Double Chocolate Chili Muffins

On the weekends, Jonty is my resident muffin-man. It’s his one baking luxury of the week – he loves to bake them, and I love to eat them, so it’s a win-win situation, really. Around mid-week, he asks if I have any requests; often, it’s a slight modification to the previous weeks muffins. For the past month or so, he’s been making tweaks to these double chocolate chili muffins, and I think he’s mastered them! They’ve got a sky-high muffin top, are studded with big chocolate chunks, and have the perfect warming heat at the end of your bite.

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Now, before we scare you off with the name, just know that these chocolate chili muffins can be made to tailor to your spice tolerance completely.

  1. If you really like chocolate and love a bit of kick to your food: Follow the recipe as stated.
  2. If you really like chocolate but have uber-sensitive taste buds: Leave out the chilis completely.
  3. If you really like chocolate, but you’re not sure how awesome the chocolate + chili combo is: Start with fewer chilies, one say.

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What I love about these muffins is that you just taste a simple chocolate muffin in your first bite. Maybe you’ve hit a jack-pot chocolate chunk, and you’re in chocolate heaven. Then you wonder what that other subtle flavour is? So you have another bite, then you get a lovely warmth on the back of your tongue – that’s the little chili kick at the end. It’s really a great combination of flavours!

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Jonty still follows his basic muffin ratio quantity and I think this is a great base for any chocolate chunk muffin:

1 part egg : 1 part sugar : 2 parts liquid : 2 parts flour : 1 part butter : 1 part add-ins

For anyone not aware of how these ratios work, we’ve talked about it before (here and here and here), but essentially it really makes for an easy way to bake and to scale recipes. The only caveat is, you need a kitchen scale. And if you don’t have one already, and love to bake, you really should invest in one! You can pick up a decent one for less than $25.

The ratio recipes will usually start with the weight of a large egg, which will be around 50 g. For this recipe, we’re using 2 eggs, which usually comes out to 100 g. All the other ingredients scale from there.

So for 100 g of eggs, you’ll need 100 g of sugar, 200 g of milk, 200 g of flour… You’re catching my drift? It’s math, but it’s easy math. Honest!

It doesn’t take long to figure out how awesome it is to bake from a recipe using weight measurements versus measuring cups. In most cases, you only need one bowl – and when you don’t have a dishwasher, less time in the sink is always a good thing. The other benefit to baking with ratios is that it makes for scaling recipes up or down, a breeze!

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So, if you don’t have one, go out and purchase your first kitchen scale, then make these muffins as a reward for being such a smart baker.

From taste-testing experience, these muffins are fantastic with your morning/afternoon coffee or tea and taste excellent on their or with a dollop of raspberry jam 🙂

Double Chocolate Chili Muffins
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 100 g (2 large) eggs
  • 200 g milk
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 150 g cake and pastry flour
  • 50 g dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 100 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 100 g (1 medium) ripe banana
  • 2 - 3 red thai chilis, chopped (optional, depending on heat sensitivity)
  • 100 g dark chocolate chunks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 7 g baking powder
  • 7 g baking soda
  • chopped walnuts, for the topping (optional)
Instructions
  1. Measure out all your ingredients before-hand. Melt the butter and leave it to cool slightly.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, or stand-mixer bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk until frothy. Add in the sugar and vanilla and whisk on high speed, until the mixture is foamy, about 1 minute.
  4. While the mixer is running, slowly add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and whisk until just combined. Scrape down the sides, as needed.
  5. Add the melted butter and whisk on high speed until completely incorporated. When fully incorporated, the mixture should look very fluffy and almost like a well-aerated cake batter. This should take about a minute on high speed.
  6. Add the ripe banana and whisk on high speed until combined. Finally, add the chilis and chocolate chunks and stir to incorporate.
  7. Place the batter in the fridge overnight to bake in the morning. If you want to bake these right away, still place the batter in the fridge while the oven is pre-heating.
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F and line a standard muffin tin with 6 muffin cups. Equally divide the batter into the 6 muffin cups. You want to aim to over-fill the cups. It's okay - they won't spill over too much! If desired, sprinkle the tops with chopped walnuts.
  9. Bake at 400 F for 5 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 F and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. The muffins are done when a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the centre.
  10. As soon as the muffins come out of the oven, run a knife between the top of the tray and the base of the muffin top, to prevent them from sticking when you remove them from the pan. Leave the muffins to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

 Enjoy these Double Chocolate Chili Muffins!

