Black Forest Muffins

Super rich in flavour, light and fluffy these Black Forest Muffins tick all the right boxes plus they are easy to make and best of all, they can be on your table within the hour! Though they do taste better if you can resist until they are cooled completely 🙂

Super rich in flavour, light and fluffy these Black Forest Muffins tick all the right boxes plus they are easy to make and best of all they can be on your table within the hour! Almost everyone loves a classic Black Forest Gateaux but who has access to or even afford one every day? So as we fancied one but didn’t have access to one our creative juices started to flow and this is what we came up with – a black forest muffins!

Ingredients:

  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 125g flour
  • 25g organic unsweetened raw cocoa
  • 4 eggs; separated
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 75g cherries in juice; drained

For the syrup:

  • 3tbsp cherry juice
  • 2tbsp caster sugar
  • 1tbs cherry liqueur

For the decoration (optional):

  • 150ml whipping cream
  • 10 cherries
  • Chocolate shavings

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Prepare 10 cups in a muffin tin tray by lining them with paper muffin cases or lightly greasing.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, on a low heat melt the butter and sugar, gently bring to the boil and cook for a minute or two stirring constantly till the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat, transfer into a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool.

In a clean and dry bowl whisk the egg whites until peaks form.

Once the butter and sugar mixture has cooled down, stir in the egg yolks followed by the vanilla essence, then sift over flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix well.

Then gently fold in the cherries and whisked egg whites.

Spoon the batter into the earlier prepared muffin cases and bake for around 15 minutes or until well risen and firm to the touch, use a wooden toothpick to check, it should come out clean when you stick it into the middle of the muffin.

Whilst your muffin are baking mix up the syrup by combining all the listed ingredients. If you are struggling with dissolving the sugar simply heat the cherry juice up a bit.

Once the muffins are baked remove from the oven and whilst still hot slowly drizzle a little bit of the syrup mix onto each muffin. It will give them a wonderful shiny finish 🙂

If you are opting for the fully loaded version of the muffin with whipped cream then whip the cream (I don’t add sugar but if you fancy more sweetness, you might want to add a tablespoon of icing sugar… or two) so it is ready for serving.

Once you are ready to eat, simply decorate your shiny muffins with the whipped cream and place a cherry on top; finish with some chocolate shavings sprinkled all over…

Perfection!

Super rich in flavour, light and fluffy these Black Forest Muffins tick all the right boxes plus they are easy to make and best of all they can be on your table within the hour! In the past we used to only bake these muffins for special occasions, especially if we opted for the whipped cream finish but lately we have decided that actually, every day is a special day, so why not treat ourselves for no particular reason at all!

What is your favourite special occasion dessert?

Super rich in flavour, light and fluffy these Black Forest Muffins tick all the right boxes plus they are easy to make and best of all they can be on your table within the hour!

Coffee, Chocolate & Pecan Cookies

Soft and chewy, those coffee, chocolate and pecans cookies offer a great treat; an irresistible flavour combination for any time that you need a pick me up.

Soft and chewy, those coffee, chocolate and pecans cookies offer a great treat; an irresistible flavour combination for any time that you need a pick me up.It’s cold out there, and very white… yes, we are kind of snowed in, which means no playing outside… as a result, we are spending more time in the kitchen, cooking and baking and generally creating some wonderful creations… and today I would love to share our new cookies with you 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 175g flour
  • 115g butter; soften
  • 115g light muscovado sugar
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 50g dark chocolate; roughly chopped
  • 50g pecans; roughly chopped
  • 2tbsp instant coffee
  • 1tbs hot water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4tsp grounded ginger
  • 1/4tsp grounded cinnamon

For decoration (optional)

  • 25g dark chocolate; melted
  • 25g pecans; roughly chopped

Soft and chewy, those coffee, chocolate and pecans cookies offer a great treat; an irresistible flavour combination for any time that you need a pick me up.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare two large baking trays by lining them with baking parchment.

In a large bowl place the butter and both sugars and beat until light and fluffy.

Put the coffee granules into a small bowl or cup; add hot water and stir until dissolved, set aside to cool. Then add the vanilla extract and the egg and whisk until combined.

Slowly add the coffee mixture into your butter and sugar mix beating until creamed and fluffy again.

Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and fold carefully into your mix.

Finally, fold in the pecans and chocolate chunks.

Measure approximately one heaped tablespoon of mixture per cookie and place onto your earlier prepared baking trays spacing them well apart to allow room to grow.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and slightly crisp on the outside, they will still feel very soft to the touch but they are ready at this stage.

Leave to cool on the baking tray for a 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Soft and chewy, those coffee, chocolate and pecans cookies offer a great treat; an irresistible flavour combination for any time that you need a pick me up.If decorating, wait until the cookies have cooled down completely, drizzle with melted chocolate then immediately sprinkle with chopped nuts (the still warm chocolate will work like a glue as it cools and sets).

