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Posts Tagged ‘winter spice muffins’

Having survived several nights of gale force wind and rain with the roof of our house just managing to stay intact, we woke up yesterday to a beautiful sunny morning. Baltic outside, but beautiful. I managed to coax fiancé out of his Sunday bed with the smell of winter spice muffins for breakfast and then bribed him into a walk up the hills near our house with the promise of warm chourico bread for lunch on completion of said walk.

The spice muffins are a new recipe but the chourico bread was the result of inspiration from two sources, old and new. Chourico is popular in SA, presumably because of our Portuguese influence and my parents used to make a delicious chourico loaf which I have tried to copy once before but not with any success. This is largely due to my bread making skills (or lack thereof)  which I’m trying to improve on. So when I joined the Foodie Blogroll last week (not exactly an award or difficult to achieve but I was quite proud that my blog was accepted even although they probably accept everyone besides axe murders and pornographers) and saw the Chourico contest, including a bread recipe,  I decided it was time to try it again.

The idea behind this recipe is to let the dough rise once, knock it back and roll it out, sprinkle with chopped chourico and then roll it up so the final loaf is dotted with little spicy morsels that ooze into the bread. It’s still not as good as my parent’s one which I’ll have to get the recipe for, but definitely edible (according to Ross anyway, but then he was dying of starvation by that point) and I thought pretty good straight out of the oven smothered in butter, with or without a few slices of cheese.

For the bread recipe, click here. I had to use a mix of wholewheat and plain flour because I realised at the last minute I didn’t have any bread flour but I would probably go with white normally unless you specifically want a brown loaf. I also made into two loaves instead of four and froze one to stop us eating it all in one sitting.

If you want to try my trick for getting your other half out of bed on a Sunday with the smell of Christmas wafting through the house, my winter spice muffin recipe follows. I used Nigella Lawson’s granola muffin recipe from her Feast book as a base and adapted to create what I hope is a pretty good cinnamon muffin with endless possibilities for further Christmasification, some of which I’ve suggested below. If you come up with even better ideas please let me know!

Winter Spice Muffins

Unfortunately these don’t keep very well so I recommend eating as many as possible when they come out of the oven and then freezing the rest. Just take them out and pop in the microwave when you need one. Makes 12.

  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 175g light brown soft sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground all spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 80ml vegetable oil
  • 200g jumbo rolled oats (I tried using granola but I don’t like the chewy lumps, up to you)

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a muffin tin with muffin cases.

If you want to make your own cases like I did here, cut 5-6inch squares (depending on the size of your muffin tin) from baking parchment. Spray the tin with cooking oil to help them stay in place and push the papers into each hole so that the edges crease into the round shape.

Now combine the sifted flour, bicarb, spices and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the sugar, egg, buttermilk and oil and pour this into the dry ingredients. Fold to combine and then fold in the oats. Spoon into the muffin papers and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Cool slightly on a rack while you make a cup of coffee,pile a few on a plate and apply to face!

Optional extras:

  • Add the grated zest of an orange to the batter (I’m definitely going to try this next time) and/or make an icing with icing sugar and a little orange juice and drizzle over each muffin when cool.
  • Add dried cranberries or cherries  or chopped nuts to the batter

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