Tag Archives: wheat-free muffins

Peach muffins and broken bone competitions


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.


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.

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.