Store, after cooling down completely, in an airtight container.

Enjoy with a beverage of your choice!

Soft and chewy, those coffee, chocolate and pecans cookies offer a great treat; an irresistible flavour combination for any time that you need a pick me up.

Pomegranate & Passion Fruit Muffins

If you love fruits you will love these muffins; they are moist, zingy and very fruity, filled with crunchy seeds offering an unusual sensation in your mouth and a wonderful flavour combination on top, not to mention their totally divine smell… just being close to them you will instinctively know there are passion fruits somewhere around.

If you love fruits you will love these muffins; they are moist, zingy and very fruity, filled with crunchy seeds offering an unusual sensation in your mouth and a wonderful flavour combination on top, not to mention their totally divine smell… just being close to them you will instinctively know there are passion fruits somewhere around.Unfortunately for some of my readers this is not a sugar free recipe but I might just try to develop a sugar free version of them as they are truly something special.

To be honest I wasn’t planning on baking such fruit rich muffins but as I had some passion fruits close to their use by time and also I had just returned from a foodie shopping expedition carrying a small carry bag full of pomegranates (lately, this seems to be my “go to” fruit) and Mark was nagging me for some “normal” muffins, I decided to give these flavours a try. And oh boy, am I glad I did because I totally love the final effect. It’s so aromatic and unusual. I think the sensation of the crunchy seeds when biting into them makes them one of the kind.

If you love fruits you will love these muffins; they are moist, zingy and very fruity, filled with crunchy seeds offering an unusual sensation in your mouth and a wonderful flavour combination on top, not to mention their totally divine smell… just being close to them you will instinctively know there are passion fruits somewhere around.The recipe will make 6 full size muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 150g flour
  • 120ml milk
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 30g butter; slightly melted
  • 4 passion fruit
  • 1 egg; lightly beaten
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • Giant handful of pomegranate seeds

Method:

Preheat your oven to 200C and line a 6 muffin baking tray with paper or silicone muffin casings.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and sugar.

In a second bowl mix the milk, butter, egg, vanilla essence and passion fruit pulp then gently hand whisk until combined.

Add the wet ingredients mixture to the dry ingredients mix and fold in until just combined. Do not under any circumstances over mix them or the muffins will come out tough.

Add the pomegranate seeds and mix in gentle till evenly distributed. Finally spoon the batter into your earlier prepared muffin cases.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 20-22 minutes. You want them well risen and lovely golden brown on top.

Remove from the oven and move onto a cooling rack.

Let them cool completely before serving (if you can withstand the super intense fruit aroma around the house that is).

If you love fruits you will love these muffins; they are moist, zingy and very fruity, filled with crunchy seeds offering an unusual sensation in your mouth and a wonderful flavour combination on top, not to mention their totally divine smell… just being close to them you will instinctively know there are passion fruits somewhere around.

If you love fruits you will love these muffins; they are moist, zingy and very fruity, filled with crunchy seeds offering an unusual sensation in your mouth and a wonderful flavour combination on top, not to mention their totally divine smell… just being close to them you will instinctively know there are passion fruits somewhere around.So, what do you think?

Have you ever had any kind of muffins with crunchy seeds before?

Sugar Free Dates & Coffee Muffins

Light and fluffy with complex flavours revealing themselves as you eat these date and coffee muffins are pure indulgence yet surprisingly diet friendly and sugar free.

Light and fluffy with complex flavours revealing themselves as you eat these delightful date and coffee muffins are pure indulgence yet surprisingly diet friendly and sugar free.Coffee or “gogo juice” as Mark likes to call it is a must have for most of us each morning. We drink it to boost our energy levels so we can start to face the day ahead… but this is only partially true isn’t it?

In the last few months the new “healthy me” hasn’t found the need for a cup of coffee in the mornings. Most days I have a protein shake packed with matcha and I am just as ready to go, yet I still have my coffee each day simply due to its unique flavour. Coffee is a wonderful ingredient not only for drinking but for cooking and baking too… tiramisu, cheesecakes, truffles, these are all delicious desserts made with coffee and if you are a coffee lover you really should give them all a try some day… but for now… back to earth and my muffins 😉 so what do I need I hear you ask…

Ingredients:

  • 250g dates; finely chopped
  • 200ml full fat milk*
  • 50ml very strong espresso from good quality coffee
  • 140g white flour
  • 2 eggs; beaten lightly
  • 2tbsp coconut oil; rounded
  • 2tbsp coconut nectar
  • 2tbsp raw cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda

*If you aren’t a huge fan of full fat milk, you can use any milk you fancy or even a water but full fat milk adds something a bit special to these muffins; I am not quite sure (apart from he taste) what it is but it does make a world of difference.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C fan and prepare a 12 muffin tin by lining it with paper muffin cases or silicon ones. The recipe will make 10 full size muffins but I assume there isn’t a 10 muffin tin out there.

