Chocolate Nut Muffins

Chocolate Nut Muffins

Today is snow. Heavy snow. I’m kind of over snow to be honest. It’s very pretty but, you know, COLD. I learned a new word today (thanks Twitter!): the Icelandic term: GLUGGAVEÐUR  or “window weather.” Weather that looks lovely from inside your house but is horrible to be outside in. I think that sums it up quite nicely. Our household is the kind of household that is stocked with good coffee and organic food at all times, but lacks things like a working boiler or any kind of insulation. So I am sitting and shivering here at the laptop wearing an insane amount of clothes, but with a full and warm belly.

I wasn’t planning to blog anything today but I promised Sas from the awesome Courage & Spice podcast (have a listen – it’s just lovely) a recipe for these gluten and dairy free muffins so here we are! If you’ve got the ingredients in stock you could be warming your own belly with these in under forty minutes – are you ready? GO!

Preheat the oven to 180c while you combine 200g cashew butter (you can use peanut butter if that’s what you have in), two eggs, 75g soft dark sugar and 50g chopped dark chocolate. Then stir in 200ml of nut milk (yep – dairy milk works fine here too – I just had some almond milk to use up.)

Combine 280g self-raising gluten-free flour with a teaspoon of baking powder and then lightly stir it into the gloopy cashew nut butter mixture. Don’t over stir or you’ll end up with rubbery muffins. Eew!

Put generous dollops of mixture into 12 muffin cases or silicon moulds and bake for 25 minutes. By the time you’ve washed up, cleaned up and made a pot of coffee they’ll be all steamily warm and delicious. You might even get to remove just one of your jumpers. Maybe…


Peanut Butter Muffins (flour and sugar free)

Since taking on a primal based diet I’m not missing baked stuff half as much as I thought I would. But people visit, sometimes my daughters get bored of bacon and eggs for breakfast, and occasionally it’s nice to just stuff a bit of sweetly satisfying stodge in your mouth. That’s where these babies come into their own.

They aren’t strictly Primal but you can easily replace the peanut butter with a proper nut butter; I’m just going for full on cheap, mindless and convenient with this recipe. Followers of this blog will know this by now. I am rather childlike in my approach to food. Imagine a happily playing toddler who suddenly decides they need a biscuit. Do they accept, “no problem honey, let me just pop to the shop to buy the ingredients, then we can have a lovely afternoon mixing, rolling out, cooling and then arranging them nicely on a plate”? No. That toddler would let it’s angelic mouth hinge open, tip back it’s sweetly tousled head and let forth an unearthly wail designed to alert the most stretched emergency services to their tragic circumstance. I am that toddler.

Thanks to some nifty silicon muffin trays I can get by with less than five minutes food prep, but with a minimal amount of tweaking there’s no reason why you can’t slop the mixture directly into a cake tin for super-speedy PB blondes or brownies. Embrace your inner needy toddler. Make these right now. Eat them in twenty minutes…

Blend 300g peanut butter, 3 eggs, 2 tablespoons Truvia and half a teaspoon baking powder. Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 15 minutes at 180c. You can get fancy if you like and add 2 tablespoons cocoa, sprinkle with chia seeds or dollop with sugar-free jam but they are lovely as they are, warm, comforting and a bit squidgy inside.


Salted Caramel Doughnut Muffins

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Anybody on any kind of calorie controlled regime please look away right now. Or be prepared to work out for about a week extra to run these babies off. You could try exerting self control but if you manage to stop after just one of this crunchy, fluffy, gooey, sweet n salty muffins the weight of your superiority must weigh heavier than any weight you might put on so who wins now?

I’m rambling again aren’t I? It may be the sugar. I’ll give you my recipe (inspired by Susannah Blake’s in Muffin Magic) now before I pass out in a coma…

Preheat your oven to 200c. Melt 75g butter and mix it with 100g yoghurt, 150g milk or dairy-free substitute, 1 beaten egg and half a teaspoon of salted caramel food flavouring.

Combine 300g self raising flour, 1tsp baking powder and 125g sugar before pouring in the milk mixture and gently stirring (not too thoroughly or your muffins will be rubbery.)

Pop a spoon of mixture into 12 muffin cases or moulds, followed by 1/2 a teaspoon of caramel sauce (Bonne Maman do a fabulous one). Top with the remaining muffin mixture and bake for 20 mins. Then set the table nicely and make sure you have friends or family round to support you. These are to share. Got that? Share. I have faith in you. You can do this…


Spiced Pumpkin Muffins.

