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!

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.

Aronia Muffins – Gluten & Sugar Free

Aronia Muffins – Gluten & Sugar FreeThese gluten, wheat and sugar free muffins with added antioxidants rich aronia berries, called by some the healthiest fruit in the world, are a perfect home baked healthy treat. Packed with good ingredients they offer a guilt free treat whilst improving your health through better nutrition.

Aronia, or so called chokeberries, come in several different varieties – red, black and purple – but they all offer a long, long list of health benefits and well deserve being labelled a superfood.

If you have never tried aronia berries before you should give them a go. There are like no other fruits; their flavour is complex and quite hard to describe. They aren’t sweet, yet they aren’t sour either; they are moist and juicy yet they leave your mouth dry just like after eating a lemon… they are truly one of a kind.

If you fancy gluten and sugar free muffins and don’t have a pack of aronia berries to hand, simple replace them with any other barriers that you love.

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 100g coconut flour
  • 65g organic, virgin cold pressed coconut oil
  • 5tbsp raw natural honey
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 150g aronia berries
  • Stevia sweetener (or icing sugar) for decoration (optional)

 

Aronia Muffins – Gluten & Sugar FreeMethod:

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Prepare 12 piece muffin tray by lining it with paper or silicone muffin casings.

Measure the coconut oil and put it in a small bowl and place in the microwave. Microwave for 10 seconds, than rest for 30 seconds; then microwave again for 10 seconds… after two sessions the oil should be almost melted (depending on the power of your microwave, alternatively melt on a very low heat in a small saucepan)… use a fork to move it around to assure it is entirely melted.

In another small bowl mix the coconut flour, salt and baking powder.

Place the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk until blended, then add all the other ingredients – wet and dry, except for the berries and whisk again until everything is well combined.

Gently fold in the berries and spoon your mixture into the pre-prepared cases. The batter will be extremely runny almost like a liquid but don’t worry it should be like this. You will have enough mixture for 10 large muffins or 12 medium ones, more of a cupcake shape… the choice is yours.

Bake in the earlier preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick pushed in to the middle comes out clean and dry.

Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for 5 minutes before moving them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Aronia Muffins - Gluten & Sugar FreeOnce cooled completely sprinkle with dusting sugar – either processed or a stevia based sweetener – serve and enjoy!

Have you ever baked with aronia before?

These gluten, wheat and sugar free muffins with added antioxidants rich aronia berries, called by some the healthiest fruit in the world, are a perfect home baked healthy treat. Packed with good ingredients they offer a guilt free treat whilst improving your health through better nutrition.

Proper Old School Blueberry Muffins

Muffins are without doubt a delightful and tasty small cake that compliments a light lunch or even a mid meal snack to keep hunger pangs at bay. They are small, take anywhere delights and a firm favourite of many people… myself included.

But wait, something has gone terribly wrong with the whole concept of the humble muffin in my humble opinion. I find more often than not, when I make a purchase and eagerly open the packaging to sample my muffin, that all is not perfect in muffin world. I tend to find that the muffin of this high tech processed food world to be substandard to what I recall as the perfect muffin.

Maybe my memory has put on some rose tinted glasses and the muffin I crave never really existed but I believe they do. The muffin of today tends to be a super sugary and very moist ball of dough that when you eat turns into a single flavoured paste in your mouth. This defeats the purpose of eating a proper muffin. With a proper muffin you are meant to have a light fluffy cake and only when you bite into the fruit of the muffin do you get a burst of sweetness and flavour. A muffin should be a multi levelled experience, and that’s what I miss.

Until now!

I am making a stand; I am going to take control of my muffin again. I know I can do better myself and so I am going to do it and here is how…

Let us start with the most popular muffin on the market, the blueberry muffin. I consulted my range of baking books and settled on my stalwart go to book the Leiths Baking Bible. I have waxed lyrical about this range of books before and with good reason, they do it properly.

Let’s bake some proper old school blueberry muffins!

