Sometimes I wish I could channel Nigella Lawson when I describe food. She would probably say something terribly eloquent about these muffins, but all I could think of was ‘holy shit’. Oh well, maybe one day I’ll be more articulate and elegant. Probably not.
Anyway, holy shit, these muffins taste like actual jam doughnuts.
I’ve wanted to make them for ages, and I’m glad I finally did. The recipe is in the December 2010/January 2011 edition of delicious. magazine and it’s by the ladies at the Flamingo Cafe in Brisbane. I’ve been meaning to go there for a while, and if the rest of their food is anything like these muffins, it’s probably worth a visit. In the recipe they use blackberry jam, but I had plum so that’s what I used.
Nigella also has a similar recipe in How to be a Domestic Goddess.
I recommend making jam from scratch, at least once. It’s really easy and it’s fun, providing you don’t burn yourself. Jam burns hurt.
Plum jam is my dad’s favourite jam. We used to have it on Christmas holidays at the beach. It’s best on freshly baked, still warm, thickly cut white bread. It’s also good on toasted rye bread with butter. I reckon, anyway. Oh, and you have to be on holidays.
I made this for Dad’s birthday recently. Unfortunately, he’d just returned from holidays, so I don’t know when he’ll eat it. I guess it depends on when the next holiday is scheduled. Easter, perhaps.
This recipe is from Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion. I halved the quantity and used jam setting sugar, which has pectin in it, because last time I made jam without adding pectin it didn’t set.
I’m pretty proud of this. Almost as proud of myself as I was when I worked out how to take nachos to work for lunch. It’s not really a recipe, and it’s hardly revolutionary, it’s really just a great combination of ingredients. It’s also not very photogenic, specially with my limited photography skills and unwillingness to let my food get cold for the sake of a photo.
Cannellini beans, tomato and fetta on toast
If I use a whole tin of beans, this usually makes enough for two massive servings for me. I am greedy, so it could probably go further. It doesn’t really matter how much of each ingredient you use.
tinned cannellini beans, drained
cherry tomatoes, halved
salt and pepper
Put beans, tomatoes and fetta in a microwavable bowl. Pour over some of the oil from the fetta. Microwave for a couple of minutes. Mash the mixture a bit, just to combine all the ingredients. You could probably mash it a bit more if you wanted to make it into a dip. Squeeze over lemon juice and mix in salt and pepper to taste. Serve on toast – I recommend rye bread, if that’s the kind of thing you’re into.
I always thought of red velvet cupcakes as being terribly American, and never really got the point. They’re red. So what? I had them from Magnolia in New York and felt pretty ‘meh’ about them. But I made these for a workmate’s birthday this week (because I wanted to make cakes with white icing, for purely aesthetic reasons), and they were so good I had to make them again today. I’m pretty sure they’re the best cupcakes I’ve ever made. They made me understand the ‘velvet’ part of red velvet cake. When they’re baked they’re pretty and red, but when the batter is being beaten it looks all bloody and gory. So as well as being tasty, these cakes could also be useful if you were making a cheapo horror film.
As my mum says, it’s all about choosing a good recipe, and the one I used for these is excellent. It’s Joy the Baker’s favourite red velvet cupcakes – I didn’t make any changes, and it made exactly 12, AND exactly the right amount of icing. I love recipes that make what they say they make.