Friday, 16 July 2010

Dark chocolate and dried cranberry muffins

I'm off on my hols now, so apologies for the lack of any replies to your lovely comments, I really do love reading them and will reply when I get back.
I was chatting to T recently and he asked me for a muffin recipe. It made me realise that I haven't made muffins for ages and ages, which is definitely an oversight on my part given how easy they are to make, how quick to bake and how versatile in terms of flavours and add ins. Anyway, as I was giving him the recipe I realised that I haven't really got it down in the form I make it now. I originally made a half recipe here, which is the first time I felt that I'd got muffins that actually looked and tasted how I wanted them to. I've also made a chocolate version, plus others. So to make it easier for myself when I just want a standard (non chocolate) batch of muffins, I'm going to put the recipe down here too.


My favourite (well, currently!) muffin recipe

Ingredients
300g self raising flour
170g caster sugar (white or golden)
170g butter, melted and cooled a little
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla
200ml milk (I usually have semi-skimmed in)
approximately 200g add-ins - this time I used 90g chopped dark chocolate and 90g dried cranberries

Method
- Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Place 12 paper liners in a muffin tin.
- Mix dry ingredients (flour and sugar) in one bowl. Ideally sift the flour but I often don't....
- Beat eggs and milk plus vanilla in a jug.
- Pour eggs and milk into dry ingredients, mix a little and then add the butter (this sounds odd, but helps to avoid the butter solidifying in little lumps which happens when you add the hot butter to the cold milk and eggs) and mix very briefly.
- Add your extras and mix again. Don't be too thorough - lumps are good, but pockets of unmixed flour less so.... strike the balance!
- Divide between the cases. They will be full almost to the top.
- Bake for around 25-30 minutes until golden brown and a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack.


Enjoy!


These are fairly substantial and filling, but light and tasty at the same time! I enjoyed the combination of slightly tart dried cranberries and slightly bitter dark chocolate as a contrast to the sweetness of the crumb. I'm guessing colleagues enjoyed them given that they didn't last long, but no-one said anything. Humph!!! I think these are better with butter than the more traditional (and marginally healthier) oil - substitute 170ml sunflower or vegetable oil if you wish. I find that oil makes them greasy after baking.


7 comments:

Anne said...

Enjoy your holiday!

Love the sound of cranberry and dark chocolate combo, will be making these soon!

Chele said...

Happy holiday! With these little guys at your side I'm sure you will enjoy evry minute of your time away!

Jude said...

They look and sound lovely! What's the difference between a muffin and a fairy cake? (or am I just showing my age)?

Have a lovely holiday.

Foodycat said...

Chocolate and dried cranberries is a very nice combination. Or maybe dried cherries?

Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial said...

Hmph. I think your colleagues should have at least said something...your muffins look delicious, C!

Katie said...

Oh yum these look fab and I love dark chocolate and cranberries together. Love how they've got the proper domed muffin top

C said...

Thanks everyone. Had a lovely holiday and a little sad to be back ;-)

Jude - for me (and this might not be correct) a fairy cake is made using a fairly standard sponge cake mixture, whereas a muffin recipe tends to have a higher proportion of flour and liquid and is made by briefly mixing dry ingredients into wet. Muffins tend to hold additions in suspension better than fairy/sponge/cupcakes. I don't know if others would agree with that though!

Foodycat - yes, dried cherries would be lovely, but significantly more expensive than the dried cranberries!

Katie, the domed top is one of the reasons I love this recipe - it never fails to please me! and it also never fails to surprise me how much mixture you put into each case before baking!

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