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Friday, 3 March 2017

Blueberry and Vanilla Muffins

Blueberry and Vanilla Muffins

Hopefully you have recovered 
from the excesses of 
Pancake or Shrove Tuesday.

We had a marathon pancake 
eating tea which was great

We all enjoyed covering the pancakes with 
various toppings and 
feeling somewhat sick

Childhood memories in the making.

Miss Bee managed a gut-busting
eight pancakes,
Mr. Bee in respectable five,
and me only four.

Little bee was not interested as 
they had made pancakes at
school that afternoon and was,
in his words,
"not a fan".

I had bought some lovely fresh 
raspberries and blueberries
as a choice of topping 
but seemed to
have ended up with 
quite a few left over.

I suspect the chocolate spread 
was a more popular choice.

So, not wanting to see the fruit 
go to waste I thought a nice, 
quick batch of muffins
was called for.

These are the easiest thing to make and are
very popular with everyone.

You will need :

250g plain flour
2 tsps baking powder
150g caster sugar
175ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
150ml sunflower oil
100g blueberries
2 tbsps of oats and brown sugar mixed together

1. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with 
some pretty paper cases,
and pre heat the oven to 180c / 160 c fan/ gas 4.

2. Put all of the ingredients 
except the blueberries and
the oats and sugar mix 
into a bowl or mixer.
Combine until all the ingredients 
have come together.

3. Fold in the blueberries.

The recipe calls for 100g of blueberries 
but I suspect I had a few 
more than that.

A few grams here or there will 
not spoil the mix
and it will not see any of your 
fruit going to waste.

4. divide up the mixture equally 
into the muffin cases.

I find an ice cream scoop 
very helpful for this.

Sprinkle with the oat and brown sugar topping mix
and place into the preheated oven 
for approx  30 minutes,

or until the tops are a lovely 
golden brown
and the blueberries will have 
probably burst and
those beautiful purple juices 
are running down the
sides of the cases.

Leave on a rack to cool.

These are delicious warm or cold
but fresh out of the oven,
they are just too good to resist.

They are such beautiful little treats 
of blue jewelled 

I'm sure my hungry lot will have t
hese demolished
as soon as they 
arrive home from school.

Have a lovely weekend and until
next time,
enjoy your day.


Saturday, 18 February 2017

Passion Fruit Pavlova

Better Late Than Never....

It had been my intention to write this
post last weekend,
but obviously that did not happen.

I make a million and one plans
in my head but
it's pot luck which ones actually
come to fruition.

Never the less,
I really wanted to share this recipe with you.
It is a lovely treat and you could
make it anytime of the year,
but with Valentine's Day approaching
I did think this would be the perfect

Mr. B is a sucker for anything sweet,
and meringue is a particular favourite
of his.

With this in mind,
a trip to the supermarket at the weekend
gave me the inspiration for this recipe.

There were special Valentine's
promotions of the usual chocolates
and pink champagne.
But, nestled in amongst these slightly
unimaginative treats were some
passion fruit.

I stood and pondered for a while 
"what I could make with them?",
and on a bit of a whim,
six of them dropped into my basket.

Not an official impulse buy,
but not on the shopping list either.

I do try not to buy things
'not on the list'
but fail miserably every time.

Life is too short to not buy something
essential every now and again, right?

I remembered watching a You Tube video
from Edd Kimber a while back
where he was whipping up a 
This seemed like to perfect opportunity 
to give it a go.

This is a two stage recipe.
The first being the Passion fruit curd,
and the second stage for a
amazing pavlova.

A very definite Busy Bee family

you will need :

6-7 passion fruit - enough to give you 80mls of juice
5 eggs yolks (4 of the whites will do for the meringue later on)
100g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar

1. Juice the passion fruit through a sieve
into a heatproof bowl.

Do this by squeezing the halves into 
the sieve and rub the
pulp with the back of a spoon against
the sieve to 
release the juice into the bowl

2. Add the sugar and egg yolks to the juice
and pop the bowl over a pan of
simmering water.

Whisk continuously until the
liquid starts to thicken.
The colour will change to a more opaque
pale orange and
the mixture should coat the back of a spoon.

 Be sure to stand over the
 pan during this process and 
Th smell is utterly divine.

3. Remove from the heat and add the butter.
Stir gently until the butter 
has completely melted.

Pour into a sterilised jar and keep in
the fridge until ready to use.

The next stage is to construct the meringue
pavlova case.

I understand meringues
 can be quite a daunting challenge
for some people,
but it really is not that hard to do.

you will need :

4 egg whites
225g caster sugar
1.5 tsps white vinegar
1.5 tsps cornflous

1.5 tsps vanilla extract

for the filling :
300ml double cream
Passion fruit curd
Passion fruit to decorate (optional)

1. Lay a sheet of baking parchment
on a baking tray.

I put four dabs of the meringue
mix onto the corners of the 
baking tray to help the
lining stick.
Preheat oven to 160C/ 140c fan/gas mark 3.

 Whisk the egg whites in a clean, 
dry bowl until they are stiff. 
Whisk in the sugar a spoonful at a time. 

2. Blend the vinegar with the cornflour
and whisk it 
with the last spoon of sugar
into the egg whites.
Add the vanilla extract here too.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and glossy.
They should hold their shape like above.
3. Spread the meringue out to roughly 
an 8” circle on the baking tray 
and build up the sides so that they 
are higher than the centre. 

4. Put the baking tray in the centre of the oven, 
turn the heat down to 150c/130fan 
or gas mark 2 and bake the meringue for 1 hour.

After the hour gently tap the top
of the meringue.
There should be a hollow sound which
indicates it's done.

Turn the oven off but leave 
the pavlova in the oven to become quite cold 
(otherwise it will split open as it cools).
I tend to leave it in the oven overnight
and it will be beautifully cold
and 'set' in the morning.

Remove the pavlova from the 
baking tray and place on a suitable serving dish. 

I have a lovely heart shaped dish but 
unfortunately my pavlova came out just
a touch too big to fit,
so I used this pretty glass plate instead.

5.Place the cream  in a basin and beat until blended 
and the mixture is thick and creamy.

Now at this point you can either blend in the
passion fruit curd,
(about half of the mixture you made
should do it but of course if
you prefer a stronger flavour,
simply add a little more,)
until it is a lovely warm 
pale orange colour.

Or you can put the plain cream mixture
into the pavlova and then place
three or four generous dollops of the curd
into the cream and swirl around until you
are happy with the appearance.

Place in the fridge and
leave to stand for at least 1 hour
before serving. 

Look at that beautiful, oozy cream.

You could also scatter some passion fruit
seeds over the top for decoration at
this point too,
but remember you would need to buy
an extra passion fruit to do this.

Don’t leave overnight – 
this dessert is best made on the day you want to serve it,
but I'm sure whoever you make this for
will not want to leave it.

Until next time,
enjoy your day