Posts Tagged ‘sultanas’

Saffron Series I: Lucia Muffins

In Baking, Muffins on July 29, 2012 at 8:59 am

Ever since I started cooking ‘adventurously’ – or rather when I became vegetarian and had to eat different food from my non-veg family – I have been curious about saffron. It’s one of those ingredients that your average person doesn’t have in their pantry (at least, not where I come from) but it IS one of those ingredients that always seems to crop up where you least expect it – in a home and garden magazine, on food network or in one of your favourite recipe books. Then you consider buying some and giving the recipe a go, but never seem to get around to it or simply feel to cheap to justify splurging on buying some. To cut a long story short, I felt like that for years until this year I finally bought some…and found out that my mother already had a packet in her sorely neglected pantry. Unfortunately her packet expired last year, but I may still attempt to use it. But basically, between the two of us, we have lots of saffron! Therefore, expect to see various saffron recipes on this blog in the near future (sneaking in between other posts, of course) hence why this post is titled ‘Saffron Series I.’ I am also going to add ‘Saffron Series II’ when I am done with this post.

Possibly muffins weren’t the best place to start – my last post was about muffins AND included sultanas – both of which have featured heavily of late. But I’m of the opinion  that one can never make too many muffins, and the recipe for these came from 101 cookbooks, so it must be good! I actually made them a while ago and I don’t remember how much I fiddled with things so it’s probably best to refer to the original recipe. My only words of advice would be DON’T OVERMIX. I know baking recipes always say that, but I found my batch of muffins were a bit tougher than my usual, so I may have been a little too aggressive with the batter. Click here for the recipe for Lucia Muffins from 101 Cookbooks. Enjoy!

Molasses Oaty Muffins

In Baking, Muffins on July 29, 2012 at 8:55 am

As indicated from my last molasses post, I’ve got molasses on the brain. First it was treacle in baking, now it’s molasses…well, at least that’s a healthier progression, right? I made these this morning and was very satisfied with them. I was initially incredulous at their success, given that molasses is the only sweentener (and I suppose the sultanas or raisins) in the recipe. These muffins have this amazing ability to be vaguely sweet but also seem slightly savoury at the same time – quite a hard thing to come by! Their only downside was that I felt a bit unoriginal pairing molasses with sultanas again – but hey, it’s a good combination! Plus I happened to have sultanas around, though the bag is now finished. Anyway, there’s lots of other delicious things in these muffins as well.

Because I didn’t adapt the recipe much (apart from substituting sultanas for raisins, which doesn’t count) and it’s available online, I’m not going to write it out. You can find the recipe here on Yummly, which was awesome enough to feature one of my posts about a salmon quiche a while back.


Oaty Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sultanas

In Baking, Biscuits/Cookies on May 27, 2012 at 5:27 am

I’m afraid this is yet another baking themed post – but hey, at least it’s not ANOTHER muffin recipe, right? I’m just so busy at the moment and feel guilty spending time preparing elaborate meals (like gnocchi) yet baking somehow still seems justified – it doesn’t take long and you can do something else while it is in the oven. Plus it’s much easier to share with others than a full on meal! Cake seems somehow more naughty than muffins, quick breads or cookies, hence why I have avoided cake thus far.

Today was a dreary day and I didn’t much feel like doing my hieroglyphics translation for class, nor my research essay plan for honours, so cookies were a good reward for getting through it! Well, my hieroglyphics translation anyway, essay plan will have to wait until tomorrow. The cookies were deliciously chewy and not overly sweet. This recipe was adapted from a recipe in my trusty old ‘Comfort Food.’

115 g butter

115 g/ 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (I used Chelsea’s dark cane sugar, mmmmm)

2 eggs, lightly beaten

4-6 tbsp milk (I had to add a bit extra, so don’t be afraid to)

1 tsp vanilla essence

150 g/ 1 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

115 g/ 1 generous cup rolled oats

175 g chocolate chips (not sure how many I used, I just emptied about 3/4 – 1/2 250g bag of chocolate chips)

115 g/ 1 cup pecan nuts, chopped – though I used 1 cup sultanas instead

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs, milk and vanilla essence. Beat thoroughly.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt, stir in until well mixed. Fold in the rolled oats, chocolate chips and chopped pecan nuts – or in my case, sultanas.

Chill the mixture for at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease two baking trays – or just use one and bake the cookies in two batches, like me.

Using two teaspoons, place mounds well apart on the trays and flatten with a spoon or a fork. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are just colouring, then cool on wire racks.