Review: 750 Best Muffin Recipes

It’s hard not to judge a book by its cover when scrolling through the long list of new cookbooks on Amazon. Yet Camilla Saulsbury’s new 750 Best Muffin Recipes caught my eye, not just because of the mouth-watering photo on its front cover but because of its subtitle: “From classics to modern twists, gluten-free and vegan.”

Finally, vegan recipes have been included in a traditional cookbook for all the world to see! Vegan recipes really shouldn’t have to be a category of books all on their own. As promised, 750 Best Muffin Recipesoffers a fabulous muffin collection that caters to any home chef, regardless of their diet.

Expert baker Camilla goes well beyond your average banana and bran muffins. There are nine chapters of innovative recipes, with each chapter delivering flavours and options to satisfy everyone’s needs and cravings, from breakfast muffins, lunch and supper muffins, to superfood muffins, gluten-free muffins and vegan muffins. Home cooks will also find a wealth of useful muffin baking tips and techniques, information on key ingredients, and clear instructions for every recipe.

Chapter 9 includes 88 vegan recipes that have been painstakingly compiled and tested, nearly each one as enticing as the next. Baking up easily, the chocolate chip cookie muffins were practically instant gratification, sending me down memory lane to my hometown bakery favourite. With a slightly crunchy muffin top and a tender inside crumb that is mixed with slightly gooey chocolate chips and a soft, buttery taste, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who might object to such a treat. Although I don’t usually make use of vegan margarine and soy yogourt in my own muffin recipes, this exceptional cake would make a perfect snack on an afternoon when you just need a sweet indulgence.

Turning next to the savoury muffin options, I could hardly resist the mediterranean muffins to go along with the pot of vegetable soup that was simmering on my stovetop. Combining the perfect old-world Italian combination of basil, oregano and olive oil, along with the addition of toasted walnuts, kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes, I was truly surprised at how these savoury supper muffins turned out. If you’re after a more hefty option that will satisfy your hunger after a long day, this recipe is a welcome change from the usual basket of bread on your dinner table.

Finally, I couldn’t resist the appeal of the carrot cake muffins to share with my co-workers. With soft specks of carrot throughout, these muffins sing with soft flavours of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, and a comforting carrot cake-like undertone. Although I was slightly disappointed with the heaviness of the muffins, that may have just been an execution error on my part. Brimming with two full cups of carrots, as well as currants and toasted walnuts, these make for a fantastic accompaniment to a cup of hot tea.

 While I wish I could go through and make every single recipe from the vegan chapter of 750 Best Muffin Recipes just to “test” which might be best for holiday gifts, morning snacks and family meals, I have a strong feeling that every last one of them is a winner. And while the remainder of the recipe book has yet to be given any attention due to its use of eggs, milk and butter, I have every intention of veganizing some of them for future posts. Nevertheless, this book is worthy of its purchase for vegetarians and vegans alike.

Stay tuned for Friday’s post, when I speak with author and expert baker Camilla Saulsbury about her thoughts on vegan baking!

      

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7 Responses to “Review: 750 Best Muffin Recipes”

  1. mollyjade — November 3, 2010 @ 8:00 pm

    I always think savory muffins sound good, but I never seem to make them. Yours look great!

  2. Laura Jill — November 3, 2010 @ 8:56 pm

    Ooooh, sounds like a great cookbook, Nicole, and the chocolate chippers look swoon-tastic!xoxo,LJ

  3. CYoFC — November 3, 2010 @ 8:58 pm

    Those Mediterranean muffins look and sound amazing. Great book review! I agree that it's refreshing to see vegan recipes in a traditional, omnivore cookbook.

  4. VeganLisa — November 3, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

    It is great to hear that 88 vegan recipes were included. I certainly like the sounds of a carrot cupcake.Your photos are amazing. I always love stopping by your blog to take a look.

  5. Monique a.k.a. Mo — November 4, 2010 @ 12:58 am

    That's totally awesome! Mediterranean muffins sound like the thing of dreams!

  6. Jinx.tv — November 4, 2010 @ 7:53 pm

    88 vegan muffin recipes…wow! Maybe I should get that book. Although, it's nice to cool from an entirely vegan book because then when omnivores ask for the recipe you can gift them the cookbook or at least give them the name/author and if/when they decide to use it there is no way they can choose a non-vegan recipe.Geez, that sounds really controlling, but I'm not trying to be controlling I just find that when people have two options many/most will usually choose the more familiar one.

  7. Nicole — November 5, 2010 @ 3:06 pm

    Jinx.tv: I can see your logic. If an omnivore had this cookbook, I think they would give the vegan recipes a try, especially if you've showed them how delicious they are to begin with :)

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