Oat & Cacao Nib Buckwheat Breakfast Muffins

Before we delve into the wonderful world of buckwheat muffins, you need to know something. I was recently invited to contribute a recipe to my Boulangerie’s 12 Cookies of Christmas blogging event. Jillian, the blogger behind the wonderful idea, has just published my submission, which is a unique little recipe for Glazed Honey, Rosemary & Ginger Polenta Cookies. Please, please, please do check out her amazing blog for recipe details and more awesome Christmas cookies by other fantastic and talented food bloggers!

That aside, we can now talk about these oat & cacao nib buckwheat breakfast gems. I’ll be upfront with you and admit that these are not your typical soft-and-fluffy cake muffins. These are dense, textured, hearty breakfast muffins studded with rolled oats and cacao nibs for a surprising crunch. In short, this is definitely a different take on your regular café-style muffins. And they make for a healthy, wholesome, fibre & protein-filled breakfast!

Right. So, I baked these for James. He was still in bed when I decided to prepare a batch of these. I wanted to make him breakfast and didn’t feel like going for a stack of unhealthy pancakes. For a change, I flipped through a recipe book (titled Cookies: Over 600 Great Recipes, published by McRae Books) and found a recipe for ‘Buckwheat Muffins’. Why there are a bunch of muffin recipes in a book dedicated to cookies, I would never know. Anyway, I tweaked the book’s recipe quite a bit to get the wholesomeness I wanted. James loved them. He particularly enjoyed the hard, crisp exterior of the muffin and the gorgeous texture brought about by the oats and cacao nibs.

I used Power Super Foods Organic Raw Pure Chocolate Nibs in this recipe. These nibs are of the premium criollo variety. Criollo represents only 5% of all cocoa beans grown and is the rarest and most expensive cocoa available on the market. It boasts a wonderful delicate flavour that isn’t too strongly chocolate, but still rich and complex at the same time. I really love how the nibs add a subtle textural crunch to the muffins.

These are best eaten fresh out of the oven, slathered with some butter or, for an even heartier breakfast and to accentuate the nutty flavour of the buckwheat, some chunky peanut butter.

Oat & Cacao Nib Buckwheat Breakfast Muffins
adapted from Cookies: Over 600 Great Recipes by McRae Books.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon hazelnut meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon rum essence
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup cacao nibs

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C and line muffin pan with paper cases.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flours, cocoa powder, hazelnut meal, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together, then slowly add the eggs. Mix well.
  4. Add the milk and continue to mix. Stir in the rum essence.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients in 3 or 4 increments, mixing well after each addition.
  6. Once mixture is fairly smooth, fold in the oats and cacao nibs.
  7. Carefully spoon batter into each muffin case. The cases should be about 3/4 full.
  8. Bake for approximately 15-18 minutes, or until the tops start to firm up and crack a little. Do not overbake!
  9. Remove from the oven and let muffins stand in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. Best served warm! :)

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