Gluten-Free Corn Muffins
I love to cook. And experiment.
I learned how to cook from my Mom, and with her, measurements were always an estimate. It tends to work alright when cooking, and some of my favourite dishes were happy accidents.
Not so with baking.
Baking requires precise measurements, else your scones turn to hockey pucks and your cakes to mush. It’s all the more complicated if you have food allergies and can’t use certain ingredients. Then you’re forced to experiment, and boy can I tell you, when it doesn’t work, it REALLY doesn’t work.
Luckily, a lot of progress has been made with gluten-free cooking, so all of us celiacs out there have way more options than just a couple of years ago. When going through the pantry, I re-discovered a giant bag of cornmeal that I’d bought once-upon-a-time. It must have been some great idea at the time, to make my own bread and other wheat-free niceties, which meant I had a good 2Kg of the stuff taking up space two months before a move.
I decided to experiment.
I love corn bread. My favourite is from La Louisiane in Montreal’s NDG (though I used to make a pretty tasty one myself). They’re really mini corn muffins with tasty bits of chillies. But that’s on the other side of the continent, and I couldn’t eat it anyway because they most probably contain wheat. It was time to make a batch of gluten-free corn muffins.
I took a basic recipe and did what I dread in baking. I experimented. Toddler in tow, I flew around the kitchen tossing ingredients together, and then into a muffin tray. Ten minutes in the toaster oven, and I took out a steaming tray of what looked, at least on the surface, to be corn muffins. A few minutes to cool down, and I bit in…
And it was good.
Really good. Not trusting my own taste buds, which have been ravaged by 30 years of curries and spicy food, I offered some to my toddler, who ate a whole muffin within a minute. Success!
Below is my recipe, try it out and let me know who it worked for you. It’s very basic, and a little on the sweet side, so you may want to experiment.
Basic Corn Muffins
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1 cup brown sugar (loose, NOT packed)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 cup milk
- Preheat oven (I used a toaster oven) to 200 degrees C (400F).
- In a large bowl (preferably stainless steel, but I only have a stupid plastic one), mix together the dry ingredients. Add the egg, oil and milk. Stir as gently as possible (not always easy with a toddler pulling your pants down).
- Spoon (or pour, as per time available from running child) the batter into a greased muffin pan.
- Bake at 200 degrees C for 10 minutes, or until the top is nice and golden. You can also insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean, they’re ready, but that would mean you’re not being “helped” and have all the time in the world.
- Let cool and enjoy.
If you like to add jam or anything sweet, I’d definitely cut down on the sugar. They taste great as is, and freeze well.
Oh, and Happy Canada Day!