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Raw Mint Chocolate Mini Pies

Happy Pi Day! Two years ago, we were travelling and made a chocolate strawberry tart in the RV. Last year, we turned to flaky puff pastry for these apple-walnut hand pies. This year, we’ve strayed from the fruit-based pies and made these decadent, but healthy, mint chocolate mini pies! In my humble opinion, the flavour combination of mint + chocolate is one of the best 🙂

While there’s a time and a place for full-sized desserts, I also appreciate the smaller ones, made for a household of two.

These mint chocolate mini pies are perfect for a few different reasons:

  • They’re easy to make and don’t require an oven, meaning they’re as good to eat during the wet rainy months as the sweltering hot ones!
  • Because they’re raw, there’s no chance of a pastry crust getting soggy as it sits. This means that these pies will keep in the fridge for longer than a day!
  • If you like to keep your sweets to a minimum during the week, you can cut each mini pie in half (or smaller) and enjoy a bite or two each evening.
  • They taste rich and decadent, yet are filled with great-for-you ingredients. With no added sugar and lots of antioxidant-rich ingredients, these pies are basically health food! 😉

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The only tool needed to make these is a good food processor or high-speed blender. The crust is made out of Medjool dates, walnuts, coconut and cacao powder, processed until it forms a sticky ball. We don’t have little tart pans, so our trusty muffin tin becomes the workhorse of our small-batch dessert creations.

A little tip for you:

The crust mixture is VERY sticky. To avoid dealing with the frustration of trying to get the crust to stick to the pan, and not to your fingers, I’d suggest lining the muffin tin with plastic wrap, or parchment paper. I found that one big piece of wrap worked well – you can line 4 muffin tins quite easily, and use the hangover to press the crust mixture into the muffin tin. No messy fingers!

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The filling is made up of soaked (and drained) cashews, maple syrup, cacao powder and peppermint extract. So easy, yet so wonderfully tasty! This gets spooned into the tart bases and everything chills in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them.

I made these a few days ago, and they really do hold up well in the fridge. As they sit, they almost take on a fudgy consistency, which I totally love, yet completely melt in your mouth as you eat them.

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Whether you’re a physics geek or not, I hope you’re enjoying Pi Day as much as we are!

Raw Mint Chocolate Mini Pies
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
These Mint Chocolate Mini Pies are raw, vegan and gluten-free, making them great for everyone to enjoy!
Ingredients
For the tart crust:
  • 100 g Medjool dates, pitted (1/2 cup, about 6 dates)
  • 25 g (1/2 cup) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 35 g (1/3 cup) walnut pieces
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of sea salt
For the filling:
  • ½ cup cashews, soaked in ½ cup water for at least 3 to 4 hours
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ to 1 tsp pure peppermint extract
  • 1 tbsp water, if needed
Instructions
  1. Soak the cashews in ½ cup of water, for at least 3 to 4 hours. When ready to use, drain and rinse the cashews, discarding the soaking liquid.
  2. Make the tart crust by placing all ingredients into a food processor or high-speed blender and pulse together, until you have a thick, sticky mixture.
  3. Line a muffin tin with plastic wrap and evenly distribute the crust mixture into 4 muffin cups. Use wet hands or additional plastic wrap, to press the crust mixture into the bottom and sides of the muffin tin to create a little bowl shape.
  4. Keep the prepared muffin tin in the fridge until you make the filling.
  5. To make the mint chocolate filling, place the drained cashews, maple syrup, cacao powder and peppermint extract into a food processor or high-speed blender and puree until completely smooth. Start with ½ tsp of peppermint extract and taste. Add more if you like a stronger taste. The mixture should be thick but spreadable. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, until you reach this consistency.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the tart shells and refrigerate until ready to eat.
  7. to serve, sprinkle with a good-quality salt (like Maldon) and additional chopped walnuts.
Notes
These tarts will last in the fridge for at least a week, and longer in the freezer.

