Rhubarb-Lime Cardamom with Streusel Muffins

 

Muffins are simply cake for breakfast.  My senior year of high school, Samantha would pick me up and depending on time, we would drive to a spot in town called Mostly Muffins, because they mostly had muffins there.  I rarely got one, but I salivated over the one with cream cheese frosting.  Like I said, they're just cupcakes for breakfast, and since the name is muffin--I feel like I can eat them guilt free.  

It was a rare morning when my mom made muffins as they were mostly of Jiffy box kind, but even those became scarce commodities.  It wasn't until I became a college student that I became acquainted with the ease of these little morsels.  Preheat oven, measure dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients into another, combine & pour batter into muffin cups.  Why on earth had I not monopolized them long before and started my own Mostly Muffins But Better business?

 

As a mama, I love to serve my girls through baking.  I had rhubarb awaiting manipulation in the fridge and was inspired long ago by Luna Cafe's Rhubarb-Lime Cardamom Muffins with Streusel; however, I wanted to change mine to use almond flour, coconut sugar & honey.  The rhubarb, lime zest & cardamom sit for 30 minutes to macerate the sugar, while preparing the batter & streusel.  What I found is that my love for rhubarb & cardamom are further married in my stomachs mind.  I also managed to cut the fat in the recipe as well, which lucky for all who eat--does not compromise taste.  

Underbelly of the muffins--look at that gorgeous rhubarb

 

Rhubarb-Lime Cardamom with Streusel Muffins (printable recipe)

As I stated above, these muffins are inspired by Luna Cafe.  I use blanched almond flour from Honeyville, raw clover honey & local WA rhubarb.  

Rhubarb Mixture:

2 TB honey

Zest 1 lime

1 1/2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

3/4 tsp ground cardamom

1/4 tsp ground cloves


Streusel:

3/4 c almond flour

1/2 c coconut sugar

1/4 tsp salt

3 Tb ghee, should be liquid form

Batter:

3 cups almond flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup + 2 Tb coconut sugar

3 eggs

6 Tb ghee, should be in liquid form but not hot

1/3 cup whole fat yogurt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.  

In a medium bowl, combine the rhubarb, lime zest, coconut sugar, ground cardamom, cloves & honey.  Mix to thoroughly coat and allow to sit for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, work on the streusel by combining the almond flour, salt, coconut sugar & 3 Tb ghee.  Combine together and it should resemble sand.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, work on the dry ingredients for the batter.  Combine the almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt & whisk thoroughly to even out any lumps from the almond flour.  Add the coconut sugar and mix throughout again.  

In a small bowl, work on wet ingredients for the batter.  Combine the eggs with the 6 Tb ghee and mix.  Add the yogurt and mix together.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients of the batter and mix gently to combine by using a spatula.  Add the rhubarb mixture at this point and combine till disbursed evenly.  

Line two 12-cup muffin tins with 18 muffin papers (I doubled my papers equaling two per muffin).  Scoop the batter into the muffin cups about 3/4 full.  Smooth them down, in order to put the streusel topping on.

Using your hands, place about 1-2 Tb of streusel on each muffin batter.  You will want to clump it together a bit in your hands; rather, than having a smooth layer on top.

Bake for 23-25 minutes.  I baked one sheet and then put the next one in and rotated them 180 degrees halfway through baking.  Remove from oven.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove muffins to cooling rack. Consume!

 

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting (grain free & refined sugar free)

pumpkin cake.jpg

Do you know that I love to bake? After my miscarriage, I found so much solace in the baking realm. Not everyone does, but there is always that one thing in which our souls were meant to do. It's where our abilities & creativity collide. Tsh from Simple Mom was one of the Keynote Speakers at Relevant. She quoted Eric Liddell:

God made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure.

I've always loved this quote. His words give recognition that we do not need to categorize sacredness. We are created by a creative God & each of us has a form of creativity within us that emerges. My mother in law would most likely call herself as "non-creative," but she is skilled at cleaning. Like amazing skills turning trash into treasure. When she finds that tattered pack & play & restores it anew, she finds pleasure.

