Yesterday, I made these festive Spelt chocolate ricotta muffins with dark chocolate chips! They are incredibly amazing & wonderfully delicious in the mouth! I used fresh sheep’s ricotta in them! :) Go on,…Indulge yourself,…You so deserve it because of all the Christmas gifts packaging & decoration! ;)
The muffins make an ideal breakfast & are not too sweet either! Just the way, I like them! They really fill you up! A lovely breakfast muffin!
Ricotta is originally no real cheese. It is a byproduct of cheese. It is an Italian whey cheese made from sheep (or cow, goat or Italian water buffalo) milk whey left over from the production of cheese. Like other whey cheeses, it is made by coagulating the keratin proteins that remain after the casein has been used to make cheese. Thus, ricotta can be eaten by persons with casein intolerance.
Ricotta (literally meaning “recooked”) uses whey, the liquid that remains after straining curds when making cheese. Most of the milk protein (especially casein) is removed when cheese is made, but some protein remains in the whey, mostly albumin. This remaining protein can be harvested if the whey is first allowed to become more acidic by more fermentation (by letting it sit for 12–24 hours at room temperature). Then the acidified whey is heated to near boiling. The combination of low pH and high temperature denatures the protein and causes it to precipitate out, forming a fine curd. Once cooled, the curd is separated by passing through a fine cloth.
Ricotta curds are creamy white in appearance, slightly sweet in taste, and contain around 13% fat. In this form, it is somewhat similar in texture to some cottage cheese variants, though considerably lighter. It is highly perishable. However, ricotta also comes in aged varieties which are preservable for much longer.
I find fresh sheep’s ricotta to be much lighter & more low-fat than the cow’s one! I am lactose-intolerant & find that I can eat the fresh sheep’s ricotta without any problem!! So if you are lactose-intolerant, test in small doses!
Recipe: For 16 larger flower-shaped muffins
* Dry Ingredients:
130 gr wholemeal spelt flour
130 gr white spelt flour
150 gr coconut sugar or dark raw cane sugar ( you can use up to 200 gr )
3 teaspoons of baking powder
60 gr raw cacao powder
170 gr dark chocolate chips at least 80% cacao
* Wet Ingredients:
235 gr fresh sheep’s ricotta, well-drained
2 large organic eggs, beaten loose with a fork or whisk
320 ml unsweetened soy milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract/ I use home-made!
57 gr of cooled melted soy baking margarine
1. Take 2 oven racks out of the oven & place Silpats on them. Preheat your oven to 180° C ( 350 F ) for 10 minutes. I always use a fan oven!
2. In a large bowl, ad wet ingredients first. So, add ricotta & whisk it loose with a whisk! Secondly, add beaten eggs & whisk it well through your ricotta. Add vanilla extract, soy milk & cooled melted baking margarine. Mix it well through with a wooden spoon. Set aside.
3. Take another bowl & add dry ingredients. Place a sieve above the bowl & add the 2 flours. So, you sieve the wholemeal spelt flour, white spelt flour & cacao powder. Mix gently with a wooden spoon. Add baking powder & coconut sugar & mix it gently to keep the air in!
4. Add wet ingredients to the dry. Do not over mix! Finally, fold in the dark chocolate chips, all evenly divided! Take your oven racks with Silpats on them & place onto each Silpat or baking sheet a clean flower-shaped silicon mould. I use Silicon baking mats so I don’t have to grease my muffin holes because they are non-stick! I have used many silicon baking material but I find that only 1 brand is fantastic & that is Silikomart! Place your batter into each flower-shaped muffin hole for 3/4! Fill the remaining holes & see that you have dark chocolate chips into each hole! When every hole is filled up, shake a bit with the muffin mats to remove any air bubbles! Place into the hot oven & bake for about 20-25 minutes until baked through or a small pin inserted into the middle of the muffin, comes out clean! Mine took me 25 minutes. When ready, turn oven off & with oven gloves on, carefully remove the oven racks from the oven. Place them on the kitchen counter to cool down. For a lovely shine on the muffins, leave the muffins for about 10 to 15 minutes into the silicon baking mats. When the 15 minutes are over, carefully flip them out of the oven mats & turn them over. You will see the lovely flower-pattern on top! Cool, hey? Place them on wire racks to cool down completely! When completely cool, store in a cake tin!! They are fantastic in flavor, rich & very chocolately too! xxx
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