Tag Archives: spelt muffins

Coffee walnut muffins and unusual best friends



My best friend is a hen. Our friendship is based on mutual compassion – we are both victims of misunderstanding. The other day I was given some chicken bones to eat and, because I’m a generous sort of dog, I invited BHF to share them. I made it plain to the other hens that she was the only one invited; they tend towards vulgar, thuggish behaviour and gate-crashing. Luckily, I can be very intimidating *grrrr* , so they quickly got the message. I’m not sure that BHF knew she was cannibalising, but I didn’t explain because I know she has enough problems and a rather sensitive nature. Sometimes, when Bossy isn’t looking, I invite her into the house to eat from my food bowl. I’m working on a plan to sneak her in to watch television with me. My favourite programme is Scooby Doo and I think she’d like it too (did you like the internal rhyme? I’m learning about poetry at the moment). I think you’d agree that it would be worth it just to see Bossy in full meltdown mode *wicked doggy cackle*.


Walnuts are a rich source of omega 3 fatty acid (just 25g a day covers most of your needs). They are also very rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants, as well as providing a healthy supply of B-complex vitamins. Added to this, they contain numerous minerals: manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.

Ingredients (makes 12)

175g spelt flour

100g rye flour

Pinch of sea salt

I heaped tablespoon instant coffee

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon ginger, powder or freshly grated

3 eggs

250ml coconut milk

4 tablespoons honey

60g chopped walnuts

150g organic virgin coconut oil, melted

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

Delicious served hot or cold as a dessert with Greek yoghurt or ice-cream, or alone with a cup of coffee.

Cheesy G8 muffins


The G8’s recent mufti extravaganza prompted me to create these American-style savoury muffins as a tribute to Obama, the only leader able to carry off the ‘my tie’s being laundered following a messy run-in with tomato ketchup’ look with any panache. I’m not altogether certain that the main objective of the summit was to evoke a Monty Python sketch, but that, to my considerable amusement, was the result.

Allison Pearson, writing in the Daily Telegraph, summed it up perfectly:

‘Let’s be clear. You can wear a suit without a tie, on two conditions. One, the suit needs to be of the highest grade, woven from the chest-hairs of privately educated sheep. And two, you need to be Barack Obama. Otherwise, you end up with the deeply uncomfortable gallery of statesmen who were photographed at Enniskillen, as in a police line-up. David Cameron looked as if he had left his tie in the car; Vladimir Putin looked as if he had left his tightly knotted around the throat of a political opponent; the Japanese prime minister, unhindered by any tie, had had a rush of blood and opted for deck shoes as well, and may have to be dissuaded from wearing a ripped T-shirt and winklepickers next time. François Hollande, as usual, looked like a misplaced maître d’, who needed not just a tie but an apron and a white napkin over his arm to complete the look.’

These are adapted from a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe.

Ingredients (makes 12 muffins)

250g German spelt flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of sea salt

1 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon Italian olive oil

2 organic eggs, beaten

80g butter, melted

200ml Russian kefir (or yoghurt)

75g strong English Cheddar, grated

75g French Comté, grated

75g courgettes, peeled and grated

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 small onion, peeled and chopped into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Fry the onions in olive oil over a gentle heat until golden. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and paprika. In another bowl combine the eggs, butter, kefir and Worcestershire Sauce and stir into the flour mixture until just combined. Last, fold in the onions, courgettes and cheese. Spoon the mixture into a muffin tin (greased if you’re not using a silicon mould) and bake for 18 minutes.