God made me with an impeccable sense of taste. And when I bake, I feel his pleasure. Not only that, but I feel the pleasure of those taking that first bite & satisfaction is voiced without words. My grain & sugar free brown butter pumpkin cake does just that. Where do you feel God's pleasure?

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake with Honey-Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (printable recipe)

I made a gluten & sugar filled brown butter pumpkin cake last year prior to eating without them. This year I wanted to recreate the recipe by taking out the grains & refined sugars by using blanched almond flour & honey. My friends who don’t eat this way were singing praises.

Cake Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter, grass-fed, more for pans

Coconut flour for dusting pans

12 oz (3 cups) blanched almond flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

3/4 tsp ground nutmeg

3/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground cloves

½ cup honey

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree, (how to roast & puree pumpkin)

Honey-Cinnamon Frosting:

¼ cup unsalted grass-fed butter

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

½ cup honey

2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

Make the Cake: Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour (with coconut flour) the bottom & sides of two 9-inch round cake pans. Melt the butter in a 1 quart heavy bottomed pan, stirring occasionally until the butter turns a nutty golden-brown (around 4-6 minutes) and when it smells nutty. The browned butter will have three parts to it. The scum on the top (sounds good), the golden brown clarified butter/ghee, & the burnt milk solids at the bottom. Scrap off the scum & discard. Pour the golden brown ghee/clarified butter into a measuring cup, while trying to keep the browned bits at the bottom out of the cup. Set aside & allow it to cool.

In a large bowl, add all of your dry ingredients and whisk them together (almond flour, spices, salt, & baking soda). In a medium bowl, combine honey, eggs, & pumpkin puree & whisk thoroughly to combine. Add the browned butter to the wet ingredients to incorporate all the way. With a rubber spatula, stir in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined & fully incorporated. Divide the batter equally between the two pans.

Bake the cakes for about 30 minutes (again make use of those olfactory sensors during baking as I baked my cakes for 28 minutes, because the cake smelled done), or when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cakes cool 10 minutes in the pan. When using almond flour to make a cake, you will need to use a butter knife to run it around the outside of the cake; as well as, gently using the knife to lift up the bottom edges, to ensure it doesn’t stick when turning it out of the pan. Turn it onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make the Frosting: Take your room temperature butter & cream cheese & beat them in an electric mixer on medium-high speed (that would be a 7 on my Kitchen Aid). Add your honey & cinnamon to the mixture. A pinch of salt is lovely to add. Taste to see if you need more honey then written.

Assembling: Get a large cake plate and place one cooled cake top side down. Spread about 1/2 -2/3 cup of frosting on the cake. Take your other cake and place it top side down. Frost the top and sides with remaining frosting. Top the cake with chopped pecans. I used pecans to hide imperfections at the base of the cake (gotta love it). I kept mine in a cake dome platter for a day & then transferred to the fridge, due to the frosting.

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Day 18 :: Pumpkin Pecan Scones & Needing to Be Still

 

Last night as I stared at my screen to finish up Day 17 on INFPs & ENFPs, all I wanted to do was cry & pour out my heart of what I'm dealing with.  I did not want to write about Myers-Briggs (I know shock!).  I wanted to talk about how hard it is that tears come without a moment's notice.  And it's not just tears.  It's those tears where you feel as though the world is crashing down all around you.  Where you just want to cradle yourself & rock on the floor, because you feel like your soul is lost somewhere else.  

This morning was the same.  My girls were watching a video in the basement while I went to take a shower & more water seemed to fall from my eyes than the shower head.  The last time I remember crying like this was when my dad was in jail & he wouldn't be at my wedding.  But, he would return & this time, my baby won't.  

I can't talk about Myers-Briggs & be so clinical & textbook describing other people, when my soul goes from anger to sadness to bitterness to extreme loneliness to isolation to avoidance.  I realize that everyone deals with grief differently.  Some just go back to work thinking they cried enough & move on, but do they really move on?  Are we suppose to move on?  Knowing my ENFJness, I cannot allow to let it settle & not address it.  That would not be honoring to me or our baby.  

