This morning I had a brainwave, why not use strips of courgette (zucchini to most of you) to make a cross on the top of muffins? I was going to make carrot cake this Easter for the family but instead I decided to make Hot Cross Carrot Muffins instead using the spices of a Hot Cross Bun. I'm so pleased I decided to make them because they taste wonderful!!
The spices I've used are similar to the ones in my Grain Free Hot Cross Bun recipe but I've not included quite as much allspice. Don't worry about being exact with the spices, be generous with your spoonfuls!
Hot Cross Carrot Muffins GF SCD
2 medium/large carrots (about 2 rounded cups not packed)
1 small courgette (zucchini)
250g ground almonds
80g sultanas & raisins (or any dried fruit mix)
Grated rind of 1 unwaxed orange
2 large organic eggs (extra large in the US)
2 tblsps extra virgin olive oil or warmed coconut oil
80ml acacia honey
1 tblsp organic cider vinegar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 rounded tsps cinnamon
½ rounded tsp ground ginger
½ rounded tsp mace (or nutmeg)
¼ rounded tsp allspice
¼ tsp sea salt
If you need to convert these measurements or use a Fahrenheit oven setting, please see the tab at the top of the page marked measures. These are approximate though since it depends on the size of your cup. This recipe makes 12 muffins. Place some paper cases into a muffin tray.
Set the oven to 170° C (fan/convection oven). Peel and grate the carrots, at this point they weigh about 250 grams. Squeeze the moisture out with some paper towel.
Slice a piece of the courgette into thin strips.
Measure out the ground almonds, grated orange rind, sultanas, raisins, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices into one bowl and whisk together with a fork.
Measure out the honey, eggs, extra virgin olive oil and cider vinegar into another bowl and whisk together with a balloon whisk or fork.
Add the grated carrots to the dry ingredients and mix together.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix quickly because the vinegar starts to react with the bicarbonate of soda straight away and this helps the muffins to rise.
Fill the bun cases to just over half full and place two strips of courgette (zucchini) on top to form a cross.
Bake in the oven for twenty minutes then turn down the heat to 160° C for a further 10 to 15 minutes. They are cooked when a skewer inserted into the muffin comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly touched. Don't be tempted to open the door before 30 minutes. I made six with crosses and six without today.
Leave on a cooling rack to cool.