I love the cranberries. I love the tartness and I love the association with Christmas. These muffins are beautiful; they are lightly spiced and both sweet and tart. I have to say I did improvise a bit with this recipe as I couldn’t find half the ingredients and the measurements were in American cups. Anyhow, I think I got lucky because I can’t stop eating them!
110g sunflower oil
225g apples peeled and cored (I used Braeburn apples)
1 piece of pared lemon peel
juice of half a lemon
½ teaspoon cinnamon
200g soft brown sugar
50g date syrup (you could just add more sugar)
zest of an orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
225g whole wheat self raising flour
65g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
200g fresh or frozen cranberries
- Preheat oven to 180°c/160°c/gas 4 and line a muffin tray with 12 muffin cases.
- Make the apple sauce by cutting up the apples into small chunks and putting them in a small saucepan. Add the lemon juice, peel, cinnamon and a little water and cook for about 15 minutes on a low heat. When the apples have cooked through, take out the lemon peel and mash up the apples with the back of a fork.
- Add the applesauce, sugar, syrup, eggs, orange zest and vanilla extract into the bowl of a free-standing mixer and mix on a medium speed until smooth.
- In another bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: both flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix until combined.
- Use a rubber spatula to add the cranberries, leaving a few to put on top of the muffins.
- Fill each of the muffin cases 3/4 full and decorate with the remaining cranberries and a sprinkle of the brown sugar.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes.
I can’t believe how well these muffins turned out. To be honest, I’m not really a fan of muffins, either sweet or savoury. I made them for C, but when they came out of the oven, they smelt so good. I just had to try one. And well, I have been converted; this recipe has changed my whole attitude to muffins! These ones are cheesy, spicy and extremely comforting. This is a stunning recipe from Jamie Oliver’s new Superfoods book. I’ve been really impressed by the Superfood series on TV, not just by the ‘superfood’ concept but by the number of recipes I actually want to make. I’ve also made the tofu burgers which may sound boring, but were fantastic. Kudos to Jamie Oliver.
600g sweet potatoes or ½ a butternut squash (I used butternut squash)
4 spring onions
1-2 fresh red chillies
6 large free-range eggs
3 tablespoons cottage cheese
250g wholemeal self-raising flour
50g Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.
- Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases or 15cm folded squares of greaseproof paper, then lightly wipe each one with oiled kitchen paper.
- Peel the sweet potatoes or squash and coarsely grate into a large bowl.
- Trim the spring onions, then finely slice with the chilli and add to the bowl, reserving half the chilli to one side.
- Crack in the eggs, add the cottage cheese and flour, then finely grate in most of the Parmesan and season with sea salt and black pepper. Mix until nicely combined.
- Evenly divide the muffin mixture between the cases.
- Sprinkle over the sunflower and poppy seeds, then dot over the reserved slices of chilli. Use the remaining Parmesan to give a light dusting of cheese over each one.
- Bake at the bottom of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes (if using squash, it’ll be a bit quicker – check after 35 minutes), or until golden and set.
These are amazing served warm 5 minutes after taking them out of the oven, and good kept in the fridge for a couple of days.