The Year of Words: Day 324 - White Chocolate and Raspberry Muffins

Words and a recipe as it's Monday so you may need something to get you to the midweek point for starters.

I know not everyone is as keen on a good portmanteau word as I am but I'm being entirely pertinacious about them today. Our archaic is perhaps one of the oldest examples being a Latin portmanteau first used in the mid sixteenth century. So a common invention they most certainly are not.

Minus two - I should cocoa.

This morning started with me being more than usually sniffy with my Australian family and friends.

Not only have they had the sun over the past month along with most of our light (it's now dork around quarter to four) but they've also got the heat too.

A quick glance at the thermometer attached to the acreage today showed minus two degrees at seven this morning. It's fair to say I was entirely unimpressed.

Still, the good news is there are only another four weeks and it starts getting lighter again so we'll start reeling the sun back gradually.

Today shed roof re-felter was due at the Acreage after not showing ten days earlier. This time he did make an appearance though seemed to be flawed by why the old stuff came off and how the new stuff should go on.

A big lassie for twelve.

I know it's wrong but my initial thought when he arrived was his bravery. Unlike the ginger tom three doors down, he didn't seem ideally suited to shed roofs. The shed is ten by eight and his initial question was do I have to get up there?

Quite how he thought he was going to replace the roofing felt without getting up there I cannot say. To his credit however get up there he did and despite a couple of slips and near misses the roofing felt is now in place, No shed installations employees were injured during the making of the repair. The original fitting lasted none days. Let's see if this one can make it to double figures.

Talking of making it into double figures as far as day count is concerned, I'm speculating today's output from the bakerage may not get there. For those who'd like to make them here goes: (Fairly easy to make). Preheat the oven to 200c. You'll need 12 muffin trays or cases. These are for normal muffins rather than extra deep which is why my tray is RONG - mine are deep - but they'll just be slightly smaller in the tray and nobody's going to see that other than me so ...

The dry ingredients

Into a large bowl sift 300g of plain flour and a tablespoon (yes a tablespoon) of baking powder. It needs to be a little more than a level measure but not rounded or you'll have a collapse on your hands.

Sift from a good height to get as much air in as possible, Once that's done add 100g of caster sugar. (I've used golden caster sugar here but normal caster sugar would be perfectly splendid.

This was a last minute decision to make with not quite the right tins and not quite enough raspberries but nobody will ever know and they'll taste just fine.

For the wet ingredients you'll need 200ml of semi skimmed milk, 100g of butter and two large eggs.

It would be possible to use buttermilk instead of semi skimmed or some people prefer to add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the milk in lieu of buttermilk - it's entirely up to your preference.

Beat the eggs into the milk and then melt the butter in a saucepan.

You need to move relatively quickly but don't panic. Add the melted butter and ,egg/milk mixture to the dry ingredients and quickly mix them together.

The trick is not to overmix at this stage

While these are not Delia's muffin recipe, I'm using her rule of thumb which is only to mix lightly at this stage - a guide would be 15-20 seconds only. It's ok if the batter has slight streaks of flour remaining.

Once you have the batter combined it's time for the chocolate and raspberries.

You'll need 150g of rasperries and 100g of white chocolate or chocolate chips.

Initially put in HALF the raspberries and all the chocolate. Mix through to evenly distribute and then fill the muffin tray around two thirds of the way up each case/space. Place the remaining raspberries across the muffins and bake for around 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and well risen.

The finished articles

Though mine aren't going to win any prizes for size consistency they'll taste just as good as if they had.

Let them cool for five minutes longer than you think - those white chocolate chips are swines and vindictive little burny varmints until they've cooled back to room temperature.

I'm not sure how they'll be received by the Mem'Sahib but the small one I tasted (bakers share) was rather moreish. If you do give them a go let me know how you get on and I hope you enjoy them.


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