Enjoy these Mint Chocolate Mini Pies!

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Cherry Chocolate Protein Bars

When I have a bit of down time in the evenings or on the weekend, I like to make batches of snacks that we can keep in the freezer for hunger-emergencies. These Cherry Chocolate Protein Bars are one of our current favourites.

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We’ve started our climbing strength-training phase again recently. This means a lot of finger-strength training on the hangboard as well as lots of general strength training at the fitness gym (core, pull-ups, squats, plyometric stuff) and general strength training in the van (lifting ceiling panels, hanging cabinets ;)).

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On the days that we hangboard train, we start at the climbing gym to warm up the fingers with 20 to 30 minutes of continuous climbing. We warm up each finger position we will be training afterwards (4-finger half-crimps down to 1-finger hangs) and use this time to work on our movement and general technique. Then, it’s a 25 minute trundle back home to finish up using our hangboard.

During our drive home, it’s often nice to have a little nibble of something to tie us over until all the training is done and we can sit down for dinner. Portable snacks like these cherry chocolate protein bars are often just what we’re looking for. They’re really tasty and give us a great boost of energy.

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There are a few great things about these cherry chocolate protein bars:

  • There is no need for an oven – just an hour or so in the fridge, to firm up.
  • They handle substitutions easily – add your favourite combination of nuts / seeds / dried fruit.
  • They freeze really well – making them a great snack to last you a few weeks.
  • There’s no added sugar, just the sweetness from the maple syrup and dates.
  • They just taste good!!

If you’re in the market for a great snack, give these bars a try. They’re vegan (if you swing that way), gluten-free (make sure to use gluten-free oats), kid-friendly (swap in almond butter, if you’re peanut-sensitive) and fitness friendly (a great source of good carbs and protein). There’s also no added sugar – just the natural sweetness from the dates and maple syrup.

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Hopefully you’ll find these bars as useful to have around the house as we do!

Cherry Chocolate Protein Bars
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Snacks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Adapted from the Power Hungry cookbook.
Ingredients
  • 150 g (1 cup) pitted Medjool dates (about 10 big dates)
  • 1 cup of warm water, to soak the dates
  • 115 g (1 cup) large-flake oats
  • 60 g (1½ cup) crispy brown rice cereal
  • 30 g (1/4 cup) walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 30 g (1/4 cup) dried unsweetened cherries
  • 15 g (2 tbsp) ground flax seeds
  • 120 g (1/2 cup) natural peanut butter
  • 105 g (1/3 cup) pure maple syrup
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Soak the pitted Medjool dates in 1 cup of warm water, until they have softened. This could take anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes, depending on how soft your dates are to start.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, brown rice cereal, walnuts, dried cherries and flax seeds.
  3. Drain the Medjool dates and use a food processor or high-speed blender to process until they are finely chopped. Add them to the oat mixture.
  4. In a small sauce pan, combine the peanut butter and maple syrup and bring to a soft boil over medium-low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the oat mix and stir until all ingredients are completely combined. This may take quite a few stirs. Add in the chocolate chips and stir until they are incorporated.
  6. Line a 9x9-inch pan with parchment paper and spoon the mixture into the pan. Press the oat mixture firmly into the pan and smooth the top with the back of a spatula.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until the bars have set and are firm to the touch.
  8. Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan and cut into bars.
Notes
These bars freeze very well. Cut the bars first, then wrap in saran wrap before placing them into a freezer bag.

Enjoy these Cherry Chocolate Protein Bars!

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Easy No-Bake Chocolate Mousse

Happy Chocolate Day! Otherwise known as Valentine’s Day 🙂 This chocolate mousse recipe is for all the chocolate lovers out there. It’s Jonty’s creation (my chocolate-loving guy) and he’s made it a handful of times over the last few months. It has 4 ingredients, is super simple to make, and is actually pretty healthy for you! Are you ready?

You need egg whites, good-quality dark chocolate (at least 70% dark), plain Greek yogurt and a touch of sugar. The resulting dessert is so light and airy, and tastes so unbelievably decadent, yet there’s not a drop of cream to be found.

