Finally I found a great Muffin Recipe!


IMG_8691I have been trying out muffin recipes for quite some time and always been a bit disappointed with the outcome. The muffins were never like the ones I tried in cafes and bakeries. They were not light enough and didn’t rise as high as I wanted. Finally I have found a recipe that is great. I recently bought some Billington’s sugar  and I chose the Demerara type. On the side of the packet it suggested I go to bakingmad.com and look at the recipes and this is where I found the muffin recipe. I love the sugar too and it looks fantastic on the top of the muffins.

So if you’re anything like me spending Easter with friends and family and you’d like to whip up a quick bunch of muffins, please try this recipe. You can replace the raspberries with any other ingredient you fancy or a couple of them. Banana and choc chip, apple, blueberries or white chocolate. You can grate the apple or cut into small pieces.

IMG_8690I have changed the original recipe just a little.

Recipe

  • 300g Plain white flour
  • 155g Demerara Billingtons sugar
  • 1tbsp Baking powder
  • ½tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼tsp Salt 
  • 250ml Milk (whole)
  • 2 Large eggs (free range)
  • 85g Butter (unsalted) melted
  • 120g Raspberries

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan) and line a muffin tin with muffin cases.

  2. Sift together the flour & 115g of caster sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda & salt into a large bowl. Pour the milk into a jug, add the eggs and mix by hand

  3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and, mixing slowly, add the milk & egg mixture, increase the speed and beat until the batter is smooth. Pour in the melted butter and beat again until well mixed

  4. Stir in the berries by hand, ensuring they are evenly mixed, then spoon the batter into the cases until 2/3 full.

  5. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining sugar.

  6. Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins until the muffins are golden brown and springy to the touch. Allow to cool then transfer to a wire rack.

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My Chili Con Carne


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We had a birthday celebration this week. My “husba” as I affectionately call him, loves Chili Con Carne, so this was his special birthday dinner. We have made this as a family meal for years. The children love it and we have a few ways of serving it. I would set the table with the chili, avocado, chopped tomato and lettuce, salsa and maybe some corn kernels and taco shells. Then everyone serves themselves the way they like to. Some would just have a big bowl of chili, others would make a taco and other versions of a mix up of these ingredients. Children love putting meals together.

I never had any problems with the chili being spicy but if you do, it’s easy to take the chili out and add it as an option on the table. Of course you might have seen a recipe for Chili Con Carne before, the only secret ingredient I have is a cup of beer. I find it adds a great taste to the meal.

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Recipe

3 tablespoons of olive oil

500 grams of lean mice beef
2 large finely chopped onions
3 cloves garlic diced

1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons chili powder or to taste

2 tablespoons dried ground cumin

(I use Herbies Mexican Chili Powder and extra cumin)
Coarse salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
2  cups tomato passata

1 cup of freshly chopped tomatoes
250 mls of beef stock
1 tablespoon of brown sugar

can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup of freshly shelled borlotti beans

1 cup of light beer
Sour cream
Chopped green onions

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Method

In a large heavy pot over medium-high, heat the olive oil, onion, and garlic. Add cumin, oregano, chili powder, (or Herbies Mexican chili powder) sugar, salt, pepper. Then add mince beef and once brown and still in small pieces add tomato passata and freshly cut tomatoes. Stir until well combined. Now add the beef stock. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered and stirring often. When the liquid has reduced add the beer.

Continue simmering for 2 to 3 hours. You can add more beer or stock if you think it is becoming too dry.

(This can be made into a vegetarian chili by adding more beans and deleting the minced beef).

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Salty peanut and dark chocolate slice


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I have been thinking about Easter this year. As all my children are grown up and past the Easter bunny thing, I thought I would bake some Easter presents for them this year instead of the usual commercial alternatives. When you think about it there really is no need to give the commercial type chocolate. The benefit of making your own presents is that you can use the best ingredients and package them nicely. It’s always nice to receive a present made with love.

These crunchy squares are delicious and easy to make. You could cut them into different shapes, even bunny or egg shapes. They will store in the fridge for at least two weeks. It would be possible to change the recipe slightly and make it gluten free *See my notes below.

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Recipe

Ingredients

Base

3 Weetbix crumbled up nice and small

1 cup of self raising flour

1 cup of pre-roasted crushed nuts. I used mixed nuts, leftover pistachios, almonds and hazelnuts. Use what ever nuts you like. To roast, just pop in the oven on 170C for five to ten minutes.

125 grams of unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup of brown sugar

1 cup of dessicated coconut

*NOTE: To make this gluten free replace the Weetbix with rice bubbles or another gluten free cereal and use gluten free self raising flour.

Topping

250gms of dark chocolate

150gms of unsalted butter

1/2 cup of castor sugar

1 cup of chopped salted peanuts.

Method

Grease and line a slice tray with baking paper. Mix all the dry ingredients for the base together and then add melted butter. Stir until everything is moist. (If it seems too dry just add some more butter).

Press the base on to the lined slice tray. Push into all the corners and try and make the base an even depth.

IMG_8455Place in a preheated oven (170C) and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile in a double boiler, place chocolate and butter and melt. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Pour this on top of cooled base and tip the tray around so that the chocolate covers all the base.

IMG_8463Before the chocolate hardens sprinkle the salty peanuts on top. Now leave to set and then cut into pieces.

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