Saturday, 19 January 2013

Raspberry and white chocolate muffins

A strange thing to be making in the middle of winter perhaps but I had some frozen raspberries and an increase in builders due on site next week (and baking keeps them sweet).

IMG 5864a

There are a lot of different recipes out there but I like this one because it uses oil instead of melted butter.  This may be healthier and it's definitely easier.

Makes 12 and they can be frozen.  To reheat either remove from the freezer and allow them to defrost over an hour or so, or take one at a time from the freezer and blast in microwave on full power for 30 seconds.


  • 250g self-raising flour 
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • pinch of salt
  • 100g caster sugar (granulated is fine) 
  • 250ml milk (any type of milk)
  • 1 large egg 
  • 90ml vegetable oil (corn oil is good, olive can have too much taste)
  • 150g raspberries (if using frozen then separate berries and cook for 5 mins longer)
  • 150g white chocolate chips which is a pain as you normally buy these in 100g bags
  • Pre-heat oven to 160°C for a fan oven (180°C for non fan oven).
  • Put muffin cases in muffin tin.  Don't even think of using the silicone things.
  • Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and choc chips together in a large bowl.
  • In large jug or bowl mix egg, milk and oil.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until no flour is visible.
  • Set aside 12 raspberries and carefully mix remainder into muffin mixture.
  • Spoon muffin mixture into cases and pop saved raspberries on top of each muffin.
  • Cook for about 25 mins or longer if using frozen berries.
  • Muffins are cooked when lightly browned and spring back when touched.
  • Enjoy with tea, coffee or gin.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Weird chocolate pudding

I made this, and the family enjoyed it, but I shall be experimenting with variations.
I have been searching for for a self-saucing chocolate pud for years.  Mum used to make one in a soufflé dish and it was delicious.  Well I'm pretty sure this recipe isn't the same, the main giveaway being that it isn't cooked in a soufflé dish, so I'm still looking.
This is a stir some stuff, chuck some other stuff in and bung it in the oven recipe.  Easy peasy.  Serves six.
  • 150g plain flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 50g cocoa
  • 125ml milk (any variety)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 4 tbsp corn oil
  • 100g dark brown sugar (can be substituted with another type of sugar)
  • 60ml rum (optional but if omitted then substitute with boiling water or other liquid)
  • 175ml freshly boiled water
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (160°C for fan oven) and butter a two litre oval oven proof dish.
  • In a large bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt, cinnamon, chilli powder, caster sugar and half of the cocoa.
  • Beat the milk, vanilla extract and corn oil together in a jug or bowl and then pour this into the dry ingredients.  
  • Mix it together with with a wooden spoon to make a thick, smooth batter.  
  • Spoon into buttered oval dish and it should look like this.
IMG 5800
  • Combine remaining 25g cocoa and dark brown sugar in another bowl giving it a good stir to eliminate any lumps.
  • Sprinkle this over the batter on the dish.  You can see my lump elimination efforts were flawed.
IMG 5802
  • Poor freshly boiled water on top followed by the rum.  This seems completely bonkers but you just need to have faith.
IMG 5803
  • Then pop in the oven for 30 mins.
  • When it emerges from the oven it hasn't turned into anything particularly beautiful but it is tasty.
IMG 5804
  • I know Mary Berry doesn't approve of soggy bottoms but this is more gooey than soggy and can be served with cream, ice cream or mascarpone.  Custard doesn't really work. 
I'm never really a fan of vanilla or cinnamon with chocolate and I have to be in the right mood for chilli with chocolate.  I think this would be delicious with orange zest and orange juice instead of rum.  I also think it could be very tasty without the cinnamon, chilli and vanilla and even the rum.  Another alternative could be to take away all of the optional stuff and use coffee liqueur or strong coffee instead of rum.