Saturday, August 18, 2012

An Ode to the Magnificent Moringa | Kamunggay Almond Cupcakes

Let’s give your usual cupcakes a healthy twist with the addition of Kamunggay. And to make it more healthy, you can replace  whole eggs with just the egg whites (remove those deadly yolk folks!), the brown sugar with muscovado, and try to reduce its quantity. The recipe here calls for 2 cups sugar but in actual, I baked my cupcakes with 1 and ½ cups sugar. For eggs, I used egg whites of 8 pieces eggs ( I assume egg white is ½ of the entire egg composition, based on gut feel and visual comparison, hahaha, I therefore conclude my being civil engineer is so useful even in baking!)

I haven’t tried replacing canola oil with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I think this will work best since we will use it only for baking and its properties will not be altered that much and will not give a different effect to your end product.  For the vegetables, I used 1:1 ratio of carrots and Kamunggay leaves, or you can also use spinach and squash but please limit the use of at least two vegetables or else you don't want your cupcakes be like utan bisaya, less the soup!

Here’s what you need:

2 ½ cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
4 eggs
2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 ½ grated vegetables (Carrots and Kamunggay)
1 cup chopped walnuts

Prepare your kamunggay: since it is difficult to chop the tiny leaves to smaller pieces (it clings to your chopping board and knife or being so light it will be blown away easily in the chopping action), I suggest using the food processor. Place a cup of malunggay leaves in your food processor and add half of the canola oil and blend just until the leaves are coarsely chopped. I suggest do not over process so the juices will still be on the leaves. Add these in the wet ingredients.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.

Prepare the Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, canola oil and eggs. Stir in the kamunggay and the grated carrots, as well as the chopped walnuts. I usually don’t chop walnuts coz I love the feel of whole nuts crack inside my mouth, or something that gives you a different layer of texture.

Prepare the Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Now combine the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients gradually. Mix thoroughly the batter. Line your muffin pans with cupcake paper liners and scoop batter into each molds (I wasn’t able to buy these cupacake paper cups, so I just greased the mold and scooped the batter into it).

Bake for at least 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Voila, you already have your cupcakes! Since we reduce the amount of sugar, you can make a sweet frosting to complement it. I already have a ready choco frosting from my previous cake baking, I just melt it in the microwave oven and poured them on top of the cup cakes.

Hmmmm, kamunggay can be made into a good and HEALTHY dessert or snack!

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