Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Carrot, Cabbage & Cheddar Mini Muffins with Garlic Scapes

Carrot, Cabbage & Cheddar Mini Muffins with Garlic Scapes

These carrot, cabbage & cheddar mini muffins with garlic scapes are incredibly easy to make and are packed full of vegetables and protein. They’re also very tasty and being bite size are ideal for packed lunches, picnics or parties. They freeze well too.

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Chocolate Jam Doughnut Muffins and a Taste Test

4 Star, Small Cakes | 8th October 2014 | By

When I saw the recipe and accompanying pictures for baked jam doughnut muffins over at Lavender and Lovage, I knew it was only a matter of time before I tried them myself. As ever, Karen’s photographs are beautiful, but it was the recipe itself that enticed me. I love doughnuts, but never buy them as they are, somehow the epitome of junk food. I’ve been wanting to try some of these baked doughnut style muffins for ages, but as soon as I come across a recipe, I lose it again. This time I bookmarked it.

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Miso Muffins with Kale, Carrot and Courgette

Lunch, Savoury Chocolate | 25th September 2014 | By

If you haven’t heard of the baking challenge Alpha Bakes, you may have had less of a headache than I did this month. A random letter is generated each month and we have to find something to bake where a main ingredient or name begins with that letter. When it happens to be C there is no problem for me – everything I bake has chocolate in it, but when it’s something a little more obscure such as Z, it becomes  difficult. This month’s letter is K. Although kiwi fruit came to mind initially and when I looked in my recipe books I found a few obscurely named recipes beginning with K, I ended up going with kale. Despite the pigeons, kale is one of the few crops we’ve managed to grow this year and having initially dismissed this as an ingredient, I decided I really wanted to use some in a bake. Once I’d decided that, it was easy. I resorted to my trusty savoury brunch muffin recipe and adapted it to suit.

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Lactofree Raspberry, Poppy Seed and White Chocolate Muffins

Lactose-free Muffins

One of the fun things I got to do on my recent visit to London was to eat breakfast and make brunch with Tom Aikens using lactofree products at L’etalier des Chefs near St Pauls. Tom Aikens is well known for being the youngest chef to earn two Michelin stars at the tender age of 26. He is also known for his talent and creativity. I found him to be friendly, knowledgable and helpful.

Lactofree Products

Lactofree was a knew one on me, but as a big fan of dairy, I thought it was a fantastic idea for dairy enthusiasts who are unfortunate enough to be lactose intolerant. There is quite a range of products including, milk, cream, yogurt, spreadable butter, cream cheese and cheddar. I don’t entirely understand the process of extracting the lactose which is done by some sort of filtration, but all the products I tried tasted just as they should. Tom was a fan of the cream in particular as it can be used for cooking without splitting, unlike many dairy free products.

Tom Aikens

The masterclass comprised a demo on how to make Tom’s poppy seed and raspberry muffins and a demo of his recipe for mushroom ragout on toast with chervil and sorrel; this was followed by a hands on cooking session replicating the mushroom dish. The muffins used the spreadable butter and raspberry yogurt from the lactofree range and the mushrooms were cooked with the spreadable butter and cream. We took home some of Tom’s muffins; the mushrooms we ate on grilled wholemeal sourdough as soon as we’d cooked them. They were scrumptious, although I’m sure a little grating of 100% chocolate would not have gone amiss.

As we’d started the morning with muesli and yogurt, I was feeling quite replete by the end of the morning and certainly didn’t need lunch. It was fun to meet and cook with other food bloggers and to see a part of London I wasn’t very familiar with. The event was even more enjoyable as I was able to invite along the friend I was staying with. She was delighted by the mushroom recipe in particular as she’d never really known what to do with this most glorious of fungi. Tom’s muffins kept me going on the long train journey back home to Cornwall. Poor CT didn’t get a look in.

