Apologies for the silence and lack of muffin last Monday. My excuse is that I was on holiday. That’s right I actually had some proper time out and a complete rest and I’m feeling a whole lot better for it. The holiday was partly to celebrate a birthday so I will have a birthday cake to share with you soon but my week has been muffin free…well almost…
Even although our holiday destination was only a 30 minute drive from home we still had a stop off on the way. We managed a little bit of creativity and a bite to eat including this blueberry cheesecake muffin. It had been heated in the microwave for just a few seconds which left the centre deliciously gooey. I may just have to recreate this effect in a muffin at some point soon.
Cardamom is an underused spice in my repertoire. Since I discovered it as a flavour I’ve been incorporating it into many recipes in ground form. But that can be fiddly so when I spotted cardamom essence in my local deli I knew I’d found an easier way to explore. When asked about my plan for it I couldn’t give a definitive answer because of the many ideas running through my head. So be warned it’s bound to appear again and then who knows which flavour essence will be next.
Beetroot is considered a safe food when eating the eczema diet. Although my initial enthusiasm for the diet has worn off as being too immediately restrictive to my circumstances, I am attempting to eat and learn more about the safe ingredients. I’m thinking baby steps.
Personally I really enjoyed the great big chunks of beetroot in these muffins but I think I was alone. Grating would perhaps hide the vegetable better for its lesser fans. The red contrasts beautifully against the stark white of the cardamom flavoured icing which gives an extra warmth to the already earthy beetroot.
Beetroot muffins with cardamom drizzle
3 beetroot bulbs, peeled and chopped or grated
30g cocoa powder
60ml hot water
200g brown sugar
125ml rice milk
60ml rice bran oil
225g (1 1/2 cups) spelt flour, sifted
Chop the beetroot into chunks (or grate). Add the hot water to the cocoa powder to make a smooth paste. Beat in the sugar and eggs. Then add in the beetroot.
Mix together the milk and oil in a jug and then alternate adding half the flour and then half the oil/milk to the beetroot mixture.
Divide into prepared muffin tins and bake for 25 mins at 200C. Leave to cool in the tray for 5 mins before turning out onto a wire rack.
Prepare the icing by mixing together a little icing sugar with a drop of essence and making up to quite a runny paste with water. Drizzle the icing on however you like.
If you don’t like rice pudding, then don’t make this muffin!
Curry night has become a thing in our household. It’s a night off for me (well sort of, it gives me a chance to play with different flatbreads) as my other half is very keen to experiment with unusual meats and sauces. All round it’s a great family night (once we realised that our 2 year old can’t handle really spicy!) as well as perfect for entertaining.
Then I discovered you can use up cooked rice in a muffin. I am a big fan of rice pudding, that simple bubbling buttery yet spicy dessert which reminds me so much of growing up. And this muffin is all that. If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself.
One thing, though do be sure to make them the next day. Circumstance meant that my first opportunity was a couple of days later and that was definitely to the detriment of the muffin. The age of the rice is probably what caused the chewy texture but with so many flavour options out there I’d give them another go.
Rice pudding muffin
330g plain white flour
50g ground almonds
130g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
grated nutmeg to taste
375ml milk (I used almond)
30g butter, melted and cooled
175g cooked rice
Mix the wet ingredients together then add the cooked rice. Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the wet to the dry. Pour the mixture into muffin tins lined with paper cases (don’t worry that the batter is quite wet). Bake in the oven for around 25 minutes until golden and risen. For an extra kick of nutmeg grate a little on top of the muffins after baking.
Autumn is clearly on it’s way. There may be some days when the sun still shines and it’s warm but the air is definitely cooler and the leaves are changing. I am a big fan of the colder seasons. I much prefer being bundled up in a big cosy jumper than wafting around in a floaty summer dress.
The colder weather also lets me indulge in one of my most favourite meals. There’s nothing else quite like a big bowl of homemade vegetable soup served with a warm-from-the-oven savoury muffin when it’s cold and rainy outside. A friend gave me a big filled with marrows to use which was the starting point for these muffins. I was inspired by one of the soups I make regularly, courgette and cumin. For an added extra crunch and a little bit of extra protein for lunch I topped them with crispy grilled bacon bits but these could easily be left off for a vegetarian friendly version.
The cumin added some much needed flavour to the marrow but my decision to make these with only wholemeal flour was the downfall of these uber-filling muffins. My two-year old favoured the bacon bits and indeed refused to eat anything other than the bacon (she is definitely my harshest critic!)
With a second not so great attempt at courgette muffins under my belt can anyone suggest a really great recipe for me to try?
I love a challenge and when one of my readers suggested creating muffins for special diets I happily accepted. These chocolate muffins are egg free. This one is close to my heart as from a really early age my niece was diagnosed with a severe egg allergy. Over time she has got slightly better and is now able to eat cooked egg. With age she has also got fussier to the point where she has decided she no longer likes cake. Chocolate is her thing so these muffins are for her (even although she’ll not be partaking).
It looks and feels like a muffin but the taste and texture in your mouth is more like a brownie. All I can say is yum! I will definitely be making more of these.
It’s been a while! Not only since I posted last but since I last baked a muffin. My interest has been reignited by a recent trip to Canada. The muffins there are fabulous and not anything like the “cake” versions I’ve found in the UK. Canadian muffins were huge. Often they were a meal in themselves with delicious fruit and vegetable ingredients. So after more research than was perhaps necessary on holiday I’m now back home ready to bring you more muffin experiments.
The post holiday resolutions are now slowly slipping to the wayside. The mango I bought at the height has slowly over-ripened to the point that I don’t really fancy eating it after all. To ease myself back in gently I used the book Scrumptious Muffins by Marc Grossman to make these mango muffins. I love that they use fresh mango and mango chutney. They are delicious, light and not too sweet.
Having been quite pleased with the results from the book 1001 cupcakes, cookies and other tempting treats I decided to try yet another. The occasion is breakfast for friends. They had to be pleasing for small children yet interesting for the adults and just a little bit healthy. I went for the sunflower seed muffin with oats and raisins number 105.
The results were a little bit stodgy. Perhaps a few too many sunflower seeds. If I did them again (and I’m not sure I would) I’d leave out the sunflower seeds in the mixture and add a little spice for flavour.