This year, Christmas has completely drained me. My energy is almost all gone. So please forgive me for today’s easy recipe. I must admit that I only own one Christmas recipe book, and frankly I don’t aim to buy any more. (Again, Christmas books I mean…just in case you’re wondering…) You really don’t need to, especially if you’re all for the traditional lunch. Christmas food tends to be repetitive and for lack of a better word, somewhat boring. At least to me it is. I’m not a big fan of turkey, even though that’s what we ate this time round. Brussels sprouts, well, are what they are, chestnuts or no chestnuts. For me, the highlight of the meal are the roast potatoes, made the American way seasoned with salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic, no faffing about with the fluffing in a colander and the roasting in goose fat. The simpler the prep the better.
While I don’t enjoy the savoury stuff, I do look forward to the sweet treats, and I get to indulge a little bit, as we all do. Nigella’s Christmas Morning Muffins recipe from Nigella Christmas has been a lifesaver during these hectic times. I made 2 batches, many of which I gave out to friends, and they have been a hit. The cinnamon covered dried cranberries I bought have added some extra flavour, but they can also be made with raisins or sultanas (or indeed a mixture of both). Though methinks they taste best with the dried cranberries. There’s no butter in this recipe. The oil and milk make them nice and moist. Any milk will do. Here’s the recipe.
- 250g plain flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 clementines, zested and juiced
- around 125ml semi-skimmed milk
- 75ml vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 175g cinnamon dusted dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas mark 6, and line a muffin tin with paper muffin cases.
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and the clementine zests. Lightly mix.
In a measuring jug, just to make things easier for you, squeeze the juice from the clementines and pour in the milk until you reach the 200ml mark. Pour in the oil and beat lightly.
Pour the contents of the jug onto the dry ingredients and stir until you have a few lumps in the mixture. Remember, when making muffins, a lumpy mixture is what you want. Fold in the dried cranberries.
Pour the liquid into the muffin cases, and bake for around 20 minutes. Leave them to cool and cover them with some icing.
Enjoy and a Happy New Year to all!
(Recipe adapted from Nigella Christmas, Chatto & Windus, 2008.)