Back on the straight & narrow after a fortnight of festive Excess; tins, boxes & bars of chocolates were quickly reduced to a pile of shiny wrappers, and a delicious array of home-baked fruit cakes & mince pies were eagerly devoured…I felt quite ashamed of my lack of self control, but I’ve learnt to not feel too guilty, accept it’s Christmas & move on healthily into the New Year.
Wandering through the supermarkets in the New year I decided to pick up some reduced seasonal goods – brandy butter for 10p, five oranges for 45p and ten chestnuts for 15. I also had half a butternut squash sitting in my fridge that needed to be eaten.
Despite receiving 16 cookbooks for Christmas, I decided to turn to the internet for my source of inspiration. I found a recipe for Chestnut & Pumpkin muffins by Jan Purser from Australian Good Taste that I adapted. I gluten-freed it and omitted the sugar and used melted brandy butter (which is sweetened with icing sugar) instead. I roasted my chestnuts in the oven. I made sure that I silted them with a cross which prevents them blowing up and it also makes them easier to peel. Pre cooked & peeled chestnuts or unsweetened chestnut puree can be used for convenience.
These muffins came out moist and surprisingly sweet. The unusual combination of flavors worked really well together. A great guilt-free treat.
Squashy Chestnut & Orange Muffins (Gluten Free)
80g chestnuts, roasted & peeled
1 egg, lightly whisked
½ orange, rind finely grated & juiced
30g brandy butter, melted (normal butter + 1 tbsp fruit sugar can be used)
200g butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, grated
100g gluten-free flour (I used 25g of each of the following: glutinous rice flour, sorghum flour, millet flour, rice flour)
10g arrow root
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cardamom
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Line a muffin tin with paper or silicon cases.
2. Place the roasted & peeled chestnuts in a blender & pulverize
3. Beat the chestnut powder, egg & orange rind in a bowl until smooth. Add the orange juice & melted butter, beat to combine. Stir in the grated squash.
4. In another bowl, sift together the flours, arrow root, baking powder and cardamom. Add this to the squash mixture and use a metal spoon to fold in until just combined.
5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases & bake for 40-45mins or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.