Archive for the Muffins Category

A: Poo bread.

Posted in Cakes, Muffins with tags , on November 24, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

The ultimate solution to all the worlds problems, as far as my family is concerned, is food. Birthday? EAT! New job? EAT! Lost your job? EAT! New boyfriend? EAT! Spare 2 minutes in your day?Β  I think you get the idea. So it has only come natural to me to camp out in the kitchen while I attempt to deal with the recent passing of my Grandpa.

I have been wanting to try this particular recipe from Belinda Jeffrey (my personal baking hero) for a while, and on Friday, I did. I love her baking recipes because in the true fashion of country cooking, there is no end to the amount of substitutions you can make. I remember making her zucchini and kumara loaf, but with squash and pumpkin instead, yogurt instead of buttermilk and almond meal instead of flour, and it was perfect! I doubt it would have been equally successful with Delia or even Nigella (who I adore)!

So, even though the original recipe comes from Mix and Bake, I have bludgeoned it somewhat and made it my own. And when the list of ingredients unfolds, it shall become fairly clear why this loaf has been christened Poo Bread. πŸ™‚


Poo Bread (based on Prune, Date and Fig loaves, from Mix and Bake)

Per loaf, you will need:

45g all bran cereal

500g mixed dried fruit, roughly chopped (I used dried cherries, dates andΒ  figs. Prunes, currents, sultanas, dried bananas, apricots should all work well.)

180ml strained tea, cooled (chai tea shines in this recipe, so would earl grey! Your standard black tea works just fine too.)

1/2 cup sugar (I used apple juice concentrate, as a close friend has just been put on a very rigid sugar-free-fat-free diet and I thought I’d experiment.)

1/4 cup golden syrup

1 1/4 C self-raising flour

1 small egg (Or half a large one. Or make 2 loaves and use 1 large egg.)

almonds, pecans, walnuts or whatever you please, to decorate the top of the loaf.


Combine cereal, fruit, tea, sugar and syrup in a bowl. Cover tightly and leave overnight.

The next day, stir in the egg and flour.

Transfer mixture into your loaf tin (buttered and lined with baking paper). Decorate the top of the loaf however you like.

Bake at 165C for 1 hour.


Serve with lashings of butter. This is very rich! Man and I had 1 slice each and we were stuffed. Makes a great breakfast food, teatime food, late night munchie-type food, etc. etc.


A: Think pink!

Posted in Cakes, Muffins with tags , , , on October 10, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

October is Breast Cancer Month, and what better time than now to experiment with my favourite pink vegetable– beetroot! I have been desperate to make a beetroot cupcake for AGES but have never sighted a recipe that I felt was simple yet would do justice to this superfood.

SO, I did some research and decided the best thing to do would be to use a carrot cake recipe as a point of reference and go from there. This is what I came up with (and if I do say so myself, I am quite pleased).

Choco-beet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting


3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp plain flour and a pinch of salt

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

2 large eggs

1/2 cup caster sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup melted butter

2 tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

grated orange zest from one orange

1 1/2 cups grated beetroot

1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped

Frosting: 125g cream cheese, 60g butter, 1 cup icing sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract


Pre-heat oven to 180C, line 12 muffin cups.

Beat the eggs and sugars until well combined.

Add in oil, butter, milk, vanilla, zest and mix till blended.

Add in the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices and gently fold in the dry ingredients.

Stir in beetroot and chocolate chips.

Fill cupcake holders 3/4 of the way, bake for 20 minutes.

Cool in tray for 5 minutes before removing to a rack.

The cake itself has a

The cake itself has a lovely light texture and yet is very moist all at the same time! (I had to try one before frosting just in case I'd messed up!)

Frosting: Cream butter and cheese until smooth, add vanilla and mix until well blended. Sift icing sugar into butter and cheese mixture and beat until light and smooth. Frost cupcakes when cool.

Now if I didn’t already know there was beetroot in this cupcake I probably wouldn’t be able to pick it out. It’s one of those things that are only obvious if you know what you’re looking for. It’s not the best chocolate cupcake ever, but it’s pretty good for a first attempt! Plus the fact that it’s got beetroot in it makes it okay to stuff yourself silly on this stuff!

The orange zest was a bit of a non-event and didn’t really shine here, I might try Cointreau as well as orange zest next time. Perhaps even some candied beetroot or orange segments on the top? Oh the possibilities! Watch this space for more experimental beetroot madness!

A: Nuts about chocolate

Posted in Muffins with tags , , , on October 5, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

Nutella? Tick. Chocolate? Tick. Frangelico? TICK!!!

I’ve been wanting to revisit the Torta Alla Gianduia from Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess for a while now. I first made it about 6 years ago, when my baking skills left much to be desired and my op-shop supplied student kitchen simply could not keep up with my high hopes. It was disastrous. I had to trim the edges off a shockingly flat and lifeless cake and against my better judgement, brought it to a dinner party as my pot luck contribution. The rest is best not discussed.

I decided to re-attempt this lush flourless concoction for my friend Popeye’s (no, not his real name, but a well-earned nickname nonetheless) 39th but instead of one cake I opted for cupcakes instead (this way man could test it before anyone else!).

The recipe made 9 big fat cupcakes. It rose beautifully, and was light and you could taste the nutella, hazelnut meal and to a lesser degree, the frangelico.

