Archive for May, 2013

Wholemeal Peach and Lavender Yoghurt Muffins (140cal per portion)



(Disclaimer: this isn’t my photo – I’ve lost my camera! – but it looks exactly the same)

The OH and I are off up North to visit his folks for a few days, and due to my Tesco bargain-shelf raiding habits, we had a surplus of fruit to dispose of, as well as homemade yogurt. And because I haven’t baked in a while I was keen to do something yummy with them! 

So, this is a slightly healthier adaptation of various recipes – I hope you like it!

Wholemeal Peach and Lavender Yogurt Muffins (24 servings, 140cals per serving)

  • 1 heaped tbs dried culinary lavender
  • 0.25 cup low fat milk
  • 1 cup/235ml lowfat yogurt
  • 1 cup/4 chopped ripe peaches (you could substitute soaked dried apricots)
  • 2.5 cups/375g flour (I used 1.5 cups wholemeal flout to 1 cup white, but this can be varied to suit tastes)
  • 2.5tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 cup/120ml vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)
  • 1 cup/180g brown sugar (I used 60g brown sugar and 120g Silver Spoon half-calorie granulated sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tsp ground lavender flowers
  1. Put the 0.25 cup milk and 1 tbs lavender flowers into a microwave proof bowl, and heat on high for 1 minute. Set aside to cool.
  2. Heat the oven to 400F, and grease two 12-gap cupcake tins, )or if using full-size muffin tins then you’ll probably get 18) or put in liners.
  3. Sieve the lavender flowers out of the milk, then whisk the yogurt into the milk until smoothe.
  4. Put the flour, salt, and, ground lavender flowers baking powder into a large bowl and whisk to mix.
  5. In a separate bowl mix together thoroughly the oil, sugar, egg, vanilla and yogurt mixture.
  6. Pour the wet mix into the dry mix, and fold together until completely combined. Stir through the fruit until evenly distributed.
  7. Distribute the batter between the prepared tins, and pop into the oven at 400F for 15 minutes, then turn down to 325F.
  8. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack.

As these are low-fat and low sugar they’re good for breakfast, and you could easily add any nuts and/or seeds for a more substantial breakfast/snack 🙂


Birthday baking & brioche at last!



When I started this blog, I noted that one of the things I would really like to be able to make is brioche. But yeast and I have a rocky relationship at the best of times – one that involves it ceasing to work whenever I am within a 1m radius of it. Needless to say, this has limited the extend of my experimentation to things which do not require yeast.

My OH, on the other hand, has a thriving mastery of bread (and yeast risen goodies), and as it was his birthday we invited a load of friends over for the evening, and made all the baked goods in the world. One of these were The Hairy Bikers’ Craquelin (or Belgian Brioche) – which involves a cointreau-soaked sugar cube in the middle of a brioche bun. And can I just say: OMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOM! Seriously, these little beauties are utterly delicious, and far easier to make than I imagined. 

Craquelin/Belgian Brioche (12)

  • 125ml whole milk (we used semi-skimmed)
  • 2tbs caster sugar, plus 1 tsp
  • 7g dried yeast (fast acting)
  • Sunflower oil, for greasing
  • 500g plain flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 4 medium eggs, beaten
  • 175g butter, softened
  • 2 tbs cointreau (or orange juice for non-boozy version)
  • 12 sugar cubes (they suggest white, but we used brown and it worked)
  • 1 egg yolk, for glaze
  1. Pour the milk into a small pan and stir in the teaspoon of sugar. Heat over a low temperature until the milk is just warm, remove from the heat and pour into a bowl.. Stir in the yeast and leave for 10 minutes until the surface is froathy.
  2. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin with the oil.
  3. Sift the flour into a bowl and stir in the salt, the remaining 2tsp of sugar, and the zest. Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the yeast-milk. Pour the beaten eggs in, then stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon until a soft dough is formed. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth. Start to kneed in the butter a tablespoon at a time, kneading until totally incorporated. Should take ~10 mins.
  4. Clean the surface and your hands, flour the surface and knead the dough for another 10 mins. Form the dough into a ball and place in a big, well-oiled bowl. Cover loosely with oiled cling-film. Leave in a warm place for 1.5hrs or until doubled in size.
  5. Pour the liqueur into a saucer and dip the sugar cubes into it so they absorb the liquid. Place the dough back of the floured surface and punch it firmly to knock it back. Knead again for 1 min. Divide the dough into 12. Roll 1 piece into a ball, and then holding it in the palm of one hand flatten it with the other.Place one of the soaked sugar cubes in the middle, and press the edges together to completely seal it. Repeat for all 12.
  6. Place the 12 balls into the greased muffin tin, seal-side down. Glaze the tops with the egg yoke. Cover with oiled cling-film and leave in a warm place for 45 mins to rise. Pre-heat the oven to 220c. Bake the buns in the middle of the oven for 10 mins, then reduce the temp to 180c and cook for 10 mins more. They should be golden and well-risen.
  7. Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack for 10 mins. Serve warm or cold.


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