My ingredient is a packet of mixed dried fruit that I bought recently.
Mixed dried fruit is of course a great inclusion in muffins, like the spiced apple one that we baked in our online workshop. I also enjoy soaking dried fruits such as raisins, sultanas or prunes in cold water for a few hours to make a sweet ‘stock’ flavoured with the dried fruits. This can be used as it is, or the fruits strained off and the juice reduced into a syrup that is great (along with the original fruits) on ice cream or yoghurt.
• For the inclusions – hard cheeses, tofu, pickles, seeds, nuts, dried fruits, chocolate pieces
Bran Muffins – makes 6-9 muffins depending on the size of your tins/cases
1 large egg
50g oil or 60g butter, melted and cooled
75g grated vegetables or apples/pears
150g yoghurt or 90g milk
75g white self-raising flour
50g bran (if you don’t have bran, substitute with more flour)
50g sugar (if you are making sweet muffins)
1 tsp spice if using
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp bicarb
50g – 75g dried fruit
Preheat your fan oven to 190C (210C without the fan, Gas Mark 6-7).
Sift the flour and mix well with the other dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and then whisk in the other wet ingredients. Add the wet mix to the dry mix and combine using a spatula until they are only just combined. It’s crucial not to over-mix, even the odd streak of uncombined flour is fine.
Line your muffin tin with muffin cases, spoon the mix into the cases (no higher than the top of the case) and bake for 20 – 25 minutes at 190C. The muffins should brown a little on top and you can check they are cooked by inserting a skewer into the middle, which should come out clean rather than being coated in wet, uncooked mix.