When Jerrelle Guy, the blogger behind Chocolate for Basil and the new cookbook Black Girl Baking moved to Boston from the south for graduate school, she says she felt really alienated. “I was the only person of color in my academic program at the time,” Guy explains. When she began to see the #BlackGirlMagic hashtag proliferate on social media, it resonated with her. “I started to understand what it represents—that we are beautiful just as we are, we don’t have to change ourselves or obey a certain set of rules.”
That growing confidence and rule-breaking perspective found its way into Guy’s baking recipes, which combine nostalgic desserts with unexpected flavors, vegan twists, and surprising techniques. “Baking is so rigid and I thought, ‘Do I really have to conform to this?’” says Guy.
“Baking is so rigid and I thought, ‘Do I really have to conform to this?’”
Take, for example, her kombucha muffins from Black Girl Baking, which are based on the Irish soda bread she found ubiquitous in Boston—with a probiotic and vegan twist. “I knew that the carbonation and the acid in the kombucha would react with the baking soda because of the concept behind Irish soda bread and beer bread,” says Guy. “And I thought kombucha sounded a lot more fun than soda, so I just experimented with it!”
Guy, a former vegan, also creates plant-based versions of most of her recipes. For the kombucha muffins, you can use melted dairy-free butter or a neutral oil like grapeseed, safflower, sunflower, or canola oil in place of the butter in the batter. Or, experiment with your own substitutions—there really are, well, no rules.
Keep reading to get the kombucha muffins recipe.
Makes 12 muffins
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Oil the wells of a muffin tin and have it nearby.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Pour the melted butter and agave over the dry ingredients, and then pour in the kombucha. Whisk the mixture until just combined. Don’t overmix or your muffins will be tough.
3. Immediately divide the mixture among the muffin wells, and bake in the oven for five minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and finish cooking for another eight to ten minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. The initial high heat of the oven will make sure the muffins pop out over the edges of the pan.
3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm with more softened butter, if you like.
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