Chocolate Chip Muffins

It’s been ages since I’ve baked muffins. At the beginning of the lockdown when going off to the supermarket for our weekly shop, my son asked if I could buy some of those mini muffins you can buy in plastic tubs on the bakery counter. I never usually buy these as they taste horrible to me. I bought him a tub of them but when he asked again the following week, I said I would make him some homemade ones instead. After all, even though they come off the supermarket bakery counter, you still don’t know what they put in them. Would you believe, I couldn’t find any dark chocolate or milk chocolate chips. Luckily my local village shop had them in on a couple of visits.

I love making muffins as there’s not a lot of preparation goes into making them. They can be done in just about half an hour. But I do reckon they taste best on the day you make them. I love a muffin with a cup of my favourite coffee or a mug of tea and even have the odd one for breakfast if I’m in a rush on a working day morning.

My recipe for Chocolate Chip Muffins makes 12 generous size ones and they do fill over the tops of the muffin cases. I love those tulip muffin cases the best for baking in. They look pretty and give great results. I haven’t got any left at the moment so the red spotty ones I used here in the picture were from a tub from John Lewis mixed with yellow and orange spotty cases. They are still very pretty and good quality, though.

I also chose to add some vanilla yoghurt to the muffins to keep them moist and to add flavour. Use full fat yoghurt, though.

CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS

Makes 12. You will need a 12 hole muffin tray and 12 muffin cases.

Ingredients:

350g plain flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 large, free range eggs

200ml full fat vanilla yoghurt

200g light brown soft sugar (preferably) but I ended up using Demerera as there wasn’t any other brown sugar in the shops

115g butter (melted before adding)

200g dark or milk chocolate chips

  1. Preheat your oven to 180oC/ Fan 160oC/ Gas 4 or 350oF. Prepare your muffin tin by putting the paper muffin cases in the holes.
  2. Weigh out all your “dry” ingredients into a large mixing bowl: the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and the chocolate chips. The only exception is the sugar. Mix these together with a wooden spoon.
  3. In another bowl, weigh out all your “wet” ingredients and the sugar. I find it easier to melt the butter beforehand in the microwave for about 30 seconds and to pre-beat the eggs in another bowl so you just tip them all into the bowl with the sugar and yoghurt. Mix together with a wooden spoon.
  4. Fold all the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Do not over mix but just fold to combine. This is best done with a large metal spoon.
  5. Spoon the muffin batter into the cases. Try and fill to the top as much as you can.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the muffin tops spring back when you press them gently with your finger.
  7. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then remove from the muffin tin. Put the muffins to cool down on a wire rack.

These muffins could be adapted to make chocolate orange ones if you substitute the vanilla yoghurt for natural yoghurt and add some grated zest of an orange to the mixture.

I couldn’t wait to tuck into a muffin. I made myself a cup of tea and sat with it out in the garden enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

Let me know if you try out this recipe and what it comes out like.

Stay safe!

Happy Baking

Love Sam xx

Marmalade Loaf Cake


It has been ages since I’ve baked using one of my precious Nordicware Bundt pans. I really miss using them but I haven’t had chance while we’ve been quarantined.  But last weekend I was happy to dig out my special fluted loaf pan and thought it would be great to test out a recipe in it. I’d also had a jar of St Dalfour Orange jam/ marmalade which I thought would be perfect to go in a loaf cake with a few nuts which needed using up.  This recipe is a bit of an inpromptu bake  which was hurriedly thought up on a Sunday afternoon.

So here we have Marmalade Loaf:

You will need a 2 lb loaf tin which you can line with either baking parchment or a special loaf tin liner which are available from most great cookery retailers. Or if you have a Nordicware Bundt Loaf pan you can use that.  I greased my pan carefully in the usual way with baking spray.

Ingredients:
225g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
175g soft light brown sugar (or demerera blitzed in a food processor)
100g chopped nuts (I used a mixture of walnuts and pecans as that’s what I had left)
175g softened, unsalted butter
3 medium free range eggs
150g of good quality marmalade or orange jam

  1. First, pre heat your oven to 180oC (fan 160o)/ 350oF or Gas 4.  Line or prepare your chosen baking tin.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and the ground cinnamon and mix it so it is evenly distributed.  Stir in the sugar and then add in the chopped nuts.
  3. Then add the softened butter to the bowl. 
  4. In a small bowl, lightly beat the three eggs together and then transfer them to the bowl with the other ingredients. Mix together until well combined.
  5. Finally, add in all but 25g of the marmalade.  The last 25g can be used later on to brush on the cake as a glaze.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the tin and put in the oven. 
  7. Bake for 1- 1 1/4 hours but check that the cake is cooked thoroughly in the middle by testing with a skewer inserted into the centre.  If you see the cake looks like it’s getting too brown on top, you could always cover it with some foil to prevent it burning too much.
  8. Remove from the oven and after 5 minutes put the loaf onto a wire rack to cool for a further 5 minutes. 
  9. Warm the rest of the marmalade through by putting it in the microwave for 10 seconds.  If you prefer, gently heat it in a pan on the hob instead.  Add a tablespoonful of water to the mixture, stir it and then brush it all over the loaf. 
  10. Leave the loaf to cool completely.

