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Herb Bread, 6p a serving

apple spice muffinJust been having a little experiment in the kitchen. Due to budgetry constraints on our plans I have been musing about baking without eggs. I used to do it years and years ago but had completely forgotten what I did, except that it involved a little vinegar. On moneysavingexpert, there is a thread about living on £7 a week, and it mentioned using something else instead of eggs on there.

You can use between a tsp and a tblsp of vinegar per cake, maybe not malt, would probably have too strong a flavour. Someone else recommended a tbslp of soya flour per egg.

Easing myself in slowly, I thought I would try some muffins using vinegar instead of an egg and see how it went. I dug out my Muffins book (by Susan Reimer – very good if what you want is the How To of muffin making) and blow me if she doesn’t specifically say in her very thorough Notes on Muffin Making that if you want to exclude eggs for dietry reasons, add 3-4 tblsps of extra liquid. No mention of vinegar or soya flour or anything else to replace the function of the egg. Still available on Amazon, several different versions, here is one of them

As I have loads of Fiesta apples to use from our tree, I thought I would do the Apple Spice ones.

image255g plain flour (or if self raising, only use 1tsp baking powder) 45p/1.5kg, 8p
3tsps baking powder, £1.29/170g 11p
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp mixed spice Aldi 49p/15g, 5p
85-110g sugar, 88p/kg, 7p
the recipe states 1 egg, but I missed this out and added 4 tbslp more milk
image170g finely chopped apple, about 3 fruits, 60p
150ml milk, 56p/litre, 9p incl the extra 4 tblsp
90ml veg oil £1.50/litre, 13p

I used self raising flour and 1 tsp baking powder and the smaller amount of sugar

£1.13 in total, so 9p each. I used free apples so 4p each

You will need a 12 hole muffin tin, paper cases will help to remove the baked muffins. If you don’t have any cases, oil the holes in the tin and dust with flour

imagePre-heat the oven to 375-400F/190-200C/180 fan/gas mark 6

Sift together all the dry ingredients. Put the oil and milk in another container (a jug or small bowl). When you are ready to bake the muffins, add the apples and oil/milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just enough to incorporate, a light hand is essential here. Too much imagestirring will toughen the muffins.

Spoon the mix into the paper cases in the muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and firm.

I sprinkled the tops of mine with a small pinch of chopped nuts which were nice. The mixed spice was a little too subtle for me, and next time I would increase it to 2 tsps, imagemaybe even 2.5

So, what were they like? Well, if I didn’t know they had no egg in, I would not have been able to tell you what was different about them. I noticed no difference at all. They were soft, spicy, appley and completely gorgeous, just like a muffin fresh from the oven should be.

Using oil as we are instead of butter, and no egg, means that they are vegan as well as vegetarian if this is of interest to you

Variations for muffins are endless. If you are not using a moist fruit like apples, you will need to increase the milk from 150ml to 240ml, plus 4 tblsp if you are not using an egg.

You could use raisins, or any other dried fruit, date and cinnamon, apricot and almonds, banana, you could add grated carrot, courgette or beetroot. You could make cranberry ones for Christmas, use lemon or orange zest and juice with maybe a little dribble of icing over, you could stir in a little mincemeat, you could use poppy, sesame or sunflower seeds

You could add value chocolate chopped into small pieces, or cocoa powder replacing some of the flour. I have loads of tins of mandarins from Approved Foods, so I will come up with a nice combination to use some of those.

Susan Reimer’s Muffins book is currently on Amazon for £5.36, or of course, there are literally thousands of recipes on the interweb

Having successfully experimented with these, I am pretty sure I used to do a victoria sponge in the dim and distant past, so I’ll have a go with a chocolate one using vinegar for the eggs, and report back 🙂

Don’t eat too many now! Emoji

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Home made greetings cards, save a bundle if you want to give Christmas cards
Herb Bread, 6p a serving