Life has been hectic the last few weeks and I’ve got exams looming on the horizon, so blogging time has been scarce. I’d like to take some time though, to talk about friendship and the blogging community before I share a recipe for some delicious muffins.
When I started my blog it was to have something that incorporated a hobby I already loved (cooking and baking) but would enable me to do something for myself, that didn’t make a mess (I love crafting) and mean getting everything out and putting it away again in the limited time I have between getting home from work and going to bed (I have a commute that takes a more hours of my day than I’d like and I need a lot of sleep). That’s how this blog came to be and it made me become more confident and more in love with food and cooking than ever.
What I didn’t bank on though was making friends from around the world and being connected to people with similar and also, different, hobbies, and the richness that they’d add to my life. I’ve mentioned Emory, her blog ‘Hello, Scarlett‘ and her store Potomac trading post before but what I haven’t mentioned is how often she puts a smile on my face by commenting on my posts or saying kind words on Instagram, or by putting gorgeous photographs of her life online. Emory was the first blogger that commented on my posts and it made me so excited to know that someone I looked up to as a blogger, read my blog.
A couple of weeks ago I came home to a surprise parcel, in this parcel were a number of gifts. Yep, a friend who is halfway across the world had sent me a present, just because. Just because, did you hear that, to someone who they’d only ever known through the internet?! I was touched beyond words and even more so when I saw how personal and how much thought had gone into the gift. There was a muffin cook book (that is AMAZING), a super awesome loose leaf tea infuser and a magazine that she’d written articles in (I felt so proud!).
The recipe for these muffins (that I cooked for a friend’s birthday) are from that book and I hope one day to bake muffins to share with Emory and her husband, when we aren’t 4000 miles apart. Please check out her blog, beautiful Instagram and store. There are few people I know who work as hard as Emory does in her many jobs, the fact she took time out of her day to send such thoughtful gifts, is a gift in itself.
I made half this recipe with gluten free flour and the other half with plain flour, to see the difference. The gluten free versions didn’t look as beautiful but they were still very tasty!
Ingredients: (Makes 12 muffins)
- 1.75 cups of plain flour (or gluten free flour with 0.5 tsp of xantham gum)
- 2 tsp of baking powder
- 0.5 tsp of baking soda
- 3 tbsp of Dutch-processed cocoa powder (I used this)
- 0.25 tsp of salt
- 0.75 cups of light brown sugar
- 1 cup of buttermilk
- 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp of freshly grated orange zest
- 1 tsp of vanilla
- 1 cup of dark chocolate chips (I used these)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12 hole muffin tin.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour – sugar in the list).
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vegetable oil, egg, orange zest and vanilla, until smooth.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Fold in with a wooden spoon, or spatula until just combined.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Divide evenly between the 12 cases.
- Cook for 18-20 minutes, until the muffins spring back with gently pressed.
- Leave the muffins in the tin for a couple of minutes, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.