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baking

“If it’s not 100 per cent pure maple syrup, it can’t be called ‘pure maple syrup.”
Nancy Greene

Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Cupcakes with Maple Syrup Cream Cheese Frosting. It’s been forever since I baked cupcakes or muffins. I bake cakes and cookies more often I guess, possibly, lazy me. Yet when Spring comes and summer is round the corner, the first thing I reach out for are these gorgeous cupcake liners a sweet friend sent me. This time I also had on hand a 100% pure maple syrup from Canada.Both the liners and the syrup inspired me to ‘cupcake’ so here we go. These cupcakes are a 100% wholegrain which is what I mostly bake with now.  I also almost always use natural sweeteners and this time I decided to use a pure maple syrup from Canada in the cupcakes. The flavours are subtle but the health benefits quite significant.Maple Syrup an excellent source of manganese and riboflavin {B2}, and a good source of magnesium and a source of calcium, potassium, sodium, copper and zinc. It offers a healthier alternative to regular sweeteners and sugar. You can easily replace white or brown sugar with an equivalent volume of maple syrup. Just reduce the quantity of liquid in the recipe accordingly {for each cup of maple syrup substituted, reduce liquid by a ¼ cup}. An alternative like maple syrup is a great addition to adding flavour and nutrition to food.It has an addictive earthy robust flavour. One sip, then another … and soon the little bottle is empty. That delicious!! Also it’s ideal for vegans. I did a version of granola with the 100% pure maple syrup and virgin coconut oil. Mmmmm! Do tell me if you’d like the recipe.

While using maple syrup is extremely easy in your morning pre-workout or post workout smoothie, I thought I’d try it in baking as well. I used it very easily in this granola I made but before that tried it in cupcakes. The cupcakes are a great on the go healthy snack, a tiffin box filler, and a great addition to the kids birthday party. That they are a 100% wholegrain and use natural sweeteners  cannot be emphasized enough.I am currently working around a #makehalfyourgrainswhole theme. You can too. Before you cook,bake or make something, look at the list of ingredients and see how you can make it better. Make each ingredient count for itself. If it says empty calories, try and work out a better alternative.For instance, for the frosting for these cupcakes I reached out for the bottle of maple syrup to see if it would work. Yes it did! Just simple cream cheese with maple syrup offered a creamy delicious earthy cupcake frosting. It’s simple changes like this that will lead you to a healthier lifestyle. Take a step at a time…

Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Cupcakes with Maple Syrup Cream Cheese Frosting
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These Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Cupcakes with Maple Syrup Cream Cheese Frosting are moist, chocolaty, and oh-so-satisfying. The frosting uses 100% Pure Maple Syrup from Canada.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 muffins 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 muffins 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Cupcakes with Maple Syrup Cream Cheese Frosting
Yum
Print Recipe
These Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Cupcakes with Maple Syrup Cream Cheese Frosting are moist, chocolaty, and oh-so-satisfying. The frosting uses 100% Pure Maple Syrup from Canada.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 muffins 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 muffins 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: muffins
Instructions
Wholewheat dark chocolate muffins
  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Place all ingredients for dry mix in a large bowl and stir well to mix. Reserve.
  3. Place all the wet mix ingredients EXCEPT buttermilk in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk for 2-3 minutes on medium high speed.
  4. Add the dry ingredients alternatively with the buttermilk in 3 lots. Stir until mixed. Don't overmix.
  5. Turn into 6-8 cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes until done.
  6. Eat as is, warm or at room temperature. Cool completely if you wish to frost them.
Maple cream cheese frosting
  1. Place cream cheese and maple syrup in a large bowl
  2. Whisk with an electric hand beater until smooth. Transfer to piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe over cupcakes.
  3. Sprinkle over maple flakes if desired.
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Wholegrain Buckwheat Orange Chocolate Chippers … the cookies get better and better with each experiment, and these were really really good {if I may say so myself}. I know because they were over before I knew it, and I could see ‘those eyes’ searching for more. And yes of course, I got photobombed yet again.

Impossible to keep this little pup away. Impossible to keep her away. She wants to be part of just about everything, no matter how mundane it might be. Bambi is the cutest little one at 5 months, just slightly less cute than our Coco. Coco is our first love of course.Anyway, back to the food talk. Most of my baking finds roots in the ingredients I have on hand, much like this bread I made not so long ago. It’s a ‘Swirled Everything But the Kitchen Sink Bread’, an interesting concept that encourages you to use anything and everything left over in the fridge. I have yet to share this recipe, but it’s an easy swirled bread, the making of which I shared on Instastories on the PAB Insta handle a short while ago. Most of my recipes are really simple and on the go. Leaves me time to play around with the camera! I took a few different shots of the cookies on different backgrounds, different settings, angles, light etc.

I went on too do a dark moody shot series too. Call me addicted to the camera!!

These cookies also used anything I had on hand. Jaggery, oats, buckwheat flour etc. I shared these Wholegrain Buckwheat Orange Chocolate Chippers there too. Do follow Passionate About Baking on Instagram as I share quick and easy recipes there on and off. Instagram’s a great place to be, so much inspiration and so much creativity.The cookies of course are the simplest two bowl cookies. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl. The wet go into the bowl of the stand mixer. Whisk both, mix both, and we’re good to go. Actually that’s just the good thing about comfort food like this. Minimum fuss, minimum clean up, maximum satisfaction.Do bake a batch when you have a little time to unwind. These Wholegrain Buckwheat Orange Chocolate Chippers will be baking before you know it. It probably takes more time just to line out the ingredients. That is one thing I always always do. Makes life simple, and you don’t miss an ingredient. I’ve learnt the hard way of course so I might as well share that tip!

