Ode to Nigella 9 – Lemon Raspberry Muffins

You know the whole cupcake phenomenon? I don’t really get it. I’m not a big fan of the little cake – the cupcake, the muffin, the the… friand. They just don’t really do it for me. If I’m eating cake I want a decent slice of it. A slab preferably. But then I see their value in being a self-contained unit – you get cake, you get icing, you get it all in a nice little package. Just like these.

Lemon-Raspberry Muffins

  • 60g butter
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp bi-carb
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • approximately 120ml milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 150g raspberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C
  2. Melt the butter and set aside to cool
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients and lemon zest in a bowl
  4. Squeeze the lemon juice into a measuring jug then add enough of the milk to make up 200ml (it will curdle, which is fine)
  5. Add the egg and butter to the milk mixture
  6. Fold into the dry ingredients until just mixed
  7. Fold in raspberries
  8. Spoon into muffin tin and bake for 25 minutes
  9. Cool in tin for a few minutes then on a wire rack
  10. Makes 12 small muffins.

Roast chicken w/ ricotta and pine nut stuffing

I’m not posting a roast chicken recipe. Everyone has their favourite. But I will say this, basically 20 minutes for each side at 200C. Go see Joke if you want all manner of brines and rinses and entertaining reads on moist breasts.

I love experimenting with roast chicken. I mean, see here (that’s the roast chicken with cankles)and here for two examples. Monday was no different. I had ricotta that had to be used, left over rice from Sunday night and a hankering for pine nuts. These are rough quantities – it made a lot of stuffing. I stuffed the cavity, between the breast meat and skin and in the pocket between the thigh and the breast.

Leek, ricotta and pinenut stuffing

  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 2 zucchinis, grated
  • 1-2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • About 4oog of ricotta
  • Probably about 1 cup of cooked rice
  • a good handful of pinenuts
  • juice of half a lemon
  • finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 4-6 sprigs flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  1. heat a frypan over medium high heat, spray with oil, saute the leeks until softened
  2. add zucchinis and garlic and cook for a few minutes, then remove from heat and cool slightly
  3. mix all the ingredients together
  4. taste and season accordingly
  5. stuff in chicken

Lemon Yoghurt Cake

This is based on a Donna Hay recipe which I think she did with limes. I’ve done both and like them equally. I tend to make the lemon one more often as limes never seem cheap here. Ever.

Lemon Yoghurt Cake

  • 220g butter – melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup natural yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 160C
  2. Whisk butter and sugar together
  3. Add eggs, one at a time
  4. Fold through yoghurt, rind and juice
  5. Sift in flour and baking powder
  6. Spoon into a greased and lined 10x20cm loaf tin
  7. Bake for 1hr15mins
  8. When cooled, ice with the following glaze

Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tblsp lemon juice
  • 1 tblsp water
  1. Stir together until cooled
  2. Spoon over cake

1234 cake!

Baking is my absolute joy. It’s strange I haven’t posted that many sweet recipes on this new venture, but I put that down to Boombalardy being in full swing. This is a wonderfully simple buttercake. I am prone to calling it a lunchbox loaf cake as it holds is form well, freezes beautifully and is well, a great lunchbox treat.

1234 cake!

  • 250g butter, softened
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 4 eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 170C and grease and line 24cm cake tin (I made two mini loaves as you can see in the pic above)
  2. Beat all the ingredients together in a KitchenAid for 3-4 minutes
  3. Pour into tin and bake for 45-50 minutes
  4. Cool in tin for ten minutes then turn out onto wire rack
  5. Ice when cool

This cake is extremely versatile. Add some frozen berries or the finely grated rind of a lemon or orange or some chocolate buttons to shooz it up.

Icing

  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tbs butter, softened
  • lemon juice or water to loosen
  1. Mix the icing sugar and butter by hand, adding juice in small amounts until you get a thick but workable icing
  2. Ice cake
  3. Eat!