Posts Tagged ‘cherries’

Cherry-coconut muffins

December 15, 2009

Making muffins is such a good way to use up any fruit or sweet things you have lying around—and if you have too many cakes in the pantry already (guilty!) they freeze really well. I made these to use up the last of the buttermilk we bought for the buttermilk fried chicken and the mango coconut pancakes, and to offset our surplus of cherries. When I was trying to come up with another flavour that would sit well with cherries, Phil, lover of the Cherry Ripe bar, naturally suggested coconut. Why didn’t I think of that?

You should make these muffins if, like me, you bought a kilo of cherries at the markets last weekend and they are ripening faster than you can eat them.

Cherry-coconut muffins

2 1/4 cups plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarb soda

3/4 cup brown sugar

300 mL buttermilk (if you can’t find buttermilk, mix 150 mL milk with 150 mL plain yoghurt)

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

125g melted butter

30 mL Malibu (coconut rum)

1/4 cup dessicated coconut

200 g fresh cherries, halved and stoned (weigh them after you stone them)

Preheat the oven to 190°C and line a muffin tin with paper cases.

Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarb into a large bowl and mix in the brown sugar. Make a well in the centre.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, melted butter and Malibu. Pour the egg mixture onto the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Don’t over-mix: the batter doesn’t need to be smooth, and it will make your muffins tough.

Sprinkle over the coconut and cherries, and fold through gently. Spoon into the prepared muffin tin, filling each case about 2/3 full.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until they test clean. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

Enjoy warm on a summer afternoon, with some white wine, or dip in melted chocolate on a cool evening. Yum!



December 10, 2009


December 7, 2009

It seems to be market season here at the moment—both in the sense of there being more markets around than usual, and also that it’s a good time of year to go to the markets. I love finding one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts for my special people, especially if I can buy local and support a crafter. I’m not going to kid you though, it doesn’t matter how many gifts I say I’m going to buy, I always come home with a few things for myself too.

On Saturday I met Amanda, Emily and Devika at the Gorman House Markets. These markets are held in the buildings and courtyards of Gorman House, near the centre of Canberra. Gorman House was originally built as accommodation for public servants in the early days of Canberra (1924, we are a very young city) but these days hosts arts and community groups and a fantastic restaurant, as well as the markets on Saturdays.

image by lars1942 on flickr

I love these markets. They boast a good mix of art and craft, antiques, secondhand clothing, jewellery and food. There’s always a relaxed vibe and plenty of people sitting in the sun in the grassy courtyard, enjoying coffee and cake or a plate of Gozleme. There are usually buskers. Best of all, the prices are always reasonable.

This is a good example of the sort of lovely people the Gorman House markets attracts: Saturday was Amanda’s birthday and after we all found each other, we decided to start with coffee and some raspberry coconut cake. Unbeknownst to Amanda, we had organised to bring a candle and a lighter (knowing cake would be available) and so we stuck the candle in her cake, lit it and sang ‘happy birthday’ at our table in the middle of the courtyard. The whole time we were sitting there after that, people kept walking past and saying ‘Happy birthday!’ to her. Sweet, huh?

It was the perfect weather for markets and we had a great time advising each other on the suitability of secondhand dresses, discovering new crafts, meeting other friends and chatting with stallholders. We had lunch next to the chook stall, where one chook sat peacefully on the table the whole time. I bought some lovely gifts, and managed (predictably) to come home with a few things for me:

the top one is a tiny canvas covered with lovely horse-printed fabric, the bottom one is a delicate black papercut I’ve mounted against white paper. It’s so intricate, I’ll never know how they do the trees without it ripping.

I also picked up a kilo of the most beautiful cherries I’ve had in ages.

It was definitely a successful outing and I only wish I could show you more of the beautiful things I bought—but they’re gifts, and I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise :)