Chocolate raspberry muffins and familiarity

previewChocolate and raspberries are such a familiar combination. One of those things that I always fall back to when I need a fail-proof result. The sweet and tart notes of the raspberries, mixed with the sophistication of the dark chocolate turn out perfect, comforting little bites of homely muffins.

I always have raspberries in my freezer. They’re an easy way to jazz up a dessert, they’re a great addition to a smoothie, and I happily munch on them straight from the freezer sometimes. Actually, the reason I whipped up this recipe was because I needed to finish off my freezer stockpile. Continue reading “Chocolate raspberry muffins and familiarity”

Blueberry cranberry muffins and colds

tearIt’s probably not hard to see that I love cooking. One of the things that I love about cooking is the sharing aspect. I love nothing more than foisting food upon my loved ones. So when somebody that I love is unwell, I turn to food for the solution.

My brother’s girlfriend currently has a terrible cold, so I made her an immunity-boosting soup and these muffins.

They’re packed full  of blueberries and cranberries, which have antioxidants, vitamin C by the bucket load.

Lemon zest is great for eradicating toxins in the body. I realise that the sugar is probably counteracting the eradication slightly, but when you’re sick you need comfort food. We can’t be good all the time, right?

You’re doing your body a favour by eating one of these little muffins. Go on, make a batch.

Blueberry cranberry muffins

Makes 24

  • 1 cup frozen blueberriesbite
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 2 ½ tsp bicarb

Topping:

  • 1 tbsp lemon zest, grated
  • 1/3 cup sugar

berriesPut ½ a cup of the blueberries and ¼ cup of the cranberries into a small saucepan with the water and one tablespoon of the sugar. Heat the mixture over a low-medium heat, stirring constantly and squishing the berries as you go. Keep on the heat for 5-8 minutes, until the water has mostly evaporated and you’re left with a small amount of syrup. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool. If you want a berry pulp, grab a fork and mash the berries further – I kept lots of whole large chunks in mine, but you can make them whatever consistency you like.

foldCream together your butter and sugar, then add in the vanilla and eggs. Mix well. Mix in the bicarb, then gently fold in the remaining blueberries and cranberries so that their colour doesn’t bleed into the mixture.

Mix together your sugar and lemon zest for the topping. Set this to one side.

sugarSpoon into cupcake cases, then top with 1 tsp of your blueberry cranberry mixture, then sprinkle a generous teaspoon of the lemon sugar topping over the mixture. When the sugar topping bakes, it should caramelise slightly to create a satisfyingly crunchy coating for the top of the muffin.

Bake at 180° for 25-28 minutes.

aboveIf you’re after a healthy beverage to go with these super muffins, try a lemon tea. Enjoy!

preview

Milo cupcakes and dinosaur themed birthdays

wrapperI have wanted to do a themed birthday party for a long time now. When I was given some adorable cupcake wrappers by Illume Design, I knew what my theme would be – DINOSAURS!!

I very rarely do manly posts. Without even thinking, I drift towards florals and polka dots and tea pots. Browsing through previous blog posts, one might suggest that I don’t actually own anything monochrome or beige. I promise that I do! In an effort to counter this slightly, I styled a dinosaur themed birthday party (which any boy OR girl would happily attend.)

IMG_9589Milo isn’t a very pretty food, but it is delicious, which is why I love it. The very fact that Milo is kind of bumpy and ugly means that it is perfectly suited to a dinosaur-y landscape. It also makes the cupcakes extra delicious. Continue reading “Milo cupcakes and dinosaur themed birthdays”

Coconut lime cupcakes and abundance

iceDoes anyone else have a ridiculous amount of limes in their house at the moment? I do. A week or so ago they were ridiculously cheap so I went a little crazy. I’ve been steadily working my way through them, but there are only so many mojitos a girl can drink by herself.

So I’m baking with them!

I also happen to have way too many tea cups at the moment. It’s a delightful predicament, brought about by a loan from Cristina Re. You’ll be seeing a few of her swoon-worthy tea cups popping up in photo shoots over the next few weeks, because I’m slightly in love with them. Continue reading “Coconut lime cupcakes and abundance”

Citrus cupcakes and picnics

biteFriends and I had a post Australia-day picnic and I wanted something nice and zesty to perk people after their Australia day celebrations. The day was hot and windy, and our location at Sydney Park was perfect. I instagrammed it, obviously

What I love about these cupcakes is that they’re so simple, but awesome – they’re beautifully moist and citrus-laden. I can’t think of more ways to explain how glorious these cupcakes are, I just love them… you should bake them!

groupThe little cakes are moist and sweet, while the icing is mouth-puckeringly tart – the combination of the two is just gorgeous. The icing stops the cakes from being overly saccharine, while the cake softens the edges of the citrus tang; these two are a match made in citrus heaven.

Citrus cupcakes:

Makes 20bite

  • 125g butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g (2 ¼ cups) almond meal
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 orange, zest and juice

Icing:

  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 small lemon, zest and juice

zestPreheat your oven to 180°C

Cream butter and sugar together until pale and smooth. Add the eggs and almond meal and mix until incorporated. Sift the flour into the bowl and mix that too.

fillPop the zest and juice of the orange into the mixture and give it one final mix before scooping generous spoonfuls of batter into cardboard cupcake cases. Aim to fill them about ¾ of the way up, as this mixture doesn’t rise very much.

lemonBake for 20-23 minutes until the edges start to turn golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean*. Transfer cakes onto a cooling rack.

While the cakes cool, zest and juice the lemon. Combine the lemon juice, icing sugar and about half of the zest to make the icing. Reserve the other half of the zest to decorate the cupcakes with.

iceTo ice, drop a tablespoon of mixture onto the crest of each of your cupcakes and allow It to run down the sides naturally. The icing is pretty thin, so should sort itself out – if this approach is too messy for your liking, simply use the back of the spoon to spread the icing out. Top some of the iced cupcakes with  your remaining lemon zest.

holder*This batter can also be made into a cake – simply pop the mixture into a greased cake tin and cook for 40-50 minutes.

 

Mini lemon thyme cakes and discoveries

thyme in handLast post I mentioned re-discovering a fabulous carrot and poppyseed cake. I realised that I don’t proclaim my discovery of things often enough. It would be remiss of me to write any further this week without mentioning my two new loves – lemon thyme and cake stands.

Of course, I’ve always known that both existed, but this week I have seen them in a new light. So I guess you could call these sort-of-discoveries It was an abundance of lemon thyme in the garden that drew me to seek out new recipes to harness it. The smell of lemon thyme is absolutely enchanting. It’s like lemon’s cooler older brother – lemon thyme  is a little more mature and mellowed out where lemon is really loud and abrasive, too busy trying to prove himself. Continue reading “Mini lemon thyme cakes and discoveries”