I keep hearing of Pumpkin Spice Lattes on Instagram and I want one! No Starbucks nearby though so today I decided to make do with a normal latte and a spiced pumpkin muffin on the side! If you don’t have access to Pumpkin Spice syrup here is the recipe I bodged together with what I had in my cupboard. (If you do, donations are always gratefully accepted!)

First steam half a small, peeled, de-seeded and diced pumpkin until soft, then mash it. (Or do extra and keep some for another recipe)

Add a teaspoon of lemon juice to 200ml milk (dairy or soya) and leave to stand for five minutes before whisking in an egg, a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup, and 75g melted butter. Then stir in your pumpkin.

Combine 300g flour (for some reason I only had in wholemeal bread flour with added seeds so whatever you’ve got will be fine!), 100g sugar, half a teaspoon sodium bicarbonate, a heaped teaspoon of cinnamon, a grating of nutmeg and a shake of ginger.

Lightly combine the wet and dry ingredients, spoon into greased muffin tins or silicon muffin trays, top with walnuts or pecans and bake for 20 mins at 200c.

Finally, drizzle with more maple syrup and serve warm with a frothy latte, a beam of autumn sunshine and something to wipe your sticky fingers on…

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Apple Cinnamon Donut Muffins

The drop in temperature recently has left me with some carb cravings that can’t be ignored. I have honestly tried but it just makes me miserable so hey! This evening I was in desperate need of a quick fix after a busy day and also wanted to use up some apple sauce I’d made with cider at the weekend. Inspiration hit and these lovelies were hot from the oven within half an hour.

I mixed 300g self raising flour with 150g sugar and half a teaspoon of cinnamon in a bowl. Then whisked 50g melted butter with an egg and 250mls soya milk (dairy would be fine) thickened for five minutes with half a teaspoon of lemon juice. Then very lightly mixed the wet and dry ingredients together.

Half the batter went in the muffin tins (I’ve got medium sized silicon jobs, you may need to grease trays or use paper inserts) then a teaspoon of the apple sauce went in each heap of mixture, followed by the rest of the batter before baking in a preheated 200c oven for 20 minutes.

Once they were golden and crispy on top they just needed the tops brushing with melted butter and sprinkling with a mixture of castor sugar and cinnamon. Then we just had to restrain ourselves from not eating them so fast we burned our tongues. Ok – I failed at this, but the recipe was a success so I still win!

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Mocha Muffins

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I have two types of cake I can knock up in a hurry, without really thinking about it, and with a 99% chance of the right ingredients already residing in my kitchen cupboard. The first is a tray of brownies, the second is a batch of muffins. Both are adaptable, can be on the table in about forty minutes and, above all, are guaranteed crowd pleasers. I’ve already “done” brownies this week so when my gorgeous sister-in-law offered to pop by this afternoon with my baby nephew I decided to go the muffin route. Half an hour later the house was filled with the fragrance of coffee and chocolate; which is always a Good Thing!

Should you require a “little something” at short notice, you could do worse than these babies. They are adapted from a recipe of Susannah Blake’s in Muffin Magic. Please note that you can substitute gluten-free flour and/or non-dairy milk without any problems, I’ve done both.

In a big bowl mix 300g self-raising flour, 120g caster sugar, two teaspoons each of cocoa powder and instant espresso powder and 50g chopped dark chocolate.

In a jug beat 200ml milk, two tablespoons yoghurt, 1 egg and 85g melted butter; and then pour into the bowl of dry ingredients. Lightly and barely mix. If you under-combine with streaks of flour mixture still present you’ll get lovely light muffins. If you mix thoroughly, as you would a cake batter, your muffins will be rubbery. You don’t want that!

Spoon the mixture into twelve medium sized muffin moulds (I have two six-hole, silicon muffin trays. If you aren’t using silicon you’ll need to line with paper cases) and pop into a preheated 200C oven for twenty minutes.

Plump the cushions, hide that pile of paperwork, stick the kettle on and then hope your guests arrive before the muffins go cold. If they do cool too much remove from the tins/trays and stick in a hot oven for about three minutes. IF there’s any left you can do this for breakfast the next morning too, but don’t count on it…