The following review originally appeared on Book End Babes, a website devoted to a love of reading and to learning about new authors.
Who doesn’t love to brunch? And breakfast is best served all day! I love to bake and to cook and am always trying to learn how to substitute things to make them a bit healthier. Who isn’t?
To help me on my endeavor, I invited my dear friend Allison to come on over and taste the end products. I couldn’t just make one of these items! I planned on trying out two.
Prior to Allison’s arrival, I baked up a batch of the Carrot Cake Muffins. I had never worked with whole wheat flour or coconut milk before, so I was excited to try these new ingredients! For convenience, I grabbed some pre-grated carrots and pre-cut pineapple wedges. I also decided to forego the “frosting” as I was more interested in the makeup of the muffin.
The recipe was easy to follow, though I wished that they would have specified whether these muffins should have been hand mixed or with a mixer. I used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and they seemed to have turned out okay. The dough smelled of the gluten, like a good bread dough would, and I was hesitant on whether these muffins would have a light texture when baked. I baked them up my oversized muffin pans, so I got 8 muffins instead of 12, but that was okay with me. They baked beautifully and had a tender crumb, with the texture between that of a regular muffin and a bran muffin. Allison and I had varying opinions on the taste; she liked its extra wheat taste and I wanted the spices, pineapple and carrot flavor to shine more. I’d like to try these muffins again, with the addition of more cinnamon and fresh-grated carrots to see if there is a difference.
Next, I tried my hand at the Fig and Honey Breakfast Quinoa. I had grabbed some dried figs at the store because they didn’t have fresh figs. This was a disaster on my end. My quinoa didn’t cook all the way through, despite my best efforts to remedy it by adding additional water in. The taste was good, creamy and sweet, but my quinoa just didn’t bloom. I’d like to try this one again, perhaps using a smaller pan to keep the water from evaporating as quickly. The taste was good and it did have the creaminess of oatmeal.
Disheartened by failing at the quinoa recipe, Allison suggested we try one more recipe. We made the Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pancakes with a few ingredient substitutions, as I had not shopped for all of the ingredients. We substituted chopped unsweetened chocolate for the chocolate chips and the cocoa powder. The dough was a bit thicker than traditional pancake batter and in retrospect, I wonder if we might have added a bit more coconut milk to the recipe to thin the batter. We made the first test pancake and it was a bit raw in the middle because the pancake was thick. In our second pancake, we flattened the pancake down with a spatula and it came out great! We finished the rest of the batter and made them slightly smaller than the recipe called for. These pancakes were great! The more we ate, the more we fell in love with them. I am definitely going to make these again and I’m going to try to use skim milk instead of coconut to see if it makes a difference in the batter consistency.
I’m really excited to try the other recipes in this book. Next on my list is the Bloody Mimosa. You can download Baker’s Dozen here for only $1.99.
Have you ever used whole wheat flour? What was your first impression? Has it become part of your regular routine?