black doris plum and white chocolate sourdough muffins.

0.5 cup white choc

I got this recipe from the always fantastic Sourdough Home website, and it’s a definite winner. I did modify it quite a bit – it originally used blueberries in place of the plums and white chocolate, and I also added a little more sugar. And ohmygoodness they were delicious – though the mixture was a worrying colour. I imagine that’s just the plummy deliciousness.

I chucked some plums in purely because they’re in season here and they’re just so beautiful and yummy that I couldn’t resist. Blueberries are in season too, but who cares? Plums are better. Maybe a little more labour intensive, but I’m willing to give up my time.

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double chocolate cupcakes with chai buttercream frosting.


I love to make cupcakes, as my friends have all found out, and this double chocolate cupcake recipe is my very favourite – the only difficult thing is finding new and creative ways to ice it or fill it. It’s incredibly easy and is billed as a “one-pot mixture”, and it would be if I wasn’t surgically attached to my stand mixer. And, it makes 24 cupcakes – a tailor-made double batch recipe!

It comes from Annabel Langbein’s new book, Free Range in the City. I love her, just like everyone else in New Zealand at the moment, and what I really love about her recipes is that I almost never change them – they’re perfect as is.

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miss cookie’s cupcakes.

So I just recently got a stand mixer for making my beautiful cakes, and all I’ve made with it so far is cupcakes – though I am fully intending to make some shortbread tonight or tomorrow night.

So, here are my pretties:


Double chocolate boysenberry, with boysenberry buttercream frosting.

lemon cream cheese 1-1

Lemon yoghurt, with lemony cream cheese frosting.


Spiced carrot cupcakes, iced with cream cheese frosting and garnished with chopped walnuts.


As usual, if anybody wants some recipes, flick me a tweet! They’re all based on cookbook recipes, but they’ve all been altered to (in my opinion) improve them.


Note: I also use an icing gun, not a piping bag. Hate the damned things (read: I am terrible at using them).

the best muffins i’ve ever tried.

I haven’t updated in a wee while so I thought I’d share a really great muffin recipe. It’s one of my favourites (and, super easy! Bonus points)!

Dry mix:

2 cups of plain flour

1 cup of sugar

4 tblsp of cocoa

4 tsp of baking powder

(If you only have self raising flour, only use 1 tsp of baking powder.)

Wet mix:

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups of milk

2/3 cup of canola oil or melted butter


Mix the wet mix and dry mix separately, and then combine. Stir well but do not beat. Pour into a 12 cup muffin pan and bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 12-15 minutes (I found the outer limit more accurate, but you will need to test with a baking spike).


For even more awesome muffins, pour the mixture into the muffin cups halfway, then add a square of cream cheese (or chocolate – caramel or peppermint or something else with a creamy centre works beautifully). Pour more mixture on top to fill the muffin cup.

I know chocolate and cream cheese may sound horrible, but it’s absolutely amazing.

Makes 12. And they’re awesome.

huia recipe book.

So, since last time I’ve posted there has actually been quite a big development in my life. I got a sweet job for next year!

I’m pretty sure everyone knows of the existence of RAs in university halls of residence, and next year I’m going to be one. When the applications were going in, it occurred to me that it could be a bit of fun (and the salary covers the rent) and so I filled out the form and threw it in on the last possible morning.

There were three stages of application – the form application was first, followed by group interviews, followed by one-on-one, or rather three-on-one interviews. Somehow, I made it as far as the three-on-one and they seemed to like me (amazingly. I thought the interview was terrible and I had to run to it from a lab which I was desperately trying to finish early). Because they gave me a job for 2010!

This year I’ve lived at International House (I will post pictures of my lovely halls of residence at some stage) but next year I’ll be an RA at Huia Residence, which is just over a bridge from here, next to the medical school (very handy for me) and involves cooking your own food (darn). O, and it’s alcohol free. It’s very different to I. House, but I am looking forward to it.

Anyway. I have started collecting recipes for my year of doing my own food, and the first thing I did was to grab a pretty notebook to write them all in. I started it with nine cupcake recipes (good effort, huh?). And here it is.

My Huia recipe book.


(Huia, for any non-New Zealanders, is a type of bird. It’s black, iridescent, rather small, and very extinct.)

DSCF7128 DSCF7129

500 cupcakes.

When I bought my excellent recipe book (see the post for the 18th of October) I noted, of course, that it had some lovely cupcakes on it. Naturally, the first ting I thought of was: the first recipe should be a cupcake recipe.

There’s a girl who lives in my hall of residence who seems to be forever borrowing the dining hall kitchen to make cupcakes, so I thought, who better to ask? I facebooked Alli – can you recommend me a cupcake recipe? – and she did me one better. She lent me her cupcake bible.

I really must return it to her … but I just keep copying them out. In fact, I shall copy one here, in case any of the [few] readers of this blog feel the need to make themselves some cupcakes.

Carrot and Walnut Cupcakes


225g (8oz) unsalted butter, softened

225g caster sugar

225g self-raising flour

4 eggs

1 tsp mixed spice

100g (3.5oz) chopped walnuts

150g (5oz) freshly grated carrots

2 tbsp sultanas


200g (7oz) cream cheese, softened

175g (6 oz) icing sugar, sieved

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 tbsp chopped walnuts


Preheat your oven to 175C (350F/gas mark 4). Place 18 baking cases in muffin tins. Combine the butter, sugar, flour and eggs in a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Spoon the batter into the cases. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove tins from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Then remove the cupcakes and cool on a rack. To make the icing, slowly beat the cream cheese and icing sugar in a large bowl with an electric whisk until creamy and soft. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and beat briskly until well combined. Spread the icing liberally onto the cooled cupcakes and garnish with the chopped walnuts.

Store without icing for up to 3 days in an airtight container, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Makes 18.


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