Posts Tagged ‘autumn’

Apple Caramel Muffins with Confiture de Lait

I have a beautiful apple tree in my garden. We bought it ten years ago when we were living in another house. We had a huge garden back then. It was lush and full of trees that produced the most colorful blossoms in the spring. There was even a hazelnut tree, which believe it or not, we discovered that very last autumn before moving away.
My daughter loved that garden. Sometimes she would lie by the pond and dream away, or sit at the picnic table and color or do other things that kids do. We had a husky named Meiki back then, and she loved that garden, too.
garden
It was a bit of a wild garden. Though we mowed the lawn when necessary, we never really tended to it much. It just sort of did its own thing — and it did it quite well. We were so eager to move to our new house, but how we hated having to leave that garden behind.
Luckily, both our apple tree and cherry tree hadn’t been planted for long, so we dug them up and carefully transported them to our new house, where they got a lovely place in our new, much more civilized garden.
apple tree
Every year, right around this time, I head outside armed with an old French colander to pick just a few apples for the muffins I am sharing with you today. Be warned, they are as addictive as they sound, so you may have trouble restraining yourself to just one. Because they are filled with confiture de lait, that gloriously silky French caramel sauce, they are somewhat reminiscent of candy apples. Wonderfully seasonal at this time of year, of course. Enjoy, and happy September!

Apple Caramel Muffins with Confiture de Lait
Makes 12 large muffins
apple caramel muffins

  • 250g flour
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 2 tsps cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 small apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 150ml milk
  • 65ml sunflower oil
  • 2 small eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Confiture de Lait

Notes:
*You may want to line a baking sheet with foil and place it in the lowest part of your oven. Getting caramel off the oven floor is no fun!
*The confiture de lait doesn’t work the same way jam would when used as a muffin filling. The gooey sauce rather disappears into the sponge giving it a bit of extra sweetness around the center!

Preheat the oven to 200C and prepare your muffin pan. Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, soda and salt in a bowl. Add in the apples and stir to coat them with the mixture. In a jug, whisk the milk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix gently. Fill each muffin hole with about 1 tbsp of the batter. Then top with a tsp confiture de lait and about  ¾ tbsp of the batter. Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes. Ice them with a little more confiture while they are still hot. These muffins go so, so well with a nice chai!

Spicy Butternut Squash & Chorizo Soup

butternut squash soupEarlier this week, I made what I know will now become my favorite soup ever. The combination of flavors is truly a thing of beauty: a perfect unity of spicy (chilies), sweet and creamy (coconut milk), fragrant (a mix of warm spices) and earthy (butternut squash). Although I try not to eat meat during the weekdays, as I was dreaming up this soup recipe, my cook’s intuition started yelling at me, “throw in some chorizo, throw in some chorizo, you MUST throw in some chorizo!” …

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Pumpkin Spice Cake with Chocolate Sauce

pumpkin cake (1)It was a hefty week. I started work on a new project, spent a lot of time on the phone conducting interviews and planning photo shoots, rounded off the last DUTCH of 2015 and brainstormed new recipes for this blog. I am not even going to think of the things I didn’t do. If anyone wants to come and sweep the garden or organize my pigsty of a closet, let me know. I have wine.
And cake…
A moist, richly spiced pumpkin cake drizzled with a lusciously glossy chocolate sauce.
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Roasted Apple & Fig Sauce

apple fig sauceIt is now becoming a habit that my husband is in charge of the cooking on Sundays. As much as I like to cook, there is nothing quite as blissful as sitting in front of the fireplace with a glass of wine in hand, enjoying the smells coming from the kitchen and counting my blessings.
He is a fantastic cook, especially when it comes to no-frills comfort food. Nobody can make a Dutch meatball as well as him, and his succulent rosemary/lemon chicken is the stuff dreams are made of. A few weeks ago, however, the boy surprised me.
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