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Compassionate muffins

June 10, 2010

My daughters couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw this in the cupboard.


Not Nutella?!

It’s not that we never have treats in the house but I yell at the telly (it’s my age) every time some Mum whinges “I just can’t get him to stop eating chips” about their severely unhealthy child. “Well don’t buy them then!”  I comfort myself that at least with home-made treats you know what goes into them (including the love).

It’s ‘Bake with Compassion‘ week; an event run by Compassion in World Farming to encourage us to eat eggs from free-range hens.  Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall was behind the Chicken Out campaign so I thought I’d make one of his recipes – chocolate marble muffins.  You’ve already guessed what they’re marbled with.  They’re really easy to make and freeze well too (you can do a lemon-curd version too). I don’t share my daughters’ enthusiasm for Nutella usually but here it seems to melt into the muffins infusing them with a deep, smooth texture and taste.  Recipe below.

Chocolate marble muffins

Chocolate marble muffins

Note to Dubai readers: My conscience leads me to buy free-range and organic eggs although they are often 3 – 4 times the price of local eggs (I knew someone who worked for a chicken farm here. Trust me.).  I find the best value are ones from the UK in Choitram or from Germany at Organic Foods & Cafe.  The French eggs from Spinneys and Carrefour, although seemingly less per box, contain minute little eggs so work out more in the long run.  I’ve never got my hands on any local free-range organic ones from the Nazwa Farm Shop but they have plans to step up production in the future to cope with demand.  Good news.

Lemon curd marble muffin

Lemon curd marble muffins

Chocolate Marble Muffins from River Cottage Every Day by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

225g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
A good pinch of sea salt
100g caster sugar
1 medium free range organic egg
125g plain yoghurt
125ml whole milk
75g unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
150g chocolate hazelnut spread (warmed slightly so it’s easier to marble) MCP note: Not necessary in Dubai.

or 150g lemon curd

Put 12 large paper cases into a muffin tray.  Put the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar in a large bowl and whisk lightly to aerate and combine. Mix the egg, yoghurt, milk and melted butter together in a jug. Pour them into the dry ingredients and mix lightly, stopping as soon as everything is combined – it’s essential not to overmix or you’ll get dense, cakey muffins.  Add the chocolate spread (or lemon curd) in 6 or 7 dollops and quickly ‘marble’ it lightly through the mixture (a couple of light stirs is really all that’s needed).  If the lemon curd is stiff,  just add it in little blobs.  Spoon the mixture into paper cases (I use an ice-cream scoop for muffins), to three-quarters fill them. Bake in an oven preheated to 180C/ Gas mark 4 for about 30 minutes until golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Eat on the day you bake them, ideally while still warm.

Hugh also gives instructions for jammy and fruity muffins in this book (every recipe I have tried is excellent).

  1. June 10, 2010 11:44 pm

    Your blog is full of gorgeous looking ingredients and dishes. Can’t wait to take a closer look at your recipes!

    • June 11, 2010 7:56 am

      Thank you for visiting Tiina – I really appreciate your kind comments.

  2. June 28, 2010 4:09 am

    These look delish, just got Hugh F-W book for my birthday (to add to an already overflowing collection, can you even have enough cookbooks??), will try these first.It is winter here & freezing, need a sweet treat to cheer me up, thanks for the idea, and the great blog:)

    • June 28, 2010 7:02 am

      No – you can never have enough cook books…and what did we do before food blogs? I get so much inspiration online these days. Thanks for nice comment.

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