Okay, so I tried the Gâteau Sirop Muffins from the Chocolate & Zucchini site, using Canadian maple syrup instead. They weren’t very impressive. The mix was far too thin; they therefore popped out on top and did not make the promised 12 muffins. But never mind – I have now had the pleasure of adjusting the recipe, that they may be more like muffins should be (healthy), and turn out good-looking as well as good tasting!

The first thing to do was translate the recipe into terms I could understand. The cane syrup becomes maple syrup, the unrefined cane sugar becomes brown sugar, and the French spice becomes allspice.

The second thing to do was make the mixture thicker. This was done incrementally by reducing the liquid. When the recipe called for ½ cup water in which to dissolve the baking powder, I changed it to 2 tablespoons (less than half, and plenty in which to dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking soda). Even this change only produced 7 medium muffins. Then what I haven’t done yet, but will next chance I get, is to add 1/3 cup grated carrot to the mix. I’m convinced this is the missing ingredient. I have a recipe in my files that has a very similar brown sugar based mixture, but also makes the most delectable carrot cake recipe I have ever eaten!

Maple Syrup Muffins
125 mL (1/2 cup) maple syrup
85 grams (1/2 cup, packed) brown sugar
125 mL (1/2 cup) vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon allspice
120 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour, sifted
A fat pinch of fine sea salt
75 grams (1/2 cup) pecan or walnut halves, roughly chopped

Makes 7 medium muffins

(Note: To make a 20-cm / 8-inch round cake, double the recipe and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.)
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease a tray of medium muffin molds (don’t bother if they’re silicon).

In a large mixing-bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, sugar, and oil. In a small bowl, combine the baking soda and 60 mL (3 tablespoons) water and stir to dissolve. Add to the maple syrup mixture and whisk until combined. Add the egg and whisk until well combined. Add the spices, flour, and salt, and whisk until just combined. Don’t over mix — it’s okay if a few lumps remain.

Pour the batter into the muffin molds, filling them almost to the top, and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the tops spring back to the touch. Transfer to a rack to cool for 10 minutes, unmold, and serve warm or at room temperature.

NB. Add 1/3 cup grated carrot, to make it thicker and to go further.

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