Christmas muffins

A muffin to bring joy to the world, even the steadfast anti Christmas fruitcake/mince pie/pudding brigade. Waste not want not with your christmas baking leftovers and make muffins. 

You will need:

200g self-raising flour

80g golden caster sugar

20g light muscovado

100ml light olive oil, carrot oil or vegetable oil

100 ml milk

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

200g sweet mincemeat

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How to:

Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4 and line a muffin tin with twelve cases.

In a large bowl, mix the flour and sugar together, then make a well in the centre. Pour into the well the oil, milk, egg and vanilla and beat together in the well before incorporating the dry ingredients.

Add the mincemeat and beat in until thoroughly combined.

Divide the mixture between the twelve cases and bake for 20 minutes. They should be golden brown on top and a skewer when inserted should come away clean when cooked.

To ice or not to ice?

This is a moist muffin, it doesn’t need icing but if you want to give as a gift or spoil someone with some cakey cheer I would top with ginger or cinnamon glacé icing and some Christmas sparkle that coordinates with your chosen cases.

Tips: 

A jar of stem ginger in syrup is perfect for this, just add a little of the syrup to icing sugar and finely dice a bulb of ginger to add to the icing too.

If you like more heat or want more nutmeg, add more dried spice at the flour and sugar stage.

My Ahaaaa moment…Parsnip and butternut hash

Anyone tried low carbing? If you have, you must know (especially fans of India Knight & Neris Thomas From Pig to Twig http://www.pig2twig.co.uk)  there are recipes that transform your commitment to the cause, like steak with blue cheese sauce made with real double cream, real blue cheese and the juices from the steak pan OMG! This recipe is just as decadent, delicious and frankly feels like it can’t be paleo diet friendly but praise be, clap your hands and squeal with delight..it is!

Photo on 06-08-2014 at 13.39

For one starving gal or two with a salad, you will need:

2 parsnips, peeled and grated

1 leek cleaned, trimmed and grated

1/3 of a large butternut squash, peeled and grated

3 grinds of fresh back pepper

1 level tsp hot smoked paprika

2 pinches of sea salt

2 organic eggs

1 tbsp coconut oil

Opt. olive oil to drizzle

How to:

After cleaning, peeling and grating your veg simply mix together in a dish and season, mix again. Add the coconut oil to a sauté pan, once hot add your veg and move to get brown in parts.

Veggies at the ready

Veggies at the ready

Make two wells and crack in your eggs, transfer from hob to oven if you like your eggs cooked all the way through like I do.

Eggs in...

Eggs in…

Season the eggs, drizzle with a little olive oil and serve in the pan on a heatproof mat on the table if sharing. If enjoying solo, plate as carefully as you can as it’s a pretty good looking dish and oink with delight that you have stuck to the paleo plan for yet another satisfying meal.

Pefection in a pan, you won't want to share!

Perfection in a pan, you won’t want to share!

 

Meringues for supper with Vhari. Light and crisp with a hint of chewyness, oh these are good!

Meringues for supper with Vhari. Light and crisp with a hint of chewyness, oh these are good!

I used solid Willie’s Cacao to pimp these big chewy beauties with a sprinkle of chopped nuts…served with blousy whipped cream and berries just pile them high and let everyone help themselves.

To make 4 large meringues to smash and share or 8 individual portions you will need:
4 large egg whites, room temperature
200g golden caster sugar
2tbsp freshly grated cacao
1 tbsp chopped nuts
To serve:
I small pot double cream, whipped
Strawberries and raspberries

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 140 C/ 120 fan/ gas mark 1 and line a flat baking tray with parchment.
Step 2
In a large dry and spotlessly clean bowl, whisk your egg whites until they form soft peaks.
Step 3
Add the golden caster sugar a tbsp at a time, whisking until you have beautiful glossy stiff peaks.
Step 4
Fold through the cacao, just enough to give a swirl of chocolate.
Step 5
Blob generous domes onto the baking tray and tease spikes of meringue upward to give texture. Gently sprinkle the chopped nuts over the top.
Step 6
Place in the middle of your oven and bake for 1 hour for large or 40 minutes for small, then turn oven off and open door to allow the meringues to cool in the oven. This will prevent them from cracking and collapsing. Serve when cool to very happy guests.
Serving everything piled together makes for a sociable pudding as everyone crafts their own pavlova/mess to their own tastes.