Raspberry, white chocolate and lavender muffins


(Raspberry, white chocolate and lavender muffins)

I’ll sing of the walls of the well
And the house at the top of the hill
I’ll sing of the bottles of wine
That we left on our old windowsill
I’ll sing of the usual spin
Getting sadder and older, oh love
–Cliquot, by Beirut.

I must be getting old. Ahem. Older, I mean. Even if you discount the more rigorous application of face cream, the ownership of bed socks and my inability to use the word ‘sick’ when not referring to the fact I feel physically unwell, other signs well and truly exist.

Perhaps it’s just that I’m noticing the little things more. Like how pleasing it is to experience the crinkle of dried leaves underfoot. Or how beautiful it is after the rain (that we’ve experienced plenty of this Winter), when umbrellas are downed and fallen leaves resemble pasted shadows on slick pavements. There was a time when I recall constantly being in a rush to be somewhere different to where I already was. Wanting to be taller, yearning to be older; needing to acquire, consume, and never feeling satisfied.

These days I don’t mind that age is holding my hand gently. Age stays the hand of the girl who once threw a head of broccoli against the kitchen wall in anger. A spray of green flew right back at her, as though Spring had sprung in the room. Now age and I cross the road arm in arm, pointing out those little things that are capturing my attention all over again. Like the pleasure of those extra salty, extra crunchy bits at the bottom of a chip packet, or one bite of cake and one sip of tea, repeated until either or both runs out.

Sometimes I want to let go and run until my legs are screaming and I’m back there again – needing, wanting, acquiring, consuming. But age won’t allow it.

So yeah, I must be getting old, and you know what – it doesn’t seem like such a bad thing.

(Muffins reminds me of being a kid. Chocolate was always my preferred flavour but now I’m starting to better appreciate the bittersweet, slightly sour, occasionally salty nature of getting older. So raspberry and white chocolate it is.)

Raspberry, white chocolate and lavender muffins :
(based on Alice Medrich’s recipe in Pure Dessert)

190g plain flour
65g wholemeal flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried lavender
2 large eggs
scant 2/3 cup sugar
235ml skim milk
65g unsalted butter, melted
140g frozen raspberries
100g white chocolate, chopped
crushed pink pralines to garnish, optional

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 205′C. Line the muffin tin with pleated paper liners.

In a medium bowl, mix the flours, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together. Whisk in the milk, butter and dried lavender. Pour the wet mixture over the flour mixture and fold gently until all of the dry ingredients are moistened but the batter is still very lump and uneven. Add the frozen berries and chocolate and fold until just distributed throughout the batter. Do not try to create a smooth, homogenous-looking batter, or your muffins will be tough.

Divide the batter among muffin cups. Sprinkle some pink pralines over each muffin. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Toothpick inserted into batter should come out clean.

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46 Comments »

  1. Caitlin said,

    July 27, 2010 @ 10:31 pm

    I love the thought of getting older as being a salty thing. Does that mean I can use more salty language the older I get? ;) It does seem like a benefit to getting older is the ability to appreciate each step, each day a little bit more fully. The little things mean more. And the last few bits of salty chips at the bottom of the bag? My *favorite*.

  2. Rosa said,

    July 27, 2010 @ 10:33 pm

    What a fantastic flavor combination! Those muffins look so pretty and irresistible.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. Wei Wei said,

    July 27, 2010 @ 10:53 pm

    I’m only fifteen, but I can see the pleasure of growing older. I can’t wait to become independent… It’ll be a great adventure, I’m sure. :) these muffins sound so yummy! I think I have liked raspberry and white chocolate from the very start ;)

    Wei Wei

  4. Anda said,

    July 27, 2010 @ 11:20 pm

    I don’t know what I like more, your post or the muffins. Hand me a muffin and I will read the post again and maybe I ‘ll be able to tell.

  5. shaz said,

    July 28, 2010 @ 12:00 am

    I quite like getting older, it’s just the grey hairs I’m not too fussed about. Maybe I should dye them brocolli green – sick? yes? :P Lovely post Y, very mellow.

