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.

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

Earl grey poached pear muffins and thriftiness

fluffyThese lovely little muffins are gorgeous and packed with floral notes. They’re the perfect afternoon pick-me-up because they’re full of pears and they’ve not got too much butter or sugar in them; the sweetness in the mixture mainly comes from the vanilla bean and the earl grey tea. They’re also great because there is no wastage! You make use of the poaching liquid and the pear peel, so they’re super thrifty! Thriftiness is in at the moment, thank you Macklemore!

I bought my tea from a fabulous little tea supplier I stumbled upon at the Marricvkville organic markets, but you can use whatever type you want. The Ttotaler tea that I used is particularly special because it’s bursting with rose petals, which give the mixture a beautiful fragrance and a pop of colour as well.