Tag Archives: spelt flour muffins

Peach muffins and broken bone competitions

peachmuffins2

Since the beginning of the summer holidays, Léo has been sporting a hefty plaster cast on his broken left arm (his third to date). Unfortunate at the best of times, but even more uncomfortable and itchy when temperatures are in the high 30s. We went to the pharmacy to pick up his painkillers and someone in the queue (there are always woe-laden queues in French pharmacies) – very helpfully I thought – started to list all the things he wouldn’t be able to do this summer: tennis, beach, pool, riding, rafting, mountain biking, skateboarding, windsurfing… As Léo’s face started to drop, I decided to whisk him away before she could delight us any further. We went for a drink in a café to boost our spirits, where the owner immediately started to regale us with in-depth tales of her multiple fractures, insisting on how lucky Léo was not to have broken his leg. We downed our drinks before her competitiveness got the better of her and she felt compelled to produce any further anecdotes to ‘out fracture’ him. I was very tempted to stop at the pharmacy on the way home for a heavy-duty anti-depressant for both of us, but decided against it in case we bumped into anyone else wanting to contribute to the list of Things We Won’t Be Able To Do This Summer.

Pharmacy

The powdered hazelnut in these muffins is rich in the bone-building – or rebuilding as the case may be – minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Ingredients (makes 12)

100ml olive oil

100g cane sugar

2 organic eggs

150g spelt flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

100g ground hazelnuts

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon garam masala

50ml yogurt (or milk)

2 peaches, peeled, and cut into rough cubes

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the olive oil and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until pale. Add a spoonful of flour, beat again, then add the eggs, beating further until the mixture is light and fluffy, adding a little more flour to prevent curdling if necessary. Gently fold in the rest of the flour, baking powder, ground hazelnuts, seasoning and yoghurt and combine. Lastly, gently fold in the peaches. Spoon the mixture into muffin trays and bake for 25 minutes.

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Apricot and ginger muffins and drug-free pharmacists

apricotgingermuffin

A few years ago, I wrote an article about a much-revered institution in France: The Pharmacy. Yesterday, having popped into our local one for some toothpaste, I found myself in the incongruous position of dispensing advice to the pharmacist on how to treat her debilitating cold. She was quite adamant about not wanting to use ‘nasty chemical drugs’ that made her feel drowsy and dried out. I found her resolve amusingly disloyal in view of her job – rather like a butcher promoting a vegetarian diet – but I was even more astonished when she went on to say that she tries to avoid pharmaceuticals at all costs: Talk about doing yourself out of work! Anyway, I spent so long dealing with her fervent drug phobia and streaming orifices (I set her up with a concoction of herbs and some essential oils to sniff and rub on) that it was only when I reached home that I realised that I’d come away empty-handed… Natural remedies: 1, pharmaceutical profits: 0.

Ingredients (makes 12)

60g salted butter, softened

60g coconut oil, softened

150g spelt flour

2 organic eggs

60g ground almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

80g cane sugar

50ml milk

200g apricots, cut into quarters and lightly poached

2 teaspoons ginger, freshly grated

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cream the butter and coconut oil for about four minutes. Add a spoonful of flour, beat again, then add the eggs, beating further until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add a little more flour to prevent curdling. Gently fold in the remaining flour, ground almonds, baking powder, cane sugar, and milk. Lastly, fold the poached apricots and grated ginger into the mix. Spoon into muffin trays and bake for 25 minutes.
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Double chocolate and spicy pear muffins and equine sleepovers

chocolatemuffins

Two of our horses went for a sleepover last night. Castaño, our youngest horse, goes for private tuition every Monday at a nearby School for Extraordinarily Naughty Horses. The school is very recent; I’m convinced its creation was motivated by the mass of potential clients amongst our wayward equines. We received a phone call from Castaño’s teacher at 11pm, asking whether we had lost anything. After establishing that, unfortunately for me, she hadn’t found my sunglasses, she said that she did have our two bay horses. It was decided they stay overnight, which thankfully avoided us a precarious and muddy moonlit traipse. When I went to fetch them this morning, it occurred to me that maybe Castaño had been trying to win brownie points by turning up early for his weekly lesson and had taken Texas, the wise 30-year-old, to show him the place where he was learning to become A Better Horse. I think we can safely say this particular project is still very much ‘work in progress’…

castanolearner

4horsesblog

These muffins are a really rich double chocolate treat. Just in case you’re looking for an excuse to make them, both cardamon and dark chocolate increase serotonin levels in the brain. Amongst other things, serotonin helps ward off depression. And who doesn’t need a serotonin boost towards the end of the winter?

chocolatemuffins2

Ingredients (makes 12)

275g spelt flour

50g pure cacao powder (no added sugar)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon cardamon

½ teaspoon ginger, freshly grated

3 eggs

250ml coconut milk

4 tablespoons honey

1 pear, peeled and chopped into small cubes

150g organic virgin coconut oil, melted

100g 70% dark chocolate, melted

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Prepare and grease two muffin tins with butter or coconut oil. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cardamon and ginger into a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and then add the coconut milk, honey, pear, melted coconut oil and chocolate, stirring constantly. Combine the two mixtures well. Fill the muffin tins and bake for about 18 minutes.

Absolutely delicious served hot or cold!

Apple and almond muffins and lawnmower paths

appleraspmuffins

My husband has decided that the heat is too intense to navigate our land on foot and has starting going everywhere by lawnmower, as you do. He explained the logic at some length, although I don’t remember much; my mind must have slipped into neutral. I believe it was something to do with ‘efficiency’ and the fact that if I’m looking for him, I just have to follow the path of most freshly-cut grass. Or something. Our bank manager sounded more than a little bit nonplussed on the ‘phone this morning when I told him that he could indeed speak to ‘Monsieur’ just as soon as I had identified the most recently-cut grass strip…

These muffins are deliciously light and tasty whether you’re certifiable or not. They are adapted from one of my favourite cookbooks of the moment: ‘Love, Bake, Nourish’ by Amber Rose.

Ingredients (makes 12)

2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into pieces

1 teaspoon cinnamon

60g salted butter, softened

60g coconut oil, softened

150g spelt flour

2 organic eggs

1 teaspoon baking powder

160g agave syrup

60g ground almonds

50ml milk

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Sprinkle the apples with cinnamon  and poach until soft in a small amount of water. Set aside. Cream the butter and coconut oil for about 4 minutes. Add a spoonful of flour, beat again, then add the eggs, beating further until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add a little more flour to prevent curdling. Gently fold in the rest of the flour, baking powder, agave syrup, ground almonds and milk. Lastly, fold the poached apples into the mix. Spoon the mixture into muffin trays and bake for 25 minutes.