How has your week been? I felt like a giddy school girl working on my post last week and couldn’t be happier with how well it has been received. So a hearty thank you to all of you beautiful people who are celebrating this wonderful new season with me.
My mind is brimming with new recipe ideas and I have been in the kitchen testing them on unsuspecting visitors. Last weekend I made the most delicious Sticky Date cupcakes with butterscotch sauce. The good news about these sweeties is that they are completely refined sugar free and you would never know it. I thought they would make the perfect wintery treat now that the days are finally starting to cool down. So, keep an eye out for the recipe in coming weeks.
For now, let me tell you about these delicious muffins. Our friend Pinocchio has been guarding them for some time now, waiting not so patiently for his moment of glory. These are moist vanilla muffins with a generous swirl of home made lemon curd and blueberries baked into them. Topped with toasted coconut flakes for extra crunch, they are the perfect after school snack or breakky on the run. Best eaten the day they are made, but they will keep for a couple of days at room temp.
Let me tell you a secret that will revolutionise your muffin baking.
If you have ever made muffins with frozen berries and mixed them into the whole batter, you will notice that the mix can turn pretty ugly pretty quickly, making for a very unappealing muffin. The frozen fruit bleeds into the mix making it quite grey and blah. Plus the berries are quite rebellious and usually sink to the bottom of the mix and never stay on the top where you want to show them off. The answer here is to put half a dozen or so berries into each muffin case just before you pop them into the oven. This works especially well with frozen berries, but I also do it with fresh berries as it just looks better and you can strategically push some into the batter and leave some on the top. Also, if you have control issues then you will find this most satisfying.
With these muffins I have also mixed the curd into each separate muffin to ensure it doesn’t get lost in the batter and to also get that sexy swirl of curd around the top if you play your cards right.
* A note on lemon curd. Once you have made your own curd, I promise you will never buy it again. The difference will blow your mind. Trust me on this. Also, I am not here to reinvent the wheel, so I use Donna Hay’s awesome Lemon Curd recipe. The only alteration I make is to not strain the curd to get the zest out. I mean, who could be bothered, plus it makes the curd extra yummy.
Lemon and Blueberry Muffins
Delicious, not too sweet muffins infused with a swirl of lemon curd and pops of plump blueberries.
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup lemon curd * approx
- 2 cups plain flour * substitute with gluten free flour if desired
- 1 tsp bicarb soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup castor sugar
- 1 lemon zest
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes optional
Preheat oven to 180 C
Line two muffin trays with 18 cupcake liners (or spray with canola oil spray if not using paper liners)
In a medium bowl, using a hand whisk, beat together egg, oil, vanilla, sour cream and milk
In a separate bowl, sift flour, bicarb and baking powder
Rub lemon zest into sugar until fragrant. Add to dry ingredients
Carefully pour wet mix into dry mixture. Stir with spatula until only just combined.
Spoon into muffin trays until each is 2/3 full
Take a generous teaspoon full of lemon curd and swirl one into each muffin
Place half a dozen or so blueberries into each muffin, pushing some underneath the mix and leaving others on the top.
Add a sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes on top
Bake in moderate oven for 18 minutes or until brown and firm to touch
Rest trays on wire rack until cool. Best eaten freshly baked or on same day.
Now, I need to know, who has ever read Pinocchio? No, not the dumbed down picture book version and the cute Disney movie doesn’t count either. I’m talking about the real, unedited grown up edition written by Carlo Collodi in 1883? I read it to my girls a few years ago, back when they still thought I was a cool mum and listening to me read aloud was not a waste of their precious screen time.
Let me just say. OH BOY!! Or more accurately, OH PUPPET! What a disrespectful, foolish, disobedient, selfish, rebellious, insolent piece of wood! Collodi is so clever the way he is able to get you emotionally involved in the story and literally yelling at the book begging Pinocchio to pleeeease make the right choice, pleeeease don’t trust that stupid shady Fox, please just do what your father says and stop being soo darn obnoxious! UGH!
I have decided that young Pinocchio is the author of the rebellious teen. It all started with him. I’m convinced that every hormonal 15 year old has secretly smuggled this handbook into their beds at night to get some good tips on how to drive their parents up the wall.
Seriously though, It it’s definitely worth a read, especially aloud to the kids. I highly recommend it. So much better than the kiddie cartoon version. The book is full of adventure, mishap and the oh so frustrating, foolish immaturity of the original block head.
Undoubtedly, the most endearing part of the story lies in the character of Geppetto, Pinocchio’s creator and long suffering father. His steadfast love for his son and relentless pursuit of him, despite his continual rebellion and selfishness, speaks volumes to anyone who has ever failed or let the team down with imperfection. For Pinocchio to be so unconditionally loved and sought after, even when his heart is made of wood, shows the unflinching, redemptive love of a true Father.
But he is still a rat bag and makes a complete mess of everything he touches. Soooo annoying!
Well, thanks again for stopping by. Let me know if you make these muffins. They are super easy and great for weekend baking with the kids. Why don’t you grab a copy of Pinocchio, make a batch of muffins, sit down with a pot of tea and go on an adventure of bad behaviour, foolish choices, their consequences and then ultimate redemption. The kids will love it. The teenagers, perhaps not so much, although even they might learn a lesson or two!
Next week I will show you the prettiest vintage cupcakes that would make even Miss Antoinette herself swoon.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Lots of love,