Muffins are great..they are so simple to prepare and unlike my cakes, they can’t sink in the middle or crack, which always seems to be the fate of my cakes. There are so many different recipes out there, and here is another one of my favourites adapted from a recipe I have for lemon drizzle cake. The amounts given here should make 8-10 muffins.
2 eggs, beaten
85g/3oz caster sugar
240ml/8fl oz milk
100ml/3½fl oz vegetable oil
300g/10oz plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
4 lemons, zest only
For the topping
50g/2oz icing sugar
1 lemon, juice only
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Line a muffin tin with paper cases. Mix the egg, sugar, milk and oil in a large bowl. Sift in the flour, baking powder, salt and then add the lemon. Roughly mix.
2. Spoon the mixture into the pre-prepared muffin cases.
3. Bake for 30-35 minutes until well risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack.
4. Make the lemon drizzle topping by mixing together the sugar and lemon juice.
5. Spoon the lemon drizzle mixture over the cooled muffins. If desired, decorate the muffins with sprigs of lemon thyme.
I am a big fan of Nigel Slater’s cooking and writing style. I love reading his column in the Observer newspaper. For me he is a food writer who evokes each season so beautifully and all my senses are engaged when I read the descriptions of his recipes. His memoir Toast, the story of his childhood and adolescence told through food, was one of my favourite reads of last year. Yesterday in the Observer he had recipe details for a comforting fish pie and this lovely cake, which I am looking forward to trying out soon.
Wholemeal Apple and Orange Cake
220g butter at room temperature
210g light muscovado sugar
250g wholemeal flour
a lightly heaped teaspoon of baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
200g apples (peeled weight)
100g golden sultanas or raisins
125g orange marmalade
finely grated zest of an orange
You will also need a 20cm round cake tin with a removable base, lined with paper.
- Set the oven at 160C/gas mark 4. Beat the butter and sugar together until light, fluffy and pale coffee-coloured. Meanwhile, lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Core and roughly chop the apples. They should be in pieces under 1cm square.
- Toss the chopped apples with the sultanas or raisins. Stir in the marmalade.
- Add the beaten eggs a little at a time to the creamed butter and sugar, introducing a spoonful of flour if the mixture starts to curdle. Gently but firmly fold in the rest of the flour.
- Fold in the fruit and marmalade mixture, along with the grated orange zest. Spoon into the prepared cake tin, scatter a fine layer of Demerara over the top and bake for an hour and 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out moist but without any cake mixture sticking to it. Cool before serving.
I am trying to introduce more natural and healthy food into our diet. I made these bread rolls today. Spelt is an ancient form of wheat which is now enjoying something of a revival as a dietary grain due to its nutty flavor, high protein and nutrition content.It has low levels of gluten, which make it more digestible to those with mild wheat intolerances. This is recipe for spelt and sundflower seed rolls is one I saw Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall make on his TV programme River Cottage Autumn. Makes 12 Ingredients 1kg wholegrain spelt flour, plus a handful more for dusting 10g powdered dried yeast 20g fine sea salt 100g sunflower seeds, plus about 80g extra for coating 600ml warm milk, plus 120ml cold milk for coating 1 tbsp melted butter A little vegetable oil Method Tip the dough out on to a work surface and press all over with your fingertips to deflate. Divide into 12 pieces and shape these into rolls. Pour the remaining milk into a bowl, dip the rolls in it, then roll them in another bowl filled with the remaining seeds. Transfer to a well-floured clean tea towel, cover with a plastic bag or clingfilm and leave to prove until almost doubled in size. While the rolls are proving, preheat the oven to 250C/500F/gas mark 10, or its highest setting. Put a large baking sheet into the oven to heat up. Once hot, remove the baking sheet, place the rolls on top and return to the oven as quickly as possible. After 10 minutes, turn down the heat to 200C/400F/gas mark 6 and bake until the rolls are well browned and feel hollow when you tap them – about 10-13 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.