Sunday, August 11, 2013

Gluten-Free Black Magic Muffins + Recipe

This is the first recipe I've made with the elderberries I got last week!  The dark purple elderberries give the muffins a slight crunch and compliment the chocolate nicely.  The muffins are 'black magic' muffins because the elderberry shrub is believed to have magical properties in both ancient and modern times (Harry Potter fans may remember the powerful Elder Wand, which was made from an elderberry shrub).

If you plan to cook with elderberries, be sure that you have berries (or flowers, which are also edible) from the Common Elderberry (Sambucus nigra).  The berries should not be consumed raw, but must be cooked first.  For further reading on elderberries (which grow well here in Ohio), I recommend the following resources:

USDA Plant Guide - Common Elderberry
Common Elderberry from "Wildman" Steve Brill
Elderberries: Red, White and Blue from Eat the Weeds

And here is the recipe!  You could use another black berry in place of the elderberries - they'll still be tasty, they just won't be magic!

Black Magic Muffins (Gluten-Free)
Makes 12 muffins 

¾ cup sweet sorghum flour* 
¾ cup brown rice flour* 
½ cup tapioca flour* 
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda 
½ teaspoon salt 
2 tablespoons cocoa powder 
⅔ cup brown sugar 
¾ teaspoon espresso powder 
1 teaspoon xanthan gum** 
1 large egg 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
½ stick melted butter 
1 cup milk 
1 ½ cup fresh elderberries 
½ cup dark chocolate chips 

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flours, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, brown sugar, espresso powder, xanthan gum in a bowl and mix until combined. Stir in the egg, vanilla, melted butter and milk. Add elderberries and chocolate. Stir well and spoon batter into muffin liners. Bake for approximately 20 to 22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the muffins comes out clean. Cool for five minutes in the muffin pan, then remove.

*Use 2 cups regular all purpose wheat flour, if not baking gluten-free.
**Omit if not baking gluten-free.