing it yourself! Speaking of embarrassing, I forgot the vanilla and salt in the ingredients picture, hence the little inset.
Now put your wet ingredients (starting with the sugar!) into another bowl, and mix those until combined.
Sure, you could add the yoghurt in the previous step, but look how thick it is straight out of the container! I also feel obliged to say that since Chobani yoghurt has 13 grams of protein in each container, this kind of makes these muffins healthy.
… maybe. If you’re into low-gluten, high-protein sort of things.
Anyway, whisk everything until it’s lovely and smooth and contemplate health food later.
It wouldn’t be the end of the world if you did it the other way around, but it would make mixing things more messy. Also, because of the almond meal, you don’t have to worry as much about creating excess gluten via over-mixing :D
Optional: Reserve about 1/4 cup of the batter at this point. If you don’t mind your muffins being tinted pink all the way through, you can skip this step.
Scoop the rest of the batter into your prepared muffin or cake tin, then gently spoon the cherry-almond mixture on top. I found this helped the cherries and almonds stay suspended in the middle of the muffin, and made the muffin tops gloriously glossy.
Yes, you could just mix the conserves and nuts straight into the batter, but I dunno. I wanted to try this method out, so I did :)
Then bake until done! My muffins came out a bit too dark for my liking, so I’d start checking them after about 20 minutes. For a whole cake, start checking around 30 minutes.
Cool them on a rack for about 10 minutes before removing them from the pan.
And there you go! The almond meal added a nice “weight” to the muffin, and the slivered almond pieces provided a little crunch. The sweet-tartness of the cherries was enhanced by the yoghurt, which also kept the muffins tender and moist.
Even though the original recipe called for full-fat yoghurt and I used fat-free, I don’t think it would affect the end product too much. It would probably taste a little richer, maybe puff up a little more, but the contrast of the gooey top, soft crumb and nutty crunch is enough going on in such a little package.
Have you ever improvised on a recipe? What are your favourite flavour combinations?
Disclaimer: Chobani plain fat-free yoghurt was kindly provided by Chobani and Fleishman-Hillard PR. This post was not solicited, and reflects the honest opinion of the writer. Sefie adapted the recipe herself based on ideas found through internet research (but is not sponsored by Google alas).