Tag Archives: muffins

Rachel’s Organic and two kinds of muffin

With the arrival of my Rachel’s Organic parcel and the chance to try their new fat-free range I decide to embark on a muffin making afternoon. You can’t go wrong with muffins. Ok, so it might be defeating the object of buying fat-free, but you can use yogurt in lots more ways than just as an accompaniment to granola, or eaten as it comes from the tub. Muffins are practical and versatile. You can make them sweet or savoury, fill them with cheese, bacon, or any kind of sweet treat from fresh or dried fruit to luscious home-made jam. They make a great breakfast, a healthy lunchbox addition or just the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea (I love my tea and cake, in all its guises!).

Muffins are also more filling and substantial than a plain old fairy cake. The fact that they are somewhat heavier makes them more akin to bread; a little mini loaf in a cake wrapper. Having said this you do still need to take a bit of care when mixing. A heavy hand produces a rather solid mass of bun, not the light and airy one that you are aiming for.

The other thing about muffins is that they positively demand you add yogurt. It is this that gives them their distinctive less sweet and slightly sharpish, taste.

I used two tubs of Rachel’s Organic yogurt to make two very differently flavoured muffins; natural yogurt with home-made lemon curd in the first batch (al la Hugh Fearnley Whittingstalls recipe) and peach and passionfruit (with one mashed banana) in the second. The former are most popular with Aidan and consumed by the bucket load, but the teen prefers the latter (she hates lemon curd!!)

Hugh FW’s lemon curd muffins (makes about 12):

225g plain flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, a pinch of Halen Mon seas salt, 100g caster sugar, 1 medium egg, 125ml Rachel’s organic low-fat natural yogurt, 125ml milk, 75g unslated butter (melted), 150g lemon curd.

Line a muffin tin with 12 cases and preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / gas mark 4.

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar in a large bowl. Combine the egg, yogurt, milk and melted butter in a jug and pour on to the dry ingredients mixing very lightly until just combined. If you over mix you will get those heavy muffins that you want to avoid. Add the lemon curd a few dollops at a time and marble in to the mixture roughly. Again avoid over stirring.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Transfer to a rack to cool and eat, preferably while still warm, but they should keep for a day or two as lunch box essentials for nine-year old boys!

Tropical peach, passionfruit and banana muffins:

Use the same recipe as above but substitute 125g of fat-free peach and passionfruit yogurt for the natural yogurt and a large well mashed banana for the lemon curd. All the other stages remain the same. You could also use the blackcurrant yogurt along with a handful of blueberries, or black currants when in season….or the strawberry and rhubarb with a tablespoon or two of freshly cooked pulped rhubarb (which is now in season)…most importantly once you have that basic recipe to follow, let your imagination run wild, what could go wrong!!

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Three sweet treats with Rachel’s organic yogurt

After much excitement and plenty of experimentation and tasting I came up with three delicious and universally popular recipes (well in our house and among my friends they were anyway), using Rachel’s gooseberry, honey and coconut yogurt.

We’d already used the cream in the Tipsy Laird, eaten the rice puddings and small pots of yogurt for our lunches (yum) and various flavoured and natural yogurt had accompanied crumble and cake, so it was time to try out a few new recipes.

a rather messy mess…half demolished by the kids

I started with the gooseberry yogurt which I combined with home-made meringue, crispy on the outside, soft and gooey in the middle, broken into rough pieces and topped with a tart gooseberry puree to make a gooseberry Eton mess. It really was a very gooey mess, but the silence round the table and smacking of lips said the experiment was a success.

mmmmm fresh ice cream every day!

In the meantime I received some new kitchen equipment, one of the items being a Magimix Gelato 2000 professional ice-cream maker. Set on giving it a try out, I decided to kill two birds with one stone, try the new machine and make some ice cream with one of the pots of yogurt, so off I went in search of frozen yogurt recipes. Most of them were American and referred to the frozen yogurt dessert annoyingly as a ‘fro-yo’, popular in the 80’s and now experiencing a bit of a renaissance. There were one or two coconut fro-yo recipes so I had a look then went off and had a tinker.

The combination I came up with used

Half a cup of castor sugar (in American measurement), 1 large tub of Rachel’s organic Greek style coconut yogurt and half a tin of thick coconut milk.

Stir together to dissolve and combine the sugar then put in an ice-cream maker until it forms a thick creamy consistency. If you don’t have an ice-cream maker then you will need to transfer it to a rigid container and put it in the freezer. Stir every hour or so to prevent ice crystals building up until set.

Frozen yogurt ice-cream with toasted coconut and passion fruit sauce

I served mine with toasted coconut on top and some passion fruit sauce (which was simply sieved passion fruit spooned over the top).

muffins all ready to bake

I used the Greek style honey yogurt  in honey banana muffins. I used a Hugh Fiercely-eats-it-all (as my friend Molly has christened him) recipe and substituted the plain yogurt for the honey variety and added a couple of small mashed bananas.

The recipe for 12 was

225g plain flour 2 t-spoons baking powder Pinch of Halen Mon sea salt (it’s the best) 100g castor sugar 1 medium egg 125g Rachel’s organic Greek style honey yogurt 125ml milk 75g Rachel’s unsalted butter 2 small mashed bananas Put twelve muffin cases into a muffin tray and preheat the oven at gas mark 4/180 degree C. Mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Mix the egg, milk, yogurt and melted butter in a jug. Pour into dry ingredients and mix lightly. Be sure not to over mix as the muffins will be stodgy. Add mashed bananas and stir a couple of times to incorporate into the mixture. Spoon into the paper cases and cook for 30 minutes until golden brown. When cooked transfer to a wire rack to cool and eat! These muffins barely lasted an hour, the poor sick little un who has barely eaten all week (very unusual for him) managed two and the descending teenagers finished the rest….but then I did say they were best eaten fresh!

the cooked muffins

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Reviews of the Underground Farmers market…and new Farmers market in Wales

Article on the Underground Farmers Market in the London Evening Standard….

and I will also be selling cheese and posh buns at the Hendre Hall farmers market on Easter Monday…come down to try and buy from 9 til 4

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