We made these ages and ages ago, before it was even properly summer. But then the sunshine swept us up and we were so busy barrelling about watching our skin turn golden and eating way too many ice creams...this little recipe was all but forgotten. Today the radio is warning of heavy showers and cold northwesterly winds and the return of the cloudy days, and I remembered.
This was a last minute panic bake in a wild attempt to lift us all out of the dumps the last time the weather had us low. I am really mean about buying snacks in, as I resent how much they cost and how little goodness they ever contain, and loathe the sneaky marketing to (my poor, desperate to eat them all) children. I always have the best intentions to make a larder full of snacks instead but hardly ever manage, and we mostly exist on fruit and toast between meals. With zero prep allowed we had to come up with a recipe based on what we had in the house. I scraped together the basics for a gluten free cake and let the kids improvise the rest. The resulting muffins were completely delicious, totally moist and sweet despite being gluten and sugar free. You could make them dairy free by substituting the butter for coconut oil, I imagine. Please let me know if you give it a try. The sun broke through as soon as we had these baked, just like it always does eventually... but Pablo's name stuck, partly because of their cloudy texture.
Pablo's Special Cloudy Cloudy Cakes (named by Pablo)
315g gluten free plain flour (we use Dove's Farm)
1 tsp xanthan gum
135g almond flour or ground almonds
1.5 tsp baking powder
.75 tsp baking soda
.75 tsp salt
168g unsalted butter
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp rice malt syrup
75g egg whites
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup rice milk
1.5 bananas (or one large banana, we used frozen ones but you don't need to)
1 cup berries (we used a mix of strawberries and blueberries, again we used frozen but no need)
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp beetroot powder (optional - to make them pink!)
Heat the oven to 170C. In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer whip up the butter until it's fluffy, then add the syrups, then the egg. Mix until well incorporated. In a blender or food processor whizz together your fruit and rice milk (any milk would work) with your vanilla & chia seeds, plus the beetroot powder if you want your muffins pink. In a further bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff.
Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milky fruitshake mix to the butter/syrup combo. Once all is well mixed in, fold in the whipped egg whites. Pop the mix into muffin cases and bake for 15 mins in preheated oven. Leave to cool on a wire rack. We were still eating these two days later and they were still moist and yummy, but you could definitely pop some in the freezer and add to lunch boxes. We didn't make any icing, just topped with some sheep's yogurt and cherries or raspberries. They are especially yummy for breakfast, and filling too. I imagine this recipe would also be fab for a gluten/sugar free birthday cake though we are yet to try it. Would love to try some flavour variations also, I bet they would be lovely with banana and cacao... or apricots and blackberries....