  6. penny aka jeroxie said,

    July 28, 2010 @ 12:11 am

    Sometimes I like it (getting older) but sometimes I just wish…
    I am calmer that I used to be but then still unstable at times.

    Love the muffins.

  7. Aparna said,

    July 28, 2010 @ 12:26 am

    I really like muffins because they’re never frosted! :)
    Yes, I’m getting older too event though my heart/ mind age seem to age differently from my body. :D
    I agree that being older is not at all a bad thing. We have a lot of time and appreciation for the finer things in life, and we’re more at peace (or accepting?) with life in general. At least, that’s how it is with me.

  8. Asha@FSK said,

    July 28, 2010 @ 12:44 am

    Happy Birthday?! Hmm.. I don’t know about being older….like you, I wish I could run like the wind but then my aching ankles and legs tell me that I missed that boat a bit back LOL…

    Ah! I do much prefer muffins though, because they are less sweet than cupcakes.. is that another sign of being older and wiser?

  9. Maki said,

    July 28, 2010 @ 2:02 am

    Raspberries and white chocolate together sounds like a perfect marriage. yum.

  10. Anh said,

    July 28, 2010 @ 9:28 am

    I don’t mind getting older. Not at all.
    I remember this muffin recipe from Pure Dessert. Made it a lot – always a hit with kids, young and old.

  11. OohLookBel said,

    July 28, 2010 @ 10:32 am

    Raspberry and white chocolate are the perfect grown-up combination. So as long as you don’t start spraying yourself with lavender water, you’ll still be young to us :)

  12. Inner Pickle said,

    July 28, 2010 @ 11:31 am

    Totally beautiful post in all ways Y, most of all your delicious words xxx

  13. Tara said,

    July 28, 2010 @ 12:42 pm

    Lovely, Y, just lovely. I feel much the same way.

  14. Shaheen said,

    July 28, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

    I love the pink praline garnish! And your muffins look so pretty.

  15. Moya said,

    July 28, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

    What an exquisite post! Almost as beautiful as the muffin recipe!

  16. Linda V said,

    July 28, 2010 @ 9:29 pm

    These are 3 of my favorite flavours, what an amazing combination.

  17. Lila Füge said,

    July 28, 2010 @ 11:20 pm

    you’re missing the amount of sugar in the ingredient list. great recipe, love raspberry with white chocolate.

  18. Patricia Scarpin said,

    July 28, 2010 @ 11:56 pm

    These muffins are gorgeous – absolutely love the flavor combo! Beautiful!
    As for getting older, I don’t think it’s a bad thing, either. I remember certain things in my life and I am definitely better off now. :D

  19. Y said,

    July 29, 2010 @ 12:21 am

    Thanks Lila for pointing out the omission! I’ve amended the recipe now :)

  20. Arwen from Hoglet K said,

    July 29, 2010 @ 1:20 am

    Bedsocks? Me too – guilty as charged! Lavender sounds old-ladyish in your wardrobe, but rather classy in a muffin. Very nice.

  21. Juliana said,

    July 29, 2010 @ 4:43 am

    Wow, these muffins look incredibly delicious…lavender, raspberries and white chocolate…oh! I would love to have one just right now :-)

  22. G. said,

    July 29, 2010 @ 5:05 am

    i hear you about the face cream, though white chocolate i hear, helps. :)

  23. grace said,

    July 29, 2010 @ 6:34 am

    i guess that means i’m getting old too–i’m starting to really prefer white chocolate, especially when it comes to raspberries. your muffins are gorgeous! :)

  24. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said,

    July 29, 2010 @ 1:12 pm

    What a beautiful description about how age has changed you. I think I’m somewhere in between, but I’m trying to notice the beauty in the everyday and the details now and later. These muffins sound and look lovely, too.

  25. Lucie said,

    July 29, 2010 @ 4:06 pm

    Loved your post–sometimes I feel like running back in time, when all I had to worry about was whether I would rather go on the tire swing or the normal swings…! But getting older is fun too–making money! Getting to do what you want without your parents judging…or at least voicing their judgment!

