Celebrating my first day of maternity leave, I found myself wondering around my local cookery equipment shop. It’s a three-floor emporium of wonderful gadgets and kitchen accessories… it’s impossible to leave there empty-handed. I spotted a traditional aluminium muffin tin that decided to come home with me.
When I have a sweet tooth, I normally opt for chocolate cupcakes, or a big carrot or coffee cake, but I fancied trying to master something different: big beautiful lemon and poppy-seed muffins for when my fiancée returned from a trip to Wales, as a surprise.
I’m pleased to report they were a great success, rising to a glorious height and setting to a delightful light texture. Yesterday I made a second batch, this time with orange and chocolate chip, which were equally as tasty.
They are quick and easy to make and would work with many different flavours.
Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
Preparation/cooking time 30 mins
330g/12 oz self-raising flour
225g/8oz caster sugar
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
290ml/10½ fl oz soya milk
100ml /3½ fl oz sunflower oil
2 tbsp soya yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla essence
Zest 1 lemon
1 tbsp poppy seeds
NB: For orange and chocolate chip muffins, I used the zest of 1 orange, 4 tbsp dark chocolate drops and 1 tsp orange essence (instead of vanilla).
1. Pre heat your oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6.
2. Sieve dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
3. Measure out soya milk, oil, yoghurt and essence into a jug and mix.
4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the liquid into the centre. Briskly whisk to form your muffin mixture. It should be smooth.
5. Line your muffin tin with paper muffin cases.
6. Spoon about 2 tbsp of mixture into each case, then distribute any remaining mixture evenly between each case. They will be about three-quarters full.
7. Bake for 20 mins. Remove from oven. The muffins are cooked if a cocktail stick inserted into one comes out clean. They should be lightly browned on the top.
8. Cool on a wire rack.