Serve with a shot of frangelico. Or with a hot cup of Italian coffee. Mmm...

Serve with a shot of frangelico. Or with a hot cup of Italian coffee (basically coffee with a shot of frangelico). Mmm...

Every Saturday morning, a bunch of us get together a the gym before it officially opens for business to work out. It started with just 2 of us and now there’s about 4-5 of us every week. Then we’d sit out back and have a beer after. Yes, strange. Which is why this ritual has evolved into a very civilised cake and coffee session. This is where we celebrated Popeye’s birthday, with a quick song and lots of hot coffee (and frangelico) to follow.

I also have the man version of this candle and am always on the lookout for more!

I also have the man version of this candle and am always on the lookout for more!

Buy the book, make the cake!


Posted in Muffins on September 24, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

This must be my first bake of spring!! After pouring over all my cookbooks looking for lemon (what else!) ideas, I decided to KISS and make lemon and strawberry muffins πŸ™‚

Take 1 standard muffin recipe, add rind and juice of 1 lemon and 12 chopped up strawberries. Bake until gloriously golden brown. Allow to cool.

Glaze with icing made with icing sugar, rind and juice of a lemon, and a generous splosh of lemoncillo grappa. Top with a strawberry half and drizzle more glaze on top.

Share with your loved ones who help you make it through all sorts of weather.

A: Orange you glad I bought some Amaretto?

Posted in Muffins with tags , , , on August 17, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

I can never slip through duty free without maximising my alcohol allowance. Having nearly completed my collection of Absolut vodkas (just have pepper and pear to go, I think!), I decided to get something a little different this time and landed on a bottle of Amaretto instead.

We love this stuff, and could probably finish most of it drunk neat. However man decided to have it with orange juice last night, which set me on a boozy cake mission!

I found a recipe for Bermudian Rum Cake in my Greyston Bakery Cookbook and this morning set about making Italian Amaretto Muffins!


1/2 C finely chopped pecans

1 C plain flour + pinch of salt

3/4 C caster sugar

11/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 milk

1/4 orange juice (we had orange and mango juice)

1/4 vegetable oil

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tsp grated orange zest

3 tbsp Amaretto


Heat oven to 180C, line 9 muffin cups and fill the empty muffin-holes with hot water.

Whisk together flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl.

Combine wet ingredients with orange zest and mix into the flour mixture.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and top with finely chopped pecans.

Bake for 20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in tin then remove muffins from tin and place on a wire rack over newspaper/plate. Prick holes in muffins and pour 2 tbsp glaze on each muffin (letting muffin absorb glaze bit by bit, or it’ll just run over the muffin and your beautiful Amaretto will go to waste!).


Melt 3 tbsp butter in a pan, add 1/4 C brown sugar and 1 tbsp water and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer while stirring continuously for 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tbsp Amaretto and set aside.

These muffins rise beautifully and are really quite nice eaten warm, and man will proudly attest to that having just given it the thumbs up. I imagine a little shot of Amaretto or spiced rum on the side wouldn’t go amiss either. Perhaps a dollop of cream spiked with Cointreau or rum, as suggested by the original recipe? Mmm…

A: How do I love thee? Lemon count the ways…

Posted in Muffins with tags , , on August 16, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

Don’t you think for one second that I have forgotten my beloved citrus delights. If anything, the house if bursting at the seams with all manner of lemon wonders. (Man is still adamant that his life is made no better by this seasonal barrage of sunburst-yellow.)

One of my all-time favourite muffin combinations has got to be lemon-raspberry. Actually, I suspect this has more to do with the raspberry and less to do with the lemon. Regardless, decided to make a batch of minis with my growing bounty of lemons.

Have bastardized a number of lemon-cake/muffin recipes over the years and I currently am quite happy with this one.

Lemon and raspberry muffins


115g butter, softened

225g sugar

4 eggs, beaten

225g plain flour, whisked with 2 1/2 tsp baking powder

130ml milk

1tsp vanilla essence

juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 cup of frozen raspberries (I tend to add more)


Heat the over to 180C, line 12 muffin cups or 24 mini-muffin cups.

Combine the lemon juice with the milk and leave for 10 minutes (or just use 150ml buttermilk plus lemon zest).

Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs gradually, beating well after each addition.

Add flour mixture and fold in using a spatula.

Fold in milk, zest, vanilla and frozen raspberries.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes.

I would include a photo of the finished product but a large proportion of the muffins mysterious disappeared while they were cooling and I was so caught up in saving the rest from my ravenous manrat (who claims to abhor the dreaded lemon) that I forgot to take a snap. 😦


Posted in Cakes, Muffins on August 4, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

I’ve tried a few of BJ’s teabread recipes already- and they’ve all been gorgeously moist and utterly delicious. After having a coconut teabread (and I don’t like processed coconut) that was absolutely scrumptious after it was toasted the other day, I had it at the back of my mind to do something similiar.

After surveying the various options in her book, I decided to modify her healthy banana teabread to suit the moment. How lucky I had ALLLLL the ingredients at hand (Take That! Magic Pantry!!!!)

For something that had so many healthy ingredients and so little guilty ones in it, it was soft, light and oh so morish………

Now bring on that lemon curd!!! πŸ™‚