My Proper Old School Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:

For the muffins:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp of ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of salt
  • 115g of melted butter
  • 115g light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1tsp grated lemon zest
  • 140g soured cream
  • 200g of fresh blueberries

For the topping:

  • 85g plain flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 55g of butter
  • 55g of caster sugar

Method:

Make the topping first by sifting the flour into a bowl and add the salt. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour and then with only your finger tips rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs, now stir in the sugar and pop into the fridge to chill.

Pop the oven on and set it to 190C or 375F. Line a 12 holes muffin tin with paper or silicon muffin cases and set aside for the moment.

For the muffins themselves, sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt into a large mixing bowl.

In a small saucepan slowly melt the butter removing from the heat just before fully melted and allow to cool slightly for a couple of minutes. Add the lemon zest, sugar and soured cream and stir well. Add the beaten eggs slowly whilst still stirring to stop them curdling or lumping from the heat of the melted butter.

Now the most important part of the whole process, add the wet ingredients to the dry and pop in the blueberries. Remember, you are not allowed to use more than 20 folds to combine them as over stirring will cause the final muffins to be tough. Try and do it with as few folds as possible; I tend to do around 14, so the challenge is set 🙂

Now divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin cases.

Last thing, remove the topping from the fridge and sprinkle over the muffin mixture, I tend to find I have too much so don’t overdo it, it’s alright to have some spare.

Now bake in the middle of your preheated oven for around 20 minutes or until well risen and golden brown, you will have to adjust if you have a convection oven by lowering the target temperature by 10 degrees and reducing baking time by 5 minutes. You will just have to keep an eye on the little fellas. As a final test a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of one muffin should come out clean and dry.

Remove the muffins from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.

What's Baking - Proper Old School Blueberry MuffinsProper Old School Blueberry Muffins

Do you enjoy the muffins of today or do you crave the way they used to be?

What is your favourite muffin?

Yum

What’s cooking – Blueberry muffins

BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

So today Mark is on holiday and to avoid housework has offered to create a scrummy breakfast! Happy me!

Fresh baked blueberry muffins turned out to be my breakfast, they where delicious so I thought I would share with you the secret to a great start to the day. It takes about an hour start to finish, after that it’s all up to your self control how long they last.

So start by turning on your over to 200C/400F/GM6 and placing a shelf in the centre position.

Now take the largest mixing bowl you own and a measuring jug.

Into the mixing bowl sift:

+ 300g self raising flour

+ 1 teaspoon baking powder

Make sure you sift the flour, we want it light and dusty, and stir. Now take

+ 50g of cold butter

…and quickly cut it up into big chunks and drop it into the flour. Now just keep picking up a flour covered butter piece and chop it in half, keep going till all butter pieces are too small to find.

+ 80g caster sugar

+ 150g blueberries

Add the sugar and berries to the mix and give a last gentle stir and put aside.

Now in the jug put the following ingredients:

+ 2 eggs

+ 225ml of milk

+ 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Now with a whisk or a fork give the contents a good whisk till the contents resembles very runny custard.

Now take a 12 cup muffin tin and place a paper/silicon mould in each space. If you don’t have any lining cases you can grease the tin.

Now timing is everything, take a big serving spoon, make a well in the flour and pour the contents of the jug into the well. Using the big spoon, gentle fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Use a scoop, lift and turn method, turn the bowl a degrees and scoop, lift and turn, repeat until the dry ingredients are at least damp. The trick here is to do as little mixing as is possible, it doesn’t matter about lumps or small lumps of flour, it will sort itself out in the oven.

Lastly without a moment’s hesitation, spoon the mixture into the muffin tin using another spoon to scrape the mixture from the big spoon. You need to be quick as the raising agents will have been activated by the liquid, we don’t want to miss any of that wondrous chemistry.

Once you have filled, place them straight into the hot oven. Bake for 20minutes or till well risen, golden coloured and firm to the poke. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin then remove them to a wire cooling rack to warm… then, and only then can the unceremonious devouring of poor helpless muffins occur!

Couple of notes, these muffins will be strange if you are used to supermarket muffins, as they will not be as sweet as you are used to.

8 BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

Mark also said that he would love to take credit for the recipe but it is actually from a little book he highly recommends to all budding muffinologists called Muffins Galore by Catherine Atkinson ISBN978-0-7537-2018-9

Enjoy