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I’m not going to open with an apology for having not written anything here for months on end. I’m really not. Having not apologised, let me move on …

My mum likes to buy me little cookbooks. However, as she lives in France these are (in the vast majority) in French and (in the vast majority) a little odd. One of those little gems is this one: Muffins – Petits, Délicats Et Irrésistiblement Savoureux

Muffins - Small, Delicate And Irresistibly Delicious

Muffins – Small, Delicate And Irresistibly Delicious

Despite the title, this includes not only muffins (les globe-trotters) but doughnuts (sweet and nourishing), bagels (the preferred patisserie of American breakfast), cookies (les petits fours à l’américaine), scones (well, almost), rolls and cakes as well. The recipes are split into several categories:

  • Fruity
  • Filled
  • Alcoholic (this is a French cookbook, after all)
  • Festive
  • Savoury

The fruity and filled sections have the normal, run of the mill recipes. Like courgette & banana, fig & carrot, chocolate & mint, spiced chocolate and papaya. Even the alcoholic and festive sections are almost ordinary. I mean, who wouldn’t want not one but TWO egg liquor recipes? But the true majesty of this book lies in the final chapter: Sablés.

Savoury muffin goodness ...

Savoury muffin goodness …

Excuse the page crease with the scan, but I couldn’t not show you muffins topped with salsa or fried bacon and onion, let alone salami. But the picture below shows you the jewel in this book’s horrific, jaw-dropping crown:

Nightmare Muffins

Nightmare Muffins

What looks like the bastard offspring of a charcutier‘s nightmare and a sausage roll are, in fact, “Muffins saucisse-fromage”. Of course they are. Huge chunks of Frankfurt sausage smothered in a batter impregnated with onion, leek, red pepper, paprika and cheese and baked until solid and sprinkled with chopped herbs.

I’ll leave you with that one …

I’m not sure why I love muffins so much, but I’ll take muffins over cupcakes and their acres of tooth-achingly sweet icing and mounds of vanilla-ish nothingness any day of the week. And I’m not talking shop-bought muffins either – all bicarb and grease and no trousers. Proper homemade muffins are right up there in the baked goods department – maybe its the texture (not too fluffy, not too dense) or the way you can mix and match flavourings and ingredients …

I also know that I have mentioned several times about my love affair with lemon (go Team Zest!), so it seemed only natural that when perusing my fridge for baking ideas and my eyes befell a partially sliced lemon that I decided that was for me. (I should point out that the main reason I made them was to use up half a pot of buttermilk left over from making these bad boys …)

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Muffins. I love them. Sweet or savoury, its all good. Surprisingly, I’ve only blogged one muffin recipe before now. Now we can make that two. Did I mention that these are insanely easy to make and the shot of intense citrus tang provided by the lemon curd is a wonderful treat! (I’m also imagining these with lime curd … eaten in the sunshine with something cold, zesty and alcoholic …)

This amount only made 6 muffins, but you could eke it out by making the batter wetter … or making smaller or less generous muffins than I did!

Ingredients

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • Poppyseeds (amount dependant on how much you like them!)
  • 1 egg
  • Quarter teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 125ml buttermilk
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Tablespoon milk
  • Lemon curd

Method

Preheat oven to 180C and line a muffin tin with muffin cases.

In a bowl mix the flour, sugar and poppyseeds.

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In a measuring jug, mix the egg, buttermilk, lemon zest and milk until blended. Add to dry ingredients and beat until just mixed. This will barely take a minute. Over-beaten batter equals dense and tough muffins. And nobody wants that …

Spoon in a blob of batter into each muffin case and top with a scant teaspoon of lemon curd. Cover with another blob of batter.

Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until firm to touch.

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Leave to cool in the tin and try not to scoff all at once …

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I will be back soon with more recipes … Promise.

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