Bread, Breakfast, Cake, fruit, lunch, Recipes, Vegan

Chia Olive Oil Muffins with Caramelized Peaches [Vegan]

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In the world of all the “superfoods” out there, chia seeds seem to be the next big thing. While I’m not one for fads, I can’t say I wasn’t intrigued; the promise of more energy, lower cholesterol, aiding digestion, and a multitude of other health benefits drew me in. I bought a bag at Whole Foods and tried it for a few days, adding a spoonful or so to every meal.

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The seeds themselves are, well, pretty tasteless. Think in terms of poppy seeds; they add a nice crunch but not much else in the flavor department. And as for using it as an energy booster, well anything I could use to boost my energy can easily be trumped by the amount of hours I spend at work, leaving me tired at the end of any day. What I DO like about them is their amazing ability to absorb water; chia seeds can absorb 9 times their weight in water, leaving a gelatinous by-product that could easily replace eggs as a binder in baked goods. The moment I heard this I knew it was time to hit the kitchen.

In this recipe I used a combination of almond flour, olive oil, brown sugar, and lemon zest, leaving me with a nutty, fruity, and tender muffin, great for any breakfast on the go.

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I couldn’t resist adding a bit of tartness to it, so peaches it was! You could really eat these muffins with any fruit, but I love the lacquered sheen of these peaches once they’re cooked. It adds a nice amount of acidity and sweetness that I think pairs well with the nuttiness of the muffin.

Chia Olive Oil Muffins with Caramelized Peaches

Makes 5 muffins

10 g whole chia seeds

50 g water

125 g almond flour

62 g cake flour

4 g baking powder

1 g salt

60 g extra virgin olive oil

40 g organic brown sugar, plus more for peaches

28 g water

3 g vanilla extract

about 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

2 ripe peaches

In a small bowl, stir together your chia seeds with 50 g of water, and let sit for 20 minutes until it forms a gel. Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease a medium-sized muffin tin with olive oil or line with cupcake liners. Sift together your almond flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together your extra virgin olive oil, brown sugar, 28 g water, vanilla extract, and lemon zest until combined. Whisk in your gelled chia seeds, water and all. Whisk in your dry ingredients, just until combined. The batter will look a bit lumpy and thick, like oatmeal. Distribute batter into your muffin tin, filling each well about 3/4ths of the way up and smoothing out the top. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan completely before removing. Store at room temperature.

For caramelized peaches: Set your oven to broil and place a rack on the highest level of your oven. Cut peaches in half and remove pit. Place peach halves on a lined sheet pan and cover the tops of each half with an even layer of brown sugar. Put under your broiler for 3-4 minutes, until all the sugar is melted and bubbles, and the peaches look shiny and lacquered. Let cool completely, then peel off skin (this should be easy since the peach is cooked) and cut into slices. Enjoy!

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Bread, Breakfast, fruit, Recipes

Cherry, Almond, and Cream Cheese Brioche

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If I had to pick my favorite kind of bread, brioche would definitely be up there at the top. There’s no question as to why I would want to make these rich, buttery babies. At work we make brioches that we top with almond cream and either peaches or pears. Today I wanted to make use of what was left of our summer fruits, so cherries it was!

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The brioche I made today are quite similar to cheese danishes, and just as buttery. I used a recipe from one of the books we used for school, and the dough is really wet, so maybe next time I make it I would reduce amount of butter (sigh, I know).

Brioche dough

recipe adapted from Professional Baking, 5th edition

makes 14

65 g milk

15 g yeast, fresh

60 g bread flour

150 g eggs (3 large, plus more for egg wash)

240 g bread flour

15 g sugar

6 g salt

210 g butter

Heat milk until it is lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in milk, then mix with 60g bread flour. Keep in oiled bowl, covered with plastic wrap, and let ferment until doubled in volume.

Place dough in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. On medium speed, paddle in eggs one at a time, until eggs have been fully absorbed. Add 240g flour, sugar, and salt to dough, and mix until combined. Switch out paddle and change to dough hook attachment. Knead dough in mixer 3-4 minutes, then add butter a little at a time with mixer running, and mix until dough is completely uniform. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350F. Divide dough into 14 even portions, roll out each portion into a ball, and keep rolls about 2inches apart on a oiled and lined sheet pan.

For cream cheese/almond filling:

227 g cream cheese

115 g marzipan or sweetened almond paste

fresh cherries, halved and pitted

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together cream cheese and marzipan until ingredients make a smooth paste, then keep creaming until mixture looks light and airy. Use your fingers to make a small well in the center of each roll, and with the filling in a piping bag, pipe a small amount of filling into the wells of each roll. Top each with half of a cherry, lightly pressing on the cherry to keep it secured in place.

Let dough proof until it almost doubles in size, then egg wash. Bake 350F for 25-30 minutes.

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