Brew 50ml of strong, good quality coffee (Lavazza is a perfect choice). If you make it from espresso make it a triple or even a quadruple shot.

In a medium size cooking pot place the dates add milk and coffee and bring it to a gentle simmer.

Cook on a low heat for about 3-5 minutes or until all liquid has incorporated into the fruit and don’t forget to stir ever so often to reduce the risk of any sticking.

Put aside and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

In the meantime, sift your flour and cocoa powder and mix with bicarbonate of soda then in a separate small bowl or a mug beat the eggs.

Now back to our dates…

Add two heaped table spoons of good quality raw virgin coconut oil and stir until melted and mixed in, finally add the coconut nectar and again stir until incorporated into the mix.

Fold in the dry ingredients being the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda mix, finally add the eggs and stir until fully combined but not over mixed.

Use a table spoon or an ice cream scoop and spread your batter evenly between 10 muffin cases. You can make 12 muffins if you have a mild case of OCD but they are going to be slightly more flat and just a bit on the small size.

Pop into your earlier preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes at 180C fan. In case you made 12 muffins check them 1 or 2 minutes earlier just to be on the safe side.

The muffins should be firm to the touch and a toothpick pushed into the middle of one should come out dry and clean.

When the time is up, remove from the oven, remove from the baking tray and place on a wire rack allowing them to cool completely.

Serve and enjoy!

Light and fluffy with complex flavours revealing themselves as you eat these delightful date and coffee muffins are pure indulgence yet surprisingly diet friendly and sugar free. Light and fluffy with complex flavours revealing themselves as you eat these delightful date and coffee muffins are pure indulgence yet surprisingly diet friendly and sugar free. I have to admit with my podding (aka listening to my Slimpod) I hardly ever eat sweets lately and if I do I find that half of something is usually more than enough… well this wasn’t the case with these muffins… I had two as soon as they became eatable (aka cool enough to eat without burns or blisters) and then finished half of Marks one whilst he was distracted… ooops! These are by far my most favourite sugar free creation to date.

Gingerbread Christmas Cookies

There is no Christmas without a tin of homemade gingerbread Christmas cookies somewhere in sight in my humble opinion. These gingerbread cookies are easy to make and will make a perfect canvas for kids friendly kitchen crafts if you decide to let them decorate the final product.

There is no Christmas without a tin of homemade gingerbread Christmas cookies somewhere in sight in my humble opinion. These gingerbread cookies are easy to make and will make a perfect canvas for kid friendly kitchen crafts if you decide to let them decorate the final product. Ingredients:

  • 250g flour
  • 80g butter
  • 4tbsp honey
  • 4tbsp sugar
  • 2tbsp natural yogurt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1tbsp cocoa
  • 1tbsp gingerbread spice mix
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp baking soda

For decoration (optional)

  • 1 egg
  • 250g dark chocolate
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 2tsp white egg powder
  • 2tbsp water

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Prepare and line with baking parchment two large baking treys.

In a small saucepan gently melt the butter and honey but do not allow them to boil. Put aside to cool.

In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients being: flour, sugar, cocoa, gingerbread spice mix, cinnamon, and baking soda.

In a small bowl whip the egg yolks.

Once your butter has had the time to cool down, add it into the dry ingredients and mix gently. Next add the yogurt and ensure that all ingredients are well combined. Finally add your egg yolks and mix until smooth.

Place on a flat surface that has been lightly dusted with flour ready for rolling.
Roll out the dough to approximately 1cm in thickness, it can be less but ideally no more. Cut the desired shapes out and place on your pre-lined baking trays.

Now, for a shiny looking cookie, take 1 egg and in a small bowl beat with a fork and use the mix to “paint” your cookies just before their trip into the oven.

Bake in the earlier preheated oven for about 7 to 9 minutes.

Remove from the oven and move onto a cooling rack.

Once cooled down, it’s time to decorate!

There is no Christmas without a tin of homemade gingerbread Christmas cookies somewhere in sight in my humble opinion. These gingerbread cookies are easy to make and will make a perfect canvas for kid friendly kitchen crafts if you decide to let them decorate the final product.There is no Christmas without a tin of homemade gingerbread Christmas cookies somewhere in sight in my humble opinion. These gingerbread cookies are easy to make and will make a perfect canvas for kid friendly kitchen crafts if you decide to let them decorate the final product.You can simply melt some chocolate and half dip them as we did to our Christmas trees or use icing pens to draw on them, or create your own royal icing (just mix 150g of icing sugar with 2tsp of white egg powder and 2tbsp of cold water)… as I am not very good at decorating things I like to stick to the basics 🙂

Do you bake your own gingerbread cookies?

Or maybe you prefer the ones from a packet without all the hassle of home baking?

There is no Christmas without a tin of homemade gingerbread Christmas cookies somewhere in sight in my humble opinion. These gingerbread cookies are easy to make and will make a perfect canvas for kids friendly kitchen crafts if you decide to let them decorate the final product.