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.

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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.

Dark chocolate peanut butter cookies

Dark chocolate peanut butter cookies © dan&tuesday

Dark chocolate peanut butter cookies © dan & tuesday

So far I’ve done 3 recipes from the hummingbird bakery cookbook. The Pecan pie, that was first, and then this wonderful peanut butter cookies, second. The third one was the lemon loaf but that will be another post.

If, like me, you enjoy a super chunky peanut butter and dark chocolate, then this is a little piece of heaven on earth! It was even more delish after a day or two as the cookies become a bit chewy.

You need:

  • 225g unsalted butter at room temp
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g light brown sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 240g chunky peanut butter
  • 340g plain flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 75g chopped dark chocolate
Cookie dough © dan & tuesday

Cookie dough © dan & tuesday

Tools:

  • baking trays x 4 lined with greaseproof paper
  • freestanding or handheld mixer
  • mixing bowls
  • rubber spatula
  • Pre-heated oven at 170˚C

What to do:

  1. Dan tries to help © dan & tuesday

    Dan tries to help © dan & tuesday

    Use the mixer to cream butter, caster sugar and light brown sugar until it’s light and fluffy.

  2. Add the eggs one at a time. Make sure that the ingredients are mixed well by scraping the side of the bowl using the rubber spatula.
  3. In low speed, beat in the vanilla extract and peanut butter.
  4. Add the flour, bicarbonate soda, and salt. Mix until you have a smooth dough. Then add the dark chocolate and mix well. Taking a break from writing his awesome blog, Dan wants to help!
  5. Put about 6 cookie dough on each baking tray. Space them apart as they will spread when they are baking.
  6. Bake until the cookies are golden brown which is about 10 mins.
  7. Cool the cookies onto a cooling wire rack.
Cooling the peanut butter cookies © dan & tuesday

Cooling the peanut butter cookies © dan & tuesday