St Paul's Cathedral

Whilst we were in the vicinity, we took a rather scary glass elevator trip up to the top of One New Change, a shopping centre with an open rooftop offering an impressive view of the London skyline. This was probably the best view of St Paul’s I’ve ever had and my friend pointed out a number of new buildings I hadn’t seen before including the Shard.

As it’s World Baking Day today, I decided to make Tom’s muffins but add my own twist of white chocolate and thus use less sugar. I also used my usual flour mix of half wholemeal, half white. The recipe was a little odd regarding quantities. For example, we were asked to use 230ml of raspberry yogurt, but the pots came in 125g sizes. So the measures I used may not reflect the original recipe. I also realised, after the event, I was meant to cream half of the sugar and add the other half to the egg whites – oh well!

This is how I made:

Lacto Free Raspberry, Poppy Seed and White Chocolate Muffins

  • Creamed 115g spreadable butter with 200g vanilla sugar (golden caster) until light and fluffy.
  • Separated 5 eggs, adding the yolks to the butter, putting 2 whites in the fridge for later use and adding 3 whites to a clean bowl.
  • Beat in the egg yolks into the butter mixture together with 2 tsp of vanilla extract.
  • Beat in two 125 ml tubs of raspberry yogurt and 35g poppy seeds.
  • Whisked the three egg whites with a pinch of cream of tarter until stiff peaks formed.
  • Stirred ⅓ of this into the yogurt mixture, then folded in the remainder.
  • Sifted in 315g flour (half organic wholemeal, half organic white), 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda and ½ tsp baking powder.
  • Folded this in as gently as possible followed by 50g of  white chocolate chips and 170g fresh raspberries.
  • Divided between 15 muffin cases, which was a mistake – I overfilled them. The recipe said 16 and I should have taken note.
  • Baked at 180℃ for 23 minutes. Left to cool for a few minutes then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
  • Took some over to my mother’s for tea.
Raspberry and Poppy Seed Muffins

The muffins are really good, but not as good as Tom’s. I suspect that the recipe we were given was not quite the same as the one he used on the day; mine taste slightly bicarby I think. They are also very rich and again I’m not sure that Tom used all five egg whites or just the three specified. The cakes rose well and have a lovely firm but light texture with a nice crunch of poppy seeds. The raspberry flavour is a good one. The raspberries adding little bursts of tart fruitiness and the white chocolate gave punctuating sweetness. I did find the recipe a bit of a faffy one and ended up with more washing up than I’d normally expect from a simple muffin recipe. I think next time I make it, I will not bother separating the eggs and perhaps use four whole eggs instead of five yolks and three whites.

Although this is really a raspberry muffin, there is a lot of vanilla in here and the flavour really comes through, so I am entering it into this month’s The Spice Trail where vanilla is the choice. It’s being hosted by Solange of Pebble Soup who should recognise these muffins as she was also there at the Lactofree event. Vanesther of Bangers & Mash is the creator.

 

As I suspect this might become a bit of a favourite, I’m entering them into Favourite Recipes where the theme is sweets and snacks. It’s being hosted over at My Kitchen Odyssey on behalf of Zesty South Indian Kitchen.

Treate Petite is also celebrating World Baking Day, so this is a particularly apt entry. Hosted this month by Baking Explorer and Cakeyboi on alternate months.

Thanks to Lactofree for this fun masterclass and the bag of products we were given to take home with us. I was not required to write a positive review and as always, all opinions are my own.

Beetroot, Walnut, Wild Garlic and Goat’s Cheese Brunch Muffins

Lunch, Savoury Chocolate | 24th April 2014 | By

 The benefits of olive oil have long been appreciated. When I was a child it was hard to get hold of and more of it was poured into our ears than went into our salads. It was bought from the chemist and used to reduce ear infections and soften wax. Luckily things have moved on since then. We are big fans of it in this household and use quite a lot of the extra virgin variety, preferably cold pressed. Not only does this have a better flavour, but also has a higher level of the beneficial components. If the claims for its health benefits are to be believed, CT & I should do pretty well as we get older. It is said to aid calcium absorption thus reducing the effects of osteoporosis in the elderly. The monounsaturated fatty acids found in olive oil may also prevent memory loss by maintaining the structure of the brain cell membranes – hmm, perhaps I’m not consuming enough of it or perhaps my memory would be even worse without it. There are also a number of antioxidants to be found, including Vitamin E, carotenoids and phenolic compounds. These are meant to help in the prevention of certain diseases such as cancer and mitigate against some of the effects of ageing.

