burnt toast

Category: Muffins

Raspberry goodness

raspberry and white chocolate muffin

Hi. Yes more sweets for you today. Why? Because I think you’re too skinny. And because cake is really good for you. It’s got like berries in it, which are supposedly high in antioxidants, and there’s dairy, which contains calcium, which everybody knows is good for your bones and stuff. Just watching out for ya love. I know, I know. I would think I was an awesome friend, too. And look, I made twelve individual “cakes,” because I know you and your conscience too well and I wouldn’t want you two getting into a quarrel now.

half left

But now, on muffins quickly – because after all, I’m giving you yet another awesome recipe and I think I should explain why exactly. I’m sure I’m not alone in this when  I say I like the top the best. But only if it’s crunchy, with light but moist buttery crumb. And the caramelised morcels of white chocolate, well they’re just a bonus.

The reason why I’ve stared including cups as measurements is because I currently don’t own any kitchen scales. And because It’s easy. Just thought I’d let you know.

three muffins

Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins

300g / 2 cups plain flour

3 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

220g / 1 cup caster sugar

220g butter, cut into cubes

125ml / 1/2 cup buttermilk

2 tsp vanilla essence

1 egg

250g / 2 cups frozen raspberries, ½ cup set aside

200g white chocolate, roughly chopped, 1/5 set aside

icing sugar, to dust

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a muffin tin with muffin cases or squares of baking paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and the sugar. In a small pan, melt the butter and let it cool slightly. In a jug, combine the butter with the milk, vanilla and egg, giving it a bit of a whisk with a fork. Pour into the bowl and gently stir until just combined. Stir in the berries and the chocolate. Divide amongst the muffin holes and top with the berries and chocolate you set aside. Pop in the oven for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Once the pretties are cool enough to handle, give them a bit of a sprinkle with the icing sugar and eat one while it’s still warm.

Crunch

roasted pumpkin and pesto muffin

I used to work at this cute little take-away deli/café, which was renowned for its coffee, and especially for its savoury muffins. They were the embodiment of what the god of muffins would be like. They were divine. Later, the café changed hands and our lovely cook left, leaving a big hole in our customer’s stomachs and hearts. But not all was lost. Before I left to go on adventures of my own, I acquired the recipe from the grey ring-bound book in which the previous cooks had found enlightenment. And I too, found it. This is it. The Holy Grail. The muffin of muffins. Crunchy and crumbly on the outside, soft and delicately fluffy on the inside. The master recipe is endlessly adaptable of course, so over the course of time I will bring you my favourites. I shall start with my personal favourite, the roasted pumpkin and pesto muffin. You’re very welcome.

crumbled pesto muffin

Roasted Pumpkin and Pesto Muffins

You will have to prepare the roast pumpkin an hour or so in advance, just for time management and stuff. And yes, there is a lot of oil. But that’s just how it is honey. Go with it.

Makes 12 standard muffins, or if you have a giant muffin pan, 6. Adjust cooking times accordingly.

¼ large jap pumpkin, cut into 2cm dice

12 garlic cloves, peeled

salt, pepper and olive oil

2 cups/300g plain flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp salt

220ml canola oil

250ml milk

1 egg

6 Tbsp basil pesto, plus 2 Tbsp extra, for decorating

For the pumpkin, you can preheat the oven to 200°C while you chop it up. Place the pumpkin on a baking tray with the garlic cloves, and drizzle with some olive oil and grind over some salt and pepper. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until soft. Cool. You will only need half of this, about 2 cups or two handful’s worth. From that, put aside 12 pieces of pumpkin and the garlic cloves. These you’ll need to decorate the top with. The leftover pumpkin, well I’ll leave that up to your imagination what you’ll do with that. I’ve got all confidence in you.

Get a muffin tin and line each hole with a square of baking paper.

Now turn the oven down to 190°C. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In a jug, whisk together the oil, milk, egg and pesto. Pour into the flour mix and give it a few stirs. Add the pumpkin and incorporate with as few stirs as possible – you must not over mix the batter, or else they won’t come out beautifully fluffy and gorgeous like I told you. And we really want fluffy. Scoop the mixture into the prepared muffin tin and divide evenly amongst the holes. Top each muffin with a piece of pumpkin and a clove of garlic, and dollop a tiny bit of pesto on top. Place the tray into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, and the top is nicely golden brown.

Delicious, right?

If you’re going to have them the next day, reheat them in the oven at the same heat for a few minutes for the best results. Microwaves are completely unwelcome, unless you’re looking for a de-crunchified, slightly soggy experience.

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