We spent the Thanksgiving holiday in Southern California, far away in body and spirit from our traditional celebration in Maine that included post-brunch pond hockey at Family Ice in Falmouth. Well that’s not exactly true. Ice hockey was replaced by surfing beach volleyball, and the fantasy of a family Ultimate game (Gus forgot his Frisbee….)
Café Zinc in Laguna was a happy “find.” They offer a variety of egg dishes (with a side of conventional or GF toast), make excellent cappuccino, and serve better than average pastries, including a tasty GF muffin. In fact the muffin is tastier than most of the other pastry. Below is my attempt to recreate it in Maine.
Which reminds me: where are the in-house taste testers when you need them?! Experimental baking was a LOT easier when the boys and their friends were constantly in and out. Today’s saving grace is my Discussion Group meeting – those gals are pretty willing to sample things coming out of the kitchen.
“Laguna Beach” Almond Breakfast Muffins
Makes 12 regular sized muffins
4 oz. Almond Paste (grated or torn into small pieces.)
3 oz. (approximately 1/3 cup) brown sugar
2 Large Eggs, room temperature
½ cup oil
5 oz. GF Flour Mix
1 oz. chestnut or sorghum flour
½ t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
1/8 t. salt
¼ cup whole milk (room temp.)
(Feel free to substitute sour cream or buttermilk. Each will give you a different consistency.)
3 oz. currants or chopped raisins
1 t. orange zest (optional)
Oven: 350 F; muffin pan prepared with paper liners or sprayed with oil. Rack set in the middle of the oven.
(You’ll note that I used one that creates mini “bundt” cakes. I like the post in the center because it allows the GF batter to cook evenly – no goopy centers.)
- In a Kitchen Aid style mixer (or with a hand mixer) mix the almond paste and sugar until evenly blended.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition to blend.
- Add the oil and mix to blend.
- In a small bowl combine the dry ingredients. (Your flour mix should equal a generous cupful.)
- Add the flour mix to the almond/sugar/egg mixture alternately with the milk, in thirds, ending with the dry ingredients. Scrape down the bowl as necessary.
- Fold in the currants with a rubber spatula.
- Pour the batter into the muffin pan at least ¼ inch from the top.
- Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and slightly firm to the touch.
- Let rest in the pan for 5-10 minutes before removing, or cool completely.