Monday, September 19, 2011

Muffin Mania

I love the carrot, apple and sultana muffins I posted yesterday. So much so that I've already eaten several, and they only came out of the oven 24 hours ago.

However, I also like variety. And when I bake, I like to pair healthy options with chocolate.

It seems balanced that way.

After talking about cookbooks, I also wanted to allocate a whole post to this muffin collection:

It is much loved. The pages are well worn, with remnants of past baking mixtures stuck to some, and the binding is starting to come undone in sections.

It doesn't talk about health or nutrition, but it does start with an inscription from the authors, Canadian sisters Cathy Prange and Joan Pauli, who say that they hope their recipes will inspire baking and an enjoyment of baking in others.

My Mum received this book from her own sister, who lives in Canada, and it definitely has a friendly, family feel to it.

Whilst it doesn't include pictures, some of the recipes are also perfectly inscribed into my memory. Banana, Apple Cinnamon, and Orange Date muffins were regular favourites, and I can recall not only the muffins, but the baking experiences I shared with my mother. The mixing, the tasting, the cleaning up, the tasting...and pulling the warm muffins out of the oven, and eating one right there in the kitchen.

I feel lucky to have those memories. On googling this book, I also feel lucky to have a copy I can access. Although it has now been republished, for a while there were second hand copies going for over $100!

Maybe I should take it home with me, quietly...

Chocolate-filled vanilla muffins

Adapted from jam-filled muffins in Muffin Mania
Makes a half-batch (6), or double the ingredients for a full batch

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • Egg replacer to the equivalent of 1 egg (or 1 egg)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp soy milk
  • 3/4 cup soy yoghurt (I used vanilla, as it's the closest to plain I've been able to find)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ~50g chocolate squares, cut in half, or chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 180'C fan-forced, and grease and line a 6-pan muffin tray.
  2. If using chocolate squares, cut them in half.
  3. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, prepare the egg replacer (or egg) and combine with the oil, milk, yoghurt, and vanilla.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until just combined.
  6. Fill each muffin tray ~2/3 full, and then add 1/2 a chocolate square (or a decent sprinkling of chocolate chips) to each.
  7. Cover with the remaining muffin mix, and sprinkle grated chocolate or extra chocolate chips on top.
  8. Bake for ~15 minutes.

The muffins will be slightly golden when cooked, and have a gooey centre.

I recommend serving them warm!


  1. Ooooooooooooo yummmmmmmm...wouldn't mind one of those with my cuppa!

  2. These look awesome. Indulgent but also passable for a good snack. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. You can always tell a good cookbook by how much stuff is stuck to the pages. Mum has a recipe holder with a splatter guard but even her great cookbooks are specked with the evidence of baking past.

    I must admit to being more of a cupcake than a muffin girl, but I'm coming around and those look great.

  4. love old cookbooks that are well used and those muffins with melty choc middles sound fab

  5. Oh, this is torturous! You know how I was going to make muffins yesterday? I've had to put it off as I'll be moving back to my place on Thursday, and therefore am trying to eat all the food I've got at my grandparents' place instead of making more to ferry back to mine. But oh! Oh! I WANT FRESH CHOCOLATEY MUFFINS AND CARROT MUFFINS!!!

  6. Awesome recipe! These look insanely delicious

  7. Kari, I have that recipe book - the picnic bread recipe is one I still use all the time :)

  8. @Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock
    They definitely pair well with a cup :) I'm a fan of dunking, myself, and these pass the dunk test too.

  9. @brocstar
    Thank you! I think indulgent but passable for a good snack sums up my baking goals ;)

  10. @Lisa
    The trick is to start with muffins that are per these :P

  11. @Johanna GGG
    There is something about the history of old cookbooks isn't there? And thank you!

  12. @Hannah
    Oh no! I wish I could post you some! How good is your imagination? Sometimes I daydream about foods and it works quite well in the short term (although I'm wondering if I should admit that...).

  13. @Liz@LastChanceTraining
    Yay! It was quite fun thinking about how many people / kitchens must have a copy. It makes the world seem friendly, somehow.

  14. I now have a big craving for muffins lol

  15. Nothing wrong with a little muffin mania now and then!

  16. These muffins look divine, Kari!

    I love looking through old recipe books - I read all the ones on my mum's shelves cover to cover as a child - particularly the baking ones (e.g. Women's Weekly Birthday Cake Book!). It's lovely how just looking at them now brings all of those happy baking/cooking memories back :-)

  17. @Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    Lol...I'm sure they would work gluten free? :)

  18. @Brooke
    I love the Women's Weekly Birthday Cake book! I hope to appropriate that one off my Mum's shelf one day too. I actually bought a new version of it a few years back, but didn't end up liking it as much at all. The icing had all turned to marzipan-style and the memories weren't there to make it enjoyable.

  19. Yes, I saw that new edition a couple of years ago, too - but didn't get it, as it just didn't look the same. I DID, however, recently buy the newly released 'vintage edition' - which is exactly the same as the old '80s version! I figure mum's copy might not last the distance and I'm sure my sis and I would fight over it :-)


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