S and I are both pretty particular about our coffee. I drink espresso coffee, and I like it straight up – black and without sugar. When you’re drinking coffee with none of the fixings, if the beans are burnt, or if the brew is bitter, it ruins the taste. That said, between pregnancy and breastfeeding it’s been almost two years since I actually drank a coffee (ahh, how I miss it).
S, on the other hand, is somewhat of a coffee connoisseur these days. Over the past two years he’s been trying a variety of different coffee beans which he grinds at home, and experimenting with various ways of making coffee using an AeroPress. Given the blistering heat that is Brisbane these days, he’s mostly been drinking 12-hour brewed cold press coffee – it is the colour of rich dark amber, and smells wonderful.
Anyways, this post isn’t about how to make coffee. But given how much he loves the stuff, I wanted to make S a coffee-inspired treat for his morning tea. At first I was thinking of cookies, but wanted something a little more filling. And who doesn’t love a muffin, amirite?!
These actually came together just as I planned on the first go, which is always gratifying when it comes to baking. The nuts give the muffin texture and crunch, and make them that much more substantial. I used a mixture of almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts as that was what I had in the house, but you could easily sub in whatever nuts you like – pecans would be great, or macadamias. The coffee flavour shines through, and is complemented perfectly by the cloves and the molasses. And though it may be tempting, don’t skip the topping – it’s delicious!
I enjoyed these muffins for morning tea all week, with a cold glass of almond milk on the side. S swears that they are perfect with – can you guess? – a cup of coffee.
Espresso Nut Muffins
1 cup plain flour
1 cup almond meal
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp finely ground coffee
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tsp ground cloves
1 cup mixed nuts
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup plain yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
½ cup hazelnuts
½ tbsp almond meal
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp coconut oil
Preheat the oven to 180°c/350°f. Line a muffin pan with muffin liners, or squares of baking paper.
In a large bowl combine the flour, almond meal, sugar, ground coffee, baking powder, salt and cloves.
Roughly chop the nuts (I used equal parts hazelnuts, walnuts, and almonds), and stir them through the dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl whisk the eggs together with the coconut oil, yoghurt, vanilla essence, and molasses.
Before adding the wet ingredients to the dry, prepare the topping. Finely chop the hazelnuts and combine in a small bowl with the almond meal, sugar, and coconut oil. Set aside.
Form a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet, gently folding to combine. Be careful not to over mix, otherwise your muffins will become too dense. Scoop the mixture into your prepared muffin tray, and top each one with an even amount of the topping.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack. These muffins will hold up pretty well in a sealed container for four-five days, although they’re best fresh.
Notes: I prefer to make my own almond meal, as I find that when I buy a bag and don’t use it all, it goes rancid. Making your own almond meal is really quite easy – David Lebovitz has some great tips.