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Blueberry White Chocolate Muffin Cake

A couple of weekends ago, a fancy took ahold of me to make muffins. I was having a few girls over for brunch, and it seemed the appropriate thing to have on display for whetting appetites upon arrival.

My only snag was that I didn’t own a muffin pan and nor did any of my known neighbours. I took to Twitter to ask if it would be a total disaster to bake muffin batter in a loaf tin instead, and the general consensus was that I should take the punt and it was unlikely that much would go wrong.

This turned out to be correct, and my friends and I enjoyed our raspberry and white chocolate loaf cake immensely. So this week, I thought I’d repeat the experience with a brownie pan for my preferred shape of bake and here we all are.

The recipe below is altered from the raspberry and white chocolate muffins that I found on BBC Good Food. All I’ve really changed here is the fruit, baking receptacle and oven temp/cooking time – but it makes for quite a different animal.

300g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
100g caster sugar
100g salted butter, melted
2 large eggs
200ml milk (I always use soya or oat)
170g blueberries
180g white chocolate (bar – chopped if so – or chips)

1 – Preheat oven to 160C fan (Gas Mark 4) and grease and line a brownie tin (mine measures 21x25cm).
2 – In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder then add the sugar, mix, and make a well in the centre.
3 – In a separate bowl or measuring jug, mix together the eggs, milk and butter.
4 – Pour the wet mixture into the well at the centre of your bowl and gently bring the dry and wet ingredients together using a spoon. Take care not to overmix – you can stop as soon as they appear to be just combined.
5 – Gently fold in almost all of the blueberries and white chocolate, reserving some to scatter over the top before baking.
6 – Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

White Chocolate Blueberry Muffin Cake

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Honey Oregano Halloumi + Courgette

While the summer may have packed itself up and left us for dead a little early this year, the same cannot be said for the courgette glut. With no access to a garden or allotment of my own, my source for this knowledge is the generous portion I seem to keep finding in my veg box delivery each week.

It’s long been known that I’m not a courgette person. One of my most popular recipes to date – and one of the only ways I can truly enjoy them – is courgette brownies. However, throwing something into a brownie batter and baking it could only ever result in deliciousness. It’s cheating. It’s time for me to grow up and learn to love courgettes as the dinner-destined vegetable they are.

I’ve been drizzling halloumi with honey and oregano for as long as I’ve been cooking, ever since seeing it on the internet somewhere (the only reason I ever do anything). I happened to have too many courgettes in the fridge and presumed no harm could come from adding them to the mix and here we are, a new firm favourite has been born.

1 tbsp cooking oil
1 pack/block halloumi
2-3 small/medium courgettes
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp oregano (to taste)

1 – Slice the halloumi into fingers and the courgettes into crescents.

2 – Heat the oil in a non stick frying pan, and add the halloumi and courgettes at the same time.

3 – Cook until golden brown, moving around all the time to ensure it doesn’t catch or burn – once halloumi burns, it burns to a crisp real quick.

4 – Right before you turn off the heat, at the honey and oregano and stir until coated and glazed.

I served mine with a mustard potato salad (boiled potatoes, green beans, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, garlic salt and pepper), it would be great with cous cous too, I think.

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Beer, Marmite + Black Treacle Gravy

Whether we like it or not, autumn fast approaches. In a matter of weeks, the only thing keeping you going Monday to Saturday will be the promise of your Sunday roast. Coupled perhaps with a Gilmore Girls marathon and a thimbleful or two of whisky to push down the deep sense of injustice that boils up the back of your throat each time you remember that we went in to lockdown last winter, sat inside through heatwaves, weren’t allowed to go on holiday and now here we are on the wrong side of the year once more… but I digress.

This has been my go-to gravy for a couple of months now, I won’t make anything else. It’s particularly handy because it doesn’t rely on meat juices, so fits the bill when I’m making veggie roasts (as I’m often inclined to do). It’s deeply savoury and packs a punch of intense flavour – particularly delicious with cauliflower cheese.

I struggled (as per) to get this one written down because I’m such a by-eye cook and can always be relied up to neglect writing notes as I go, but I hope I’ve captured measurements accurately enough for you to give this a try yourselves.

little knob butter
3 heaped tbsps flour
1/2 can(ish) beer, whatever you have in
1 tbsp marmite
1 tbsp black treacle
700ml veg or chicken stock

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Pour in the beer and simmer for a few minutes.
  3. Pour in the stock, add the marmite and black treacle and stir to combine.
  4. Bring to a boil then simmer for 40 minutes to an hour until thick, sweet and delicious.

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