Praiseful combinations

Cranberries, a winter berry that is traditionally synonymous with Christmas, however this crimson, tart little berry has so much more potential than simply accompanying turkey dinner but once a year.

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Cranberries have refreshingly sharp, acidic flavour that pairs well with a little bit of sweetness. It’s a flavour that Burrito Boy & myself are very fond of, every winter he sings my praises when I reproduce one of his favourites, cranberry & orange cheesecake (try as I might to be coy , I relish in any compliment from my favourite critic). This marriage of tangy, sweet orange & tart burst of cranberry is superb.

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Simple as a cheesecake is to make, I do loathe the washing-up that ultimately follows. It’s times like these when I steer in favour of the quick, simple, one-bowl muffin. With minimal effort involved, I can still be creative in the kitchen & have something to show for my efforts all within an hour (& relish in those praises again). 

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Versatile little muffins never last long in my house (greedy Burrito Boy devoured two during the journey into work this morning alone). I often make them as a means to use up any fruit on the verge of being thrown out of the fridge (he doesn’t know this). So with an abundance of cranberries in the fridge & little energy to spare, who needs cheesecake when my winning combination of colourful flavours translates so well into simple muffins.


CRANBERRY & ORANGE MUFFINS
(makes 6 large muffins)

Ingredients:

  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • est x1 orange
  • 50g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • juice 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 orange, sliced
  • 300g cranberries
  • 1 tbsp demerera (to top)

Method:

  • Line a 6 hole (8 inch) muffin pan with muffin cases or square pieces of baking parchment
  • Gently melt the butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan
  • Add the egg, juice, zest & milk to the melted butter & set aside
  • In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients
  • Add the butter mixture to the bowl & fold together until just combined
  • Stir through the cranberries
  • Divide the mixture equally between the muffin cases (tip:use an ice-cream scoop)
  • Place an orange slice on top of each before sprinkling over the demerera sugar
  • Bake at 180°c for 25-30 minutes, until a beautiful golden brown
  • Carefully remove the muffins from the tin & place on a cooling rack to fully cool

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