|Photo courtesy of Cara's Cravings|
Let me give you the link first. I found this at Cara's Cravings. She is a woman after my own heart - trying to balance indulgence while still being nutritiously responsible. As I browsed her recipes, I think she may have found the perfect combination!
Now, my thoughts on the recipe: First, I was intrigued on how someone could come up with such an interesting and delicious muffin with all the healthy ingredients and NO BUTTER! (Paula Deen just gasped.) But I had everything listed on hand minus cherries and stevia, was having a chocolate cake craving, and, due to health issues recently, I've decided to eat cleaner. (I've decided this several times before, but that was more for weight and vanity. Now I'm fighting for health, so I hope that's better motivation.)
I was super pleased with the turnout and simplicity of this recipe. The only change I consciously made was to use dried cherries instead of fresh because they are expensive and not in season right now. I worried this would be a big deal, but it was minor compared to the rest of my
I missed that this called for chocolate goat cheese. This is probably because I had never heart of it and even had a hard time finding it online. So the recipe was made with plain goat cheese.
Also, there's a step in the recipe that had me mix an egg yolk with the goat cheese, and I wondered why I was doing that if the goat cheese was just going to be mixed in with the wet ingredients anyway. I was even going to comment about that on the recipe blog. Turns out, I wasn't supposed to mix the goat cheese with the wet ingredients: I was to SET IT ASIDE to put in the middle of the muffins. Oops. Pretty sure this was a super important part of the muffin, but my turnout was still okay. I look forward to trying it her way with my plain goat cheese (because chocolate goat cheese can't be found) next time.
Also, I spend $6 on a small container of stevia sugar and was super irritated to realize that the recipe only called for a 1/4 of a teaspoon of stevia. THEN I realized that it called for stevia extract. I thought that this meant some kind of liquid, Googled it, and realized it WAS the stevia sugar. 1/4 teaspoon. Seriously. Why is this needed??? This is not rhetorical: If someone who cooks with stevia often knows, please enlighten me.
Finally, right before I put the muffins in the oven and after realizing I was to have used chocolate goat cheese, I decided there wasn't enough chocolate in there and threw some chocolate chips on top. This was stupid. The chocolate chips burned. I will add 1/2 c to the batter next time, though. The ones that didn't burn did give the muffin the chocolate kick it needed.
Oh, and my dried cherries worked out fine. To think that was the part I was worried about. But, seriously, I really do like these and will make them again making the following changes:
- adding the 1/2 c chocolate chips to the batter because I can't find chocolate goat cheese
- following the directions, especially the part about not mixing the goat cheese mixture with the batter and saving it to put in the middle of the muffins
- cooking them a minute or two less (Mine were a bit dry, but this could have been due to my recipe changes.)
- still using dried cherries (Saves a lot of $$$ and time)
- leaving out the stevia if I don't have any unless someone explains to me otherwise why I shouldn't (Of course, I have pretty much the entire canister left after using only 1/4 tsp.)
Mostly, I'm super happy that there is a chocolate cake-like recipe that is actually good for me and tastes good, too. The only bummer part is that the batter is not so good, so the whole licking the bowl thing didn't happen.
So here's the link to the recipe again. It's worth giving it a try because it's easy, inexpensive, curbs a chocolate craving, and quite healthy.