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The first time Jonty made it, we thought it might have been a fluke result, mainly because we were wary about using non-fat Greek yogurt (sometimes things just taste better with fat and cream). But each time he’s made it, the result has been the same – an easy, superstar chocolate mousse!

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ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Easy No-Bake Chocolate Mousse

Jonty has developed this chocolate mousse using basic ratios:

  • 1 part egg white
  • 1 part dark chocolate
  • 1 part Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 part sugar

So 1 egg white will give you 1 ramekin dessert. If you want turn this into a romantic dessert for two, just use 2 egg whites and scale. You want to turn this into a family dessert for four? Use 4 egg whites and scale. So easy!

This is going to a short and sweet, because the sun is shining, and we’re severely lacking in Vitamin D! So, we hope you’re having a great Chocolate Day, celebrating any way you’d like 🙂

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ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Easy No-Bake Chocolate Mousse

 

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Easy No-Bake Chocolate Mousse

Happy Valentines Day, Galentines Day, Family Day or general Chocolate Day 🙂

Easy Chocolate Mousse
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This almost-raw chocolate mousse is an easy, healthy dessert that will wow all your guests!
Ingredients
  • 2 egg whites (60g)
  • 30 g granulated sugar
  • 60 g good-quality dark chocolate (at least 70% or higher)
  • 60 g non-fat Greek yogurt
Instructions
  1. In a clean, dry bowl, whisk the egg whites until they start to form peaks. While whisking, slowly add the sugar, one spoonful at a time, until it is all incorporated. Continue to whisk the mixture until stiff peaks have formed.
  2. Meanwhile, melt your chocolate. You can either do this in the microwave on the lowest heat setting, or over a bowl of hot water. Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the Greek yogurt.
  3. Fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture and fold to combine.
  4. Spoon the mousse into 2 ramekins and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or until the mousse has set.

Enjoy this easy chocolate mousse!

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Easy, 1-Bowl Banana Bread

To me, there are certain smells that go hand-in-hand with the start of autumn – wet leaves (yes, we live in Vancouver), anything related to apples and cinnamon, and banana bread. Sometimes I feel like I hoard blackened bananas in the freezer all summer, just to make sure I have enough to bake up a loaf when the weather starts to turn.

Everyone needs an easy, go-to banana bread recipe, preferably one that uses one bowl and one utensil, in order to minimize the washing require. This is that recipe 🙂

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This banana bread will happily take any substitution you throw at it. A mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flour? No problem. Chocolate or nuts or flakes of coconut or a dollop of peanut butter? You’re the boss. A little less oil and a little more banana? Why not!

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I feel like banana bread is one of those quick breads that’s difficult to mess up. As long as you use a decent amount of those glorious black bananas, the bread always stays nice and moist and is really the perfect anytime food. There’s a few things that this banana bread does not have: one is a whack-load of added sugar (over-ripe bananas are sweet enough on their own, so there’s no need to go overboard on the added sugar); the second is an excess amount of oil. Have you ever had a piece of banana bread (probably at a chain coffee-house) that requires a wet napkin to get all the oil off your fingers after eating it? Again, that’s the benefit of those wonderful black bananas – they will provide all the moisture the bread needs!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Easy banana-bread

I suggest baking this in the evening, then slicing up a nice thick piece to tuck into your lunch bag the next day, for a mid-morning coffee break. Your colleagues will be jealous 😉

Enjoy!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Easy Banana Bread
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Snacks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
You need only 1 bowl, 1 whisk and 1 loaf pan to make this easy banana bread!
Ingredients
  • 3 very ripe medium bananas
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil (or butter or other neutral oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 180 g (1½ cups) flour (all-purpose, spelt, whole wheat, a combo)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped, toasted walnut pieces (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F and line a 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the very ripe banana, brown sugar, egg, coconut oil and vanilla.
  3. Add in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gently mix until almost all of the flour is incorporated.
  4. Add in the chocolate chips and walnuts, if using, and gently mix until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the parchment-lined loaf pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, rotating half-way through the baking time, until the loaf is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  6. Let the loaf pan cool on a rack for a few minutes before removing the banana bread from the pan, to cool on the rack completely.
Notes
This banana bread freezes really well. Slice up the loaf before placing it into a freezer bag, in order to make it easier to eat one slice at a time!

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