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Tag Archives: Irish soda bread

Plum and Cranberry Soda Bread Muffins

 

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I wasn’t quite sure what to call these muffins! They are inspired by the recipe for Irish soda bread but, like all good muffins, are fruit filled and quite moist.

They came about when I was researching soda bread and found this great recipe from Jack Monroe for Rhubarb and Ginger Soda Bread from her blog Cooking on a Bootstrap. I was very impressed with her helpful suggestion about how to make a buttermilk substitute, by adding lemon juice to ordinary milk. I also liked that she added rhubarb to the traditional soda bread recipe.

So I decided to make muffins, using the main ingredients for soda bread – flour, bi-carb and lemon juice soured milk as the buttermilk substitute. I added an egg, as muffin recipes really need that enrichment.

My recipe has both fresh fruit and dried fruit. I think both are good – I suggest you go with whatever is seasonal for the fresh fruit, and any fried fruit would work well.

These muffins have no butter or oil, so are quite healthy. You could cut right down on the sugar if you really wanted a super-good-for-you muffin.

The result was moist, full of gorgeous spices and delicious on its own. A little yoghurt with the muffin would be nice, or even butter…!

Ingredients

200mls semi-skimmed milk
Juice of half a lemon
250g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 free-range egg lightly beaten
3 plums (chopped) or any other stone fruit or other fruit such as apples or pears
2 tbls dried cranberries or other dried fruit
100gms brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Demerara sugar for sprinkling.

Method

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C or 160 degrees C fan forced. Line 6 silicon muffin moulds with muffin papers. If you don’t have these moulds, use an ordinary 6 hole muffin tin. Or you can use a smaller 12 cup muffin tin for daintier muffins.
Pour the milk into a jug or a cup and squeeze in the lemon juice. Leave to stand for a minute or two to allow the milk to curdle. Add the beaten egg.
In a large bowl, combine the flour and bicarb and briefly mix through. Add the chopped plums, with the dried cranberries. Stir in the sugar and spices.
Make a well in the centre of the flour/fruit ingredients and pour in the curdled milk, lemon and egg mixture.
Stir together, remembering not to overmix as muffins definitely need only rough mixing.
Spoon the mixture into muffin cases in your moulds or tin. Just before putting into the oven, sprinkle the tops of the muffins with demerara sugar for added crunch.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the muffin comes out clean.
Serve warm on their own or with yogurt or butter.

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Sticky Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Herbs

IMG_2126Sweet, sticky cherry tomatoes slow baked with fresh herbs. The flavour really intensifies with the long cooking! Serve on their own, as part of a salad, as a side dish with scrambled eggs for instance, or heaped on crusty bread as part of an antipasto platter.

Ingredients

15 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp caster sugar

Ground black pepper

A handful thyme sprigs and/or rosemary sprigs

1/2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar

Salad greens and Irish soda bread to serve

Method

Preheat the oven the 130 degrees C. *

Place the tomatoes cut side down in baking dish, sitting them snugly next to each other. Scatter with the fresh herb sprigs. Sprinkle over the salt, sugar and black pepper. Pour over the extra virgin olive oil, making sure all the tomatoes are covered.

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Place the tomatoes in the oven, then cook for 1.5 hrs or until the tomatoes are soft and slightly shriveled.

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Remove from the oven, dress with the aged balsamic and leave to cool.

Serve at room temperature, as a side dish or salad.

Or as I did with radicchio lettuce and my Irish soda bread with black treacle: https://thequirkandthecool.com/2013/04/27/irish-soda-bread-with-black-treacle

*If you wanted to cook the tomatoes really slowly, cook at 100 degrees C for 2.5 – hours.IMG_2090

 

Smoked Salmon with Horseradish Cream, Salad Greens and Irish Soda Bread

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This is a simple lunch or dinner for the start of spring, even better served in the garden! Very rustic and easy to prepare. Jamie Oliver was the inspiration.

Just pile smoked salmon onto a platter with tons of greens – I used a selection of lettuces, snow peas and rainbow chard. Serve with horseradish cream:

Mix a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream or creme fraiche with a teaspoon full of creamed horesradish and a little french mustard.

And serve with any good rustic bread –  I love Irish soda bread –  this is the link to the recipe on a previous post:

https://thequirkandthecool.com/2013/04/27/irish-soda-bread-with-black-treacle/

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