RECIPE: HOT CROSS MUFFINS

Easter is only a week away, and although it has been difficult getting in the spirit, the more recipes we have, the better it is for stress baking. For me, I over eat at Easter time, so I love to finish the day off with left over Easter eggs from the Egg Hunt or a couple of Hot Cross Buns toasted with butter.

We have come up with a cross between a Hot Cross Bun and muffin (no pun intended). This recipe is perfect for the morning after and screams a classic Hot Cross Bun treat with a twist.

INGREDIENTS:
250 g mix of cranberries, raisins and dried cherries
4 tbsp of rum or port (kid- friendly options would be to substitute with orange juice or water)
375 g flour
1/ 4 tsp salt
1/ 2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/ 4 tsp nutmeg
1/ 2 tsp allspice
1/ 4 tsp ground cloves
200 gm sugar
250 ml buttermilk
2 eggs
165 ml oil
2 tsp vanilla

ICING:
4 tbsp sugar
100 ml water
100 g icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

METHOD:
Preheat the oven to 200 C and line your muffin tray. Place dried fruit in a bowl, and if using rum or port add with the fruit and cover with some water until the mixed fruit is just covered.

Heat ingredients in the microwave for 3 minutes and let them sit at room temperature for 2 hours or overnight. Drain fruit and lightly pat dry with a paper towel.

Sift the flour, soda, salt and spices into a large bowl. Stir sugar, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and oil together. Add egg mixture to the dry mix and stir together with a spatula, until the flour is fully combined. The key is not to over-mix the batter.

Fold in the dried fruit and divide the mixture among muffin cases, then bake for 25 minutes until lightly browned. You can use the skewer trick by sticking it into the centre and if it comes out clean, you’re on your way to success. Cool entirely on a rack.

To create the Cross Icing on top, place 4 tbsp of sugar in a pan with water and simmer for about 5 minutes over low heat. Keep stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens slightly. Brush the glaze over the muffins.

Stir lemon juice and icing sugar together to make a thick icing with is pipeable. Use a piping bag to draw a cross on each muffin or a spoon if easier.

Enjoy!

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