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Banana and Mincemeat Buns

Small Cakes | 27th March 2014 | By

Looking around my kitchen the other day (well more like the other week), two items caught my eye. An opened jar containing some chocolate mincemeat leftover from the mincemeat slices I’d made a few days earlier and one lost languishing banana which was about to expire. It was obvious there was no time to spare, I needed to use them quickly. What could I do, but make some banana and mincemeat buns. I based my recipe on the mincemeat buns I made a couple of years ago.

This is how I made them:

  • Creamed 125g unsalted butter with 125g cardamom sugar (golden caster) until light and fluffy.
  • Broke in 2 duck eggs, beating well between each egg.
  • Added 1 mashed banana and beat until combined
  • Sifted in 125g flour (half wholemeal, half white), 1 scant tsp baking powder and 1/8 tsp bicarbonate of soda.
  • Stirred until just combined, then stirred in 4 tbsp chocolate mincemeat.
  • Spooned into 12 muffin cases.
  • Baked at 180°C for 20 minutes until risen and golden.

The buns rose well and had a fabulous crumb structure. And more to the point, they were very tasty. Even CT liked these and he is not a mincemeat fan.

Using up leftovers and homemade leftovers at that, as well as rescuing a banana from the compost heap gives these simple buns the necessary kudos to be entered into Credit Crunch Munch with Camilla of FabFood4All and Helen of Fuss Free Flavours.

This month’s Family Foodies is all about getting something prepared fast – fast as in under 30 minutes. Well I reckon as long as your butter is soft and your ingredients handy, you could get these mincemeat muffins prepared in ten minutes allowing them 20 minutes to bake. I’ve also managed to get a healthy banana in their as well as lots of dried fruit and dark chocolate. Hosted alternately by Bangers & Mash and Eat Your Veg.

Wensleydale and Cranberry Chocolate Muffins

Christmas, Small Cakes | 28th December 2013 | By

Wensleydale Muffins

I always try and make the boys next door something for Christmas as a thank you for uncomplainingly taking in our parcels throughout the year. Seeing some cranberry Wensleydale cheese for sale recently, I remembered how good the Wensleydale apple cake I made last year was and thought I should perhaps try it out in some muffins. I found this recipe on the Yorkshire Dales Cheese Co website and adapted it accordingly.

So, this is how I made:

Wensleydale and Cranberry Chocolate Muffins

  • Sifted 225g flour, 50g drinking chocolate, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of rock salt into a bowl.
  • Stirred in 110g golden caster sugar.
  • Crumbled in 125g Wensleydale cheese with cranberries.
  • Peeled, cored and finely chopped one small apple and stirred this into the mix.
  • Made a well in the centre and broke in 2 smallish eggs.
  • Added 90 ml Mrs Middleton’s cold pressed rapeseed oil and 200 ml sour milk (ordinary milk should be fine or add a tsp of lemon juice to the milk and leave to stand for a few minutes).
  • Stirred until just combined.
  • Spooned into 12 muffin cases and baked at 180°C for 22 minutes when risen and firm to the touch.
The muffins had a lovely light texture and a nutty taste from the oil. The apple gave additional moistness and the cheese made for a richer more satisfying mouth feel. Easy, quick, delicious and nutritious these would make an excellent brunch dish for all those Christmas visitors.