  • The loaf can be served with or without being spread with butter.  The choice is yours!




  • I can’t believe how rubbish the photos are.  It was night time by the time I’d had chance to take a photo of the cake.  It did justice to the beautiful design of the Bundt pan but the giant pieces of orange peel distract from it a bit.  My son has just looked over at the picture as I’m typing now and said “What the hell is on that cake, they look like worms!”

    I chose to cut the cake up into eight large pieces.  Half of the slices were boxed up in twos and put outside on Bank Holiday Monday morning with some other bakes for my neighbours and local friends to pick up while still social distancing from my gate.  The other slices I put into a plastic box and have been put into the freezer to take out as and when we fancy a piece of cake.  I also did this with some banana bread and some fruit loaf.


    Let me know if you have tried the recipe and what you think of it.

    Stay safe!
    Happy Baking.
    Love Sam xx

    Malteser Mint Button Crispie Slices

    We’re now on week eight, I think since the “lockdown” started.  I have still been able to bake but where there have been shortages I have managed to adapt or turn things around using what I have.  I have been baking regularly for friends in my small village as well as neighbours. On a few occasions Mr S and I have set up a stall outside my gateway so that they can come and get a few treats while socially distancing.  People have been kind and have only taken the right amount for their own household.  I was worried that there might be a few passers by helping themselves to the lot but so far I haven’t had that pleasure.  I think I won’t be able to do this again as there are more people out on the road and will take advantage of my good nature.

    I’ve found that crispie slices have really come into their own during the pandemic as flour can still be a struggle to get.  My local supermarket is back selling plain flour but I had to order some self raising on Amazon a couple of weeks ago.  It was a German brand and it came with baking powder to add to sponge cakes, etc.  It was very expensive and I can’t believe I bought it but I am using it sparingly.  Crispie slices not having flour or eggs are great as I am always running out of eggs!

    Anyone who knows me well will know I love anything mint flavoured. When I was doing my weekly shop I spotted some Malteser Mint Buttons.  Maltesers are another of my favourites and I can hoover them up like that Hungry Hippo game. I just had to get a bag of these and put them into some baking.  To go with it I found some mint flavoured dark chocolate bars and the idea for the Mint Malteser Buttons Crispies came about.  I originally was going to put them on the top of chocolate layer on the slice but I needed something to lace through the actual crispies as well/MINT MALTESER BUTTON CRISPIE SLICES

    Makes 16 squares* or smaller if preferred.

    Ingredients:
    75g butter
    150g sugar (I used granulated as I cant find caster sugar at the moment)
    1 tbsp golden syrup
    400g can condensed milk
    75g Rice Krispies or Coco Pops
    50g porridge oats
    100g bar dark chocolate with mint (not fondant centred, has to have flavour or bits in it)
    One pouch sized bag of Mint Malteser Buttons

    For the topping:
    200g dark mint chocolate (as before)

    Please note: this is very rich and I assure you it is hugely calorific.  You can always cut the slices into smaller pieces.  Or if you don’t like mint, you could make a plain chocolate version.

    You will also need a square cake tin with a loose bottom.  I used an 8″ (20cm) square one.  I line the base and sides of the tin with cling film before putting the mixture in so that it doesn’t stick to the sides. This makes it easier to get out of the tin after it is set.

    How to make the crispie slices:

  • Weigh out your butter, sugar, golden syrup and condensed milk into a thick based pan.  Heat this gently until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. 
  • Meanwhile, melt the 100g mint chocolate in your preferred way.  Break it up into chunks and either melt it in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water or do it in the microwave.  I prefer to do this in the microwave.  I put the chocolate on high for one minute, take it out, give it a stir and return it to the microwave for a further 10 seconds. Repeat again.  Usually after 1 minute, 20 seconds is fine and it naturally melts the rest of the chocolate from the heat of the bowl. Add the chocolate to the condensed milk mixture.
  • Weigh out your cereal.  I used a mixture of Rice Krispies and porridge oats but you can use any cereal you want so long as it adds up to 125g.  Cheerios would work. Put all the cereal into a large mixing bowl and then pour in the chocolate mixture.  Mix it so it is well coated.
  • Mix in the Malteser Mint Buttons ensuring they are evenly spread.
  • Put the mixture into your prepared tin. Use the back of a spoon or a potato masher to level it out.
  • Melt the remaining 200g of mint chocolate in the same way as before.  Pour this melted chocolate on top of the crispie layer.
  • Put in the fridge to set. 
  • When set, cut the crispie into the number of slices you want.


  • If you have a go at these slices, please let me know how you get on with them. 

    Here they are all bagged up in packets of two for my neighbours to help themselves to.  I also tried to include them in #TwitterBakeAlong which I keep forgetting to join in with.  But silly me, I missed the deadline this week completely forgetting it was Bank Holiday Monday and I usually do my baking for a Sunday morning. Never mind!

    Happy Baking
    Love Sam xx