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I’m (not in any way) sorry to announce that there are more muffins recipes on the way …

… although not until I buy more muffin cases.

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Following my Lemon Curd muffins two friends mentioned white chocolate muffins – one with blueberries and one with cherries. I’ve also been meaning to make some guacamole for a while so have a lime in the fridge awaiting avocado nirvana. Lime. My second favourite citrus. Tangy. Sour. Zesty. The perfect antitode to the glorious sweetness of (good) white chocolate … I couldn’t, could I? After all, the lime was ear-marked for something else …

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Then my thoughts turned to something else zesty that I like quite a lot. Mojitos. Mojito muffins … I couldn’t, could I? I probably could … A quick Google provided reams and reams of recipes for Mojito-inspired cupcakes, including drenching in rum syrup. I have mentioned my cupcake aversion previously, but anything a cupcake can do, a muffin can do better. (Although so far I have yet to see a Food Network show entitled Muffin Wars, or similar …)

dried-sour-cherriesBut one crazy idea at a time (glossing over the agonizing possibilities about getting mint AND lime into a muffin for a moment). White chocolate and cherry. Sour cherry. Cherries soaked in … lime syrup? Sounds good, right? Mmm. Well, you’d think that our supermarkets would be fit to bursting with dried cherries (especially at this festive time of year). You’d be wrong. Dried cherries sweetened with sugar or fruit juice rather seem to be the norm on the High Street (health-food shops aside) so, in a bit of a bind I purchased one small bag of dried cherries sweetened with sugar and one bag of “berry mix” – dried cranberries (sweetened with sugar), dried cherries (sweetened with sugar), dried blueberries (sweetened with apple juice) and dried strawberries (sweetened with apple juice).

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However, I don’t particularly want to make “White Chocolate & Sweetened Cherry” muffins. I want the sweet/sour combo, and I’m having an issue with getting non-sweetened cherries. This is not an insurmountable issue – I just need to get to a larger health-food shop/supermarket and I am impatient when it comes to baking once I have an idea …

This afternoon, whilst on a walk, I had a “woah” moment. I have a load of cranberries left in my fridge. These are tart. Why not use them in place of the dried cherries? Why not indeed. Plus cranberries are festive … right??

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So I did. And these are they …

(In case you are concerned, the dried sweetened fruit I have will be going into something else in the future and won’t be wasted!)

Recipe

  • 300g (10oz) self-raising flour
  • 150g (5oz) caster sugar (I used golden caster, but only because it was in my cupboard!)
  • 125g (4oz) butter, melted and cooled
  • 100g (3.5oz) white chocolate, chopped (I used Lindt as I prefer it – but I do think that its a case of get what you pay for with white chocolate)
  • 100g (3.5oz) cranberries, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • Half teaspoon good vanilla extract
  • 200ml (6fl oz) buttermilk

Method

Preheat oven to 180C (approx. 350F) and line a muffin tray with paper liners. (This recipe gave me enough batter for 14 muffins with perhaps 2 tablespoons of batter per cup – adjust to your own preferred size!)

As with muffins, mix the dry ingredients together (including the white chocolate and cranberries).

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In a jug, mix the egg, buttermilk and vanilla extract. When cooled, add butter to the wet ingredients, add wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined.

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Spoon into muffin tray, and cook for 20-25 minutes.

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When a skewer comes out clean, they’re done! Remove and allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before removing.

Don’t, whatever you do, become so involved with what you’re doing that you forget they’re in the oven and then smell warm cranberry and rush to the oven to find that they’re a little browner than you’d like …

Tip: Don't get so engrossed in writing the article that you forget what's in your oven ...

Tip: Don’t get so engrossed in writing the article that you forget what’s in your oven …

If you can wait until they’re cool then do so … otherwise enjoy with a lovely cup of tea. Or with something … festive. If that’s your thing.

There will be more muffins in the near future!

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