blackberry and coconut muffins. and friendship

muffinwindow

In recent years, I’ve become more and more aware of how blessed I am to have lifelong friends. Friends who I know (with absolute certainty) will be there during the highest points of my life whilst also traversing the earth-shattering lows. Friends like these are a rarity in the transient nature of modern life. I’ve somehow been blessed with a few.

I’ve written a few times on this blog about one of my best friends, the absolute treasure who answered to Hippy Vic (I’m using past tense as she’s progressively abandoned the blogging game). It was her birthday on Monday and I still haven’t given her a hug.

It frustrates me how life has steadily crowded out the times when we just used to sit and breathe. Nights when we’d talk unrestricted til the air grew cold and the sun emerged from hiding. I miss smiling til my face hurt and soaking in the relentless swell of youth.

At least it seemed relentless; perennial in the best of ways, tinged with blissful ignorance and folly. But youth finally faded, as it always does. Responsibility awakened like a lofty giant. Age brought maturity, and with that came both beauty and perpetual loss. I’m trying to appreciate both.

berries eggs

Back to the issue of time, or rather, lack of it. I’m sure most (if not all) of you can relate to the burden of conflicting responsibilities, the absorbent qualities of full-time work and the joy (but occasionally overwhelming nature) of parenthood. I often experience pressing guilt or regret after choosing to do one thing over another. I also spend endless moments reflecting upon what I want to do as opposed to what I need to do. This year, I wanted it to end.

Last weekend, I spent some very deliberate time reflecting upon how I spend the majority of my waking hours. The past ten years have been largely consumed with study and work, the remainder being fragmented into time with family and friends. I’ve long been aware of a glaring imbalance between time spent with lifelong friends and that spent with ‘incidental acquaintances’, i.e. colleagues or people attached to my personal pursuits. All very nice people, mind you. But not those whom I’d call ‘sisters’ when I’m old and grey.

coffee

I’ll spare you the rest of my weekend contemplation. Let’s skip through to some very purposeful time spent last Sunday eating muffins on the crest of a hill. Time spent chatting in the cool of the morning until hours disappeared and the afternoon arrived.

Time spent with my other best friend and heart sister, Lucy.

hands

We arrived around 9:00am, armed with fresh pencils, paints, snacks, one furkid (Loki) and our two favourite boys (Aaron and Lucy’s little boy, Isaac). Over the course of the morning, we etched images on paper, cracking almonds with our teeth and breathing the scent of warm eucalyptus.

Lucy was Lucy, beautifully creative, always kind and encouraging. The same strong-but-gentle woman whom I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for over fifteen years. She’s seen me crumble under pressure and glow with happiness on my wedding day.

I’m so, so grateful for the journey that we’ve taken together. And most of all, I look forward to the days to come.

scribblelucy

So, back to Sunday. Before leaving the park, we took Isaac to Synergy parkland to climb stone dinosaurs and eat rainbow ice creams. Loki nosed around in the wood chips, making friends with stray children and chasing abandoned balls.

We lay on freshly watered grass which left stains on our clothing and huge smiles on our faces. We loved every minute and, as usual, we’ve promised to ‘do it again soon’.

isaac

And this time, we will.

I’m already baking the muffins.

aerial

Blackberry and Coconut Muffins

Makes 18

  • 1/2 cup coconut yoghurt (I used CO YO, substitute natural yoghurt)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup organic, cold-pressed coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (substitute oat or dairy milk)
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1 cup organic oat flour
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh blackberries
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking (bicarbonate) soda
  • Optional: coconut nectar and coconut chips/flakes, to garnish

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees f). Whisk the yoghurt, water, eggs, milk and coconut oil together in a large bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix until just combined.

mix1

Spoon into lined or greased muffin pans and bake for 20-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

If using coconut nectar, prick holes into the top of the muffins and drizzle over a little coconut nectar whilst still warm. Garnish with toasted coconut chips.

closeup

broken

Advertisements

raspberry, macadamia and white chocolate muffins

splitaerial2

I like muffins. They’re ridiculously simple to make, quick to cook and easy to eat. However, despite muffins being in my regular baking repertoire, I’ve never posted a recipe. Why? Well… muffins are usually my go-to ‘quick fix’ option when I need to bake and don’t have available cooking time for a cake. Within half an hour, the muffins are mixed, baked and gently packed in paper for transport.

As any food blogger would know, taking photographs for a post slows down the cooking process considerably, so muffins never really hit my blogging radar. Until now. This muffin recipe is too good not to share.

macas macasmp

Based on this recipe from taste.com.au, my version of the classic raspberry and white chocolate muffin is studded with macadamia nuts, white chocolate buttons and rosy fruit. The batter is moistened with toasty macadamia oil and buttermilk, both of which are absorbed and retained by the additional coconut flour.

Raw sugar balances the tartness of the raspberries, whilst a sprinkle of demerara sugar creates crunch on the golden muffin top. When eaten warm from the oven, they’re positively heavenly… warm, gooey white chocolate contrasts against tart raspberry, moist coconut and earthy macadamias in a joyous tumble of flavour and texture.

oilmilk oilmilkmix

I took all eighteen of these muffins to my workplace as a Monday sweetener. Their box was empty by morning tea time and eleven emails soon arrived in thanks (plus two door drop-in’s calling for my entry to The Great Australian Bake-Off).

So, needless to say, if you’d like to win friends and make office alliances, make these muffins. They’re quick, easy and absolutely delicious. They’ve never failed me yet.

berries

done1

Raspberry, Macadamia and White Chocolate Muffins

Makes 18 medium-sized muffins

  • 1 cup (about 200g) white chocolate buds
  • 1 1/2 cups (310g) raw caster sugar
  • 3 cups (450g) self-raising flour
  • 1 cup (150g) organic coconut flour
  • 1 cup (250ml) macadamia oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) buttermilk
  • 1 cup (160g) raw macadamias, crushed lightly in a mortar and pestle
  • 2 cups (250g) frozen or fresh raspberries
  • 2 free-range eggs, lightly whisked
  • demerara sugar, for sprinkling (if desired)

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C (360 degrees f). Line 18 (one 12-hole and one 6-hole muffin tray) muffin pans with paper cases.

muffincases1

In a large bowl, combine the white chocolate, sugar, flours and macadamia nuts. Gently fold in the raspberries (don’t worry if some of them get crushed, it creates a lovely rosy hue upon baking). Make a well in the centre.

flours

mix

Whisk the egg, oil and buttermilk together in a jug. Pour the mixture into the well in the centre of your flour mixture, then gently stir until just combined.

mixing

Spoon the mixture evenly into each paper case, ensuring that the chocolate, nuts and berries are evenly distributed.

filling

filled2Sprinkle each muffin top with some demarara sugar. Transfer trays into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden and cooked through (insert a skewer into the centre of a large muffin; it should come out with only moist crumbs attached). splitaerial2Cool the muffins for 5 minutes before removing them from their trays. They’re wonderful served warm with a hot cup of coffee.

splitbackempty

With The Grains

Whole Grains and Wanderings

Cashew Kitchen

vibrant food. quiet soul. wild at heart.

Brooklyn Homemaker

modern classic recipes, story telling, and a little bit of history. Oh yeah, and schnauzers.

better than a bought one

as homemade should be

My Sweet Precision

Where flour, butter, and sugar collide

Chompchomp

Perth Food Blog | Restaurant Reviews | Food & Travel Blog | Gluten Free

The Veggy Side Of Me

Deliciousy Green...