Sitting around worrying about Sniff has meant that not only have I been driving N up the wall, but I have failed to update the blog with food-related posts, despite actually having been rather busy in the kitchen over the last few days.
We had friends over for dinner on Friday and whereas deciding what to have as the starter and main course was a no-brainer (homemade bread, salad, pasta) figuring out the dessert, as usual, proved difficult. I never really know what to do for desserts, I didn't want anything too elaborate or heavy or complicated, but equally, wanted something tasty and homey. I finally opted for the easiest option: ask N. He pondered for a while and then suggested raspberry and white chocolate muffins. Apparently he'd been thinking about how much he enjoyed them when I used to make them quite a lot for his breakfast while we were in Surrey. Not quite as dessert-y as I expected, but light, summery and comforting. Plus it not only involved baking, but would allow me to try the mini-muffin pan I bought a few weeks ago.
I decided to make six regular size muffins for dessert and twelve mini-muffins for snacking. I also wanted to try something I'd had in the US, which was a struesel topping. Basically like having a bit of crumble on top. I thought it would work well with the fruit and chocolate combination. I used a topping recipe from the Delia Smith Vegetarian collection that would have topped a spiced apple muffin cake, cutting it down to half and topping all the large muffins and half the smaller ones. It worked really well. It was nice to have a bit of crunch to top the moist raspberry goodness of the cakey muffin.
I used frozen raspberries, that I put straight into the batter without thawing so they'd hold their shape whilst cooking, and retain as much moisture as possible. I used Green and Blacks white chocolate that has vanilla in it. Since white chocolate is sweeter than other chocolates I also reduced the amount of sugar in the recipe and didn't add any additional vanilla extract since the flavour in the chocolate is quite enough. The chocolate melted slightly into the mixture, so while there were the usual chunks of chocolate to bite into the flavour was carried all through the cake. All in all I was really pleased.
Recipe: Adapted from a magazine article that my Nanna sent me once.
Makes 12 large, or 6 large and 12 mini.
60g unsalted butter, melted
200g raspberries (frozen, not thawed)
300g plain flour
1tbsp baking powder
100g golden caster sugar
pinch mixed spice
250ml milk (i used unsweetened soy milk)
100g white chocolate
1tsp vanilla essence (if the chocolate doesn't have added vanilla)
Preheat the oven to 200C and line or grease however many pans of either size you plan to use.
Combine all the dry ingredients (except the raspberries) in a large mixing bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients in a jug until well combined, then add to the dry ingredients and fold together. DO NOT OVER MIX, lumps make for better muffins. once all the dry ingredients are worked in together, but the batter is still lumpy slowly fold in the frozen raspberries. Spoon the batter into the cases or pans and then bake until golden and risen. Aprox 20mins.
I added the following struesel topping, adapted from Delia Smith's vegetarian collection. This meant that they took longer to cook and I just had to do it by testing with a toothpick.
25g chopped pecans
1.5 oz plain flour
1.5 oz cold unsalted butter
large pinch mixed spice
1tsp water (or more depending on texture)
combine the flour and mixed spice and then add the butter crumbling it together until the fat is combined with the flour and spice. Then add the pecans, mix and then add enough water to make a clumpy crumble mixture. Top the muffins and bake.