Spiced choco chip muffin

Spiced choco chip muffin © dan and  tuesday

Spiced choco chip muffin © dan and tuesday

This muffin recipe puts a twist on the regular choco chip muffin by adding spices. I used a spice I found in the Sunday Riverside market in Cardiff. It’s called Victorian cake spice. I’m not really sure what’s in it – if you know, feel free to enlighten us! But it smells of Christmas, of cinnamon and nutmeg!

Victorian cake spice © dan and tueday

Victorian cake spice © dan and tueday

I’ve made this a few times now – to share at work, to give us a present for Kielo, and, now, for our friends Helen and Phil.

You need:

  • 100 g softened unsalted butter
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 5 tbsp milk
  • 150 ml sour cream
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200 g dark chocolate chips

dark chocolate chips © dan and tuesday

dark chocolate chips © dan and tuesday

Tools

  • 12-cup muffin tray, lined with muffin cases
  • mixing bowls
  • handheld mixer
  • pre-heated oven at 190˚C

What to do:

  1. Mix butter and sugars in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Beat in eggs.
  3. Add milk and cream and mix until everything is thoroughly mixed.
  4. In another bowl, sift flour, spice, bicarbonate of soda, and cocoa powder.
  5. Mix the wet and dry mixture very well. I just use a spoon at this stage and not the handmixer.

    making muffins © dan and tuesday

    making muffins © dan and tuesday

  6. Add the chocolate chips. Mix well, agin with a spoon.
  7. Spoon mixture on the muffin cases.
  8. Bake for about 28 – 30 mins then take out from the oven and let it  cool in the tray for about 10 mins. Transfer to a wire rack to cool properly.
spiced choco chip muffin © dan and tuesday

spiced choco chip muffin © dan and tuesday

Maybe this is more of a Christmas muffin… but so far no one has objected to a little taste of Christmas in the summer.

Advertisements

Spanish manchego and courgette muffins

Spanish manchego muffins © dan and tuesday

Spanish manchego muffins © dan and tuesday

This evening I am channelling my friend and colleague, Sandy, who is the best muffin baker I know. I’ve decided to make a savoury muffin after Sandy made Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s courgette and pine nut muffins for my bbq birthday party last month.

I am using a recipe from a Marks and Spencer “magical muffins” cookbook (only £5!). This is the first muffin recipe I am using from the book. It’s a good muffins cookbook which contains sweet, savoury, and healthy muffins, and muffins for special occasions.

Most of the ingredients for this recipe are stock items in my pantry. The only things I needed were fresh flat-leaf parsley, courgette, and Spanish manchego cheese. The trickiest bit is having a shredded courgette but I have my trusty magimix food processor for that.

shredded courgettes © dan and tuesday

shredded courgettes © dan and tuesday

You need:

  • 150 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 280 grams plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp granulated/caster sugar
  • 2 medium free-range eggs
  • 175 ml milk
  • 400 g shredded courgettes
  • 30 grams grated Spanish manchego cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Tools:

  • grater for cheese and courgette
  • food processor (optional)
  • 12-cup muffin tray oiled or line with muffin cases
  • muffin cases (optional)
  • Pre-heated oven at 200˚C
  • mixing bowls
  • beater (optional)
oiling the muffin tray © dan and tuesday

oiling the muffin tray © dan and tuesday

What to do:

  1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a big bowl. Add the sugar and mix well.

    sifting flour © dan and tuesday

    sifting flour © dan and tuesday

  2. In another bowl, beat the eggs lightly with a fork or a beater. Stir in milk and the vegetable oil and mix well.

    beating the eggs © dan and tuesday

    beating the eggs © dan and tuesday

  3. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture and gently stir to mix well.
  4. Add the courgettes. Lightly stir.
  5. Add the manchego. Lightly stir.
  6. Add parsley. Lightly stir.
  7. Really, don’t over-stir. It’s fine if it’s a bit lumpy.
  8. Divide evenly in the muffin tray filling it at least 2/3 full.
  9. Cook in the oven for about 25 mins until it’s golden. You can test if the muffins are already cooked by sticking in a toothpick and if it comes clean then it’s cooked.
  10. Remove from the oven leave it on the tray for a bit and then transfer on a wire rack to cook properly. Eat it right away (most awesome idea) or you can freeze it for about a month. I like mine with a bit of butter but Dan prefers it without.
lovely savoury muffins © dan and tuesday

lovely savoury muffins © dan and tuesday

What I want to try next time with this recipe

  • use different fresh herb like oregano, rosemary or basil
  • use less oil
  • use young spinach with the cheese
  • oh, and use more cheese!
  • Manchego cheese is a bit mild for me so I might try a strong cheese like smoked applewood or even parmesan next time.

Rich dark chocolate cup cake

This recipe is from my favourite dessert cookbook called Divine and it uses a lot of the Divine chocolates which some of you might know is a fairly traded chocolate.

In doing this recipe, I was trying out 3 things:

  1. my fan-assisted oven – I think the thermostat is not working properly and it emits too much heat. The first batch turned ok, a bit over-cooked around the edges but nice and soft inside. The second batch was quite burnt on the outside.
  2. cake & biscuit set – a gift from Tonet and Dino
  3. magimix 3200 compact food processor – I was deciding between a kitchenaid stand mixer or this food processor and decided to get the food processor this time and then think about getting the stand mixer another time. I want to learn how to make fabulous cakes and I read that a stand mixer is really good for making cake. For this recipe, I used the food processor to mix the cake and, you know, it’s not bad!

Now on to the recipe!

Melt 2 x 100g bars of Divine dark chocolate by breaking it relatively equal pieces. Put in a heatproof bowl and set it over steaming water (not boiling!). Be careful not to get any water in the chocolate. When the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the heat and let it cool.

Put 200g of very soft unsalted butter and 200g caster sugar in a bowl of your food processor or stand mixer if you have one – lucky you! Mix until light and creamy.

You will need 4 large free range eggs (at room temperature is best). Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg.

Stir in the 100ml sour cream on low speed then mix the 200g self-raising flour. Lastly, mix the melted chocolate gently until it’s all mixed up well and the mixture is smooth and looks really yummy!

Now you can make them into cup cakes by spooning them in muffin cases or you can make it into a chocolate loaf using a loaf tin (greased and base-lined).

Cook at 180˚C (or much less if you have fan-assisted oven) for 20-25 mins or until firm.

Optional topping or “icing“: melt 1 x 100g bar of Divine dark chocolate and when it’s all melted stir in the 1 tbsp golden syrup and 25g unsalted butter.

Did you like it Dan? 🙂
It was delicious. And much tastier for having been so beautifully photographed…

morning muffin


This is from the recipe book GI High Energy Cookbook.

Ingredients
170 g dried apricots, coarsely chopped
170g unsweetened muesli
250 g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
250 ml orange juice (fresh is better!)
zest of 1 orange
3 tbsp vegetable oil
100 ml honey
1 large free-range egg

What to do

  1. Out apricots, muesli, flour, baking powder in large mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix juice, zest, oil, honey and egg. Fold into the dry ingredients, but do not overmix.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the paper muffin cases.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven at 150˚C (fan-assisted oven) for 10-15 mins until golden and risen.
  5. Remove from the oven and serve or transfer to a cooling rack for freezing.