As the cool of our autumn mornings nips at my bare toes, I find myself thinking back to the bitter winter that Peter and I spent living in a rented house in Campbell. It was one of the coldest winters I can recall, both in terms of actual temperatures (i.e. minus 7 degrees C or more) and also in just how much my body and I felt that chill.
One morning, Peter walked with me as he wasn't away travelling with work and so we changed our route and walked through the campus of the college not far from the office. The warm corridors offered toasty warm shelter, albeit brief, on our journey. Fortunately, methinks, we noticed a bunch of folks queueing outside a cafe door, so we called in to investigate. That little venue was one of the best discoveries of that time! Not only was the coffee and hot chocolate really, really good. There were also muffins baked fresh on site every morning! One of my favourites was the raspberry with white chocolate. They sure warmed my belly on those winter mornings and I have been fond of them (and baking them) ever since. My only tweak was to add some macadamias. I think they deserve star billing in the title, don't you?
2 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup golden caster sugar
1/2 cup white chocolate callets
2g ground vanilla bean*
1/2 cup macadamia oil
2 tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts
3/4 cup buttermilk or soured milk
1 free range egg, whisked
1 cup fresh raspberries+
Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Prepare a Texas muffin tin by lining it with paper liners. Combine flour, caster sugar, chocolate and vanilla bean in a bowl. Run a balloon whisk through the mixture to break up any lumps in the flour. Fold in the oil, egg, milk and nuts until the ingredients are just combined. Divide half the mixture evenly between the lined muffin cups (that is, spoon a little mixture into the base of each liner), sprinkle a few raspberries on top of the mixture, then spoon the remaining mixture over the berries. Finish by placing the last of the raspberries on top. Bake for 25-20 minutes until golden brown. Makes 6 extra large muffins. Dust with icing sugar before serving. Store in an airtight container. NB: + Frozen fruit can also be used. * Heilala Vanilla now sells ground vanilla. Or use the seeds from one vanilla bean.