Double Coconut Muffins

As promised another muffin recipe, this time quite a tropical variant. And it is healthy too, with all that coconut and whole wheat flour and no butter. The double coconut comes from the virgin coconut oil and the shredded coconut.

Beware when you buy coconut oil! There are two variants, purified and virgin. Purified coconut oil is just the actual oil, all the other coconutty things are taken out. So it does not taste like coconut at all. It is still a nice fat to work with, it has a very nice mouth-feeling and you can heat it to high temperatures, I use it for example in my home-made cruesli instead of vegetable oil, but it is not the real deal. If you find coconut oil in the shop that does not specify being virgin or purified, it will probably be purified, especially if it is quite cheap. Check your toko or Asian supermarket for it.
And then there is virgin coconut oil. This really is just pressed coconut and tastes like all the coconutty goodness. Unfortunately virgin coconut oil is in many parts of the world not available or very expensive. In the Netherlands you can buy it at a health/bio food store, but it is extremely expensive. So I started thinking on a substitution and found one: santen (creamed coconut). It is ground, dehydrated flesh of a coconut and is usually sold as a white, solid block. In the Netherlands you can find it at a supermarket, toko or Asian supermarket. It can be used together with water to form coconut milk. It has a fat percentage of about 70% and tastes very coconutty, so I figured it would be a good substitution for the virgin coconut oil. And indeed, it worked very well.    

Some other things to think about when making the recipe. If you add cold eggs and yoghurt to the molten coconut oil/santen the fat will solidify again, which will make the batter quite stiff. For the baking itself it is no problem, but you need some muscle to mix the stiff batter. So make sure your eggs and yoghurt are on room temperature. Also here in the Netherlands sweetened coconut is not available, so I used unsweetened and added some extra sugar, which worked fine. Furthermore, the hydration of shredded coconut can vary quite a lot and because you’re using quite some coconut, it can influence the baking. If your batter seems very dry, add some extra liquid, if your batter seems very wet, add some extra coconut.

These muffins are cold definitely much better than hot, when hot the coconut flavour disappears completely, while cold they are very coconutty. The yoghurt gives them a nice slightly tart flavour and they are not too sweet. And while most muffins go stale very fast, these can be stored well for a few days.  

Double coconut muffins (10-12)

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
110 gram virgin coconut oil (or santen)
95 gram flour
60 gram whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
230 gram full fat Greek yoghurt, room temperature
65 gram granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
90 gram sweetened shredded coconut, divided (add 40 gram sugar when using unsweetened)

Preheat oven to 190C. Grease 12 muffin cups with butter or coconut oil, or line them with papers. Melt the coconut oil (I used the microwave), but don’t let it get too hot, or it will curdle the eggs. Whisk together egg, sugar, coconut oil, yoghurt and vanilla. Mix in the coconut, baking powder and salt. Then fold in the flour until just combined, don’t overmix! Divide batter over muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and leave to cool.

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