Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Blood Orange Cardamom Muffins

With Spring comes something new.  Something fresh and beautiful.  Flowers, lambs, a lot of babies, and for me, a brand new way to bake.  You may question my linking these things together, but in my life, my baking is one of the central elements  When something comes along and makes that baking better and more efficient, well sister, that's a beautiful thing!   Shauna, of glutenfreegirl  fame, has organized a movement among bloggers to start baking using a scale as opposed to measuring by volume.  It is called The Gluten Free Ratio Rally.  Serious and professional bakers (and I'm pretty sure Europeans) have always used scales.  I started using a scale about a year ago, off and on, but kept measuring for the blog.  I just wanted to make sure that readers would find my recipes user-friendly.  Now, however, I tend to feel as if I am doing you all a disservice in not printing my recipes the way that I create them; using the trusty scale.

There is a solid and quite obvious reason one should weigh her ingredients.  It's more precise.  If you are a baker then  you understand how important precision is to the outcome of your creation.  When you weigh them out there is less of a chance that you have scooped out the brown rice flour or the sugar differently than the person who created the recipe you are following.  He or she may have poured the flour into the measuring cup whereas you might drag the cup sideways to fill it up.  These differences matter.  They matter quite a bit.  Plus, when you use a scale you cut down on the mess and the clean-up.

However, the most important reason to join us in this revolution is how liberated you will feel.  It's like someone literally gave you the formulas for anything you want to bake and said  "Go for it!".  You create the flavor combination you think would be fabulous, follow the base of the ratio for that item, tweak it as you see fit, and Voila'!  You've just written a recipe.  How does it feel?  Pretty cool, huh?

Shauna showed us the way by introducing the book by Michael Ruhlman, Ratio.     In his book, Ruhlman gives the standard ratios to various types of baked goods.  So, The Gluten Free Ratio Rally is Shauna's vision of putting out into the blogosphere an invitation to join and create a different recipe each month being guided by Ruhlman's ratios.  This month, for example, we did Quick Breads.  The ratio for quick breads is 2 parts flour, 2 parts liquid, 1 part egg and 1 part fat.  Please visit Silvana Nardone's blog for a comprehensive list of all the participants and links to their recipes for this month's installation of The Gluten Free Ratio Rally.

When coming up with my quick bread recipe I first thought about what was currently in season.  Cooking and baking in season is a way to send your flavors into orbit.  In a good way.  Blood Oranges, for example, are humming with taste right now.  The best way to take this sweetness onto another level is to pair them with a complimentary flavor.  Something that highlights the taste, not cover it up or confuse the taste buds.  I chose cardamom.  Cardamom is always fabulous with Blood Oranges.  Its peppery goodness can be overpowering,  so use caution.  But, on the flip, the right amount seems to just hang out underneath the oranges and give them a bit of a knee-up making the flavor sing.  And Sing.  And SING.

My ratio had to be tripled,  because people,  I have A LOT of kids.  And a great BIG hubs!  They love to eat and really love to eat the baked things I make.  And I love that! So, bring it...

When you're looking at the ratio, Ruhlman suggests you begin with the eggs.  A large egg weighs 2 ounces so you start there.  A batch of 18 muffins requires just 2 eggs.  So, I went from there.  That would just double the ratio and I needed to triple it to make that many muffins.  But, I knew 3 eggs could handle the flour, so I just adjusted the rest.  Tripled the flour, the liquid (fresh Blood Orange juice and soy yogurt), and the fat.   That's 12 oz gluten free flour blend, 12 oz liquid, 4 oz eggs, and 6 oz fat.  I, however, use grams.  It's just a personal preference.  If you try this recipe, let me know how it went.  And let me know if you have any questions.  I'm here to help!

  Gluten/Dairy Free Blood Orange Cardamom Muffins  

170 g brown rice flour
113 g sorghum flour
85g tapioca starch
2tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp Egg Replacer
1 1/2 tsp cardamom
170 g Earth Balance, softened
208 g white sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
zest of 2 Blood Oranges
8 fl oz fresh squeezed juice of Blood Oranges
113 g plain soy yogurt, room temperature
142 g dried cranberries, reconstituted for 15 minutes in warm water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin tins with paper liners.

Whisk together dry ingredients from brown rice flour until cardamom.  In a stand-mixer, cream together the Earth Balance and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.  Mix for 1 minute on high speed.  You want to get those eggs ready to do their leavening job by putting air into them.  Blend in the orange zest.

In a small bowl, mix together the orange juice and yogurt.  Alternate adding this mixture and the dry ingredients into the stand-mixing bowl with the Earth Balance, sugar, and eggs.  Begin and end with the wet ingredients, mix thoroughly after each addition.  Fold in the cranberries by hand.

Using an ice cream scoop, drop the batter into each muffin tin, filling 3/4ths full.  Sprinkle raw sugar on top of each muffin filled muffin tin.  Place in center of preheated oven and bake for 18-25 minutes.  You'll know they're done when a skewer poked into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Remove from oven and place on wire cooling racks for 5 minutes.  Then place each muffin on the wire rack to cool completely.  Dig in and enjoy!!

These are the freedom fighters for the Gluten Free Ratio Rally.  Check them out and Happy Baking!