Wholegrain Buckwheat Orange Chocolate Chippers
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Wholegrain Buckwheat Orange Chocolate Chippers come together in a matter of minutes, fuss free and absolutely delicious. That they are 100% wholegrain makes them a winner. Swap the chocolate chips for raisins, maybe add some walnuts, or make them coffee chocolate chip cookies. Either way, these will disappear before you know it! This is pure comfort food.
Servings Prep Time
24 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Wholegrain Buckwheat Orange Chocolate Chippers
Yum
Print Recipe
Wholegrain Buckwheat Orange Chocolate Chippers come together in a matter of minutes, fuss free and absolutely delicious. That they are 100% wholegrain makes them a winner. Swap the chocolate chips for raisins, maybe add some walnuts, or make them coffee chocolate chip cookies. Either way, these will disappear before you know it! This is pure comfort food.
Servings Prep Time
24 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Wet Mix
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. Place all the dry mix ingredients in a large bowl and stir to mix.
  2. Place all the wet mix ingredients in bowl of stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, and process for 2 minutes on speed 3.
  3. Add the dry mix and stir with paddle attachment on slowest speed for 30 seconds.
  4. Let the mixture stand/rest while you preheat the oven to 180C {15-20 minutes}
  5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  6. Place scoops of cookie dough on the parchment, 2 inches apart, 12 on each sheet. Flatten gently with the tines of a fork. {Sprinkle over a few more chocolate chips if you are feeling particularly indulgent}
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges are done, light golden brown, and the centre is still a little soft. {Bake further 5 minutes if you like crisp cookies}.
  8. Remove tray from oven, allow to stand for 5 minutes, then cool the cookies completely on the rack.
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“The oat is the Horatio Alger of cereals, which progressed, if not from rags to riches, at least from weed to health food.”
Waverley Root

Date Walnut Orange Flapjacks … squares of goodness that come together in minutes. Not sure why, but ever since I began making granola again {read every Sunday}, I’ve had flapjacks on my mind. It’s a very strange thought as it crept in without prior notice, and yesterday for some reason that’s all I wanted to bake. Every time I got up to bake cookies, I pulled out the bag of oats. Guess these were meant to be. And so was this naughtiness that crept into my frames…Little Bambi, our newest little family member who we adopted recently, had an absolute field day. She loves photobombing whenever I try and shoot. You might see here here on PAB now and then!What are flapjacks you might ask. Well  ‘flapjack, muesli bar, cereal bar, or granola bar is a sweet tray-baked oat bar made from rolled oats, butter, brown sugar and golden syrup‘ and looks like this fits in quite well with my whole grain breakfast granola sort of a theme. I guess I could have just added some granola I made this morning into a bowl, tossed it in with some other stuff, pushed it together, let it set and made granola bars.But my granola is very precious these days. It’s much in demand in parfaits so I figured it would be a shame to use it so easily  cheaply. Then again the net is overflowing with recipes of flapjack and this recipe from Food52  won me over. The ease of the recipe, the beauty of ingredients, the pantry staples all made it seem so simple.Too simple I might add. You might have caught how easy these were to make on my instastories on my Instagram handle. In any case, this is the easiest ‘stir the wet mix into dry’ procedure. And it tasted drop dead delicious with ‘toffee’ good flavours, a sweetness which soothes the soul, and a load of oats, walnuts, sunflower seeds! Oh and a burst of orange flavour!Too much of a good thing and a new way to use quick cooking oats.Ever since I began using jumbo oats in my granola, the regular bag of quick cooking oats just sits and stares at me. No longer I guess. This is another fantastic way to use quick cooking oats . I adapted the recipe to use things that I had on hand so my flapjacks had walnuts and dates. Also the zest of an orange as it was just sitting on the counter and added freshness to the otherwise monochrome palette.

Date Walnut Orange Flapjacks
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Buttery & nutty with a burst of orange, sweetly comforting and quite indulgent, these Date Walnut Orange Flapjacks are going to be showing up quite often. A recipe minimally adapted from one @food52 , it comes together in a matter of minutes.
Servings Prep Time
16 squares 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 squares 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Date Walnut Orange Flapjacks
Yum
Print Recipe
Buttery & nutty with a burst of orange, sweetly comforting and quite indulgent, these Date Walnut Orange Flapjacks are going to be showing up quite often. A recipe minimally adapted from one @food52 , it comes together in a matter of minutes.
Servings Prep Time
16 squares 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 squares 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Wet mix
Dry Mix
Servings: squares
Instructions
  1. Line a 8 X 8" square tin with parchment. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Place the butter, brown sugar and honey in a heatproof bowl and microwave for a minute until the butter has melted. Whisk well until you get a toffee like mixture.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add all the remaining ingredients and stir to mix.
  4. Pour over the toffee mixture and stir well to mix.Transfer to prepared tin, pat down into place with an offset spatula or butter knife.
  5. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until light golden brown on the edges but still soft in the centre.
  6. Cool completely before cutting into squares
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