Tag Archives: breakfast food

Warm Chocolate Muffins On A Lazy Saturday Morning (makes 12)

I told you what I had for breakfast last Saturday (Press THIS) and so I thought I would let you know what I enjoyed this morning. The theme seems to be “sweet stuff” and I make no apologies for this. It is one of the few days I have the choice to stay in bed or get up early, and after getting up at 5am 5 days a week I feel highly obligated to sleep-in on the weekend and to indulge in a morsel of something decadently sweet.

What i had with my coffeee this Saturday morning

What I had with my coffee this Saturday morning

This decadence came in the form of rich chocolate-y muffins and I am very happy to share the recipe with you so you can possibly feel the same pleasure as I did this morning when I had one with my cup of scalding hot coffee.

If you happen to be in my kitchen and feel the urge to bake a cake or make a tart or bread, I am the kind of woman who almost always has what you might need on hand. I got into this habit of keeping well-stocked in all things bakery-related when my kids were small and would ask out of the blue if we could make some kind of treat or other. To them it was just another form of playing and getting messy, but for me, if I was prepared, it could also mean having a reward at the end of this sometimes frustrating activity (have you ever made a chocolate cake with a couple of four-year-olds!).

cooling muffins

cooling muffins

So this morning at 10am when I lazily stood in the kitchen with my daughter and she suggested making “those chocolate muffins from the King Arthur cook book” I knew there would be no question that I had cocoa powder, chocolate chips and white vinegar, ingredients that can sometimes be missing from one’s pantry stockpile. The King Arthur Flour Baker’s companion is a fabulous cookbook and could be the only one you need as far as baking is concerned. It covers everything from basic breads to complex specialty cakes.

My trusty baking cookbook

My trusty baking cookbook

I found this recipe for chocolate chips muffins years ago and it is the perfect muffin as far as I’m concerned. It is deeply chocolate-y without being sweet and the consistency is dense but light at the same time. They can also be thrown together in five minutes without taxing your early morning foggy brain.

My little helper

My little helper (also enthusiastic about breakfast this morning!)

We ate these fresh from the oven and when our friend Tom popped in to say good morning, he was right in time to share in the treat (probably smelled the cooking muffins from the road as he passed!).

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You will need:

2/3 cups cocoa (natural or dutch-processed)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur’s of course)

1 1/4 cups light brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 cup chocolate chips (I used large Ghirardelli bitter-sweet chips)

2 large eggs

1 cup milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp vinegar

8 tbs unsalted butter (4 oz), melted

Method:

Preheat oven 425*

1 – Mix all the dry ingredients (first seven things on list) in a large bowl.

Mix dry ingrediets together

Mix dry ingredients together

2 – In a smaller bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, vanilla and vinegar. Stir in the melted butter.

Mix wet ingretients together, then add melted butter

Mix wet ingredients together, then add melted butter

3 – Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until barley mixed together.

mix wet to dry

mix wet to dry

4 – Divide into muffin liners/cups in muffin or bun tray and place in the oven for between 15 to 18 minutes.

Divide between muffin cups

Divide between muffin cups

Cool for a few minutes on wire rack before serving. They are also good cold.

bake, then eat!

Bake, then eat!

Weekend Breakfast: Warm Bittersweet Chocolate Chip Scones With Butter (makes 9 to 10)

I am writing this while eating this gorgeous breakfast treat fresh from the oven 3 minutes ago! There is nothing quite like a freshly baked scone and coffee to start off my Saturday.

This is my saturday breakfast

This is my Saturday breakfast

If you want to have the same glorious morning as I, I suggest you run into the kitchen this minute and whip these up. They take about 5 minutes to put together and they are so worth it.

These are especially good if you have a few people staying for the weekend. It is an easy way to give everyone breakfast without making a total mess in the kitchen (like when you decide to make omelets or fry bacon and eggs etc!) and your guests will think you are amazing forever!

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You will need:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

1 tsp salt

3 tbs raw brown sugar OR 2 tbs fine granulated white sugar

4 tbs cold unsalted butter

1 cup buttermilk (or sour milk)

3/4 cup good quality bittersweet chocolate chips (or broken chocolate pieces)

Method:

Preheat oven 375*

1 – Put flour, baking soda, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl and mix together with a manual whisk to incorporate the ingredients fully.

