Tag Archives: Raspberry

Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins

Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins

Is the muffin just an ugly cupcake? Well according to T-Shirt makers in 2008, yes they are. Of course the muffin did gain a rather unsavoury reputation just by association with the rather popular “muffin top” saying when referring to a rather inflated midriff.

American muffins, not to be mistaken for their much older English yeasted bread like counterparts, date back to the 19th century. Muffins were in fact quick breads baked in tins with the aid of a chemical leavener. Before the introduction of baking powder pearlash, a refined potash, was used as the raising agent. The pearlash reacted with the acidity of ingredients such as buttermilk to produce carbon dioxide bubbles in the mixture causing the baking product to rise. Potash comes from ashes and lye so I guess it is no wonder that while the pearlash did indeed make a great rising agent it also left a bitter aftertaste in baking.

Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins

Recipe

Slightly adapted from Jo Seagar Bakes.

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 300gms plain flour
  • 160gm caster sugar
  • 4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 100gm melted butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 130gm white chocolate bits.

Method

Preheat oven to 200°C. Spray muffin pans with oil and line with baking paper.

Place all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl combine the melted butter, milk, egg and vanilla essence.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with spatula or wooden spoon until just combined. Add chocolate chips and frozen raspberries, mix until combined. Note: to obtain a nice light muffin be careful not to overwork the ingredients.

Spoon mixture into the prepared muffin pans and bake for approx. 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow to cool enough so that muffins are still warm, dust with icing sugar and serve.

Best served warm.

RAspberry and White Chocolate Muffins

Coconut Ice

Coconut Ice

Ok it’s time: yes, Christmas time! As some of you will know I love Christmas time, but I really believe it shouldn’t start until December and today (as I write this) is December the 1st. That means that for the next 25 days my house will be full of cheesy Christmas carols and lots of Christmas baking and candy making. Hopefully this will lead to quite a few Christmas blogs.

My first Christmas blog this year is for an old childhood favourite: coconut ice. Now I’m not sure if this is popular elsewhere, but in New Zealand and Australia it has always been a firm favourite.

Sometimes the simple classics from our childhood are worth revisiting and coconut ice is an oldie but a goody.  I do have to insert a super sweet warning here: moderation is definitely the key for consumption of this lolly.

 

Recipe

Makes approx. sixty 2cm x 3cm pieces.

  • 600g icing sugar
  • 240g desiccated coconut
  • 70g raspberries (thaw if using frozen raspberries)
  • 230g condensed milk
  • red food colouring (a few drops as required)
  • 1/4 TSP vanilla extract.

Method

Prepare a 20cm x 20cm x 3.5cm baking tin by greasing it and lining it with non-stick baking paper.

Put half of the sugar, half of the desiccated coconut, all of the vanilla extract and 190g of the condensed milk into a bowl. Mix thoroughly until all the ingredients are well combined.

Place the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth. Put the mixture into the baking tin and press down until it is flat.

Put the remaining sugar and desiccated coconut into a bowl and add the raspberries, a few drops of food colouring and the remaining condensed milk. Mix thoroughly until all the ingredients are well combined; you can use your fingers if you want.

Place the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth. Put the mixture into the baking tin on top of the vanilla layer and press down until it is flat. Try and make both layers about the same depth.

Place the baking tray into the fridge until set; about 2-3 hours.

When set, cut the mixture into 2cm x 3cm pieces.

 

Coconut Ice

Raspberry and Vanilla Tea Cake

 

Raspberry and Vanilla Tea Cake

I always fancied living in another era, it probably comes from secretly reading too many bodice ripping romance novels or, not so secretly, reading Jane Austin or maybe even watching too many episodes of “Downton Abbey”. I can quite imagine myself as Elizabeth Bennett the first time she clapped eyes on Mr Darcy or as Lady Mary swanning around the vast corridors of her stately home in all her satin finery. I think I could become quite a master at casting a gimlet eye at the hapless servants as they scurry about with their dusters and coal buckets while I swanned off to afternoon tea.  However, knowing my luck if I lived in that time I would be the one more likely to be carrying the coal bucket or serving the overlarge tray brimming with ‘cakey’ goodness while at the same time cowering under the acid tongue of the Dowager Duchess … so much for my delusions of grandeur.

I recently discovered that “high tea”, as we call it in Australia, was not originally the delightful gathering of ladies sharing gossip over a leisurely cup of tea with some dainty cucumber sandwiches and tiny bite size cakes. It was, in fact, a custom from Victorian times where the working class of Britain would come home after a day of back breaking work to partake in more substantial fare more akin to an evening meal. The term ‘High’ comes from the height of the table where tea is served, high being a dining table and low being a coffee table.

Anna the Duchess of Bedford is credited for the popularity of the afternoon tea. It was common practice at that time (1800s) to have a late evening meal so by the time 4 o’clock rolled around hunger pangs were starting to set in. Anna would counter this by having tea and biscuits served in her rooms to keep her going until dinner time – clearly she is a woman after my own heart. Anna began sending out invitations to her friends to join her for afternoon tea and it soon became such a popular way to socialise that other middle and upper class households also began adopting the practice of an at home afternoon tea.

Nowadays high teas, or afternoon teas, are more likely to be held in hotels than in your own home, but if you fancy recreating your own version of Downton Abbey and  inviting some friends over to revive a tradition this raspberry and vanilla cake would be perfect for your own “at home” afternoon tea. Now I just have to wonder what Mr LG would look like in a butler’s uniform…hmmm.

Raspberry and Vanilla Tea Cake

Recipe

Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine Issue 76.

Ingredients

  • 120gm unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 220gm caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 225gm plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 125ml milk
  • 100gm frozen raspberries
  • vanilla sugar.

Method

Preheat oven to 160°C. Spray a 26cm loose based tart pan with oil. Line the base with baking paper.

Mix flour and baking powder together in a medium bowl.

Beat the butter, vanilla extract and caster sugar together until light and smooth.

Add eggs one at a time mixing well between additions.

Remove bowl from mixer. Add flour and then milk in two separate additions mixing with a spatula until fully combined,

Scrape batter into the tart pan and smooth the top with a knife or palette knife.

Press frozen raspberries into the top of the batter.

Sprinkle with vanilla sugar

Place pan on a lipped baking tray in case batter leaks from the tart pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely in pan before turning out.

Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Raspberry and Vanilla Tea Cake