If someone asked me what my favourite cake is, i’d be completely torn between a coffee sponge with heaps of icing or a very lemony muffin. Something about the zingy flavour always gets me, and unlike with other ingredients that I love, it works so well with sweet and savoury dishes. Not that there aren’t other ingredients that do, but to me lemon will always be an amazingly poignant and vibrant flavour that is also very versatile. I haven’t really been baking as much recently, so decided to make myself some muffins to get back into the swing of things. I knew instantly that I was going to make lemon muffins, as I had reminded myself a few days before how much I adored the Starbucks lemon and poppy seed muffins. I wanted to add more to the flavour, debating about different spices, seasonings and seeds that could be added. In the end I decided to try out lemon, ginger and chia seed muffins. Chia seeds are more commonly used in savoury foods, but I thought I would give them a go in my cakes. Wow, it all worked beautifully together. The zingy taste was perfectly complimented by the spice from the ginger, and the chia seeds gave a wonderful contrast in texture… a bit less so than the stereotypical poppy seed. Don’t get me wrong, I love poppy seeds, but it is nice to mix things up every now and again.
I learnt how to create basic chocolate chip muffins from a Jamie Oliver recipe several years ago, so use the same principle of by heart to this day. I have no idea how I remember all the ingredients and ratios, but somehow it has been engraved in my memory. I use the simple recipe and add the combination of ingredients that I fancy. The thing I love about muffins is the more dense sponge, making it perfect enough as a breakfast treat or for something more filling in the afternoon. Using ingredients such as fruit and oats, makes the muffins more appropriate for different meal times. Not that a triple chocolate muffin can’t be enjoyed at breakfast time, but you get what I mean… Let’s get on with the recipe!
Lemon, Ginger & Chia Seed Muffins
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30-35 minutes
Skill: Basic Baking Knowledge (can you pipe into a cake?!)
2 eggs beaten // 85g caster sugar // 240ml full fat milk // 10ml vegetable oil // 300g plain flour // 3 tsp baking powder // 4 lemons (zest & juice of 1) // 2tbsp ginger powder // 1tbsp chia seeds
Glaze & Filling
3tbsp lemon curd // 50g icing sugar // 100ml boiling water // 1 lemon juice
Start by making your muffins. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees (180 fan), and line a cake tin with six muffin cases. Have all your ingredients ready to throw into the bowl to make a cake batter. First, mix the egg, sugar, milk and oil. Then, sift in the flour, baking powder and ginger. Fold all the ingredients together until a smooth creamy batter has formed. Finish by adding the chia seeds, lemon zest and juice. Evenly distribute the cake mix between the muffins cases, remembering that muffin cases can hold much more mixture compared to ordinary cupcake cases. Put in the oven and cook for around 30-35 minutes. The top should be golden and a skewer should be clear.
Leave the cakes to cool on a cooling rack for a few hours, so that you can then glaze the muffins.
Once cool, you can make your glaze. In a bowl whisk the icing sugar, lemon juice and boiling water. It should be a light glaze. If it is too white, add more water. Using a brush, glaze the tops of all the muffins, being very generous. Top with some more zest.
– happy baking –
This recipe is my own.