These deceptive muffins look like Tim Horton's orange cranberry muffins, but really they're hiding a spicy secret...
THEY'RE WASABI GINGER WITH HOT CHILES!
There's one more secret...they're also VEGAN! (Can you believe it!?) :)
BONUS: If you love to go to Timmy's or Starbucks, pick yourself up some muffins and reuse the paper to wrap yours in...it will fool everyone everytime!
Step 1: What You'll Need...
Note: You can make all kinds of different muffins with the basic batter recipe (the first 7 ingredients under "Muffins"). See the last step for more ideas.
1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour (I always use unbleached)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (up to 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp) canola oil
1/2 to 1 cup (or more) small chili peppers (with sugar to coat them)...Use less of these (or different peppers) if you don't want an extreme heat, and completely omit these if you want just a wasabi ginger taste without any heat.
1 cup light mayo (aka whipped dressing or Miracle Whip--vegan)
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons lime juice
4-6 teaspoons wasabi paste (don't skimp--add more as desired--and don'tsubstitute horseradish!)
3/4 cup flour
1/4-1/2 cup sugar
7 tablespoons chilled butter
1 1/2" piece of ginger root (or more to your liking)
Ginger powder to taste (optional)
Step 2: Prepare the Muffins...
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, combine soy milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. Make the wasabi sauce by blending all of the ingredients under the "Wasabi Sauce" section of the ingredients. You should add about 2 tablespoons of water to thin it, and blend it until smooth (about 3 minutes).
5. Add your oil and the blended wasabi sauce to the dry mixture in the large bowl.
6. Add in the curdled soy milk/vinegar mixture. (This mix should look like picture one when it's ready.)
NOTE: Your muffin batter should look like picture three when it's done.
7. Slice the chiles thinly. Coat them in a little sugar (like you would for blueberries, to keep them from sinking to the bottom of your muffins). Now put them into the muffin batter.
OPTION: I really like the idea of using candied chiles in place of these ones, just to give it a different look and texture (I think they may possibly resemble dried cranberries more realistically). I found an awesome recipe for that here on Instructables: https://www.instructables.com/id/Red-Hot-Candied-Ch... Though I didn't do it because it takes awhile to candy them (and my muffins turned out delicious either way), I wanted to share that option for you if it's something you'd like to try. :)
Step 3: Crumb Topping & Bake...
1. To make the crumb topping, first peel the ginger root, place it in the blender, and pulse until small pieces are created.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and sugar from the "Crumb Topping" section. Cut in the vegan margarine. Combine it with the flour. Then add the chopped ginger root from the blender and mix again. (Note: it will look kind of like the muffin batter in consistency.) If you want a stronger ginger taste, add ginger powder in addition to the chunks of ginger. That's what I did in mine and they are DELICIOUS :)
3. Spray or line your muffin pan(s). NOTE: This recipe will make about 15-24 smaller muffins, or 8-12 jumbo muffins (like found in your favorite coffee shop. I went with jumbo muffins!)
4. Fill each muffin cup nearly full with batter (if going with jumbo muffins), or about 3/4 full for "regular" sized muffins, or 1/2 full for small muffins.
5. Optional: Add a few extra sliced chiles on top of the muffins to have them show up in the "overflow" top (looking more realistic to a cranberry-filled cafe muffin).
6. Add your crumb topping over top with a spoon or butter knife.
7. Bake for 15 minutes (More or less depending on the size of your muffins and what you put in them--if you change up the recipe. I would say checking them at 10 minutes first would be safest.)
8. When a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean (and if you do jumbo muffins, make sure to insert the toothpick ALL THE WAY DOWN), then your muffins are done.
NOTE: Do not overcook them. Do not wait for the tops to be brown--or even a dark browning on the sides--before taking them out. If you check them and the top is settled and your toothpick comes out clean, even if they look "under-cooked," they aren't. They will continue cooking within themselves once they're out, and they will develop their nice gold browning then, too.
Aren't they pretty!? ;)
Step 4: Other Flavors...
I imagine with the general base of this vegan muffin batter, that you can create an unlimited amount of deceptive and "true" muffins.
DECEPTIVE INGREDIENT OPTIONS (mix and match):
- Hot sauce of any variety and heat
- Orange marmalade or orange juice (in a spicy orange sauce)
- Rice wine vinegar
- Hoisin sauce
- Soy sauce, low sodium soy sauce, or Bragg's
- Chile pepper paste or the version with garlic
- Dijon mustard
- Vegan "Chicken" or "Beef" seasonings
- Ketchup, mustard, pickles, vegetarian patties like Morningstar Grillers, etc (for like a "cheeseburger" take)
- Pot pie ingredients like peas, carrots, corn, and a vegetarian chicken or "chicken" seasoned tofu
- Chili and cornbread ingredients like beans, chili powder, veggies, and cornmeal, etc
TRUE INGREDIENT OPTIONS (mix and match):
- Blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, etc
- Lemon poppy seed
- Orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit (citrus flavors)
- Cherry, apple, pumpkin (even like a pie flavor)
- Kiwi, pineapple, starfruit, coconut (exotic or tropical flavors)
Have fun with it and be creative!! :)
P.S. I have an awesome blueberry muffin recipe (using this basic vegan muffin batter), as well as a lemon poppy seed one. If you would like for me to post those, let me know in the comments.
ENJOY! Let me know what flavors you come up with in the comments below. Got a great story where you pranked someone with these? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS, TOO! :D