Not very elegant perhaps, but these would make great snack food for keeping the cold at bay whilst seeing in the New Year at some favourite spot out in the wilds, as we have been known to do. A flask of hot mulled wine to accompany them would not go amiss either. As such I am submitting these to Emily’s Recipe of the Week over at A Mummy Too, which is all about New Year’s Eve Nibbles.

Chilli Corn Chocolate Muffins – Random Recipes #34

Lunch, Savoury Chocolate | 6th November 2013 | By

It’s back to basics with Random Recipes over at Belleau Kitchen this month. Randomly pick a book and then randomly pick a recipe from it. I headed straight over to Eat Your Books (EYB), where I found to my astonishment I now have 100 recipe books. I picked a number using a random generator and got 37. Counting down on EYB, I got Charlotte Pike’s wonderful book, The Hungry Student: Vegetarian Cookbook. The random generator gave me page 185 which happened to be a simple recipe for chilli corn muffins. The recipe looked most enticing, especially as it was nearly lunchtime – all it needed was a bit of chocolate. I dashed down to the kitchen and promptly made some. It was all done and out of the oven in 35 minutes. Apart from adding 100% chocolate for extra umami, I used some of Mrs Middleton’s lovely cold-pressed rapeseed oil and substituted most of the flour for wholemeal spelt. Oh and I added some garlic – you can never have too much garlic.

This is how I made:

Chilli Corn Chocolate Muffins

  • Sieved 250g flour (200g wholemeal spelt, 50g white) with 2 tsp baking powder, a pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp paprika.
  • Grated in 100g cheddar cheese and 20g 100% dark chocolate.
  • Added a grating of black pepper.
  • Finely chopped half of one of our manzano chillies and a clove of garlic and added this to the bowl with 100g of frozen sweetcorn.
  • Stirred until all was evenly mixed.
  • Made a well in the centre and broke in 2 duck eggs.
  • Stirred the centre, then added 4 tbsp rapeseed oil.
  • Stirred again, then slowly added 200ml sour milk whilst incorporating into the dry mix.
  • As soon as the mixture was just combined, spooned into 12 large muffin moulds.
  • Baked at 180°C for 22 minutes until well risen and golden brown.

The muffins were so good, especially straight out of the oven, that I couldn’t help myself and ate four of them for lunch. They had enough heat in them from the chilli to make you sit up and take notice, but that didn’t detract from the other flavours. The sweetcorn made them nice and chewy and the chocolate added just a touch of sophistication. CT’s demeanour visibly improved when he was presented with a couple of these on his arrival home that evening.

So over to Dom at Belleau Kitchen with these Chilli Corn Chocolate Muffins.

As these are perfect for lunch and are easily portable, I am submitting them to November’s Family Foodies where the theme is Lunchbox Ideas. Hosted by Vanesther of Bangers & Mash and Lou of Eat Your Veg.

Apple Chocolate Chip Muffins – Random Recipes #32

Small Cakes | 27th September 2013 | By

This month’s Random Recipes has been restricted to puddings, cakes and bakes, which suits me fine. I picked my book the usual way using Eat Your Books and got Seaweed and Eat It: a family foraging and cooking adventure by Fiona Houston and Xa Milne.

My mind went into a bit of a frenzy trying to imagine what seaweed and chocolate would taste like and in what form I could possibly put them together. I had a look through the book and really there wasn’t a great deal I felt I could make from it – not that included chocolate anyway. So, I cheated a little, just a tiny bit. Before giving up on the book entirely, I thought I’d look to see if there was a suitable recipe I could adapt and I found one – Yummy Muffins. These muffins were unlike anything I’d made before as they used  cream cheese and lemon juice so I was keen to try them. One of the ingredients was foraged berries. Well I didn’t have any of those to hand, but I did have plenty of windfall apples, so I used those instead. And of course, I added a bit of chocolate.