    These muffins are a perfect brunch treat–I love what you did by adding the pralines :)

  26. Sophie said,

    July 29, 2010 @ 5:02 pm

    Georgous muffins!! I so love your flavourful ingredients!

    the crushed pink pralines on top is the max!!

  27. bake in paris said,

    July 29, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

    Very tempting recipe and classic photo shots!

    Sawadee from bangkok,
    Kris

  28. bake in paris said,

    July 29, 2010 @ 8:27 pm

    Very tempting recipe and classy photo shot!

    Sawadee from bangkok,
    Kris

  29. mademoiselle délicieuse said,

    July 29, 2010 @ 10:26 pm

    For there is no turning back of the hands of time, but there is always the joy of enjoying childhood foods which are only enhanced by memories and experience.

  30. InTolerantChef said,

    July 30, 2010 @ 9:42 am

    I love anything with lavender

  31. Esz said,

    July 30, 2010 @ 1:11 pm

    Ah what an awesome addition to an already winning flavour combination :-D
    Must try this I think – my bf is quite the fan of raspberry and white choc.
    Lovely post too, I really like the way you write :-)

  32. Forager @ The Gourmet Forager said,

    July 30, 2010 @ 10:08 pm

    Age is holding your hand gently – so poetic and beautiful. If age is holding your hand gently, mine is a dark mystery box and my hand is groping around for something to identify! A lovely thoughtful post to read.

  33. Su-yin said,

    July 31, 2010 @ 9:01 pm

    I’ve been worrying about getting old lately funnily enough. Lol.

    These muffins look amazing. Definitely going to make them at some point, but probably minus the lavender (only because I find it too strong!). Lovely photos as always.

  34. Adriana from Baking Powders said,

    August 1, 2010 @ 12:10 am

    what a wonderful combination of flavors! i love the lavender idea!

  35. shirley@kokken69 said,

    August 1, 2010 @ 9:02 am

    I am not afraid to grow old – but I do take care not to feel old – and sometimes, not looking old helps you to stay feeling young :) – and I must say it is getting increasingly easier to do that these days compared to our mother’s time. I have not made muffins for the longest time and these look so good, I am tempted already!

  36. Helene said,

    August 2, 2010 @ 4:55 am

    This is such an interesting mix of flavors. That must be so delicious.

  37. Zita said,

    August 2, 2010 @ 4:56 am

    Kid = chocolate muffins
    Old = Raspberry, White Chocolate and Lavender…
    You’re getting older “gracefully”…:)

  38. the caked crusader said,

    August 2, 2010 @ 8:14 pm

    If getting older allows you to appreciate the finer things like tea and cake…then I must’ve been born about 100 yrs old!!!
    Lovely post – I agree with everything you’ve said!

  39. Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said,

    August 2, 2010 @ 8:49 pm

    Hehe this is very timely. I had one of those “Am I getting older?” moments the other day and it’s on tomorrow’s story. Maybe we can age gracefully together ;)

  40. Laetitia said,

    August 4, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

    I love the pinch of lavender you used to flavour those delicious muffins!

  41. Big Boys Oven said,

    August 9, 2010 @ 6:06 pm

    oh those lovely coloured topping! amazing!

  42. deeba said,

    August 30, 2010 @ 6:30 pm

    Love your banter, nodding my head wildly. I have become far milder with age! The ranting, the yelling, the wanting has ceased! Acceptance is here to stay, but life is good. Love these muffins Y, and am thinking if I could use frozen strawberries instead?

  43. Pretty. Good. Food. said,

    September 6, 2010 @ 8:54 am

    yum! This sounds and looks delicious!

  44. Nicole McCarthy said,

    November 14, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

    These muffins look and sound absolutely delicious. Can anyone tell me where to buy dried lavender for cooking. I live in Melbourne?

    Thanks nickim

  45. Y said,

    November 14, 2010 @ 11:16 pm

    Hi Nicole! I would try a store like Essential Ingredient or Thomas Dux. Failing that, you could always order it direct from Herbies Spices.

  46. Nicole McCarthy said,

    November 16, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

    Thanks Y.
    Your receipes all look delicious. Dying to try to make these!

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