2 – Slice the butter into the flour and work into the flour using fingertips until you have a fine rubble. Add the chocolate chips and mix with your hands.

mix dry ingredients

Mix dry ingredients

3 – Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk and mix with a wooden spoon until you have one dough ball.

cut out scones

Cut out scones

4 – Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times before making a thick disk (about 1″ inch or slightly thicker). Use a cookie or biscuit cutter  2″ in diameter, cut out 9 to 10 scones. You should get about 6 to 7 in the first round, then pat the dough out to finish.

place on floured baking sheet

Place on floured baking sheet

5 – Place on lightly floured cookie or baking sheet and brush a little buttermilk on top of each scone before  placing in oven for between 17 to 20 minutes. Check after the first time and remove when golden brown.

cool for a minute on wire rack

Cool for a minute on wire rack

Serve right from the oven, split with butter or butter and jam.

serve with butter or butter adn jam (or plain)

Serve with butter or butter and jam (or plain)

To Say That He or She “Can’t Even Boil an Egg!” Is A Bit Unfair, since Boiling An Egg Correctly Can Be Quite A Difficult Thing To Do!

Saying somebody cannot cook because they “can’t even boil an egg” is not my definition of a culinary failure or a lousy cook. Try doing the same thing my brother did and I would have no problem saying you haven’t a clue when it comes to food preparation! 

not exactly what I wanted

Not exactly what I wanted (a matter of seconds can ruin your egg and turn your runny yolk hard – I still had to eat it!)

There were many disadvantages growing up female in our house in Ireland in the early 70’s and thank God, that has mostly changed, (yes, only mostly). The girls in our house had to do things for our brothers that they were never expected to do for us. We made them tea for breakfast, and whenever tea was requested, we girls had to make it. Tea always came with a sandwich, or toast (or a biscuit) and we had to make that too. That was just tea, we also dressed their bed, polished their shoes and did anything else for them that remotely whiffed of domesticity. I  thought this was the norm, but when I got a little older and wiser and questioned “why?” I was made feel like an upstart.

Sea-salt flakes (Maldon & freshly ground black pepper

Sea-salt flakes (Maldon) & freshly ground black pepper)

Anyway, that is in the past, and looking back on my childhood experience (in this regard at least) there were many advantages to being a female. For one I became very self-sufficient, learning to do all things we humans have to do on a daily basis until the day we die: cook, clean, grocery shop, organise a living space. Yes, all those years of domestic training have paid off and I must say that mastering the art of boiling an egg took a lot more practice and patience than you would think. And, the funny part is that it was my father, not my mother who taught me this skilful art. Boiling an egg where the yolk remains soft, is all in the timing, and my father had it down pat. Every time he made me an egg it turned out perfectly and when I tried using a timed method (he just guessed correctly every single time!) would get it wrong more often than right, and end up having to eat an egg that was jelly-like, or as hard as a bullet. The way I learned was by timing him every time he made one for breakfast and eventually I got it down.

kug

The best accompaniment to a soft boil egg: Hot buttered Toast!

What did my brother do to prove his ineptitude in the kitchen all those years ago? He boiled a pot of potatoes, something he ate every day from the cradle to adulthood, without adding a single drop of water to the pot! Even the smell of burnt potatoes wafting through the house did not give him cause to wonder if perhaps he had done something wrong. My sides ached with laughter when I found out what he did and I’m laughing right now just thinking about it. To his credit he has since become quite competent in the kitchen, but he still calls me for advice on things that I learned how to do in-between making tea and polishing shoes!

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*This is a Blood Type A Diet Recipe (eggs are neutral). Eat alone or with a sprouted bread with a little extra-virgin oil & sea-salt (no butter or black pepper)*

You will need:

1 large fresh egg

1 slice fresh bread

unsalted butter

sea-salt

freshly ground black pepper

Method:

1 – Place egg in small pot and cover with cold water. Place on high heat.

put egg in cold water

Put egg in cold water

2 – The moment the water begins to boil, put timer on for 2 minutes 50 seconds. While egg is boiling, toasted bread and slather with butter.

*for a slightly runny yolk remove the egg after 2 minutes 45 seconds*

bring water to a boil

Bring water to a boil

3 – Remove egg from water with a large spoon and place in egg cup fat side down. Tap a knife or a small spoon (I use the spoon I will egg my egg with) evenly just under the top of the egg, working your way all around in a circle. Do this immediately as the egg will continue to cook.

,ug

The perfect egg for me: runny in the middle and beginning to slightly harden around the edge of the yolk

4 – Place tip of your spoon all the way through the crack to the other side and lift up on the spoon and the top with come off.

the piece de resistance

The piece de resistance. I eat the top first as it gets hard fast!

Eat directly from the shell, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go and enjoy with lovely warm buttery toast