muffin magic

With such cold, rainy weather today it became a perfect time to bake up a storm in the kitchen.

Having recently bought Allan Campion & Michelle Curtis’s book "In the Kitchen" a few weeks ago, with over 1000 recipes, it is fast becoming a valued recipe resource. Almost as much as Stephanie Alexander's Cooks Companion....well almost.....I've had my Cook's Companion for over 10 years so they do have a little more to catch up to the beloved Steph!

Browsing the ‘Cake’ and ‘Desserts’ section my baking passions were being tempted by so many delights, yet it was the muffins that caught my eye as it had been some time since I'd whipped up a batch.

And with many muffins I could eat one now (okay who am I kidding a couple!) and freeze the rest for the future indulgences. . . . be it sharing with friends or for that little sweet moment with a cup of tea.

There are a cornucopia of muffin recipes in Campion & Curtis’ book that enticed me however I wasn't about to brave the elements and shop!

Using their basic muffin recipe as a guide I looked to my fridge and pantry for some inspirational ingredients and then, with a little culinary ingenuity, I created my own muffin magic.

Measure & chop, mix & bake.......Alakazam!

campion & curtis's basic muffin recipe

150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
pinch salt
110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
125ml (1/2 cup) milk
50g melted butter

  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
  • Line 6 x 1/2 cup capacity muffin pans with paper cases.
  • In a bowl mix the flour, salt and caster sugar together.
  • Add vanilla, egg, milk and butter and beat until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pans and bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until risen and golden brown. Allow to cool.

mint slice muffin Bites
60g dark chocolate, chopped
60g butter, chopped
150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
40g ( 1/3 cup) cocoa
110g (½ cup) caster sugar
1 x 200g packet Arnott’s Mint Slice biscuits, chopped
1 egg
150ml milk
100g dark chocolate, extra

  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Place dark chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl, then place over a saucepan over simmering water and stir until melted. Cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl sift plain flour and cocoa then stir in caster sugar and Mint Slice biscuits.
  • In a jug or bowl, combine egg and milk together. Pour over dry ingredients then add melted chocolate and mix until combined. Spoon into 36 silicone muffin pans*.
  • Bake for 10 -15 minutes or until when insert a skewer into the centre it comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

*Alternatively line 36 standard mini muffin pans with paper cases. This recipe can also be used to make 8 x ½ cup capacity muffin pans. Follow directions except in the last step bake for 20-25 minutes.

strawberry, vanilla & mascarpone muffins
200g (1 1/3 cups) self-raising flour
150g (2/3 cup) caster sugar
60g butter, melted
125mls (1/2 cup) milk
125ml mascarpone plus 2 tbsp extra
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
150g strawberries, de-hulled, chopped

  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease 12 x 1/2 cup capacity muffin pans.
  • Combine flour and sugar in a bowl.
  • Combine milk and mascarpone into a bowl, stir in egg and melted butter. Add to dry ingredients and lightly mix until just combined.
  • Fold in strawberries and extra mascarpone. Spoon into prepared muffin pans. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly golden or until when insert a skewer into the centre it comes out clean. Serve warm or cool.