Baking is a pleasure in this gloomy weather. These last days, I have tried many muffin recipes at home, going from sweet to salted ones. I was looking for a light gluten-free recipe with a Moroccan twist of course… I have found some fresh mint in my neighborhood market and I decided to use it in my cake recipe…something we never do in Morocco even if we drink lots of mint tea with or without cakes and sweets.
Mint and chocolate? A winning mix but it reminds me too much of After Eights… Mint and matcha? I am fond of fusion cuisine and I am always looking for new flavors from elsewhere. But after I tried, I realized that matcha has overwhelmed the mint (even though I don’t renounce yet to come up with a matcha pastry recipe one of these days…).
Finally, the idea came to me to associate mint with candied lemon, another classic of Moroccan cuisine. Of course, this candied lemon is different from the salted pickled one. But the good news is you can do it yourself the same day you want to cook the muffins.
So here is an easy recipe. This is a gluten-free version, which I came with after experimenting different flours mixtures. Of course, you can always choose to use your usual wheat flour instead.
Candied Lemon & Mint Muffins (gluten-free)
Makes approx. 10 muffins
7 oz / 200 g wholegrain rice flour
3.5 oz / 100 g cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp oil (olive or hazelnut)
6.5 fl. oz / 20 cl milk (or vegetal milk)
1 small bunch of mint (coarsely chopped)
4 oz / 120 g sugar (+1.5 oz / 70 g for the preparing of the candied lemons)
2 organic lemons
Preparation of candied lemons
Gently grate the lemon peel (you don’t need to remove the peel but just to "polish" it a little). Soak the whole lemons in water for 12 hours. Change the water once.
Boil 2 cups of water with 2.5 oz sugar for approx. 5 minutes. Mix with a spoon. Add the lemons cut in quarters. When it starts to boil again, let it cook for 30 minutes. Remove the scum from time to time. At the end of the cooking, the water should look like a syrup and become « sticky », and the lemon peel should separate from the pulp. Finely dice the peel.
Pre-heat the oven 350°F/180°C.
In a large bowl, mix the flours, the baking powder, the baking soda and the sugar.
In another bowl, beat the eggs with the milk and the oil. Add the mint, the candied lemons (keep a few dices to decorate at the end), and the half of the syrup, obtained preparing the candied lemon.
Pour this preparation in the large bowl containing the flours. Mix gently and quickly, with a wooden spoon (or with your hands). The tip to obtaining a light and fluffy muffin is to slightly and quickly mix the humid preparation with the dry one.
Bake immediately for 17 to 20 minutes. The exact cooking time depends on your oven; it is best to take a look after 15 minutes (it is better not to open the oven before). Drizzle the remaining syrup on the muffins and decorate with a few dices of lemon.
Hi there! I'm Majda.
Foodie, yogini, life lover!
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