My friend Autumn is pregnant & her belly is glorious.  Her baby & mine would have been a mere weeks apart.  I see her beautiful, life-giving belly & wonder what my belly would look like if it weren't empty.  It was four weeks ago that I began to bleed.  It didn't stop.  I would be 9 weeks going on 10 if I were still pregnant.  

I hear words, "Be Kind to Yourself!" As I trudge ahead with MBTI & all the types for 31 days, I'm doing it more for you readers than myself at this point.  I had a hard time reconciling to be freed from this commitment.  As I was talking with my friend Tina I said, "You know how committed I am & I have a deep need to follow through; but, I have so much going on internally that I need to let out. I'm reminded how I need to create in the kitchen & simply share those creations.  To get comments like, 'Wow, I can't wait to eat that!'" Her response, "Please stop Myers-Briggs. I want my Kamille back who creates recipes & hear her.  I don't want textbook Kamille."  

That's what I've been. Textbook Kamille & it's too much. I need to be kind to myself as I continue to walk this road of grief.  I need freedom to express that right now.  I will finish what I set out to do, but finish it when I feel like I can handle it.  It could be I wake up on Thursday feeling ready to talk about Rationals (sorry friends), or not.  

God is reminding me of how much I am a deep thinker, deep feeler & creative.  Music, food, & writing fill that creative place.  My kitchen worked along side of me as I created these amazing grain-free, sugar-free pumpkin pecan scones with maple coconut butter frosting.  

 

Pumpkin Pecan Scones with Maple Coconut Butter Frosting 

I have this pumpkin pecan scones recipe, which uses gluten & refined sugar & I wanted to recreate one I could enjoy without.  This my friends is it.  You can send me your gratitude.  

Scone Ingredients:

3/4 cup whole hazelnuts

3 1/2 cups blanched almond flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tb ground flax seed

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/2 cup unsalted butter, (grass fed) cut into 1/4 inch cubes

10 medjool dates, remove pits

2 Tb warm water

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree or 1-15 oz can

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup toasted & chopped pecans

 

Frosting Ingredients:

3/4 cup coconut butter

1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or more to taste)

1/4-1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, almond milk, or coconut milk

pinch of salt

 

Scone Directions: Preheat oven to 350.

In a food processor, place the whole hazelnuts.  Process until the hazelnuts are finely ground.  It actually won't be completely fine, so if it it kind of resembles fine couscous, that's okay.  You simply don't want to over grind & get hazelnut butter.  

Add the dry ingredients to the ground hazelnuts, almond flour, baking soda, salt, flax meal, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, & cloves.  Pulse about 5 times, or till the ingredients are just combined.  Add the cut butter & pulse another 5 times, taking care to not over mix.  You will want the butter to be the size of small peas.  Take a large bowl & empty dry ingredients into the bowl, scraping the crevices with a spatula to get as much out as possible.  Set aside.

Put the food processor bowl back on & the blade.  Add pitted dates & 1-2 Tb of warm water.  Puree. You will need to scrap the edges & puree again to make it into a paste.  Essentially, you want to ensure that there are no large date chunks left.  Take a medium bowl & put the puree dates in.  Add two eggs, pumpkin puree & vanilla.  Mix the wet ingredients till thoroughly combined.  

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and with a gentle hand, mix together.  The dough will be kind of sticky (it's okay).  Add the pecans in and mix together.  

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Using an ice cream scoop or a 1/4 cup, and scoop out dough & put the big dough mound on the parchment lined paper.  Gently press down the mound, which the scones should be about the size of a baseball.  (look at picture if you're wondering).  Bake for 12 minutes, rotate pan & bake for an additional 12-15 minutes depending on your oven.

While your scones are baking, make the frosting.  In a small pan, add the coconut butter, maple syrup, pinch of salt & heavy whipping cream or coconut milk.  Stir till nice & smooth.  Once the scones are done, pour the frosting on them (they don't need to be cool).  Garnish with additional pecans.  Eat & drink with a warm beverage of choice & remember in that moment, "this is part of being kind to myself."