Mrs.R of Honey from Flinty Rocks made Lemon Lavender Muffins with Lavender Sugar             
Alisha of GF Mostly Vegetarian made a Sweet Potato Breakfast Loaf
Amanda of Gluten Free Maui made Classic Banana, Oat, and Pecan Quick Bread
Amie of The Healthy Apple made Gluten-Free Agave Apricot Quick Bread
Britt of GF In The City made Date & Walnut Bread
Brooke of Bell Wookie made Double Chocolate Cherry Muffins
Caleigh of Gluten Free[k] made Cardamom Banana Bread
Caneel of Mama Me Gluten Free made Peach Poppyseed Bread
Caroline of The G Spot Revolution made Orange Spice Bread with a Vanilla Glaze
Claire of Gluten Freedom made Piña Colada Muffins with Coconut-Rum Glaze and Toasted Coconut
Danna of Sweet Dees Gluten Free made Blood Orange Cardamom Muffins

Elana of Elana’s Pantry made Almond Flour Muffins
Erin of Mysteries Internal made Strawberry Yogurt Muffins
Erin of The Sensitive Epicure made Chocolate Chip & Walnut Muffins with Streusel
Flo of Makanaibio made gluten-free muffins
Gretchen of Kumquat made a Gingerbread Fig Loaf
Irvin of Eat The Love made Gluten Free Glazed Meyer Lemon Muffins filled with Slow Roasted Balsamic Red Wine Strawberry Jam
Jenn of Jenn Cuisine made Chestnut and Chocolate Quickbread
Karen of Cooking Gluten Free made muffins
Kate of Kate Alice Cookbook made Raspberry Banana Crumble-Top Muffins
Kate of Gluten Free Gobsmacked made Mocha and Chocolate Chip Muffins
Lauren of Celiac Teen made a Cocoa Quickbread
Lisa of Gluten Free Canteen made Almond Cherry Berry Banana Muffins, Gluten Free
Lisa of With Style and Grace made a Rosemary Lemon Quick Bread
Marla of Family Fresh Cooking made Sweet Strawberry Snack Cakes
Mary Frances of the Gluten Free Cooking School made Cranberry Orange Bread with Cream Cheese Icing
Meaghan of The Wicked Good Vegan made Vegan Gluten-Free Apricot-Orange Bread
Melanie of Mindful Food made Almond Joy Muffins
Nannette of Nannette Raw made Chai Muffins
Robyn of Chocswirl made Brown Butter Apple Spice Muffins with Pecan Nut Streusel
Shauna of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef made Lemon Poppyseed Bread with Ginger Glaze
Silvana of Silvana’s Kitchen made Chocolate-Coated Marshmallow-Topped Vanilla Cupcakes
Tara of A Baking Life made Caramelized Banana Bread with Pecan Streusel
Wendy of La Phemme Phoodie made Cheesy Apple Butter Bread with Garlic Powder
Winnie of Healthy Green Kitchen made Banana Bread


  1. Thank you for some good ideas that are dairy free too!

  2. Ain't that the truth, Karen! So many of us out there cannot tolerate dairy due to the damage that has been done from the gluten...Thanks for reading. Happy Baking! ...Danna

  3. Nice! Dairy free muffins with cardamom is such a great idea. Thanks!

  4. They look wonderful and what a great flavor combination! Mmmm blood oranges and cardamom sound fantastic together :)

  5. Lisa and Jenn, This has been so fun! Can't wait for next months installation. But, first I need to get busy reading all of these beautiful recipes! Yummy!

  6. Freedom fighters, I love it! :) I kept checking the link to your post yesterday and wanting to see this recipe - I'm glad it's working now - these look delicious! :)

  7. Thanks for your persistence, Caneel! I was so frustrated with myself...Keep fighting GF Sister!

  8. I love the flavors you used for these muffins, Danna. Cardamom and cranberries are one of my favorite combos. And quite the impressive domes on them! (I'm a big muffin top-lover.) Lovely!

  9. Love it, Danna. Such a perfect recipe that's right up my alley! Gluten-Free n' Dairy-Free...can't ask for much more. I'm looking forward to trying these. So happy to be a part of this Rally with you!

  10. Tara: Muffin tops are a MUST! My 3 y.o. already rips off the tops and comes back to the rest later...Do you think that's in here DNA??
    Apple: Let me know if you make these! I would love to hear what you think! Thanks for stopping by.

    What an amazing ride this is, huh ladies?! Love it!

  11. After reading everyone's posts I'm realizing I'm not to adventurous with my ingredients :) Blood oranges sound great and dairy free is a huge bonus!

  12. Thanks so much for stopping by! I know this ratio rally is helping us all become better bakers and stretching our's a beautiful thing! Ready for next month?

  13. these sound so good! I admit to never trying blood orange before... I'll be keeping an eye out for them. I'm so happy to be introduced to you and your site via the ratio rally! This is so much fun.

  14. Melanie, So happy to hear from you! Yes, Blood Oranges are in season right now and you can probably find them at a natural foods store if you have access to one. I will be checking out your sight as well! Thanks for commenting..

  15. Re.: In a stand-mixer, cream together the Earth Balance and sugar until fluffy.

    You don't tell us how much sugar to use.

  16. Yowza, Adrienne! Thank you so much for bringing that to my attention! It's 208g of white sugar.


I look forward to any and all comments from readers. Feel free to correct me, enlighten me, and encourage me!