This is how I made:

Apple Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • Sifted 300g flour into a bowl together with 1½ tsp of baking powder and ½ tsp of bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of sea salt.
  • Stirred in 175g cardamom (caster) sugar.
  • Peeled, cored and finely chopped 2 cooking apples making about 200g in total.
  • Added this to the flour and stirred to coat.
  • Chopped 75g of milk chocolate (35% G&B)
  • Melted 90g unsalted butter in a pan over low heat.
  • In a separate bowl, beat 90g cream cheese with the juice of half a lemon until combined.
  • Beat in 2 eggs, followed by the butter.
  • Beat in 125 ml sour milk – recipe stated ordinary milk, but I had some to hand that needed using up.
  • Made a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and poured in the wet ingredients. Mixed gently until just combined.
  • Spooned into 12 muffin cases and baked at 180°C for 25 minutes.

As we hadn’t been out of Cornwall, I didn’t have anything particularly exotic to offer the team on my return from annual leave, so these muffins went back to work with me instead. They quickly disappeared and the feedback I got was very positive, so I can say these muffins were a success and I shall be making them again.

These muffins were specifically created for Dom’s Random Recipes over at Belleau Kitchen.

 

As these muffins were meant to be made with foraged fruit and were in fact made by foraged windfalls, I am submitting them to Credit Crunch Munch which is hosted this month by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary. This is a monthly challenge run by Fab Food 4 All and Fuss Free Flavours.

Blueberry and Chocolate Muffins

Small Cakes | 10th June 2013 | By

Blueberry Muffins
Blueberry and Chocolate Chip Muffins

I try to draft a post as soon as I have made something so I don’t forget what I’ve done. However, for one reason or another I don’t always publish immediately and some drafts get forgotten about. This is one such that I have just discovered from nearly two years ago. Sadly, the photographs are not up to much and I can no longer remember whose recipe I used as a guide. But I do remember they tasted good, so these blueberry muffins are finally getting an airing.

August 2011
Having just picked up some cut price blueberries I thought I’d better hotfoot it back to the kitchen and make some blueberry muffins. Can you believe it? I’ve never made blueberry muffins before. This seemed a prime opportunity to use the flowery blue muffin cases that a friend gave me for my birthday, still lying homeless in my kitchen.

This is how I did it:

  • Melted 50g unsalted butter in a pan.
  • Sifted 150g flour (50g spelt, 75g white, 25g coconut), 1/2 tsp baking powder, a pinch of salt and 1/8 tsp cinnamon into a bowl.
  • Stirred in 75g cardamom (golden caster) sugar.
  • Mixed 50ml creme fraiche, 50ml milk and 1 egg until all smooth.
  • Made a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and poured in the egg mixture.
  • Tried to mix this, but oh dear, it was way too dry!
  • Added the butter hoping that would sort it out, but still to dry.
  • Added some more creme fraiche and milk (nearly the same again) until I had a consistency I was sort of satisfied with.
  • Roughly stirred in 50g 40% milk chocolate drops.
  • Roughly stirred in 100g washed blueberries.
  • Spooned the mixture into 6 muffin cases initially, but realised I had too much mixture, so added a couple of extra.
  • Baked at 180C for 20 minutes.
Well eight muffins has got to be better than six. This gave me license to munch my way through the two extra ones whilst they were still warm – mmmmm – a very nice way to eat them. In my gluttonous haste I managed to burn my tongue with the first bite into the hot blueberry juice. I doubt I’ll learn the lesson though. The blueberries had burst and were all fruity and jammy with juice running everywhere. These were not very sweet and had more of a scone consistency than a muffin one. However, the coconut flavour was nicely evident and the tart fruit and semi-sweet chocolate was a very nice combination.

These muffins fit very nicely into a new challenge newly created by Victoria of A Kick at the Pantry Door. Feel Good Food is all about delicious but healthy food and this month it’s all about blueberries.

I’m linking this to Mrs M’s Recipe Link Party

I’m also linking this to Four Seasons Food as blueberries are in and it’s meant to be summer – with Delicieux and Chez Foti.